Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y., rolled a 279 final game Sunday to win the top berth in the Professional Bowlers Association’s Viper Championship stepladder finals during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling at South Point Bowling Center.
Angelo, who won his only PBA Tour title in the 2008 Pepsi Viper Championship, bowled games of 236, 258, 199, 227, 236 and 279 during the six-game semifinal round to finish the day with a 14-game total of 3,344 pins to top the field of four players who will compete for the Viper Championship title in the ESPN stepladder finals on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 4 p.m. at South Point’s Exhibition Hall area. The Viper Championship will air on ESPN on Sunday, Dec. 23.
Angelo has been using Storm/Roto Grip equipment exclusively. Angelo used a Storm IQ™ Tour, Frantic™, Roto Grip Outlaw™, and Shatter™ enroute to the top spot.
"Brad really threw the ball well when it counted," said Storm/Roto Grip PBA Tour Representative Del Ballard Jr. "Anytime you lead, it is a great day, and we will be ready to hit it again tomorrow."
Angelo will be joined in the Viper finals by PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., 3,326; Finnish native Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, Mich., 3,283, and Mike Fagan of Dallas, 3,267. Fagan held on to win the fourth spot in the finals by oneover Scott Norton of Costa Mesa, Calif.
“I’ve been executing well for the last few years, but getting that little half-pocket strike to keep a string going hasn’t been there,” Angelo said. “At this level, if you don’t get those strikes, you can’t compete. And today, I got some of those. I don’t know what it was, but the chips fell.
“If you don’t have speed and rev rate in today’s world, you can’t keep up. My little trick has been a slow float and still being able to get the ball through the pins. When I can do that, I’m pretty tough to beat. That’s my uniqueness, and it hasn’t been there for me lately. But to be the leader? You can’t beat that.”
Earlier Sunday, Rash, the reigning PBA Player of the Year, posted an eight-game qualifying total of 2,035 pins to advance from 30th place after Saturday’s Cheetah Championship round into first place in the PBA World Championship race with a 16-game, 3,949 pinfall total, 16 pins ahead of Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio.
Eight-game qualifying totals from Saturday’s Cheetah, Sunday’s Viper, Monday’s Chameleon and Tuesday’s Scorpion Championships will be combined to produce the 32-game totals that will determine the 24 PBA World Championship match play finalists. Three eight-game World Championship match play rounds will take place Wednesday and Thursday at South Point Bowling Center.
PBA fans can follow scoring as it happens by clicking on the “live scoring” feature on pba.com, or by watching the action live on Xtra Frame, PBA’s online bowling channel.
GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling competition continues Monday with Chameleon Championship qualifying squads bowling at 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., followed by the Chameleon semifinal round at 8 p.m.
PBA VIPER CHAMPIONSHIP
South Point Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Sunday
SEMIFINAL ROUND (after 14 games; top four advance to stepladder finals Saturday, Nov. 10, at 4 p.m. PT)
1, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 3,344. (Storm/Roto Grip)
2, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 3,326.
3, Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, 3,283.
4, Mike Fagan, Dallas, 3,267.
Other Semifinal Round Cashers (after 14 games):
5, Scott Norton, Costa Mesa, Calif., 3,266, $4,000. (using Storm)
6 (tie), Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, (Roto Grip) and Dan MacLelland, Canada, 3,259, $3,450.
8, Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich., 3,245, $3,000. (using Storm)
9, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 3,209, $2,700.
10, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 3,170, $2,500.
11, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 3,153, $2,300.
12, Mohamed Sultan, Bahrain, 3,144, $2,100. (using Storm)
13, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 3,137, $2,000. (using Storm)
14, Jeff Frankos, Daly City, Calif., 3,123, $2,000.
15, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 3,089, $1,800. (Storm)
16, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 3,015, $1,700. (Storm)
Other Qualifying Round Cashers (after 8 games):
17, Dom Barrett, England, 1,857, $1,100.
18, David Haynes, Las Vegas, 1,855, $970.
19, David Beres, Waukesha, Wis., 1,851, $940.
20, Craig LeMond, Jasper, Ind., 1,844, $920.
21 (tie), Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, and Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 1,839, $895.
23, Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 1,838, $880.
24, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 1,831, $870.
25, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 1,820, $860.
26, Mike DeVaney, Hemet, Calif., 1,815, $850.
27, (tie) Matt Meyer, Alexandria, Minn., and Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, 1,808, $835.
29, (tie) Dave Wodka, Henderson, Nev., and Peter Hellstrom, Sweden, 1,803, $815.
31, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 1,800, $800.
32, Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore., 1,799, $790.
33, Yousif Falah, Bahrain, 1,787, $780.
34, Johan Hellden, Sweden, 1,786, $770.
35 (tie), Jesse Buss, Wichita, Kan., and D.J. Archer, Port Arthur, Texas, 1,782, $755.