Jason Belmonte Wins Fourth Player of the Year Award; Sanders, Loschetter, Ballard Also Win 2017 Honors

by Bill Vint January 17, 2018 11:13

CHICAGO – For the fourth time in the past five seasons, Australia’s Jason Belmonte has been selected by the bowling news media and his fellow competitors as the GEICO Chris Schenkel Professional Bowlers Association Player of the Year.

The PBA’s most prized individual achievement award for the 2017 season was announced today by PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark, who also announced that Matt Sanders, an Evansville, Ind., native now living in Indianapolis, is the 2017 Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year; Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, is the Steve Nagy PBA Sportsmanship Award winner, and PBA Hall of Famer Del Ballard Jr. of Keller, Texas, is the recipient of PBA’s Tony Reyes Memorial Community Service Award.

All four will receive their awards during the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner and Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Indianapolis Marriott North. The entire celebration dinner will be live streamed on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame.

Belmonte, after becoming the first player in PBA history to win three major championships among his four titles in 2017, was a landslide winner in balloting among his fellow PBA members and veteran bowling writers. At age 34 he joined Mark Roth as a four-time winner of the award. Walter Ray Williams Jr. is the all-time leader with seven Player of the Year Awards, followed by the late Earl Anthony with six.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be the PBA’s Player of the Year,” Belmonte said. “2017 was a really successful year for me and winning these awards just makes those successes even better. It really motivates me to continue to push myself even harder. I want to thank all the members who voted and also thank the PBA for giving me the opportunity to bowl on the best tour in the world. “

The most successful two-handed player in bowling history led the PBA in earnings ($238,912) and scoring average (a PBA record 229.39 for 380 games bowled), capped his 2017 season with a victory in the PBA World Championship for his ninth career major title after winning the Barbasol PBA Players Championship and an unprecedented fourth United States Bowling Congress Masters title earlier in the season. He also won the inaugural Storm Lucky Larsen Masters in Sweden for his fourth title of the year.

It was a great “comeback” after a less-than-Belmonte-like year in 2016 when he didn’t win a PBA title after winning Player of the Year honors for three consecutive years, but, as Belmonte said, “2016 wasn’t a bad year. It was a bad year on TV because I was letting things get to me, like winning a fourth straight POY.”

Belmonte has pledged to himself that won’t happen again in 2018.

“I don’t want to have that conversation, that I was too busy thinking about Player of the Year to bowl well,” he said. “That’s not going to happen; I’m not going to let myself do that. If another player has a better year than I do, it’s not going to be because I was thinking about end of year awards.”

2017 PBA Harry Golden Rookie of the Year Matt Sanders

Sanders, a 23-year-old left-hander and former two-time All-American with Marion University-Indiana, was the overwhelming choice over one of the strongest fields of rookies in recent PBA history.

He was the only rookie to win a PBA Tour title (in the Xtra Frame Billy Hardwick Memorial Open presented by Chris Hardwick at Billy Hardwick’s All Star Lanes in Memphis, Tenn., in June). Sanders qualified ninth for the match play elimination finals of the “throwback” plastic ball tournament, eventually defeating PBA50 Player of the Year Brian LeClair, 243-237, for the title.

He concluded his first season with a fifth-place finish in the PBA World Championship, losing a 10-7 sudden-death roll-off to Kyle Troup after they tied at 248-248 in the opening match of the World Championship finals.

“It’s an honor just to be in the conversation with the bowlers who compete on tour,” Sanders said. “I go into each tournament believing I can win. Sometimes, maybe I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the best I can be. I feel that when I’m at my best I can compete with anyone. I just need to relax and do what I do best and hopefully the rest will take care of itself.

“I bowled in 12 tournaments last year and to win one and finish fifth in the World Championship, I’m pretty satisfied with that. I plan to bowl a full schedule in 2018. Now it’s up to me to build on a very satisfying 2017 season and see where that takes me.”

Among PBA rookies in 2017, he was the average (215.84) and earnings ($30,965) leader.

2017 Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award

Loschetter, a 37-year-old two-time PBA Tour champion, won the PBA’s prestigious sportsmanship honor in voting among his fellow competitors, topping Denmark’s Thomas Larsen and Canada’s Francois Lavoie.

Loschetter, a two-time Junior Team USA member, completed a nine-year quest for his first PBA Tour title in the 2012 Wolf Open in Milwaukee and won his second as a member of the Merica Rooster Illusion team that won the 2016 PBA Team Challenge title in Las Vegas while still in recovery from his personal battle with testicular and abdominal cancer. Loschetter has been a member of the PBA League’s Philadelphia Hitmen since the program’s inception in 2013.

“I mentioned to some of my close friends that it’s nice to be nominated, but I never expect it,” Loschetter said. “It’s very humbling; I’m honored to win it. I think a lot of it is how you treat people, probably more off the lanes and how you behave on the lanes. I think I used to be a bit more emotional but as I’ve grown older, I’ve calmed down.

“The big life change for me was really becoming a father,” he added in regard to how his personality has evolved. “That definitely influenced me in how I want people to look at me. I want to be a good example for my son. Also, the way my parents raised me in church, to treat others the way you’d want to be treated. That made a big impact on me.”

2017 Tony Reyes Memorial PBA Community Service Award

PBA Hall of Famer Del Ballard Jr.’s life changed immediately, and dramatically, in May 2010 when he was diagnosed with tonsil cancer. As Ballard had demonstrated over a PBA career that lasted nearly three decades and included 13 titles, he was a fighter. He wasn’t about to succumb to “The Big C” without a battle.

One evening after a treatment, Ballard, wife Carolyn and a handful of friends got together at Ballard’s house and laid the groundwork for what would become “Ballard Vs. The Big C” – or BVBC for short. Within three years, their fund-raising bowling tournament raised more than $145,000. As of 2017, Cancer Care Services, Baylor Health Care and the North Texas Laryngectomy Society have received in excess of $300,000 to carry out research on cancer treatments focused on the head, neck and throat.

“I’m really kind of shocked; when Tom (Clark) called, I figured he was going to yell at me for something I did wrong,” said Ballard, who is known for his dry sense of humor.

“It takes a lot of people to do what we’ve done,” he added on a more serious note. “A lot of people support us. It’s a pretty incredible thing. I was telling someone recently that you always want to turn something negative into a positive. At the time (he learned of his cancer) it was a big negative, but we turned it into a big positive.

“We’ll keep at it; my group won’t let me quit. All you have to do is go with me to one doctor’s appointment and you’ll understand why I do what I do. As bad as my experience was, it’s minor compared to what I see others are going through.”

Ballard remains an active member of the PBA Tour as a manufacturer’s representative for Storm Products as well as serving as manager of the PBA League Motown Muscle.

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Another Stellar Season for Jakob Butturff Highlights 2017 PBA Regional Awards

by Jerry Schneider January 16, 2018 08:35

CHICAGO - PBA Tour standout Jakob Butturff of Chandler, Ariz., didn’t match his record-breaking 2016 season that included a record nine PBA Regional wins, but he did keep the momentum going with four wins in 2017, and that was enough to successfully defend his PBA West and Northwest Region Player of the Year honors.

Bowling in a combined nine tournaments in the West and Northwest, Butturff also compiled three other top-five finishes which included a second, third and a fifth place while also leading his fellow regional competitors with a 236 average.

Butturff’s accomplishments in 2017 were among the highlights of the PBA Regional Award winners, announced today by Director of the PBA Regional and PBA50 Tours John Weber, recognizing Players of the Year, Rookies of the Year, PBA50 Players of the Year and Pat Patterson Award winners, for contributions to the regional program, in each of its eight regions.

Award winners were selected by the PBA’s regional managers: Russ Mills, East Region; Sam Zurich, South Region; Bobby Jakel, Central Region; Rich Weber, Midwest Region; Pete McCordic, Southwest Region; Gary Mage, West and Northwest Regions, and Junichia Yoshida, Japan Region.

Here’s a summary of 2017 PBA Regional Award winners:

EAST – Matt O’Grady of Rahway, N.J., made the most of his seven regional events to earn Player of the Year with five top-five finishes that included one title and three second-place finishes. Rookie of the Year went to Ryan Galli of Binghamton, N.Y., who had two fifth-place finishes and made match play in four of his six tournament appearances. Ray Edwards dominated the PBA50 Player of the Year race with two wins and four other top-five finishes in seven tournaments. Mike Healy of Yonkers, N.Y., was the Pat Patterson Award winner.

SOUTH – Christian Azcona of San Juan, Puerto Rico,  earned Player of the Year with five top-five finishes in seven tournaments including three wins and fourth and fifth-place finishes. PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla., earned PBA50 Player of the Year with four wins and two runner-up finishes in six tournaments. Kristian Sieradzki of Seminole, Fla., earned Rookie of the Year, cashing in five events and making two match play appearances in seven tournaments. Crystal Hall of Fayetteville, N.C., earned the Pat Patterson Award.

CENTRAL – It was a busy year for Canadian Graham Fach, who bowled extensively on the PBA Tour in addition to competing in 15 events in the Central Region where he compiled eight top-five finishes including one title, two second and two third-place finishes. Kyle Mayberry of Dayton, Ohio, collected four top-three finishes in 16 tournaments which included one win, a second and two third-place finishes to earn Rookie of the Year. Former PBA Tour player and PBA50 Tour regular Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, won PBA50 Player of the Year honors in both the Central and Midwest Regions with a combined three titles, one runner-up and one third-place finish. PBA Tour player Dave Wodka of Clarksville, Tenn., was the Pat Patterson Award winner.

MIDWEST – PBA Tour player AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill., put together a four-title season in the PBA Midwest Region and added a third-place finish in seven tournaments he entered to win Player of the Year.  AJ Chapman of Manchester, Iowa, earned Rookie of the Year with one second-place and one fourth-place finish in four tournaments. Brian Kretzer of  Dayton, Ohio, took home PBA50 Player of the Year in the Midwest as well as the Central Region with a combined three titles and two other top-five finishes. Kevin Kullman of Lockport, Ill., won the Midwest’s Pat Patterson Award.

SOUTHWEST – Another one of PBA’s Tour Canadian stars, Francois Lavoie, was the Southwest Player of the Year Award winner with three titles and three runner-up finishes in 10 tournaments. Kyle Sherman of O’Fallon, Ill., earned Rookie of the Year with two top-four finishes that included a title and a fourth-place finish. Mike Austin of Conroe, Texas earned the Pat Patterson Award. The Southwest did not award a PBA50 Player of the Year award.

WEST – Kyle King of Glendale, Ariz., earned Rookie of the Year with the help of one win and one third-place finish while also cashing in 10 tournaments. PBA Tour and PBA50 Tour standout Michael Haugen Jr. of Phoenix earned PBA50 Player of the Year with one win and two runner-up finishes. PBA Tour veteran Josh Blanchard of Mesa, Ariz. was the Pat Patterson Award winner for the West.

NORTHWEST – Rookie of the Year honors went to San Francisco’s Michael Tang who had a best finish of fourth. PBA Tour and PBA50 Tour veteran Hugh Miller of Mercer Island, Wash., earned PBA50 Player of the Year honors with one win and two second-place finishes in four events. Longtime PBA50 Tour player Bob Harvey of Boise won the Pat Patterson Award for contributions to PBA’s regional program.

JAPAN – The Japan Region’s Pat Patterson Award winner was Ebonite International. Player and Rookie of the Year will be announced at a later date.

The PBA’s regional program, founded in 1970, provides bowlers with a proving ground to develop their skills in high-level competition against some of the sport’s established stars. In all, approximately 150 regional events were conducted in 2017.

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PBA Tournament of Champions Kicks Off 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour Season in U.S. Feb. 5-11

by Jerry Schneider January 12, 2018 08:07

FAIRLAWN, Ohio  - As host of the Professional Bowlers Association Tournament of Champions from 1966 to 1994, AMF Riviera Lanes in Fairlawn, Ohio has been the scene of some of the most memorable moments in PBA history.

That tradition will resume when AMF Riviera Lanes hosts the return of the PBA’s signature tournament Feb. 5-11 after a 24-year absence. The first major championship of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour 60th Anniversary season will culminate with a live ESPN finals telecast Sunday, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. EST.

Highlighting the list of PBA champions competing for the title will be a cast of former TOC winners including defending champion EJ Tackett, Jesper Svensson (2016), Jason Belmonte (2014, 2015); PBA Hall of Famers Pete Weber (1989, 2013), Norm Duke (1994), Johnny Petraglia (1971), Sean Rash (2012), Chris Barnes (2006) and Tommy Jones (2007).

With nine PBA major wins to his credit, the spotlight will be focused on Belmonte as the 34-year-old two-handed player from Australia has already established himself as one of PBA’s all-time great players. During a PBA career that spans only 10 years, Belmonte is one major title away from tying Weber and Hall of Famer Earl Anthony for the most all-time major wins with 10.

When the TOC was last held at AMF Riviera Lanes in 1994, Duke won the event with a 217-184 victory over Eric Forkel. At that time, Belmonte was 11 years old and the PBA had never seen a two-handed player. Even when AMF Riviera Lanes last hosted a PBA Tour event, the 2005 Pepsi Championship (a standard Tour event won by Chris Collins), Belmonte was two years away from making his PBA debut.

As the PBA’s signature tournament, a player must have won a PBA title to be eligible to enter, and this time, Belmonte won’t be the only two-handed player in the field. Of the 80 players who will compete this year, 70 will be PBA Tour winners – including two-handers Svensson (who became the youngest TOC winner ever when he won the 2016 title at age 21), Osku Palermaa of Finland and Texan Anthony Simonsen. An additional 10 players who are not national tour winners but own titles in PBA’s other divisions (PBA50, regional, PBA50 regional), will have the opportunity to qualify for the field by competing in an eight-game TOC pre-tournament qualifier on Feb. 5.

Competition begins with two six-game qualifying rounds on Feb. 7 at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. The entire field will then return on Feb. 8 for a final six-game qualifying round at 11 a.m. After 18 qualifying games, the top 24 players will advance to the traditional TOC round-robin match play finals, bowling eight head-to-head-matches at 6 p.m. on Feb. 8, and on Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Total pinfall for 42 games, including match play bonus pins, will determine the top five players for Sunday’s stepladder finals.

PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame will provide full coverage of all preliminary rounds. Xtra Frame also will provide live coverage of a special best-of-three-game “King of Bowling” match between the reigning KOB, Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, and a challenger who will be selected in fan voting. For subscription and schedule information visit www.xtraframe.tv.

1966 PBA TOC introductions_Riviera Lanes_Fairlawn OHThe PBA Tournament of Champions originated in Indianapolis in 1962, but was discontinued until 1965 when it returned as the Firestone Tournament of Champions at Firestone Bowlorama in Akron, in the first year of PBA’s long-standing “Pro Bowlers Tour” series on ABC-TV. The event moved to Riviera Lanes in 1966 and continued there through 1994.

The 2018 Tournament of Champions will be the first of three consecutive PBA Tour events that are part of PBA’s “Big February” schedule, all featuring live ESPN finals. Following the TOC will be the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic Feb. 13-18 from historic Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis and the season’s second major, the Barbasol PBA Players Championship from Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in Columbus, Ohio, Feb. 19-25.

Spectator passes for the TOC pre-tournament qualifier on Feb. 5 and the official practice session on Feb. 6 are $10. Spectator passes for qualifying and match play rounds Feb. 7-9 range from $15-$20 with all-day passes available for $20 and $30. Tickets for the stepladder finals range from $30-$50, if purchased in advance online at www.pba.com/tickets, and $50-$70 if purchased at the door. Tickets for all preliminary rounds will be available at the door.

Grassroots league bowlers who would like to participate in the TOC pro-am will have three opportunities on Saturday, Feb. 10. Squads will bowl at noon, 3 and 6 p.m. For pro-am entry information, contact AMF Riviera Lanes at 330-836-7985.

PBA TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS SCHEDULE

AMF Riviera Lanes, Fairlawn, Ohio, Feb. 5-11 (all times Eastern)

Monday, February 5

3 p.m. - Pre-Tournament Qualifier (8 games)

Tuesday, February 6

2 p.m. - Practice Session

6:30 p.m. – Xtra Frame King of Bowling match (Wes Malott vs. challenger to be decided, best of three games)

Wednesday, February 7

11 a.m. - Qualifying Round 1 (6 games)

  6 p.m. - Qualifying Round 2 (6 games)

Thursday, February 8 

11 a.m. - Qualifying Round 3 (6 games)

  6 p.m. - Match Play Round 1 (8 games)

Friday, February 9

11 a.m. - Match Play Round 2 (8 games)

  6 p.m. - Match Play Round 3 (8 games)

Saturday, February 10

Noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m. – Pro-am squads

Sunday, February 11

1 p.m. - ESPN Stepladder Finals

Advance tickets for stepladder finals are available by visiting www.pba.com/tickets. Contact AMF Riviera Lanes at (330) 836-7985 for additional ticket and pro-am entry information or visit RivieraLanes@amf.com

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PBA Spare Shots: Voting is Underway to Select PBA’s 2017 Player, Rookie of the Year

by Bill Vint January 11, 2018 12:44

Voting among PBA members and veteran members of the bowling news media is underway to select the 2017 GEICO Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year and the Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year.

Candidates for PBA Player of the Year, in alphabetical order, are Dom Barrett, Jason Belmonte, Ryan Ciminelli, Tommy Jones, Marshall Kent, Rhino Page, Sean Rash, Anthony Simonsen, Jesper Svensson and EJ Tackett. Rookie of the Year candidates are Andrew Anderson, AJ Chapman, Nick Kruml, Matt Sanders and Kyle Sherman.

The winners of those two awards, plus the 2017 Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award winner (selected by PBA Tour players) and the 2017 Tony Reyes Memorial Community Service Award (selected by a special PBA panel) will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 17, and all four winners will be presented their awards during a live presentation as part of the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner at the Marriott North in Indianapolis on Saturday, Feb. 17.

The celebration dinner, which also will include the PBA Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for Chris Barnes, Ron Mohr and the late Don Mitchell will be live streamed on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel. Tickets for the dinner, which is open to the public, are available on pba.com (https://www.pba.com/Tickets).

DALLAS, PORTLAND ANNOUNCE PLAYERS PROTECTED FOR PBA LEAGUE DRAFT

Dallas Strikers player-manager Norm Duke and Portland Lumberjacks manager Tim Mack has kicked off the 2018 PBA League draft program by protecting three players each from their 2017 rosters.

Duke, the only person who serves a dual role as an active player as well as team manager, will return Tommy Jones and Bill O’Neill to his roster for 2018 Elias Cup PBA League competition which will take place April 20-22 at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine. Duke’s Dallas Strikers are the two-time defending champions and Duke is the reigning Mark Roth PBAL Most Valuable Player.

The hometown Lumberjacks, runners-up in 2017, will retain left-hander Ryan Ciminelli, veteran team anchor bowler Wes Malott and two-hander Kyle Troup.

Under PBAL rules for 2018, each team manager can protect up to three players from the team’s 2017 roster. Next up, Silver Lake Atom Splitters manager Mark Baker and Philadelphia Hitmen manager Jason Couch will select their protected players, who will be announced next Monday. LA X (Andrew Cain) and NYC Kingpins (Carolyn Dorin-Ballard) will make their selections by January 21, and the Motown Muscle (Del Ballard Jr.) and Brooklyn Styles (Johnny Petraglia) will round out the protected player process by January 28.

The PBA League draft will take place on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 10:30 a.m. at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis when managers will fill any open spots on their rosters. The draft will be live streamed on Xtra Frame. The draft order will be reverse order of finish from last year, beginning with No. 8 Brooklyn followed by Motown, NYC, LA, Philadelphia, Silver Lake, Portland and Dallas. Players eligible to be drafted will consist of the top 75 PBA on the National Tour/WBT earnings list for 2017 plus 2018 events through the PBA Tournament of Champions which ends Feb. 11.

CP3 PBA CELEBRITY INVITATIONAL RED CARPET INTERVIEWS SET FOR YOUTUBE

_2018 Chris Paul Inv (214)Leading up to the 2018 State Farm CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational presented by GoBowling.com, which will be telecast on ESPN on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 4) at 2 p.m. EST, PBA’s YouTube channel will feature a series of red carpet interviews with PBA Tour stars and celebrity participants, starting with tournament host Houston Rockets All-Star guard Chris Paul on Jan. 15.

Following Chris Paul, the PBA YouTube interview schedule will include Norm Duke, Jan. 16; Sean Rash, Jan. 17; James Harden, Jan. 22; EJ Tackett, Jan. 23; DJ Archer, Jan. 24; Terrell Owens, Jan. 29; Pete Weber, Jan. 30; Oscar Nunez, Jan. 31; Mookie Betts, Feb. 2 and Bill O’Neill, Feb. 3.

To view the CP3 red carpet interviews, or any of dozens of other PBA video clips, visit: https://www.youtube.com/user/PBAProBowlersAssn.

PETE WEBER RE-LIVES 2012 U.S. OPEN TITLE IN NEW PBA PLAYER’S PERSPECTIVE

The Xtra Frame Player’s Perspective series returns Thursday with PBA legend Pete Weber re-living his emotional victory in the 2012 U.S. Open. Player’s Perspective is a special series of personal conversations about key moments in PBA history, available first to Xtra Frame subscribers and a week later to all fans on PBA’s YouTube channel.

Xtra Frame subscription packages are offered for seven days, a full month or a 12-month Xtra Frame Season Ticket. Visit xtraframe.com for details on how to subscribe.

A number of Player’s Perspective features are currently available on PBA’s YouTube channel. The new series will debut on Thursday in the coming weeks. Next up, on Jan. 18, will be Rhino Page’s insights into his personal breakthrough in winning the 2017 Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Group Classic in Clearwater, Ohio. Page’s Player’s Perspective will then debut on YouTube on Jan. 25. Additional perspectives will be announced in the coming weeks.

CODY HECKMAN WINS “BEAT THE CHEETAH CHAMPION” CHALLENGE

Cody Heckman of South Bend, Ind., is the winner of Concrete Software’s “Cheetah Challenge,” a just-for-fun sweepstakes conduct in conjunction with the PBA Cheetah Championship finals, presented by the company’s PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game.

Under the contest rules, PBA Bowling Challenge players were invited to “bowl” a virtual game on their mobile devices to try to beat the 245 game Jesper Svensson rolled in actually winning the PBA Cheetah Championship. Every score that topped Svensson’s 245 automatically entered the player into a drawing to win 5,000 Gold Pins (in-game currency) and a PBA bowling pin signed by Svensson.

Speaking of Concrete Software’s PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game, this week marked the addition of another new PBA League venue to test your skills. The Motown Muscle venue was introduced on Jan. 4; Thursday will introduce the Philadelphia Hitmen venue to the game.

Everyone with a mobile device is invited to join the fun. The PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game app is a free download at Google Play and Apple App stores. Use these links: Google Play: http://bit.ly/PBABowlingChallengeAnd or Apple App Store: http://bit.ly/PBABowlingChallengeiOS

PBA STARS LAND BERTHS ON TEAM USA 2018

Troup.Kyle_Taylorsville NC_2017 WSOBLed by Kyle Troup (at left) of Taylorsville, N.C., who captured the 2018 USBC Team USA Trials titles on Sunday, in Las Vegas, another group of PBA stars will bowl for the United States as members of Team USA 2018.

Troup finished the 2018 event with 21 ranking points over five qualifying rounds on five different lane conditions at The Orleans to earn his first berth on Team USA. The 26-year-old two-hander, who will represent Team USA in the 2018 QubicaAMF World Cup, will be joined on the team by PBA members AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill.; Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., and Darren Tang of San Francisco, who earned berths based on qualifying; Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich., and Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash, who were picked by the National Selection Committee, and Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas; Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C.; EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind.; Michael Tang of San Francisco and Chris Via of Springfield, Ohio, who were selected by the National Selection Committee based on submitted resumes.

Several of the women’s team members also have extensive PBA experience in PBA Tour, PBA Regional or PBA Women’s Series competition, including team trials winner Shannon O’Keefe of O’Fallon, Ill. Others who earned or were selected for team berths include Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J.; Stefanie Johnson, McKinney, Texas; Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio; Liz Kuhlkin, Schenectady, N.Y.; Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y. and Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: REGIONAL PROGRAM RETURNS JAN. 19-21

PBA’s Regional tournament program returns to action in the PBA Central Region over the Jan. 19-21 weekend with the PBA/PBA50 Don Vay Memorial Central Classic at Legend Lanes in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

● The PBA South Region returns to action in February with the PBA and PBA50 Break Point Alley Challenge events, both open to players who have not won a PBA title. Break Point Alley in Tavares, Fla., will host the doubleheader over the Feb. 9-11 weekend.

● The PBA South Region’s second weekend of competition includes the PBA50 Dave Edwards Toyota Spartanburg South Open at Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C., over the Feb. 16-18 weekend.

● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple device users using the new PBA app).

QUICK NOTES

The PBA has learned that Rob Hoffman of Freehold, N.J., a PBA member since 1993, died Dec. 22 at the age of 52. He had a best regional and PBA50 regional finish of fourth. He was a member of the Monmouth County Bowling Hall of Fame and owned 32 sanctioned 300 games.

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Timeless PBA Legend Carmen Salvino to Make History in Indianapolis…Again

by Bill Vint January 11, 2018 09:30

INDIANAPOLIS  – When timeless Professional Bowler Association star Carmen Salvino laces up his bowling shoes and throws his first ball in competition in the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic on Tuesday, Feb. 13, at Woodland Bowl, he’ll set a record that will never be matched.

Salvino.Carmen Schaumburg, IL 2012 TOC (1)At age 84, PBA’s most famous showman will become the only player to bowl in the first PBA tournament ever held – the 1959 Empire State Open at Schade’s Academy in Albany, N.Y. – and the 2018 tournament at Woodland Bowl that will celebrate the PBA’s 60th year of continuous competition.

He’ll break his own record which he set when he bowled in the PBA’s 50th anniversary gala in Las Vegas at the age of 74. And he’ll improve upon his own record as the oldest player ever to bowl in a PBA Tour event.

“I bowled in the 50th in Las Vegas, and I’ll probably be around to bowl in the 70th,” he said with a chuckle. “I hope there are still bowling writers around, too. I need the press. I need people to get the word out. I’m still going for headlines.

“It makes sense to me to bowl (in Indianapolis),” the 17-time PBA Tour titlist and 1975 PBA Hall of Fame inductee said. “Not only did I bowl the first tournament in PBA history, but I was one of the seven guys who met before the meeting (in 1958) to create the PBA.”

Salvino Carmen PBA action.jpgThe formation meeting Salvino referred to was a gathering of 33 of the most famous bowlers of that era in Syracuse, N.Y., in 1958, where they each pledge $50 to PBA founder Eddie Elias to become the founding members of the new organization.

Before that famous meeting, Dick Hoover, Dick Weber, Don Carter, Whitey Harris, Steve Nagy, Buzz Fazio and Salvino met in New Jersey with Elias, an attorney from Akron, Ohio, who was introduced to the group by Hoover.

“Elias had talked to Carter and he flew in to talk to us about creating a new tournament program for the bowling stars of the era,” Salvino said.

“I was there representing Chicago. The group was composed of guys who were the most important bowlers in their regions. Elias was talking during the meeting and someone started talking; I think it was Fazio. I remember I had a Coke bottle, and I slammed it on a desk to make them shut up and listen. After that Eddie called me his sergeant-at-arms (Salvino laughed). Eddie would call me privately to talk about problems because he knew I wouldn’t give him any crap; I’d always give him an honest answer.”

Salvino, who exudes confidence and wears his age as a badge of courage, has a lifetime of stories to tell, but even in his advancing years, he is taking his competitive abilities as seriously as he did when he became a PBA founding member at age 25, back in 1958.

“I’m getting in shape,” he said as he prepares for his 731st career PBA Tour event. “I’m lifting weights, having soreness in muscles I didn’t know I had. I’m getting my (ball) speed up again. When people watch me throw the ball, they’re going to be surprised I can throw the ball with speed and hook.

“What I’ve got to do (in Indianapolis) is get the first 11 (strikes) and then I’m going to turn around and ask my crowd for a standing ovation,” he laughed, “and then I’m going to throw the 12th strike.”

Salvino has enormous respect for today’s young PBA stars, but he also issued a warning.

“These young kids are great bowlers,” he said. “I’ll probably make a little speech in the locker room before we start and I’ll tell them I’m 84, and if I don’t come in last, the guys I beat are going to hear from me.

“They needle me a lot, but that’s what I love,” he continued. “I’ll give it right back to them. That’s the part of the game I miss. If they don’t needle you, that means they don’t like you. I’m going to bowl because I can still go in the locker room and get that feeling that I’m 24 again. You can’t buy that feeling.”

Salvino is also coming to Indianapolis because it’s an easy drive from his home in Schaumburg, Ill.; his wife of 61 years (Ginny) can come along, and he wants to hear the PBA Hall of Fame induction speeches by Chris Barnes, Ron Mohr and the late Don Mitchell’s representative, which will be part of the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration dinner Saturday evening, Feb. 17.

“Ginny’s coming to watch,” he said with another laugh. “The woman’s up for sainthood. Anyone who can be with me for 61 years and still be sane deserves sainthood.”

Regarding the hall of fame ceremonies, he noted, “I want to hear from the guys who are inducted. On the lanes, you hear them from a different viewpoint, but hall of fame speeches always give you a different side of their personalities.”

Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic competition will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 13, and it will conclude on Sunday, Feb. 18, when the top five players will compete in the live ESPN finals at 1 p.m. EST. The tournament, which is part of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule, will feature a format that was a standard for years – 24 games of qualifying followed by the top 24 qualifiers meeting in 24 games of head-to-head, round robin match play. All of the preliminary rounds will be live streamed on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame (to subscribe, visit xtraframe.tv).

Admission tickets for the tournament and for the 60th anniversary celebration dinner can be purchased online (https://www.pba.com/Tickets). To enter the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic pro/am, call Woodland Bowl at 317-844-4099.

GO BOWLING! PBA 60TH ANNIVERSARY CLASSIC
Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, Feb. 12-18
               
Monday, February 12
3 p.m. – Official tournament practice session
               
Tuesday, February 13
9 a.m. – A Squad, 8 qualifying games
4 p.m. – B Squad, 8 qualifying games
 
Wednesday, February 14
9 a.m. – B Squad, 8 qualifying games
4 p.m. – A Squad, 8 qualifying games
    Top 25 percent of field after 16 games advance to cashers’ round
                   
Thursday, February 15
9 a.m. - Cashers round, 8 games
    Top 24 players after 24 games advance to round robin match play
6 p.m. – Top 24, 8 games round robin match play
               
Friday, February 16
11 a.m. – Top 24, 8 games round robin match play
6 p.m. – Top 24, 8 games round robin match play
    Top 5 players after 48 games advance to live ESPN stepladder finals
               
Saturday, February 17
10:30 a.m. – PBA League Draft
Noon, 2:30 p.m. – Pro/Am squads
6:30 p.m. – Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner and Hall of Fame induction ceremonies (Marriott North)
               
Sunday, February 18
1 p.m. (EST) – Top 5, live ESPN stepladder finals

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