01/16/12 — Roberts wins King Pin Scratch Open

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Roberts wins King Pin Scratch Open

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 16, 2012 1:48 PM

Kip Roberts finally found some luck.

Adam Monks couldn't match his fortune.

Roberts rolled a strike on each of the first seven frames and cruised past Monks, 274-226, to win the 2012 King Pin Scratch Open championship Sunday afternoon at the AMF Boulevard Lanes. It was Roberts' first title in seven Open appearances.

"I finally won one," said Roberts, who hails from Glendale, Va. "I've typically bowled well down here. I got lucky, I really did."

Bowlers dueled in the step-ladder final format on two lanes that had dried up during the two-day event. Tournament organizers didn't re-oil the lanes for Sunday's play, which forced the competitors to change their strategy and search for maximum effort on each roll.

The top-seeded Roberts and Monks matched each other strike for strike on the first three frames in the finals. Monks couldn't duplicate Roberts' performance and sandwiched a fifth-frame strike between spares on the fourth and sixth frames.

"Something like that, you just take what you can get and try to knock them down on every shot," said Monks, who is from Myrtle Beach, S.C. "It's really tough to beat 270. You have to hand it to him."

Roberts lost his 300-game bid on the eighth frame, leaving a 3-6 split, but he picked up the spare and closed out the match with strikes. He pocketed $2,500, while Monks enjoyed a $1,000 payday.

"I caught one break in there with the 'Brooklyn' and he didn't," said Roberts. "But, that's the way bowling goes sometimes. It is what it is."

Monks opened the step-ladder finals with a 222-209 decision over Nashville's Chris Johnson. He followed that up with back-to-back triumphs over Mike Fontenot (212-205) and PBA Hall of Famer Kurt Pilon (210-203).

Monks rolled strikes on six of the first seven frames and picked up the 10 pin in the fifth against Pilon. But he left the door open with mistakes on the eighth and ninth frames.

Pilon, a Michigan native, logged strikes on the fourth, sixth and seventh frames. But, he too, struggled to close out the match and ended up third overall.

"Anytime you have step-ladder (play) and bowl one game, your choices are big there," said Pilon. "The right lane was hooking a few more and I caught it fairly fast, but he got off to a big start. I was lucky to have a chance there at the end."

Pilon will head to Las Vegas for 20 days of competition, which includes appearances in The Masters and a PBA World Tour event.