Bowling fans remember Tom Daugherty from the 2011 Tournament of Champions. Non-bowling fans, even if they don’t remember Daugherty’s name, remember the feat: he threw a 100 in his previous televised appearance, good for the lowest televised score in the history of the PBA Tour. Along with that is another dubious record as Mika Koivuniemi’s 299 gave him the largest margin of victory in PBA Tour history with 199.
Daugherty, of course, remembers all that, too. But now, he can have a little more fun with it as he is a PBA Tour champion.
2012 Scorpion Open Finalists
- Osku Palermaa, Finland
- Jason Belmonte, Australia
- Jason Sterner, United States
- Tom Daugherty, United States
Palermaa had won an event at each of the previous two World Series (the Shark Championship in 2010 and the PBA World Championship in 2011), but this would be his only TV appearance from this particular World Series. As the top seed, he had to win just one match to keep his streak alive.
Belmonte is a force in every tournament and has particular success at the World Series of Bowling. Many picked him to win this event as the second seed.
Making his first ever TV appearance was Jason Sterner, who came in with six PBA regional titles and was twice named PBA South Region Player of the Year (back to back in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008).
Stepladder Match 1: Jason Sterner vs. Tom Daugherty
Sterner threw first and opened the match with a strike. Since that was his first shot ever on TV, where nerves are known to get the best of many of the greatest bowlers ever, it was huge to knock down all 10.
Daugherty came up and left the 3-6-9-10, leaving everyone to wonder if he was in for another terrifyingly futile match. He picked up the spare, though, then threw a turkey, giving himself a 25-pin lead by the fourth frame.
Sterner started strong, but two open frames in the sixth and seventh are what sealed the match for Daugherty. Although Sterner finished better than Daugherty from the eighth frame on, Daugherty had enough of a lead by that point that it didn’t matter. Daugherty, nearly doubling his previous television score, moved up the ladder.
Final scores: Daugherty 199, Sterner 177
Stepladder Match 2: Jason Belmonte vs. Tom Daugherty
After witnessing Daugherty’s shaky finish to the first match, there was a common feeling among the crowd Belmonte was going to easily dispose of Daugherty and move into the finals, especially after Belmonte struck to open the match.
Instead, Belmonte was the one who found himself struggling. Daugherty spared in the first, then followed it up with six strikes in a row, leaving Belmonte just trying to keep pace.
By the time it was over, the scores might’ve been what everyone expected, but the names next to them were reversed. Daugherty would bowl in the championship match against Palermaa.
Final scores: Daugherty 256, Belmonte 187
Stepladder Championship Match: Osku Palermaa vs. Tom Daugherty
Early, it looked like Palermaa’s game. He opened with two strikes while Daugherty threw spares in each of the first two frames. Then, Palermaa lost his consistency. With some interesting leaves for both men, this was a close match consisting of two bowlers desperately trying to string together strikes, hoping to clean up the washouts they left.
Palermaa left both the sixth and seventh frames open, which is ultimately what cost him the match. Neither man ever took full control of the bout, but after those two opens, while Daugherty kept cleaning up his garbage leaves, the PBA Tour had a new first-time winner in Tom Daugherty.
Final scores: Daugherty 200, Palermaa 182
- Tom Daugherty, $20,000
- Osku Palermaa, $10,000
- Jason Belmonte., $7,000
- Jason Sterner, $5,000