Michael Fagan leads Round of 64 in PBA Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic


    2008-09 PBA Tour #19

    Australian two-handed star Jason Belmonte in seventh place

    200809PBAMichaelFagan.jpgWith a 3,296 14-game pinfall (235.43 average), Michael Fagan (pictured left) of Patchogue, N.Y., led Thursday's Round of 64 in the Professional Bowlers Association Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic at AMF Babylon Lanes.

    With recent second and fourth place finishes, Fagan, who won his second title on the European Bowling Tour at the Brunswick Euro Challenge in France two weeks ago, is looking for his first individual Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour title and credited his performance to being able to adjust to the different lane condition patterns between the first and second qualifying blocks.

    "In the first block on the shorter oil pattern I was able to throw a little harder with a cleaner release," said the 28-year-old Fagan. "The last seven games I was able to roll it a little heavier on the longer pattern and bowled a couple of good games late."

    2009EBT01JasonBelmonte_0.jpgLooking for his first television finals appearance, Australian two-handed player Jason Belmonte (right) is in seventh place with a 3,127 pinfall (223.36 average). The international bowling star had finishes of 11th, 12th and 15th on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour in the month of February and averaged 243 in Thursday's second block.

    "The longer lane condition seemed more suited to my game," Belmonte said. "I found a good reaction and started stringing strikes.

    "From here on out you're going to need to come out warm in the first few games and whip the horse over the last nine games and get to the finish."

    Another area favorite, Rudy Kasimakis, originally from Long Island, who now makes his home in Baldwyn, Miss., is in 13th with a 3,106 pinfall (221.86 average).

    The top 32 players advance to a nine-game modified round robin match play round Friday morning after which the field will be cut to the top 16 who will advance to another Round of match play to determine the top five for the stepladder finals to be televised by ESPN live at 2 p.m. Eastern.

    The tournament features two of the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour's lane conditioning patterns: Viper and Shark for the first two qualifying rounds, respectively, and for match play the left lane will use the Shark condition and the right lane Viper.

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    Round of 64 Results

    Players with position, hometown and 14-game total. The top 32 advance.