RENO, Nev. – Australia’s Sam Cooley averaged 252 for nine games to take the early qualifying lead in the Professional Bowlers Association Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Challenge Mobile Game, the first qualifying leg of the Rolltech PBA World Championship, Tuesday at the National Bowling Stadium.
The Cheetah Championship is the first of five PBA Tour title events that are part of the GEICO Professional Bowlers Association World Series of Bowling VII presented by Silver Legacy.
Cooley, a 24-year-old right-hander, rolled games of 278, 203, 246, 210, 265, 280, 290, 289 and 211 for a total of 2,272 pins and a 77-pin lead over John Furey of Freehold, N.J., among the first group of 121 players to complete their Cheetah round. The remaining 124 in the record field of 246 players bowl their nine games later Tuesday.
Cooley, who joined the PBA in August and made his debut in the PBA Fall Classic in Las Vegas in October, got his start as a four-year-old bowling in birthday parties in Mount Warrigal, about a 90-minute drive south of Sydney. He joined a 10-and-under youth league and immediately became hooked on the sport. As a teenager, he found bowling videos of American stars Tommy Jones, Wes Malott, Pete Weber and others, and began to groom his game.
“Competing on the PBA Tour is something I’ve been wanting to do for past five years,” Cooley said, “so I decided to take the plunge. Coming to the Fall Classic (where he finished 12th in his first PBA Tour event) gave my confidence a boost.”
His performance in the Cheetah Championship “was a bit of a surprise to me, really. I didn’t have to make many changes in ball or lineup, so to stay pretty much where I was the whole round. It was a surprise and a confidence boost.
“I feel pretty good about making the match play field next week,” he added. “Where I’m at today gives me a lot of confidence going into tomorrow. In games six, seven, eight and nine, it was just a matter of getting as many pins as I could for World Championship qualifying. It gives me a bit of a cushion in case things don’t work out later in the week.”
PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III got the tournament off to a fast start, bowling his record 105th career PBA 300 game in the first game. It was one of six 300s bowled on the opening squad.
GEICO WSOB VII competition continues Tuesday with the nine-game qualifying round in the PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game. A field of 245 players from 21 countries will battle for 24 positions in the best-of-five-game match play elimination round that will take place on Monday, Dec. 14.
All qualifying and match play rounds of the World Series of Bowling will be covered live, exclusively by PBA’s online video streaming service, Xtra Frame. For subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link. Real-time results also will be posted on pba.com under its “live scoring” link.
PBA CHEETAH CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY PBA BOWLING CHALLENGE MOBILE GAME
National Bowling Stadium, Reno, Nev., Tuesday
Early Qualifying Standings (top 50 after nine games for 121 of 246 players; top 24 advance to best-of-five-game single-elimination match play Monday, Dec. 14; top 8 receive first round bye):
1, Sam Cooley, Australia, 2,272.
2, John Furey, Freehold, N.J., 2,195.
3, Wayne Garber, Modesto, Calif., 2,194.
4, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 2,193.
5, Dennis Horan Jr., Oakley, Calif., 2,158.
6, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 2,153.
7, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 2,147.
8, n-Adam Barta, Girard, Ohio, 2,145.
9, Ron Mohr, Las Vegas, 2,137.
10, Matthew McNiel, Prior Lake, Minn., 2,132.
11, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y., 2,127.
12, Bob Learn Jr., Erie, Pa., 2,112.
13, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., 2,106.
14, Ryan Graywacz, Feeding Hills, Mass., 2,103.
15, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 2,100.
16, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., 2,093.
17, Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore., 2,087.
18, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 2,077.
19, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 2,071.
20, Will Barnes, Wichita, Kan., 2,060.
21, PJ Haggerty, Roseville, Calif., 2,058.
22, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 2,057.
23, Zhongli Mi, China, 2,056.
24, Jaime Gonzalez, Colombia, 2,048.
25, Matthew O'Grady, Matawan, N.J., 2,047.
26, Jean Perez, Puerto Rico, 2,045.
27, Manuel Otalora, Colombia, 2,039.
28, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 2,037.
29, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 2,033.
29, n-Jimmy Cook, Indianapolis, 2,033.
29, Kevin Croucher, Grants Pass, Ore., 2,033.
32, n-Harold Hill Jr., San Diego, 2,024.
33, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 2,023.
34, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 2,022.
35, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 2,019.
35, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 2,019.
37, Santiago Mejia, Colombia, 2,007.
38, Jonathan Hocsman, Argentina, 2,003.
39, Randy Weiss, Columbia, S.C., 2,001.
40, Kim Bolleby, Thailand, 2,000.
41, Casey Knutson, Femley, Nev., 1,987.
42, Inngellimar Beasley, Venezuela, 1,986.
43, Jon VanHees, Charlestown, R.I., 1,985.
44, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 1,975.
45, Alvar Cardona, Spain, 1,973.
45, Aaron Lorincz, Belleville, Mich., 1,973.
47, Tobias Boerding, Germany, 1,972.
48, Adam Ferri, Jeannette, Pa., 1,971.
49, Humberto Vazquez, Mexico, 1,970.
50, Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill., 1,968.
300 Games: Parker Bohn III, Bryon Smith, John Furey, Rhino Page, Adam Barta, Manuel Otalora.