PBA Spare Shots: Fans Invited to Experience the Best in Bowling at GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX

by Bill Vint September 21, 2017 14:02

For bowling fans, it doesn’t get any better than attending the ultimate bowling event – the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, and thanks to PBA’s presenting sponsor, Eldorado Reno Properties, two Ultimate WSOB Fan Experience Packages will make the adventure easy and affordable.

For those who would like to watch the world’s greatest bowlers compete for nationally-televised titles in the sport’s premier showcase Nov. 17-19 at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, the Ultimate Fan Experience packages will provide participants with lodging, transportation to-and-from the airport, and VIP seating for all of the TV finals. Options include a two-night “Strike” package and a three-night “300 Game” package. Prices depend on the accommodations each fan prefers, but the basics of each package include the following:

STRIKE PACKAGE (starting at $200)

Two (2) nights’ accommodation at Silver Legacy Resort & Casino.

● Two VIP tickets to all ESPN shows including the PBA World Championship.

● Round trip transportation to and from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and Silver Legacy.

300 GAME PACKAGE (starting at $340)

Three (3) nights’ accommodation at Silver Legacy Resort & Casino.

● Two VIP tickets to all ESPN shows including the PBA World Championship.

● Behind the scenes tour of PBA Player Services Trucks and ESPN Production Truck.

● Official autographed PBA Tour bowling pin.

● Official WSOB t-shirt.

● Round trip transportation to and from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and Silver Legacy.

To enroll in the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling Ultimate Experience Fan program, visit: www.pba.com/tickets.

JASON BELMONTE LEADS 2018 DHC PBA JAPAN QUALIFYING LIST

Jason Belmonte is the leader on the combined PBA Tour-World Bowling Tour points list that will determine the 11 exempt players who will be invited to compete in the 2018 DHC PBA Japan Invitational in January as the PBA Tour heads into its final three events of the year.

Belmonte, with victories in the Barbasol PBA Players Championship and USBC Masters as well as the PBA International-WBT Storm Lucky Larsen Masters in Sweden, has compiled 110,432 points for a comfortable lead over Marshall Kent (60,950 points). Anthony Simonsen is third at 42,144 and EJ Tackett, who is automatically exempt as the defending DHC PBA Japan Invitational champion, is fourth. Qualifying points for the DHC Japan event are awarded on PBA Tour and WBT events that are open to all PBA members.

Tackett plus the 10 other points leaders will receive invitations to the event. DHC, as the tournament sponsor, will invite five additional players of its own choosing. They will join 16 Japanese players in the 32-game match play event.

There is still ample opportunity for players to qualify. Events remaining on the 2017 schedule include the WBT Thailand, Sept. 30-Oct 6; U.S. Open, Oct. 27-Nov. 1, and the multi-event GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Properties, Nov. 7-19 in Reno.

As of September 15, the 2017 PBA-WBT points leaders include:
1, Jason Belmonte, 110,432.
2, Marshall Kent, 60,950.
3, Anthony Simonsen, 42,144.
4, EJ Tackett, 39,838.
5, Dom Barrett, 320,210.
6, Rhino Page, 28,650.
7, Sean Rash, 27,262.
8, Jesper Svensson, 26,856.
9, Dick Allen, 25,515.
10, Chris Barnes, 24,250.
11, Martin Larsen, 23,730.
12, Francois Lavoie, 22,905.
13, Bill O’Neill, 20,980.
14, Jason Sterner, 20,725.
15, Josh Blanchard, 20,175.
16, Kyle Troup, 20,040.
17, Stuart Williams, 19,543.
18, Tom Daugherty, 18,945.
19, Tom Smallwood, 17,350.
20, Cameron Weier, 17,015.

APPLICATIONS BEING ACCEPTED FOR 2017 TONY REYES COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD

The PBA is now accepting nominations for the 2017 PBA Tony Reyes Community Service award, named in honor of the late PBA Tour player in recognition of his service to the bowling community. The award recognizes a current PBA member who performs extraordinary community service over the course of a PBA Tour season. To be eligible, the nominee must be a PBA member in good standing.

For a nomination form and additional information click on http://www.pba.com/Corporate/Awards. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 18.

Reyes, a popular PBA Tour titlist, died in late September 2012 of injuries sustained in a traffic accident near his home in San Bruno, Calif.

Past winners of the award have been Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J., in 2013 for his work primarily with two charitable endeavors he established – the Striking Out Sandy fundraiser and his annual Parker Bohn III Scholarship Tournament; Missy Parkin of Laguna Hills, Calif., in 2014, for her work in organizing the Baby Reesa Foundation fundraiser which supports families with children born with Krabbe Disease; Ed Godbout of Felton, Calif., in 2015, for establishing several charitable initiatives in Reyes’ name including the Tony Reyes Memorial Scholarship and the Tony Reyes Memorial Youth/Adult Doubles Tournament, and Rhino Page of Orlando, Fla., in 2016, for his involvement with the Thomas Cacioppo family in New York in raising more than $225,000 to combat the debilitating digestive tract disorders Crohn’s and Colitis.

WISEMAN’S SIXTH ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP TOURNAMENT SET FOR OCT. 7-8

Twelve-time PBA Tour champion Danny Wiseman of Baltimore will conduct his sixth annual Danny Wiseman Youth Scholarship Tournament Oct. 7-8 at AMF Country Lanes in suburban Baltimore.

Since its inception, the PBA Hall of Famer’s scholarship event has distributed more than $90,000 in college scholarship money. This year’s event will add another $25,000 to that total.

The tournament, which can accommodate 342 youth bowlers in scratch and handicap divisions, is filling rapidly. For information, visit Wiseman’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Danny-Wiseman-Bowling-Fan-Page-107752155919763/) or his website (http://www.dannywisemanbowling.com/).

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: TACKETT WINS IN TROY, OHIO

EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., defeated Graham Fach of Canada, 279-237, to win the PBA Rex & Griffin Bigelow Memorial/M & D Blacktop/BW3’s Central Open presented by Hammer at Troy Bowl Sunday for a $5,000 first prize and his sixth PBA Central Region title.

In the semifinal match, Fach downed Chris Via of Springfield, Ohio, 265-247, to advance to the championship match. AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill., started the finals by eliminating Matt Sanders of Evansville, Ind., 267-206, but then lost to Via, 270-245.

The tournament was dedicated to PBA Regional competitor Kyle Bigelow’s father, Rex, who died of leukemia a few years ago, and to Griffin Bigelow, Kyle’s infant son who died from heart complications when he was 6 months old.

Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., posted a 7-0-1 match play record and knocked down 3,964 pins Sunday to win his 11th career regional title in the PBA Ken & Kathy Fowler Auto Centers Open at Yokayo Bowl in Ukiah, Calif.

Butturff, who earned $2,000, defeated PJ Haggerty of Roseville, Calif., by 303 pins for his second win of the year after a PBA-record nine regional victories in 2016. Haggerty had a 5-3 match play record and 3,661 total pins for his 16 games including match play bonus pins.

In the companion PBA50 Open, Derek Gregory of Chowchilla, Calif., went 7-1 and knocked down 3,575 total pins to top Craig Miller of Tracy, Calif., by 92 pins for his second PBA50 West Region title.

● The PBA Regional calendar for the Sept. 22-24 weekend includes the PBA/PBA50 Millsboro Lanes Doubles in Millsboro, Del.; the Florence Bowling Center Central Open in Florence, Ky.; the PBA50 Rocky Mount South Open at Rocky Mount (Va.) Bowling Center; the Liberal Kansas Southwest Open at Ayr Lanes; the PBA and PBA50 Mockingbird Lanes doubleheader in Omaha, Neb., and the PBA West/Northwest TSI Inc. Open presented by Onsite Express at Paradise Lanes in Tacoma, Wash.

● The PBA Regional schedule for the Sept. 29-Oct. 1 weekend includes the PBA50 Mel Westrich Memorial Central/Midwest Open at Delphos Recreation in Delphos, Ohio; the PBA50 Spartanburg South Open at Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C., and the Killeen Southwest Open at Hallmark Lanes in Killeen, Texas.

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

QUICK NOTES

● Fun Fact: Did you know that for the 22 events held during 2007-08 PBA Tour season, there were 10 titles won by players age 40 and over, and the average age of the winners was 36.5 years? In 2017, through 20 events, there have been zero titles won by players 40 and older…and the average age of the winners is 28.15 years.

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PBA Spare Shots: GEICO World Series of Bowling IX Closing in on International Participation Record

by Bill Vint September 14, 2017 11:32

With the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Properties, less than two months away, the early entry list is closing in on the WSOB record for international representation with PBA members from 19 countries already on the roster, just four shy of the record set last year in Reno.

More than 120 entries are already on file from bowlers representing Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Norway, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand and Venezuela as well as the United States.

Ramon Hilferink will be the first bowler from The Netherlands to bowl in the World Series.

WSOB IX, which kicks off the 2017-18 GoBowling! PBA Tour schedule, will begin on Nov. 7 and conclude with a series of finals Nov. 18-19 for delayed telecast on ESPN (all of the finals will be live-streamed on ESPN3 and the Watch ESPN app). The World Series, open exclusively to PBA members, will include the PBA Cheetah, Chameleon, Scorpion and Shark animal pattern events, all leading into the PBA World Championship. The multi-event program also will include a USA vs. The World team match featuring the five top U.S. and five top international qualifiers based on composite scores from the four animal pattern events, and the 2017 World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals, presented by the PBA, which will feature the three leaders in competition points from a global series of tournaments in each gender division.

PBA Regional Challenge and PBA50 Tour Challenge events will kick off the World Series on Nov. 7, and will be covered exclusively by Xtra Frame, PBA’s online video streaming channel, which also will provide live coverage of all preliminary rounds of WSOB competition.

All PBA members are reminded that a lodging confirmation from one of Eldorado Reno Properties (Silver Legacy, Eldorado or Circus Circus) is required at the time of entry. Special World Series room rates also are available to fans, and news media and bowling industry representatives. To make room reservations, use one of the following links:

Silver Legacy: Room rates: $50 Sunday–Thursday, $70 Friday & Saturday. Silver Legacy code ISPBA17. Reservations phone number: 800-687-8733. Online reservations: https://silverlegacyreno.reztrip.com/ext/promoRate?property=1080&mode=b&pm=true&sr=242404&vr=3&accessCode=ISPBA17

Eldorado: Room rates $50 Sunday–Thursday; $80 Friday & Saturday. Eldorado code IEPBA17. Reservations phone number: 800-879-8879. Online reservations: https://eldoradoreno.reztrip.com/ext/promoRate?property=1079&mode=b&pm=true&sr=242406&vr=3&accessCode=IEPBA17

Circus Circus: Room rates: $38 Sunday–Thursday; $60 Friday & Saturday. Circus Circus code ICPBA17. Reservations phone number: 800-648-5010. Online reservations: https://circusreno.reztrip.com/ext/promoRate?property=1081&mode=b&pm=true&sr=242416&vr=3&accessCode=ICPBA17

Once a room reservation is made, PBA members can enter the World Series online (https://secure.pba.com/Store/catalog/world-series-of-bowling,25.htm).

XTRA FRAME’S NEWEST “PBA PLAYER PERSPECTIVE” FEATURES ANTHONY SIMONSEN

Anthony Simonsen’s historic victory in the 2016 USBC Masters at age 19 is the newest “PBA Player Perspective” feature on PBA’s Xtra Frame online video streaming channel. In the exclusive Xtra Frame feature that debuted on Wednesday, Simonsen shares his insight on becoming the youngest player in history to win a PBA Tour major title in his victory over Canada’s Dan MacLelland in the 2016 Masters from Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis.

A new PBA Player Perspective is being unveiled every other week, exclusively available to Xtra Frame subscribers along with hundreds of hours of additional content, including PBA tournament archives, interviews, bowling instruction, discussions about bowling equipment and more. To sign up for an Xtra Frame subscription, visit xtraframe.tv.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: RAY EDWARDS WINS A THRILLER IN SCHENECTADY

Ray Edwards of Middle Island, N.Y. rolled three clutch strikes in the 10th frame to achieve a 279 tie in the final match against Rick Graham of Lancaster, Pa., preserving his 12-pin lead and earning his 23rd PBA Regional title in the PBA50 Towne Bowling Academy Open in Schenectady, N.Y., Sunday.

Edwards entered the position round finale with a 12-pin lead over Graham. With the 30 bonus pins awarded to the match winner, whoever won the match won the title. Both players started with six strikes before Graham left a 10 pin. Edwards posted a seventh strike before leaving a 4 pin.

Graham, who finished first, struck out to force Edwards to match his effort and split the 30 bonus pins, which he did to finish with an eight-game total of 2,054 pins. The reigning East Region PBA50 Player of the Year won his second title of the season, making him the leading candidate to retain his PBA50 POY title and earn his fifth overall East Region POY award. He also took home the $1,500 first prize.

Graham, who turned 50 in August, won $850 as the runner-up. Harry Sullins of Chesterfield Township, Mich., who rolled the only 300 game of the event, trailed Edwards by only 30 pins going into the position round game, but could not overcome the 279-279 match between the two leaders. He finished third and earned $800.

Former University of Kansas star Dylan Burns from Lawrence, Kan., defeated 17-year old Trey Ford III of Bartlesville, Okla., 205-167, to win the fourth annual PBA Grand Casino Resort & Hotel Southwest Invitational at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., Sunday.

Burns, who won the 2014 PBA Lakewood Southwest Open as an amateur, earned his first PBA Regional title by avoiding open frames to topple the Oklahoma teenager to claim the $4,000 winner’s check.

After 12 games of qualifying, both Burns and Ford had long roads to the final match. Neither earned any byes in the elimination finals as Burns qualified 11th and Ford slipped into the finals with a 257 in his final game to grab the last spot in the 16-man finals. Burns started his road to victory by edging Brett Cooper of Fort Worth, Texas, 2-1 in the best-of-three-game Round of 16. He then defeated Anthony Lavery-Spahr of Pasadena, Texas; Sean Lavery-Spahr, also of Pasadena, and Mike Bailey from Irving, Texas, in his ensuing single-elimination matches.

Ford, who began bowling in PBA competition as a 13-year-old amateur, advanced to the finals with elimination match wins over Andy Patterson of Tyler, Texas; Beau Peterson from Newton, Kan.; fellow two-hander Shawn Maldonado of Houston, and Devin Bidwell of Wichita, Kan., before Burns ended his bid for his first PBA title. Ford, who joined the PBA in 2016 at age 16, earned $2,500 for second place.

As part of the tournament weekend, Dallas native Chris Warren of Grants Pass, Ore., and South Plains Lanes general manager/proprietor Jimmy (Jimbo) Evans of Lubbock, Texas, were inducted into the PBA Southwest Region Hall of Fame.

Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio defeated Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y. by 130 pins to win the PBA Autism Awareness Central Open presented by K&R Mower Derby at Astro Lanes in Wapakoneta, Ohio, Sunday.

Loschetter finished with a 10-2 match play record and a total of 5,120 pins for 20 games, including match play bonus pins, to win the $3,300 first place prize and his 14th PBA Regional title.

● Amateur Russ Oviatt defeated Jakob Butturff, 250-239, in a battle of Tempe, Ariz., bowlers to win the PBA West Aquimo Open presented by Columbia 300 at Mesa East Bowl in Mesa, Ariz., Sunday.

Oviatt, who earned $2,500 for his win, does not receive credit as a regional champion because he isn’t a PBA member. He defeated Josh Blanchard of Mesa, 212-187, to set up the title match after Blanchard eliminated Ronnie Russell of Marion, Ind., 184-156, in the opening match of the stepladder finals.

Nick Kruml of Downers Grove, Ill., defeated Mitch Beasley of Clarksville, Tenn., 245-147, to win the PBA Diamond Jo Midwest Open at Cherry Lanes Sunday in Dubuque, Iowa. Kruml, a PBA rookie, won his first PBA title along with the $1,800 first prize.

Beasley defeated amateur Collin Smith of Huron, S.D., 210-204, to advance to the championship match. In the first stepladder match, Beasley edged another amateur, Bryan Hahlen of Greenwood, S.C., 235-171.

In the PBA-PWBA segment of the tournament, Jodi Gawlik of Schaumburg posted an eight-game total of 1,697 pins to defeat Nichole DePaul-Miller of Plano, Ill., by 98 pins for the $1,200 first prize.

● September 15-17 PBA Regional events will include the PBA Rex & Griffin Bigelow Memorial/M&D Blacktop/BW3’s Central Open presented by Hammer at Troy Bowl in Troy, Ohio; the PBA Century Lanes Hampton South Open in Hampton, Va., and the PBA and PBA50 Ken & Kathy Fowler Auto Centers West/Northwest Opens doubleheader at Yokayo Bowling Center in Ukiah, Calif.

● The PBA Regional calendar for the Sept. 22-24 weekend includes the PBA/PBA50 Millsboro Lanes Doubles in Millsboro, Del.; the Florence Bowling Center Central Open in Florence, Ky.; the PBA50 Rocky Mount South Open at Rocky Mount (Va.) Bowling Center; the Liberal Kansas Southwest Open at Ayr Lanes; the PBA and PBA50 Mockingbird Lanes doubleheader in Omaha, Neb., and the PBA West/Northwest TSI Inc. Open presented by Onsite Express at Paradise Lanes in Tacoma, Wash.

● The PBA Regional schedule for the Sept. 29-Oct. 1 weekend includes the PBA50 Mel Westrich Memorial Central/Midwest Open at Delphos Recreation in Delphos, Ohio; the PBA50 Spartanburg South Open at Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C., and the Killeen Southwest Open at Hallmark Lanes in Killeen, Texas.

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

QUICK NOTES

● Ebonite International has named PBA Tour titlist Dave Wodka as the company's new Global Marketing Manager. Wodka, who owns one PBA Tour and 21 PBA Regional titles, will work closely with the EBI team to drive the company’s brands worldwide.

● As a tribute to his grandfather, PBA member Andy Varipapa II of Brookeville, Md., has created a comprehensive website (www.andyvaripapa.com) that chronicles the life of the legendary showman and trick shot artist from the 1930s until his death in 1984 at age 93. Although Varipapa was 68 when the PBA was founded, his passion for the organization and the sport is clearly outlined in his grandson’s extensive collection of articles, photos, testimonials and more. A lengthy interview with Varipapa II, conducted during the 2016 PBA Xtra Frame Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Classic is included in PBA’s Xtra Frame archives.

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PBA Spare Shots: PBA Members, Tournament Hosts Survive the Worst of Hurricane Harvey

by Bill Vint September 8, 2017 08:46

A number of PBA members, from regional players to PBA Hall of Famers, faced the consequences of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston and eastern Texas coastline in recent weeks. For the most part, bowlers and others with PBA connections survived the catastrophic storm in relatively good shape, as detailed in an in-depth report by Bowlers Journal International editor Gianmarc Manzione.

Among those Manzione talked with were PBA Hall of Famer David Ozio, DJ Archer, Steve Wunderlich, twin brothers Pete and Paul McCordic, and Dallas area resident Conner Pickford who just wants to help.

For Manzione’s full story, click here: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/hurricane-harvey-a-sobering-experience-for-texas-bowling-community/

In addition, PBA Hall of Famer Mark Williams was able to re-open his bowling center in Beaumont, to give people something to do, and PBA Southwest Region Player of the Year Shawn Maldonado said he was on dry ground.

Among the thousands of people offering assistance was newly-signed Houston Rocket and noted PBA friend Chris Paul, who donated $75,000 to help victims.

PBA followers are encouraged to follow PBA’s Facebook page for updates related to Hurricane Harvey as well as Hurricane Irma and wildfires that are impacting the Pacific Coast region.

HURRICANE IRMA FORCES POSTPONEMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA REGIONALS

The PBA South Region has postponed the PBA and PBA-PWBA Fayetteville South Open doubleheader scheduled for Fayetteville Lanes in LaFayette, N.C., this weekend due to the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Irma along the Atlantic Coast. PBA South Region Manager Sam Zurich said discussions regarding re-scheduling will take place after the threat of the hurricane is over.

PBA, HOTELPLANNER.COM RENEW “OFFICIAL HOTEL BOOKING AGENT” AGREEMENT

HotelPlanner.com, the leading provider of online services to the global group hotel sales market, has renewed its relationship as an Official Hotel Booking Agent of the PBA for the 2018 season.

HotelPlanner.com will continue to work directly with the PBA to provide players, coaches, family, and fans convenient online room reservations the organization’s tournaments, including PBA Tour, PBA-World Bowling International Tour, PBA50 Tour, PBA Regional Tour and the PBA-PWBA Women’s Regional Tour events. As part of its sponsorship, HotelPlanner.com awards a monthly $200 gift certificate for future lodging expenses to an individual who books a room through HotelPlanner.com’s link on pba.com.

“We’re proud to renew our partnership for the 2018 season as an official hotel booking agent and sponsor of the PBA,” said Tim Hentschel, co-founder and CEO of HotelPlanner.com. “HotelPlanner looks forward to providing quality hotels, great rates, and exceptional customer service for PBA’s tournament sports travel for its members and fans.

“The PBA and HotelPlanner.com have enjoyed a strong partnership and we are pleased to announce it will continue. Our traveling staff, players and fans love to utilize HotelPlanner.com’s efficient services,” said Tom Clark, PBA CEO and Commissioner.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: HAGGERTY, DICKEY WIN TONY REYES MEMORIAL DOUBLES

PJ Haggerty of Roseville, Calif. and his non-member partner, Dupree Dickey of Oakland, Calif., posted an 8-2 match play record and a combined 18-game total of 8,398 pins Sunday to win the PBA Tony Reyes Memorial Member/Non-Member Doubles at 4th Street Bowl in San Jose, Calif.

Haggerty and Dickey defeated Darren Tang of San Francisco and non-member Zack Hattori of Las Vegas who had a 4-6 match play record and 8,387 pins. Haggerty and Dickey shared the $4,000 first prize.

The Tony Reyes Memorial is named in honor of the late PBA Tour champion who died in 2012. The PBA’s Community Service Award is also named after Reyes.

Mike Hastings of Millsboro, Del. defeated John Conroy of Mahopac, N.Y., 220-201, to win the PBA50 Strike Zone Open presented by Track at the Strike Zone Alleys in Pottsville, Pa., Sunday for his second PBA50 Regional title.

Hastings, a veteran of 116 PBA50 Regional events, bowled a clean game in the championship round while Conroy could not overcome a split in the middle of the final game. For Hastings, the win came seven years after winning his first title in Martinsville, Va., in 2010. He earned $1,500 along with his title.

Hastings defeated Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y., 216-140, and Conroy defeated Ray Edwards of Middle Island, N.Y., 200-190, in the semifinal round.

AJ Johnson of Owego, Ill., celebrated his 25th birthday by defeating Kyle Sherman of O’Fallon, Mo., 253-237, to win the PBA Illinois Valley Midwest Open at Super Bowl in Peru, Ill., Sunday for his third consecutive PBA Midwest Region title.

Johnson, who now has four career PBA Regional titles, also earned $1,700.

Sherman defeated Nathan Michalowski of Burlington, Wis., 218-141, to advance to the championship match. In the first stepladder match, Michalowski edged Steve Taylor of Deer Creek, Ill., 185-183.

● September’s PBA Regional calendar continues over the Sept. 8-10 weekend with the PBA50 Towne Bowling Academy Open in Schenectady, N.Y.; the PBA Autism Awareness Central Open presented by K&R Mower Derby at Astro Lanes in Wapakoneta, Ohio; the Grand Hotel Casino & Resort Southwest Invitational at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla.; the PBA and PBA-PWBA Diamond Jo Casino Championships at Cherry Lanes in Dubuque, Iowa, and the Aquimo West Open presented by Columbia 300 at Mesa East Bowl in Mesa, Ariz.

● September 15-17 PBA Regional events will include the PBA Rex & Griffin Bigelow Memorial/M&D Blacktop/BW3’s Central Open presented by Hammer at Troy Bowl in Troy, Ohio; the PBA Century Lanes Hampton South Open in Hampton, Va., and the PBA and PBA50 Ken & Kathy Fowler Auto Centers West/Northwest Opens doubleheader at Yokayo Bowling Center in Ukiah, Calif.

● The PBA Regional calendar for the Sept. 22-24 weekend includes the PBA/PBA50 Millsboro Lanes Doubles in Millsboro, Del.; the Florence Bowling Center Central Open in Florence, Ky.; the PBA50 Rocky Mount South Open at Rocky Mount (Va.) Bowling Center; the Liberal Kansas Southwest Open at Ayr Lanes; the PBA and PBA50 Mockingbird Lanes doubleheader in Omaha, Neb., and the PBA West/Northwest TSI Inc. Open presented by Onsite Express at Paradise Lanes in Tacoma, Wash.

● The PBA Regional schedule for the Sept. 29-Oct. 1 weekend includes the PBA50 Mel Westrich Memorial Central/Midwest Open at Delphos Recreation in Delphos, Ohio; the PBA50 Spartanburg South Open at Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C., and the Killeen Southwest Open at Hallmark Lanes in Killeen, Texas.

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

QUICK NOTES

Gavin O’Neill has a baby sister. Bill and Christi O’Neill became parents of Avery Lynn O’Neill on Monday. Avery arrived at 7 pounds, four ounces…and 19.5 inches.

● William Smith of Hampton, Va., receives a new high-performance MOTIV ball; James Tagalos of Rhinelander, Wis., wins a new Brunswick ball, and Tiffany China of Leesville, La., is the lucky winner of a new high-performance ball from DV8 as August sweepstakes prizes for subscribing to Xtra Frame. The monthly sweepstakes is sponsored by the respective PBA Product Registered partners. Monthly winners are selected from among new Xtra Frame subscribers, who are automatically entered when they enroll as a monthly or Xtra Frame Season Ticket (full year) subscriber.

● Kerrilyn Askey is the August winner of a $200 HotelPlanner.com certificate, redeemable for future lodging expenses, compliments of PBA’s official travel partner. The monthly sweepstakes is open to anyone who books a hotel through the HotelPlanner.com link on pba.com. Those who book through HotelPlanner.com are automatically entered.

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PBA Tournament of Champions to Return to Historic AMF Riviera Lanes in Akron in 2018

by Bill Vint September 6, 2017 13:48

CHICAGO – The Professional Bowlers Association will return to historic AMF Riviera Lanes in Fairlawn, Ohio, for the 2018 PBA Tournament of Champions, February 5-11, as part of the organization’s 60th anniversary celebration, PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark announced today.

Riviera Lanes, the home of PBA’s TOC from 1966 through 1994, provided the setting for many of the most memorable tournaments in PBA history. The 40-lane center in suburban Akron hosted the Tournament of Champions for 28 years, with Norm Duke winning Riviera’s final event.

Akron also was the home of PBA headquarters from its founding in 1958 through 2000.

“As the PBA makes plans to celebrate its 60th anniversary, returning to one of the most famous settings for PBA competition was more than a goal. It was a dream come true,” Clark said. “We greatly appreciate Bowlmor AMF’s support in making our return to Riviera Lanes possible.”

Among the expected field of 96 PBA champions will be defending champion EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., who was not quite 2 years old when Riviera last hosted the TOC. He will be among the national tour title holders who will have first option to enter the event. PBA50 and regional winners will be given the opportunity to fill any vacancies. Entry details will be announced later.

"We are thrilled to be hosting the 2018 Tournament of Champions at our iconic AMF Riviera Lanes. It is an honor to be a part of this historic event and we look forward to seeing it played out at the venue where the Firestone PBA Tournament of Champions began,” said Colie Edison, Chief Customer Officer for Bowlmor AMF, the owner of the Riviera Lanes.

The first PBA Tournament of Champions was held in Indianapolis in 1962, but was discontinued until 1965 when it returned as the Firestone PBA Tournament of Champions, in the first year of PBA’s long-standing “Pro Bowlers Tour” series on ABC-TV. The 1965 event was the first nationally-televised sports event to include a corporate sponsor as part of its title, launching what has since become a multi-billion-dollar sports marketing industry.

The 2018 PBA Tournament of Champions will conclude on Sunday, Feb. 11, with the live ESPN stepladder finals. Additional information about the event will be announced soon.

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PBA Spare Shots: 2017 PBA Xtra Frame Tour Features 10 Events, 10 Locations, 11 Different Champions

by Bill Vint August 31, 2017 08:36

Xtra Frame is today’s solution to providing the sport with a traveling PBA Tour with broad appeal. The rapid growth of technology that allows for video streaming provides the ability to transmit live “televised” events via the internet from all corners of the world to all corners of the world, on any day at any time.

The PBA, a frontrunner in using Xtra Frame to cover events and make them available to bowling fans around the world at very little cost, will continue to evolve to serve the interests of its fan base. The nature of video streaming also expands the fan’s access to aspects of tournament competition, such as qualifying and match play rounds, that were never available in the past.

In 2017, the PBA’s Xtra Frame programming included 10 events in 10 different locations, all covered exclusively from first ball to last. The Xtra Frame Tour produced 11 different champions (including one woman, who received a PWBA title). A quick recap of the events and winners includes:

● DHC PBA Japan Invitational, Bentencho Grand Bowl, Osaka, Japan: EJ Tackett.

● Xtra Frame Reality Check Classic, Sawgrass Lanes, Tamarac, Fla.: Josh Blanchard.

● Xtra Frame Wilmington Open, Ten Pin Alley Family Fun Center, Wilmington, N.C.: Anthony Simonsen.

● Xtra Frame Greater Jonesboro Open, Jonesboro Bowling Center, Jonesboro, Ark.: Francois Lavoie.

● Xtra Frame Lubbock Sports Open, Lubbock, Texas: Marshall Kent.

● Xtra Frame Billy Hardwick Memorial Open, Billy Hardwick’s All-Star Lanes, Memphis, Tenn.: Matt Sanders.

● Xtra Frame Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles, Copperfield Bowl, Houston, Texas: Jason Sterner/Birgit Poppler.

● Xtra Frame Chesapeake Open, AMF Western Branch, Chesapeake, Va.: Dick Allen.

● Xtra Frame Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Classic, Mid-County Bowling & Entertainment, Middletown, Del.: Sean Rash.

● Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Group Classic, Pla-Mor Lane, Coldwater, Ohio: Rhino Page.

Seven of the 10 events listed were part of the inaugural Xtra Frame Storm Cup points series, which provided players with more than $411,000 in prize money plus the added incentive to compete for another $50,000 in bonus prize money based upon consistency of performance throughout the season. DHC Japan (an invitational event), Hardwick Memorial (a restricted-equipment event) and Mixed Doubles (an event involving partners) were not part of the Storm Cup due to their unique variations, but they were important parts of the Xtra Frame program.

As a group, all of the XF Tour events all offered at least $10,000 in first prize money and collectively, they provided a grand total of $750,000 in prize money to PBA Tour players that otherwise may not have existed. The Xtra Frame Tour also created an opportunity for a special points competition – the PBA Xtra Frame Storm Cup – which led to $50,000 in bonus prize money including a $20,000 prize to points champion EJ Tackett (feature photo).

JASON BELMONTE MOVES INTO ELITE TERRITORY WITH 15TH CAREER TITLE

By winning his 15th PBA Tour title in the PBA International-World Bowling Tour Storm Lucky Larsen Masters Sunday in Malmo, Sweden, Australia’s Jason Belmonte have moved into a higher tier among PBA’s elite.

With 15 titles, Belmonte is now tied with Steve Cook for 23rd place on the all-time titles list. Next on the list is Jason Couch with 16, Carmen Salvino with 17 and a logjam of bowlers with 18 career titles, including Chris Barnes, Nelson Burton Jr., Dave Davis, Billy Hardwick, Tommy Jones and Dave Soutar, all of whom are tied for 15th place on the all-time list.

Among active PBA players, Belmonte is eighth behind Walter Ray Williams Jr. (47), Norm Duke (38), Pete Weber (37), Parker Bohn III (35), Amleto Monacelli (20), Barnes and Jones (18 each).

PBA’S NEWEST CHAMPION JOINS BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS “BIG CHAMPIONS” PROGRAM

Sanders.Matt_Evansville INPBA rookie Matt Sanders (at left), a 23-year-old two-time All-American at Marian University-Indiana and the PBA Tour’s newest first-time title winner, will become the first PBA member to join Big Brothers Big Sisters’ “Big Champions” program on Friday.

Sanders, who won the PBA Xtra Frame Billy Hardwick Memorial plastic ball title in Memphis in late June, will become a “celebrity ambassador” for the nationally-famous youth organization that provides mentoring for young people in need of adult guidance. Sanders, the first PBA member to sign on as a Big Champion, will join a group including actor Jamie Foxx, Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown, singer/songwriters Letoya Luckett and Eric Hutchinson, and actor and former Little Brother Ryan Potter, among others, who will work to create awareness for the organization as well as assisting in fundraising and recruitment.

Sanders noted he will specifically try to assist Big Brothers Big Sisters with its Bowl for Kids’ Sake program. For more information about the Big Champions project, visit: http://www.bbbs.org/big-champions/

MARSHALL KENT RETAINS LEAD IN TIGHT WORLD BOWLING TOUR POINTS RACE

Kent.MarshallThanks in part to his win in the PBA Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Oklahoma Open in early July, Marshall Kent (at left) of Yakima, Wash., has retained a modest lead in the 2017 World Bowling Tour men’s points race heading into the WBT Thailand in Bangkok Sept. 30-Oct. 6, followed by the PBA World Championship at the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Properties, in early November in Reno.

The PBA World Championship will be the final qualifying event for the 2017 WBT Men’s and Women’s Finals, presented by the PBA, that will be conducted on Nov. 19 as the concluding event to WSOB IX. The WBT Finals will include the top three men and top three women based on 2017 points, bowling for $20,000, $10,000 and $5,000 in prize money.

Following the PBA International-WBT Storm Lucky Larsen Masters in Malmo, Sweden, last weekend, Kent continued to lead the men’s standings with 273 points, with England’s Dom Barrett second with 249 points. Both players missed the Malmo event to bowl in the PBA’s Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Classic in Coldwater, Ohio, where they were in contention in the PBA Xtra Frame Storm Cup points race as well.

Currently third in WBT men’s points is Sweden’s Martin Larsen with 227 points followed by Malmo winner Jason Belmonte of Australia (220), Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas (216), EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind. (203) and Jesper Svensson of Sweden (190). England’s Stuart Williams (188), Denmark’s Thomas Larsen (177) and Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill. (172) round out the men’s top 10.

The women’s points leaders included Danielle McEwan (445), Liz Johnson (230), Anggie Ramirez (228), Shayna Ng (186) and Liz Kuhlkin (176).

XTRA FRAME FEATURES SMITHFIELD PWBA TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP

Xtra Frame, PBA’s exclusive online video streaming service, will focus on coverage of the Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship over the Labor Day weekend. Xtra Frame will cover the preliminary best-of-five-game elimination matches of PWBA’s end-of-season tournament Monday and Tuesday from Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Va.

Xtra Frame’s coverage will begin on Labor Day at noon (EDT) with matches featuring Maria Jose Rodriquez vs. Missy Parkin, and Shannon O’Keefe vs. Birgit Poppler. At 3 p.m., Shannon Pluhowsky will meet Sin Li Jane, and Rocio Restrepo will bowl Stefanie Johnson. Monday’s coverage concludes at 6 p.m. with Clara Guerrero vs. Siti Rahman and Daria Pajak vs. Verity Crowley.

Tuesday’s schedule includes Danielle McEwan vs. the Rodriguez-Parkin winner in match 7 and the O’Keefe-Poppler winner vs. the Pluhowsky-Sin winner in match 8 at noon followed by the Restrepo-Johnson winner meeting the Guerrero-Rahman winner in match 9, and the Pajak-Crawler winner facing Diana Zavjalova in match 10 at 3 p.m. The quarterfinal round at 6 p.m. will feature the match 7 and 8 winners and the match 9 and 10 winners.

The two survivors will advance to the live CBS Sports Network finals on Wednesday at 8 p.m. EDT where they’ll join semifinalists Liz Johnson and Kelly Kulick for showdown matches leading into the championship match.

Also making its Xtra Frame debut this week is an Xtra Frame Player Perspective feature in which England’s Dom Barrett discusses his emotional 2013 PBA World Championship victory over America’s Sean Rash at the South Point Exhibition Hall in Las Vegas.

To sign up for an Xtra Frame subscription, visit xtraframe.tv.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: TONY REYES MEMORIAL DOUBLES SET FOR LABOR DAY WEEKEND

Kicking off the September PBA Regional schedule will be the PBA60 Wilson & Sons Super Senior Open presented by the Mooresville Convention and Visitors Bureau Saturday and Sunday at George Pappas’ Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C., followed immediately by the PBA50 Samuel Adams South Open presented by the Mooresville Convention and Visitors Bureau at George Pappas’ Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C.

The Labor Day weekend calendar of PBA Regional action also includes the PBA50 Strike Zone Open presented by Track in Pottsville, Pa.; the Tony Reyes Memorial Member/Non-Member Doubles at Fourth Street Bowl in San Jose, Calif.; the Illinois Valley Midwest Open at IV Super Bowl in Peru, Ill., and the DHC Japan PBA Doubles Open, Japan Cheetah Masters and Japan Cheetah Queens at Nagoya Grand Bowl in Nagoya, Japan.

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

QUICK NOTES

● The PBA has advised that fewer than 80 spots remain available to members wanting to enter the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX in Reno, Nov. 7-19. Players must confirm a lodging reservation at one of presenting sponsor Eldorado Reno Properties’ facilities (Silver Legacy, Eldorado or Circus Circus) at the time of entry. To enter online, PBA members can use this link: https://secure.pba.com/Store/catalog/world-series-of-bowling,25.htm

● The United States Bowling Congress has announced the 2018 USBC Masters, a major on the PBA Tour schedule, will be held at the Oncenter Convention Center in Syracuse, N.Y., April 8-15. It will be the first time the Masters has been a part of the USBC Open Championship since 2011. Jason Belmonte is the defending champion.

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