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Bowling News USA - January 19, 2011 Field Narrowed to 53 players at the 2011 PBA Tournament of Champions...

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Tom Daugherty of Tampa, Fla., rolled a 269 final game Wednesday afternoon to take a one-pin lead over Storm's Osku Palermaa as the field in the $1 million Professional Bowlers Association Tournament of Champions was trimmed to 53 survivors at Red Rock Lanes.

Daughterty has been using Storm and Roto Grip equipment the entire week.

The field of 53 will now pursue four spots in the live stepladder finals Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Eastern (11:30 a.m. Pacific) on ABC. First prize is a PBA-record $250,000.

Click below for an interview with Storm PBA Tour Consultant Chris Schlemer, from Red Rock Lanes, home of the 2011 PBA Tournament of Champions:

Daugherty, a 35-year-old former touring player, averaged 230.4 for the 20-game qualifying portion of the richest tournament in PBA history to overtake Palermaa. Daugherty, a four-time PBA Regional title winner, has never won a national title. His best finish was sixth place in the 2006 Earl Anthony Classic.

“I’m here because it’s a $1 million tournament,” Daugherty said. “There’s no better place to be than first. I have the most confidence I’ve ever had. I’ve been bowling a lot at home and winning everything. I couldn’t be more confident. It’s an amazing feeling to know if you throw a good shot, you’ll strike and right now I feel like I can repeat shots.

“I’m staying focused, staying in the moment and bowling the best I’ve ever bowled in my life,” he added. “If I keep doing that, everything will take care of itself.”

Daugherty, who generates extraordinary strike power by not using his thumb, leads Palermaa, who generates his power with a two-handed delivery. After leading the first three qualifying rounds, Palermaa slowed his pace on the freshly-oiled condition Wednesday morning, but he wasn’t concerned.

“Even though bowling in the morning on a fresh condition is not my favorite, I had a cushion,” Palermaa said. “I was just taking it easy and getting the strikes when they came.

“There is no point in getting stressed out at this point,” he added. “We're still only about one-third of the way through. I've won tournaments by being at the top of the standings the whole way through and I've come back from being farther down in the standings. The key is to be consistent. In a long format, you can't do anything with one good block.”

Palermaa is trying to become the first international player ever to win the Tournament of Champions. The 37-year-old two-handed player is only the fifth international player to win a Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour title. Sweden’s Mats Karlsson, Venezuela’s Amleto Monacelli, Finland’s Mika Koivuniemi and Storm's Jason Belmonte (also a two-handed player) also have won PBA Tour titles, but Monacelli, a 19-time PBA Tour title winner and member of the PBA Hall of Fame, is the only international player ever to reach a Tournament of Champions title match, losing to David Ozio of Vidor, Texas, 236-203, in 1991.

Belmonte, Koivuniemi, Colombia’s Andres Gomez and England’s Stuart Williams also advanced to the cashers’ round.

Defending champion Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., advanced in 29th place with 4,340 pins. Kulick, the first and only woman to win a PBA Tour title, was one of three women who advanced among the top 53. Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., finished qualifying in 30th place, five pins behind Kulick and Diandra Asbaty of Chicago qualified 49th with 4,267 pins.

The 53 cashers will bowl two seven-game rounds Wednesday night and Thursday morning to narrow the field to 24 for head-to-head match play.

After three eight-game match play rounds Thursday evening and Friday – a total of 58 games - the top four will advance to Saturday’s stepladder finals live.

Red Rock Lanes, Las Vegas, Nev., Wednesday, Jan. 19

1, Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 4,608.
2, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 4,607.
3, Mike Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., 4,576.
4, Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 4,539.
5, Dan MacLelland, Saginaw, Mich., 4,519.
6, Robert Smith, Columbus, Ohio, 4,503.
7, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 4,493.
8, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 4,484.
9, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 4,482.
10, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 4,479.
11, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 4,477.
12, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 4,471.
13, Tyler Jensen, Ft. Worth, Texas, 4,443.

14, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 4,432.
15, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 4,409.

16, Stuart Williams, England, 4,392.
17, Tony Reyes, San Bruno, Calif., 4,380.
18, Sean Swanson, Springfield, Mo., 4,379.
19, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 4,369.
20, (tie) Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind.; Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., and Rick Steelsmith, Wichita, Kan., 4,358.
23, Eric Forkel, Las Vegas, 4,357.
24, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 4,354.

25, Jason Wojnar, Chicago, 4,350.
26, (tie) Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., and Ritchie Allen, Columbia, S.C., 4,348.
28, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 4,347.
29, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 4,340.
30, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 4,335.
31, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 4,333.
32, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 4,332.
33, Bob Learn Jr., Macomb, Mich., 4,330.
34, Brian Ziesig, Levittown, N.Y., 4,329.
35, (tie) Jesse Buss, Wichita, Kan., and Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla., 4,328.
37, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 4,327.
38, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 4,320.
39, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 4,317.
40, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 4,314.
41, Jeff Carter, Springfield, Ill., 4,312
42, Tim Criss, Bel Air, Md., 4,309.
43, Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 4,298.
44, Mike Miller, Albuquerque, N.M., 4,290.
45, Todd Book, Wapakoneta, Ohio, 4,286.
46, Eddie VanDaniker Jr., Essex, Md., 4,281.
47, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 4,275.
48, Steve Jaros, Yorkville, Ill., 4,268.
49, Diandra Asbaty, Chicago, 4,267.
50, (tie) Michael Haugen Jr., Carefree, Ariz., and Paul Gibson, Brunswick, Ohio, 4,265.
52, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 4,262.
53, Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 4,260.


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January, 2011