Germany’s Tobias Börding Wins Inaugural PBA World Series of Bowling Award for Improved Performance

by Bill Vint November 17, 2017 19:33

RENO, Nev. – Tobias Börding, a third-year Professional Bowlers Association member from Puccheim, Germany, has been named winner of the inaugural PBA Don Carano WSOB Award in recognition of his performance in the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Resorts Properties.

The new award, created by the PBA, honors the memory of the late Don Carano and his entire family for their long-time support of the PBA. The award is a tribute to Don Carano’s life-long pursuit of personal improvement, and specifically applies to Börding as the player who showed the most improvement in PBA World Championship qualifying from 2016 to 2017.

In 2016, Börding finished World Championship qualifying in 121st place. In 2017, he finished qualifying in 28th place, moving up 93 positions in the standings.

As the winner of the inaugural award, Börding will receive a premium bottle of wine from the Carano family winery, dinner for two at Carano’s La Strada Ristorante and complimentary lodging at one of the Carano family’s Eldorado Reno Resorts – Eldorado Resort Casino, Silver Legacy Resort Casino or Circus Circus Reno Hotel & Casino – for the 2018 PBA World Series of Bowling X.

The PBA Don Carano WSOB Award will be presented in future World Series of Bowling held in Reno to the player who shows the most improvement year over year in PBA World Championship qualifying.

Don Carano, patriarch of the Carano family that was integral in the building of the National Bowling Stadium and the development of Reno’s Tri-Properties, died on Oct. 3 at age 85.

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GEICO PBA WSOB IX Notebook IX: ‘Youngest PBA Tour Title Winner’ Record is Safe…for Now

by Bill Vint November 16, 2017 16:00

Norm Duke’s record as the youngest player ever to win a PBA Tour title is safe…for now…after 17-year-old Trey Ford III of Bartlesville, Okla., lost his best-of-five-game, Round of 16 match to South Africa’s Francois Louw in Thursday’s PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game.

If Ford, bowling in his second PBA World Series of Bowling, had continued to advance and actually won the Cheetah Championship title on Saturday, he would have eclipsed Duke’s record more than full year. Duke was 18 years, 345 days old when he won the Cleveland Open back in 1983. Ford will be 17 years, 85 days old on Saturday.

Ford, a two-handed player, had his best previous finish as a PBA member in the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Oklahoma Open in July when he finished 11th. In his WSOB debut in 2015 at age 15, Ford averaged 196.36 and finished in 195th place. After skipping WSOB XIII in 2016, Ford returned to Reno at age 17 and averaged 225.05 for his 40 games on the four animal patterns, qualifying for the PBA World Championship cashers’ round in a tie for 42nd as well as qualifying No. 9 for the Cheetah Round of 16 .

Ultimately, Ford finished his PBA World Championship test in 43rd place with a composite 60-game average of 222.6 along with a top 16 finish in the Cheetah Championship. He will leave Reno with more than a year to chase Duke’s record…but he also may be watching in the rearview mirror, because he isn’t the only talented young teenager bowling in PBA competition these days.

Also making his PBA Tour debut in Reno this year was Pyry Puharinen, a 15-year-old two-hander from Finland. Puharinen finished the 40-game World Championship qualifying portion of WSOB IX in 107th place, averaging 215.05.

LANETALK STATS COMPARE TAKE A LOOK AT ANIMAL PATTERN FINALISTS

Lanetalk, PBA’s statistical analysis partner for WSOB IX, has been tracking performance data for all 195 players through 10 qualifying games on each animal pattern, followed by the 49 PBA World Championship cashers as they completed their final five-game rounds on each pattern, and finally data for the 16 match play finalists in each event. Much more detailed information is available on Lanetalk’s Facebook page, but here’s a glimpse of the comparisons for the 10-game Cheetah and Scorpion rounds, the five-game cashers’ rounds and Wednesday’s best-of-five and/or best-of-three-game match play rounds:

Chameleon 39 Championship comparisons:

— Composite averages: full field of 195 - 212.24 (10 games); 49 World Championship cashers composite average: 224.72 (5 games); match play composite average: 226.1.

— Strike percentage: full field - 55.66%; WC cashers strike rate 62.35%; match play strike rate 62.84%.

— First shot splits: full field - 8.24%; WC cashers split rate 7.14%; match play split rate 6.42%.

— First shot single-pin leaves: full field - 23.21%; WC cashers 21.72%; match play finalists 23.78%.

— Clean frame rate: full field - 88.16%; WC cashers 91.51%; match play finalists 93.6%.

— “Makeable spares” conversion rate: full field - 86.12%; WC cashers 91.34%, match play finalists 94.35%.

Shark 45 Championship comparisons:

— Composite averages: full field of 195 – 217.6 (10 games); 49 World Championship cashers composite average: 229.14 (5 games); match play composite average: 232.13.

— Strike percentage: full field – 58.01%; WC cashers strike rate 63.66%; match play strike rate 65.64%.

— First shot splits: full field - 7%; WC cashers split rate 6.45%; match play split rate 4.81%.

— First shot single-pin leaves: full field - 23.41%; WC cashers 22.75%; match play finalists 29.55%.

— Clean frame rate: full field – 89.93%; WC cashers 92.9%; match play finalists 93.97%.

— “Makeable spares” conversion rate: full field - 88%; WC cashers 93.7%, match play finalists 91.98%.

“LIVE ON XTRA FRAME” COVERAGE FROM WSOB IX WRAPS UP

Xtra Frame’s extensive live coverage of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Resorts Reno Properties, ended Thursday with coverage of the Rounds of 16 and 8 in the PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game followed by the Pepsi PBA Scorpion Championship presented by GoBowling.com.

From Tuesday, Nov. 7, through Friday – with the exception of one rest day – Xtra Frame subscribers were able to watch the PBA Regional and PBA50 Tour Challenge finals, start-to-finish qualifying rounds on the Chameleon 39, Shark 45, Cheetah 33 and Scorpion 42 animal patterns, all of which were stages leading into the PBA World Championship. Then came the World Championship cashers’ extended qualifying rounds on the four animal patterns, followed by the match play elimination rounds in each of the four animal pattern events.

All in all, Xtra Frame’s crew of Phil Brylow, Jef Goodger, Craig Elliott and Van McNeil, plus commentary by PBA Hall of Famer Marshall Holman, assorted players and bowling industry representatives, gave bowling fans a comprehensive view of the WSOB that would never have been possible in years past. Subscribers who missed the live action always have the opportunity to visit the Xtra Frame archives for previously recorded sessions, interviews and more.

With the preliminaries completed Friday, Xtra Frame’s crew headed home for the holidays, turning the final stages of WSOB IX over to ESPN and ESPN3. Xtra Frame will return to live coverage in January when the DHC PBA Japan Invitational kicks off the 2018 PBA Tour season.

What a great way to launch the new 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour partnership.

And what a great Christmas gift idea for the bowler in your family? Xtra Frame subscriptions are available in a variety of packages: three-day ($3.99), 30-day ($7.99) and Xtra Frame Season Ticket (a full-year’s coverage at an average cost of $1.25 per week) subscriptions are available by visiting “xtraframe.tv” and clicking on the “subscribe now” link.

Under the new Go Bowling! PBA Tour sponsorship, Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America centers are entitled to complimentary subscriptions, simply by contacting PBA’s Dave Schroeder at dave.schroeder@pba.com.

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GEICO PBA WSOB IX Notebook VIII: WBT Men’s Finals Field Set, but Order of Matches is Pending

by Bill Vint November 15, 2017 14:55

Sweden’s Jesper Svensson, Australia’s Jason Belmonte and Marshall Kent (feature photo) of Yakima, Wash., have clinched berths in Sunday’s World Bowling Tour Men’s Finals, presented by the PBA, but the order of matches to decide the winner is still pending the outcome of the PBA World Championship, the final PBA event of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Resorts Properties.

Svensson, the top qualifier for the PBA World Championship, can earn 100 points toward the 2017 World Bowling Tour standings if he wins the World Championship. He enters the finals with a 15-point lead over No. 2 qualifier Belmonte, who can finish as low as third place in the World Championship if he loses his first match, or 100 points if he wins the title. A loss for Belmonte would keep him in second place and a match against Kent. But if Belmonte wins his ninth major in the World Championship, he’ll overtake Svensson by five points, making Svensson bowl Kent in the first WBT Men’s Finals match.

The men and women will compete for $12,500, $7,500 and $5,000 in prize money Sunday (the WBT Women’s Finals field includes top qualifier Diana Zavjalova of Latvia, defending champion Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., and Malaysia’s Shalin Zulkifli). The WBT Men’s and Women’s Finals will follow the PBA World Championship finals Sunday at the National Bowling Stadium. ESPN3 will live-stream the finals and ESPN will tape the finals for broadcast on Sunday, Jan. 7, at 1 p.m. EST as part of the 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule.

SVENSSON SELECTS CHAMELEON 39 PATTERN FOR PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

As top qualifier for the PBA World Championship, Jesper Svensson of Sweden earned the right to select which of the four PBA animal patterns he wants the field to confront during the stepladder finals, and he has selected the Chameleon 39 pattern.

Svensson will only bowl one game – for the title – on the Chameleon pattern, but during the PBA Chameleon Championship presented by Reno Tahoe qualifying stage, he averaged 239.4 on the 39-foot pattern, second only to Tom Smallwood’s 243.9. Smallwood, however, didn’t make it to the World Championship finals. No. 2 qualifier Jason Belmonte finished in a tie for 14th in the 10-game Chameleon round (232.9 average), No. 3 Ryan Ciminelli was fifth (236.3 average), No. 4 Kyle Troup was 35th (224.2 average) and No. 5 Matt Sanders was 16th (232.2 average).

USA VS. THE WORLD TO BE CONTESTED ON EARL ANTHONY 42 OIL PATTERN

Speaking of oiling patterns, the USA vs. The World team match on Friday at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST will be contested on a neutral lane condition – the Earl Anthony 42 pattern that also was used in the PBA Regional and PBA50 Tour Challenge events that kicked off WSOB IX. None of the U.S. or international players have bowled on the 42-foot Anthony pattern.

For the U.S. players (Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich.; Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C.; Matt McNiel, Minneapolis, and Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa.) and The World players (Jesper Svensson, Sweden; Jason Belmonte, Australia; Thomas Larsen, Denmark; Dom Barrett, England, and Muhammad Rafiq Ismail, Malaysia), the best-of-two-game Baker team match is more than an exhibit. The winning team will share in $40,000 in prize money ($8,000 each) while the losing team will split up $20,000 in prize money ($4,000 each).

LANETALK STATS COMPARE FULL-FIELD TO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CASHERS

Lanetalk, PBA’s statistical analysis partner for WSOB IX, finished tracking performance data for the 49 PBA World Championship cashers as they completed their final five-game rounds on Cheetah 33 and Scorpion 42 animal patterns Tuesday, comparing the 49 leaders to how the entire field of 195 performed for 10 games on the same oiling patterns. Much more detailed information is available on Lanetalk’s Facebook page, but here’s a glimpse of the comparisons for the five-game Cheetah and Scorpion World Championship final rounds vs. the earlier 10-game rounds.

Cheetah 33 Championship comparisons:

— The field of 195 players had a composite average of 215.81 on the Cheetah pattern. The 49 World Championship cashers averaged 226.65 on the same pattern.

— The high score in the first Cheetah round was 300 (by eight players), but 299 was the top score in the cashers’ round. The low game for the full field was 109; it was 150 among the 49 leaders.

— The entire field’s strike percentage on the Cheetah was 57.55 vs. 62.76 for the cashers. First shots resulted in splits 6.53% of the time and non-strike shots resulted in single pins 23.28% of the time. The 49 cashers had a 5.51% split rate and an almost identical 23.24% single-pin rate.

— The field had an 89.02% “clean frame” average, converting “makeable” spares 84.24% of the time. The cashers were 92.57% clean and converted makeable spares at a 90.93% pace.

Scorpion 42 Championship comparisons:

— The field of 195 players averaged a WSOB-low 211.07, but the cashers picked up the scoring pace to 229.14.

— Three players bowled 300s in the opening round, but only one 300 was bowled in the cashers’ round. The low game was 71 (an incomplete game by a player who withdrew). Among the cashers, 143 was the low score.

— The entire field’s strike percentage was 54.84. First shots resulted in splits 8.47% of the time and non-strike shots resulted in single pins 23.37% of the time. The 49 cashers struck at a 63.66% rate, left splits on 6.45% of first shots and had a 22.75 single-pin rate.

— The field had an 87.79% “clean frame” average, converting “makeable” spares 86.66% of the time. The top 49 players had a 92.9% clean frame rate and converted makeable spares 93.7% of the time.

NEXT ON XTRA FRAME: PBA CHEETAH, SCORPION MATCH PLAY ELIMINATION ROUNDS

Xtra Frame’s continuing coverage of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Resorts Reno Properties, concludes into coverage of the animal pattern match play elimination rounds Thursday. In addition to game by game coverage in real time through the “live scoring” feature on pba.com, Xtra Frame will provide subscribers with additional insights through pre- and post-round coverage of each round.

Thursday’s coverage includes the PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game best-of-five-game Round of 16 at 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PST and the best-of-three-game Round of 8 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern/1:30 p.m. Pacific. The four Round of 8 winners advance to the Cheetah Championship finals on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Eastern/4:15 p.m. Pacific.

Following the Cheetah rounds will be the Pepsi PBA Scorpion Championship presented by GoBowling.com best-of-five-game Round of 16 at 6:30 Eastern/3:30 Pacific followed by the best-of-three Round of 8 at 9 p.m. Eastern/6 p.m. Pacific. The four winners advance to the Scorpion Championship finals on Saturday at 9 p.m. Eastern/6 p.m. Pacific.

The Cheetah and Scorpion finals will be live-streamed on ESPN3. ESPN will air both one-hour shows back-to-back on Sunday, Dec. 24, at 1 and 2 p.m. EST, respectively.

All of the WSOB IX finals are part of the 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour.

Xtra Frame subscriptions are available in a variety of packages: three-day ($3.99), 30-day ($7.99) and Xtra Frame Season Ticket (a full-year’s coverage at an average cost of $1.25 per week) subscriptions are available by visiting “xtraframe.tv” and clicking on the “subscribe now” link.

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GEICO PBA WSOB IX Notebook VII: World Bowling Tour Women’s Finals Field Set; Men Still Competing

by Bill Vint November 14, 2017 16:27

The field for the 2017 World Bowling Tour Women’s Finals, presented by the PBA, is set after the women contending for the three berths in the finals completed their competition in the PBA World Championship qualifying rounds during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Resorts Properties.

The women who will compete for $12,500, $7,500 and $5,000 in prize money Sunday are top qualifier Diana Zavjalova of Latvia (feature photo), defending champion Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., and Malaysia’s Shalin Zulkifli. The WBT Men’s and Women’s Finals will be contested following the PBA World Championship finals Sunday at the National Bowling Stadium. ESPN3 will stream the finals live and ESPN will tape the finals for broadcast on Sunday, Jan. 7, at 1 p.m. EST.

Zavjalova led the women with 169 points, McEwan had 142 and Zulkifli 112. Liz Johnson of Palatine, Ill., earned 100 points as the highest finisher among the women in the PBA World Championship standings, but she had no other WBT points during the 2017 season.

McEwan won the 2016 WBT Women’s title by defeating Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., 256-243, under the experimental World Bowling scoring system, which retains the traditional 10-frame format, but awards 30 pins for a strike, 10 pins for a spare plus the pinfall of the first shot in the frame, and actual pinfall for an open frame. For a spare, for example, if the player knocks down eight pins on his/her first ball and then converts the spare, he/she earns 18 pins for the frame. If a player leaves a split or misses a spare and gets only nine pins for both shots in the frame, his/her score for that frame is nine.

The WBT Men’s Finals field is still up in the air because most of the contenders for the top three berths are still competing in the PBA World Championship, which is a double-points major in the 2017 WBT series. Points are awarded in all PBA International-World Bowling Tour events based upon how men and women finish in each respective event. Coming into the WSOB IX in Reno, Thailand’s Yannaphon Larpapharat and Sweden’s Jesper Svensson shared the WBT men’s lead with 90 points each, and England’s Stuart Williams was third with 89.

With 100 points going to the PBA World Champion, 90 points to the runner-up, etc., a lengthy list of challengers are still in contention. But that list will be narrowed dramatically at the end of PBA World Championship qualifying late Tuesday when finishing positions will be decided for all but the final stepladder finalists.

LANETALK STATS COMPARE FULL-FIELD TO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINALISTS

Lanetalk, PBA’s statistical analysis partner for WSOB IX, is now tracking performance data for the 49 PBA World Championship cashers as they bowl their final five-game rounds on each of the four animal patterns vs. how the entire field performed for 10 games on the same oiling patterns. While much more detailed information is available on Lanetalk’s Facebook page, here’s a glimpse of the comparisons for the Chameleon 39 and Shark 45 rounds.

Chameleon 39 Championship comparisons:

— The field of 195 players averaged 212.24 for 10 games on the Chameleon 39 pattern; the 49 World Championship cashers averaged 224.72 for five games on the same pattern.

— The high score in the all-field Chameleon round was 300 by three players; the low game was 107. Among the WC cashers there was one 300 and a low game of 164.

— The full field’s strike percentage was 55.66; WC cashers struck 62.35% of the time. First shots resulted in splits 8.24% of the time for the full field, 7.14% for the top 49. Non-strike shots resulted in single-pin spares 23.21% of the time for the full field, 21.72% for the top 49.

— The full field had an 88.16% “clean frame” average, converting “makeable” spares 86.12% of the time. The top 49 had a 91.51% clean frame average and converted 91.34% of their “makeable” spares.

Shark 45 Championship comparisons:

— The field of 195 players averaged 217.6; the top 49 World Championship qualifiers averaged 229.14 on the Shark 45 pattern.

— The high score in the Shark round was 300 (by nine players); the low game was 85. Among the top 49, there were three 300s and a 143 low game.

— The entire field’s Shark 45 strike percentage was 58.01; it was 63.66% by the top 49. Full-field first shots resulted in splits 7% of the time and non-strike shots resulted in single-pin spares 23.41% of the time. Among the top 49, the split rate was 6.45% and the single-pin spare rate was 22.75%.

— The field had an 89.93% “clean frame” average, converting “makeable” spares 88% of the time. The 49 WC cashers had a 92.9% clean frame average and converted 93.7% of all makeable spares.

NEXT ON XTRA FRAME: PBA CHAMELEON, SHARK MATCH PLAY ELIMINATION ROUNDS

Xtra Frame’s continuing coverage of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Resorts Reno Properties, moves into coverage of the animal pattern match play elimination rounds Wednesday. Fans are reminded they can follow the competition, game by game in real time, through the “live scoring” feature on pba.com, and Xtra Frame subscribers can gain additional insights through pre- and post-round coverage of each round.

Wednesday’s coverage includes the PBA Chameleon Championship presented by Reno Tahoe best-of-five-game Round of 16 at 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PST and the best-of-three-game Round of 8 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern/1:30 p.m. Pacific. The four Round of 8 winners advance to the Chameleon Championship finals on Saturday at 3 p.m. Eastern/noon Pacific.

Following the Chameleon rounds will be the PBA Shark Championship presented by Xtra Frame best-of-five-game Round of 16 at 6:30 Eastern/3:30 Pacific followed by the best-of-three Round of 8 at 9 p.m. Eastern/6 p.m. Pacific. The four winners advance to the Shark Championship finals on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Eastern/2:30 p.m. Pacific.

The Chameleon and Shark finals will be live-streamed on ESPN3. ESPN will air both one-hour shows back-to-back on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 1 and 2 p.m. EST, respectively.

The PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Challenge Mobile Game and the Pepsi PBA Scorpion Championship presented by GoBowling.com followed the same order on Thursday with ESPN3/ESPN finals at 7:15 p.m. EST/4:15 PST and 9 p.m.EST/6 PST respectively Saturday (airing on ESPN on Sunday, Dec. 24 at 1 and 2 p.m. EST).

All of the WSOB IX finals are part of the 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour.

Xtra Frame subscriptions are available in a variety of packages: three-day ($3.99), 30-day ($7.99) and Xtra Frame Season Ticket (a full-year’s coverage at an average cost of $1.25 per week) subscriptions are available by visiting “xtraframe.tv” and clicking on the “subscribe now” link.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: SANDERS NEARLY PERFECT IN WINNING FIRST PBA TITLE

Mac Sanders of Taylors, S.C., was nearly perfect in defeating Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, 299-194, in the title match to win his first PBA title in the PBA50 Gastonia South Open presented by Brunswick at Liberty Lanes in Gastonia, N.C., Sunday.

Sanders, a 52-year-old right-hander, missed a perfect game when he left a 10 pin on his final shot. He earned $1,500 along with his title. In the semifinal round, Sanders defeated Bob Learn Jr. of Spring Hill, Tenn., 259-236, while Kretzer used his perfect game one game too early, eliminating Ken Gibson of Greenville, S.C., 300-258. Kretzer’s 300 was the only perfect game bowled in the event.

● One event is on the PBA Regional calendar for the Nov. 17-19 weekend: the La-Z-Boy Central Challenge for non-titlists at Monroe Sports Center in Monroe, Mich.

● Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23) is an American holiday, but it’s also the day the PBA Japan Region will conduct its Phoenix Rays PBA Japan Bear Open at Sagami First Lanes in Sagamihara, Japan. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, the PBA Southwest Region will conduct its Beaumont Southwest Open at Crossroads Bowling Center in Beaumont, Texas.

● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area.

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GEICO PBA WSOX IX Notebook VI: Mookie Betts Accomplishes Goals…and More with Perfect Game

by Bill Vint November 13, 2017 16:35

Boston Red Sox star Mookie Betts had only two weeks from the end of his major league baseball season to prepare for his second trip to the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling, and by all reasonable measurements, it was a successful venture…and more.

Betts, a 25-year-old Nashville, Tenn., native, was an accomplished league bowler back home when he bowled his first PBA World Series in Reno in 2015, where his athletic abilities were clearly evident, as was his lack of experience in bowling at a world-class level. With very little experience bowling on different lane conditions, or working with different types of bowling ball dynamics, Betts averaged 190 for 36 games on four different animal patterns, finishing that event in 210th place out of an expanded field of 238 bowlers.

A leg injury prevented him from bowling in 2016, but he returned this year with a better idea of what to expect, and he upped his game to meet the challenge, finishing his 40-game qualifying series on four different lane oiling patterns with a 205.6 average – a 15 pins-per-game improvement – and finishing in a tie for 158th place in a 195-player field.

But the biggest surprise was bowling his first 300 game in PBA competition in the Scorpion qualifying round, which happened to be the lowest-scoring round for the entire field. Out of 1,900 games bowled in the Scorpion round, there were only three perfect games – and Betts had one of them. It created big news around the sports world, including coverage by Sports Illustrated, Sporting News, MLB.com, ESPN.com, ESPN SportsCenter, Bleacher Report, Deadspin and others.

You can watch the perfect game on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwHRegcjasg.

A reporter asked him how he’d compare the 10th frame vs. coming to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning, bases loaded, two outs and needing a hit to win.

“I’m much more comfortable with the bottom of the ninth,” Betts said. “After I got the first strike in the 10th frame, I turned around and saw everyone crowded around, so I was pretty nervous. I kinda used my experience with breathing techniques I use in baseball. I never would have thought I’d need to use that in bowling, but, hey, it came in handy.”

The perfect game – and all 12 strikes were solid in the pocket – came on the heels of 157 and 169 games, which put him below the 200 average curve he was trying to achieve in the Scorpion round.

“Anytime you shoot 160, 170 there’s a little frustration but you’ve got four more games to go, so things can turn around,” Betts said. “It’s like striking out twice, and coming up for the third time. You still have a job to do. You have to focus on the task at hand, and that’s what I did.”

Betts approached his return to the PBA World Series realistically.

“I accomplished my goal, which was to (average 200) on all of the patterns,” he said. “I have to be happy with that. I didn’t come here expecting to make any cuts or any money. I set some goals I was able to reach, and I did it.”

Depending upon a number of variables, Betts hopes to return to the PBA World Series in 2018.

“I plan on it, but I obviously have to take care of career number one,” he said. “But if the opportunity presents itself, I’d like to come back.”

In the meantime, the Red Sox right fielder will be among the celebrity bowlers participating in the ninth annual State Farm® CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational presented by Go Bowling! on Friday, Dec. 1, at The Woodlands in Houston, Texas, along with Houston Rockets star Chris Paul, the event’s host; fellow Rockets’ star James Harden, former NFL star Terrell Owens (fresh off his appearance on “Dancing with the Stars”) and others to be announced. PBA players participating will be reigning PBA Player of the Year EJ Tackett, PBA Hall of Famers Pete Weber and Norm Duke, and PBA Tour titlists Bill O’Neill, Sean Rash and DJ Archer. The annual fund-raiser will air on ESPN on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 4, at 2 p.m. EST.

Paul and PBA partner Chris Barnes won the eighth annual event, defeating Betts and his PBA partner, Tommy Jones, 187-179.

WSOB IX BY THE NUMBERS: DIVERSE CHALLENGES HELP SPREAD THE WEALTH

Historically in multiple events held in the same location, a hallmark of the PBA World Series of Bowling since its beginning in 2009, there are always a handful of players who’ll claim all of the diverse lane oiling patterns play the same way. In reality, the results prove otherwise.

In the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Resorts Properties and hosted by Reno’s National Bowling Stadium for a third consecutive year, the four newly-refined animal pattern stages of the tournament resulted in 101 of the 195 players cashing at least once. That’s a 51.7% (or better than 1:2 cashing ratio).

The diversity of the oiling patterns (33-foot Cheetah, 39-foot Chameleon, 42-foot Scorpion and 45-foot Shark), each with variations in the amount of oil applied across the lane as well as in distance, suggests that players who prefer to play an outside line vs. those who like to play inside, left-handers vs. right-handers, two-handers vs. hard throwers, etc., all had a chance to compete on one pattern or another. And the most adaptable players were the ones who emerged among the top 49 across 40 games, advancing to the PBA World Championship cashers’ round for another 20 games – five games each on the same four patterns.

Some of the interesting stats after the four animal pattern stages include the following:

— Among the 101 cashers, 63 remain in competition in either the PBA World Championship cashers’ round or among the 16 match play finalists in the four animal pattern events.

— No player advanced in all five events. Sweden’s Jesper Svensson and Australia’s Jason Belmonte cashed in all five and advanced in four event; Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., and Matt McNiel of Minneapolis cashed four times. Smallwood advanced in three, McNiel in two. Twenty-six players cashed in three of the five events.

— There were three 300 games bowled in the Chameleon round, nine in the Shark round, eight in the Cheetah round and three in the Scorpion round.

— At least one player from 15 of the record 27 countries represented cashed.

PAIRINGS SET FOR SCORPION MATCH PLAY ELIMINATION ROUNDS

With the completion of the 10-game Pepsi PBA Scorpion Championship presented by GoBowling.com round on Sunday at Reno’s National Bowling Stadium, pairings are set for all four animal pattern single-elimination match play rounds on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 15-16.

Each of the animal pattern match play events will involve the top 16 players bowling best-of-five-game matches, with winners advancing to the Round of 8 for best-of-three-game matches. Bracket pairings are based on qualifying position. The four Round of 8 winners will advance to championship round matches on Saturday, Nov. 18, live streamed on ESPN3 and recorded for delayed telecast on ESPN. ESPN3 is available at no cost to anyone who subscribes to ESPN through a local cable or television affiliate.

Here are the pairings for the Scorpion match play rounds:

PEPSI PBA SCORPION CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY GOBOWLING.COM
(A part of the 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour)
National Bowling Stadium, Reno, Nev., Thursday, Nov. 16, 3:30 p.m. PST

Round of 16 (best-of-five-game single-elimination match play)
Match 1 – Arturo Quintero, Mexico, vs. Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C.
Match 2 – EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., vs. Stuart Williams, England.
Match 3 – Dom Barrett, England, vs. Kyle Sherman, O’Fallon, Mo.
Match 4 – Shawn Maldonado, Houston, Texas, vs. BJ Moore III, Greensburg, Pa.
Match 5 – Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., vs. Jason Belmonte, Australia.
Match 6 – Raymond Lussier, Canada, vs. Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio
Match 7 – Brian LeClair, Albany, N.Y., vs. Matt McNiel, Minneapolis.
Match 8 – Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, vs. Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan.

Round of 8 (best-of-three-game single-elimination match play, 1:30 p.m.; four winners advance to Chameleon Championship finals on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m.)
Match 1 – Quintero-Troup winner vs. Tackett-Williams winner.
Match 2 – Barrett-Sherman winner vs. Maldonado-Moore winner.
Match 3 – O’Neill-Belmonte winner vs. Lussier-Bayt winner.
Match 4 – LeClair-McNiel winner vs. Novak-Bidwell winner.

ENGLAND’S DOM BARRETT RETURNS TO HELP “THE WORLD” BID FOR TEAM TITLE

England’s Dom Barrett will be the only returning player when the USA and The World team event kicks off ESPN’s coverage of the WSOB IX, and officially launches the 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season. The team match will be contested on Friday, Nov. 17, at 6 p.m. (PST) at the National Bowling Stadium. It will be live streamed on ESPN3 and taped for airing on ESPN on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 1 p.m. EST.

Earning berths on the USA team, based on 40-game pinfall totals after the four animal pattern qualifying rounds, are Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich.; Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C.; Matt McNiel, Minneapolis, and Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa.

Earning berths on The World team are Jesper Svenssen, Sweden; Jason Belmonte, Australia; Thomas Larsen, Denmark; Barrett and Muhammad Rafiq Ismail, Malaysia.

Barrett bowled for “The World” in the 2016 best-of-two-game Baker format event – won by the USA in a one-ball sudden-death roll-off.

LANETALK CONFIRMS DOMINANCE BY ARTURO QUINTERO, THOMAS LARSEN

LaneTalk, PBA’s statistical analysis partner for WSOB IX, continues to track detailed performance data for a variety of aspects of WSOB IX. Additional stats and information can be found on LaneTalk’s page on Facebook. Among the tidbits gleaned from Arturo Quintero’s dominant round in Sunday’s Scorpion Championship 10-game round, and updated data on Cheetah leader Thomas Larsen’s performance in Saturday’s Cheetah Championship qualifying, include the following:

— The field of 195 players knocked down a total of 416,522 pins in the Cheetah round (compared to 422,367 pins for the Shark 45 round and 412,799 pins for the Chameleon 39 round). The field’s composite average was 215.81.

Some of Cheetah qualifying leader Thomas Larsen’s stats vs. the field included:

— An average of 255.6, 39.8 pins better than the field at large;

— His strike percentage was 76.52%, just under 20% higher than the full field;

— Larsen had a 98% “clean frame” average and, converted 100% of his “makeable” spares.

For Sunday’s Scorpion Championship, LaneTalk reported:

— The field of 195 players knocked down a total of 401,036 pins in the Scorpion 42 round (a WSOB low total compared to 416,522 pins for the Cheetah 33 round, 422,367 pins for the Shark 45 round and 412,799 pins for the Chameleon 39 round). The field’s composite average was 211.07, the lowest scoring pace among the four animal patterns.

— The high score in the Cheetah round was 300 (by three players); the low game was 71 (based on an incomplete game by a player who withdrew).

— The entire field’s strike percentage was 54.84. First shots resulted in splits 8.47% of the time and non-strike shots resulted in single-pin spares 23.37% of the time.

— The field had an 87.79% “clean frame” average, converting “makeable” spares 86.66% of the time.

Some of Scorpion qualifying leader Arturo Quintero’s stats vs. the field included:

— An average of 242, 31 pins better than the field at large;

— His strike percentage was 73.04%, about 18.2% higher than the full field;

— Like previous animal pattern leaders, Quintero had a definite edge in spare conversions. He had a 95% “clean frame” average and, converted 92% of his “makeable” spares.

NEXT ON XTRA FRAME: PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CASHERS’ ROUND CONCLUDES

Xtra Frame’s extensive coverage of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Resorts Reno Properties, concludes an important phase Tuesday when the final two five-game rounds of PBA World Championship qualifying take place at the National Bowling Stadium. The PBA World Championship is the final major of the 2017 season and the first major to be a part of the new 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule.

The PBA World Championship is down to a field of 49 after 40 games – 10 games each on the PBA Chameleon 39, Shark 45, Cheetah 33 and Scorpion 42 oiling patterns. All 49 players bowled another five games on the Chameleon and Shark patterns Monday and will bowl five more games on the Cheetah and Scorpion patterns Tuesday. The top five after 60 games will advance to the World Championship finals on Sunday, Nov. 19 at noon PST (live on ESPN3, taped for telecast on ESPN on Dec. 31 at 1 p.m. EST.

Fans can follow the World Championship’s final qualifying stages through the “live scoring” feature on pba.com, and Xtra Frame subscribers can gain additional insights through pre- and post-round coverage of cashers’ round on Tuesday. The Cheetah 33 round starts at 1 p.m. The Scorpion 42 round begins at 5 p.m. PST.

Xtra Frame subscriptions are available in a variety of packages: three-day ($3.99), 30-day ($7.99) and Xtra Frame Season Ticket (a full-year’s coverage at an average cost of $1.25 per week) subscriptions are available by visiting “xtraframe.tv” and clicking on the “subscribe now” link.

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