WICHITA, Kan. -- Twenty-one-year veteran Dave D'Entremont had one word to describe his win Oct. 13 in the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Wichita Open - "vindication."
D'Entremont, Middleburg Heights, OH, defeated Chris Barnes, Dallas, TX, in the championship match, 202-179, and earned his sixth PBA Tour title along with the $40,000 top prize.
"Now I know the last five years haven't been wasted," the right-hander said about struggling on Tour since winning his last title in 1996 (Tournament of Champions, Lake Zurich, IL). "There were a lot of doubts and some depression during that time.
"I always felt like I was good enough to win again out here. But today, I feel like I got lucky. Chris (Barnes) caught a bad break when he left the 7-10 split in the eighth frame."
Working on two strikes and trailing by 32 pins after an open frame by D'Entremont, Barnes left a "solid" 7-10 split in the eighth.
"I don't think I've ever 7-10'ed in a big situation like that," said Barnes, who also finished second in the preceding Japan Cup. "But, with the way Dave was bowling, I was just fortunate to still be in the match at that point. It would have been a lot of fun to strike there." He trailed by 43 pins after D'Entremont struck in the eighth.
D'Entremont opened with a four-bagger followed by two straight single-pin spares. He then missed the 3-6-10 spare attempt in the seventh frame, giving Barnes a glimmer of hope. Barnes, who earned $20,000, filled only three of the first five frames. He left the 7-10 split in the second and the 2-10 in the fourth.
D'Entremont, 41, underwent surgery in 2000 to restore blood flow to a bone in his right wrist. "The doctors said there was no guarantee I'd ever be 100 percent again. I had doubts this entire time." Also, this past offseason he shed 45 extra pounds gained when he quit smoking in 1996.
"One of the most frustrating things these past four or five years is how people would ask if I was still bowling full-time. I would say 'Yeah, I'm just not bowling well enough for you to know it.' Well now, I'm back."
In the semifinals, D'Entremont powered past PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. (270-258) and Barnes beat defending champion Ryan Shafer (265-260). Williams, Ocala, FL, and Shafer, Elmira, NY, finished tied for third with $10,000 each. D'Entremont knocked off Patrick Healey Jr. in the wild card match (232-206). Healey, Mexico, earned $9,000. D'Entremont, who lost to Walter Ray Williams Jr. in the round of eight on Saturday night, is the third wild card qualifier to claim a title since the format was implemented in September 2001.
The PBA Tour travels to Lunar Bowl in Blue Springs, Mo., for the PBA Greater Kansas City Classic, Oct. 16-20. ESPN will televise the finals live on Sunday, Oct. 20, from 1-2:30 p.m. (ET).
PBA WICHITA OPEN
(Northrock Lanes, Wichita, KS, Oct. 9-13, 2002)
Pos., Name/City & State, Total/Games, Money, Tourn. W-L, Avg.
1. Dave D'Entremont, Middleburg Heights, Ohio 704 (3 games) $40,000 12-3 236.91
2. Chris Barnes, Dallas 444 (2 games) $20,000 11-4 238.34
3. Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla. 258 (1 game) $10,000 10-5 237.72
(T) Ryan Shafer, Elmira, N.Y. 260 (1 game) $10,000 10-5 235.60
5. Patrick Healey Jr., Mexico 206 (1 game) $ 9,000 10-6 233.20
PLAYOFF RESULTS - In the wild card match, D'Entremont def. Healey, 232-206; in the semifinals, Barnes def. Shafer, 265-260, and D'Entremont def. Williams, 270-258; and in the final, D'Entremont def. Barnes, 202-179.