Bill O'Neill romps to third PBA Tour title in Pepsi Viper Championship


    2010-11 PBA Tour #2

    No. 4 qualifier wins four matches to capture second leg of PBA World Series of Bowling

    201011PBA02BillONeill.jpgBill O'Neill (pictured left) 201011PBA02AndresGomez4.jpgof Southampton, Pa., made his third Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour title look easy, eliminating four competitors to capture the Pepsi Viper Championship. The Viper Championship finals – the second leg in the PBA World Series of Bowling - was held Nov. 5 at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas and aired Sunday Dec. 5 on ESPN.

    O'Neill, considered by many veteran observers to be a rising star on the PBA Tour, struck on six of his first seven shots in the title match to soundly defeat top qualifier Andres Gomez (right) of Colombia, 237-203.

    201011PBA02AmletoMonacelli.jpg201011PBA02TommyJones.jpgTo reach the championship contest, the No. 4 qualifier romped past PBA Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli (left) of Venezuela, 244-159; Mike DeVaney of Murrieta, Calif., 242-209, and Tommy Jones (right) of Simpsonville, S.C., 248-192.

    In one of the most dominant television performances in memory, all four matches were decided by the eighth frame. After converting a 4 pin in the first frame against Monacelli, O'Neill threw five strikes in a row to take an overwhelming lead.

    He started his match against DeVaney (below left) with six strikes, struck on seven of his first eight shots against Jones and maintained his torrid pace against Gomez.

    201011PBA02MikeDeVaney.jpgOverpowering performances on television haven't always been O'Neill's strong suit. In fact, it took him a little over four years and a dozen unsuccessful television appearances before his breakthrough victory in the 2009 Chameleon Championship in Allen Park, Mich.

    "When I make a TV show now, I have a better idea of what to expect," O'Neill said. "Today I knew the other guys were going to try to hook the lanes a lot, so I decided to do just the opposite, and it wound up perfect.

    "When your opponents give you an opening, you have to put them on their heels. You have to dig deep and throw a double, and not let them get back into the match. That's something I wasn't able to do before. I'd get too excited and throw the ball through the break point and leave a 2-8-10. So I've learned to gear down, take a deep breath.

    "It was a matter of getting used to the TV environment," he said. "Before, I'd wonder if it was going to be my last show, that I had to win because I might never make another telecast. But you can't bowl like that. Now I figure I'll have 100 more times like this. I bowl a lot smarter. Getting that first title is huge. Even a guy like Pete (Weber), who has a million titles, has struggled of late. No matter where you are in your career, it's going to happen.

    201011PBABillONeill.jpg"A year ago I had no titles and I kept putting pressure on myself," O'Neill c(right) ontinued. "Now I have three. It's pretty cool. But the one I want to win is the PBA World Championship. Everyone wants to win majors, and winning that one would put me in a good place in the Player of the Year race.

    "Player of the Year is a huge goal for me, especially after coming so close last year. Chris Barnes and Tommy Jones actually came up with a nickname for me last year: "Nice Run." They called me that for about six months, so I need to put that nickname to rest."

    During the World Series of Bowling, O'Neill qualified among the top 16 for match play in four of the five "animal pattern" segments, and earned the No. 1 stepladder position for the PBA World Championship finals which will be televised live on ESPN2 and ESPN on Jan. 14, 15 and 16 from South Point Bowling Center.

    He also qualified for the stepladder finals in the Scorpion Championship, which airs on ESPN on Dec. 19, and as a member of the United States team for the USA vs. The World telecast on Jan. 9.

    The Chameleon Championship, the third of five World Series of Bowling "animal pattern" events, will air Sunday, Dec. 12, at 1 p.m. Eastern.

    The Chameleon stepladder finalists are two-handed specialist Osku Palermaa of Finland; Sean Rash of Wichita, Kan.; Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas; Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, and top qualifier Scott Norton of Costa Mesa, Calif.


    Pepsi Viper Championship

    South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas, Nev., USA (Nov. 5, 2010)

     Championship Round:
    1. Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 971 (4 games), $15,000
    2. Andres Gomez, Colombia, 203 (1 game), $8,000
    3. Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 192 (1 game), $6,000
    4. Mike DeVaney, Murrieta, Calif., 209 (1 game), $5,000
    5. Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 159 (1 game), $4,000

    L-R Gomez, Jones, DeVaney, O'Neill and Monacelli.
    Click on the image to enlarge it.

    Playoff Results:
    First Match: #4 O'Neill def. #5 Monacelli, 244-159
    Second Match: O'Neill def. #3 DeVaney, 242-209
    Third Match: O'Neill def. #2 Jones, 248-192
    Championship: O'Neill def. #1 Gomez, 237-203


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