CHESAPEAKE, Va. – In an all-urethane championship match, Bill O’Neill defeated AJ Chapman on Sunday to win his 11th career PBA Tour title at the PBA Harry O’Neale Chesapeake Open.
O’Neill delivered a clutch double in the final frame to lock up the victory, 257-216, at AMF Western Branch. It was O’Neill’s second title of the season after he won the season-opening PBA Hall of Fame Classic in January.
O’Neill pulled in front by starting the match with five consecutive strikes and his lead was boosted early when Chapman left a 3-6-7-10 split for an open in the third frame.
Chapman hung around, though, by throwing six consecutive strikes after the open to pull within three pins. O’Neill was up to the task down the stretch, however, as he popped a strike in the ninth frame and then threw the critical double in the final frame.
O’Neill said he decided to go with a more predictable urethane ball in the championship match, while Chapman said he threw urethane almost every game of the tournament.
“The middle of the lane was really tricky,” O’Neill said. “The pattern was short enough that the urethane came into play. You could bowl 150s or 160s really easily with a reactive ball. It (urethane) gave me a better look to the pocket to strike, but it was also safer at the same time.”
Chapman easily advanced into the championship match with a 233-160 victory over Greg Young Jr. in the semifinal.
Young got off to a shaky start with back-to-back splits for opens and would never recover. Chapman, meanwhile, threw eight strikes in the match as he pulled away early.
Young advanced in the opening match of the stepladder finals with a 216-192 win over Wes Malott. Young tossed three strikes from the sixth through the eighth frames to take control of the match.
In the final frame, Malott could have struck out to force Young to mark for the win but on his first shot he left a high 10 pin.
The PBA Tour heads to Wilmington, North Carolina, for the PBA Wilmington Open, which begins Tuesday live on FloBowling.