Crayton impresses in first career event

Jan 3, 2008 - 1:34 AM RENO, Nevada (Ticker) -- If his Denny's PBA Tour debut is any indication, Kurry Crayton is on his way to a solid career.

In his first career event as a PBA member, Crayton led the field in Wednesday's qualifying round of the 2008 Championship with a 1,658 seven-game pinfall to earn a spot in Thursday's round of 64.

Crayton became a tour member on December 11 and has made the decision to bowl the remainder of the 2007-08 season. The confident 26-year-old just had a feeling it was time to join the PBA.

"I just knew in my mind that if I stayed focus today, I couldn't be beat," Crayton said. "My game is conducive to playing inside, which is how they played today. That's how I learned to bowl."

Crayton, who has worked at Super Bowl in Birmingham most of his life, started slowly on Wednesday with a 171 and 209 in the first two games. He got comfortable in game three with a 248, starting a string of four consecutive games of 248 or better.

He followed with games of 258, 266 and 279 to take the lead, and finished the day with a 227 to hold on to the lead.

A record-tying 11 PBA members advanced to the round of 64 due to five exempt bowlers being out for the season and Wes Malott and Pete Weber taking this week off.

Finishing second behind Crayton was Tom Daugherty with 1,554 pins, followed by Edward VanDaniker Jr. with 1,541, marking the fourth time he has qualified this season. David Traber, a four-time titlist, finished fourth with 1,534.

Bob Udseth finished fifth with 1,530 pins, earning a spot in the round of 64 as the top amateur. He was followed by P.J. Haggerty, Mason Sherman and Lee Vanderhoef in eighth.

Earning the final spots in the round of 64 were Roger Kossert, a PBA Senior Tour bowler who qualified for the third time this season, three-time titlist Dave Arnold, Steve Rogers and Jon Brandon.

The round of 64 features two seven-game qualifying blocks starting at 1 p.m. EST. The top 32 will advance to match play on Friday. The top four will advance to Sunday's championship round, which also begins at 1 p.m. EST.

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