CHESAPEAKE, Va. – In what was expected to be a low-scoring qualifying round, it took just a 201 average to make the first cut Saturday at the 2019 PBA Harry O’Neale Chesapeake Open.
Competing on the first of two squads, Dom Barrett put up the highest qualifying total with 1,817 for eight games, a 227.13 average, at AMF Western Branch.
Barrett got out to a quick start with games of 225, 256, 227, 268 and 231 before closing with 172, 224 and 214. He advanced into Sunday morning’s cashers round along with the rest of the top 48 players, including Osku Palermaa and Dick Allen, who tied for the last spot with 1,608.
The advancing players will return at 9 a.m. Eastern for a four-game cashers round followed by the Round of 16 and Round of 8. The stepladder finals are scheduled for 3 p.m. Eastern on Sunday. All rounds are being broadcast live on FloBowling.
“The strategy was just to hit the pocket,” Barrett said in this interview. “Find the easiest way or the best way for me to hit the pocket, try not to split too much and make spares. I just try to bowl well. We know they are going to be low scoring. We knew that in practice yesterday.”
PBA Hall of Famer Chris Barnes finished second in qualifying with 1,815, just two pins off the lead, and said he expected an overall lower scoring pace this weekend on the 38-foot Mike Aulby pattern.
“This has got to be one of the top three hardest patterns we are going to bowl on this year,” Barnes said in this interview where he describes why the pattern plays so tough. “There are some centers that might be tougher, but as far as patterns, at 38 feet, it’s pretty difficult.”
Bill O’Neill finished third with 1,752, Matt Sanders was fourth with 1,743 and local bowler Steven Arehart was fifth with 1,731.
Among those who made the cut were rising stars Greg Young Jr. (sixth place with 1,727) and Kamron Doyle (21st with 1,655). Young and Doyle offered FloBowling insight into their strategy before the event started.
EJ Tackett was the biggest name in the current FloBowling PBA Power Rankings who missed the cut Saturday. Tackett, who is ranked No. 2, finished in 102nd place after posting a score of 1,465, a 183.13 average.