Joe Ciccone leads field of eight in PBA Tour Trials


    2009 PBA Tour Trials

    Diverse field of players advance to Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour for 2009-10 season

     2009PBATTJoeCiccone.jpgLess than two months after losing his the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour exemption, Joe Ciccone (pictured right) of Buffalo, N.Y., regained a berth on the PBA Tour for the 2009-10 season as the top qualifier in the PBA Tour Trials at Thunderbowl Lanes Sunday.

    Ciccone, 34, survived a grueling Shark lane condition round Sunday to finish the five-day, 45-game competition with 9,648 pins, a 214 average. He led a diverse group of eight players who earned exemptions to bowl as full-time touring professionals next season.

    Also earnings exemptions were: George Lambert IV, Hamilton, Ontario, 9,587 pins; Thomas Smallwood, Flushing, Mich., 9,562; Cassidy Schaub, Ashland, Ohio, 9,459; Mitch Beasley, Puyallup, Wash., 9,457; Stuart Williams, England, 9,449; Stevie Weber, Chalmette, La., 9,448, and Tim Mack, Indianapolis, 9,379. Mack earned the final exemption by 43 pins over Bo Goergen of Midland, Mich.

    Back row from left: Mitch Beasley, Stuart Williams, Cassidy Schaub, George Lambert IV, Joe Ciccone; seated - Stevie Weber, Thomas Smallwood and Tim Mack. Click on the image to enlarge it.

    "Right now I'm pretty exhausted," Ciccone said. "It's been a long nine days."

    On Monday, Ciccone won the PBA Regional Players Championship at Thunderbowl Lanes, earning a berth in the 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions, and he continued his strong play throughout the week to regain his lost livelihood as a full-time professional bowler.

    "I definitely had put some mind time into what directions things could go with my life," Ciccone said, "but I hadn't made any decisions. I just figured I'd let things go as they may, and here we are."

    200809PBA14GeorgeLambert_small.jpgLambert (left), a 2007 Wichita State University graduate, is a 10-time Team Canada member who would love to become the first Canadian to win a PBA title.

    "Bowling on tour is something I've looked forward to my whole life," he said. "Winning a title is definitely a goal."

    Smallwood, 31, is a victim of General Motors' massive layoffs. He has periodically bowled on tour, but had no aspiration of bowling full-time because of the time he would need to be away from his home and family.

    "With the (PBA World Series of Bowling) being held the first six weeks of the season here in Detroit, that's a bonus," Smallwood said. "After that I'll be in the woods hunting. Then I'll come home, practice and get ready to bowl full-time in January."

    2009PBATTCassidySchaub2.jpgSchaub (right), 25, is the second two-handed player to qualify for the 2009-10 tour, joining Australia's Jason Belmonte.

    "I got a little worried the last two days, but scoring pace didn't go up much," Schaub said. "Today I just wanted to maintain where I was. It's gonna be fun to represent the two-handers from the left side. This is something I've wanted to do ever since I could walk. I grew up watching Parker Bohn III and Walter Ray Williams Jr. It's always been a passion to chase the tour."

    2007PBAMitchBeasley_small.jpgBeasley (left), 41, also regained the exemption he lost after not accumulating enough tour points last season.

    "I found out last year that I need to get better," Beasley said. "I've been working out the past six weeks to get physically stronger, practicing three hours a day, five days a week. I was the leader on Shark pattern today. I had a bad day Tuesday, so I knew I had to have three really good days after that one."

    2009EBT04StuartWilliams_small.jpgWilliams (right), 37, is the first British bowler to ever qualify for the American bowling tour.

    "I had some dollars I had won in a High Roller tournament, so I decided to give the Tour Trials a try," Williams said. "I decided to find out if I can compete with the best bowlers in the world."

    2009PBATTStevieWeber_small.jpgWeber (left) is the sixth player to win a PBA Tour exemption for a second time through the Tour Trials. He is returning to competitive bowling after a year of recovery from a hip stress fracture.

    "I didn't bowl at all last year. I was off feet for 10 weeks," Weber said. "But I made some changes in my grip after I came back. The ball is coming off my hand much cleaner, which was one of the problems I had. The time off helped erase some bad habits. I started fresh."

    2009SOTimMack2_small.jpgMack (right), 37, clinched the final spot with a 201 final game, completing a long, difficult struggle to earn his chance to bowl alongside the stars of the PBA. Mack has enjoyed a highly successful career bowling in Asia and Europe, but has battled back after two shoulder surgeries.

    "I've bowled with and against these guys for a long time," Mack said. "They went on tour; I bowled internationally. I will finally find out how I stack up. I'm really looking forward to the opportunity. I was gone from home 49 straight days, bowling tournaments in six different countries to get ready for this. It got me sharp and gave me the confidence you need. I'm feeling pretty good right now."

    The newly-exempt players will make their Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour debuts when the Tour officially gets its 2009-10 season underway Aug. 2 through Sept. 7 with a multi-event World Series of Bowling in the suburban Detroit area.


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    Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour Trials - Final Standings after Round Five

    Players with position, hometown and 45-game total. The top 8 players earn exemptions for the 2009-2010 PBA Tour.

    1, Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., 9,648
    2, George Lambert IV, Hamilton, Ontario, 9,587
    3, Thomas Smallwood, Flushing, Mich., 9,562
    4, Cassidy Schaub, Ashland, Ohio, 9,459
    5, Mitch Beasley, Puyallup, Wash., 9,457
    6, Stuart Williams, England, 9,449
    7, Stevie Weber, Chalmette, La., 9,448
    8, Tim Mack, Indianapolis, 9,379

    9, Bo Goergen, Midland, Mich., 9,336
    10, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 9,309
    11, Dan MacLelland, Windsor, Ontario, 9,305
    12, Daniel Patterson, Buffalo, N.Y., 9,300
    13, Sean Riccardi, Piscataway, N.J., 9,295
    14, Ken Simard, Greenville, S.C., 9,290
    15, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 9,283
    16, Mason Brantley, Detroit, Mich., 9,279
    17, Brian LeClair, Athens, N.Y., 9,273
    18, Thomas Wall III, Fayetteville, N.C., 9,265
    19, George Frilingos, Australia, 9,263
    19, D.J. Archer, Mineral Wells, Texas, 9,263
    21, Randy Weiss, Columbia, S.C., 9,241
    22, Bill Rowe, Hamilton, Ontario, 9,236
    23, Gregory Thompson Jr., Dayton, Ohio, 9,189
    24, Eddie Graham, Centerville, Ohio, 9,174
    25, Shannon Buchan, Waterloo, Iowa, 9,154
    26, Joe Bailey, Pittsburgh, Pa., 9,151
    27, Jesse Buss, Wichita, Kan., 9,140
    28, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 9,139
    29, Bobby Hall II, Landover, Md., 9,130
    30, Dave D'Entremont, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, 9,124
    31, Jeffrey Roche, Dearborn, Mich., 9,115
    31, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 9,115
    33, Billy Oatman, Chicago, 9,099
    34, Tae-Hwa Jeong, South Korea, 9,089
    35, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 9,074
    36, Jason Hurd, St. Petersburg, Fla., 9,058
    37, Andrew Cain, Scottsdale, Ariz., 9,043
    38, Seo Hak Jung, South Korea, 8,997
    39, Jason Mahr, Spring Hill, Fla., 8,978
    40, Won-Young Choi, South Korea, 8,966
    41, Chad Kloss, Greenfield, Wis, 8,964
    42, Lee Vanderhoef, Greenville, S.C., 8,961
    43, Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., 8,933
    44, Frank Testa, Akron, Ohio, 8,922
    45, Matthew O'Grady, South Amboy, N.J., 8,920
    46, James Wallace, Hicksville, N.Y., 8,905
    47, Johnathan Bower, Middletown, Pa., 8,876
    47, Kyung-Shin Park, South Korea, 8,876
    49, Timothy Behrendt, St. Louis., Mo., 8,863
    50, Mike Keily, Lakewood, Colo., 8,859
    51, Jason Wojnar, Chicago, 8,857
    52, David Williams Jr., Omaha, Neb., 8,851
    53, David Simard, Granby, Quebec, 8,832
    54, Quinton Bohlen, Decorah, Iowa, 8,831
    55, John Cicero, Colorado Springs, Colo., 8,828
    56, Johnny Petraglia Jr., Youngstown, Ohio, 8,798
    57, Paul Pinto, Philadelphia, 8,782
    58, Steven Lach, Sloan, N.Y., 8,760
    59, Walter Schaub II, Schaumburg, Ill., 8,703
    60, Robert Piroozshad, Huntington Beach, Calif., 8,701
    61, Jason Dee, Brampton, Ontario, 8,700
    62, Daniel Freeman, Indianapolis, Ind., 8,699
    63, Jason Poli, West Des Moines, Iowa, 8,683
    64, Humberto Vazquez, Mexico, 8,672
    65, Jeremy Boyer, Desloge, Mo., 8,670
    66, Jong Soo Park, South Korea, 8,648
    67, Jim Tomek Jr., Camp Hill, Pa., 8,634
    68, Matt Freiberg, Somerset, N.J., 8,582
    69, Nick Kokenos, St. Clair Shores, Mich., 8,580
    70, Dru LaJoy, Cohoes, N.Y., 8,535
    71, Kevin Andes, Somerset, Mass., 8,457
    72, Curtis Foss, Medina, N.Y., 8,426
    73, Seby Silvestri, Louisville, Ky., 8,358
    74, Bryan Paul, Brooklyn, N.Y., 8,268
    75, Chris Hansen, Chicago, 8,263
    76, Jamie Ceasar, Columbus, Ohio, 8,149
    77, John Wilcox, Woodinville, Wash., 8,041
    78, Geordin Krupski, Newtonville, N.J., 7,850
    79, Jim Fenimore, Mishawaka, Ind., 7,848
    80, Ron Williams, Marana, Ariz., 7,784
    81, Christopher Collins, Savannah, Ga., withdrew
    82, Scott Newell, Deland, Fla., withdrew
    83, Chris Cundiff, Portage, Ind., withdrew
    84, Chris Polizzi, Spring Hill, Fla., withdrew
    85, Tim Bell, Garden City, Mich., withdrew
    86, Craig LeMond, Jasper, Ind., withdrew
    87, Michael Wall, Fayetteville, N.C., withdrew
    88, J.T. (Action) Jackson, Valley Village, Calif., withdrew
    89, Lucas Legnani, Argentina, withdrew
    90, Ivo Raul Chiriboga, Miami, withdrew
    91, Brian Kjergaard, Fulton, Ill., withdrew
    92, Nick Weber, St. Charles, Mo., withdrew
    93, Rudy Kasimakis, Baldwyn, Miss., withdrew
    94, Tom Sorce, Blasdell, N.Y., withdrew
    95, Aaron Halash, Scottsdale, Ariz., withdrew
    96, Jack Nealon, Bowie, Md., withdrew
    97, Michael Norris, Livonia, Mich., withdrew