Dave Walsh: Local bowler competes against PBA members
Ashland bowler Ben Davis is on a roll.
Ashland bowler Ben Davis went head-to-head with the PBA Tour members on Sept. 14-16 in the Red Zone Lounge Covington Open at Thunder Alley in Covington, Va. It's a stop on the PBA South Region Tour.
Davis shot 1,827 in the first eight-game block to hold sixth place out of 44 bowlers. Davis made a strong showing in the 12-game second session and earned No. 4 seed for the stepladder finals. He had a 225 average for 21 games.
PBA Hall of Fame and Senior Tour standout Tom Baker, 58, shot 1,926 (241 average) to lead the first qualifying session. Baker dropped a bit in the second session and finished as the No. 3 seed to set up a first-round match against Davis.
Davis opened twice in the first four frames, then came back with five straight strikes to make it interesting. However, Baker (King, N.C.) went mistake free and prevailed, 239-211.
"I knew Tom wasn't going to give me anything," Davis said. "He's obviously in the Hall of Fame for a reason. I can't afford to go out and give away early shots in a match like that."
Davis did get a check for $750.
Scores continued to be high on the Shark pattern for the next two matches. Lee Vanderhoef of Greenville, S.C., eliminated Baker, 253-233, in the semifinals. Top seed Kip Roberts of Glen Allen, Va., then knocked off Vanderhoef, 279-204, in the title match to collect $2,000. He opened with a five-bagger, converted a spare in the sixth and struck out to secure his 14th regional title.
"I had a strategy, I stuck to the strategy and it worked to perfection," Roberts said.
Simplified, while all the big hook, high revolution players were having to move deeper and deeper on the lanes on the second day, Roberts played the lanes at more of a direct angle.
"The lanes were hooking," said Roberts, who was sixth in the 2007 U.S Open. "It's an older (lane) surface, a burned-up surface. My strategy was just to stay to the right the whole day."
The tournament director was John Weber, son of PBA legend Dick Weber and brother of Pete Weber, winner of 36 career titles.
On Oct. 16, Davis had a career night in the Olympic League at Blue Ribbon Lanes in Ashland. He reeled off games of 277, 257 and 299 for a personal-best 833 series. It's his seventh 800 series.
WAGNER WINS: No. 7 qualifier Kent Wagner won the Roger Boone Memorial Classic on Sept. 30 at the Greenbrier Bowling Center in Lewisburg, W.Va. Bowlers from the PBA Central, East and South regions competed. Tom Baker again led the qualifier, shooting 1,916 for eight games. But he lost in the first round of single-elimination match play. Wagner won four matches to collect the $2,000 first prize. He beatn No. 9 Dale Csuhta, 215-212, in the title match.
FINAL EVENT: The final Handicap Singles Tournament of the season is scheduled at 2 p.m. Sunday at Colonial Lanes. Entry fee is $20. Call 304-697-7100 or visit www.coloniallaneswv.com. That division's Tournament of Champions will be held Dec. 2.
The Tournament of Champions for the Sport Lane Pattern Scratch Tournament season will be contested Nov. 18. The WTBA London oil pattern will be used. Entry fee is $40 and first prize is at least $300. Format is four-game qualifier with the field cut to the top 10. Two games of match play follow and the five winners advance to the Eliminator finals. Those two-game totals will determine seeding for the finals.
HARRELL MEMORIAL MATCH GAMES: Entry deadline Nov. 5 for Harrell Memorial Match Games scheduled Nov. 10-11 at Colonial Lanes. Entry fee $50. First prize $500 based on 60 entries. Four-game qualifier followed by match play until champion is determined. Entry forms at Colonial and Strike Zone.
David Walsh is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.