COLUMBUS, Ohio – Despite rolling a gutter ball on his first shot of the opening stepladder match, Scott Newell of Deland, Fla., quickly regained his composure to win three consecutive matches for the PBA Ricart Ford Open presented by Columbia 300 title Sunday at Sequoia Pro Bowl.
The 28-year-old Newell won his first Tour title by defeating tournament leader and one-time Tour winner Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y., 247-245, in a title match that went down to the 10th frame. Leaving the tricky 2-8 on the first ball of the 10th frame, Newell was able to make the spare and then strike on the final ball for the victory.
“I may have looked composed on the outside but I was shaking on the inside,” said Newell who owns three regional tour titles and a best previous Tour finish of 12th. “I just had to take a deep breath and remind myself to stay focused and do what I do best.”
In the semi-final match, Newell survived another nail biter when he defeated three-time Tour titlist Rhino Page of Dade City, Fla., 238-237. In that match he had to convert a 10-pin on the final shot to secure the win.
“You try to prepare yourself the best you can for pressure situations but you never know how you’re going to perform until those situations present themselves,” Newell said. “A lot of people say you have the ability and you can get it done but it’s just a great relief when you finally do.”
In the first frame of the opening stepladder match against Dom Barrett of England, Newell threw the gutter ball after it hit his ankle which he admitted was a sign of his nervousness. He regained his composure enough to then make the spare and went on to defeat Barrett 255-202.
“It was just a matter of getting too quick with my feet and my timing was off,” Newell said. “It was probably good that I made that mistake right away because I could then put it behind me and get on with the rest of the match.”
Barrett was trying for his second Tour title after winning the PBA Scorpion Open which, ironically, was aired on an ESPN taped-delayed telecast earlier in the day.
The Ricart Ford Open was the second PBA Tour event streamed live exclusively on pba.com’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel. Two more Xtra Frame events are scheduled during the remainder of the season.
The next stop for the PBA Tour will be the 69th U.S. Open—the third major of the season— from Brunswick Zone Carolier in North Brunswick, N.J., Feb. 20-26. .