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Bowling News USA - January 23, 2013 Haugen Jr., Uses "Gold Ball" To Lead Roth Classic


2013 PBA Tour Winter Swing Blog by Louie Wemett

Day 3, Wednesday, January 23rd - Mark Roth Classic, Dateline Detroit, MI

Another day in Detroit, another tounament leader using our equipment. Wednesday, free agent Michael Haugen Jr., used an IQ Tour Pearl (the Gold Ball) to  lead the PBA Mark Roth Classic at Thunderbowl. Haugen was over one hundred pins down from qualifying leader Sean Rash when matchplay began Wednesday night and went around the 2012 PBA Player of the Year like he was standing still. No one in the building saw it coming, but it did and when it was over, Haugen beat Rash by over 140 pins. Scott Norton rallied late and took the second spot for the show. WOW...

Rash gets props because he is throwing it great, but Wednesday night was all Haugen. The two-time PBA champion was firing the Gold Ball up about four and shredding racks for two hours straight. It was nice to see a player use the right side of the lane and score, beings most of the scoring on Tuesday came from the sixth arrow.

11th founder Jeff Richgels recently called the Gold Ball one of the greatest house condition balls he has ever seen. Haugen opened my eyes to just what that ball can do on a 46 foot PBA Mark Roth pattern. It was unbelievable. 

For the second night in a row, Storm and Roto Grip equipment was used by 8 of the 16 players to make the cut. Pete (Weber) and Norm (Duke) made the sweet 16 and were joined by 58 year-old Tom Baker, who is a Roto Grip staffer. Bakes can still throw the rock ...and throw it good.

Weber had another solid performance and Duke bowled well despite battiling a pinched nerve in his neck. The dynamic duo squared off against each other in the position round and I took my camera over to their pair to see what kind of mood they were in. It was all business...Legends are legends.

Schlem and I had dinner with Baker and PBA lane guy Mark Sabatine after the last pin was toppled. Two cool East coast guys who have pretty much seen and done it all as far as bowling is concerned. Bakes' first win on Tour was against none other than the late, great Earl Anthony.

Haugen was not picked in the PBA League Draft and wasn't shy about his feelings concerning the snub in my on camera interview. PBA Commish Tom Clark commented on the subject while I was watching Xtra Frame. Clark said something like, "go out and show them (PBA franchise players) how they screwed up by winning a tournament."

That's exactly what Haugen intends to do.

Tomorrow (the 50 foot) Don Carter Classic. 

Haugen Will Try to End Title Slump Against Norton in Detroit Winter Swing’s Mark Roth Classic Final Match by Bill Vint 

Michael Haugen Jr. of Carefree, Ariz., who won both of his Professional Bowlers Association Tour titles in 2008, will get a chance to end his nearly five-year dry spell when he meets Scott Norton of Mission Viejo, Calif., in the Mark Roth Classic championship match.

Haugen, after qualifying for the Roth Classic match play finals in fifth place earlier Wednesday at Thunderbowl Lanes in Detroit, won seven of his nine match games, tied another, and averaged 241.94 over a span of 17 games to finish with 4,338 total pins, 114 pins ahead of Norton. Norton, who won his second career title earlier this season in the PBA Chameleon Open, overtook reigning PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., by 32 pins in the final game.

“It’s been too long. There are two guys on the show and 135 guys who tried to get there, so the odds weren’t too good,” Haugen said. “I didn’t bowl well Tuesday. Today I made some changes, and I did what I needed to do. It’s been too long. You don’t forget how to win, but we’ll see what happens. If (Norton) beats me, it’s not going to be because I gave him the title. He’s going to have to earn it.

“I came out this year as a free agent (without a bowling ball manufacturers’ contract), but to be honest, the most motivation I had was not getting drafted in the PBA League. I had the credentials; I can bowl in this building, but for whatever reason, I got overlooked, so the best way to show them was to get on the television show. That was my plan.

“It’s very difficult to be one of two guys to make it to television, but I’ve gotta tell you, it feels sweet.”

The Mark Roth Classic championship match, along with the Roth PBA League team stepladder finals, will be contested on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET at Thunderbowl Lanes. The finals will air on ESPN on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 3 p.m. ET.

Wednesday afternoon, Michigan native Tom Smallwood, who launched his PBA career at Thunderbowl in 2009, helped his Motown Muscle team claim the top stepladder position in the PBA League Mark Roth round finals.

Smallwood, a Saginaw resident who lost his job at General Motors during the auto industry’s economic downturn in 2009 and turned his unemployed status into a victory in the PBA World Championship later that same season, posted an eight-game total of 1,858 pins to help the Motown Muscle team – owned by Detroit native and former Pittsburgh Steelers star running back Jerome Bettis – to the No. 1 berth in the Mark Roth team qualifying round stepladder finals by 182 pins over Billie Jean King’s New York City WTT KingPins.

Actor Jesse Williams’ BROOKLYN STyLES locked up the third team stepladder berth with 8,991 pins. The other five teams will compete in a one-ball Clash Match eliminator round to determine the fourth team that will bowl in the Baker format television finals. In Baker team competition, each of the five players bowls two frames to complete a game.

The Detroit Winter Swing features a unique combination of PBA individual and team competitions. A field of 135 players is competing for individual titles while eight teams of five players are also using their qualifying scores to help their teams qualify in inaugural PBA League competition. Competition continues Thursday with qualifying and match play rounds in the Don Carter Classic and the third day of PBA League competition.

All preliminary rounds of Winter Swing competition are being covered live, exclusively on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. To subscribe to Xtra Frame, visit and click on the Xtra Frame link.



Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich., Jan. 23

Final Match Play Standings (after 17 games, including match play bonus pins; top two advance to championship match) 
1, Michael Haugen Jr., Carefree, Ariz., 7-1-1, 4,338. (using Storm)
2, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., 7-2, 4,224.

Other Match Play Cashers: 

3, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 4-5, 4,192, $6,000. 
4, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 5-4, 4,125, $4,500.  (using Storm/Roto Grip)
5, Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, 4-4-1, 4,065, $4,000. 
6, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 4-4-1, 4,056, $3,500. 
7, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 6-3, 4,017, $3,000. 
8, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 4-4-1, 4,012, $2,500. (Storm)
9, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 3-5-1, 3,984, $2,200. (Storm)
10, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 2-6-1, 3,972, $2,000. (Roto Grip)
11, Dom Barrett, England, 4-3-2, 3,971, $1,900. (Storm)
12, Brett Spangler, Niles, Ohio, 5-4, 3,968, $1,800. 
13, Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill., 3-6, 3,951, $1,800. 
14, Ronnie Sparks JR, Ecorse, Mich., 4-5, 3,944, $1,600. (Using Storm/Roto Grip)
15, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 2-7, 3,927, $1,650. 
16, Tom Baker, King, N.C., 4-5, 3,788, $1,500. (Roto Grip)

 Other Cashers (after 8 games): 

17, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 1,832, $1,000. 
18, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 1,829, $950. 
19, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 1,827, $900. 
20 (tie), Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., and Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 1,826, $835. 
22, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 1,823, $800. 
23, Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 1,821, $790. 
24, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 1,816, $780. 
25, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 1,814, $770. 
26, B.J. Moore II, Apex, N.C., 1,813, $760. 
27, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 1,809, $750. 
28, Mark Milasinovich, Macomb, Mich., 1,804, $740. 
29, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 1,802, $730. 
30, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 1,801, $720. 
31, Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., 1,799, $710. 
32, David Haynes, Las Vegas, 1,798, $700.




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January, 2013