Professional Bowlers Association
MIDDLETOWN, Del. – Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y., ended a 12-year title drought Sunday, defeating Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., 254-144, to win the PBA Xtra Frame Gene Carter Pro Shop East Classic at Mid-County Bowling and Entertainment.
Shafer, who turned 49 five days earlier, started the title match with seven strikes and ran away with the match when Kent ran into split trouble, leaving four and failing to convert any of them. A 29-year PBA Tour veteran and a 26-time PBA Regional title winner, Shafer earned $15,000 along with his fifth PBA Tour title and first since the 2003 Empire State Open in Latham, N.Y.
“It’s been a long time, 12 years. I’m glad it’s over. It really feels good,” Shafer said.
“I’ve been through a rough few years. You start to feel like the young guys are really taking over,” Shafer said. “You lose ball speed. The only thing you can do is practice a lot and make your spares, and grind it out. That’s the kind of tournament I prefer. I like a lot of games.
“They were a little toasty, the second eight games today,” Shafer said, referring to the lane conditions that got burned out during Sunday’s 16-game match play competition leading up to the stepladder finals. Without re-oiling the lanes, conditions became difficult, but, he noted, “That’s what I’m best at. I’m a grinder.”
Shafer qualified seventh for Sunday’s match play and then won 10 of his 16 matches, averaging 221 for the tournament to earn the top berth for the stepladder finals.
After rolling a 279 in the final game of match play to advance from eighth place to capture the third berth in the stepladder finals, Kent defeated No. 4 qualifier John Szczerbinski of N. Tonawanda, N.Y., 225-189, ending Szczerbinski’s bid for his first PBA Tour title.
In the semifinal match, Kent continued his hard loft-shot to the first arrow, throwing the final five strikes to edge PBA East Region veteran Tommy Gollick of Oberlin, Pa., 244-242. Gollick, a 38-year-old lefthander, also was trying for his first PBA Tour title in his first stepladder finals appearance, but when he left the 1-3-4-7 washout in the fifth frame and failed to convert, Gollick gave Kent a lead he was never able to overcome.
The PBA Tour’s next event will be the Xtra Frame PBA Iowa Midwest Open from Thunderbowl in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Oct. 9-11. The tournament will be covered live from start to finish, exclusively on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel. For subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.
PBA XTRA FRAME GENE CARTER PRO SHOP EAST CLASSIC
Mid-County Bowling and Entertainment, Middletown, Del., Sunday
Final Standings: 1, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., $15,000. 2, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., $7,800. 3, Tommy Gollick, Oberlin, Pa., $4,000. 4, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y., $2,500.
Stepladder Results: Match One – Kent def. Szczerbinski, 225-189. Semifinal – Kent def. Gollick, 244-242. Championship - Shafer def. Kent, 254-144.
Final Match Play Standings (after 23 games, including match play bonus pins)
1, Shafer, 10-6, 5,399.
2, Gollick, 10-6, 5,367.
3, Kent, 11-5, 5,315.
4, Szczerbinski, 11-5, 5,311.
5, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 11-5, 5,297, $1,700.
6, J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 8-8, 5,288, $1,300.
7, Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 9-6-1, 5,276, $1,100.
8, Steven Arehart, Chesapeake, Va., 9-7, 5,223, $1,000.
9, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 7-9, 5,196, $950.
10, Matt O'Grady, Matawan, N.J., 9-7, 5,162, $925.
11, A.J. Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 6-9-1, 5,125, $900.
12, Rick Graham, Lancaster, Pa., 8-8, 5,082, $880.
13, Kristian Rogers, Charlotte, N.C., 8-8, 5,064, $860.
14, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 8-8, 5,056, $850.
15, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 7-9, 5,051, $840.
16, Nick Christy, Newport, N.C., 8-8, 5,026, $830.
17, Jon VanHees, Charlestown, R.I., 7-9, 5,006, $820.
18, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 8-8, 4,988, $810.
19, Chris Arcaro, Wilmington, N.C., 8-8, 4,962, $800.
20, Tim Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., 6-10, 4,924, $790.
21, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 6-10, 4,916, $780.
22, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 7-9, 4,902, $770.
23, Adam Baer, Gettysburg, Pa., 5-11, 4,876, $760.
24, Frank Gray, North East, Md., 4-12, 4,576, $750.