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24th Malta Open Championships
Slow Motion Video
Ciminelli, who sat one spot out of the stepladder finals heading into the final game of qualifying, advanced from fifth to first in his 20th game, and then survived a late charge by J.R. Raymond of Bay City, Mich., to win the title match, 232-221, to claim the $10,000 first prize.
From left, host Sean Rash, proprietors Mel and Kurt Frieders, PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark and champion Ryan Ciminelli.
“I was never on the show the entire tournament,” Ciminelli said, “but I’ve been working on my perseverance and it worked. I kind of felt like I was on a slide coming into the tournament after a couple of recent second-place finishes, so this one is pretty special.”
Ciminelli, who had the choice of lane conditions based on his qualifying position, selected the unusual 40-foot “strips” pattern – one of three used in the tournament, which was organized by fellow PBA Tour competitor Sean Rash.
The “strips” pattern involved what PBA Xtra Frame announcer Randy Pedersen called “moguls” – alternating three-board peaks of heavy oil next to four-board valleys of very little oil across the lanes.
After finding the condition wasn’t playing the way he had hoped, Ciminelli moved inside and struck on five of his first six shots to build a big enough lead to hold on.
Raymond, a sixth-year PBA member who was trying for his first PBA Tour title, was behind by 43 pins in the fifth frame, but made a ball change and threw five strikes in a row to get back into the match. Needing three strikes in the 10th to tie Ciminelli and force a roll-off, he left the 6-10 on his second try in the final frame.
Raymond advanced to the title match with a come-from-behind 207-193 win over Kristopher Prather of Milton, Fla., ending Prather’s bid for his first PBA Tour title. Prather led into the final frame as Raymond struggled to find the pocket on the PBA “strips” lane condition, which he had selected for the match.
But after rolling only one strike in the first seven frames, Raymond put together a late string of four strikes to take the lead and he won the match when Prather, needing a strike, left a solid 7 pin on his first shot in the 10th frame.
Prather spoiled PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr.‘s bid for his first PBA Tour title since winning the 2010 USBC Masters, 224-191, in the first match of the four-player stepladder finals.
Prather, as the higher qualifier, selected the flat U.S. Open lane condition for the match and threw an early turkey to take a 23-pin lead after five frames that Williams was unable to overcome.
The Xtra Frame PBA Tour Series continues next weekend when Sawgrass Lanes in Tamarac, Fla., hosts the PBA Reality Check Tamarac Open presented by Xtra Frame. The series, which will reward the overall points leader with a $10,000 bonus, concludes with the PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open Oct. 31-Nov. 1.
Parkside Bowl, Aurora, Ill., USA (Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, 2016)
1, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., $10,000
2, J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., $6,000
3, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., $4,000
4, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., $3,000
First Match: No. 3 Prather def. No. 4 Williams, 224-191
Semifinal Match: No. 2 Raymond def. Prather, 207-193
Championship: No. 1 Ciminelli def. Raymond, 232-221
Players with position, hometown and 20-game total
1, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 4,363
2, x-J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 4,358
3, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla.,4,358
4, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 4,356
5, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 4,337, $2,000
6, Gerald Marrs, Huntley, Ill., 4,316, $1,600
7, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 4,272, $1,400
8, n-Matt Ogle, Shephersville, Ky., 4,262, $1,375
9, Brad Miller, Maryland Heights, Mo., 4,247, $1,350
10, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 4,223, $1,325
11, Anthony Simonsen, Princeton, Texas, 4,220, $1,300
12, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 4,215, $1,275
13, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 4,208, $1,250
14, n-Brian Waliczek, Birch Run, Mich., 4,187, $1,225
15, Aaron Lorincz, Belleville, Mich., 4,180, $1,200
16, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 4,150, $1,175
17, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 4,132, $1,150
18, Matt McNiel, Minneapolis, Minn., 4,119, $1,125
19, Anthony LaCaze, Hoffman Estates, Ill., 4,094, $1,100
20, Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill., 4,066, $1,075
21, Chris Hill, Franklin, Wis., 4,042, $1,050
22, Jon Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., 3,973, $1,025
23, Cameron Weier, Tacoma, Wash., 3,949, $1,000
24, Anggie Ramirez, Austin, Texas, 3,916, $1,000
x-Raymond won one-game roll-off over Prather for second position, 200-193.
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