PBA Midwest Region Manager Rich Weber Announces Retirement After Three Decades of Service to PBA

by Bill Vint November 14, 2018 13:27

Rich Weber, the oldest of PBA legend Dick Weber’s four children, has announced he will retire from PBA active duty at the end of the year after more than 30 years of service to the organization.

Weber, who turned 68 on Oct. 2, will conclude his latest role as PBA Midwest Region manager when he supervises the PBA50 Victory Lanes Midwest Open presented by Allstate in Kankakee, Ill., over the Nov. 30-Dec. 2 weekend.

Featured photo: PBA Regional Managers, from left, Russ Mills (East), Rich Weber (Midwest), Bobby Jakel (Central), Gary Mage (West-Northwest), Director of PBA Regional and PBA50 Tours John Weber. Not pictured: Sam Zurich (South).

A life-long St. Louis area resident, Weber began his administrative work with the PBA in 1984 as an assistant to then-PBA Midwest Region manager Don McClaren. He and younger brother John continued to work with the Midwest Region when their father took over McClaren’s post in 1987. He also served a year as assistant tournament director for the PBA Senior Tour under Mike Durbin in 1989 and in 1990, began a seven-year tour of duty as PBA Senior Tour Tournament Director.

John Weber succeeded his father as PBA Midwest manager in 1997, running the region with Rich’s help until 2006 when John was named Director of the PBA Regional and Senior Tours. Rich then assumed the helm of the Midwest Region, a position he has held for the past 12 years.

“The most fun I had was running the senior tour,” Rich said. “It was a close-knit group. We needled each other, played golf together, had dinners…it was an amazing time.

“The best part of running the regional program was watching the young guys develop,” he added. “The AJ Johnsons, AJ Chapmans today have a good time. They have grown up bowling with and against each other in college. They’re a close-knit group. Guys were a lot more serious years ago.”

Beyond his service to the PBA, Rich also has been the personal coach to his youngest brother – 37-time PBA Tour champion Pete Weber – throughout Pete’s career.

PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark was among many players, proprietors and industry leaders who expressed their thanks to Weber for his contributions to the sport.

“It is difficult to live up to the greatest name in bowling – Weber – and yet Rich did it with talent and class in all his roles with the PBA,” Clark said. “The PBA is very proud of Rich and happy for him. We can’t thank Rich enough for all he has done for the Midwest Region and the entire PBA.”

The PBA is expected to announce Weber’s successor as PBA Midwest Region manager soon.

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PBA Spare Shots: PBA Well-Represented in USBC’s 2019 Hall of Fame Class

by Bill Vint November 8, 2018 13:41

Existing PBA Hall of Famers Jim St. John and Larry Lichstein, along with newly-elected PBA Hall of Fame journalist Bob Johnson, are among four men elected to the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame for induction in 2019, USBC announced Tuesday. Six additional PBA stars are on USBC’s Superior Performance ballot which will be voted on by a national panel in the near future.

Photos from the PBA Players Draft at Woodland Bowl in 
Indianapolis, IN.  Saturday, Feb. 17 2018. (Photo Alan Petersime)St. John (pba.com feature photo), a six-time PBA Tour title winner who died in 1987 at age 56, was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1989. St. John, who won back-to-back World Invitational titles in 1963 and ’64, was elected by the USBC Hall of Fame Committee in the Veterans category.

Lichstein (at left), PBA’s long-time Director of Player Services and a PBA Meritorious Service inductee in 1996, was elected in the USBC Pioneer category.

Johnson (below left), a highly-decorated journalist as editor of Bowlers Journal International among others, and the late John Davis, the founder of Kegel and creator of revolutionary lane maintenance equipment, were elected in the USBC Meritorious Service category.

Johnson.Bob2011Yet to be decided are the Superior Performance inductees. On the men’s ballot are multi-title PBA stars Patrick Allen, Chris Barnes, Dave Ferraro, Mika Koivuniemi, Randy Pedersen and Mark Williams. Allen and Koivuniemi will be inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame on Jan. 5 in Arlington, Texas; the other four are already PBA Hall of Fame members.

Candidates on USBC’s women’s performance ballot are multi-PWBA champions Marianne DiRupo, Kelly Kulick, Sandra Jo Shiery and Tammy Turner. Kulick made PBA history when she became the first woman to win a PBA Tour title when she won the 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas.

USBC’s induction ceremony will take place May 1 as part of the USBC Convention at The Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. For more information about the USBC Hall of Fame news, click here: https://www.bowl.com/News/NewsDetails.aspx?id=23622332048/

WBT MEN’S FINALS FIELD COMES DOWN TO WORLD BOWLING CHAMPIONSHIPS

The third berth in the 2019 WBT Men’s Finals presented by the PBA will come down to how well a handful of contenders fare in the World Bowling Men’s Championships Nov. 23-Dec. 5 in Hong Kong, where finishing positions in the Men’s Masters and/or all-events are crucial.

Heading into the championships, Anthony Simonsen (2,183 points) and Stuart Williams (1,943) have locked up the top two berths in the World Bowling Tour Men’s Finals, which will be contested on Sunday, Jan. 6, at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas. Currently third is Jason Belmonte (1,441), but within reach of overtaking the Australian star (who isn’t bowling in Hong Kong) are Team USA members EJ Tackett (1,423), Andrew Anderson (1,382) and Kyle Troup (1,366). A longshot in the chase is Thailand’s Jojoe Yannaphon (1,164).

The World Championships will award 400 points to the highest-finishing player in the Masters/men’s all-events followed by 320 points for second, 280 for third, etc., through 50 places.

The WBT Women’s Finals, which also will be contested on Jan. 6 in Arlington, will feature American stars Danielle McEwan, Liz Johnson and Poland’s Daria Pajak. FOX Sports will air the finals on FS1 on Sunday, March 10, at 10 p.m. Eastern.

For detailed information about the multi-event World Bowling Men’s Championships, visit: http://2018wmc.worldbowling.org/

FLOBOWLING TO COVER WORLD BOWLING MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS

FloBowling, PBA’s official live streaming partner, has announced it will live-stream the 2018 World Bowling Men’s Championships from Hong Kong Dec. 1-5, providing North American bowling fans a chance to watch a number of PBA stars competing for their national teams in singles, doubles, trios, team and Masters competitions.

The World Bowling Men’s Championships will be the final qualifying event in determining the finalists for the 2019 WBT Men’s Finals, presented by the PBA, that will be contested on Jan. 6 in Arlington, Texas, for broadcast on FS1 on Sunday, March 10.

The live-streaming schedule will be as follows. All times are Eastern:
● Saturday, Dec. 1: 6:30 -8:30 a.m., singles semifinals, final and medal ceremony;
● Sunday, Dec. 2: 5:30-8:15 a.m., doubles semifinals, final and medal ceremony;
● Monday, Dec. 3: 5-8:30 a.m., trios semifinals, final and medal ceremony;
● Tuesday, Dec. 4: 4-9 a.m., five-man team semifinals, final and medal ceremony;
● Wednesday, Dec. 5: 2- 5:30 a.m., Masters semifinals, final and medal ceremony.

To enroll as a FloBowling subscriber, visit FloBowling.com and click on the “join now” link.

PBA OFFERS NEW LINE OF HIGH-PERFORMANCE BOWLING BALL SURFACING PADS

Bowling ball surfacing pads are essential tools that allow competitive bowlers to customize surfaces on high-tech bowling balls to maximize performance on a variety of lane conditions. To assist players looking for a competitive edge, the PBA is now offering specially-branded top-of-the-line surfacing pads that are tailored to any given bowler’s needs.

The pads are available in a three-pack of one grit for $13 or a six-pack that will include one pad each of 500, 1000, 1500, 2000, 3000 and 5000 grit for $22. To order the pads, visit: http://pba.firelakedesigns.com/shop/accessories/pba-branded-surfacing-pad-3-pack/ or http://pba.firelakedesigns.com/shop/accessories/pba-branded-surfacing-pad-6-pack/.

CHRIS WARREN, HARRY SULLINS PACE PBA REGIONAL TITLE WINNERS

An update on PBA’s regional title holders show Chris Warren of Grants Pass, Ore., has maintained his one-title margin on the list of most standard PBA Regional titles and moved into sole possession of the “overall” titles lead while Michigan veteran Harry Sullins has taken a substantial five-title lead on the “most PBA50” regional victories list.

Here’s how things stand as of Nov. 4, 2018:

● Warren leads the all-time standard PBA Regional titles list with 47, one ahead of Pete Weber. Rounding out the top five are Steve Jaros (43), Mike Scroggins (40) and Dale Traber (39). A total of 126 PBA members have won at least 10 standard PBA Regional titles since the program began full-fledged operations in 1970.

● With his most recent PBA50 Regional win in Waxahachie, Texas, in October, Warren now has a combined 53 standard and PBA50 titles, breaking a tie for a lead in that category with Traber, who has won 39 standard and 13 PBA50 regional titles for a total of 52. One title behind in third place are Weber and Walter Ray Williams Jr. with 51. A distant fifth with 44 overall titles is Washington’s Hugh Miller.

● Sullins, a prolific competitor throughout his career, has won 23 PBA50 Regional titles including wins in the PBA’s South, Central, Midwest and West Regions. Second-best is a tie between PBA Hall of Famers Tom Baker and WRW with 18 each. Two more hall of famers – Ron Mohr and George Pappas – have each won 17 times in 50-and-older regionals. Only 13 players have won as many as 10 PBA50 Regional titles.

It’s still pretty amazing to realize the PBA, throughout its seven regional programs, has conducted 6,459 tournaments since the beginning – and 1,873 different players have won at least one title.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: DICK ALLEN HELPS WRW IMPROVE RECORD TO 109 TITLES

With the assistance of partner Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C., PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla., improved his own record for overall PBA titles to 109 Sunday as the tandem defeated Steve Arehart of Chesapeake, Va., and Stoney Baker of Canton, Ga., 248-180, to win the PBA/PBA50 Decker Appraisal Services Baker Doubles title presented by Hammer Sunday at Valley Lanes in Harrisonburg, Va.

Allen and Williams qualified first for the stepladder finals and watched as John Furey of Howell, N.J and Sam Maccarone of Williamstown, N.J., eliminated Steve Haas of Enola, Pa., and Bob Michalojko of Pittsburgh, Pa., 244-205, to start the four-team stepladder finals. Arehart and Baker then defeated Furey and Maccarone, 268-248, to advance to the title match.

The win was Williams’ 51st in PBA Regional and PBA50 Regional competition to accompany his 47 PBA Tour and 11 PBA50 Tour titles. Allen picked up his 22nd PBA Regional win and the partners shared the $3,600 first prize. Arehart and Baker pocketed $1,800 for second, the Furey/Maccarone team collected $1,400 for third place and the Haas/Michalojko team $1,200 for fourth place.

JR Raymond of Clinton Twp., Mich. defeated Dave Han of Birmingham, Ala., 224-209, to win the PBA Greater Anderson Central/Midwest Open at Dave Small’s Championship Lanes in Anderson, Ind., Sunday for his fourth career PBA Regional title and the $2,000 first prize.

In the semifinal round, Raymond eliminated Ric McCormick of Cincinnati, Ohio, 224-173, and Han edged Zachery Tackett of Huntington, Ind., 217-209, to set up the championship match.

Darren Tang of San Francisco posted a 6-2 match play record and knocked down 3,990 pins Sunday to win his fourth PBA Regional title in the PBA Ken & Kathy Fowler Auto Centers Open at Yokayo Bowl in Ukiah, Calif.

Tang, who earned $2,000, defeated Raymond Lussier of San Jose, Calif., by 202 pins for the title. Lussier had a 6-2 match play record and 3,788 total pins for his 16 games including match play bonus pins.

In the companion PBA50 Open, Kevin Croucher of Grants Pass, Ore., went 6-2 and knocked down 3,517 total pins to top Derek Gregory of Chowchilla, Calif., for his third PBA50 Regional title. Gregory had a 4-4 match play record and a total of 3,485 pins.

● PBA Regional competition over the Nov. 9-10 weekend will include the La-Z-Boy Central Challenge at Monroe Sport Center in Monroe, Mich.; the Plaza Bowl Midwest Open in Clinton, Iowa; the PBA50 Gastonia South Open at George Pappas’ Liberty Lanes in Gastonia, N.C., and the Mesa East Bowl Western Open in Mesa, Ariz.

● Heading into the Thanksgiving break, the only events on the Nov. 16-18 schedule are the Bowlers Discount Pro Shop East Open at Terrace Lanes in Frederick, Md., and the PBA50 Plygem Windows South Open at Rocky Mount Bowling Center in Rocky Mount, Va.

● Headlining the Thanksgiving weekend will be the Beaumont Southwest Open at Crossroads Bowling Center in Beaumont, Texas.

● The November PBA Regional calendar comes to a close over the Nov. 30-Dec. 2 weekend with the Knob Hill/MJK Pro Shop Challenge (a non-champions event) presented by Brunswick at Knob Hill Country Lanes in Manalapan, N.J.; the PBA50 Victory Lanes Midwest Open presented by Allstate in Kankakee, Ill.; and the re-scheduled Break Point Alley Member/Non-Member Doubles in Tavares, Fla.

● 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).

QUICK NOTES:

● Voting is underway to select the 2018 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year and the 2018 Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year. The winners will be announced on Monday, Dec. 10 as part of the PBA Clash that will air on FOX on Sunday, Dec. 23. Check your local listings for the time of the telecast in your market.

● If you haven’t done so already, you still have time to enter the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame’s VIP Experience sweepstakes (https://rafflecreator.com/pages/25310/hall-of-fame-vip-experience). The lucky winner will receive a great package including an expenses-paid round trip for two to attend the 2019 PBA Hall of Fame Classic in Arlington, Texas, Jan. 5-6, plus other special benefits.

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PBA Spare Shots: Fields Set for 2018 PBA Clash, 2019 DHC PBA Japan Invitational

by Bill Vint November 2, 2018 11:53

Wednesday’s U.S. Open finals closed the book on the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule, which also means the field of eight qualifiers for the end-of-season PBA Clash and 10 invitations to participate in the 2019 DHC PBA Japan Invitational are set.

The 2018 PBA Clash, a special event involving the season’s top eight players in combined PBA Tour and World Bowling Tour earnings, is set for Monday, Dec. 10, at Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Fla., and also will serve as the kickoff event for the Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s inaugural season of television coverage on FOX and FS1 which begins with the PBA Hall of Fame Classic from the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday, Jan. 6.

The PBA Clash will air on FOX on Sunday, Dec. 23, at 2:30 or 4:30 p.m. Eastern, depending upon where the viewers live. General admission for the Clash will be $10, but a limited number of VIP tickets, sponsored by Central Florida Sports, will be available for $40 including early access at 3:30 p.m., an interactive Q&A session with PBA players at 4 p.m., dinner at 5 p.m. and a Kegel gift bag. Tickets will be available at the door or they may be purchased online in advance through the PBA’s official website (https://www.pba.com/Tickets).

The players who have qualified for the PBA Clash are Australia’s Jason Belmonte, Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas; Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich.; EJ Tackett of Bluffton, Ind.; newly-crowned U.S. Open champion Dom Barrett of England; fellow Brit Stuart Williams who now lives in the Phoenix area; Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., and U.S. Open runner-up Jakob Butturff of Chandler, Ariz.

Based on competition points earned during the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season, the 10 players who have earned invitations to compete in the DHC PBA Japan Invitational that will take place April 25-28 at Tokyo Port Bowl in Tokyo are Anderson; Simonsen; Tackett; Williams; Kris Prather of Plainfield, Ill.; Belmonte; Kent; Butturff; Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., and Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich. Barrett, as defending champion, also is invited. The field of 16 international players who will compete against 16 Japanese bowlers also will include three players invited by DHC, the tournament sponsor; one member of the Korean PBA, and one member of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association who will be announced later.

JASON BELMONTE WINS HIGH AVERAGE AWARD; ANDREW ANDERSON TOPS POINT LEADER RACE

The final event of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour regular season also secured Jason Belmonte’s fourth PBA George Young High Average Award with a 221.38 average for 270 games in PBA Tour competition, topping runner-up Jakob Butturff’s 220.79 average for 297 games. Belmonte, who set the PBA single-season scoring record in 2017 with a 229.39 average, also won the award in 2013 and ’14.

The other PBA award decided in the U.S. Open was the Harry Smith Competition Points Leader Award, which was re-instated after three years in hibernation. The winner is second-year player Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich., who won two titles including the USBC Masters in compiling 24,195 points – more than 3,000 ahead of runner-up Anthony Simonsen’s 20,909 total.

Voting will begin soon for selection of the 2018 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year and Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year awards. The winners will be announced during the PBA Clash telecast airing on Sunday, Dec. 23, on FOX.

DOM BARRETT BECOMES PBA HALL OF FAME TITLE-ELIGIBLE WITH U.S. OPEN WIN

Another significant note from the U.S. Open is that England’s Dom Barrett became title-eligible for election into the PBA Hall of Fame in the future, recording his second major championship among his seven overall titles.

Barrett, who also won the 2013 PBA World Championship, has a while to wait, however. The 33-year-old right-hander joined the PBA in 2010, which means he won’t become participation-eligible for the PBA Hall of Fame until 2030 – his 20th year of membership. In order to be placed on the HOF ballot, candidates must meet both title and participation eligibility requirements.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: TWO WIN FIRST PBA TITLES IN LAS VEGAS

Deeronn Booker of Anaheim, Calif., and Toby Sambueno of nearby Hendersonville won their first PBA titles over the weekend at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas.

Booker and non-member partner Michael Villarreal of Lakewood, Calif. teamed up to win Sunday’s South Point Member/Non-Member Doubles title after Sambueno won the South Point West Challenge portion of the PBA West Region doubleheader on Friday.

In the singles event, Sambueno defeated Villarreal, 205-175, to earn the $1,500 first prize and his first PBA title. In the semifinal round, Sambueno defeated Tim Cagle II of Hercules, Calif., 244-235, while Villarreal eliminated non-member Michael Fitzgerald of Phoenix, 222-175, in the other semifinal match.

In Sunday’s doubles title match, Booker and Villarreal defeated non-members Clay Rees of Riverton, Utah, and Cameron Foster of South Jordan, Utah, 436-380, to claim the $4,000 first prize and Booker’s first PBA Regional title.

Booker and Villarreal advanced to the title match by eliminating non-members Chris Klerk of Chandler, Ariz., and Ed Smaglik of Flagstaff, Ariz., 428-387, while Rees and Foster ousted Derek Acuff and non-member partner Michael Fitzgerald, both of Phoenix, 502-418, in the other semifinal match.

Brent Hunter of Glenville, Pa., won his first PBA Regional title in seven years Sunday when he defeated Rick Graham of Lancaster, Pa., 232-187, to win the PBA50 Bryan’s Bowling Center Open presented by the Hopkins Automotive Group and 900 Global at Bryan’s Bowling Center in Laurel, Del.

Hunter, who qualified in 10th place, started Sunday’s first round with 10 strikes against defending champion Darryl Bower of Middletown, Pa., eliminating Bower, 2-1. He then ousted no. 2 qualifier Terry Wiley of Vienna, Va., 2-1, in his second best-of-three-game match. In the semifinal round, Hunter defeated Gary Faulkner of Norfolk, Va., 216-209, before topping Graham to claim the $1,500 first prize.

Graham defeated Donny Carr of Laurel, Md., 2-0, and qualifying leader Troy McKinney of Yorktown, Va., 2-0, before eliminating PBA Hall of Famer Danny Wiseman of Baltimore, 244-201, in the semifinal round.

● The PBA Regional program moves into the first weekend in November with a busy weekend of activity, including the PBA/PBA50 Decker Appraisal Services Baker Doubles honoring Guppy Troup at Valley Lanes in Harrisburg, Va.; the Ken and Kathy Fowler Auto Center PBA and PBA50 West/Northwest Open doubleheader at Yokayo Bowling Center in Ukiah, Calif., and the Greater Anderson Central/Midwest Open at David Small’s Championship Lanes in Anderson, Ind.

● PBA Regional competition over the Nov. 9-10 weekend will include the La-Z-Boy Central Challenge at Monroe Sport Center in Monroe, Mich.; the Plaza Bowl Midwest Open in Clinton, Iowa; the PBA50 Gastonia South Open at George Pappas’ Liberty Lanes in Gastonia, N.C., and the Mesa East Bowl Western Open in Mesa, Ariz.

● Heading into the Thanksgiving break, the only events on the Nov. 16-18 schedule are the Bowlers Discount Pro Shop East Open at Terrace Lanes in Frederick, Md., and the PBA50 Plygem Windows South Open at Rocky Mount Bowling Center in Rocky Mount, Va.

● Headlining the Thanksgiving weekend will be the Beaumont Southwest Open at Crossroads Bowling Center in Beaumont, Texas.

● The November PBA Regional calendar comes to a close over the Nov. 30-Dec. 2 weekend with the Knob Hill/MJK Pro Shop Challenge (a non-champions event) presented by Brunswick at Knob Hill Country Lanes in Manalapan, N.J.; the PBA50 Victory Lanes Midwest Open presented by Allstate in Kankakee, Ill.; and the re-scheduled Break Point Alley Member/Non-Member Doubles in Tavares, Fla.

● 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).

QUICK NOTES:

PBA Player of the Year candidate Kyle Troup and 2018 PWBA Player of the Year Shannon O’Keefe, both members of Team USA 2018, will represent the United States in the 54th Qubica AMF Bowling World Cup that will take place Monday through Saturday, Nov. 10 at Sam’s Town Bowling Center in Las Vegas. Troup, a three-time PBA Tour title winner, and O’Keefe qualified for their World Cup berths during in the Team USA Trials held in Las Vegas in January.

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Central Florida’s Kegel Training Center to Host Star-Powered PBA Clash; Tickets Now on Sale

by Bill Vint November 2, 2018 09:09

LAKE WALES, Fla. – Kegel Training Center in central Florida, one of bowling’s most technically-advanced bowling facilities, will host the 2018 PBA Clash, a special showcase event for eight of the Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s top stars that also will include a preview of the PBA’s historic 2019 debut on FOX Sports.

The announcement was made by Kegel CEO Chris Chartrand and PBA CEO-Commissioner Tom Clark.

The 90-minute PBA Clash will take place at the Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 10 and will air on Sunday, Dec. 23, at either 2:30 or 4:30 p.m. EST (depending upon the viewer’s location).

General admission will be $10. A limited number of VIP tickets, sponsored by Central Florida Sports, will be available for $40 including early access at 3:30 p.m., an interactive Q&A session with PBA players at 4 p.m., dinner at 5 p.m. and a Kegel gift bag. Tickets will be available at the door or they may be purchased online in advance through the PBA’s official website (https://www.pba.com/Tickets).

PBA fans may recall the high-tech 12-lane Kegel Training Center was the host center for the PBA King of Bowling series and the PBA Women’s Series Showdown in 2009.

The Clash telecast will include a $25,000 winner-take-all single-elimination competition in which all eight of the 2018 season’s leading money winners will begin by bowling a ninth-and-10th frame round, with the lowest scoring bowler based on total pinfall for two frames being eliminated. Subsequent elimination rounds will be one-ball, low-man-out until two survivors remain. The final match will be a traditional 10-frame game.

Players who will participate in the Clash are Jason Belmonte, Anthony Simonsen, Andrew Anderson, EJ Tackett, Dom Barrett, Stuart Williams, Marshall Kent and Jakob Butturff.

The telecast also will feature profiles on each of the eight players, the announcement of the 2018 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year and the Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year, and a preview of the historic 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule of FOX and FS1 telecasts.

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PBA Spare Shots: U.S. Open to Bring 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour Season to Dramatic Close

by Bill Vint October 24, 2018 10:10

The 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season will come to a dramatic end over the next few days with a number of plot lines in play as the U.S. Open gets underway at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan., including its impact on the PBA Player and Rookie of the Year races, the possibility of a new addition to the PBA’s “Triple Crown” roster, maybe a record-tying major, and a battle for berths in the end-of-season PBA Clash.

For starters, how players finish in the U.S. Open could be a significant factor in deciding the 2018 PBA Player and Rookie of the Year races. Heading into the final PBA Tour event of the year, EJ Tackett is the only three-title winner in 2018. Jason Belmonte, Anthony Simonsen, Andrew Anderson and Jakob Butturff are all solidly in contention with two PBA Tour titles each.

On a personal level, the U.S. Open also may have special meaning to Belmonte and Tackett. Both players are in need of a U.S. Open title to complete the PBA Triple Crown. A win by Belmonte also would be his 10th major, tying the legendary Earl Anthony and Pete Weber for the all-time record for most PBA major titles.

The U.S. Open will pay $30,000, $15,000, $12,000, $10,000 and $8,000 to the top five finishers. Fans can track the competition through exclusive live coverage of the qualifying and match play rounds by Xtra Frame on FloBowling Friday through Tuesday, Oct. 30. Fans also can follow the U.S. Open via the Live Scoring feature on pba.com. The five-man stepladder finals will air live on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, Oct. 31, at 7 p.m. Eastern.

The prize money could impact the PBA Clash, a special event that will officially debut the PBA’s historic new television agreement with FOX Sports. The Clash will feature the top eight players in PBA earnings for the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season. Belmonte, Tackett, Anderson and Simonsen have locked up berths in the Clash, based on their current-season earnings, but they could change positions based upon what they may earn in the U.S. Open.

Behind the top four, Stuart Williams, Dom Barrett, Marshall Kent and Kyle Troup currently hold the next four spots, but there are several players mathematically in contention to overtake any of those four. Williams made a big move after picking up a total of $36,000 in the FloBowling PBA Fall Swing.

The PBA Clash, which will also include a preview of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season on FOX and FS1, will take place at Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Fla., on Monday, Dec. 10, and will air on FOX on Sunday, Dec. 23, at 2:30 or 4:30 p.m. ET (depending on where the viewer lives).

LANETALK PROVIDES STATISTICAL INSIGHT ABOUT FLOBOWLING PBA FALL SWING

Sweden-based Lanetalk has again provided comprehensive stats for the three-tournament FloBowling PBA Fall Swing. Here’s a look at just a few of the interesting Fall Swing stats from the five Tulsa Open finalists:

Kris Prather, who had third-place finishes in the Wolf and Bear Opens and a fifth-place finish in the Tulsa Open, was by far the best spare shooter during the tournament. He recorded a 94.87% conversion rate of his non-split spare attempts. In addition, he had a strike or spare in 93.57% of his frames for the entire Fall Swing, which comes to about one open every two games.

● Tulsa Open winner Stuart Williams came out on top in the Bear Open where he led the field with an overall strike percentage of 67.8%.

● Third-place Tulsa Open finisher Richie Teece had the highest strike percentage in the Tulsa Open at 64%.

Andrew Anderson finished second in the Wolf and Tulsa Opens and fourth in the Bear Open, thanks in great part to a 96.7% spare conversion rate in the Tulsa Open and the Fall Swing’s top scoring average (223.33 for 42 games).

EJ Tackett won the Bear Open and finished fourth in the Tulsa Open, but he led the field in strike percentage (62.8%) in the Wolf Open where he had his worst finish: eighth place.

● The entire field averaged 207.54 on the 33-foot Wolf pattern and 200.12 on the 39-foot Bear pattern. The top 18 qualifiers who advanced to the Tulsa Open then averaged 212.46 as a group with the Bear pattern applied on the left lane and the Wolf on the right.

PBA BOWLING CHALLENGE MOBILE GAME OFFERS “BOO-LING” TOURNAMENT

Concrete Software is getting into the Halloween spirit with a new “Boo-ling Tournament” for PBA Bowling Challenge players. The “spooky” tournament, currently underway, invites players to battle through frightful opponents in 13 “spooktacular” games on cemetery-themed lanes with special “candy corn” oil patterns. Included in the contest are three new Halloween-theme bowling balls players can use.

Anyone with an Android and iPhone mobile device can download the PBA Bowling Challenge at no cost, joining the throng of more than 23 million people who have already joined the fun.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: WARREN IMPROVES RECORD TO 53 OVERALL REGIONAL TITLES

Native Texan Chris Warren of Grants Pass, Ore., survived a final game challenge from former PBA member Steve Shaffer of Georgetown, Texas, in the eight-game round robin finals, to win a record 53rd PBA Regional title in the PBA50 Waxahachie Southwest Open Sunday at Hilltop Lanes in Waxahachie, Texas.

Warren, who held a 103-pin lead going into the final game position round match, lost to Shaffer, 247-224, but maintained the overall pinfall lead, including bonus pins, 5,075-5,025. Along with his title he earned the $2,200 winner’s check. The win was Warren’s sixth in PBA50 Regional competition in addition to his PBA-record 47 titles won in standard PBA Regional events, improving upon his own overall titles record.

After building a 132-pin lead following the 13-game qualifying portion of the event, Warren continued to increase his lead, winning his first three matches with games of 251, 237, and 246. Shaffer, however, momentarily took the lead by rolling 256 and 300 in games four and five while Warren struggled before regaining the lead with his own 300 game. He followed that with a 246 prior to position round. Shaffer earned $1,400 for second place.

Graham Fach of Canada defeated Aaron Lorincz of Center Line, Mich., 230-222, to win the PBA Jackson Central/Midwest Open at Dave Small’s JAX 60 in Jackson, Mich., Sunday for his fifth career regional title and the $2,000 first prize.

Fach topped Patrick Dombrowski of Parma, Ohio, 234-201 and Lorincz downed Kyle Cook of Centerville, Ohio, 230-222 to set up the championship match.

● 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).

QUICK NOTES:

Josh Blanchard’s slip-and-fall during the 2011 PBA World Championship elimination matches at South Point in Las Vegas is being revisited, thanks to a new Google Pixel 3 ad called “Flip to Shhh.” The video clip, depicting Blanchard being distracted by an untimely cell phone pinging during his delivery, is included in one of the commercials Google Pixel 3 is airing nationally to sell its newest top-of-the-line smart phone. To view the clip, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eD_lhnyW9k.

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