Patrick Allen has had a difficult time reaching the finals of Professional Bowlers Association regional tournaments.
But when he has qualified, the results have been brilliant.
Yesterday at Shake and Bake Bowl in West Baltimore, Allen, of Tarrytown, N.Y., won the Lipton Brisk PBA Eastern Regional Tournament -- his second regional title in the past two weeks -- with a total score of 4,970.
Nick Miseno of Amsterdam, N.Y., finished second with 4,947, and Baltimore's Danny Wiseman placed third with 4,912.
"I think I'm bowling really well right now," Allen, 29, said.
"I've been putting a lot of practice in, working hard on my timing and my release point, and it's paying off." Until last week, when Allen won a Southern Regional tournament in Diamond Head, Miss., he had not qualified for a final round in seven tries.
"I think getting to the finals is harder than winning," said Allen, who joined the PBA Tour in September of 1999.
"I've just had a hard time getting to Sunday." Saturday, the original field of 78 bowled eight games each.
The top 12 finishers, based on combined pinfall, qualified for yesterday's final round.
In the finals, each player bowled one head-to-head game against every other player.
Based on cumulative pinfall, including Saturday's scores, plus 30 bonus pins for every head-to-head victory in the round robin, the 12-man field was broken down into six "positioning games."
Allen entered the positioning games in third place, but he trailed leader Tommy Delutz Jr. by 32 pins.
In his positioning game, Allen threw nine strikes and two spares en route to a 258.
He also picked up 30 bonus pins by winning his head-to-head contest against Warren Guernsey, the leader at the start of the day.
Allen began the day in fourth place, but a 266 in his first game, plus 30 pins for a win, catapulted him into the lead.
He led through five games before falling to second and then third after the ninth game.
But Allen said he liked being able to come from behind in the positioning game.
"It's definitely tougher bowling in front, especially with so many good bowlers breathing down your neck," said Allen, who had a 237.09 average yesterday with a 6-6 head-to-head record.
"Plus, I wasn't too far out of it, so I knew if the cards fell right, I would have a chance."
Wiseman, in fifth place for the positioning games, threw a 278 to vault into third place for the tournament.
He also bowled a 279 in his third game yesterday to share high-score honors for the day with Rudy Kasimakis and Allen.
Tim Criss of Bel Air finished seventh. His 299 in his third game on Saturday was the high score for the tournament.
1. Patrick Allen, Tarrytown, N.Y., 4,970, $3,200
2. Nick Miseno, Amsterdam, N.Y., 4,947, $1,900
3. Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, 4,912, $1,600
4. Tommy Delutz Jr., Flushing, N.Y., 4,908, $1,300
5. Warren Guernsey, Cobleskill, N.Y., 4,822, $1,000
6. Ken Yokobosky, Lafayette, N.J., 4,812, $900
7. Tim Criss, Bel Air, 4,791, $800
8. Rudy Kasimakis, Gouldsboro, Pa., 4,771, $700
9. Ron Unser, Hudson, N.Y., 4,759, $675
10. Lee Vanderhoef, Rising Sun, 4,676, $650
11. Dan Mitchell, Philadelphia, 4,649, $625
12. Dennis Reale, Havertown, Pa., 4,508, $600