Wes Malott retains lead in Marathon Open after four rounds


    2009-10 PBA Tour #18

    Williams jumps into third place in bid to lock up PBA Player of the Year title

    200910PBA07WesMalott.jpg200910PBA12ChrisBarnes.jpgDefending champion Wes Malott (pictured left) of Pflugerville, Texas, retained a 91-pin lead over fellow Texan Chris Barnes (right) in the Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open at AMF Country Club Lanes Thursday, but the biggest move was by 50-year-old Walter Ray Williams Jr. in his bid to lock up a record seventh career PBA Player of the Year title.

    Malott, who is about to surrender his 2008-09 Player of the Year crown, averaged 234.59 through the first four rounds of the Marathon Open to finish with a 32-game total of 7,507 pins.

    Barnes, who was Player of the Year prior to Malott, had a 7,416 total after Thursday's seven-game rounds on the PBA's Viper and Chameleon lane conditions. Both players are trying for their first title of the 2009-10 season.

    200910PBA08WalterRayWilliams.jpg200910PBA14BillONeill3.jpgBut Williams (pictured left) made the boldest move, advancing from 14th place at the start of the day to move into third place with a 7,366 total. The PBA Tour's all-time leading title winner is seeking his 48th title and third of the season.

    He also is trying to become the oldest PBA Player of the Year ever. He needs to make Sunday's TV finals field to break a tie with co-points leader Bill O'Neill (right) of Southampton, Pa., to win that title outright and break another tie with the legendary Earl Anthony, who also is a six-time PBA Player of the Year, for the most Player of the Year titles in PBA history.

    200910PBA08MikeScroggins.jpg200910PBAAndresGomez.jpgO'Neill is still in the picture, but he barely survived Thursday's cut to 32 players who will advance to Friday morning's Scorpion round in 28th place. Mike Scroggins (left) of Amarillo, Texas, who has an outside shot at Player of the Year if he wins the Marathon Open, advanced from 33rd place to 11th.

    Colombia's Andres Gomez (right) hit the cutoff number for 32nd place with 6,932.

    Malott's focus, however, is to hold off Barnes, Williams and a tightly packed field of challengers in his bid for his seventh career title.

    200910PBAWesMalott.jpg"I'm surviving," Malott (pictured left) said. "The guys at the top are hanging around where I'm at, and the guys in middle bowling well and bunching up more than I like to see, so Friday I need to bowl better and try to build a bit of a lead so I can relax a little.

    "I bowled OK today, not outstanding by any means," he added. "I struggled in the Viper round with spares. That's a funk I've been in, but my spare game on the Chameleon pattern tonight was a whole lot better. Hopefully tomorrow the Scorpion condition will soften up a little and I'll be able to strike."

    The Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open is a seven-round tournament, with each round bowled on a different lane conditioning pattern. The top 32 survivors after Thursday's competition will bowl seven games on the Scorpion pattern Friday morning, after which the field will be cut to the top 24 for another seven games on the Earl Anthony lane condition.

    Then field will be trimmed to 16 for a final seven-game round on the Dick Weber condition Saturday morning to determine the top five players after 53 games who will advance to the stepladder finals on ESPN Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern. The tournament leader will select the lane condition to be used for the TV finals.


    Related Articles

    Defending champion Wes Malott overtakes lead in Marathon Open after Round 2
    Mike Wolfe averages 259 for Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open first round lead
    exciting finish in Baltimore


    Marathon Open - Standings after Round 4

    Players with position, hometown and 32-game total, Rounds 3 and 4 on Viper and Chameleon lane condition.

    1, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 7,507
    2, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 7,416
    3, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 7,366
    4, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 7,359, $100
    5, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 7,349
    6, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 7,329
    7, Brian Waliczek, Birch Run, Mich., 7,306
    8, Sean Rash, Wichita, Kan., 7,282
    9, Robert Smith, Columbus, Ohio, 7,270
    10, Dave D'Entremont, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, 7,261
    11, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 7,251
    12, Jeff Carter, Springfield, Ill., 7,247
    13, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 7,227
    14, Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., 7,225
    15, Stevie Weber, Chalmette, La., 7,214
    16, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 7,147
    17, Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 7,146
    18, Tim Criss, Bel Air, Md., 7,138
    19, Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga., 7,126
    20, Eddie VanDaniker Jr., Essex, Md., 7,102
    20, Todd Book, Wapakoneta, Ohio, 7,102
    22, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 7,100
    23, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 7,046
    24, Ryan Abel, Bel Aire, Kan., 7,035
    25, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 7,028
    26, Jesse Buss, Wichita, Kan., 7,010
    27, Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 7,007
    28, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 6,958. 29, Billy Oatman, Chicago, 6,951
    30, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 6,935
    31, Mike DeVaney, San Diego, 6,934
    32, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 6,932

    Missed Cut:
    33, George Lambert IV, Canada, 6,922, $1,100
    34, Bob Hale, Louisville, Ky., 6,897, $1,090
    35, Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 6,892, $1,080
    36, D.J. Archer, Mineral Wells, Texas, 6,881, $1,170
    37, Chris Hans, Richmond, Va., 6,880, $1,060
    38, Eddie Graham, Centerville, Ohio, 6,862, $1,050
    39, Derek Sapp, Keokuk, Iowa, 6,847, $1,040
    40, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 6,836, $1,030
    41, Ronnie Horton, Christiansburg, Va., 6,781, $1,020
    42, Bobby Hall II, Landover, Md., 6,779, $1,010
    43, Kevin Cartier, Beverly, N.J., 6,704, $1,000
    44, William Barlow, Edgewood, Md., 6,296, $1,000

    300 Games (9) – Brad Angelo, Michael Machuga, Derek Sapp, Ryan Shafer, D.J. Archer, Robert Smith, Mitch Beasley, Joe Ciccone, Brian Waliczek.