Fifth-year PBA member Connor Pickford of Charlotte, N.C., and 18-year-old rookie Anthony Simonsen of Princeton, Texas, bowling as doubles partners for the first time, averaged a combined 240 to lead qualifying in the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship presented by Storm at the South Point Bowling Plaza Monday.
Both players, trying for their first PBA Tour titles, led the field of 12 teams that advance to two six-game rounds of round-robin team match play competition Tuesday. The top five teams after 20 team games (40 individual games) will advance to the ESPN stepladder finals which will be contested on Saturday, Dec. 19, at part of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VII at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno.
Among the teams failing to advance were two-time defending Roth/Holman Doubles champions Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., and Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, who qualified in 14th place.
Pickford and Simonsen, who dropped to ninth place with three games to go Monday, fired games of 289 and 266, respectively, in game six to charge into the lead and they held on to finish with 3,810 pins, 26 pins ahead of DJ Archer of Friendswood, Texas, and Shawn Maldonado of Houston, Texas.
Other Fishies advancing through qualifying are: Kyle Troup (#AfroFish), Dick Allen (#FishStick), A.J. Johnson (#SharkFish), and Andrew Anderson (#StudFish). Go #TeamFish!