Brad Angelo survived good and ugly games, but he couldn't hold off Robert Smith on Sunday in the CLR Windy City Classic at Hawthorn Lanes. As a result, the Lockport pro still is looking for his first title after 103 events on the Denny's PBA Tour.
A tearful Smith, the top qualifier, collected the $25,000 winner's check for his first Tour title in almost four years after defeating Angelo, 230-205, in the title match of the stepladder finals. Angelo earned $13,000 for his best finish since he was second in the 2005 PBA Dallas Open.
It was the seventh title and first since 2004 for Smith, who missed all of the 2006-07 season with a painful hip injury which left him unable to walk for two months.
"It's a relief just to come back and bowl. The win is a bonus," said Smith, who lives in Captain Cook, Hawaii.
Angelo was going through pain, too, the pain of losing and a sore back after an injury he suffered shortly before the Etonic Championship at Thruway Lanes.
Angelo, who is 0-4 in title matches, is 6-13 in his 13 TV appearances. It was an uphill battle to the final. He started with seven strikes in a 265-188 victory over Ritchie Allen, then strung seven in frames 3-9 in a 256-233 victory over Mika Koivuniemi.
Finally, Angelo survived an ugly match against Chris Barnes, outlasting the Texan, 162-151, as they combined for seven splits and seven open frames, and neither was able to put two strikes together. It was the third-lowest combined score in a televised match in Denny's PBA Tour history.
Angelo never led in the final after Smith started with a double, kept the pressure on until Smith put four strikes together starting in the fifth frame.
Smith has perhaps the most unusual style of the Tour bowlers. He slowed things down all week due to the challenging Shark oil pattern, then Sunday stood as far left as he could and launched the ball over the gutter cap, throwing the ball 14 feet in the air down the 60-foot lane.