Russell Surprises Himself with Badger Open Win

by Gianmarc Manzione 0

Jerry Schneider
Professional Bowlers Association

Of the three animal pattern events that make up the Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Summer Swing, the Badger Open was the one Ronnie Russell thought he was least likely to win.

For a player who gets better results playing on PBA’s shorter lane conditions, Russell surprised even himself by winning the Badger Open which aired Tuesday on CBS Sports Network from the Grand Casino Resort Event Center. It was Russell’s third career title.

Russell.Ronnie_WS_2015BadgerOpen(10)The 35-year-old Marion, Ind., resident, who won last year’s Summer Swing Bear Open on the shorter 40-foot lane condition for his second Tour win, beat four-time Tour winner and top qualifier Dom Barrett of England, 218-178, in the championship match which was contested on the 52-foot Badger lane condition, the longest of the Summer Swing lane conditions.

“My (ball) roll is quite a bit different than most players out here,” Russell said. “I’m better on the shorter lane conditions because I like to get the ball down early which makes those conditions work in my favor. On a condition like the Badger, the guys with the lower rev rates usually do better.

“I was carrying the pins better than the other guys because I was using different angles to the pocket and I felt I could throw a good shot when I needed to which gave me a good comfort level,” Russell added.

Russell, who qualified third for the finals, beat Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla., who was making his first U.S. television appearance in more than two years, 235-217, in the second match. He then eliminated three-time Tour winner and No. 2 qualifier Rhino Page of Orlando, Fla., in the semifinal match, 244-193, to advance to the final.

Despite a second-place finish earlier this season in the PBA Players Championship, Russell still had some concerns about when his next win would come. He credited Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III, who beat him in the Players Championship title match, for some valuable advice.

“I didn’t want the thought of when another win would come to wear on me and Parker gave me some good advice,” Russell said. “He told me to stay focused and have a good time instead of worrying about winning until I get in that position. I like to have too good a time out there and sometimes I just need to calm down.”

In the opening match, Williams, who was trying to extend his all-time leading Tour win total to 48 at age 55, ended 28-year-old Houston two-hander Shawn Maldonado’s hopes for his first Tour title, 232-223.

The Badger Open is the third of five events that comprise the Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Summer Swing. All five events (Wolf, Bear, Badger and Oklahoma Opens plus the Grand Casino Resort King of the Swing) are televised by CBS Sports Network. The Oklahoma Open finals will air on June 16 and Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort King of the Swing on June 23, both at 9 p.m. ET.

Russell also will join the previous Summer Swing winners (Tommy Jones, Bear Open, and Kyle Troup, Wolf Open) in the King of the Swing special event. The Oklahoma Open and a wild card player, based upon Summer Swing competition points without winning a title, will complete the King of the Swing field.

Xtra Frame, the PBA’s on-line video subscription service, features a preview and post-game show for all CBS Sports Network telecasts of Summer Swing events. PBA fans can find additional coverage of Summer Swing action through the PBA Network which includes archived coverage of all preliminary rounds on Xtra Frame, player interactions through Facebook and Twitter, mobile gaming, original programming, archived events and immediate news updates 24/7 on varying communications devices anywhere in the world. For additional PBA Network information, visit

CBS Sports Network is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 221 and Dish Network Channel 158.  For more information, including a full programming schedule and how to get CBS Sports Network, go to


Grand Casino Resort Event Center, Shawnee, Okla.

Final Standings

1, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., $10,000.

2, Dom Barrett, England, $5,000.

3, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., $4,000.

4, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., $3,500.

5. Shawn Maldonado, Houston, $3,000.

Playoff Results

Match One – Williams def. Maldonado, 232-223.

Match Two – Russell def. Williams, 235-217.

Semifinal Match – Russell def. Page, 244-193.

Championship – Russell def. Barrett, 218-178.

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