Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. —
After qualifying 13th after the first round of the PBA’s 69th U.S. Open , Lockport’s Brad Angelo sits in 19th place out of almost 400 of the nation’s top bowlers after the first two rounds of qualifying this week.
Angelo, a Newfane native and the son of bowling Hall of Famer Nin Angelo, finished Wednesday’s second round with 2,541 total pins.
PBA veteran Ryan Shafer a Shafer, 45, emerged Wednesday as the second round leader after averaging 225.17 through the first 12 qualifying games at Brunswick Zone-Carolier. The Horseheads resident rolled games of 236, 188, 250, 255, 255 and 229 to finish with 2,702 pins and a six–pin lead over newly-elected PBA Hall of Famer Jason Couch of Clermont, Fla., who finished the second round with 2,696 pins.
Mike Fagan of Dallas and Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, were tied for third place with 2,665 pins. Defending champion Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., was in 38th place with 2,478 pins.
Last year, Angelo, who has 14 career perfect games and was the PBA’s Rookie of the Year in 2002-03, had best finishes of 11th in the Dick Weber Playoffs and was 13th in the Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship at Thruway Lanes in Cheektowaga. Angelo ranked 30th in average (215.57) last season. He also has four runner-up Tour finishes and 46 top 10 finishes
Shafer said his goal is to end a PBA-record string of 13 major championship television finals without a title. He has finished second in majors five times, including the PBA World Championship earlier this season, and he has three additional top five finishes in majors when fewer than five players advanced to the TV finals. Two of those second-place finishes came at the hands of Couch, in the 2000 and 2002 PBA Tournament of Champions.
Schafer said the only way he can end the streak is to continue putting himself into position to win one, and the U.S. Open is his major of choice. He has finished among the top five in six U.S. Opens, including a fourth-place finish in last year’s U.S. Open at Brunswick Zone-Carolier, a center he also likes.
“I love this tournament,” Schafer said. “It can be frustrating at times, but house knowledge also helps a lot. We’ve bowled a lot of tournaments here (at Carolier) and I remember characteristics of the center that help. There are certain sections of the center where I know I can’t use the same ball on both lanes. You’re taking a chance when you do that, but I know I’ll shoot 160 if I don’t do it.”
The entire field of 394 players will bowl six more qualifying games today. The top 98 players after 18 games will then advance to the eight-game cashers’ round on Friday morning. After 26 games, the top 24 will advance to three eight-game round robin match play rounds Friday evening and Saturday to decide the four stepladder finalists who will battle for the $60,000 top prize on ESPN at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Among other local pro bowlers, Lackawanna’s Jack Jurek is 12th (2,580), Buffalo’s Joe Ciccone is 14th (2,566), North Tonawanda’s John Szczerbinski is 28th (2,494) and Cheektowaga’s Ryan Ciminelli is 31st (2,489).