THE VILLAGES, Fla. – PBA Hall of Famer Johnny Petraglia bowled a 1,491 six-game pinfall total in the second round including a 274 in the final game to move into the PBA50 National Championship presented by Spanish Springs Lanes and Radical lead Wednesday.
The 72-year-old Petraglia, who owns 14 PBA Tour and eight PBA50 Tour titles, finished the day with a 2,853 12-game overall pinfall (237 average) to hold a six-pin lead over Mark Sullivan of Indianapolis in second with 2,847.
Petraglia, who won the Fort Smith (Arkansas) Open for his first PBA Tour title in 1966, is the only player to have won a national PBA title in six different decades.
Bowling a 15th-place 1,362 six-game pinfall after the first round, Petraglia bowled games of 216, 227, 259, 268 and 247 before his 274 in the second round. In the 274 game Petraglia opened in the first frame but then threw 10 strikes in a row to take the lead.
“Well, I’ll say it feels like a step back in time, at least for one block,” Petraglia said. “The one advantage of getting older is that you can’t throw the ball hard and with a slower ball speed and the good look I had on the lanes, it was just the right combination.
“I had the same look the first game that I had in the last game which allowed me to get comfortable from the start,” Petraglia added. “Even in the last game I felt I could get to the pocket every shot–it was a matter of getting all 10 pins down.”
Petraglia won the 2009 Sun Bowl In The Villages at Spanish Springs Lanes and set the PBA50 Tour six-game block record of 1,557 in qualifying for the event.
“It’s been a good center for me,” said Petraglia, whose last PBA50 Tour title came in the 2012 Senior Dayton Classic. “But with that in mind I’m not even thinking past tomorrow’s qualifying round. I’ve been around long enough to know not to do that. I’ll come in tomorrow and watch some of the lefties bowl and see how their (ball) reaction is and maybe use that as a baseline for any changes I might need to make, if any.”
Competition in the first PBA50 Tour major of the season continues Thursday with the final six-game qualifying round beginning at 9 a.m. ET. The top 32 players will then advance to match play Friday morning at 9 a.m. After the first match play round the top 16 players will advance to the second match play round which will determine the top five players for the stepladder finals Friday at 7 p.m.
Sullivan, whose best career PBA50 Tour finish is 10th, bowled games of 243, 194, 300, 258, 237 and 218 in his second round after bowling for 1,397 for six games in the first round to move from seventh to second.
First-round co-leader PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke dropped to third finishing with a 2,790 pinfall. Reigning PBA50 Player of the Year Michael Haugen Jr. vaulted from 49th after the first round to fourth thanks to a 1,480 pinfall in the second round finishing with 2,782. Rounding out the top five was PBA Hall of Famer and PBA50 Tour rookie Danny Wiseman with 2,772.
PBA Hall of Famer and 12-time PBA50 Tour winner Tom Baker finished the day in sixth with 2,759 followed by defending champion Lennie Boresch Jr. in seventh with 2,753.
Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr., who shared the first-round lead with Duke, dropped to ninth after the second round finishing with a 2,746 pinfall. Williams won the season-opening Johnny Petraglia BVL Open for his 12th career PBA50 Tour title.
Fans can catch all the PBA50 National Championship action live via PBA’s online streaming partner FloBowling. Visit www.flobowling.com for subscription and schedule information.