Canada’s Francois Lavoie Wins PBA Xtra Frame Greater Jonesboro Open
Xtra Frame Greater Jonesboro Open at Jonesboro Bowling Center. Lavoie, PBA’s 2016 Rookie of the Year and the 2016 U.S. Open champion, converted four spares and threw in a string of four strikes late in the game to knock off Ciminelli, who had otherwise dominated the event.
Ciminelli, a 31-year-old left-hander, cruised to Saturday’s qualifying lead by out-averaging his closest competitor by nearly 25 pins per game. Despite slowing his scoring pace to an overall 223 average, he qualified no. 1 for the four-man stepladder finals by 304 pins over England’s Stuart Williams. But the title match was his downfall. After failing to convert the 3-7 split in the second frame, Ciminelli also failed to convert the
3-5-6-9 in the eighth frame and missed a 6 pin in the ninth.
“I reminded myself of what I do best, and that’s keep the ball in play,” Lavoie said. “I don’t strike as much as some of the guys out here, so I have to do what I do best.
In the title match, “I was just trying to fluff the ball and leave makeable spares,” he added. “I figured that would put me in a good position.”
It was the same philosophy that got Lavoie into the stepladder in the first place. He defeated Japan’s Shota Kawazoe in his final two matches, shooting 200 in game seven and 238 in his final match to advance to the stepladder finals where he broke open a tied match with Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, with three strikes, a spare and a double to win,
210-178. He then struck on six of his first seven shots to eliminate Williams, 232-196, to advance to the title match.
Lavoie won $12,500, his third PBA Tour title and 25 points in the PBA’s Xtra Frame Storm Cup points competition. Article was posted with permission from Stars & Strikes, America's Bowling Newsmagazine. www.starsandstrikesbowling.com