Dorin-Ballard, Page lead way into title round

The Baltimore Sun

Rhino Page didn't have a simple path into tomorrow's title round of the Lumber Liquidators Shark Championship at AMF Country Club Lanes in Middle River. Carolyn Dorin-Ballard had a much easier time.

Page was in 12th place after Thursday's qualifying round before charging through the field yesterday to earn the top spot in the final round. Dorin-Ballard led the entire way in this tournament to gain her No. 1 seed in the title round, to be broadcast live on ESPN at 1 p.m.

Dorin-Ballard, who won last week's Cheetah Championship in Cheektowaga, N.Y., will bowl against Jodi Woessner for tomorrow's title. Page leads a group of four men into their title round. Wes Malott (second), Parker Bohn III (third) and Patrick Allen (fourth) also got in.

The women's match starts the telecast, with the men's step-ladder format to follow.

This is Page's second year on the PBA Tour. The Topeka, Kan., native, 25, won one title last year and made five appearances in the Sunday finals. This will be his first this season.

Page is one of only three bowlers in PBA history to win a tournament after starting from the "rabbit squad," a group that must bowl two extra blocks of games to earn a spot in the main 64-man field.

He got hot at the right time in this tournament, jumping from 12th to fourth after yesterday's first round. The reigning tour Rookie of the Year was strong all day, going 13-4-1 to jump past Malott for first place.

"I'm still a little disappointed that I didn't lead," Malott said. "Hopefully, things can go to my advantage Sunday because I'm basically the only righty on the show."

This is Malott's fourth appearance in the final round in eight events this season. The Argyle, Texas, native has four career championships, the most recent coming two weeks ago in Vernon Hills, Ill.

The women's division offered less drama as Dorin-Ballard, who has led throughout most of the tournament, stayed in first place.

Dorin-Ballard, of North Richland Hills, Texas, is married to longtime pro bowler Del Ballard Jr. He drew national attention by throwing a gutter ball in the final frame of the 1991 Fair Lanes Open tournament in Randallstown, costing him the title. But he has been one of the PBA's most successful bowlers.

Woessner had to rally to earn a spot in the finals. She was sixth after Thursday's qualifying but moved up to get her second TV appearance this season.

if you go

What: 2008 PBA Lumber Liquidators Shark Championship

Where: AMF Country Club Lanes, 9020 Pulaski Highway

Purse: $180,000

Times: Today, Pro-Am events and Fan Day, noon, 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.; tomorrow, finals, 1 p.m.


TV: Tomorrow's finals are live on ESPN.

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