JEFF SMITH’S STUNNING AT PEPSI OPEN
MI - Jeff Smith, the No. 32 seed in the PBA Pepsi Open, advanced to the
championship round Saturday night at Spectrum Lanes, beating Rick
Steelsmith four-games-to-one in the round of 8 match play.
Smith, 40, took the first two games from Steelsmith, including a
246-224 win in the second game. After dropping the third game, Smith
rebounded to win the next two and move on to his first career
television finals appearance.
“I think I’ll be nervous with the setting and the lights,” Smith said.
“I’m an outgoing person though, and I’ll put on a good show. I’ve
dreamed about doing this.”
A part-time member on the PBA Tour since 1993, Smith had finished no
better than 101st this season.
In other matches, Mike Scroggins defeated Pete Weber, 4-1, to advance
to his third consecutive championship round appearance. The last bowler
to accomplish that feat was Walter Ray Williams Jr., who twice appeared
on three straight shows last season.
“You have to have some luck out there,” Scroggins said. “I just feel
like I’ve been bowling well enough to win matches, but I’m getting
lucky along the way.”
Down 2-1, Jason Couch rebounded to top Brad Angelo, 4-2, and advance to
his first finals appearance of the season. The 10-time PBA Tour title
winner will face Scroggins in the semi-final match.
Lonnie Waliczek, a two-time PBA Tour title winner, defeated Steve
Wilson, 4-1, to advance to his second championship round of the season.
Wilson, who was the highest qualifier that lost in the round of 8,
advanced to the finals as the wildcard. Waliczek and Wilson will square
off again in the wildcard match tomorrow.
ESPN will televise the five-man finals live Sunday, from 1-2:30 p.m.
ET. Top prize will be $40,000.
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