Puerto Rico’s Cristian Azcona Makes History with First PBA Tour Title in PBA Xtra Frame Wilmington Open

by Bill Vint May 20, 2018 14:13

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Puerto Rico’s Cristian Azcona became his country’s first Professional Bowlers Association champion Sunday when he defeated AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill., 217-214, to win the PBA Xtra Frame Wilmington Open at Ten Pin Alley Family Fun Center.

In a title match between two players vying for their first PBA Tour title, three pins separated the pair heading into the 10th frame when the 24-year-old Azcona threw three strikes to clinch the title and hand the 25-year-old Johnson his fourth second-place finish in PBA Tour competition.

“It feels amazing,” Azcona said. “I’ve always thought about this, but it feels amazing.”

Both players struggled to deal with the touchy lane conditions but Azcona found the solution first, throwing a late string of three strikes to take the lead.

“I moved in a little and hooked the ball a little more,” he said. Knowing he needed two strikes and at least eight pins in the 10th frame to lock up his first title, “I thought thank God I’m finishing on my good lane, and then I just concentrated on making good shots.

“I wasn’t sure (I was the first Puerto Rican to win a PBA Tour title), but knowing the bowlers in Puerto Rico, I had a pretty good idea. I figured if it ever happened, I’d be the first one.”

Making bowling history for his country was secondary, however, to winning his first PBA Tour title.

“I’ve been thinking about that ever since I decided to take this sport seriously, which is most of my life,” he said. “It’s a dream come true.”

The two finalists have followed remarkably similar paths in their young PBA careers. Azcona, a former collegiate star at Lindenwood University, was the PBA South Region’s Player of the Year in 2017, his PBA rookie year. Johnson, a former All-American with McKendree University, was the 2017 PBA Midwest Region Player of the Year. Azcona is a five-time member of Puerto Rico’s national bowling team; Johnson is four-time member of Team USA.

In the opening match, Tom Daugherty of Riverview, Fla., took advantage of Tommy Jones’ inability to strike on the right lane until the ninth frame, eliminating the tournament qualifying leader, 214-185. But after building a 29-pin lead on four strikes in five frames in the semifinal match, Daugherty lost his shot at the title when he left and failed to convert the 4-6-9-10 split in the ninth frame while Johnson ran off a string of five strikes on his way to a 224-201 win.

The Wilmington Open is the second of eight PBA Xtra Frame Tour events in 2018 and a part of the Go
Bowling! PBA Tour. The third PBA Xtra Frame Tour event will be the Greater Jonesboro Open at Hijinx in Jonesboro, Ark., June 1-3.

For Xtra Frame subscriptions, visit xtraframe.tv. Subscriptions are available for three days ($3.99), 30 days ($7.99) or for a full year at a cost of about $1.25 per week.

PBA XTRA FRAME WILMINGTON OPEN
Ten Pin Alley Family Fun Center, Wilmington, N.C., Sunday

Final Standings:
1, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, $10,000.
2, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., $5,000.
3, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., $3,000.
4, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., $2,000.

Stepladder Results:
Match One – Daugherty def. Jones, 214-185.
Semifinal Match – Johnson def. Daugherty, 224-201.
Championship – Azcona def. Johnson, 217-214.

Round of 8 Standings (after 17 games; top 4 advanced):
1, Azcona, 4,075.
2, Johnson, 3,922.
3, Jones, 3,914.
4, Daugherty, 3,905.
5, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 3,869, $1,500.
6, Chris Polizzi, Spring Hill, Fla., 3,857, $1,400.
7, Tim Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., 3,786, $1,300.
8, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3,751, $1,200.

Round of 16 Cashers (after 15 games):
9, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 3,343, $1,250.
10, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 3,321, $1,100.
11, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 3,306, $1,000.
12, Michael Vitalone, Jr., Lake Worth, Fla., 3,302, $900.
13, Sean Wilcox, Altamonte Springs, Fla., 3,287, $875.
14, Richie Teece, England, 3,285, $850.
15, Eric Cornog, Cherry Hill, N.J., 3,238, $825.
16, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 3,221, $800.

Cashers Round Cashers (after 12 games):
17 (tie), Graham Fach, Canada, and Andrew Klingler, Grand Rapids, Mich., 2,589, $745.
19, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 2,575, $730.
20, Brandon Curtis, Manson, N.C., 2,559, $720.
21, Bobby Hall II, Landover, Md., 2,545, $710.
22, Zachary Seals, Kingsland, Ga., 2,534, $700.
23, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 2,530, $690.
24, Kole Payne, Charlotte, N.C., 2,525, $680.
25, Lee Vanderhoef, Canton, Ga., 2,502, $670.
26, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 2,486, $655.
26, n-Brian Locke, Raleigh, NC, 2,486, $655.
28, Leon Platt, Summerville, S.C., 2,474, $640.
29, Cody Mullis, Crystal River, Fla., 2,471, $625.
29, Mark Tarkington, Elizabeth City, N.C., 2,471, $625.
31, Kristian Rogers, Salisbury, N.C., 2,450, $610.
32, Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., 2,359, $600.

300 Games: Marshall Kent, Cristian Azcona.

n-denotes non-member.

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18-Time Titlist Tommy Jones Paces Qualifying in PBA Xtra Frame Wilmington Open; Finals Sunday

by Bill Vint May 19, 2018 18:02

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Eighteen-time Professional Bowlers Association titlist Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., finished his eight-game qualifying round with a 279 game Saturday to roll into an 88-pin lead in PBA’s Xtra Frame Wilmington Open Saturday at Ten Pin Alley Family Fun Center.

Jones, 39, rolled games of 200, 208, 256, 243, 247, 278, 235 and 279 for an eight-game total of 1,946 pins, averaging at a 243.25 pace to easily lead the top 32 qualifiers who advanced to Sunday’s 9 a.m. cashers round. Chris Polizzi of Spring Hill, Fla., a six-year PBA member who won his only title in a PBA South Region tournament in Valdosta, Ga., in March, finished with 1,858 pins, six ahead of 2018 United States Bowling Congress Masters champion Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich.

Puerto Rico’s Cristian Azcona, with 1,843 pins, and two-handed player Tim Foy Jr. of Seaford, Del., with a 1,836 total, round out the top five. Defending Wilmington Open champion Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas, qualified for the cashers round in 24th place, 240 pins behind Jones.

The Wilmington Open is the second of eight PBA Xtra Frame Tour events in 2018 and a part of the Go Bowling! PBA Tour. Competition continues Sunday with the four-game cashers round at 9 a.m. The top 16 after 12 games will bowl a three-game round at 11:30 a.m.; the top eight after 15 games bowl two more qualifying games at 1:30 p.m., and the four bowlers after 17 games advance to the stepladder finals at 3 p.m.

For Xtra Frame subscriptions, visit xtraframe.tv. Subscriptions are available for three days ($3.99), 30 days ($7.99) or for a full year at a cost of about $1.25 per week.

PBA XTRA FRAME WILMINGTON OPEN

Ten Pin Alley Family Fun Center, Wilmington, N.C., Saturday

Final Qualifying Standings (after 8 games; top 32 advance to Sunday’s cashers round at 9 a.m. ET):

1, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 1,946.
2, Chris Polizzi, Spring Hill, Fla., 1,858.
3, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 1,852.
4, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 1,843.
5, Tim Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., 1,836.
6, Eric Cornog, Cherry Hill, N.J., 1,835.
7, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 1,793.
8, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 1,787.
9, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 1,784, $100.
10, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 1,781.
11, Sean Wilcox, Altamonte Springs, Fla., 1,767.
12, n-Brian Locke, Raleigh, NC, 1,762.
13, Kole Payne, Charlotte, N.C., 1,752.
14, Michael Vitalone, Jr., Lake Worth, Fla., 1,750.
15, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 1,748.
16, Bobby Hall II, Landover, Md., 1,745.
17, Andrew Klingler, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1,741.
18, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 1,728.
19, Mark Tarkington, Elizabeth City, N.C., 1,726.
20, Lee Vanderhoef, Canton, Ga., 1,715.
21, Leon Platt, Summerville, S.C., 1,712.
22, Graham Fach, Canada, 1,711.
23, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 1,710.
24, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 1,706.
25, Zachary Seals, Kingsland, Ga., 1,702.
26, Richie Teece, England, 1,697.
27, Brandon Curtis, Manson, N.C., 1,696.
28, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 1,688.
29, Cody Mullis, Crystal River, Fla., 1,685.
30, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 1,683.
31 (tie), Kristian Rogers, Salisbury, N.C., and Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., 1,679.

Failed to advance:
33, Jason Zook, Tampa, Fla., 1,677.
34, Kyle Cook, Centerville, Ohio, 1,674.
35, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 1,663.
36, Kamron Doyle, Brentwood, Tenn., 1,647.
37, Adam Monks, Conway, S.C., 1,646.
38, Chris Arcaro, Carolina Beach, N.C., 1,637.
39, n-Anthony Marino, Elk Grove, Ill., 1,632.
40 (tie), Isaac Kim, Lebanon, Pa.; Dan Hochstein, Canton, Mich., and Brett Spangler, Niles, Ohio, 1,631.
43, n-Adam Van Fleet, Haw River, N.C., 1,619.
44, Randy Weiss, Columbia, S.C., 1,617.
45, Zack Brown, Holly Springs, N.C., 1,615.
46, Matt O'Grady, Rahway, N.J., 1,614.
47 (tie), Chris Barry, Black Mountain, N.C., and Greg Thomas, Irmo, S.C., 1,595.
49, Brian Hall, Macedon, N.Y., 1,590.
50, Stephen Hahn, Sterling, Va., 1,584.
51, CJ Kirchner, Herrin, Ill., 1,582.
52, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 1,569.
53, Marty Berke, Allentown, Pa., 1,565.
54, Zachery Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 1,554.
55, John Furey, Howell, N.J., 1,547.
56, Matt Taylor, Youngsville, N.C., 1,545.
57, Gary Faulkner, Norfolk, Va., 1,543.
58, Anthony Caso, Spring Hill, Fla., 1,542.
59, Daniel Blakeslee, St. Marys, Ga., 1,539.
60, Victor Florie Jr, Richmond, Va., 1,523.
61, n-Mike Albert, Little River, S.C., 1,520.
62, Adam Chase, North Babylon, N.Y., 1,516.
63, David McCay Jr., Fredericksburg, Va., 1,510.
64, Marcus Collins, Pawleys Island, S.C., 1,508.
65, Kelly Lake, East Palatka, Fla., 1,506.
66, Michael Houtz, Myerstown, Pa., 1,498.
67 (tie), Anthony DeStasio, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and David Bleggi, Jacksonville, N.C., 1,495.
69, Joseph Grago, Hampstead, N.C., 1,492.
70, James Grover, Breinigsville, Pa., 1,489.
71, Ben Zakrocki, Philadelphia, 1,485.
72, Maximilian Fishman, Greensboro, N.C., 1,480.
73, Nick Christy, Newport, N.C., 1,467.
74, ss-Kenny Shoulars, Wilmington, N.C., 1,459.
75, Leonardo Apollonia, Raleigh, N.C., 1,458.
76 (tie), James Grago, Hampstead, N.C., and Jason Gittleson, Southern Pines, N.C., 1,456.
78, Norm Spurlock, Kenner, La., 1,450.
79, Cody McCowin, Daytona Beach, Fla., 1,447.
80, Joey Burruel, Glendale, Ariz., 1,431.
81, Richard Horsley, Holly Springs, N.C., 1,426.
82, Wayne Bolin, Lumberton, N.C., 1,422.
83, Brian Levine, Knightdale, N.C., 1,418.
84, n-Larry Schroeder, Winston Salem, NC, 1,413.
85, Brett Caramagno, Goose Creek, S.C., 1,408.
86, Richard Martinez, Ballston Spa, N.Y., 1,391.
87, n-Brian Lamb, Rock Hill, SC, 1,389.
88, Charles Beam Jr., Mount Holly, N.C., 1,381.
89, Leonard Freeman, Riegelwood, N.C., 1,368.
90, ss-Jim Price, Harrrisburg, N.C., 1,279.
91, Lawrence Hamilton, Newport, N.C., 1,269.
92, Naime Esteves, Clifton Park, N.Y., 1,263.
93, Dennis Jacques, Surfside, S.C., 1,251.
94, Louis Carrai, Wilmington, N.C., 1,228.
95, Larry Soncrant, Palatka, 1,152.

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PBA Spare Shots: Australia’s Jason Belmonte Connects with Marjory Stoneman Douglas Teen

by Bill Vint May 18, 2018 12:45

For PBA star Jason Belmonte, the shots fired on that horrific day at south Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas were, figuratively speaking, heard halfway around the world. Like millions of people, Belmonte wanted to do something. He just wasn’t sure what he could or should do.

When he heard that 17-year-old Hannah Carbocci was a member of the Stoneman Douglas girls’ bowling team and had not only survived the mass shooting, but had launched a fund-raising effort on behalf of the families of victims, Belmonte decided to make a phone call.

“What I thought was going to be my role was as simple as a phone call, and I was willing to do that,” Belmonte said in early May. “Within the first couple of minutes, I knew I wanted to meet the family.”

Admitting he knew nothing about the family, he decided to make a side trip to Florida after the PBA League competition in Portland, Maine, to visit Hannah and her family.

“It was a fantastic day,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect; I just wanted to meet them. I knew nothing about them other than that terrible incident, but I could see they are very passionate about bowling, and the causes they fight for.

“When you talk about bowlers’ bad luck, you talk about ringing 10 pins and splits, but that is nothing compared to what this family went through. They used a community of bowlers to support other bowlers. That’s the one thing I’ve taken away from this trip.

“They raised more than $30,000 to support the victims’ families,” he continued. “That’s a lot of money to raise, and not from one person, but from hundreds of people. It just shows how amazing our family of bowlers really is.”

Belmonte made the trip to Florida and went bowling with the Carbocci family. He gave the family bowling balls and bags, and with the assistance of fellow PBA competitor and pro shop operator Andres Gomez, got the equipment drilled.

Belmonte’s gesture was merely something he did out of caring, and because he was in a position to do something positive.

“I don’t know what I’m doing in my future, but I’m very aware of my place in the bowling industry,” he said. “I think most of our guys know what their position is; it’s something that comes with the territory. If you’re not doing your share, you’re not taking care of your position atop the sport to help people.”

In a feature story by USBC’s Matt Cannizzaro, who originally broke the news about Belmonte’s plans to visit Hannah and family, Belmonte said, “If I do ever retire from competing, I would love to fly the flag for bowling on a more regular basis… Straight up, I love bowling and I want bowling to be healthier and better. I think the bowling community as a whole is a beautiful community. I think when bowlers need each other, we step up.”

So Belmonte put on his wings and flew. From Australia to Parkland, Fla. – a short trek northwest of Fort Lauderdale – by way of Portland. And he made a new friend.

“Hannah, in particular, we’re going to be good little friends,” Belmonte said. “She has some aspirations in the sport, and as time goes along, I’ll see what I can do to help her.”

HOW BELMO FLIES: IT’S A TESTAMENT TO PBA’S INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS

The story of Jason Belmonte’s “side trip” to visit Hannah Carbocci and her family in Parkland, Fla., after bowling in the OceanView at Falmouth PBA League in Portland, is a bit understated.

To get a feel for what “Belmo” (and other PBA players from Australia, Southeast Asia, Europe and other destinations around the world) have to go through to bowl in PBA Tour events in the United States, below is Belmonte’s itinerary to get to Portland:

● Drove four hours from his home in Orange, New South Wales to the Sydney airport;

● Waited two hours at the airport for his flight;

● Flew 16 hours from Sydney to Dallas;

● Waited three hours in Dallas for his next flight;

● Flew 3.5 hours from Dallas to Philadelphia;

● Waited 2 hours for his next leg;

● Flew 1.5 hours from Philadelphia to Portland;

● Called Uber for a ride to his hotel.

Grand total: roughly 10,000 miles – one way – over a span of 32 hours. The “side trip” to Florida added another 1,600 miles to the trip before he headed home to Australia to spend a few days with his wife and three children before returning to Detroit for the PBA Tour Finals. With modifications, it’s something he (and other PBA international players) repeat every time they compete in the U.S.

“I don’t know how many miles I fly per year,” Belmonte said in response to an email question. “It’s a number that I don’t want to know.”

But, he noted with a “smile” emoji: “I have just under 3 million miles/points in my (frequent flier) account. I very rarely use them because I am saving them to take my family on the most ridiculous, first class experience around the world. It will be a holiday to end all holidays that I will pay for using all of my points.”

XTRA FRAME

This weekend’s Xtra Frame schedule includes the PBA Xtra Frame Wilmington, Open, the second of eight Xtra Frame PBA Tour events on the 2018 schedule, and the USBC Queens from the National Bowling Stadium in Reno.

Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas, will defend his 2017 title Saturday-Sunday at Ten Pin Alley Family Fun Center in Wilmington, N.C. Defending champion Diana Zavjalova began her optional qualifying rounds in the Queens on Thursday (she’s exempt into the field of 64 match play finalists, but is bowling to try to improve her automatic spot as the no. 64 seed). Xtra Frame will cover Queens qualifying through Saturday along with three-game, double-elimination match play Sunday and Monday. The stepladder finals will air live on CBS Sports Network on Tuesday, May 22.

The PBA50 Tour returns to Xtra Frame May 28-30 with start-to-finish coverage of the Northern California Classic presented by MOTIV from Harvest Park Bowl in Brentwood, Calif.

PWBA follows the Queens with the East Hartford Open from Silver Lanes in East Hartford, Conn., June 1-2, and the PBA Xtra Frame Tour heads to Hijinx Family Entertainment Center in Jonesboro, Ark., June 2-3.

To enroll as an XtraFrame subscriber, visit xtraframe.tv. An entire month of coverage costs only $7.99. A three-day subscription is also available for $3.99, and the 12-month Season Ticket plan is offered for about $1.25 week.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: BUTTURFF WINS AGAIN IN THE WEST

Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz.; PBA50 member Robert Brown of Cody, Wyo., and Correen Lieber of Phoenix, Ariz., were victorious in a PBA Northwest Region tripleheader at Daffodil Bowl in Puyallup, Wash., Sunday.

Butturff posted a 8-4 match play record and a 20-game total of 4,605 pins, including match play bonus pins, to win the PBA FiX Auto of Puyallup Open, a standard PBA Northwest Regional event, by 60 pins over Dean Richards of Tacoma, Wash. In addition to a $2,000 first prize, Butturff picked up his second PBA Regional title of the year and his 15th since his 2016 rookie year.

Brown won the PBA50 portion of the tripleheader with a 6-2 match play record and 3,508 total pins, beating Rob Rice of Sunnyside, Wash., by 138 pins for the $1,500 first prize and his second PBA50 Regional title.

Lieber, an amateur, had a 4-3 match play record and knocked down 3,146 total pins for her 15 games to top Lori Eskew of Hillsboro, Ore., and Kelsey Abrahamsen by 12 pins in the PBA-PWBA women’s event to earn the $1,000 prize. It was Lieber’s first PBA-PWBA regional win, but she doesn’t get credit for a title because she’s a non-member. Eskew and Abrahamsen both had 3,134 pins.

Dylan Burns from Garden City, Kan., won his second PBA Regional title in the PBA Oklahoma City Planet Bowl Southwest Open in Oklahoma City Sunday.

Burns built a comfortable lead in the qualifying round going into Sunday’s modified eight-game round robin finals. After losing his first two matches, Burns won four matches in a row to distance himself from top challenger Dino Castillo from Highland Village, Texas. After losing in game seven, Burns took a 58-pin lead over Castillo into position round where he expanded his winning margin to 92 pins with a 220-216 win over Castillo to claim the $2,500 winner’s check with a 21-game total of 4,601 pins, including match play bonus pins.

Ric McCormick of Cincinnati was almost perfect in defeating Chris Via of Springfield, Ohio, 299-239, to win his first PBA Regional title in the PBA Baldo Campana Memorial/Ohio Lottery Central Open presented by DV8 at Rebman Recreation in Lorain, Ohio, while 2017 PBA50 Rookie of the Year Michael Haugen Jr. of Phoenix won the “senior” half of the doubleheader. Both events were held on Saturday, May 12.

McCormick, a 22-year-old PBA rookie, missed a perfect game on his final shot in the title match. He earned $2,000 after he downed Zachery Tackett of Huntington, Ind., 245-174, while Via edged Dan Hochstein of Canton, Mich., 259-225, in the semifinal round to set up the championship match.

Haugen defeated amateur Carl Bishop of Tiffin, Ohio by 181 pins to win the PBA50 event. He finished with a 10-2 match play record and a total of 4,914 pins for 20 games, including match play bonus pins, to win the $1,400 first prize and his fifth PBA50 regional title.

● The only event on PBA’s Regional calendar for the May 18-20 weekend is the Waxahachie Southwest Challenge for non-title winners at Hilltop Lanes in Waxahachie, Texas.

● The May 24-26 PBA Regional schedule includes the PBA and PBA50 Vanessa Brown Homes West Open (PBA presented by Track, PBA50 presented by Ebonite); the Colony Park Lanes East Challenge presented by Columbia 300 in York, Pa., and the Celeste Walker Midwest/Central Open presented by American Family Insurance at Strike-N-Spare II in Lockport, Ill.

● 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

TOC Bowling ● PBA fans who would like a unique perspective on the PBA are invited to visit http://www.joshhydebowling.com/ to read Josh’s newsletters. Josh (at left with Danny Wiseman and Doug Kent) has been a “PBA Super Fan” since 1990 when, at age nine, he began befriending a number of PBA stars and chronicling PBA history. Regardless of being confined to a wheelchair, Hyde managed his website, writes his newsletter and bowls. One of his proudest accomplishments in bowling a 300 game using a ramp.

In cooperation with the PBA, youth bowlers planning to participate in the 2018 Teen Masters are invited to save $50 on a special PBA package. For details, visit: fans@pba.com

● The PBA has learned of the recent deaths of three former members. Stephen Dieter, a 12-year PBA member from Palmerton, Pa., died suddenly on May 8. A veteran of 67 PBA Regional events with a personal-best second place finish in Elmwood Park, N.J., in 2011, Dieter owned and operated a pharmaceutical delivery service and a pro shop in Haja Lanes.

Artur (Eric) Bergstrom, an 11-year PBA member from Meridian, Idaho, died on April 4. He was a retired U.S. Navy commander with 30 years of military service.

Rudy Garcia of Fort Worth, Texas, who joined the PBA at age 62, died on March 19 at age 67. He bowled in eight PBA50 Tour events during his limited PBA career.

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Texas Two-Hander Anthony Simonsen Set to Defend Title in PBA Xtra Frame Wilmington Open

by Bill Vint May 14, 2018 09:16

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Anthony Simonsen, a 21-year-old two-handed competitor from Austin, Texas, will defend his Professional Bowlers Association’s Xtra Frame Wilmington Open title against a sold-out field of established PBA champions, future stars and top-caliber amateur bowlers May 19-20 at Ten Pin Alley Family Fun Center.

Simonsen, who captured his third career title with a 224-177 victory over Rhino Page of Orlando, Fla., in the inaugural Wilmington Open a year ago, will try to repeat against a world-class field of bowling talent including 2018 PBA Tournament of Champions winner Matt O’Grady of Rahway, N.J., and USBC Masters champ Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich.; PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla., and PBA Tour title winners including Dick Allen, Ryan Ciminelli, Tom Daugherty, Graham Fach, Tommy Jones, Marshall Kent, Chris Loschetter, Bill O’Neill, Connor Pickford, Matt Sanders and Richie Teece.

The Wilmington Open, like all eight PBA Xtra Frame Tour events in 2018, is part of the Go Bowling! PBA Tour. All Xtra Frame events will be covered live, from first ball to last, by PBA’s live streaming service. PBA created the online Xtra Frame Tour in 2014 to supplement its nationally-televised events. The growing popularity of live streaming events enables more fans around the world to watch the world’s greatest bowlers compete for a PBA Tour title.

Competition begins on Saturday, May 19 with eight-game qualifying squads at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET. After eight games, the top one-third of the field will advance to a four-game cashers round Sunday at 9 a.m. After 12 games, the top 16 will bowl another three-game round at 11:30 a.m., and after 15 games, the top eight will bowl two more qualifying games at 1:30 p.m. to determine the four bowlers who will advance to the stepladder finals at 3 p.m. At stake is a $10,000 first prize and a PBA Tour title if the winner is a PBA member.

A practice session is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday and a pro-am where grassroots amateur bowlers can bowl with the pros will be conducted at 6:30 p.m.  For tournament pro-am and admission information contact Ten Pin Alley Family Fun Center at (910) 452-5455.

For Xtra Frame subscriptions, visit xtraframe.tv. Subscriptions are available for three days ($3.99), 30 days ($7.99) or for a full year at a cost of about $1.25 per week.

PBA XTRA FRAME WILMINGTON OPEN
Ten Pin Alley Family Fun Center, Wilmington, N.C. (All times Eastern)

Friday, May 18
4 p.m. - Practice Session
5 p.m. – New player orientation meeting
6:30 p.m. - Pro-am

Saturday, May 19
9 a.m. - A Squad, eight qualifying games
3 p.m. - B Squad, eight qualifying games
    Top 1/3 of field advances to cashers round

Sunday, May 20
9 a.m. – Cashers round, four games (top 16 after 12 games advance)
11:30 a.m. – Round of 16, three games (top 8 after 15 games advance)
1:30 p.m. – Round of 8, two games (top 4 after 17 games advance)
3 p.m. – Top four stepladder finals

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Silver Lake Atom Splitters Sweep Philadelphia Hitmen to Win Third PBA League Elias Cup; Barnes named MVP

by Bill Vint May 13, 2018 11:48

PORTLAND, Maine – The Go Bowling! Silver Lake Atom Splitters became the first team to win three OceanView at Falmouth PBA League Elias Cup championships, winning in a dominant performance over the Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen at Bayside Bowl.

The two match, best-of-two-game finals, part of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule, aired Sunday as the PBA Tour’s final telecast on ESPN after 38 consecutive years of coverage.

Silver Lake, the winner of back-to-back Elias Cups in 2014 and ’15, ended a two-year dry spell in a sweep over the Hitmen, who had never bowled in the Elias Cup finals. After a dominant semifinal round win over the Barbasol Motown Muscle, the Atom Splitters’ Jesper Svensson, Dick Allen, AJ Johnson, Tom Daugherty and Chris Barnes had only one close call in a four-game sweep.

After winning the opening game, 248-189, on the strength of seven strikes in the first eight frames, game two came down to a 10th frame showdown where Atom Splitters’ anchor Barnes threw three strikes to force Matt Sanders to match the effort to force a roll-off. Sanders ran the Hitmen’s string of strikes five, but on his final ball in the 10th frame, Sanders left a 9 pin and Silver Lake claimed a 216-215 decision.

With match one secured, and Philadelphia running into spare-shooting difficulties, Silver Lake easily won game three, 202-163. The Atom Splitters completed the sweep by throwing the first six strikes in game four, winning again, 246-192.

“We went undefeated, but on every shot, you do the math in your head and take it one shot at a time,” Silver Lake manager Mark Baker said. “My guys really bowled well. Really well. We played the lanes a little differently than everyone else, and our shot wasn’t going away. Jesper was Jesper. Dick Allen bowls great in this place. Daugherty, except for the solid 8, struck on about every ball. Putting Chris (Barnes) last relaxed (Dick) and I think that was the big difference.

“This is so much fun,” Baker continued. “It’s hard to explain to anyone who has never been here what the atmosphere is like. The first shot thrown (in the final round) gave me goosebumps. I don’t bowl any more. It wasn’t even my team, but that’s how electrifying it is here.”

mark roth mvpWhile the entire Atom Splitters team bowled well, the decision to award the Mark Roth PBA League Most Valuable Player Award came down to Chris Barnes’ three-strike, 10th frame performance in game two of the Elias Cup finals. Barnes also won the inaugural Roth MVP award in 2014, making him the first two-time winner.

“That’s pretty cool, but I look at it as more of a team thing,” Barnes said. “We all struck a lot. We only had a couple of close games. I struck out to win one. It was a big one to win, but if it hadn’t been for a stone 8 (by Daugherty), we wouldn’t have been in a position where I needed to do that.

“Our guys were really clicking for the most part. We never had more than one person in between strikes and even then, we were all lined up,” he added. “(Philadelphia) just couldn’t get all of its guys going at the same time, and that’s always the issue here.”

At the conclusion of the event, PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark announced the PBA League will return to Bayside Bowl in 2019 as part of the PBA’s new television package with FOX Sports. Details will be announced later.

OCEANVIEW AT FALMOUTH PBA LEAGUE

Bayside Bowl, Portland, Maine (aired Sunday on ESPN)

Elias Cup Championship (two best-of-two-game Baker format matches): Go Bowling! Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Jesper Svensson, Dick Allen, AJ Johnson, Tom Daugherty, Chris Barnes) def. Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen (Ronnie Russell, Chris Loschetter, Tom Smallwood, Dom Barrett, Matt Sanders), 2-0 (248-189 and 216-215; 202-163 and 246-192).

2018 PBA LEAGUE FINAL STANDINGS

(Final position based on match play records followed by total pinfall)

1, Go Bowling! Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Jesper Svensson, Dick Allen, AJ Johnson, Tom Daugherty, Chris Barnes; manager Mark Baker), $60,000.

2, Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen (Ronnie Russell, Chris Loschetter, Tom Smallwood, Dom Barrett, Matt Sanders; manager Jason Couch), $50,000.

3, Shipyard Dallas Strikers (Bill O’Neill, player-manager Norm Duke, Kyle Sherman, Tommy Jones, Rhino Page), $35,000.

4, Barbasol Motown Muscle (Josh Blanchard, Shota Kawazoe, Francois Lavoie, Anthony Simonsen, EJ Tackett; manager Del Ballard Jr.), $35,000.

5, GEICO NYC WTT KingPins (Sam Cooley, Anthony Pepe, Pete Weber, BJ Moore, Marshall Kent; manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard), $25,000.

6, OceanView at Falmouth Brooklyn Styles (Walter Ray Williams Jr., Parker Bohn III, Jason Sterner, Sean Rash, Matt O’Grady; manager Johnny Petraglia), $25,000.

7, bowlingball.com L.A. X (Stuart Williams, Martin Larsen, Osku Palermaa, Jason Belmonte, Jakob Butturff; manager Andrew Cain), $25,000.

8, Port Property Management Portland Lumberjacks (Ryan Ciminelli, Jojoe Yannaphon, DJ Archer, Kyle Troup, Wes Malott; manager Tim Mack), $25,000.

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