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
Propelled by memories of his painful loss in the 2009 Professional Bowlers Association Tournament of Champions title match, Rhino Page of Dade City, Fla., set a blistering pace as the 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions got underway at Woodland Bowl Wednesday, averaging 249 for his first 16 games to take an 18-pin lead over Canada’s Dan MacLelland into Thursday’s third and final qualifying round.
Page, the 2008 PBA Rookie of the Year is now 31 and still recovering from wrist surgery in July of 2013. But on his way to a 16-game 3,984 pinfall total, he said, “I didn’t look at the scoreboard all day. I just tried to stay in my own world. When the scoring pace is as high as it is, you can’t afford to get caught up in the drama.”
While his injured left wrist has been a constant source of pain over the past three seasons, Page also has lingering memories of that 2009 loss.
“I should thank the PBA,” he said with a smile. “Last night at the PBA Hall of Fame dinner, I watched the video of that shot (in 2009) a dozen times and it kinda put a little steam in me for today.”
The “shot” was a four-count in the 10th frame of the 2009 TOC title match which handed the victory to Patrick Allen. “I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t still hurt,” Page said. “It’s tough to revisit, but I’ve got a lot of years ahead of me, and that shot isn’t going to define my career.”
More painful, literally, has been his comeback from the chronic wrist pain he has experienced since his surgery two years ago.
“I couldn’t throw full-weight ball until the 2014 Masters,” Page continued. “It hasn’t been until last few months that I’ve felt really healthy enough to do the kind of things I used to do. For the past couple of years, I was throwing the ball with the idea of ‘that didn’t hurt, this didn’t hurt,’ but now I’m feeling pretty good.”
MacLelland, who temporarily held the lead Wednesday night, finished with 3,966 pins in his bid for his first PBA Tour title. Right behind MacLelland was 50-year-old Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, with a 3,894 total and Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., with 3,868 pins.
MacLelland, a former Saginaw Valley State collegiate star, won his only PBA Regional title in 2010, but he has been close on the national tour, making eight television shows and finishing second in the 2010 Shark Championship plus fourth in last year’s TOC.
“I’m not frustrated; I’m just trying to give myself chances,” the 29-year-old MacLelland said. “You have to roll with it, or you’ll hinder yourself. The last few shows I’ve made, I think I’ve been doing the right things. I’m getting closer and closer. I won the gold medal (in the World Bowling Men’s World Championships) in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates in December) against the same guys I’m bowling against now, so I know I can do it. It’s just a matter of time.”
Defending TOC winner Jason Belmonte of Australia advanced from 21st after the opening round to fifth place, 141 pins behind Page. Belmonte, who won his third consecutive United States Bowling Congress Masters title Sunday in Green Bay, Wis., is the two-time reigning PBA Player of the Year, and he’s trying for his fifth major title in three years.
Also in contention is Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., in sixth place, 36 pins behind Belmonte. Johnson is the only woman ever to qualify for two PBA Tour television finals. She hopes to join 2010 Tournament of Champions winner Kelly Kulick of Union, N.Y., as the second woman ever to win a PBA Tour title. Kulick also was in the hunt, sitting in 29th place heading into Thursday’s final qualifying round.
Qualifying concludes Thursday, beginning at 10 a.m. ET. After 24 games, the field of 113 will be reduced to the top 24 players for three eight-match rounds of match play Thursday at 5 p.m., and Friday at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. The top five players after 48 games will compete for the $50,000 first prize and the second major title of the 2015 season Sunday at 1 p.m., live on ESPN.
All qualifying and match play rounds are 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 BARBASOL PBA TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, Feb. 11
Second Round Standings (after 16 games)
1, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 3,984.
2, Dan MacLelland, Canada, 3,966.
3, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 3,894.
4, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 3,868.
5, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 3,843.
6, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, New York, 3,807.
7, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 3,803.
8, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3,790.
9, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., 3,780.
10, Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 3,777.
11, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 3,774.
12, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 3,773.
13, Dom Barrett, England, 3,751.
14, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 3,749.
15, Nathan Bohr, Austin, Texas, 3,737.
16, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 3,726.
17, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 3,723.
18, Mike Fagan, Fort Worth, Texas, 3,721.
19 (tie), Osku Palermaa, Finland, and E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 3,720.
21, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 3,715.
22 (tie), Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore., and Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 3,712.
24, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 3,707.
25, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 3,686.
26 (tie), Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz., and J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 3,679.
28, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 3,673.
29, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 3,669.
30, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 3,663.
31, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 3,661.
32, D.J. Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 3,660.
33 (tie), Travis Celmer, Wernersville, Pa., and Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 3,656.
35, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 3,651.
36 (tie), Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., and Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 3,648.
38, Clara Guerrero, Colombia, 3,645.
39, Tom Daugherty, Tampa, Fla., 3,636.
40, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 3,633.
41, Paul Moor, England, 3,625.
42, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 3,623.
43, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 3,617.
44, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 3,612.
45 (tie), Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, and Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, Ariz., 3,604.
47, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 3,603.
48, Toby Contreras, Lee's Summit, Mo., 3,600.
49 (tie), Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill., and Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 3,593.
51, Dave Wodka, Columbus, Ohio, 3,585.
52, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 3,583.
53, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 3,566.
54 (tie), Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, and Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 3,565.
56, Tom Baker, King, N.C., 3,548.
57, Mike DeVaney, Winchester, Calif. , 3,545.
58, Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 3,539.
59, Brian Himmler, Cincinnati, 3,536.
60, Sean Swanson, Springfield, Mo., 3,527.
61, Carleton Chambers, Detroit, 3,526.
62, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 3,524.
63, Tim Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., 3,522.
64, Dennis Horan Jr., Oakley, Calif., 3,515.
65, Andrew Graff, Las Vegas, 3,512.
66 (tie), John Petraglia, Jackson, N.J., and Robert Smith, Ventura, Calif., 3,511.
68, Bob Learn Jr, Erie, Pa., 3,503.
69, Sammy Ventura, Syracuse, N.Y., 3,499.
70, Jason Sterner, Covington, Ga., 3,498.
71, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 3,497.
72, T.J. Schmidt, Mishawaka, Ind., 3,490.
73, Steven Arehart, Chesapeake, Va., 3,486.
74, George Branham III, Indianapolis, 3,478.
75, Brian Voss, Centennial, Colo., 3,476.
76, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 3,474.
77 (tie), Chris Hartung, Goshen, Ind., and Tim Mack, Indianapolis, 3,469.
79, John Furey, Freehold, N.J., 3,467.
80, Stuart Williams, England, 3,466.
81, Scott Newell, Deland, Fla., 3,445.
82, Chad Lusche, Arvada, Colo., 3,433.
83, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 3,423.
84, Blake Demore, Springfield, Mo., 3,420.
85, Brett Spangler, Niles, Ohio, 3,419.
86, Todd Book, Russells Point, Ohio, 3,418.
87, David Haynes, Las Vegas, 3,415.
88, B.J. Moore II, Apex, N.C., 3,407.
89, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 3,401.
90, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 3,391.
91, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 3,389.
92, Lennie Boresch Jr, Kenosha, Wis., 3,385.
93, Stephen Nowicki, Rochester, N.Y., 3,373.
94, Matthew O'Grady, Matawan, N.J., 3,371.
95, Frank Gallo Jr., Jacksonville, Fla., 3,349.
96, Brian Nicodemus, Akron, Ind., 3,344.
97, Tom Sorce, Richmond, Va., 3,333.
98, Brian LeClair, Albany, N.Y., 3,331.
99, Bryan Goebel, Shawnee, Kan., 3,329.
100, Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., 3,315.
101, Bill McCorkle, Westerville, Ohio, 3,307.
102, Chris Spoo, Boyton Beach, Fla., 3,292.
102, J.T. "Action" Jackson, Sherman Oaks, Calif., 3,292.
104, Dean Billings, Rootstown, Ohio, 3,289.
105, Lee Vanderhoef, Rising Sun, Md., 3,273.
106, Brett Cunningham, Clay, N.Y., 3,193.
107, Gary Faulkner, Norfolk, Va., 3,179.
108, Diandra Asbaty, Chicago, 3,166.
109, Larry Verble, Mason, Mich., 3,152.
110, Larry Montgomery, Safety Harbor, Fla., 3,150.
111, Kevin Vostry, Bolingbrook, Ill., 3,130.
112, Carmen Salvino, Schaumburg, Ill., 3,007.
113, Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich., 2,723.
300 Games (7): Brian Voss, Dom Barrett, Scott Norton, Travis Celmer, Lonnie Waliczek, Kyle Troup, Chad Lusche.