Allen leads Lumber Liquidators ChampionshipDec 7, 2007 - 6:18 AM BALTIMORE (Ticker) - Despite holding a comfortable lead in the standings, Patrick Allen knows he has a lot of work to do in match play Friday.
Allen averaged over 242 in his 14 games Thursday to lead the field with a 3,400 14-game pinfall heading into round-robin match play in the 2007 Lumber Liquidators Championship.
The nine-time Denny's PBA Tour titlist has a greater chance of making the finals this week compared to most round-robin events as the top five advance to Sunday. This week features a special eight-bowler championship round, which will air in prime time on ESPN at 8 p.m. EST.
Nevertheless, Allen knows he cannot let up on Friday, as a possible 18 games still remain.
"I almost think it's a disadvantage to lead because now you have to sleep on it all night," he said. "I have to bowl to win and not just try to hang on. I still have to be aggressive instead of thinking about just staying in the top 16 or top eight."
Allen was consistent on Thursday, particularly in the first seven-game block, when five of his seven games were in the 230s and 240s. He opened the second block with back-to-back games of 257 and finished the round with a 268 to take the lead.
"I was working last night in practice on trying to get my hand behind the ball more, like I used to a couple years ago," said Allen, the 2004-05 PBA Player of the Year. "I got off to a good start this morning and 230-240ed them to death and then had a good start to the second block. The lanes were a little tougher (in the second block), but they broke down a lot faster."
Allen finished just ahead of all-time title leader Walter Ray Williams Jr., who at the age of 48 is off to the best start of his career. Last week, Williams captured his 44th career title and second of the season.
On Thursday, Williams finished second with 3,366 pins.
Mike DeVaney, who fired one of five 300 games on the day, finished third with 3,344, while Chris Barnes was fourth with 3,311. Rhino Page, who advanced through the qualifying round on Wednesday for the fifth time in six weeks, finished fifth with 3,304 pins.
Twin brothers Mark and Mike Scroggins both finished in the top 10, as Mark was sixth with 3,299 and Mike was ninth with 3,268.
Kelly Kulick proved her 2006-07 season as the first exempt female bowler was no fluke, finishing 17th with 3,212 pins.
Kulick just came off a successful four-week stint on the Women's Series, a special four-event tour sponsored by the United States Bowling Congress featuring 16 of the best female bowlers. She finished third in the series point rankings.
Baltimore native and 11-time titlist Danny Wiseman advanced to match play, finishing 22nd with 3,194. He is seeking his second career win in his hometown.
Match play gets underway Friday at 11 a.m. EST with the first of two nine-game round-robin blocks. The top 16 after the first nine games will advance to the second block Friday evening.
The top eight bowlers will move on to Sunday's championship round, which takes place at 1 p.m. and will air tape-delayed on ESPN at 8 p.m. The winner will receive $25,000 and an exemption for the 2008-09 season.
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