PBA Tournament of Champions winner Mika Koivuniemi, defending Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open champion Bill O’Neill and PBA World Championship titlist Chris Barnes pace the PBA statistical races going into this week’s U.S. Open.
Koivuniemi, with his record $250,000 first prize in the TOC, easily tops the PBA Tour earnings race with $285,940 through nine events. TOC runner-up Tom Smallwood, who won $100,000 in that event, is second with $115,200. Barnes and O’Neill are third and fourth, respectively, with $95,760 and $79,440.
Koivuniemi also is the average leader, rolling at a 225.35 pace for 203 games. O’Neill is about two pins behind at 223.05, and Barnes is third at 222.24.
In the important PBA competition points race, however, O’Neill is the leader, followed by Barnes and Koivuniemi. While the points race will no longer be the sole deciding factor in the 2010-11 PBA Player of the Year race, it will play an extremely important role in the new end-of-season Dick Weber PBA Playoffs.
The top six in points after the U.S. Open and the Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship will earn three “bye” rounds in the PBA Playoffs. Heading into the U.S. Open, Sean Rash, Jason Belmonte and Mike DeVaney round out the top six.
The next six — ranking seventh through 12th in points — earn two bye rounds in the Playoffs. Those six currently are Michael Haugen Jr., Osku Palermaa, Tommy Jones, Wes Malott, Tom Smallwood and Mike Fagan.
A third group of six — from 13th through 18th in points — will get one bye in the Playoffs. Dan MacLelland, Ronnie Russell, Norm Duke, Pete Weber, Jack Jurek and Ritchie Allen occupy those positions.
The top 72 on the 2010-11 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour points list will qualify for the Dick Weber PBA Playoffs, joining 108 players who have qualified through the PBA’s regional program in a unique elimination tournament. The Playoffs will be held March 8-13 at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis.
For compete Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour statistics, visit pba.com and click on the “statistics” link.
Xtra Frame is following all of the action in the U.S. Open and the concluding tournaments of the 2010-11 tour season. To subscribe to the PBA’s exclusive video streaming service, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.