Entering match play at the PBA Wichita Classic, Dom Barrett paces the field. Barrett has averaged more than 235 across 24 games at Northrock Lanes.

The 37-year-old tied for the pole position with Jakob Butturff — the man he beat to win the 2018 U.S. Open at Northrock — following the third round of qualifying, but charged in front during the Top-22 Round this evening.

Bill O’Neill, Santtu Tahvanainen, Anthony Simonsen and Chris Barnes round out the top five heading into match play.

For Barnes, this week marks a return to his old stomping grounds. The Kansas native competed at Wichita State during the early 1990s and lived in town until 2001.

Barnes said he wanted to play at a much better level than he had the first few weeks of the season. Competing back in Wichita, where he cut his teeth and learned how to bowl, he has plenty of family and friends in attendance. 

“Early in my career, that was a lot of pressure,” Barnes said of competing in front of family and friends. “But in the latter half of my career, it’s just a lot of fun to have people around that you enjoy and support you. It feels great to be back here.”

He said his notes about the lanes don’t quite date back to his days as a Shocker, but he has been using notes from his son Ryan, who currently bowls at Wichita State.

Darren Tang entered the Top-22 Round in 12th place, but a slow start put his chances of advancing in jeopardy. After three games tonight, he was in 18th place and more than 100 pins outside of the cut.

“The entire week, I was moving left, throwing it slower, throwing strong balls and using surface to blend out the wet-dry,” Tang said. “I went for a Hail Mary move. I grabbed a cleaner ball, jumped a zone back to the right and tried to keep it in front of me.”

The move paid off, as he fired 278 and 287 to surge back into the top 12. He closed with 201 to finish 10th on the day.

The dozen advancers will compete in round-robin match play Friday morning, bowling one game against each other. After the position round, the top four players will advance to the stepladder finals, which are set to begin at 7 p.m. ET on BowlTV.

Match Play Advancers

  1. Dom Barrett, 5,653 (+853)
  2. Bill O’Neill, 5,605 (+805)
  3. Santtu Tahvanainen, 5,535 (+735)
  4. Anthony Simonsen, 5,533 (+733)
  5. Chris Barnes, 5,514 (+714)
  6. Jakob Butturff, 5,507 (+707)
  7. Tom Daugherty, 5,462 (+662)
  8. Tommy Jones, 5,455 (+655)
  9. Jason Belmonte, 5,421 (+621)
  10. Darren Tang, 5,419 (+619)
  11. Kris Prather, 5,416 (+616)
  12. Anthony Lavery-Spahr, 5,412 (+612)

Full standings are available here.

Tournament Schedule

Friday, Feb. 24
11 a.m. ET — Round-robin Match Play Round 1 (six games)
3 p.m. ET — Round-robin Match Play Round 2 (six games) — top 4 overall players advance
7 p.m. ET — Stepladder finals

More information on the PBA Wichita Classic is available here.