Allen (above), who won his most recent PBA Tour title in Indianapolis in 2011, was in or near the lead throughout the final stages of qualifying before surrendering the lead to Ciminelli in the final qualifying game. But making the finals as the no. 2 qualifier was fine with Allen, who knew he would at least get a shot at ending his six-year title drought.
“I’ve been close a couple of times,” Allen said, “but after coming so close (a third-place finish in the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship) with Zeke (Bayt) made me want to really focus on my game, so I’ve been working at it.
“These young kids out here now are so good, you really have to work at it if you want to win again. And I love to bowl, and I wanted to win again.”
In the championship match, Ciminelli (right) never got comfortable. He failed to convert the 3-5-6-10 in the second frame, and didn’t throw his first strike until the sixth frame. He got his second strike in the seventh frame, but then left a 7 pin – his fifth single pin leave.
In the meantime, Allen’s early double was followed by a 2-8-10 split. And then a turkey was followed by a 4-7-10 split, giving Ciminelli a fighting chance. But the Cheektowaga left-hander left a 4-10 split in the ninth frame and his comeback hopes evaporated.
“The guy’s a great bowler, but I definitely left it open for him,” Allen said of his match with Ciminelli. “I was fortunate to escape this time. You don’t escape those moments very often out there.”
Caso struck on five of his first six shots, held a 37-pin lead after Azcona failed to convert the 3-6-10 in the seventh frame, and doubled in the ninth and 10th frames to clinch the win.
Allen, a 38-year-old, 18-year PBA Tour veteran, eliminated Caso in almost identical fashion in the semifinal match, 228-201. Allen started the contest with five strikes on his first six attempts while Caso, a third-year PBA member who was bowling in only his second PBA Tour event, struggled to find the pocket until the final two frames.
The Xtra Frame Chesapeake Open was the fifth tournament in the seven-event PBA Xtra Frame Storm Cup series that will award $50,000 in bonus prizes to the five points leaders.
With his win, Allen will be in the thick of the race heading into the Xtra Frame Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Classic from Mid-County Bowling and Entertainment in Middletown, Del., Aug. 19-20, and the series finale, the PBA Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Group Classic at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater, Ohio, Aug. 26-27.
Both events will be live streamed on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. For subscription and schedule information click here.
AMF Western Branch Lanes in Chesapeake, Va., USA (Aug. 11-13, 2017)
1. Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 433 (2 games), $10,000
2. Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 176 (1 game), $6,000
3. Anthony Caso, Spring Hill, Fla., 445 (2 games), $3,500
4. Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 219 (1 game), $2,000
First Match: No. 3 Caso def. No. 4 Azcona, 244-219
Semifinal Match: No. 2 Allen def. Caso, 228-201
Championship: Allen def. No. 1 Ciminelli, 205-176
Players with position, hometown and 17-game total. Top 4 advance to the stepladder finals
1, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 3,959
2, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 3,924
3, Anthony Caso, Spring Hill, Fla., 3,885
4, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 3,882
5, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 3,865, $1,700
6, Steven Arehart, Chesapeake, Va., 3,847, $1,500
7 (tie), Dom Barrett, England, and Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 3,809, $1,425
Players, who did not advance, with position, hometown and 15-game total. Top 8 advanced to the next round. n-denotes non-PBA member.
9, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 3,370, $1,350
10, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 3,346, $1,300
11, n-Josh Garner, Hampton, Va., 3,335, $1,250
12, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 3,333, $1,200
13, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 3,300, $1,150
14, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 3,276, $1,100
15, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 3,260, $1,050
16, Matt Taylor, Youngsville, N.C., 3,217, $1,000
Barrett def. Gomez, 245-196, in a one-game roll-off to advance to the Round of 8 after they tied for eighth place in the Round of 16.
Players, who did not advance, with position, hometown and 12-game total. Top 16 advance to the next round. n-denotes non-PBA member.
17, Chris Arcaro, Carolina Beach, N.C., 2,606, $800
18, Clifford Stanley II, Virginia Beach, Va., 2,582, $790
19, Zulmazran Zulkifli, Malaysia, 2,575, $780
20, Jason Sterner, Rockledge, Fla., 2,555, $770
21, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 2,549, $760
22, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 2,545, $750
23, Darren Tang, San Francisco, 2,535, $740
24, Michael Tang, San Francisco, 2,527, $730
25, Cody Shoemaker, Hanover, Pa., 2,519, $720
26, Andrew Klingler, Grand Rapids, Mich., 2,515, $710
27, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 2,512, $700
28, Chris Polizzi, Spring Hill, Fla., 2,508, $690
29, David Powers, Newport News, Va., 2,498, $680
30, Richard Horsley, Morrisville, N.C., 2,495, $670
31, Darrin Casstevens, Winston-Salem, N.C., 2,488, $660
32, Kristian Rogers, Salisbury, N.C., 2,472, $655
33, Anthony DeStasio, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 2,463, $650
34, Michael Vitalone, Jr., Lake Worth, Fla., 2,451, $645
35, Jeremy Mooney, West Palm Beach, Fla., 2,431, $640
36, Trevor Roberts, Crystal River, Fla., 2,406, $635
37, Kip Roberts, Glen Allen, Va., 2,403, $630
38, Jeff Evans, Supply, N.C., 2,393, $625
39, n-Chris Kruschke, Newport News, Va., 2,391, $620
40, Johnnie Payne, Savannah, Ga., 2,385, $615
41, n-David Schmidtmann, Norfolk, Va., 2,377, $610
42, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 1,767, $605
43, Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich., 1,660, $600