Smith makes it three at Rice

Two splits and an early turkey was the key for Robert Smith to win his third PBA West/Northwest Region Rice Shopping Center Open late last night.

Placing 8th after 22 Match Play games, Smith advanced to the top slot with a 10-6-0 win/loss record for a net 5199 pinfall, including 300 bonus pins for wins following 24 games.

Keith Odette (11-5-0), hailing from Waipahu, forced a rolloff for second place against Russ Hunt (8-8-0) of Walla Walla, Wash., both bowlers finishing with a net 5122 pinfall. Hunt advanced with a 192-164 win over the tiring Odette.

Dave Arnold (5081), ranked 5th after 24 games, moved up the stepladder finals, besting 4th ranked Corey Husted, 212-176. Arnold continued to climb, getting past third ranked Odette, 213-165 before falling to second ranked Hunt in the eighth frame when Arnold could only pick up a pin of a two-pin split, and Hunt icing the win on two straight spares to meet Smith.

Misfortune struck as Smith suffered a three-pin split in his first frame amd sixth frame for tow open frames.

Smith, rolling behind a powerful ball, spared in his opening frame followed by a turkey as Hunt chalked up another open frame in the fourth, leaving three pins.

With the win, Smith, who took the title last year, repeats as the champion. Smith, following his victory, said in 2004 he finished in second at the RSC Open, and in 2003, he picked up his first win.

Gary Mage, the PBA West Region manager, said last year, Smith went on to win the PBA West/Northwest Hickam AFB Open, and following his victory here, Smith will attempt to defend his title at Hickam AFB on O‘ahu starting this Friday.

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