PBA Northwest Classic
$100,000 PBA NORTHWEST CLASSIC
Fiesta Bowl, Richland, WA, Jun 28-Jul 1, 1998
Fourth Time Is The Charm For Criss In Northwest Classic
Tim Criss finally removed the "runner-up" label that had been dogging him this year on the PBA Tour. After three second-place finishes this year, Criss was able to break into the winner's circle by capturing the PBA Northwest Classic at Fiesta Bowl.
In a non-televised event (the Tour's first since Brian Voss won the 1993 tournament in Riverside, Calif ') Criss defeated Butch Soper in the final game of match play (the "position round" match), 245-207, to earn his third career title and $16,000.
Criss was in second place going into the final round of match play, trailing Soper by just 15 pins. The resident of Bel Air, Md., was impressive over those final eight games, winning all of his matches, including the decisive one against Soper. In the end, Criss totaled 10,063 pins to Soper's 9,940. Soper, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., earned $6,000 for second.
"I've led a tournament this year and lost," said Criss. "It takes the pressure off, because when you lead a tournament you have to come back for the championship round and figure out the lanes all over again. It alleviates you of essentially having to win the tournament twice."
In the position round match, Soper suffered an early open frame when he failed to convert the 3-6-10 spare. Criss started with the first flue strikes, then converted a pair of spares, before stringing together three more strikes to secure the win.
Soper, who also has three second-place finishes this year, said, "All night long I kept shooting good games. But, unfortunately for me, so was Tim and I just couldn't catch him." Soper added, "I need to get luckier. I've had guys shoot well against me (in the championship match) and you can't do anything about that. Hopefully, what comes around, goes around."
Criss finished the tournament with a field-Nest 19-5 match play record and a 226 average for his 42 games. Soper compiled a 17-7 record and averaged 224. Ernie Schlegel, Vancouver, Wash., finished third with 9,913 total pins and earned $5,000. Rounding out the top five were Jess Stayrook, Tempe, Ariz. (9,787 and $4,000) and Steve Hoskins (9,783 and $3,500).
*-Match play alternate. 18-game qualifying leader-Danny Wiseman, 4230. 24th place-Dave Arnold, 3926.#-Doug Kent, Hugh Miller, Robert Smith, Kurt Pilon, Craig Tuholski and Mike Miller rolled 300 games ($100 each). PRO-AM CASHERS-Darren Wong, John Bauerle Jr., Rick Steelsmith, Tom Baker and Brian Himmler ($50 each).