Patrick Allen won the PBA H&R Block Tournament of Champions at Red Rock Lanes on Sunday after an errant shot by his friend and roommate Rhino Page.
Allen slipped past his fellow southpaw, 267-263, to win his
second career major championship and his second title in three
weeks. It meant a $50,000 payday and a two-year PBA Tour exemption
in the crowning event of the PBA's 50th anniversary week.
Allen's celebration was tempered by the knowledge that Page
basically handed him the victory with a miscue on his second shot
in the 10th frame.
Needing only a nine-count spare after striking on his first shot
in the final frame, the PBA's reigning Rookie of the Year called
for a re-rack to calm himself. Not realizing he had already used
the two re-racks he was allowed, Page glanced at the 25-second shot
clock before composing himself.
"Rhino got the ball a little too far left. It came off his hand
with nothing on it," said Allen, of Wesley Chapel, Fla. "I could
see it was a bad shot."
Page missed the headpin, knocking down four pins and his dream
of winning his first major title disappeared.
"I knew the shot was in trouble when it came off my hand,"
said Page, of Topeka, Kan. "I got distracted with the time clock,
but sometimes you have to learn the hard way. I still had a great
week. I'll take second after not making the cut the previous three
The victory for Allen, who was the top qualifier making his PBA
record-tying fifth consecutive television appearance, continued an
amazing turnaround after a dismal start to the season.
"Over the past few weeks, everything has been going my way,"
Allen said. "It was an honor to be here the whole week. Winning
the Tournament of Champions, especially this week, is something
I'll never forget.
"After the first six weeks, I was on the verge of bowling for
my job. I was bowling terrible. But I had a practice session with
Doug Kent and things began to click after that."
Right-hander Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, defeated lefty
Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, 276-203, in the opening
stepladder match, but back-to-back 4-6-7-10 splits in his semifinal
against Page ended Malott's bid for a third title in six weeks.
Page won, 243-200.