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The Future is Now


Facing two of the game’s legends, Mike Wolfe and Shannon Pluhowsky showed the poise that has made them two of the top young stars in bowling. The 31-year-old Wolfe and the 25-year-old Pluhowsky each took down Hall of Famers to win their respective titles in the 2007 Etonic Championship.

The 31-year-old Wolfe slowed down the incredible early-season run of all-time Denny’s PBA Tour titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr., denying him a second consecutive victory with a 256-225 win in the 2007 Etonic Championship at AMF Thruway Lanes.

The 25-year-old Pluhowsky, meanwhile, defeated United States Bowling Congress (USBC) and Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) Hall of Famer Tish Johnson, 227-217, to win the second-ever PBA Women’s Series event.

Wolfe and Williams – who was making his third consecutive championship round appearance – were dead even through five frames until Williams struggled with three consecutive nine-spares, leaving a 10-pin, his third stone 8-pin of the day and a 4-pin. Wolfe took advantage with strikes in the sixth and seventh to take the lead.

Williams tried to keep the pressure on in the 10th, but he could only manage one strike, and Wolfe, needing just a mark in the 10th for the win, struck to capture his third career title.

“You know you’re going to have to get at least eight strikes to beat him and you just hope some of them are strung together,” Wolfe said. “(Williams) was on an unbelievable run and it’s just an indescribable feeling to beat him when he’s on a run like this.”

Wolfe advanced to the final with a 236-235 win over Chris Barnes in a match that went down to the final frame. Barnes held a slim 10-pin lead until a nine-spare in the ninth frame. Working on a four-bagger, Wolfe evened the match with a strike in the ninth, but left a 10-pin with his first shot in the 10th, missing his chance to shut Barnes out. Wolfe then left another 10-pin with his fill ball, giving Barnes a chance to win with a nine-spare and a strike. Instead, Barnes left the 2-4-5, falling by a pin.

Williams advanced to the title match with a 247-226 win over Mike DeVaney.

In the second-ever PBA Women’s Series title match, Pluhowsky squeaked out the win in a match that was close throughout. Pluhowsky took the lead early with three strikes in the first four frames, but Johnson stayed close and had a chance to take the lead in the ninth frame with a strike, but a nine-spare kept control in Pluhowsky’s corner. The Team USA member finished with a nine-spare and a strike in the 10th, forcing Johnson to double in the 10th. The lefty left a 6-10 with her first shot however, giving Pluhowsky her first PBA Women’s Series title.

Wolfe (New Albany, Ind.) earned $25,000 and an exemption for the 2008-09 season for his win while Pluhowsky (Phoenix, Ariz.) pocketed $10,000. Williams earned $13,000 for second while DeVaney and Barnes took home $6,000 each for third and fourth, respectively. Johnson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) earned $6,000 for her runner-up finish.

The Denny’s PBA Tour and PBA Women’s Series move to Merrillville, Ind., for the 2007 Lake County Indiana Classic pres. by United Way, Nov. 14-18, at Stardust Bowl II. The nationally televised ESPN finals take place Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. EST.

Denny’s PBA Tour
2007 Etonic Championship
AMF Thruway Lanes
Cheektowaga, N.Y.
Sunday, Nov. 11


Pos. Name, hometown Total/Games Money
1. Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind. 492 (2 games) $25,000
2. Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla. 472 (2 games) $13,000
3. Mika DeVaney, Temecula, Calif. 226 (1 game) $6,000
4. Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas 235 (1 game) $6,000

SCORES – In the first match, Williams def. DeVaney, 247-226; in the second match, Wolfe def. Barnes, 236-235; and in the final, Wolfe def. Williams, 256-225.

This is Wolfe’s third career Denny’s PBA Tour title.

PBA Women’s Series
2007 Etonic Championship
AMF Thruway Lanes
Cheektowaga, N.Y.
Sunday, Nov. 11


Pos. Name, hometown Total/Games Money
1. Shannon Pluhowsky, Phoenix, Ariz. 227 (1 game) $10,000
2. Tish Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo. 217 (1 game) $6,000

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