01/24/11 — Moore recovers in finals, collects $3,000 payday

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Moore recovers in finals, collects $3,000 payday

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on January 24, 2011 1:47 PM

B.J. Moore does not look like a professional athlete.

He is not overly muscular, tall, or fleet of foot. But he does come through in the clutch.

Moore bested a field of 152 bowlers from across the eastern United States and claimed the 6th Annual Kingpin Scratch Open contested at the AMF Boulevard Lanes in Goldsboro on Sunday.

For his effort, Moore toted off a giant check worth $3,000.

"All I could do was focus on my game and be ready when it was time to get going," said Moore. "The great thing about bowling is that you can't worry about what your opponent is doing. All you can control is your own game."

Moore's head-to-head final game against third-seeded Neal Miskell did not start the way he had planned. A pair of open frames in the second and third allowed Miskell to take an early lead.

Undaunted, Moore battled back with four consecutive strikes before an open eighth frame. A strike in the ninth and another to open the final frame, coupled with an easy spare sealed the victory for Moore with a 198 total. Miskell finished with a 193.

"I try to think of my games in thirds," Moore said. "If I have a bad third I just try to forget it and move on. That's what I did in the fourth frame tonight."

Moore's night was a long one after bowling qualifying matches during the day. He breezed through the round of 20 and cruised through the round of 10 to earn the top seed in the "final five." Because the final five is played in step-ladder format, Moore was relegated to the sidelines while the other four finalists sorted themselves out.

Fourth-seeded Anthony Valenzuela claimed the opening match over fifth-seeded Brian Dennis, but was promptly beaten out in the next ladder game by the third-seeded Miskell. A hot start propelled Miskell past second-seed Tom Wall in the semifinal game and set up the championship match with Moore.

It appeared as if the long layoff had slowed Moore's momentum as he opened with a spare and two consecutive open frames. After a deep breath and a drink of water Moore, a Raleigh native, hurled a thunderous strike in the fourth frame and finished strong.

"I really don't have a preference as far as the seed," said Moore. "Whether I'm the five seed or the one seed, I still have to go out and execute. I try not to watch the other matches and get caught up in what the other guys are doing."

Among the field were several local players including 2008 tournament champion Dave Douglas, who emerged as the top local player in this year's field with his 22nd-place finish. Douglas missed qualifying for the top 20 by just 15 pins.

"That's just a couple of spares when you look back at it," said Douglas. "I had my chances, but it just didn't fall my way. The field here is so strong and it gets stronger every year which you can see by some of the numbers the guys were rolling in the qualifying rounds."

The Kingpin Scratch open was sponsored by R.A. Jeffreys Distributing, Storm Bowling and Roto Grip.