Tommy Jones Wins PBA Scorpion Championship
By Bill Vint
RENO, Nev. – Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., took another step toward his goal of joining an elite group of Professional Bowlers Association champions to win 20 titles when he captured the PBA Scorpion Championship presented by Reno Tahoe USA for his 18th PBA Tour title.
The Scorpion Championship, the third of four PBA animal pattern championships conducted during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VIII, presented by Silver Legacy Resort & Casino, at Reno’s National Bowling Stadium, aired as part of a WSOB VIII doubleheader Sunday on ESPN.
Jones, at age 38, made another statement for age-and-experience overcoming youthful exuberance when he defeated B.J. Moore III of Greensburg, Pa., 211-168, to win the Scorpion title.
“That (Scorpion) pattern is really tricky, especially when you’ve got four guys playing in a similar part of the lane,” Jones said. “You have to stay ahead of the moves, but if you get too far ahead, you go right by what’s happening to the condition. It’s one of the hardest patterns for me because I’m not very good at throwing the ball slow. It actually hurts the next day because I’m so tense from trying to slow down.”
Jones won the event by starting the title match with four strikes to jump into a 41-pin lead midway through the match, and he kept the pressure on while the 28-year-old Moore struggled to find the pocket.
“I got fortunate on the first shot, but the next three were as good as I’ve thrown all week,” Jones said. “I got off to a little lead and he got a bad break (4-6-7 split in the third frame). From that point, it was just a matter of surviving.
“It was hard throwing the ball slow during the week, but it was really hard on TV when you’ve got the adrenalin going. It’s something I’ve been working at and I’m getting better. We’ll call it mission accomplished.”
Moore, who was trying for his first PBA Tour title, won his berth in the final match with a 224 game in the four-player elimination match to open the telecast while Jones advanced with a 212 game. Sweden’s Jesper Svensson and Brandon Novak of Chillicothe, Ohio, were eliminated with 194 and 175 games, respectively.
With his 18th PBA Tour title, Jones joined PBA Hall of Famers Nelson Burton Jr., Dave Davis, Dave Soutar, the late Billy Hardwick and future hall of famer Chris Barnes in a tie for 15th place on the all-time PBA Tour titles list.
“Eighteen is great, but 20 is special,” he said. “There aren’t many guys in PBA history who have won 20 titles so that’s something that’ll hopefully happen down the road.
“Right now, the most important thing is I tied Chris Barnes…and I’m a decade younger than him, and you can quote me on that,” he added with a grin. (For the record, Barnes is 46).
The PBA’s World Series animal pattern championships on ESPN concluded with the PBA Shark Championship which aired immediately following the Scorpion Championship.