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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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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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: All Systems “Go” for PBA50 Storm Invitational as Hurricane Florence Flooding Subsides

by Bill Vint September 19, 2018 09:11

Thanks in great part to the foresight of its builders, Planet Fun Bowling and Entertainment Center in Shallotte, N.C., has escaped the ravages of Hurricane Florence and the show will go on as planned.

“The show” is the PBA50 Storm Invitational, a new end-of-season tournament for 12 elite “senior” stars who excelled during the 2018 season (Michael Haugen Jr., Brian Kretzer, Ron Mohr, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Norm Duke, Parker Bohn III, Lennie Boresch Jr., Amleto Monacelli, Ryan Shafer, Bob Learn Jr., Pete Weber and Harry Sullins) plus PBA Hall of Fame legends Johnny Petraglia and Brian Voss, will take place at 32-lane Planet Fun Sept. 29-30. PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling will live-stream the entire 14-game round-robin match play event plus the stepladder finals.

In the wake of the tragic flooding and wind damage caused by Hurricane Florence, the Planet Fun family entertainment complex in the sleepy little resort area of 3,600 residents escaped with minimal damage and is now patiently waiting for flood waters to recede.

”We’re doing okay,” proprietor Brian McCall said Tuesday. “We made it through the storm with very little damage. The area is still in the midst of trying to recover; roads are still really bad, but flooding is supposed to crest soon so we’re hoping we’ll get back to normal soon.”

Shallotte, McCall noted, is only a couple of miles from the ocean. It’s midway between Wilmington to the north and Myrtle Beach to the south. Shallotte got about 15 inches of rain – far less than areas of the north – and winds that hit the 80-100 mph range. But the bowling center itself escaped, despite having a river right behind it, because “we raised the center about 11 feet to get out of flood plain when we built it,” McCall said. “We got it about 19 feet above sea level. It certainly has paid for itself a couple of times over. The river has never gotten to our parking lot, but we can see it from there.”

The upcoming PBA50 event, he said, may prove to be therapeutic for the region.

“We look forward to hosting the event,” McCall said. “We know people will show up to support it. We hope it’ll be a breath of fresh air for people around here. We had to shut down the center for a week because our league bowlers couldn’t get here, but as bad as things have been, they could have been a whole lot worse.”

chinese bowlersEIGHT MORE CHINESE BOWLERS QUALIFY FOR PBA MEMBERSHIP

Thanks to the on-going efforts of Frank Zhao (third from left), owner of Longmarch Bowling in China, eight more Chinese bowlers have qualified to apply for PBA membership by participating in the 14th Longmarch Pioneers Tournament at Tian-Cheng-Hong-Ri Bowling Center in Shenyang in north China.

To qualify for PBA membership, the bowlers have to average 200 or more over a minimum of 21 games on PBA-level lane conditions. In the Longmarch tournament, 25 players bowled 36 games in three days and eight topped the 200 average target.

Since China entered players in PBA World Series of Bowling VI in 2014, a total of 94 bowlers have qualified and applied for PBA membership through Zhao’s Pioneers Tournaments, including 89 men and five women representing players from Taiwan, The Philippines and Hong Kong as well as China. Six of the 94 were younger than 24; the rest were 24 or older.

Zhao hopes to bring a contingent of Chinese PBA members to WSOB X at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich., in March of 2019.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: SIMONSEN NIPS LAVERY-SPAHR IN KANSAS

Four-time PBA Tour champion Anthony Simonsen from Austin, Texas, won five of his eight matches to overtake Anthony Lavery-Spahr of Pasadena, Texas, and claim his fifth PBA Regional title in the second annual PBA Liberal Kansas Southwest Open Sunday at Ayr Lanes.

Simonsen began the eight-game modified round-robin finals with 102-pin lead over Lavery-Spahr, but dropped his first two matches before eking out a 177-163 win over Dylan Burns from Garden City, Kan. Meanwhile, Lavery-Spahr won his first three matches with games of 239, 229, and 247, to build his lead to over 120 pins. Simonsen then out-dueled Anthony’s twin brother, Sean Lavery-Spahr, to win a 279-275 decision in game 4 to narrow the gap as the top two players pulled away from the rest of the field.

Going into position round, Anthony Lavery-Spahr held a nine-pin lead, needing to defeat Simonsen for the title. But Simonsen coverted the 6-7-10 split in the ninth frame and then filled the 10th frame with a strike and spare to win the match, 226-223, and claim the $4,500 first place check. Simonsen finished with a 21-game total of 5,019 pins, including match play bonus pins, for a 24-pin margin of victory over Anthony Lavery-Spahr, who earned $3,000 as runner-up.

● Ryan Ciminelli of Clarence, N.Y. defeated Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio by 42 pins to win the Professional Bowlers Association Sturgis Central/Midwest Open at Sturgis Bowl in Sturgis, Mich., Sunday.

Ciminelli finished with a 6-2 match play record and a total of 4,738 pins for 21 games, including match play bonus pins, to win his 12th career title along with the $2,600 first prize.

● The PBA Century Lanes South Open, scheduled for last weekend in Hampton, Va., was cancelled due to the presence of Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic Coast region.

● September’s PBA Regional calendar continues this weekend with the PBA/PBA50 Millsboro Lanes Eastern Doubles in Millsboro, Del.; the one-day Florence Bowling Center Central Open in Florence, Ky.; the PBA50 Cherokee Lanes South Open presented by Roto Grip in Canton, Ga.; the Lubbock Sports Southwest Challenge at South Plains Lanes in Lubbock, Texas, the one-day Mockingbird Lanes PBA and PBA50 Midwest Open doubleheader presented by Hammer in Omaha, Neb., and a Northwest/West tripleheader at Paradise Lanes in Tacoma, Wash., including the Always Painting Northwest/West Open presented by Vac-Tec; the Gary Mage PBA50 Northwest/West Open presented by Great American Casino, and the Jeanne Naccarato Women’s Open.

● The September PBA Regional schedule concludes over the Sept. 28-30 weekend with the Bluffton Central/Midwest Open at EZ Bowl in Bluffton, Ind.; the PBA50 J&L Sports South Open at Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C., and the Double Decker West/Northwest Open presented by Roto Grip in Rohnert Park, Calif. The Double Decker event will be live-streamed by PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling.

● 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).

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