COLDWATER — It was an interesting couple of days at Pla-Mor Lanes. Virtually anybody who is anybody in the world of bowling rolled in The PBA Bowlerstore.com Classic presented by Moxy’s Xtra Pair.
The listing of those in the field was a virtual who’s who of the stars of the bowling world. Suddenly, the list became a bit more of “who are these guys?”
In the end, however, the “some of the cream did rise to the top” and the final four were names that were more recognizable. Sean Rash was the top seed in the stepladder followed by Tommy Jones as well as Dick Allen and defending champion Jakob Butturff.
Jones, a first-timer at Coldwater, earned the title in a battle with Rash that was closer than the final score of 215-179 despite throwing two gutter balls in the championship match.
“The two lanes played very different than the other. I threw about six gutter balls over the last two days so the one did not surprise me, I just knew that I had to move on to the next shot.”
Jones continued, “I like to throw hard and I came with the mindset that Coldwater would be hard and that I would have to make quality shots. I made some good choices.”
Jones was surprised that Coldwater was so wide open but he was not surprised by the people of the community.
“We love coming to small cities. We actually seem to get along better in the smaller areas. They are better for us. I have thought about coming before because you hear so much about how great it is. I will be back.”
The win in Coldwater was his 19th on the tour.
The storyline was the grouping of PBA stars that came to town. Norm Duke, Wes Malott and Chris Barnes made their first trip and Jason Belmonte was even considering the trip to Coldwater until late June decision to not attend. The area bowling community was on fire with what could be expected. Little was it expected that by the time the final couple of rounds rolled around Friday that Duke, Malott, Barnes, EJ Tackett, Bill O’Neill, Parker Bohn III, Ryan Ciminelli, Rhino Page and others would not be factors.
This week unlike any other week in the history of this great event the scores were the story. Historically the scores for this event have been low. The fact that it took a score of plus-107 to make the cut is mind-boggling. It is generally scores in this range that are leading or near the lead after the first cut.
There was a lot of conversation about this not being typical Coldwater with clearly the wide open nature of the conditions being in contrast with the type of shot-making needed to made in this tournament. It was a different type of entertainment package than usual, but it was still well worth the trip.
Next on the agenda for Coldwater is a PBA50 event that began at 11 a.m. today and will conclude Sunday with action beginning at 11 a.m. as well. Brian Kretzer and Parker Bohn III will be competing as well as local favorites as Tim Hagar from Celina, Emila Mora from Defiance and Tony Johnson.
Reach Jack Hammill at firstname.lastname@example.org.