Hall of Famer Chris Barnes Wins PBA Xtra Frame Lubbock Sports Open for 19th Title, First Since 2015

by Bill Vint June 10, 2018 16:06

LUBBOCK, Texas – Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, struck out in the 10th frame to defeat top qualifier Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., 207-206, to win the PBA Xtra Frame Lubbock Sports Open Sunday at South Plains Lanes.

With his first title since the 2015 DHC PBA Japan Invitational, Barnes improved his overall PBA Tour titles total to 19, moving into 15th place on the all-time titles list.

barnes“They don’t get any more fun than that,” the 48-year-old Barnes said. “For a lot of reasons, (winning in Lubbock) is really special. As an experienced player, I know I’m not going to have a lot more moments like this, so it’s pretty special to stand up here. This one went the right way.

“Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of failures to learn from in situations like that,” Barnes added. “You learn how to breathe, how to enjoy the moment. When Jakob got that bad break, you ask yourself, how cool would it be to pull this off?”

Neither player could get a sustained string of strikes going, and both made a key mistake early in the match, but Butturff, the 2016 Lubbock Sports Open winner, failed to lock up the title when he struck and then left a 10 pin on his second ball in the 10th frame. That gave Barnes a chance to win with three strikes in his 10th frame.

“I’d like to get to 22 titles. That’s Marshall (Holman’s) number and he’s an idol of mine, but for now, to be one title ahead of Tommy Jones is fine with me,” said Barnes, who was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame earlier in the year. He and Jones are long-time rivals, but also close friends and frequent doubles partners who are in a good-natured, on-going contest to see who can win the most PBA Tour titles.

In the first stepladder match, Barnes won the battle between former PBA Players of the Year, defeating Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, 258-223. One pin separated the two until the 10th frame when Malott left and failed to convert the 3-4 split.

Barnes then advanced to the championship match by throwing strikes on nine of his first 10 shots to race past PBA rookie Nick Pate of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 269-214. Pate, the 2017 Male Collegiate Bowler of the Year with Midland University, couldn’t match Barnes’ strike pace.

The Lubbock Sports Open was the fourth of eight PBA Xtra Frame events that are part of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule. The next Xtra Frame event will be the PBA Xtra Frame Parkside Lanes Open June 30-July 1 at Parkside Lanes in Aurora, Ill., launching PBA’s new relationship with FloBowling.com. Monthly and annual Xtra Frame subscription packages are available for $7.99 and $64.99, respectively, through June 29. Three-day passes for $3.99 are available through June 25. Visit xtraframe.tv to enroll. After June 29, FloSports subscription rates will apply.

PBA XTRA FRAME LUBBOCK SPORTS OPEN presented by Ebonite
South Plains Lanes, Lubbock, Texas, June 10

Final Standings:
1, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, $13,000.
2, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., $7,000.
3, Nick Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., $4,000.
4, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, $2,200.

Stepladder Results:
Match One: Barnes def. Malott, 258-223.
Semifinal Match: Barnes def. Pate, 269-214.
Championship: Barnes def. Butturff, 207-206.

Final Match Play Standings (after 22 games, including match play bonus pins):

1, Butturff, 6-2, 5,425.
2, Pate, 7-1, 5,346.
3, Malott, 5-3, 5,325.
4, Barnes, 5-3, 5,310.
5, Ahmad Muaz, Malaysia, 5-3, 5,269, $1,800.
6, n-Wesley Low Jr., Palmdale, Calif., 5-3, 5,204, $1,600.
7, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 4-4, 5,193, $1,550.
8, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 4-4, 5,180, $1,500.
9, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 4-4, 5,172, $1,450.
10, n-Deo Benard, Rio Rancho, N.M., 3-5, 5,156, $1,400.
11, Jason Sterner, Rockledge, Fla., 3-5, 5,104, $1,350.
12, Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 3-5, 5,073, $1,300.
13, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 4-4, 5,050, $1,250.
14, Rafiq Ismail, Malaysia, 3-5, 5,026, $1,200.
15, Roger Petrin, Arlington, Texas, 1-7, 4,929, $1,150.
16, Mike Bailey, Irving, Texas, 2-6, 4,870, $1,100.

Other Cashers (after 14 games):

17, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 3,145, $750.
18, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 3,130, $745.
19, Tun Ameerul Al-Hakim, Malaysia, 3,126, $740.
20, Michael Tang, San Francisco, 3,122, $735.
21 (tie), Vaughn Cruz, Helotes, Texas, and Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 3,105, $730.
23, David (Boog) Krol, Nixa, Mo., 3,071, $725.
24, Brandon Curtis, Manson, N.C., 3,065, $725.
25, Alex Liew Liang, Malaysia, 3,064, $725.
26, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 3,056, $720.
27, Trey Ford III, Bartlesville, Okla., 3,041, $720.
28, s-Martin Bedford, Gasport, New York, 3,033, $720.
29, Bobby Hall II, Landover, Md., 3,031, $715.
30, Marshal Morrison, Wills Point, Texas, 3,019, $715.
31, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 2,995, $715.
32, Mitch Hupé, Canada, 2,993, $710.
33, Tyler Albracht, Amarillo, Texas, 2,933, $710.
34, Dino Castillo, Highland Village, Texas, 2,932, $710.
35, Russ Oviatt, Chandler, Ariz., 2,929, $705.
36, Trey Sledge, Amarillo, Texas, 2,902, $705.
37, n-Levi Fintel, Lubbock, Texas, 2,900, $705.
38, n-Zach Wojciechowski, Lubbock, Texas, 2,898, $700.
39, Michael Smith, Centennial, Colo., 2,870, $700.
40, n-Zachary Harvey, Albuquerque, N.M., 2,842, $700.

300 Games: Sean Lavery-Spahr.

n-denotes non-member

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Norm Duke Earns Top Seed for USBC Senior Masters Finals

by Jerry Schneider June 9, 2018 23:39

By Matt Cannizzaro, USBC Communications

LAS VEGAS - United States Bowling Congress and PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke of Clermont, Florida, says he doesn't necessarily have an A-game.

Instead, he has multiple games, and the key to picking the right one is paying attention to what the lanes are telling him, a practice that has earned him a reputation as one of the world's most versatile bowlers and helped him secure the top seed for the stepladder finals of the 2018 USBC Senior Masters.

The 54-year-old right-hander averaged nearly 238 at the Sam's Town Bowling Center on the way to a 6-0 record in the event's double-elimination match-play bracket, and he locked up the No. 1 seed Saturday with a 706-660 win against 2017 PBA50 Rookie of the Year Michael Haugen Jr. of Phoenix.

Haugen will enter the stepladder in the second position, and he and Duke will be joined by No. 3 Keith Lesko of Prosper, Texas, No. 4 Chris Warren of Grants Pass, Oregon, and No. 5 Ron Mohr of nearby North Las Vegas, Nevada.

The championship round will be broadcast live on Bowltv on Sunday, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern, with the winner taking home a $20,000 top prize and the second major title of the 2018 PBA50 season.

"I'm very happy with how things went, as this is what we work for and train for," said Duke, owner of 38 PBA Tour titles and four PBA50 wins. "And, yes, I'm in the enviable position, but I haven't won anything yet. There's still work to do."

Duke considers his opening match Saturday morning against Michael Calvin of Warren, Michigan, to be the most pivotal moment of the week for him because it was close throughout and came down to the final frames.

The win tested him both mentally and physically and set the tone for the rest of the day.

"I know that match was the one that got me here," Duke said. "It came down to the ninth and 10th, and while I was on the approach, I told myself, 'Norm, this is what major championships are about. You either rise now in the middle of this, or you may not last to the end.' I was able to lift myself and finished out strong to get that victory."

Duke noted that in the matches that followed, his opponents struggled early, and he was able to put together some big games, allowing him to build a lead from the start.

That's exactly how his meeting with Haugen went. Duke started with a 257 game, while Haugen finished with 178, a deficit he could not recover from, despite responding with a 269 effort the following game.

Haugen is the frontrunner in the 2018 PBA50 Player of the Year race after winning the PBA50 Johnny Petraglia BVL Open presented by Brunswick in early May.

A win at the Senior Masters this week would give him his third career PBA50 title and second major victory. He won the 2017 Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open, which came on the heels of an early exit from the 2017 Senior Masters. It was Duke who handed him the first of his two consecutive losses at the Senior Masters last year.

"I'm happy to be on the show, but now I have to win two games to win the title, and I'd definitely have to bowl Norm again to do it," Haugen said. "But, if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best, and he's one of the best in the world. I'll bring my game tomorrow and try to get it done."

Before getting a shot at redemption against Duke, Haugen will have to face one of the other three talented players who made the stepladder.

Lesko, Warren and Mohr emerged from a four-player shootout round Saturday that featured the last players in the Elimination Bracket.

Lesko, a 52-year-old right-hander competing in his first major of any kind, finished the three-game match with a 279 effort, including a rolled 2 pin late in the game, to catapult from third place after two games, to the top spot in the shootout with a 732 set.

Warren followed with a 724 series, while Mohr grabbed the final spot with 722. Mohr held a slim lead over Warren after two games, but a fourth-frame washout in the finale proved to be the difference. PBA titlist Darryl Bower of Middletown, Pennsylvania, finished fourth in the shootout with a 609 series and was eliminated, finishing sixth overall at the event.

Warren, a six-time PBA Tour champion who is seeking his first PBA50 title, had the most noteworthy run in match play this week, having won seven consecutive matches in the Elimination Bracket, just to earn a spot in the shootout round.

Shortly after receiving an award Friday for having the highest block in the third round of qualifying, the 54-year-old right-hander lost his first match, 511-501, to the No. 56 seed, Jerry Smith of Englewood, Colorado.
Over his next 24 games at Sam's Town, Warren averaged 251, rolled an 847 in a victory over Noel Vazquez of Sacramento, California, and used the second perfect game of the 2018 event to outlast and eliminate defending champion Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla., 772-756.

Williams, who was looking to become the first bowler in more than a decade to win the Senior Masters in consecutive years, as well as become the event's first three-time winner, finished in a tie for ninth place. His first loss came to Lesko in the Winners Bracket.

If Warren or Duke can win the 2018 Senior Masters, the victor would add his name to the short list of bowlers who have won both the USBC Masters and Senior Masters. Only Dave Soutar and Williams have achieved the feat, with Williams winning each one twice. Warren is the 1990 Masters champion, while Duke claimed the title in 1993.

For complete bracket results click on http://scores.bowl.com/2018SeniorMasters/2018SeniorMastersBrackets.pdf

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Hall of Famer Chris Barnes Leads Qualifying in PBA Xtra Frame Lubbock Sports Open

by Bill Vint June 9, 2018 18:29

LUBBOCK, Texas – Recently-inducted Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, averaged 240.5 for eight games to lead the PBA Xtra Frame Lubbock Sports Open at the end of qualifying Saturday at South Plains Lanes.

Barnes, an 18-time PBA Tour title winner who hasn’t won since 2015, rolled games of 276, 254, 217, 235, 258, 279, 215 and 190 – his only sub-200 game - for a 1,942 pinfall total and a nine-pin lead over Roger Petrin of Arlington, Texas.

Petrin, 27, is a fifth-year PBA member who has won three regional titles, but is still trying for his first PBA Tour title. Barnes, a 20-year PBA member, and Petrin are among the several Wichita State University collegiate bowlers in the field of 121.

In third place heading into Sunday’s cashers round is two-handed player Shawn Maldonado of Houston with 1,909 pins. Former PBA Players of the Year EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., with a 1,906 total, and Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., at 1,904, rounded out the top five as the 40 high qualifiers who remained in the running.

After the six-game cashers round, the top 16 based on 14-game pinfall totals will advance to an eight-game modified round-robin match play round. The top four after 22 games will advance to the stepladder finals. At stake Sunday is a $12,500 first prize and a PBA Tour title if the winner is a PBA member.

Sunday’s cashers round, match play and stepladder finals will be live-streamed on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel at 8:30 a.m., 12:15 and 4:15 p.m. CDT, respectively. Monthly and annual Xtra Frame subscription packages are available for $7.99 and $64.99, respectively, through June 29. Three-day passes for $3.99 are available through June 25. Visit xtraframe.tv to enroll. After June 29, FloSports subscription rates will apply.

The Lubbock Sports Open is the fourth of eight PBA Xtra Frame events that are part of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule. The next Xtra Frame event will be the PBA Parkside Lanes Open June 30-July 1 at Parkside Lanes in Aurora, Ill., launching PBA’s new relationship with FloBowling.com.

PBA XTRA FRAME LUBBOCK SPORTS OPEN presented by Ebonite

South Plains Lanes, Lubbock, Texas, June 9

Final Qualifying Standings (after 8 games; top advance to Sunday’s cashers round):

1, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 1,924.
2, Roger Petrin, Arlington, Texas, 1,915.
3, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 1,909.
4, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 1,906.
5, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 1,904.
6, Mike Bailey, Irving, Texas, 1,902.
7, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 1,886.
8, Michael Tang, San Francisco, 1,883.
9, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 1,879.
10, Tun Ameerul Al-Hakim, Malaysia, 1,867.
11, n-Wesley Low Jr., Palmdale, Calif., 1,856.
12, Nicholas Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 1,852.
13, Ahmad Muaz, Malaysia, 1,849.
14, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 1,826.
15 (tie), Jason Sterner, Rockledge, Fla., and n-Deo Benard, Rio Rancho, N.M., 1,821.
17, n-Levi Fintel, Lubbock, Texas, 1,820.
18, Dino Castillo, Highland Village, Texas, 1,813.
19, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 1,807.
20 (tie), s-Martin Bedford, Gasport, N.Y., and Marshal Morrison, Wills Point, Texas, 1,803.
22, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 1,799.
23, Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 1,794.
24, Trey Sledge, Amarillo, Texas, 1,790.
25, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 1,783.
26, Alex Liew Liang, Malaysia, 1,779.
27, Trey Ford III, Bartlesville, Okla., 1,778.
28, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 1,776.
29, Vaughn Cruz, Helotes, Texas, 1,754.
30, Russ Oviatt, Chandler, Ariz., 1,750.
31, n-Zach Wojciechowski, Lubbock, Texas, 1,744.
32 (tie), Brandon Curtis, Manson, N.C., and Bobby Hall II, Landover, Md., 1,740.
34 (tie), Rafiq Ismail, Malaysia, and n-Zachary Harvey, Albuquerque, N.M., 1,738.
36, Tyler Albracht, Amarillo, Texas, 1,737.
37, David (Boog) Krol, Nixa, Mo., 1,734.
38, Michael Smith, Centennial, Colo., 1,733.
39, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 1,729.
40, Mitch Hupé, Canada, 1,726.

Failed to advance:
41, n-Matthew Stephens, Houston, Texas, 1,721.
42, Darren Tang, San Francisco, 1,715.
43 (tie), Kyle King, Glendale, Ariz., and Billy Rogers, Dallas, Texas, 1,712.
45, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 1,710.
46, n-Victor de la Garza Jr., Mexico, 1,707.
47, Michael Steele, Abilene, Texas, 1,705.
48, Donald Davis Jr., W. Tawakoni, Texas, 1,698.
49, Syafiq Ridhwan, Malaysia, 1,693.
50 (tie), Jonathan Lawson, Canyon, Texas, and n-Stefan Wood, Lubbock, Texas, 1,689.
52 (tie), Humberto Vazquez, Mexico, and n-Scotty Pope Jr., Odessa, Texas, 1,683.
54, Dylan Burns, Garden City, Kan., 1,682.
55, Brian Burkett, Ennis, Texas, 1,671.
56, n-Mitchell Whitehead, Sachse, Texas, 1,669.
57, Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., 1,666.
58 (tie), Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., and n-Eric Manthei, Lumberton, Texas, 1,662.
60 (tie), Clint Land, Houston, and Michael Duran, Banning, Calif., 1,658.
62, Adrian Ang Loong, Malaysia, 1,651.
63, n-Jason Tidwell, Odessa, Texas, 1,647.
64, n-Nick Burgess, Jersey Village, 1,646.
65, Zulmazran Zulkifli, Malaysia, 1,645.
66, s-Mark Waters, Plainview, Texas, 1,641.
67 (tie), Keven Williams, Springfield, Mo., and Scotty Scott, Wylie, Texas, 1,639.
69, Juan Garza, Lubbock, Texas, 1,635.
70, n-Dalton Kimzey, Lubbock, Texas, 1,633.
70, Mason Edmondson, Amarillo, Texas, 1,633.
72, Donnie Benson, Newalla, Okla., 1,632.
73, n-Kevin Pennington, Amarillo, Texas, 1,624.
74, Adam Pogge, Austin, Texas, 1,621.
75, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 1,616.
76, Brett Spangler, Niles, Ohio, 1,610.
77, Brett Cooper, Denver, 1,608.
78, Joe Findling, Mesquite, Texas, 1,607.
79, Cody Meiers, Lubbock, Texas, 1,581.
80, Jeffrey Wertz, Plainview, Texas, 1,579.
81, William Grant, Rio Rancho, N.M., 1,568.
82, n-Blayne Hurst, Amarillo, Texas, 1,563.
83 (tie), Harley Deckert, Odessa, Texas, and Kenneth Harlan, Lubbock, Texas, 1,557.
85, CJ Kirchner, Cartersville, Ill., 1,544.
86, Guillermo Espinosa, Rio Rancho, N.M., 1,539.
87, n-Alberto Mirasole, Abilene, Texas, 1,534.
88 (tie), Blake Demore, Springfield, Mo., and Carlos Fourzan, Albuquerque, N.M., 1,528.
90, Dave Chubb, Farmington, N.M., 1,522.
91, Eric Altenburg, Albuquerque, N.M., 1,518.
92, Dylan Macon, Amarillo, Texas, 1,516.
93, Christopher Hull, Odessa, Texas, 1,512.
94 (tie), Lee White, Odessa, Texas, and n-Madeleine McDuff, Katy, Texas, 1,495.
96, Michael Gallagher, Midland, Texas, 1,487.
97, n-Brandi Stephens, Lubbock, Tex., 1,484.
98, Francis Russo, Richmond, Texas, 1,474.
99, John Reichert, Dalhart, Texas, 1,471.
100, Richard VanHorn, Carlsbad, N.M., 1,469.
101, n-Stan McClain, Rosenberg, Texas, 1,467.
102, n-Cole Schroyer, Stanton, Texas, 1,464.
103, n-Bradley Harvey, Albuquerque, NM, 1,459.
104, Anthony Coats, Pflugerville, Texas, 1,449.
105, Cody Copeland, Abilene, Texas, 1,448.
106, n-Alec Willingham, Midland, Tex., 1,437.
107 (tie), Shane Martin, Lubbock, Texas, and n-Austin Williams, Odessa, Texas, 1,415.
109, Alan Blankenship, Denison, Texas, 1,413.
110, n-Tylor Babcock, Amarillo, Tex., 1,409.
111, Gabriel Yanes, Shertz, Texas, 1,408.
112, Don Blankenship, Odessa, Texas, 1,396.
113, Jorge Gutierrez, Las Cruces, N.M., 1,366.
114, n-Clinton Watkins, Andrews, Texas, 1,349.
115, David Wilson, Amarillo, Texas, 1,348.
116, Doug Chap, Katy, Texas, 1,330.
117, n-Jason Thomas, Wylie, Texas, 1,308.
118, n-Kurt Stuve, Carlsbad, N.M., 1,262.
119, n-Susan Saccomen, Katy, Texas, 1,198.
120, Phillip Scoggins, Midland, Texas, 1,179.
121, Kamron Doyle, Brentwood, Tenn., 986 (withdrew).

300 Games: Nick Pate, Ahmad Muad Mohd, Andrew Anderson.

n-denotes non-member

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Defending Champion Walter Ray Williams Jr. Unbeaten After First Day of USBC Senior Masters Match Play

by Jerry Schneider June 9, 2018 01:15

By Matt Cannizzaro, USBC Communications

LAS VEGAS - In nearly 40 years of PBA competition, Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Florida, has been able to find continued success by navigating through constant changes in equipment and oil patterns and striving to be as versatile and prepared as possible.

This year, he is one of the early frontrunners in the PBA50 Player of the Year race and looking to pull ahead with a win at the 2018 United States Bowling Congress Senior Masters, where he is one of 16 unbeaten players at the Sam's Town Bowling Center. There's also 16 competitors remaining in the Elimination Bracket.

Williams, the defending champion this week, is looking to become the first person since Tom Baker in 2007 to successfully defend a USBC Senior Masters title. He also can become the event's first three-time winner, having won for the first time in 2014.

"I'm in the Winners Bracket after two matches, which is good, because that's where you want to be," Williams said. "Being in the (elimination) bracket is the long road. I've done that before, but I'd rather not have to go that route. If I can win six straight matches, I lead the tournament and only have to win one match on TV. That's the ultimate goal, but I need to take it one match at a time, and hopefully, I can continue winning. I had a couple good matches today, that were close after two games, but I was fortunate to win."

Among the other winners are USBC Hall of Famers Norm Duke of Clermont, Florida, and Harry Sullins of Chesterfield, Michigan, 2017 PBA50 Rookie of the Year Michael Haugen of Phoenix, new PBA Hall of Famer Ron Mohr of nearby North Las Vegas, Nevada, and No. 64 seed Michael Calvin of Warren, Michigan, who won a one-game roll-off to earn his place in match play, after tying for the final spot.

Competition resumes Saturday at noon Eastern with both Winners-Bracket and Elimination-Bracket matches, and Calvin is excited for a chance to keep the momentum going, even if his first match Saturday will be against Duke, who is aiming to become the third player to win both the USBC Masters and Senior Masters.

"I feel great, and I'm excited," said Calvin, the 2018 Michigan State Senior Masters champion. "This is more than I ever expected, and I probably won't sleep well, but tomorrow, I'll come out on the fresh, and I'll have a shot. I realize I'm bowling Norm Duke, one of the greatest of all-time, but I'll give it my best."

When Williams returns to the lanes at Sam's Town on Saturday, he'll face the red-hot Don Breeden of Urbandale, Iowa, who averaged 215.13 in qualifying and then tossed sets of 775 and 781 in wins over Steve Smith of San Diego and Brian LeClair of Delmar, New York, respectively.

This week, Williams used one of his newest tools, a work-in-progress two-handed approach, in tandem with the classic style and dead-eye spare shooting that have helped him win more than 100 combined PBA titles, to average more than 222 in qualifying. He then dispatched Australia's Andrew Frawley (750-611) and Robert Brown of Cody, Wyoming (683-593), to remain unbeaten.

Having the two-handed approach gives Williams another option to help him stay competitive in an ever-changing game. In addition to PBA50 events, he still competes regularly in PBA Tour and PBA regional competition.

"I'd been trying out bowling two-handed, and this year, I decided to get semi-serious about it and work at it a little bit," said Williams, who said he bowled seven of the 15 qualifying games this week two-handed. "I've got the fundamentals down, and now it's about minimizing my misses. I think that's what's holding me back from doing it a lot more. When the lanes break down and get a little nicer, my scores are probably just as good, if not better."

All 272 competitors at the 2018 Senior Masters bowled 15 games over three days to determine the 63 bowlers who joined Williams in the double-elimination match-play bracket.

All rounds of qualifying and match play are being broadcast live on BowlTV, and the five players who advance through the bracket will battle for the title and $20,000 top prize in the stepladder finals Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Now 58, the USBC and PBA Hall of Famer said he'll continue to practice bowling two-handed, as being multi-dimensional is a key to success.

"It's a matter of knowing when to do it and doing it right," Williams said. "If I can continue to get better at it, which I am, I think it will help me continue to compete with the young guys. Right now, though, I've still got a lot to go, because they're really, really good. It gives me a little something else to look at. Obviously, one-handed is my forte, but when the lanes open up a little bit, it's a very viable way for me to strike."

Coming into the 2018 Senior Masters, Haugen is just ahead of Williams in the PBA50 points list. The 2018 PBA50 season is nearing its halfway point, and in five events, Williams has three runner-up finishes.

Up next is the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open presented by Storm, being held next week at Las Vegas' Suncoast Bowling Center. Haugen is the defending champion, and Williams never has won the event.

"I'm having a really good season, and I'd like to be the player of the year, but I need to have some really good finishes," said Williams, the PBA50 Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013 and PBA Player of the Year on seven occasions. "It would be great to win here, and we also have a lot tournaments left this season. I just want to keep bowling well and keep plugging along and maybe improve a little bit more."

For complete standings or more information on the Senior Masters, visit BOWL.com/SeniorMasters.

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PBA Spare Shots: Nine Consecutive Days of Live Coverage on Xtra Frame Begins Today

by Bill Vint June 8, 2018 09:55

Nine consecutive days of exclusive live coverage of PBA, PBA50 and PWBA events on Xtra Frame begins Friday with two days of action from the PWBA Louisville Open. PBA action then kicks in with Saturday-Sunday coverage of the PBA Xtra Frame Lubbock Sports Open from South Plains Lanes in Lubbock, Texas.

In Lubbock, Marshall Kent will not be on hand to defend his 2017 title (he’s attending his brother’s graduation), so the fourth title in eight Xtra Frame PBA Tour events on the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule is up for grabs. Qualifying round coverage for two squads on Saturday begins at 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET followed by the cashers round Sunday at 9:30 a.m., modified eight-game round robin match play at 1:15 p.m. and the stepladder finals at 5:15 p.m.

Next up will be the PBA50 Tour’s Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open, presented by Storm, at Suncoast Bowling Center in Las Vegas. Four rounds of qualifying will air Monday, June 11, through Thursday, June 14, at noon and 4:30 p.m. ET (9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Pacific), followed by match play and the stepladder finals on Friday. The finals will air at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT). Michael Haugen Jr. (pba.com home page feature photo) is defending champion.

While the Senior U.S. Open is wrapping up, the PWBA Greater Harrisburg Open will get underway in Harrisburg, Pa., on Friday, with the final rounds airing on Saturday.

After a week-long break, Xtra Frame returns June 25-29 with exclusive coverage of the preliminary rounds of U.S. Women’s Open from Orlando, Fla. Liz Johnson of Palatine, Ill., will be trying for her fifth consecutive, and seventh overall, U.S. Women’s Open title. CBS Sports Network with air the stepladder finals live on Saturday, June 30, at 5 p.m. EDT.

Currently underway, PBA50 players are competing in the USBC Senior Masters in Las Vegas which is being live streamed on USBC’s bowl.tv. The tournament ends Sunday.

Fans can still enroll as XtraFrame subscribers through June 29 by visiting xtraframe.tv. An entire month of coverage costs only $7.99. A three-day subscription is also available through June 25 for $3.99, and the 12-month Season Ticket plan is offered for about $1.25 week. Monthly and year-long subscriptions will be honored by FloSports as the PBA moves to Xtra Frame on FloBowling as of June 30. As of June 30, new subscribers will enroll through FloSports.com at the current FloSports PRO subscription rates.

PUERTO RICO BECOMES 10TH COUNTRY TO WIN PBA TOUR TITLE

Officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, but it’s considered a country in its own right on the PBA’s growing list of countries that have produced a PBA Tour title winner after Cristian Azcona won the PBA Xtra Frame Wilmington Open in May.

Prior to 2009, Sweden’s Mats Karlsson (1986), Venezuela’s Amleto Monacelli (1987) and Finland’s Mika Koivuniemi (2000) were the only international players to capture PBA Tour titles. There were no international champions in the first PBA World Series of Bowling in 2009 (although Australia’s Jason Belmonte got his country’s first PBA title earlier that year), but in WSOB II in Las Vegas, the influx of international competition in PBA Tour events began to blossom. South Korea’s Yong-Jin Gu won the WSOB II Scorpion Championship in Las Vegas as an amateur, and therefore didn’t get credit for an official title. In WSOB III, England (Stuart Williams) and Colombia (Andres Gomez) got their respective country’s first title.

Since then, the list of countries to claim a PBA Tour title has expanded to include Denmark (Thomas Larsen, 2013), Canada (Graham Fach, 2016), Thailand (Jojoe Yannaphon, 2017) and Puerto Rico became No. 10 in May. Among the countries with multiple titles, England leads with four (Williams, Dom Barrett, Paul Moor and Richie Teece). Finland (Koivuniemi and Osku Palermaa), Sweden (Karlsson and Jesper Svensson), Canada (Fach and Francois Lavoie) and Thailand (Yannaphon and Annop Arromsaranon) have two each. Three Japanese players and one Korean have won the Japan Cup over the years, but none was a PBA member at the time.

“COMMISSIONER’S CHALLENGE” DRAWS A CROWD TO PBA BOWLING CHALLENGE GAME

Do you think you can out-bowl the best of the PBA…on your smartphone? Well, more than 25,000 people took on PBA Commissioner Tom Clark’s lineup of PBA stars in the “PBA Bowling Commissioner’s Challenge” in mid-May and only 1.16 percent beat the odds!

The “Challenge” involved the highly-popular PBA Bowling Challenge for mobile devices by Concrete Software, inviting players to beat a gauntlet of PBA stars, in order. Lose a match and you had to start over. The 24,500 unique players who tried played a total of 879,000 games. Among the players, 23,700 won at least one match, but only 283 “out-bowled” the entire field (#PBA #GoBowling).

For the record, the Challenge was successful enough that both Google and iOS featured it on their sites while the friendly competition was taking place. Special stand-alone events within the game (Weekend Challenges, Commissioner’s Challenge, etc.) will be regular events on the PBA Bowling Challenge game in the future, so if you’d like to play, keep an eye open for future announcements. If you are a registered PBA Bowling Challenge player, you’ll get notices when a new game or “challenge” is scheduled. There is no charge to play the special games/challenges.

Couch.Jason_2018 Jason Couch Way poseEBONITE RECOGNIZES JASON COUCH’S 25 YEARS OF INVOLVEMENT WITH THE COMPANY

Ebonite International wanted to do “something special” to recognize PBA Hall of Famer Jason Couch’s 25 years of involvement with the company, as a competitor, coach and regional sales rep.

“They don’t come any more loyal than this guy. His passion bleeds through,” said Ebonite’s North American Sales Manager Mike Judy before unveiling a sign featuring a silhouette of Couch’s iconic “three-peat” gesture after winning his third consecutive PBA Tournament of Champions title. The “Jason Couch Way” sign will reside at the entrance to Ebonite’s plant in Hopkinsville, Ky.

“I don’t know what to say. This is a shock,” Couch said.

Click here to view the presentation: https://www.facebook.com/Ebonitebowling/videos/10160447296775243/?hc_ref=ARQz6b5BhqbsilpZ_JOAmxyN_GPxW-GAV_NFAjhqJyGqiN8xGO07sFZpI1JSRhH3FHc

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: COMPETITION RESUMES NEXT WEEKEND

There was no activity over the first weekend of June, so kicking off the June PBA Regional calendar over the June 8-10 weekend will be the PBA Tumwater Northwest Open presented by DV8 at Tumwater Lanes in Tumwater, Wash., and the one-day, reduced entry fee Elkhart Central/Midwest Open presented by 900 Global on June 10 at Country Club Lanes in Elkhart, Ind.

● The June 15-17 PBA Regional calendar includes the Timmy See Memorial Tavares South Open presented by MOTIV at Break Point Alley in Tavares, Fla.

● PBA Regional activity over the June 22-24 weekend will be the Homefield Bowl Eastern Open presented by MOTIV in Yonkers, N.Y.; the Pro Bowl West Central/Midwest Challenge presented by Storm in Fort Wayne, Ind., and the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Southwest Doubles at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla.

● 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 PBA app).

QUICK NOTES

● PBA star Sean Rash’s bowling session with three National Hot Rod Association stars was captured in a short video by FOX Sports. Here’s the clip:  https://www.nhra.com/videos/2018/richie-crampton-and-jr-todd-pick-bowling-tips.

● Noticeably absent from the PBA50 Tour this season has been PBA Hall of Famer and 12-time PBA50 Tour titlist Tom Baker of King, N.C., who is recovering from back surgery. Baker, 63, has said he hopes to return for the last segment of the 2018 PBA50 Tour schedule.

Roy Okamoto of Rosemead, Calif., will receive a new high-performance ball from MOTIV, Sarah Germano of Rochester, N.Y., wins a new Brunswick ball, and Andrew Davitz of Montgomery, Ala., is the winner of a new high-performance ball from DV8 as May Xtra Frame sweepstakes winners. The monthly sweepstakes is sponsored by the respective PBA Product Registered partners. Winners are randomly selected from among new monthly or full-year Xtra Frame subscribers.

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