PBA Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli tops leaderboard at 66th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open


    2008-09 PBA Tour #20

    200809PBA20AmletoMonacelli.jpgWith the help of a first-round match play record of 7-1, Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli (pictured left) of Venezuela, moved into the lead in the 66th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open at Brunswick Zone Carolier.

    2007PBANormDuke_small.jpgMonacelli, a 19-time PBA Tour titlist who is bowling only in occasional PBA Tour stops this season, has a 7,738 35-game overall pinfall and leads defending U.S. Open champion Norm Duke (right) in second with 7,715 and reigning PBA Player of the Year Chris Barnes in third with 7,677. During match play, players receive 30 bonus pins for winning a match and 15 pins each in the event of a tie.

    "I really look forward to bowling the U.S. Open because of the challenging lane conditions," Monacelli said. "I'm reading the lanes well and choosing the right equipment and feel like I'm bowling as well as I did 20 years ago when I was doing my best on Tour."

    Monacelli, 47, hasn't competed full-time on Tour since 2006 when he developed a hip injury which he has only recently fully recovered from. He won back-to-back Player of the Year honors in 1989 and 1990.

    Monacelli started the tournament in 33rd qualifying position and has moved steadily up the standings.

    "I'm going into this tournament without any expectations," said Monacelli, who was voted No. 21 on PBA's list of 50 greatest players which was announced earlier this year as part of its 50th anniversary. "I'm just enjoying what's out there and hopefully I'll continue to be able to read the lanes well and match up the right equipment."

    Image200809PBAWesMalott_small.jpgWith a major title and Player of the Year implications hanging in the balance, Duke and Barnes (left) continued to be in good position to make the stepladder finals. If Wes Malott, (right) who is currently in 21st place, fails to make the stepladder finals, it will open the door for Barnes and Duke to make a run for Player of the Year if they can make the finals and then win.

    Duke, who won Player of the Year honors in 1994 and 2000, has three titles this season, including winning the PBA World Championship which kicked off the season last October. Barnes had made five television finals appearances this season before winning back-to-back titles in March.

    The 24 remaining players will compete in two more rounds of match play Saturday to determine the top five for the live two-hour ESPN stepladder finals which will take place Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern.

    The winner earns a $100,000 prize and a three-year PBA Tour exemption.


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    66th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open - Round 5 Match Play


    66th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open - Round 4

    The top 24 players advance to Match Play.

    *Non-PBA members