Summer swing is underway....
Marshall Kent, Bill O'Neill, Kyle Troup, Andres Gomez and Tommy Jones
Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., the 2014 Professional Bowlers Association Rookie of the Year, averaged 240.2 Monday at FireLake Bowling Center to earn the top berth for Saturday’s PBA Wolf Open stepladder finals.
Kent, who was ninth after the first round, completed the 12-game qualifying portion of the Wolf Open with a 2,883 pinfall total to take the top spot by 47 pins over Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa. in second with 2,836. In Monday evening’s second round, Kent started slow the first game with 189 but then surged back with games of 247, 279, 249, 254 and 265 on the 32-foot Wolf lane condition.
“I got off to a slow start so I had to remind myself to concentrate on the process and not pressure myself to strike,” said Kent, who won the Saudi Arabia Kingdom International Open in 2014 for his first Tour title. “Overall I feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in so I’m hoping I can put everything together for one more game in the finals.”
O’Neill, who had a very productive 2014 Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort & Hotel PBA Summer Swing in which he won the Badger Open and King of the Swing, will be trying for his sixth PBA Tour title. He finished eighth in last year’s Wolf Open and was second in 2013.
“It’s been up and down so far this year,” O’Neill said. “I just have to concentrate on not over-thinking and over-analyzing what I’m doing, but other than that I’m feeling pretty comfortable here.”
Also advancing to the stepladder finals, which will be taped at the Grand Resort Event Center at 11 a.m. Saturday, will be No. 3 qualifier Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C., who will be making his first PBA Tour television appearance. Troup, who had a 2,819 pinfall, is the son of eight-time PBA Tour winner Guppy Troup.
Qualifying fourth for the finals was two-time Tour winner Andres Gomez of Colombia who finished with a 2,798 pinfall total and 15-time titlist Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C. qualified fifth with 2,790.
Patrick Allen, who led after the first round, dropped out of the top five after bowling a 168 in the final game.
The Wolf Open is the first of five events that comprise the 2015 Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Summer Swing. All five events (Wolf, Bear, Badger and Oklahoma Opens plus the Grand Casino Resort King of the Swing) will be televised by CBS Sports Network and will air on successive Tuesday nights beginning May 26. The Wolf Open will air May 26 at 8 p.m. ET.
The Summer Swing continues Tuesday with the PBA Bear Open on a 40-foot lane condition. Squad B will bowl six qualifying games at 8 a.m. and Squad A will bowl at 2 p.m. The top 18 players will bowl an additional six-game qualifying round at 7:30 p.m. to determine the Bear Open stepladder finalists.
The first six games on each of the three animal patterns will determine the 18 players who will advance to the Oklahoma Open match play rounds on Thursday. The King of the Swing field will consist of the Wolf, Bear, Badger and Oklahoma Open winners plus the highest player in points without winning one of the four events.
PBA WOLF OPEN
FireLake Bowling Center, Shawnee, Okla., Monday
Final Qualifying Standings (after 12 games; top five advance to stepladder finals Saturday at 11 a.m. CT at the Grand Resort Event Center in Shawnee)
1, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 2,883.
2, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 2,836.
3, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 2,819.
4, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 2,798.
5, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 2,790.
6, Patrick Allen, Mount Kisco, N.Y., 2,786, $2,000.
7, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 2,771, $1,800.
8, Mike Fagan, Ft. Worth, Texas, 2,769, $1,600.
9, Robert Smith, Ventura, Calif., 2,749, $1,400.
10, Brett Cooper, Denver, 2,734, $1,300.
11, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 2,718, $1,200.
12, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., 2,708, $1,100.
13, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y., 2,675, $1,000.
14, Tyler Jensen, Ft. Worth, Texas, 2,666, $900.
15, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 2,629, $800.
16, Stuart Williams, England, 2,577, $700.
17, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 2,563, $600.
18, Joe Findling, Mesquite, Texas, 2,509, $500.