By Don Wright
For the Herald
He's called "Big Nasty," not because of his disposition, but because of the power and revolutions he gets on a bowling ball.
Wes Malott, formerly of Round Rock and now residing in Argyle, captured the 12th annual Southwest Region PBA Killeen Open.
Malott started the day as the No. 1 seed in the round of 16 and never looked back. In his first match he defeated Ron Boroff of Mansfield. In the second match he took two out of three games from George Lambert of Wichita, Kan. In the round of four he was pitted against current Southwest Region points leader David Anthony of Austin and once again Big Nasty prevailed, setting up the championship match between Malott and Jesse Buss another Wichita, Kan., bowler.
It was the experience of Malott over Buss, who has only been on the Southwest Region for four weeks, that came through. Malott captured the first-place prize money of $2,700, defeating Buss 215-150.
Don't let the 150 score fool you. Buss had a heck of a tournament. Seeded 14th, he defeated three higher seeded bowlers on his way to meeting Malott. But, open frames in the 6th, 7th and 8th frames of his match with Malott was his undoing.
Malott joined the PBA in 2001 and continues to be one of the most consistent bowlers on Tour, capturing a title for the third consecutive season and finishing third in the PBA World Point Rankings despite missing two events. He tied his career high set in 2006-07 with six championship-round appearances, which ranked tied for third on Tour. He went over the $100,000 mark in season earnings for the third straight season with his $108,900 ranking sixth. His 15 match-play appearances tied for fourth on Tour, and his 223.77 average ranked third.
His ball may earn him the nickname "Big Nasty," but Malott could also be called "Gentle Giant." He's considered one of the nicest guys on tour.
Local bowlers continue to struggle in this event; however, Bobby Wacker of Harker Heights was the highest local finisher, missing the cut by just nine pins. Eric Odette of Killeen finished in 38th place and Sandi Charles was 40th.