Page Rallies to Regain ToC lead

by Gianmarc Manzione 0

For much more about Rhino Page’s unforgettable — and disastrous — moment in the title match of the 2009 Tournament of Champions, check out the PBA Xtra section of the February 2015 issue of Bowlers Journal Interactive, which provides video and insight into ten top moments from the history of this storied event. You can check it out here: http://bit.ly/BJI022015

RhinoPageYeahAfter temporarily surrendering the lead, Rhino Page of Dade City, Fla., rallied Thursday night at Woodland Bowl to regain a 109-pin lead over Scott Norton of Mission Viejo, Calif., heading into Friday’s final two rounds of match play in the 50th anniversary Barbasol Professional Bowlers Association Tournament of Champions.

Page, who is trying for his fourth career title and first since the 2009 Viper Championship, won six of his eight matches Thursday night and averaged 246.63 to finish with a 32-game total of 8,072 pins, including 30 bonus pins for each match play win, to retain the lead he has held since the first round. Norton won his first seven matches to move into second with 7,963 pins, followed by defending Tournament of Champions winner Jason Belmonte of Australia with a 7,868 total, and Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla., with 7,861 pins. Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., moved into fifth place with 7,791 pins, 16 ahead of England’s Dom Barrett who rolled a pair of 300 games in round four.

“This is stressful,” Page, the 2008 PBA Rookie of the Year, said of his battle to stay ahead of the field. “Anyone who thinks this is easy is out of his brain.

“Coming out of the gate tonight, I had better focus than I did this morning (he started the night with a 289 game), but there was so much (bowling) traffic on the left side of the lanes tonight, I’m going to have to think about a new strategy for tomorrow. The top four starting the night were all lefties and we kept hitting the same pairs, and we all kind of struggled (with changing lane conditions).”

Holding the lead is nice, Page added, but “there are 16 more games and with this high-scoring environment, I’m not terribly worried about (being in first place). It feels good to lead, but it can go away in a second. The thing is, I put myself in the spot I want to be in, and now it’s just a matter of keeping on going.”

The final two eight-match rounds of match play are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Friday. After 48 games, the top five players will advance to Sunday’s live ESPN stepladder finals where they will compete for the $50,000 first prize and the second major title of the 2015 season at 1 p.m. ET.

Friday’s match play rounds will be covered live on PBA’s Xtra Frame online video streaming channel. For subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link. Free live scoring throughout the event also is available on pba.com.

50TH ANNIVERSARY BARBASOL PBA TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, Feb. 12

Fourth Round Standings (after 32 games, including match play bonus pins)
1, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 6-2, 8,072.
2, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., 7-1, 7,963.
3, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 4-4, 7,868.
4, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 6-2, 7,861.
5, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 4-4, 7,791.
6, Dom Barrett, England, 4-4, 7,775.
7, Dan MacLelland, Canada, 5-3, 7,735.
8, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 4-4, 7,718.
9, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 5-3, 7,696.
10, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 4-4, 7,675.
11, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 4-4, 7,663.
12, D.J. Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 4-4, 7,637.
13, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 3-5, 7,614.
14, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, New York, 3-5, 7,600.
15, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 6-2, 7,598.
16, Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 2-6, 7,517.
17, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 4-3-1, 7,494.
18, J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 4-4, 7,473.
19, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 3-5, 7,463.
20, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 4-4, 7,435.
21, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 3-4-1, 7,407.
22, Mike Fagan, Fort Worth, Texas, 3-5, 7,374.
23, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 3-5, 7,292.
24, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 0-8, 7,212.

Other Cashers (after 24 games)
25 (tie), Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, and Osku Palermaa, Finland, 5,537, $1,950.
27, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 5,536, $1,800.
28, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 5,512, $1,700.

300 Games (9): Chris Barnes 2, Anthony LaCaze, Sean Rash, Stuart Williams, Dennis Horan Jr., Steven Arehart, Dom Barrett 2, DJ Archer.

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