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Chris Barnes Eyes Run at Player of the Year After Taking 66th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open First Round Qualifying Lead

NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (March 31, 2009) – Because of his recent success on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour, reigning Professional Bowlers Association Player of the Year Chris Barnes can still defend his title but he’ll need a little help for it to happen.

Barnes had a 1,394 six-game pinfall (232.33 average) to lead a 415-player field of the sport’s top professional and amateur bowlers after first-round qualifying Tuesday in the 66th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open at Brunswick Zone Carolier.

With the U.S. Open being the final event of the 2008-09 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season, Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, who has won three titles this season, is the front runner to win PBA Player of the Year honors. Malott is currently in 42nd place after first-round qualifying with a 1,253 six-game pinfall.

Barnes had made five television finals appearances this season without a title but then broke through by winning back-to-back events in March.

Barnes and defending U.S. Open champion and Hall of Famer Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., who is currently fourth after the first round with a 1,365 pinfall, are the only players who can challenge Malott for the title. Both Barnes and Duke must win to have any chance of earning Player of the Year honors.

“I’m bowling as well now as I have all season,” Barnes said. “My sole intention is to win this tournament and force Wes to do whatever he needs to do.”

As one of the most demanding events—mentally and physically—in professional bowling, the entire field will bowl additional six-game qualifying rounds Wednesday and Thursday after which the field will be cut to the top 25 percent for another nine-game round on Friday. The top 24 after 27 games will advance to round-robin match play which concludes on Saturday. The top five players will advance to the live, two-hour ESPN-televised stepladder finals on Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern.

“In a tournament like this you have to take advantage of a big block (qualifying round),” said the 39- year-old Barnes of Double Oak, Texas. “With a long format it’s better to hang on to pins rather than chase them. It’s so hard to get through the three days of qualifying that you can’t get too far behind and then feel you have to press.”

Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., hoping to become the U.S. Open’s first five-time winner, was in eighth place after Tuesday’s first-round qualifying with a 1,348 pinfall. Weber currently holds the record of four U.S. Open wins with his dad, Dick Weber, and Don Carter.

As a major with a challenging format, the U.S. Open is contested on a U.S. Open lane conditioning pattern, which is considered to be the toughest in professional bowling. Adding to the pressure will be a $100,000 first prize, a three-year PBA Tour exemption and Grand Slam points which will impact players trying to qualify for the GEICO PBA Team Shootout hosted by Six Flags in June.

66th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open
Brunswick Zone Carolier, North Brunswick, N.J.
Round 1 Qualifying After 6 Games (Only top 100 shown)
1, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 1,394
2, Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 1,388
3, Matthew O'Grady, South Amboy, N.J., 1,368
4, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 1,365
5, Tony Reyes, San Bruno, Calif., 1,354
6, Don Allen III, Vancouver, Wash., 1,350
7, Anthony LaCaze, Glen Ellyn, Ill., 1,349
8, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 1,348
9, Chris Forry, Bridgeport, Conn., 1,339
10, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 1,325
11, Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 1,323
11, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 1,323
13, Bobby Hall II, Landover, Md., 1,317
13, Robert Mockenhaupt, Pompton Lakes, N.J., 1,317
15, Michael Cimba, Monroeville, Pa., 1,315
16, Vinny D'Ambrosio III, Staten Island, N.Y., 1,314
17, Shawn McKee, Concord, N.C., 1,312
18, Paul Pinto, Philadelphia, 1,309
18, Dave D'Entremont, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, 1,309
20, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 1,307
21, Don Breeden, Clive, Iowa, 1,302
22, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 1,298
23, Jason Baker, Sharon Springs, N.Y., 1,297
24, Derek Petty, Potomac Falls, Va., 1,295
25, Mike DeVaney, San Diego, 1,292
25, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 1,292
27, Humberto Vazquez, Mexico, 1,290
28, Patrick Girard, Jonquiere, Quebec, 1,287
29, Jeff Lizzi, Sandusky, Ohio, 1,283
30, George Lambert IV, Canada, 1,282
30, Mitch Beasley, Puyallup, Wash., 1,282
32, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 1,281
33, Ronnie Russell, Indianapolis, 1,280
33, Craig Tuholski, Washougal, Wash., 1,280
33, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 1,280
36, Geoff Wetzler, Tolland, Conn., 1,268
36, Ritchie Allen, Columbia, S.C., 1,268
38, Joe Conigliaro, Valley Stream, N.Y., 1,266
39, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 1,265
40, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 1,256
41, Sean Riccardi, Piscataway, N.J., 1,254
42, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 1,253
43, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 1,251
43, Jim Tomek Jr., Camp Hill, Pa., 1,251
45, Tom Carter, Rockford, Ill., 1,249
45, Jeff Kubasak, Staten Island, N.Y., 1,249
47, Edward VanDaniker Jr., Essex, Md., 1,246
48, Jesse Buss, Wichita, Kan., 1,242
48, Peter Spreadbury, Oak Forest, Ill., 1,242
50, Rick Hara, Darien, Ill., 1,241
51, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 1,239
51, Darryl McDuffie, Floral Park, N.Y., 1,239
53, Mike Rose Jr., Rochester, N.Y., 1,237
53, T.J. Trout, Pottsville, Pa., 1,237
55, Tom Sorce, Blasdell, N.Y., 1,236
56, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 1,235
56, Matthew Zasowski, Buffalo, N.Y., 1,235
58, Jonathan Roy, Canada, 1,233
58, Robert Volk, Ridge, N.Y., 1,233
58, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 1,233
61, G. Brett Cunningham, Clay, N.Y., 1,231
62, Troy Wollenbecker, Miami, 1,230
63, P.J. Haggerty, Clovis, Calif., 1,229
64, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 1,228
64, Ryan Abel, Bel Aire, Kan., 1,228
64, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 1,228
67, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 1,226
68, Brian Voss, Kennesaw, Ga., 1,225
69, Matthew Gasn, Laurel, Md., 1,224
69, Isao Yamamoto, Japan, 1,224
69, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 1,224
72, Dennis Beagle, Lehigh Acres, Fla., 1,223
73, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 1,222
74, John Furey, Freehold, N.J., 1,221
75, Michael Marsico, Chesapeake Beach, Md., 1,219
76, Jeff Morin, Hoptacong, N.J., 1,218
77, Brandon Harris, Akron, Ohio, 1,217
78, Richard Wolfe, Vienna, Va., 1,216
78, Bryan Reinsel, Hamburg, Pa., 1,216
80, Kenneth Jessee, Huber Heights, Ohio, 1,215
81, Robert Lee, Japan, 1,213
82, Christopher Collins, Savannah, Ga., 1,212
82, Dean Richards, Tacoma, Wash., 1,212
82, David Simard, Canada, 1,212
85, Tim Pfeifer, Cranberry Twp., Pa., 1,211
86, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Keller, Texas, 1,210
86, Robert Sperling, Livingston, N.J., 1,210
88, Chris Kramer, Richlandtown, Pa., 1,209
88, Johnathan Bower, Middletown, Pa., 1,209
90, Alex Aguiar, Dartmouth, Mass., 1,208
90, Thomas Lulewicz, Livingston, N.J., 1,208
92, Paul Gibson, Bunswick, Ohio, 1,207
92, Brian Himmler, Cincinnati, 1,207
94, Gean Perez, Puerto Rico, 1,206
95, Jeff Carter, Springfield, Ill., 1,205
96, Anthony Bennett, Worcester, Mass., 1,198
97, Billy Oatman, Chicago, 1,196
97, Sean Rash, Wichita, Kan., 1,196
99, Robert Carlson, DeKalb, Ill., 1,195
100, P.J. Sonday, Avoca, Pa., 1,191

About the PBA

The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) features the best bowlers in the world competing in National, Regional and Senior Tour events and will award over $4.3 million in prize money during the 2008-09 Lumber Liquidators PBA National Tour. The organization has more than 4,000 members spanning 13 countries, and nearly one million viewers tune-in to watch the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour every Sunday on ESPN throughout the season. PBA sponsors include Bayer, Brunswick, CLR, Denny's, Etonic, Flomax, GEICO, Go RVing, H&R Block, Lumber Liquidators, Motel 6, Pepsi-Cola and the USBC, among others. For more information on the PBA, log on to This season marks the 50th Anniversary of the PBA Tour.