PALERMAA, BELMONTE LEAD POWER PLAYERS INTO PBA SCORPION FINALS
LAS VEGAS – Two-handed power players Osku Palermaa of Finland and Jason Belmonte of Australia claimed the top two qualifying berths in GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IV Bowlers Journal Scorpion Championship at South Point Bowling Center Tuesday night.
Palermaa, the defending PBA World Champion, fired games of 244, 259, 236, 222, 204 and 226 in the six-game semifinal round to finish with a 14-game total of 3,295 pins, nipping Belmonte by two pins for the top spot. Belmonte, who led the Chameleon Championship field on Monday, was trying for back-to-back No. 1 stepladder berths.
Rounding out the Scorpion stepladder finals field will be Jason Sterner of McDonough, Ga., with a 3,262 total, and Tom Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla., who generates power by throwing the ball without using his thumb, with 3,261 pins.
Sterner and Daugherty are trying for their first PBA Tour title. Daugherty will be making his first television appearance since rolling a PBA-record low 100 game during the 2011 PBA Tournament of Champions finals.
The Scorpion ESPN stepladder finals will take place on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 2 p.m. in a special arena setting in South Point’s Exhibition Hall area. The finals will air on ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 6.
“When I got here a week ago, I kind of tore my right bicep a little during practice,” Palermaa said. “By Thursday, I didn’t know if I could make a spare at all (he shoots at spares one-handed, using his right arm), but it’s better. It’s stiff and sore, but I can bowl.
“I started the World Series with the wrong ball, and dug myself a hole,” he added. “I got that fixed, and yesterday I wasn’t even mad when I missed the (Chameleon Championship) cut by five pins. If I had to bowl another eight games in the semifinals yesterday, I don’t know if I could have bowled today at all.
“Today I decided to bowl hard and straight to spare my arm. Now I only have one more game to bowl on Sunday for the Scorpion title, but tomorrow (the start of PBA World Championship match play) means more. I have 24 more games, so I will just have to make the best of it.”
The Scorpion Championship qualifying round earlier Tuesday was the final qualifying leg for the PBA World Championship. Combined eight-game qualifying round scores from the Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion Championships determined the 24 players who will advance to three eight-game World Championship match play rounds Wednesday and Thursday.
Based on 32 qualifying games, Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., won World Championship top qualifier honors, averaging 239.44 for a 7,662 pinfall total. Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., was second with 7,598 followed by Belmonte at 7,544; Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, at 7,522 and Dan MacLelland of Canada at 7,504.
Complete GEICO WSOB IV coverage is available on the “live scoring” feature on pba.com, or by watching the action live on Xtra Frame, PBA’s online bowling channel.
GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling competition continues Wednesday with the first two of three eight-game match play rounds in the PBA World Championship at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. The final round of match play is scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m.
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