AJ Johnson Wins Inaugural Strikerz Open
Arlington, Wash.– AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill., brought his striking shoes to the Strikerz Open stepladder finals to claim his first PBA Northwest Regional Title. Qualifying as the third seed in the four-person finals, Johnson climbed the ladder with an impressive three game total of 814 to win the first-place $3,000 prize at Angel of the Winds Casino.
In the opening match of the stepladder, Johnson took on northwest native, Craig Tuholski of Gresham, Oregon in a nail bitter. Johnson stepped up in the tenth frame and threw all three strikes to force Tuholski to throw the first strike in the tenth to secure the victory. A light pocket hit wasn’t enough to give him the strike he needed; falling to Johnson 225-221.
In the semi-final match, Johnson took on reigning PBA World Major Champion, Tom Daugherty of Tampa, Fla.. Johnson threw strike after strike firing a perfect 300 defeating Daugherty 300-201.
The title match saw top seed Darren Tang of Las Vegas match up against Johnson in a high scoring game. Both players had early spares, but Tang’s spare in the second frame opposed to Johnson’s in the first cost him.
Heading into the tenth frame, Tang and Johnson had potential 280 and 290 games, respectively. After a stubborn 10 pin didn’t fall for Tang on his first ball, Johnson knew that any mark would secure the victory. Johnson stepped up in the tenth to throw 22 of the last 24 strikes to win his ninth overall PBA Regional title, and first in the Northwest Region with a final score of 288-259.
The PBA thanks Dustin Russel and his staff for hosting a premier inaugural event at Strikerz inside Angel of the Winds Casino just outside Seattle.
PBA Strikerz Open presented by Angel of the Winds Casino
Final Match Play Standings (16 games, including match play bonus pins):
- AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 235.53 4,655 $3,000
- Darren Tang, Las Vegas., 240.18 4,263 $1,500
- Tom Daugherty, Riverview, FL., 231.12 4,126 $1,300
- Craig Tuholski, Gresham, Ore., 226.94 4,008 $1,100
- David Haynes, Las Vegas, 226.75 3,778 $950
- Greg Thompson Jr, Tempe, Ariz., 224.81 3,747 $900
- PJ Haggerty, Roseville, Ca., 227.50 3,730 $850
- Francois Lavoie, Wichita, Ks., 225.31 3,725 $750
- (N) Cameron Weier, Seattle, Wash., 222.81 3,655 $725
- Marshall Kent, Las Vegas, 219.25 3,598 $700
- Dean Richards, Tacoma, Wash., 214 3,574 $650
- (N) Gregorio “Bud” Sicard, Milwaukie, Or. 217 3,564 $625
- Evan Nash, Kennewick, Wash., 215.81 3,453 $625
- (N) Austin Gratzer, Puyallup, Wash., 215.63 3,540 $600
- Kyle King, Glendale, Ariz., 214.38 3,490 $575
- Kyler Crevier, Portland, Wash., 210.63 3,430 $550
N-denotes non-PBA member