Fierce battle shapes up for Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open final round


    2009-10 PBA Tour #18

    Defending champ Malott clings to lead; Player of Year race still up for grabs

    200910PBA06WesMalott2.jpg200910PBA01PeteWeber2.jpgDefending champion Wes Malott (pictured left) of Pflugerville, Texas, slipped to third place with one game to go, but rallied in the final game Friday night to regain his lead in the Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open at AMF Country Club Lanes.

    With seven games remaining Saturday morning on the Dick Weber lane condition, however, the race for five spots on Sunday's ESPN telecast and the battle for the 2009-10 PBA Player of the Year title remained wide open.

    Malott, who entered Friday's play with a 91-pin lead over Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, escaped the Scorpion and Earl Anthony lane conditioning rounds with a 45-pin lead over Pete Weber (right) of St. Ann, Mo., who started the day in 13th place. Malott has averaged 230.74 for 46 games on six different lane conditions for a 10,614 total. Weber, who rolled the event's 10th 300 game Friday morning, had 10,559 pins in his bid for his first title since the 2007 U.S. Open.

    200910PBABradAngelo2.jpg200910PBA01TommyJones2.jpgBrad Angelo (left) of Lockport, N.Y., was third with 10,557 pins followed by Tommy Jones (right) of Simpsonville, S.C., at 10,507 and Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, with 10,506 pins.

    Fewer than 20 pins behind the five front-runners were Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, and Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., the two remaining contenders in the Player of the Year race. Bill O'Neill of Southampton, Pa., who is tied with Williams for the Player of the Year points lead, was eliminated from contention when he finished 20th and failed to advance to Saturday's Weber round.

    200910PBA11WalterRayWilliams2.jpg200910PBA08MikeScroggins.jpgScroggins (right), who started the day in 11th place, can win the Player of the Year race if he wins the Marathon Open and Williams (left) finishes lower than second place. In any other scenario, the 50-year-old Williams will win the season-long Player of the Year honor for a record seventh time and become the oldest player ever to win the title.

    None of that matters to Malott, however, because his chances to defending his 2008-09 Player of the Year title are gone and he can only hope to salvage his first title of the season with a win Sunday.

    200910PBAWesMalott.jpg"I just couldn't get anything going tonight," Malott (pictured left) said. "My morning round was better, but my thumb's getting a little tender and it's hard to relax my grip. We're getting close to 50 games, so I think everyone would tell you they're having the same issue.

    "I struggled in sixth game tonight and shot 154, but sometimes it takes a bad game like that to get re-grouped and that's exactly what happened," he added. "I looked at the scoreboard and saw Pete (Weber) had gone around me, so it made me dig deep and get back on top to set myself up for tomorrow."

    Malott threw a 279 final game to return to first place.

    The Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open is a seven-round tournament, with each round bowled on a different lane conditioning pattern. The top 16 survivors after Friday's Scorpion Round of 32 and Earl Anthony Round of 24 will bowl a final seven-game round on the Dick Weber pattern Saturday morning. The field will then be cut to the top five players 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.


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    Marathon Open - Standings after Round of 24 (Earl Anthony lane condition)

    Players with position, hometown and 46-game total, The top 16 advance.

    1, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 10,614
    2, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 10,559
    3, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 10,557
    4, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 10,507
    5, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 10,506
    6, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 10,496
    7, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 10,489. 8, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 10,380
    9, Brian Waliczek, Birch Run, Mich., 10,351
    10, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 10,281. 11, Sean Rash, Wichita, Kan., 10,249. 12, Jeff Carter, Springfield, Ill., 10,232
    13, Dave D'Entremont, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, 10,228
    14, Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., 10,219
    15, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 10,173
    16, Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 10,170

    Missed Cut:
    17, Robert Smith, Columbus, Ohio, 10,162, $2,500
    18, Todd Book, Wapakoneta, Ohio, 10,152, $2,400
    19, Stevie Weber, Chalmette, La., 10,147, $2,300
    20, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 10,121, $2,200
    21, Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga., 10,106, $2,150
    22, Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 10,052, $2,100
    23, Tim Criss, Bel Air, Md., 10,027, $2,050
    24, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 9,576, $2,000

    Missed Cut after Scorpion Round (39 games):
    25, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 8,599, $1,650
    26, Eddie VanDaniker Jr., Essex, Md., 8,571, $1,600
    27, Mike DeVaney, San Diego, 8,566, $1,550
    28, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 8,545, $1,500
    29, Jesse Buss, Wichita, Kan., 8,431, $1,450
    30, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 8,419, $1,400
    31, Ryan Abel, Bel Aire, Kan., 8,361, $1,350
    32, Billy Oatman, Chicago, 8,303, $1,300

    300 Games (10) – Brad Angelo, Michael Machuga, Derek Sapp, Ryan Shafer, D.J. Archer, Robert Smith, Mitch Beasley, Joe Ciccone, Brian Waliczek, Pete Weber.