PBA Spare Shots: Marshall Holman Addresses PBA Players About Their Roles as Entertainers

by Bill Vint October 18, 2018 12:46

During the annual PBA players meeting prior to the start of the FloBowling PBA Fall Swing in Owasso, Okla., earlier this week, PBA Hall of Famer Marshall Holman accepted an invitation from the PBA to talk about the role of PBA players and all professional athletes as entertainers.

During a colorful career in which he won 22 PBA Tour titles over a span of more than two decades, the volatile Holman built one of the PBA’s largest love-hate fan bases, but always respected the game and in retirement has continued to embrace the sport’s fans through his involvement as an unofficial ambassador for the PBA.

The meeting also brought players up to speed on new media partners FOX Sports and FloSports, ushering in a new era of the PBA heading into the ground-breaking 2019 season.

PBA OFFERS $1 MILLION BONUS FOR TITLE MATCH 300 GAME IN FOUR 2019 EVENTS

At the members’ gathering in Owasso, PBA CEO-Commissioner Tom Clark announced that PBA players will have four opportunities to bowl for a $1 million bonus if any of them can roll a 300 game in the title match of four PBA tournaments in 2019.

The 300 game bonus will be at stake during FOX Sports’ live telecasts of the PBA Tournament of Champions on FOX on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 5 p.m. EDT from AMF Riviera Lanes in Akron, Ohio; the PBA Players Championship on FS1 on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 1 p.m. from Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in Columbus, Ohio; the Go Bowling! Indianapolis Open on FS1 on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 1 p.m. from Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis, and the PBA World Championship on FS1 on Thursday, March 21, at 8 p.m. from Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich.

There have been 26 perfect games bowled on national television throughout the PBA’s history, but only two in title matches: the first by Bob Benoit in defeating PBA legend Mark Roth, 300-255, in the title match of the Quaker State Open in Grand Prairie, Texas, in 1988, and the second by PBA Hall of Famer Mike Aulby in the highest scoring title match in PBA history, topping David Ozio, 300-279, in the finals of the 1993 Wichita (Kan.) Open.

Hall of Fame VIP Experience $20 Raffle tickets3IBM/HF RAFFLE OFFERS “HALL OF FAME VIP EXPERIENCE” FOR PBA HALL OF FAME CLASSIC

The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, in cooperation with the PBA, has created plans for a “Hall of Fame VIP Experience” in conjunction with the PBA Hall of Fame Classic that will be contested at the International Testing and Research Center on the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas, Jan. 3-6.

The “Hall of Fame VIP Experience” project involves a nation-wide fund-raising raffle that will provide one lucky winner with a once-in-a-lifetime experience centered around the PBA tournament and PBA Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Arlington Jan. 5-6.

The PBA Hall of Fame Classic will be the first event of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season and the first PBA championship to air live on FS1 as part of the PBA’s new television agreement with FOX Sports. The stepladder finals will be televised on Sunday, Jan. 6, at 11 a.m. EST from the ITRC in Arlington.

Raffle ticket sales, for $20 per ticket, are currently underway at participating bowling centers throughout the U.S., or by contacting the IBM/HF at 817-385-8230 or www.bowlingmuseum.com. The winning ticket will be drawn on Facebook Live on Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. EST. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the museum's Frame4Frame Film Restoration Initiative which is intended to restore and preserve the IBM/HF’s irreplaceable collection of history bowling films.

The lucky winner will receive:
● Round-trip travel and meal expenses for two to the International Bowling Campus, site of the 2019 PBA Hall of Fame Classic.
     ● Invitations to weekend events hosted by Hall of Famer Mike Aulby.
     ● Private, behind-the-scenes guided tour of the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, and the International Bowling Campus.
     ● Special exhibit ribbon-cutting at the museum.
     ● Tickets to the PBA Hall of Fame cocktail party.
    ● VIP seating at the PBA Hall of Fame Awards Banquet.
     ● Meet and greet with PBA Hall of Fame bowlers.
     ● Special PBA production tour.
    ● VIP seating at the live FOX Sports televised-finals of the PBA Hall of Fame Classic on FS1.
    ● Bowling jersey autographed by the PBA Hall of Fame Classic champion.
    ● Autographed PBA championship pin.
     ● Photo in a national bowling magazine.
     ● Tons of photo and autograph opportunities.

PBA APP FOR ANDROID DEVICES IS NOW AVAILABLE

A new app to access pba.com, including live scoring when any PBA event is live, the latest PBA news, tournament schedules, player bios, the extensive archive of records, facts and figures residing on the PBA’s official website and more, is now available via Google Play. To load the free app, click here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pba.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: HURRICANE MICHAEL POSTPONES BLUFFTON DOUBLES

Hurricane Michael forced the postponement of the PBA-PBA50 Station 300 Baker Doubles planned for the Oct. 13-14 weekend in Bluffton, S.C. PBA South Region tournament manager Sam Zurich said he and the tournament host center will explore the possibility of re-scheduling the event for a later date.

● PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J., making his annual trip to the Pacific Northwest, posted a 7-1 match play record and knocked down 3,819 pins Sunday to win the PBA50 Dick’s Pro Shop Northwest/West Open at Linn Lanes in Lebanon, Ore.

Bohn, who earned $1,500, defeated Chris Warren of Grants Pass, Ore., by 28 pins for the win. Warren had a 5-3 match play record and 3,791 total pins for his 16 games including match play bonus pins.

In the companion PBA60 Open for bowlers age 60 and older, non-member Mike Karch of Edgewood, Wash., went 6-2 and knocked down 3,907 total pins for 16 games to top Ed Silva of Manteca, Calif., by 287 pins and earn $1,500. Silva had a 5-3 match play record and a total of 3,620 pins.

● PBA60 competitor Sammy Ventura of Syracuse, N.Y. and his PBA50 partner Jeff Zaffino of Warren, Pa., defeated Dick Gran of Hartville, Ohio and Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, 2-0, in the best-of-three-game championship match to win the PBA50/PBA60 Doubles Park Centre Lanes Central Open presented by Columbia 300 at Park Centre Lanes in North Canton, Ohio, Sunday.

Teams in the event included one bowler between the ages of 50 and 59 and one bowler over the age of 60. This was Ventura’s eighth PBA50 regional title and Zaffino’s 11th. The champions split the $2,800 first prize.

In the best-of-three-game semifinal round, Ventura and Zaffino defeated Darryl Bower of Middletown, Pa., and Michael Tryniski of Fulton, N.Y., 2-0, while Gran and Kretzer downed William Peters of Dayton, Ohio, and Eddie Graham of Kettering, Ohio, 2-1, to set up the championship match.

● The Oct. 19-21 PBA Regional calendar includes the PBA50 Waxahachie Southwest Open at Hilltop Lanes in Waxahachie, Texas, and the Jackson Central/Midwest Open at Dave Small’s Jax 60 in Jackson, Mich.

● The final PBA Regional events of October take place over the Oct. 26-28 weekend, including the PBA50 Bryan’s Bowling Center East Open presented by the Hopkins Automotive Group and 900 Global in Laurel, Del., and the South Point West Challenge and PBA Member-Nonmember Doubles, both presented by Radical, at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas

● 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 and Android device users using the PBA app).

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PBA Spare Shots: Finnish Brewery Recognizes Mika Koivuniemi’s Election to PBA Hall of Fame

by Bill Vint October 12, 2018 11:18

Election to the PBA Hall of Fame is a big deal no matter who the individual or where he comes from, but it was an especially memorable honor for native Mika Koivuniemi who will become the first bowler from Finland inducted into the PBA Hall in January.

To celebrate Koivuniemi’s election, Finland’s Tornia Brewery created a “special edition” case of its Original Lapland Lager, Koivuniemi’s favorite, with a neck label recognizing his election.

FLOBOWLING BRINGS FANS PERSONALITY INSIGHTS, PODCASTS AND MORE

As the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour heads down the home stretch, and attention turns to next week’s FloBowling PBA Fall Swing at The Lanes at Coffee Creek in suburban Tulsa, Okla., PBA fans are learning more and more about PBA players, tournaments, viewpoints and more through PBA’s new partnership with FloSports and its dedicated PBA network, FloBowling.

In addition to its exclusive live-streaming coverage of specific events on PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling, PBA’s new online partner has recently produced podcasts with PBA Tour champion Tom Daugherty, video tips with Bob Learn Jr., stories about the unconventional two-handed style of Tim Cagle II, a preview of the Fall Swing oil patterns with Josh Blanchard, a guest column by PBA CEO-Commissioner Tom Clark re: his phone calls to PBA’s newly-elected hall of famers, and, most recently, a pointed commentary by Australia’s Jason Belmonte who told his “two-handed haters” he could still beat most them bowling with one hand.

A growing library of articles and podcasts are available to PBA fans at no cost simply by visiting https://www.flobowling.com/, where all content is free unless it is designated as “PRO” content.

In addition to following the PBA Tour on pba.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, fans also can follow FloBowling on those same platforms (example: : https://www.facebook.com/FloBowling/)…and then they can round out a complete PBA package by subscribing to FloBowling, where they’ll be able to watch exclusive live coverage of the FloBowling PBA Fall Swing, including the Wolf, Bear and Tulsa Open events, Oct. 15-20.

The 2018 PBA Tour season then concludes with the U.S. Open at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan. The preliminary rounds of the U.S. Open also will be live-streamed by Xtra Frame on FloBowling, Oct. 26-30, before the finals air live on CBS Sports Network on Oct. 31.

At stake as the season winds down are eight berths in the PBA Clash which will air on Dec. 23 on FOX, kicking off the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season on FOX, and berths in the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by the PBA which will be contested at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas, for airing on FS1 on Sunday, March 10, at 10 p.m. EST.

…AND THEY CAN PLAY GOLF PRETTY WELL, TOO…

Contributing editor Cliff Schrock, writing for Golf Digest, does an annual report on high-quality golfers among athletes who star in other sports, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, etc. This year’s list, released Tuesday on golfdigest.com, includes four PBA players who also excel on the links along with their unofficial golf handicaps. Schrock’s list includes:

● EJ Tackett: a 2 handicapper lists his home course as Orchard Ridge Country Club in Indiana.

Ronnie Russell: plays to a 3.2 handicap; calls Meshingomesia Golf Club in Indiana home.

Tommy Jones: the 2005-06 PBA Player of the Year is a 5 handicap golfer; his home course is Holly Tree Country Club in South Carolina.

Pete Weber: the 37-time PBA Tour titlist is a 9 handicap golfer; his home course is Bogey Hills Country Club in the St. Louis area.

Also worth noting are a couple of other well-known athletes with PBA ties:

● Boston Red Sox star Mookie Betts regularly shoots in the 80-85 range in posting a 12 handicap; he is known to frequent Talis Park G.C. in Florida and the Nashville Golf and Athletic Club near his Tennessee home.

● Houston Rockets star Chris Paul, host of the annual CP3 PBA Invitational, has improved from a 20 to a 13.7 handicap in golf over the past couple of years. He led an NBA team of eight stars in the State Farm Showdown last summer at Mohegan Sun Golf Club in Connecticut.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: ROOKIE MICHAEL COFFEY WINS FIRST PBA TITLE IN GEORGIA

Michael Coffey of Melbourne, Fla. won his first PBA title Sunday, defeating 22-time PBA Regional titlist Stoney Baker of Canton, Ga., 221-213, to win the second annual PBA Albany Strikers South Open at Albany Strikers Lanes in Albany, Ga.

Coffey, a 23-year-old PBA rookie, qualified in the final position for the four-man stepladder finals with a 16-game total of 3,740 pins and disposed of two-time PBA Tour champion Tom Daugherty of Riverview, Fla., in his opening match, 300-268, and narrowly defeated 2015 PBA World Champion Gary Faulkner Jr. of Memphis, Tenn., 245-244, in the semifinal contest to advance to the championship match.

In the title match Coffey needed to double in the 10th frame to win and did just that. Coffey, the 2015 Teen Masters champion, 2016 collegiate bowler of the year with Lindenwood University and a two-time member of Junior Team USA, earned $2,400.

● Canadian Raymond Lussier, now living in San Jose, Calif., won nine of his 10 matches to post a winning 18-game total of 4,312 pins Sunday in the PBA Battle of Black Oak Casino West Open at Black Oak Lanes in Tuolumne, Calif., picking up his second PBA Regional title.

Lussier, who earned $2,500, defeated Chris Warren of Grants Pass, Ore., who had a 7-3 match play record and 4,115 pins to earn the $1,300 second prize. Warren is the all-time leader in standard PBA Regional titles with 47.

Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio defeated Jeff Zaffino of Warren, Pa., by 223 pins to win the PBA50 Mel Westrich Memorial Central/Midwest Open at Delphos Recreation Center in Delphos, Ohio, Sunday.

Kretzer finished the 20-game event with a 10-2 match play record and a total of 4,986 pins, including match play bonus pins, to earn his first PBA50 Central Region title of the year and his ninth overall PBA50 Regional title. The reining PBA50 Central Region Player of the Year also earned $1,500.

● PBA Hall of Famer Mark Williams from Beaumont, Texas, and Ricky Schissler of Brighton, Colo., won titles in a pair of joint PBA50 Southwest/Midwest Regional events over the weekend at Junction City Bowl in Junction City, Kan.

On Saturday, Williams defeated Team USA competitor and new PBA member Steve Badovinac of Parker Colo., 224-192, to win his 21st PBA Regional title. Badovinac started the championship match strong with four strikes, but two late open frames allowed a late charge by Williams to win the match and the $1,200 first place check.

On Sunday, Schissler, who won the same event in 2017 for his first PBA title, won six of his seven matches in the eight-game round robin match play finals to build a comfortable 122-pin lead over qualifying leader Keith Lesko from Prosper, Texas. Schissler’s 188-183 win over Lesko in the final position round match allowed Williams to advance to second. Schissler finished the 15-game event with 3,406 total pins, including match play bonus pins, while Williams ended with a 3,280 pinfall total, 31 ahead of Lesko.

● The PBA Regional schedule for the Oct. 12-14 weekend includes the PBA50-PBA60 Central Doubles Open presented by Columbia 300 at Park Centre Lanes in North Canton, Ohio; the PBA-PBA50 Station 300 Baker Doubles in Bluffton, S.C., and the PBA50 and PBA60 Dick’s Pro Shop Northwest/West doubleheader presented by Boulder Falls at Linn Lanes in Portland, Ore.

● The Oct. 19-21 PBA Regional calendar includes the PBA50 Waxahachie Southwest Open at Hilltop Lanes in Waxahachie, Texas, and the Jackson Central/Midwest Open at Dave Small’s Jax 60 in Jackson, Mich.

● The final PBA Regional events of October take place over the Oct. 26-28 weekend, including the PBA50 Bryan’s Bowling Center East Open presented by the Hopkins Automotive Group and 900 Global in Laurel, Del., and the South Point West Challenge and PBA Member-Nonmember Doubles, both presented by Radical, at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas

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

QUICK NOTES:

● PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke has withdrawn from the Flo Bowling PBA Fall Swing while nursing a recurring calf injury and a sore right elbow. Duke has noted, however, that he hopes to be well enough to compete in the U.S. Open, the season’s final major championship, Oct. 24-31 in Wichita, Kan.

● Speaking of the FloBowling PBA Fall Swing, 10 countries will be represented in the field of more than 100 players, including competitors from Australia, England, Mexico, Canada, Sweden, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Thailand and the U.S.

● PBA Hall of Famer Danny Wiseman recently conducted his annual scholarship tournament for youth bowlers in the Baltimore area. For results and photos, click here: www.facebook.com/pages/DANNY-WISEMAN-BOWLING-FAN-PAGE/107752155919763

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PBA Spare Shots: Bill O’Neill’s “on the Bubble” in 8th Qualifying Spot for 2018 PBA Clash

by Bill Vint October 4, 2018 11:12

The PBA International-WBT Thailand, which concluded Friday in Bangkok, at least temporarily shuffled the top eight qualifying positions on the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour earnings list heading into the end-of-season PBA Clash, and Bill O’Neill is now “bubble boy” in the eighth spot.

Following the Thailand tournament, the top four on the 2018 PBA Tour earnings list remain the same: Jason Belmonte, Anthony Simonsen, Dom Barrett and Andrew Anderson. After a fourth-place finish in Thailand, Kyle Troup has moved up two spots to fifth; EJ Tackett drops one spot to sixth, Marshall Kent is seventh (down from sixth) and O'Neill is now on the bubble in eighth place, moving up two spots after finishing 15th in Thailand. Jesper Svensson has advanced to ninth ($1,470 behind O’Neill) followed by Jakob Butturff and Tom Smallwood.

Attention now turns to the FloBowling PBA Fall Swing (including the Wolf Open, Bear Open and Tulsa Open) at The Lanes at Coffee Creek in suburban Tulsa, Okla., Oct. 15-20, followed by the U.S. Open at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan., Oct. 24-31, which will decide the earnings race.

PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling will cover the PBA Fall Swing live from start to finish. Subscriptions are available at FloBowling.com. The preliminary rounds of the U.S. Open also will be live-streamed by Xtra Frame on FloBowling, Oct. 26-30, before the finals air live on CBS Sports Network on Oct. 31.

The WBT Thailand was also a WBT points event. The top three men and top three women in WBT points for the 2018 season will compete in the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by the PBA which will be contested at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas, for airing on FS1 on Sunday, March 10, at 10 p.m. EST.

The current top five in men’s WBT points are: Anthony Simonsen, Stuart Williams, Kyle Troup, Andrew Anderson and Sean Rash. The women’s top five are WBT Thailand winner Danielle McEwan, Liz Johnson, Daria Pajak, Siti Safiyah Amirah and Shannon O’Keefe.

The final three events to earn WBT points in 2018 will be the PBA Tulsa Open, the U.S. Open and the all-events division of the World Bowling Men’s World Championships Nov. 24-Dec. 5 in Hong Kong.

PBA STARS TO COMPETE IN WORLD BOWLING MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS IN HONG KONG

Several PBA stars from around the world will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals in the World Bowling Men’s World Championships Nov. 24-Dec. 5 in Hong Kong, including Team USA members Andrew Anderson, Chris Barnes, Jakob Butturff, Tommy Jones, EJ Tackett and Kyle Troup. Barnes and Jones are the veterans on Team USA, having made their debuts in 1995 and 1996, respectively. Butturff along with Barnes and Jones were members of the 2017 gold-medal U.S. men’s team in the combined men’s and women’s World Bowling Championships in Las Vegas. Anderson, Tackett and Troup will be making their debuts as members of adult Team USA.

The Men’s World Championships are held every four years. Competition includes singles, doubles, trios, five-man team, all-events and Masters events.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: BUTTURFF WINS 19TH REGIONAL TITLE IN ROHNERT PARK

Top qualifier Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., defeated Josh Blanchard of Mesa, Ariz., 259-206, to win the PBA Double Decker Lanes West/Northwest Open presented by Roto Grip at Double Decker Lanes Sunday, continuing his unprecedented domination of PBA Regional competition in the west.

The win, which was covered live by PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling, was Butturff’s 19th regional title in his three-year PBA career, and earned the $2,000 top prize.

Blanchard defeated Wayne Garber of Modesto, Calif., 232-222, in the semifinal match after Garber defeated Tim Cagle II of Hercules, Calif., in the opening match, 223-174,

● In Bluffton, Ind., EJ Tackett gave his family’s newly-purchased bowling center, EZ Bowl, a successful initiation Sunday when he defeated Patrick Dombrowski of Parma, Ohio, 235-199 to win the Bluffton Central/Midwest Open.

Tackett re-located from Huntington, Ind., to Bluffton when his family recently acquired the bowling center that was subsequently renamed “EZ Bowl” based on the initials of the Tackett brothers, EJ and Zach.

The title was Tackett’s first of the year in the PBA Central Region and his seventh career PBA Regional title. He earned $2,500 along with his title.

Dombrowski defeated Michael Davidson of Versailles, Ohio, 223-204, to advance to the championship match after edging Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y., 182-181, in the first stepladder match.

Keith Lesko of Prosper, Texas, defeated Mac Sanders of Taylors, S.C., 223-216, to win the PBA50 J&L Sports Spartanburg South Open at Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C., Sunday.

Lesko won $1,900 along with his fifth career regional title. After rolling a strike in the ninth frame, he needed another on his first shot in the 10th frame to take the title and he delivered the shot he needed.

In the semifinal round, Lesko eliminated Craig Auerbach of Sunrise, Fla., 244-178, while Sanders disposed of Tim Regan of East Northport, N.Y., 280-183.

● October’s PBA Regional events get underway this weekend with the PBA50 Mel Westrich Memorial/Ebonite Central/Midwest Open at Delphos Recreation in Delphos, Ohio; a PBA50 Southwest/Midwest two-day, two-tournament program at Junction City Bowl in Junction City, Kan.; the Albany Strikers South Open in Albany, Ga.; the 13th annual Battle at Black Oak Casino West Open in Tuolumne, Calif., and the DHC Japan Cheetah Mixed Doubles and Japan Queens at Nagoya Grand Bowl in Nagoya, Japan.

● The PBA Regional schedule for the Oct. 12-14 weekend includes the PBA50-PBA60 Central Doubles Open presented by Columbia 300 at Park Centre Lanes in North Canton, Ohio; the PBA-PBA50 Station 300 Baker Doubles in Bluffton, S.C., and the PBA50 and PBA60 Dick’s Pro Shop Northwest/West doubleheader presented by Boulder Falls at Linn Lanes in Portland, Ore.

● The Oct. 19-21 PBA Regional calendar includes the PBA50 Waxahachie Southwest Open at Hilltop Lanes in Waxahachie, Texas, and the Jackson Central/Midwest Open at Dave Small’s Jax 60 in Jackson, Mich.

● The final PBA Regional events of October take place over the Oct. 26-28 weekend, including the PBA50 Bryan’s Bowling Center East Open presented by the Hopkins Automotive Group and 900 Global in Laurel, Del., and the South Point West Challenge and PBA Member-Nonmember Doubles, both presented by Radical, at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas

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

QUICK NOTES:

● PBA’s list of all-time regional title winners suggests no PBA member has come close to Jakob Butturff’s record in regional competition in his first three years as a member. Unofficially – because the PBA has never created record categories for its regional program – the closest to Butturff’s performance would be newly-elected PBA Hall of Famer Patrick Allen who won 10 of his 30 career PBA Regional titles between 2000 and 2002, his first three years of PBA membership.

A quick check suggests no other PBA member has even reached double figures in regional wins in a similar three-year span to start a career. Among the all-time regional title leaders, Chris Warren is no. 1 with 47 titles, but he won only five times in his first three years. Pete Weber (second with 46 regional titles) won three times; Steve Jaros (43) won five times and Walter Ray Williams Jr. (33) won two regional titles in his first three years.

The PBA has previously noted that Butturff, a 24-year-old left-hander, won a record nine regional titles in his rookie year (2016), four in 2017 and six times as of Sunday in 2018.

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PBA Champions Patrick Allen, Mika Koivuniemi Elected to Hall of Fame Along With Bob Johnson, Jim Doty

by Bill Vint October 1, 2018 13:52

CHICAGO – Professional Bowlers Association champions Patrick Allen of South Salem, N.Y., and Mika Koivuniemi of Finland have been elected to the PBA Hall of Fame along with veteran bowling journalist Bob Johnson of Las Vegas and long-time Indianapolis tournament host Jim Doty in the Meritorious Service category, PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark announced today.

The 2019 PBA Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be held on Saturday, Jan. 5, at the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas, as part of the PBA Hall of Fame Classic tournament that will be contested at the International Research and Training Center Jan. 2-6. The finals of the first tournament on the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season will be televised live on FS1 on Sunday, Jan. 6, at 11 a.m. EST.

Allen, a 13-time PBA Tour title winner, and Koivuniemi, one of the most successful international players in PBA history, were elected by an elite panel of veteran bowling writers, industry leaders and PBA Hall of Famers in the Superior Performance category.

Allen won PBA’s 2004-05 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year after becoming the second player in PBA history to finish among the top five in all four PBA majors during the same season – finishing second in the USBC Masters and U.S. Open, fifth in the PBA Tournament of Champions and winning the PBA World Championship.

“I don’t know exactly how I feel yet,” Allen said. “People are always saying you’re a lock (for hall of fame election), but you don’t know until it happens. I’m just happy I finally got there. I’m going to embrace it, and now I’ll have to figure out a speech.

“It was a helluva ride,” the 48-year-old left-hander said. “It just went faster than I would have liked. You blink your eyes and wonder, where did it go? But the time comes for every professional athlete, and the results show that. Your mind says you can do it, but your body won’t respond. You have to know when to say when.”

Koivuniemi, who now resides in the United Arab Emirates where he is coaching the UAE national bowling team, is a 14-time PBA Tour champion who earned his nickname – Major Mika – after winning two majors before he won his first “standard” PBA Tour title. In his first PBA television appearance, Koivuniemi defeated PBA star Pete Weber by a pin to win the 2000 USBC Masters. A year later he won the U.S. Open, and he claimed the crown jewel of his PBA career in 2011, when he won the $250,000 first prize in the $1 million PBA Tournament of Champions.

“I’m having a really good day,” the 51-year-old Koivuniemi said. “It was a really great call (from Tom Clark).

“I was 32 when I joined the PBA, but I had my experience around the world before I joined. But back then bowling on tour was something you needed to learn about. To bowl every week and to realize how good the players really were was different. Even when you had a good week, making the top 24 or a (TV) show was really hard. I knew I had to get better.

“It’s amazing how fast time goes,” he added. “I can’t believe it’s been almost three years since I bowled on tour for the last time. But being in the hall of fame now is a great, great honor.”

Johnson, who began his journey into bowling journalism at age 15, is the only person in the bowling family to serve as editor of four national bowling magazines, winning 75 national writing awards for his news, feature and editorial compositions, many of which directly involved the PBA. Currently Senior Editor of Bowlers Journal International and editor of the BJI Cyber Report, he is a recipient of both the International Bowling Media Association’s Luby Hall of Fame Award and the Mid-America Bowling Writers Golden Quill Award.

“I have been blessed to be able to cover bowling competition at the highest level, to see the best players bowl in the most pressure-packaged situations, and to be able to talk to them and write about them is a privilege I’ve never taken lightly,” Johnson said. “To be honored for the work I’ve done is really something I don’t have the words to describe. If I was talking about someone else, I could describe, but myself? Well, that’s difficult.”

Doty, who has served as general manager of Indianapolis’ Royal Pin Leisure Centers chain since 1996, has served as host for every major championship tournament conducted by the PBA at least once over the past two-plus decades. The 1971 Indiana University graduate joined the Royal Pin group in 1978, working under Royal Pin founder and 2018 PBA Hall of Fame inductee Don Mitchell as marketing manager until his promotion to general manager.

“It’s a nice way to start your week,” said Doty of his congratulatory call from Clark. “It was a surprise. I wasn’t thinking about it, actually. I don’t think you do what you do with the hopes of someday being put into the hall of fame, but it’s always nice to be recognized for what you do.

“It’s not only me; it’s having a great staff of people who make these things happen,” Doty added. “It’s a continuing process. At Woodland Bowl, we have endeared ourselves to the PBA over the years. The bowling industry is changing, but traditions need to be retained and honored, and that’s what we try to do.”

Additional career details for the four inductees are included below.

The 2019 PBA Hall of Fame ceremonies will be live streamed by PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling. Tickets for the event will be available online in the future (https://www.pba.com/Tickets).

PATRICK ALLEN CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Patrick Allen, affectionately known as “P.A.” among his peers, had 40 top-five finishes in the 300 PBA Tour events he entered, cashing in 214 of them and averaging at a 218.9 pace for more than 6,300 games. He finished in the top 10 in PBA earnings six times, and won the 2005 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year Award after earning $350,740 – the second highest total in PBA history (behind only Walter Ray Williams Jr.’s $419,700 for the 2002-03 season.

Allen won his first PBA Tour title in the 2001 Greater Detroit Open, and has two majors in the 2005 PBA World Championship and the 2009 PBA Tournament of Champions. The 2004-05 season was especially memorable because he became the second PBA player ever to place in the top five in all four majors in a single season (second in the USBC Masters, 2nd in the U.S. Open, first in the PBA World Championship and fifth in the PBA Tournament of Champions.

As a full-time competitor, the New York native also won 30 PBA Regional titles including posting victories in the PBA’s East, South, Central, Southwest and West Regions. He has earned $1,539,260 during his career.

MIKA KOIVUNIEMI CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Mika Koivuniemi, who didn’t join the PBA until he was 32, quickly earned the nickname “Major Mika” after winning the 2000 USBC Masters and 2001 U.S. Open before winning his first “standard” PBA Tour title in 2003. His most memorable feat might have been his historic 299-100 victory over Tom Daugherty in the semifinal match of the 2011 PBA Tournament of Champions, followed by a victory over Tom Smallwood in the title match of the $1 million event, winning the richest first prize in PBA history ($250,000).

Despite his reasonably-late start in PBA Tour competition, the native of Finland bowled in 405 PBA Tour events and finished in the top five 45 times on his way to $1,851,503 in career earnings. He finished in the top 10 in earnings eight times, averaged 219.21 for 6,774 games and won the Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year Award in 2004 and 2011.

A member of the World Bowling Writers and Finland Bowling Halls of Fame, Koivuniemi has won titles and bowled 300 games in 21 different countries. He bowled the 17th nationally-televised PBA 300 game during the finals of the 2003 Cambridge Credit Classic – the first standard PBA Tour event he won. He is the only foreign-born player to win both the USBC Masters and the U.S. Open, and he was the first European bowler to win the Japan Cup.

In his second year as a PBA50 Tour competitor, he added another major – the 2018 Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open.

BOB JOHNSON CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Bob Johnson started working for the Pacific Bowler when he was 15 years old, and he’s still writing about bowling 45 years later. He is the only person to have served as Editor of the American Bowling Congress’ Bowling Magazine, International Bowling Industry, Bowlers Journal International, and Bowling Center Management.

During his tenure at Bowlers Journal, he produced BJI’s historic 300-page 100th Anniversary Issue and he wrote several key chapters in the PBA’s “50 Greatest” book published by Luby Publishing.

Through the years, Johnson has covered every PBA major tournament among other important events and has interviewed dozens of PBA players. He has written countless editorials and columns suggesting ideas or changes for the betterment of the PBA and the enrichment of its players. He has delved into some of the PBA’s most sensitive moments, including Scott Norton’s decision to “come out” as a gay bowler, how Ryan Shafer dealt with his wife’s suicide, and Mark Baker’s battle with addiction.

JIM DOTY CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Jim Doty is general manager of Royal Pin Leisure centers, the Indianapolis chain that includes long-time PBA host Woodland Bowl, Western Bowl, Expo Bowl and Southern Bowl. Doty, who graduated from Indiana University in 1971 with a business degree, worked at Nora Bowl while attending high school and college. He joined the Royal Pin group in 1978, serving as general manager of 421 Bowl and Woodland Bowl while also serving as marketing director for the chain. He was promoted to general manager of all Royal Pin centers in 1996.

Under Doty’s leadership, Royal Pin Leisure Centers has hosted PBA events over a span of 20 years, including the U.S. Open, PBA Touring Players Championship, USBC Masters, PBA World Championship, PBA Tournament of Champions and PBA League Elias Cup finals among other events. Woodland Bowl is the only center to host all five PBA major Championships.

The Royal Pin group also has hosted the USBC Junior Gold Championships a record five times, the 1999 USBC Women’s Championships and Queens. Nearly 20 local high school teams call one of Royal Pin’s centers home. Doty also is a past president and currently a director with the Central Indiana Bowling Centers Association. He served multiple terms as a BPAA board member, serving on BPAA’s marketing committee.

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Danielle McEwan Tops England’s Stuart Williams in Two Matches to win PBA International-WBT Thailand Title

by Bill Vint September 28, 2018 08:33

BANGKOK, Thailand – Top qualifier Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., turned back Stuart Williams of England in a two-game championship match to win the PBA International-WBT Thailand at Blu-O Rhythm and Bowl Paragon on Friday.

McEwan, a four-time Professional Women’s Bowling Association titlist, won the six-game qualifying round to earn the top berth in the eight-player stepladder finals by seven pins over Malaysia’s Rafiq Ismail, taking advantage of the eight handicap pins per game awarded to women in the tournament.

Williams, who qualified third, defeated Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C., 182-173, and Ismail, 206-205, to advance to the title match where he needed to beat McEwan twice to win the event. Williams won the first game, 232-218, but McEwan won the second, 225-179, to claim the $31,908 first prize.

McEwan is a PBA member, but won’t receive credit for a PBA title because she accepted the handicap pins.

thailand top 8Next on the PBA Tour’s 2018 schedule will be the FloBowling Fall Swing Oct. 14-20 at The Lanes at Coffee Creek in suburban Tulsa, Okla. The multi-event tournament, open to an elite field of 120 PBA members only, will be covered exclusively on FloBowling.com and will award three PBA Tour titles for the PBA Wolf Open, PBA Bear Open and FloBowling Tulsa Open events.

The U.S. Open from Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan., will be the final qualifying event for the PBA Clash and the final event of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season. The U.S. Open finals will air live on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Rhino Page is the defending champion.

PBA INTERNATIONAL-WBT THAILAND
Blu-O Rhythm and Bowl Siam Paragon, Bangkok, Thailand, Sept. 28

Final Standings:
1, w-Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., $31,908.
2, Stuart Williams, England, $15,954.
3, Rafiq Ismail, Malaysia, $9,572.
4, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., $6,381.
5, w-Sin Li Jane, Malaysia, $3,190.
6, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, $2,871.
7, Jojoe Yannaphon, Thailand, $2,712.
8, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., $2,552.

Stepladder Results:
Match One – Jane (261) def. Yannaphon (246) and Rash (195).
Match Two – Troup (220, 10) def. Jane (220, 9) and Simonsen (178).
Match Three – Williams def. Troup, 182-173.
Semifinal – Williams def. Ismail, 206-205.
Championship – McEwan def. x-Williams, 218-232, 225-179.
    x-Williams had to defeat McEwan, the high qualifier, twice to win the title.

Round 4 Cashers (after 6 games, top 7 plus highest ranking Thailand player advanced to stepladder finals):
1, McEwan, 1,381,
2, Ismail, 1,374.
3, Williams, 1,352.
4, Troup, 1,348.
5, Simonsen, 1,339.
6, w-Jane, 1,317.
7, Rash, 1,316.
8, y-Yannaphon, 1,240.
    y-Yannaphon qualified 15th but advanced as the highest finishing Thailand player in the field.

Failed to advance ($2,233 each):
9, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 1,306.
10, Greg Young, Viera, Fla., 1,261.
11, w-New Hui Fen, Singapore, 1,260.
12, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 1,251.
13, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 1,249.
14, w-Liz Johnson, Palatine, Ill., 1,247.
15, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 1,246.
16, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 1,230.
17, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 1,218.
18, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 1,212.
19, Surasak Manuwong, Thailand, 1,199.
20, Wu Siu Hong, Hong Kong, 1,179.

Round 3 Cashers (after six games, $1,595 each):
21,  Sithiphol Kunaksorn, Thailand, 1,272.
22,  Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 1,267.
23,  w-Natasha Roslan, Malaysia, 1,252.
24,  Michael Tang, San Francisco, 1,227.
25,  w-Esther Cheah), Malaysia, 1,216.
26,  Billy Islam, Indonesia, 1,214.
27,  Sam Cooley, Australia, 1,209.
28,  Ryan Lalisang, Indonesia, 1,199.
29,  Napat Buspanikonkul, Thailand, 1,191.
30,  Abdulrahman Alkheliwi, Saudi Arabia, 1,176.
31,  Steve Weber, Chalmette, La., 1,168.
32,  Darren Tang, San Francisco, 1,139.
33,  Ryan Ciminelli, Clarence, N.Y., 1,128.
34,  Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 1,068.

Round 2 Cashers (after six games, $1,276 each):
35,  Kim Bolleby, Thailand, 1,227.
36,  Choi Won Young, Korea, 1,216.
37,  Francois Louw, South Africa, 1,205.
38,  Matt Sanders, Indianapolis, 1,192.
39,  w-Daphne Tan, Singapore, 1,185.
40,  Alhassan Sugati, Saudi Arabia, 1,172.
41,  Atchariya Cheng, Thailand, 1,169.
42,  w-Misaki Mukotani, Japan, 1,149.

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