Six regional champions meet to determine three Dick Weber PBA Playoffs finalists


    2010-11 PBA Tour #12

    ESPN telecast to be aired Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN

    201011PBASteveJaros.jpg2009PBASouthRandyWeiss.jpgTwo of the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour's most successful players, three veterans hungry for another title and one inexperienced upstart from the PBA's regional ranks compose the cast of contenders who will do battle on Sunday's 1 p.m. ET ESPN telecast of the Dick Weber PBA Playoffs Conference Championships at Woodland Bowl.

    Sunday's telecast, featuring six regional champions in three head-to-head matches, will determine the three players who will return to Woodland Bowl on Sunday, April 17, to compete for the $50,000 first prize in the final telecast of the 2010-11 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season.

    In Sunday's opening Conference Championship match, East Region winner Steve Jaros (pictured left left) of Yorkville, Ill., will meet South Region surprise winner Randy Weiss (right) of Columbia, S.C.

    Jaros, who has now qualified for a PBA Tour television final in his 20th consecutive season, won a heart-stopping 258-257 contest against Tom Smallwood in the Go RVing Regional Championships Round when Smallwood left a 7 pin on his fill ball in the 10th frame. Scott Norton, who rolled a 224 game, finished third in the East Region finals.

    Weiss, an eight-time PBA Regional title winner who had never before bowled on national television, pulled off a big-time upset in the South Region final, throwing the final five strikes to nip 13-time PBA Tour winner Tommy Jones, 239-238.

    Jones had rallied behind a string of five strikes to catch up to Weiss, but he left a 4 pin on his fill ball. Weiss then threw three strikes in his 10th frame for the win. In that match, third-place finisher Ryan Shafer saw his hopes dashed when he threw a pocket 7-10 split in his 10th frame.

    201011PBADickAllen.jpg201011PBAJackJurek.jpgIn Sunday's second match, Central Region winner Dick Allen (left) of Columbia, S.C., will meet Midwest Region champion Jack Jurek (right) of Lackawanna, N.Y.

    Both are two-time PBA Tour champions. Allen, a nine-year Tour veteran, hasn't won since 2006. Jurek, a 22-year Tour veteran, won his second Tour title in Allen Park, Mich., in September of 2009, ending a PBA-record 14-year gap between titles.

    Allen, following the birth of his first child (daughter Piper) on March 3, posted the most impressive victory in the Regional Championships, throwing a 289 game at 47-time PBA Tour champion Walter Ray Williams Jr. (221) and leading 2010-11 PBA Player of the Year candidate Mika Koivuniemi (201). A 10 pin on his second shot in the 10th frame ended Allen's bid for a nationally-televised perfect game.

    Jurek also had a fairly easy time in eliminating Wes Malott and Bill O'Neill. Jurek used a string of four strikes in the middle of his game to build a significant lead against both struggling challengers, and finished with an error-free 221. Early errors were too much for Malott (206) and O'Neill (178) to overcome.

    201011PBAJasonBelmonte.jpg201011PBAChrisBarnes.jpgThe final Conference Championships match will pit two of the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour's most visible stars, Australian two-handed player Jason Belmonte (left) against 13-time PBA Tour titlist Chris Barnes (right) of Double Oak, Texas, in a match-up between Southwest and West/Northwest Region winners.

    Belmonte, who won his only title in 2009 on his way to earning 2008-09 PBA Rookie of the Year honors, made his fourth TV appearance of the 2010-11 season in the Southwest Region championship match where he threw a pair of turkeys to overcome a pair of open frames on his way to a 211-202 victory over Brad Angelo. Dino Castillo finished third with a 160 game.

    Barnes got a huge break in winning the West/Northwest Region title, rolling a solid 217, but he escaped defeat when former Wichita State University teammate Lonnie Waliczek left a pocket 7-10 in his ninth frame while working on a double. Waliczek finished with a 201. Veteran regional competitor Lennie Boresch Jr. finished third with a 177 in his national television debut.

    Barnes, who won the PBA World Championship in January to join Billy Hardwick, Johnny Petraglia, Pete Weber, Mike Aulby and Norm Duke as the sixth member of the PBA Triple Crown club, is the only legitimate threat to Koivuniemi in the Player of the Year chase.

    Barnes, the only player who still has a chance to win two titles during the 2010-11 season, also had top 10 finishes in all four majors. In addition to winning the PBA World Championship, Barnes finished fifth in the $1 million PBA Tournament of Champions, tied for ninth in the Bayer USBC Masters and seventh in the U.S. Open.

    A "pre-game" preview of Sunday's Conference Championships can be seen on's Xtra Frame.


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    Dick Weber PBA Playoffs Conference Championships

    Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis (ESPN, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

    East vs. South
    Steve Jaros, Yorkville, Ill., vs. Randy Weiss, Columbia, S.C.
    Winner advances to Lumber Liquidators Championship Round.

    Central vs. Midwest
    Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., vs. Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y.
    Winner advances to Lumber Liquidators Championship Round.

    Southwest vs. West/Northwest
    Jason Belmonte, Australia, vs. Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas
    Winner advances to Lumber Liquidators Championship Round.


    Lumber Liquidators Dick Weber PBA Playoffs Championship Round

    Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis (ESPN, live Sunday, April 17, 1 p.m. ET)

    Match One
    Three Conference Championships winners bowl one game; low score eliminated.

    Championship Match
    Two Match One survivors bowl a best-of-two-game match; if players split the two games, title will be decided in a one-ball roll-off.