PBA Spare Shots: It’s Haugen in the Lead as PBA50 Player of the Year Race Enters Home Stretch

by Bill Vint July 19, 2018 13:20

As the PBA50 Tour makes its PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling debut this week in the PBA50 River City Extreme Open, presented by Ebonite, from River City Extreme in Monticello, Minn., the chase for PBA50 Player of the Year honors heads into the home stretch with Michael Haugen Jr. at the head of the pack.

The annual honor in 2018 will be based upon standard PBA competition points that are being applied to all levels of PBA competition this year. Haugen, the 2017 PBA50 Rookie of the Year, won the BVL Johnny Petraglia Open earlier in the season and has four other top 10 finishes for a 2,400-point lead over PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr., who has yet to add to his PBA50 Tour title total this year, but has three runner-up finishes.

For the current PBA50 Tour points standings heading into the Monticello event, click here: https://www.pba.com/SeasonStats/Points/130. Xtra Frame on FloBowling will air the finals of the River City Extreme Open on Friday at 8 p.m. EDT.

Coverage of the PBA50 Tour by PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling continues with the PBA50 South Shore Open presented by Hammer at Olympia Lanes in Hammond, Ind., July 23-26, and the PBA50 Security Federal Savings Bank Championship, presented by Track, at Dave Small's Heritage Lanes, Kokomo, Ind., July 28-31. The PBA50 Dave Small’s Championship Lanes Classic, presented by Roto Grip, in Anderson, Ind., is set for Aug. 4-7 before the PBA50 Cup, presented by DV8, in Wyoming, Mich., Aug. 9-12, concludes the 2018 points competition that will decide the Player of the Year.

All PBA Xtra Frame events on FloBowling are covered live, from first ball to last. Existing Xtra Frame subscribers need to transition their current subscriptions to FloBowling by visiting https://www.flobowling.com/claim-account. New subscribers can enroll at FloBowling.com.

PBA BOWLING CHALLENGE PRESENTS “MOTIV THROWBACK WEEKEND CHALLENGE”

pbavc_limitedtime_MOTIVThrowback_Social1The popular PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game is going to debut a new “MOTIV Throwback Weekend Challenge” starting Thursday at 1 p.m. EDT and running thru Monday, July 23 at 12:59 a.m. EDT.  It will operate under the same rules and Gold Pin prizes that previous regular “Weekend Challenge” events have used with one exception: users will be limited to the three ball options below (all three balls will be offered at 50% of usual prices for the weekend).

The balls in play will be the Venom Panic: http://bit.ly/Panic_50; the Venom Cobra: http://bit.ly/Cobra_50, and the Jackal Ghost: http://bit.ly/Ghost_50.

In a recent “Weekend Challenge,” more than 25,000 people took on PBA Commissioner Tom Clark’s lineup of PBA stars in the “PBA Bowling Commissioner’s Challenge” and only 1.16 percent beat the gauntlet of PBA stars in a series of matches, but in the end 283 “out-bowled” the entire field.

The good news is, it’s free to enter and you can bowl as many times as you want. Special stand-alone events within Concrete Software’s PBA Bowling Challenge game for mobile devices (Weekend Challenges, Commissioner’s Challenge, etc.) will be regular events in the future. If you are a registered PBA Bowling Challenge player, you’ll get notices when a new game or “challenge” is scheduled.

If you haven’t already done so, download the free PBA Bowling Challenge app at Google Play or the Apple App Store and start bowling immediate.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: SEAN WILCOX HELPS DICK ALLEN WIN 21ST REGIONAL TITLE

With help from partner Sean Wilcox of Altamonte Springs, Fla., Dick Allen of Lexington, S.C. picked up his 21st career PBA Regional title when the twosome defeated Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C., and Steve Arehart of Chesapeake, Va., 243-213, to win the PBA Beltline Lanes Columbia 300 Baker Doubles title Sunday on the outskirts of Columbia, S.C.

Troup and Arehart qualified fourth for the stepladder finals and edged Connor Pickford of Plano, Texas, and Kole Payne of Charlotte, N.C., 183-182, to start the four-team stepladder finals. They then won another squeaker, eliminating Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla., and amateur partner Josh Johnson from Callahan, Fla., 198-179, to advance to the title match.

In addition to Allen’s 21st Regional title, Wilcox won his first title along with a share of the $4,000 top prize.

Michael Haugen Jr. of Phoenix defeated Ron Profitt of Brookville, Ohio by 182 pins to win the PBA50 Fairborn Central Classic presented by Roto Grip at Bowl 10 Fairborn in Fairborn, Ohio, Sunday.

Haugen, who averaged 221.7 for the tournament, claimed his second PBA50 central region title of the year along with the $1,500 first prize.

In a unique format, the top 16 players after qualifying bowled 10 games of round robin match play where the winner of each match received 10 bonus pins. After the 10th match, the top four advanced to a two-game, four-man match play final round where bonus pins were given based on two-game totals. The top scorer received 12 bonus pins, second received eight bonus pins, third four bonus pins and fourth received no bonus pins. Haugen rolled games of 219 and 186 for a 405 total, earning 12 bonus pins and finishing with a 4,506 pinfall total to top Profitt’s 4,324 total.

Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., defeated amateur Fidel Marchena of Dominican Republic, 234-194, to win the PBA Tony Grigat Allstate Midwest Open at Poplar Creek Bowl in Hoffman Estates, Ill., Sunday, for his 16th career PBA Regional title and first in the PBA Midwest Region. He also earned $2,000.

Marchena edged Kenny Calkins of Des Moines, Iowa, 215-214, in the semifinal game to advance to the championship match after also sneaking past Ryan Burks of Valparaiso, Ind., 192-190, in the first stepladder match.

● Over the July 20-22 weekend, PBA Regional events will include the PBA50 Parkway Lanes Eastern Open presented by Roto Grip in Elmwood Park, N.J.; the PBA Angola Central/Midwest Open presented by Ebonite at Angola Bowl in Angola, Ind.; the PBA Spring Hill Lanes South Open presented by Track in Spring Hill, Fla.; the PBA Fort Sill Southwest Open at Twin Oaks Bowling Center in Fort Sill, Okla.; the PBA, PBA50 and PBA-PWBA Secoma Lanes Northwest/West Open tripleheader in Federal Way, Wash., and the PBA50 Beverly Lanes Midwest/Central Open presented by Roto Grip in Arlington Heights, Ill.

● Closing out the July schedule of PBA Regional competitions will be the PBA50 Ned Micelli Memorial at Herrill Lanes in New Hyde Park, N.Y., over the July 27-28 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 PBA app).

QUICK NOTES:

● Dick Allen and his wife Sarah welcomed the third addition to their family on Tuesday, July 17 (coincidentally, Sarah’s birthday…) when Declain Atticus Allen arrived, weighing in at 7 pounds, 9 ounces, and measuring 21 inches. Declain joins future babysitters Piper and Arabella.

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2017 U.S. Open Champion Rhino Page Wins Best Bowler ESPY

by Bill Vint July 18, 2018 20:00

LOS ANGELES – Rhino Page of Orlando, Fla., who ended a six-year singles title drought with two victories including the 2017 U.S. Open, has been selected winner of the 2018 Best Bowler ESPY award in fan voting conducted by ESPN.

Page.Rhino_2018 ESPY award winner (2)Page, a 35-year-old left-hander, received his award Wednesday evening during the 2018 ESPY Awards ceremony at the Microsoft Theater.

“I think it’s pretty simple to sum up what it means just to be nominated for an ESPY,” Page said. “Five years ago I went through wrist surgery not knowing if I was ever going to be able to throw a ball again, let alone get back to playing at the highest level. To be here at the ESPYs after the long journey back is something I am incredibly honored and humbled by.

“I’m so thankful for God’s grace through it all,” he continued. “I can’t thank my friends, my family, my sponsors and my fans enough. They have been there for me every step of the way.  They supported me in the times I needed them the most. To represent the sport I love and have dedicated my life to is truly an honor and a blessing.”

During the voting cycle leading up to the 2018 announcement, Page won his first singles title since 2009 in the 2017 PBA Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Group Classic in Coldwater, Ohio, and captured his first major in the U.S. Open, defeating top qualifier Jakob Butturff, 256-222, for his sixth career PBA Tour title. He also finished fifth in the USBC Masters earlier in 2018.

Also nominated by ESPN’s staff in the Best Bowler category were 2017 PBA Player of the Year and three-time major championships winner Jason Belmonte; 2018 Barbasol PBA Players Championship titlist Tom Smallwood and Swedish two-handed sensation Jesper Svensson.

HISTORY OF BEST BOWLER ESPY AWARD WINNERS
2018 – Rhino Page
2017 – Jason Belmonte
2016 – Jason Belmonte
2015 – Jason Belmonte
2014 – Pete Weber
2013 – Pete Weber
2012 – Sean Rash
2011 – Jason Belmonte
2010 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
2009 – Norm Duke
2008 – Norm Duke
2007 – Norm Duke
2006 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
2005 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
2004 – Pete Weber
2003 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
2002 – Pete Weber
2001 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
2000 – Parker Bohn III
1999 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
1998 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
1997 – Bob Learn Jr.
1996 – Mike Aulby
1995 – Norm Duke

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PBA Spare Shots: New “Beauties vs. Beasts” Special Event to Kick Off Annual Mixed Doubles Event

by Bill Vint July 13, 2018 08:29

A new “Beauties vs. Beasts” five-game Baker format team match will kick off the annual PBA-PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles Tournament presented by Storm on Thursday, July 26, at 4 p.m. CDT at Copperfield Bowl in Houston, Texas. PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling will cover the event.

Tournament founder Donna Conners, who is always looking to add bigger-and-better features to the event, will pit last year’s top male qualifiers against last year’s leading female qualifiers in a Baker format team competition. At stake will be $5,000 in bonus prize money for the winning team, with $1,000 to the losing team.

Bowling on the female side will be Germany’s Birgit Popplar (who won the 2017 mixed doubles title with partner Jason Sterner); Stefanie Johnson of McKinney, Texas; Holly Harris of Wichita, Kan.; Josie Earnest-Barnes of Nashville, Tenn., and Natalie Cortese of Hoffman Estates, Ill. (Cortese replaces Sweden’s Jenny Wegner, who is not entered this year). The male side will feature Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C.; Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C.; Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas; Brad Miller of Raytown, Mo., and Clint Land of Houston.

The 19th annual mixed doubles tournament, the largest event of its kind in professional bowling, will feature a world-class field of 160 teams including players from around the world. It will be covered from start to finish by PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling, beginning with the first of four eight-game qualifying squads at 8 a.m. CDT on Friday, July 27.

PBA50 TOUR NEXT TO MAKE PBA XTRA FRAME ON FLOBOWLING DEBUT

The PBA50 Tour will be the next to make its PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling debut when the “senior tour” resumes its 2018 schedule July 17-20 in the PBA50 River City Extreme Open, presented by Ebonite, from River City Extreme in Monticello, Minn.

July coverage of the PBA50 Tour by PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling continues with the PBA50 South Shore Open presented by Hammer at Olympia Lanes in Hammond, Ind., July 23-26, and the PBA50 Security Federal Savings Bank Championship, presented by Track, at Dave Small's Heritage Lanes, Kokomo, Ind., July 28-31.

All PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling events are covered live, from first ball to last, at

FloBowling.com. Existing Xtra Frame subscribers can transition their current subscriptions by visiting https://www.flobowling.com/claim-account or new subscribers can sign-up at FloBowling.com.

USBC EXTENDS SENIOR MASTERS, SUPER SENIOR CLASSIC THROUGH 2021 AT SAM’S TOWN

The United States Bowling Congress has extended its agreement with Sam’s Town Bowling Center in Las Vegas to host the Senior Masters and Super Senior Classic through 2021. Sam’s Town has hosted both events since 2016.

In 2019, the Super Senior Classic for players 60 and older will begin on May 29 with the Senior Masters set for June 2-9. The Super Senior Classic has grown from 28 competitors in 2013 to 184 bowlers in 2018.

The 2020 Senior Masters is set for May 31-June 7, while the 2021 event will take place June 6-13. The 2020 Super Senior Classic is scheduled for May 27-31 and the 2021 tournament will be June 2-6.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: BOB CARUSO WINS CECIL RAYMOND MEMORIAL TITLE

Bob Caruso of Dayton, N.J. defeated Steve Pavlinko of Sewell, N.J., 246-218, to win the PBA50 Cecil Raymond Memorial presented by Ebonite at Brunswick Zone Deptford on Sunday.

Caruso, who qualified second, held a comfortable lead throughout the title match on his way to his fourth career PBA Regional title and his second in Deptford. He also won the 2014 Mil-Ray Foods Open. Pavlinko is the co-sponsor of the event and operates the pro shop inside the center. Caruso won $2,000 while Pavlinko earned $1,000 for his runner-up finish.

The tournament, which began in 2004, was renamed in 2014 to honor its sponsor, Cecil Raymond, who passed away in January 2014. Raymond was the 2013 recipient of the East Region’s Pat Patterson Award for outstanding contributions to the region.

In the semifinal round, Caruso edged Tommy Brodowski of New Hyde Park, N.Y., 174-173, when Brodowski opened in the 10th frame while Pavlinko defeated three-time East Region PBA50 Player of the Year Sam Maccarone of Williamstown, N.J., 227-207. Brodowski and Maccarone each earned $750 as semifinal round losers.

● The July 13-15 PBA Regional schedule includes the PBA50 Fairborn Central Classic presented by Roto Grip at Bowl 10 Fairborn in Fairborn, Ohio; the PBA Allstate Tony Grigat Midwest Open presented by Columbia 300 at Poplar Creek Bowl in Hoffman Estates, Ill., and the PBA Beltline Lanes Columbia Baker Doubles South Open in Columbia, S.C.

● Over the July 20-22 weekend, PBA Regional events will include the PBA50 Parkway Lanes Eastern Open presented by Roto Grip in Elmwood Park, N.J.; the PBA Angola Central/Midwest Open presented by Ebonite at Angola Bowl in Angola, Ind.; the PBA Spring Hill Lanes South Open presented by Track in Spring Hill, Fla.; the PBA Fort Sill Southwest Open at Twin Oaks Bowling Center in Fort Sill, Okla.; the PBA, PBA50 and PBA-PWBA Secoma Lanes Northwest/West Open tripleheader in Federal Way, Wash., and the PBA50 Beverly Lanes Midwest/Central Open presented by Roto Grip in Arlington Heights, Ill.

● Closing out the July schedule of PBA Regional competitions will be the PBA50 Ned Micelli Memorial at Herrill Lanes in New Hyde Park, N.Y., over the July 27-28 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 PBA app).

QUICK NOTES

● Last call for fans to vote on the “best bowler” in the 2018 ESPY competition. Click on this link (http://www.espn.com/espys/story/_/page/voting54/best-athlete-sport) and look for the “best bowler” ballot which includes Jason Belmonte, Rhino Page, Tom Smallwood and Jesper Svensson. The winner will be announced when the ESPY shows airs on ESPN on Wednesday, July 18.

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PBA Spare Shots: EJ Tackett Joins Elite List of Young PBA Tour Winners with 10 Titles

by Bill Vint July 6, 2018 08:19

By winning his 10th PBA Tour title in the PBA Xtra Frame Parkside Lanes Open Monday in Aurora, Ill., EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., joined an elite list of PBA players to win 10 titles at a young age.

The youngest player to win 10 PBA Tour titles was Pete Weber who accomplished that feat at the age of 24 years, 247 days. Mike Aulby did it at 25 years, 89 days – one day faster than Wayne Webb. Tackett, who hit the career milestone at 25 years, 329 days (he turns 26 on August 7), is fourth-youngest on that list after his win in Aurora.

Tackett was already PBA Hall of Fame “title-eligible” after he won his second major (and seventh overall title) in the 2017 PBA Tournament of Champions at the age of 24 years, 191 days. He won’t become “participation eligible” for election, however, until 2032 – his 20th year of PBA membership – so he has plenty of time to pad his resumé.

For the record, PBA Hall of Fame eligibility is a two-step process. “Title eligibility” requires 10 standard PBA Tour titles or five standard titles plus two majors. The second requirement is “participation eligibility” which means a player must have been a PBA member for at least 20 years.

As a side note, had he won Monday, Parkside Lanes Open runner-up Bill O’Neill would have become “title eligible.” O’Neill has won eight standard titles and one major (2010 U.S. Open). When he wins his 10th title or second major, O’Neill (a PBA member since 2005) will become “participation eligible” in 2025.

CELEBRATION OF LIFE FOR PETE COUTURE SET FOR AUG. 4 IN FLORIDA

A Celebration of Life for PBA Hall of Famer Pete Couture of Cocoa, Fla., has been scheduled for 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, at 2950 Pineda Plaza Way, Palm Shores, FL 32940.

At Couture’s request, memorial contributions should be made to the Wounded Warriors Project in his name.

Couture, a 2016 inductee into the Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Fame, died Saturday at his Florida residence of undetermined medical issues. He was 73.

PBA TO COMPLY WITH USBC BOWLING BALL SPECIFICATIONS AS OF AUGUST 1

The PBA will comply with new United States Bowling Congress bowling ball specifications that take effect on August 1 under revised timelines issued by USBC, PBA Deputy Commissioner Kirk von Krueger has announced. For details about the new bowling ball specifications and timelines, click here: https://www.bowl.com/News/NewsDetails.aspx?id=23622331380. The new specifications will apply to all levels of PBA competition.

PBA50 TOUR NEXT TO MAKE PBA XTRA FRAME ON FLOBOWLING DEBUT

The PBA50 Tour will be the next to make its PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling debut when the “senior tour” resumes its 2018 schedule July 17-20 in the PBA50 River City Extreme Open, presented by Ebonite, from River City Extreme in Monticello, Minn.

For those of you who are curious about FloSports, whether you are a paid subscriber or not, you are invited to preview free content on FloBowling.com which includes features on Walter Ray Williams Jr.’s experimentation with two-handed bowling, Sean Rash’s behind-the-scenes role with the Xtra Frame Parkside Lanes Open in Aurora, Ill.; Andrew Anderson’s breakout season as a second-year PBA member; a nice feature about Wes Malott’s rise to PBA stardom; podcasts, video features, the live streaming schedule, and a number of video clips from last weekend’s Parkside Lanes Open.

As the transition to FloBowling continues, PBA fans can also follow FloBowling on Facebook and @FloBowling on Twitter and Instagram where features and conversation about the PBA is growing daily for everyone – not just paid subscribers.

FINAL QUALIFYING STANDINGS FOR PBA XTRA FRAME PARKSIDE LANES OPEN

Due to technical issues, final qualifying standings for the PBA Xtra Frame Parkside Lanes Open were not included in Monday’s final news release. The complete agate summary is listed below.

PBA XTRA FRAME PARKSIDE LANES OPEN
(A 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour event)
Parkside Lanes, Aurora, Ill., Monday, July 2

Final Standings:
1, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., $10,000.
2, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., $6,300.
3, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, $4,000.
4, Dom Barrett, England, $3,000.
5, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., $2,000.

Stepladder Results:
Match one – Barrett def. Kent, 235-226.
Match two – O’Neill def. Barrett, 245-216.
Semifinal – O’Neill def. Via, 209-198.
Championship – Tackett def. O’Neill, 210-171.

Final Qualifying Standings (after 24 games, including bonus pins):

1, Tackett, 5,979.
2, Via, 5,919.
3, O'Neill, 5,864.
4, Barrett, 5,840.
5, Kent, 5,830.
6, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 5,800, $1,750.
7, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 5,770, $1,500.
8, Matt Kuba, Chicago Ridge, Ill., 5,765, $1,475.
9, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 5,764, $1,550.
10, Jason Sterner, Rockledge, Fla., 5,757, $1,425.
11, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 5,716, $1,400.
12, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 5,695, $1,375.
13, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 5,647, $1,350.
14, Kurt Pilon, Warren, Mich., 5,642, $1,325.
15, Kamron Doyle, Brentwood, Tenn., 5,620, $1,300.
16, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 5,527, $1,275.
17, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 5,523, $1,250.
18, Steve Jaros, Yorkville, Ill., 5,428, $1,225.
19 (tie), Mitch Hupe, Canada, and Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 5,421, $1,188.
21, JR Raymond, Clinton Twp., Mich., 5,399, $1,150.
22, Nathan Michalowski, Burlington, Wis., 5,382, $1,125.
23, Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., 5,381, $1,100.
24, Jason Miller, Plano, Ill., 5,355, $1,075.
25, Graham Fach, Canada, 5,244, $1,050.
26, n-Mike Dole, Loves Park, Ill., 5,202, $1,025.
27, Matt O'Grady, Rahway, N.J., 4,345 (withdrew after 19 games), $1,000.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: STONEY WINS BATTLE OF BAKERS IN NORTH CAROLINA

Stoney Baker of Canton, Ga., defeated PBA Hall of Famer Tom Baker of King, N.C., 236-227 to win the PBA50 UltraStar Multi-Tainment Center at Harrahs Cherokee South Open at UltraStar Lanes in Cherokee, N.C., Sunday.

Stoney Baker, who won $2,100 along with his 29th overall regional title, went into the 10th frame needing a double to take the title and threw three solid strikes for the win. Tom Baker – no relation – pocketed $1,100 as the runner-up.

In the semifinal round, Stoney Baker defeated another PBA Hall of Famer, Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla., 248-226, while Tom Baker disposed of Chuck Walker of Blaine, Tenn., 257-191.

● The only event on the July 6-8 PBA Regional calendar is the PBA50 Cecil Raymond Memorial presented by Ebonite at Brunswick Deptford Lanes in Deptford, N.J.

● The July 13-15 PBA Regional schedule includes the PBA50 Fairborn Central Classic presented by Roto Grip at Bowl 10 Fairborn in Fairborn, Ohio; the PBA Allstate Tony Grigat Midwest Open presented by Columbia 300 at Poplar Creek Bowl in Hoffman Estates, Ill., and the PBA Beltline Lanes Columbia Baker Doubles South Open in Columbia, S.C.

● Over the July 20-22 weekend, PBA Regional events will include the PBA50 Parkway Lanes Eastern Open presented by Roto Grip in Elmwood Park, N.J.; the PBA Angola Central/Midwest Open presented by Ebonite at Angola Bowl in Angola, Ind.; the PBA Spring Hill Lanes South Open presented by Track in Spring Hill, Fla.; the PBA Fort Sill Southwest Open at Twin Oaks Bowling Center in Fort Sill, Okla.; the PBA, PBA50 and PBA-PWBA Secoma Lanes Northwest/West Open tripleheader in Federal Way, Wash., and the PBA50 Beverly Lanes Midwest/Central Open presented by Roto Grip in Arlington Heights, Ill.

● Closing out the July schedule of PBA Regional competitions will be the PBA50 Ned Micelli Memorial at Herrill Lanes in New Hyde Park, N.Y., over the July 27-28 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 PBA app).

QUICK NOTES

Reminder: Fan voting is now open to select the “best bowler” in the 2018 ESPY competition.Click on this link (http://www.espn.com/espys/story/_/page/voting54/best-athlete-sport) and look for the “best bowler” ballot which includes Jason Belmonte, Rhino Page, Tom Smallwood and Jesper Svensson. The winner will be announced when the ESPY shows airs on ESPN on Wednesday, July 18.

Rodney Irving of Richardson, Texas, is the winner of a new high-performance ball from DV8 , Matthew Conger of Thornton, Colo., will receive a new high-performance ball from MOTIV, and Taron Blount of Country Club Hills, Ill., wins a new Brunswick ball as June 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.

● The June winner of the HotelPlanner.com sweepstakes, earning a $200 gift certificate redeemable for future lodging expenses booked through HotelPlanner.com, is Louis Guadio. Those who booked through HotelPlanner.com were automatically entered in the sweepstakes.

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Celebration of Life for PBA Hall of Famer Pete Couture Scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 4, in Melbourne, Florida

by Bill Vint July 1, 2018 10:09

MELBOURNE, Fla. – A Celebration of Life for PBA Hall of Famer Pete Couture of Cocoa, Fla., has been scheduled for 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, at 2950 Pineda Plaza Way, Melbourne, FL 32940.

At Couture’s request, memorial contributions should be made to the Wounded Warriors Project in his name.

Couture, a 2016 inductee into the Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Fame, died Saturday at his Florida residence of undetermined medical issues. He was 73.

"Another Hall of Famer and friend of mine has passed away,” said fellow PBA Hall of Famer Marshall Holman. “Pete was a great competitor and a good friend of mine for almost 40 years.”

coutureaction2“Pete was one of the toughest, hardest-working players our sport has ever seen,” added long-time friend Bill Spigner, a Connecticut native who grew up competing against Couture in New England.

Couture was born in Auburn, Maine, and spent many of his formative years in Windsor Locks, Conn. He was elected in the PBA50 Performance category based on his exceptional record for a minimum of 10 years as a “senior” competitor. On the heels of a 24-year career as a PBA Tour competitor, when he won five standard PBA titles, Couture began his PBA50 career in 1995 when he earned PBA50 Rookie of the Year honors. He won the first of nine PBA50 Tour titles in Reno in 1996, and captured a pair of USBC Senior Masters titles in 1998 (when he was selected as PBA50 Player of the Year) and 2002. He is one of nine players – all PBA Hall of Famers – to earn both PBA50 Rookie and Player of the Year honors.

At the time of his retirement, he had earned $959,900 during his PBA career. In retirement, he operated a pro shop and coaching services at Shore Lanes in Merritt Island, Fla. He liked to say he was a “graduate of the school of hard knocks.”

“If it wasn’t for the senior (PBA50) tour I wouldn’t be here,” said Couture during his PBA Hall of Fame induction speech. “The senior tour was a second chance and an opportunity to re-invent myself.

“I’m kind of overwhelmed,” Couture said. “It’s a dream come true. I think everyone who bowls for a living has a dream of getting into the hall of fame, and to have it actually happen is unbelievable.

2002SRMASTERS-PETECOUTURE“I went from being a so-called star to being a superstar in that one year,” he said of his four-title season in 1998. “Everything came together. When I made match play, I was able to get to the show, and when I got to the show I was pretty successful. Everything went the right way for me that year.”

Growing up in New England, Couture won more than 20 state and local association titles in Maine and Connecticut. He was inducted into the Central Connecticut and Connecticut State Bowling Association Halls of Fame in 1993, and the USBC Hall of Fame in 2004. In addition to his two USBC Senior Masters titles, he had five other top 10 Senior Masters finishes. Other notable USBC accomplishments included a second-place finish in the 1994 USBC Open Championships team event (with Bill Spigner, Rick and Ron Pollard, and Don Scudder – all USBC Hall of Famers). Over a span of 20 years he had a USBC Open Championships average of 203.

For a video profile of Couture’s career, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpcrfFtKFCU. For a feature story about his formative years in Maine, read Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal writer Tony Blasi’s story following Couture’s PBA Hall of Fame induction: http://www.sunjournal.com/pro-bowling-couture-rolls-another-hall-fame/

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