Awesome matchup in last week's Go RVing Match Play Championship. 2 in a row for Barnes.
Barnes wins another PBA event
By Steve Thompson
March 23, 2009
Even as he watched Walter Ray Williams Jr. flirt with perfection in the opening game of the PBA Go RVing Match Play Championship on Sunday, Chris Barnes wasn’t worried.
The Topeka native had seen Williams warm up before ESPN turned on the television lights at the Norwich (Conn.) Bowling and Entertainment Center, and the winningest player in PBA history had struggled to find his shot on the right lane.
So when Williams, who was named the PBA’s second-best player of all-time (behind Earl Anthony) earlier this season, rolled nine strikes to start the unique, three-game title match, Barnes was more surprised than intimidated.
“He was really having trouble with that lane (in practice), and then he comes out and throws four strikes on it,” said Barnes, of Double Oak, Texas. “That’s one reason he is who he is. He finds a way.”
But just when it looked like the 49-year-old Williams might have at least a 60-pin lead after the first game, he left a 7-pin on his first ball in the 10th frame and missed the spare. Williams still won, 267-241, but Barnes trailed by only 26 pins instead of a whole lot more.
“That miss was a huge momentum swing,” Barnes said. “I knew (the ball reaction) was going to get better for me. I knew I could get back in the match.”
Indeed. Barnes, the reigning PBA Playaer of the Year, turned right around and opened game two with nine strikes before leaving the 4-10 split in the 10th. The result was a 266-192 win for Barnes, who capitalized on the 74-pin turnaround to defeat Williams, 722-693, despite losing the final game, 234-215.
It marked the first time Barnes, 39, won back-to-back events in his 11-year career — he won the Don Johnson Buckeye State Eliminator two weeks ago — and was his 12th title overall.
The victory, worth $25,000, also moved Barnes into third place in the P.O.Y. race with two events remaining. With 53 points, he trails Wes Malott (74) and Norm Duke ( 58 ).
“I guess I’m kind of in the hunt,” Barnes said. “If I could win the (season-ending) U.S. Open and Wes doesn’t make the (TV) show down the stretch, it could get a whole lot more interesting in a hurry.”
Barnes reached the championship game by winning four best-of-seven matches earlier in the week and defeating Mike Wolfe, 824-741, in a three-game semifinal Saturday night. Barnes opened that series with a perfect game.
Williams, who took home $13,000 for finishing second, ousted Chris Loschetter, 679-589, in the semifinals. Wolf and Loschetter each pocketed $6,000.
Topeka resident Rhino Page won his opening match Thursday against Joe Bailey before falling to Patrick Allen, 4-1, in the second round. Page earned $2,200.
The PBA Tour moves to West Babylon, N.Y., this week for the Penultimate Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic. The U.S. Open is the following week in North Brunswick, N.J.
http://www.cjonline.com/sports/2009-03- ... _pba_event