PBA Spare Shots: Bowlers Journal Features Veteran Go Bowling! PBA Tour Sideline Reporter Kimberly Pressler

by Bill Vint May 17, 2019 12:16

Kimberly Pressler, the cover subject for the May issue of Bowlers Journal International, has been a mainstay on the sidelines of Go Bowling! PBA Tour telecasts now for nine years. The dawn of the PBA Tour’s FOX Sports era this season saw her role expand with that network as she now serves up scoops for viewers about adjustments and storylines the audience would not know about if Pressler were not down in the trenches with the players and tour reps.

But Pressler had been doing TV long before her arrival in the pro bowling world. She covered a range of sports including Motocross, snocross, truck racing, X Games events and much more for major networks such as MTV, NBC and ABC. As you will hear in her conversation with BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione in a Bowlers Journal Podcast, some of those prior TV gigs made for some pretty hair-raising experiences that Pressler never will forget.

The conversation covers a broad range of topics, including the 20th anniversary of Pressler's win in the 1999 Miss USA pageant, what it was like to subsequently work for Donald Trump and live in Trump Tower as the first Miss USA since his acquisition of the Miss Universe Organization, and what it was like to dine with Trump and his then-girlfriend Melania (now First Lady Melania Trump) after Pressler arrived in New York City following her Miss USA win.

To listen to the conversation, visit: https://soundcloud.com/user-658733792/kimberlyeditfinal

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: DOTY, KRETZER WIN BALDO CAMPANA MEMORIAL TITLES

Zach Doty of Campbellsville, Ky. defeated Graham Fach of Urbana, Ohio, 208-202, to win his first PBA Regional title in the PBA Baldo Campana Memorial/Ohio Lottery Central Open presented by DV8 at Rebman Recreation in Lorain, Ohio Saturday while Brian Kretzer of Kettering, Ohio won the “senior” half of the doubleheader.

Doty, a 24-year-old PBA rookie, earned $2,000 along with his first title. He downed Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, 231-200, while Fach edged Mike Clark Jr. of Cleveland, Ohio, 199-168, in the semifinal round to set up the championship match.

Kretzer defeated non-PBA member Chuck Tompkins of Reynoldsburg, Ohio by 62 pins to win the PBA50 Baldo Campana Memorial/Ohio Lottery Central/Midwest Open title, presented by MOTIV.

Kretzer finished with a 6-4 match play record and a total of 4,283 pins for 18 games, including match play bonus pins, to win the $1,500 first prize, his 12th career PBA50 regional title and his fourth PBA50 regional title of 2019.

• Darren Tang of Las Vegas; Henry Dawson of Elma, Wash., and Danaka Heekin of Woodinville, Wash., were victorious in a PBA Northwest Region tripleheader at Daffodil Bowl at Puyallup, Wash., Sunday.

Tang posted a 5-7 match play record and a 20-game total of 4,836 pins, including match play bonus pins, to win Sunday’s PBA FiX Auto of Puyallup Open, a standard PBA Northwest Regional event, by 47 pins over Jordan Jung of Canada. The win was worth $2,000 first prize and his fifth regional title.

Dawson won the PBA50 portion of the tripleheader with a 5-3 match play record and 3,354 total pins, beating Rob Rice of Sunnyside, Wash., by two pins for the $1,500 first prize and his first PBA50 Regional title.

Heekin had a 5-2 match play record and knocked down 3,081 total pins for her 14 games to top non-PBA member Correen Lieber of Phoenix, Ariz. in the PBA special women’s event to earn the $800 first prize.

Over the May 17-19 weekend, the PBA Midwest Region returns to Glo Bowl in Marengo, Ill., for the Glo Bowl Midwest Open presented by 900 Global. Also scheduled are the PBA50 Cherokee Lanes South Open presented by Roto Grip in Canton, Ga., and the Waxahachie Southwest Challenge for non-titlists at Hilltop Lanes in Waxahachie, Texas.

PBA Regionals over the Memorial Day weekend (May 24-25) will include the Colony Park Lanes Challenge for non-titlists, presented by Columbia 300, in York, Pa., and the annual Celeste Walker Midwest/Central Open presented by Track at Strike N Spare II in Lockport, Ill.

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

QUICK NOTES

The 17th Pioneers Tournament for PBA membership in China this week in Shanghai qualified three more bowlers for PBA membership eligibility. They join 97 players who qualified in previous Pioneers Tournaments conducted by Frank Zhao since 2014, bringing the total number of Chinese bowlers who have qualified for PBA membership to 100. Since the program began, Pioneers Tournaments have been held throughout China with hundreds of bowlers from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Germany, Japan and The Philippines participating.

Kai Strothers, the 10-year-old Maplewood boy who became the youngest New Jersey bowler to roll a certified 300 game and later rolled the ceremonial first ball at the PBA Tournament of Champions at the PBA’s invitation, was recognized as part of the annual "Essex County Celebrates Youth" Program at the Hall of Records in Newark recently. The annual event acknowledges outstanding young people throughout Essex County for their notable achievements.

Strothers, who is passionate and knowledgeable about bowling, bears the nickname "Popcorn" because while bowling he was snacking on popcorn and it was said the secret was in the popcorn.

The latest Playoffs In Brief episode covering last week’s telecast is now available at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsfecmEdxbs

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PBA Spare Shots: Pete Weber Wins 47th Regional, Joins Walter Ray Williams Jr. in “100 PBA Titles Club”

by Bill Vint May 7, 2019 12:12

PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber has now won 37 PBA Tour, 47 standard PBA Regional, 11 PBA50 Tour and five PBA50 Regional titles, joining Walter Ray Williams Jr. as the only players to win a combined total of 100 PBA titles.

The 56-year-old St. Ann, Mo., resident joined the exclusive “100 PBA Titles” club after defeating Kyle Sherman of O’Fallon, Mo., by 75 pins to win the BowlersMart/Bowlero Midwest Open presented by Brunswick at Brunswick Zone Lakeside in Valley Park, Mo., Sunday.

Weber, who won his 99th title almost two years ago in the 2017 PBA50 DeHayes Insurance Group Championship in Fort Wayne, Ind., won nine of his 12 matches and posted a 20-game total of 4,643 pins Sunday, including match play bonus pins, to win his 100th combined PBA title.

Williams is the record-holder, with a total of 112 titles at all levels of PBA competition (47 PBA Tour, 33 PBA Regional, 14 PBA50 Tour and 18 PBA50 Regional). Weber also joined Williams late in 2018 as the second player in PBA history to surpass $4 million in career earnings. Williams is the all-time PBA earnings leader with just over $4.8 million.

By winning his 47th standard Regional title and his 52nd including his five PBA50 Regional wins, Weber is one title behind Chris Warren of Grants Pass, Ore., in both of those categories.

Sherman finished the Valley Park tournament with a 7-5 match play record and 4,568 pins, 70 ahead of 2018 PBA Rookie of the Year Kamron Doyle of Brentwood, Tenn. Weber earned $2,500, Sherman $1,500 and Doyle $1,250.

YOUNG CANCER SURVIVOR HONORED AT PBA REGIONAL IN MYRTLE BEACH

The PBA South Region and Myrtle Beach Bowl, the host center for the Brighton Construction Myrtle Beach South Open, paid tribute to 8-year-old cancer survivor and PBA super fan Titus Radosti in late April, according to reporter Ian Klein of WMBF News in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

“I like when you throw the ball and it hits these pins,” the young Radosti told Klein.

While dealing with leukemia, Titus found peace watching professional bowling, his father, Rob Radosti, said. “It was like a glimmer of hope for him among just a couple other things.”

Now in remission, Titus has been able to fulfill his dream by joining a local youth bowling league and he got to take part in the Myrtle Beach PBA event, including rolling the ceremonial first ball.

“If he can beat cancer, he can become a pro. I’m sure he has his dreams and his goals set high,” said seven-time PBA Tour titlist Ryan Ciminelli.

“We just hope that our story can be a glimmer of hope for anyone in Myrtle Beach who is facing a giant like we faced,” said Rob Radosti.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: BRAD MILLER REPEATS AS JUNCTION CITY CHAMP

Brad Miller from Lee’s Summit, Mo., defeated Canada’s Francois Lavoie in their final position round match, 247-181, to successfully defend his 2018 Junction City Bowl title and claim his fourth PBA Regional title in the 12th annual PBA Junction City Bowl Southwest/Midwest Open on Sunday in Junction City, Kan.

After eight games, Miller was in 10th place, advancing to third after the five-game casher’s round before finally overtaking Lavoie after game five of the eight-game round-robin match play finals. Lavoie regained the lead after game six before Miller took a five-pin lead going into the final game. Miller started the pivotal game with four strikes as Lavoie suffered an early open and was unable to offer any challenge after that. Miller’s win earned him the $2,500 first prize.

• Dick Allen of Lexington, S.C., won his 24th PBA Regional title Sunday, defeating seven-time PBA Tour champion Ryan Ciminelli of Clarence, N.Y., 222-163, to win the second annual PBA B&R Hauling Aberdeen South Open at Sandhills Bowling Center in Aberdeen, N.C.

Allen, who led the event wire-to-wire, qualified in the number one position for the stepladder finals with a 20-game pinfall including bonus pins of 4,499. Allen started the final match with a spare followed by three strikes while Ciminelli suffered two unmakeable splits in the first three frames and could never overcome the early deficit.  

In the first stepladder match, Trevor Roberts of Crystal River, Fla., defeated last week’s Myrtle Beach Open champion, Brandon Curtis of Manson, N.C., 240-213. Ciminelli then eliminated Roberts, 215-190, in the semifinal match.

• Chris Via of Springfield, Ohio defeated Patrick Dombrowski of Parma, Ohio by 20 pins Sunday to win the PBA Taylor Kia Central/East Open presented by Hammer at Holiday Bowl in Struthers, Ohio.

Via finished with a 9-3 match play record and a total of 4,616 pins for 20 games, including match play bonus pins, for his second PBA Regional title and the $2,500 top prize. Dombrowski posted an 8-4 match play record and knocked down 4,596 pins.

PBA Regional tournaments over the May 10-12 weekend include the PBA and PBA50 Baldo Campana Memorial/Ohio Lottery Central Opens presented by DV8 and MOTIV, respectively, at Rebman Recreation in Lorain, Ohio, and a PBA Northwest Region “tripleheader” in Puyallup, Wash., including the PBA and PBA50 Daffodil Bowl Opens presented by Roto Grip plus the Daffodil Bowl Women’s Open.

Over the May 17-19 weekend, the PBA Midwest Region returns to Glo Bowl in Marengo, Ill., for the Glo Bowl Midwest Open presented by Global 900. Also scheduled are the PBA50 Cherokee Lanes South Open presented by Roto Grip in Canton, Ga., and the Waxahachie Southwest Challenge for non-titlists at Hilltop Lanes in Waxahachie, Texas.

PBA Regionals over the Memorial Day weekend (May 24-25) will include the Colony Park Lanes Challenge for non-titlists, presented by Columbia 300, in York, Pa., and the annual Celeste Walker Midwest/Central Open presented by Track at Strike N Spare II in Lockport, Ill.

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

QUICK NOTES

The latest “PBA Playoffs in Brief” episode is now available on PBA’s YouTube channel at this link: https://youtu.be/Ibje4PBibKs.

Renowned bowling instructor Tom Kouros, the author of the best-selling “Par Bowling” and a member of the USBC Hall of Fame, died on April 28 at his home in Deer Park, Ill., after a lengthy illness. He was 92.

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PBA Spare Shots: Every Tournament Means a New PBA Record for Walter Ray Williams Jr.

by Bill Vint April 26, 2019 09:42

It’s not a secret, but every time Walter Ray Williams Jr. picks up a bowling ball and steps onto the approach at a PBA tournament – no matter what level of tournament it may be – he sets another record.

The “GOAT” – Greatest Of All Time – as many of his peers refer to him is approaching his 60th birthday (on October 6). He has been a PBA member since 1980 (39 years). His most recent record of note was winning the 110th PBA title of his lengthy and colorful career. His victory in the PBA50 Tour’s season-opening Johnny Petraglia BVL Open last week was his 12th in PBA50 Tour competition to go along with his record 47 PBA Tour titles, 33 standard PBA Regional wins and 18 PBA50 Regional titles.

His portfolio of PBA records would take pages to summarize, but here are some astonishing statistics that put Williams’ career in PBA competition into perspective compared to an “average” league bowler:

As of last Sunday, Williams had bowled 24,135 games in PBA Tour competition, 2,328 in PBA Regionals, 2,625 in PBA50 Tour events and another 694 in PBA50 Regionals for a combined total of 29,782 games in PBA tournaments at all levels.

That total doesn’t include games bowled in practice, pro-ams or exhibitions.

If an average league bowler rolls three games a week over a typical 32-week league season, he or she will bowl 96 games in a year.

At the average league bowler rate, it would take that bowler 310.2 years to bowl as many games as Williams has bowled in PBA competition.

If you were able to live 310.2 years and match Williams’ games bowled total, take note that he also has knocked down 6,558,110 pins over that span. That converts to a 220.20 average for all PBA games bowled.

Keep in mind, Walter Ray is still actively competing at all levels of PBA competition.

FRAN HEALY’S “FOCUSED” DOCUMENTARY PROFILES THE PBA

The TV show "FOCUSED" hosted by Fran Healy, features documentaries on athletes and sports institutions, and a new “Professional Bowlers Association” episode currently airing on FOX Sports regional networks plus the Madison Square Garden Network examines the evolution of professional bowling from its origin to today. For listings for the day and time for “FOCUSED” in your area, click here: https://www.pba.com/content/files/downloads/FocusedReairSchedule.pdf

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: AJ CHAPMAN WINS FIRST PBA REGIONAL TITLE IN HOUSTON

Manchester, Iowa’s AJ Chapman won six matches in the eight-game modified round robin finals to pull away from the field and win his first PBA title in the Houston Copperfield Bowl Southwest Challenge, presented by 900 Global, on Easter Sunday.

Chapman, who qualified second for the finals, was trailing non-member Josh Sorola of Baytown, Texas, who was bowling in his second PBA event ever, by 46 pins going into the deciding final game position round. Chapman took an early lead as Sorola had two early opens and never recovered, as Chapman won 195-147. Along with his title, Chapman earned $2,000.

PBA Regional Challenge tournaments are open to players who have not previously won a PBA title.

Grants Pass, Ore., proprietor and veteran PBA50 competitor Kevin Croucher knew he had to give it his best effort in the championship match against red hot PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr., the winningest bowling in PBA history, and he did just that by defeating Williams, 268-197, to win the fourth annual PBA50 Sarasota Ford South Open at Sarasota Lanes in Sarasota, Fla., on Saturday.

Croucher, who picked up his ninth overall PBA Regional title, won easily after starting with a spare and then stringing seven strikes. The Oxford, Fla., superstar gave Croucher a head start when he had an open in the first frame and was never able to catch up. Croucher earned the $2,000 first prize while Williams earned $1,000 as the runner-up.

In the semifinal round, Croucher eliminated Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y., 196-170, while Williams took out Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, 205-183.

Closing the April PBA Regional calendar over the April 26-28 weekend will be the Brighton Construction Myrtle Beach South Open at Myrtle Beach Bowl in South Carolina; the Oklahoma City Southwest Open presented by Roto Grip at Planet Bowl in Oklahoma; the PBA/PBA50 Tumwater Lanes Doubles event presented by MOTIV in Tumwater, Wash., and the Greater Richmond Central Open at Richmond 40 Bowl in Richmond, Ind.

● 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

USBC has announced the 2020 USBC Masters will be held March 23-29 at the Grand Sierra Resort Bowling Center in Reno, Nev. The stepladder finals will be televised live on FS1 as part of the PBA’s television package with FOX Sports.

Sneaking in under the radar, Part I: PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber late in the 2018 season became the second player in PBA history to surpass $4 million in combined PBA career earnings. Walter Ray Williams Jr. remains the all-time PBA earnings leader. He currently stands at $4,794,859.

Sneaking in under the radar, Part II: Bill O’Neill is the 44th member of the PBA Millionaires Club. He surpassed the career milestone with his fourth-place finish in the PBA World Championship, which was his 226th career PBA Tour tournament. That put him in a tie for third place for earning $1 million in the fewest number of tournaments with Tommy Jones. O’Neill’s long-time doubles partner, Jason Belmonte, set the standard by reaching the million-dollar milestone in 131 tournaments. The runner-up is Chris Barnes who hit the milestone in 220 events.

PBA Hall of Famers Chris Barnes, Mika Koivuniemi, Jim St. John, meritorious service honorees Bob Johnson and Larry Lichstein, and the only woman ever to win a PBA major title – Kelly Kulick – will be inducted into the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame along with the late Kegel founder John Davis during the USBC Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 1, at The Orleans in Las Vegas.

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PBA Spare Shots: PBA’s Visits to Maine are About More Than Competition on the Lanes

by Bill Vint April 12, 2019 09:55

Maybe one of the reasons why the fans in Portland, Maine have embraced the Professional Bowlers Association and its players so strongly, and vice versa, is that the visits to Maine’s largest city (fewer than 67,000 residents) have become much more than bowling competitions.

The latest example took place on Sunday, April 7, when Bayside Bowl — in collaboration with the PBA and its friends at City of Portland, Maine, Visit Portland Maine, Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce and Portland Downtown — gave 30 Portland Middle and High school students the opportunity of a lifetime to bowl with eight of the world’s best bowlers in a pre-PBA Playoffs special event.

Portland and the PBA will have two more opportunities to light up the bowling world in 2019. The four finalists in the inaugural PBA Playoffs competition will return to Bayside Bowl Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2, for the semifinal and final rounds of the PBA Playoffs that will be televised live on FOX at noon EDT both days.

Six weeks later, the PBA League will return to Bayside Bowl for the fifth consecutive year July 16, 17 and 18 for live coverage of all rounds of the Elias Cup competition. FS1 will air four shows including the quarterfinal round in two shows on Tuesday, July 16, at 7 and 9 p.m.; the semifinals on Wednesday, July 17 at 9 p.m., and the Elias Cup championship finals on Wednesday, July 18 at 9 p.m. All times are Eastern.

To purchase tickets while limited supplies last, visit https://www.pba.com/Tickets and click on the link to the specific event you’d like to attend.

PBA LEAGUE TO EXPAND TO 10 TEAMS FOR 2020 SEASON

In news related to the PBA’s relationship with Portland, PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark announced during the 2019 PBA League Draft held Monday at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, that the PBA League will expand from eight to 10 teams in 2020.

The PBAL made its debut in 2013 with eight teams tied to cities across the U.S. The initial competition included preliminary rounds at Thunderbowl Lanes in suburban Detroit with the first Elias Cup finals held at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis. The second PBAL event was held at Thunderbowl and Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick, N.J., before it made its debut at Bayside Bowl in 2015. The first Elias Cup competition held in Portland was the first PBA event ever held in Maine.

No further details regarding the PBAL’s expansion plans were revealed, but Clark made a point to note that adding two more teams will provide PBA members will additional opportunities to experience what has become one of the PBA Tour’s most coveted events.

FREAK ACCIDENT HINDERS JASON BELMONTE’S DOMINANT SEASON

• A freak accident during a youth bowling event prior to the USBC Masters has played a hand – no pun attended – in slowing Jason Belmonte’s dominating season in 2019, including his bid for a 12th major championship in the Masters, an event he had previously won a record four times.

As told to FloBowling senior editor Lucas Wiseman, the 35-year-old Australian two-handed player explained his injury:

“I had my hand in a ball, and I was giving some of the kids a tip,” Belmonte said. “As I swung the ball back with one hand, one of the fellas was holding his ball, and he had moved a little bit. So, when I swung it back, my finger in the ball got jammed into the ball the young fella was holding. As soon as I did it, it split open and started bleeding and the bruising and swelling came up pretty quick.”

The cut, across the crease below his fingertip on his index finger, and the bruising and swelling accompanying the injury, forced Belmonte to bowl using only his ring and little fingers to grip the ball – something he said he had “never done before.” The result was a 194.73 average for his 15 qualifying games in the Masters and a 169th-place finish – well below the cut line.

Belmonte was hoping for rapid healing before his next major test – a Round of 16 match against fellow two-hander Kyle Troup in the inaugural PBA Playoffs. Belmonte was the runaway top qualifier for the Playoffs, earning a first-round bye, and will face Troup – who eliminated PBA Hall of Famer Chris Barnes in his opening Round of 24 match – in a Round of 16 match that will air on Monday, April 22, at 9 p.m. EDT on FS1.

TEXAN THOMAS SIMMONS WINS PBA BOWLING CHALLENGE WSOB X ANNIVERSARY GAME

Thomas Simmons of Plano, Texas, tried 32 times to out-bowl PBA World Champion Jason Belmonte in the special PBA Bowling Challenge game for mobile device players, and his persistence resulted in a victory in Concrete Software’s special event held in conjunction with the 10th anniversary PBA World Series of Bowling.

As the contest winner, Simmons earned a PBA bowling pin autographed by Belmonte plus 5,000 gold pins to use in the PBA Bowling Challenge for mobile devices. The WSOB X special event resulted in 20,346 entries (including 11,357 re-entries by 2,269 unique users). Simmons was selected at random among the players who posted a score higher than the 236 game Belmonte rolled to win the PBA World Championship.

DOM BARRETT, CHRIS BARNES COMPLETE TEAMS FOR 2019 WEBER CUP

England’s Dom Barrett and Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, captains of the international and United States teams for the upcoming Weber Cup competition set for Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, have completed their team rosters.

Barrett has selected fellow Englishman Stuart Williams and Finnish two-hander Osku Palermaa to join Swedish two-hander Jesper Svensson on the international team while Barnes’ United States team will include left-hander Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., and a pair of two-handed players – Anthony Simonsen of Little Elm, Texas, and Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C. Svensson and Butturff earned their berths based on the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour competition points standings; Williams, Palermaa, Simonsen and Troup were captains’ picks.

The Weber Cup, traditionally held in England, will make its debut on American soil June 18-21 just ahead of International Bowl Expo which will take place June 23-27 at the Paris Hotel and Las Vegas Convention Center. Tickets are on sale now at www.webercup.com.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: FRANCOIS LAVOIE WINS AGAIN AT FIRELAKE

Canadian Francois Lavoie, PBA’s 2016 Rookie of the Year and the reigning PBA Southwest Region Player of the Year, defeated Anthony Lavery-Spahr of Pasadena, Texas, 211-209, to win the eighth annual PBA FireLake/Grand Casino Resort Southwest Open presented by Brunswick.

The title was Lavoie’s seventh in PBA Regional competition and his third at FireLake. He also earned $2,700.

Lavoie, who now lives in Wichita, Kan., struck on his first shot in the 10th frame and then spared a 10 pin to finish with a 211. Lavery-Spahr needed three strikes to deny Lavoie the title, but he left three pins standing on his last shot to finish with 209.

Lavoie finished second in qualifying, averaging 242 plus to receive byes directly into the Round of 8 where he defeated Paul Henderson of Watauga, Texas, 2-0, in their best-of-three-game match. Lavoie then defeated Austin Boulds of Creal Springs, Ill., 269-235, to advance to the championship match.                      

The pro-am portion of the event included a fundraiser for the Shawnee area Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter. FireLake’s pro-ams have now raised more than $100,000 over the past eight years for that cause.

• Headlining the April 12-14 PBA Regional schedule will be the Bowlers Discount Pro Shop Open presented by DV8 at AMF Towson Lanes in Towson, Md.; the Debbie and Leo Nunan Memorial Central Open presented by Track at AMF Stardust Lanes in Grove City, Ohio; the Jac’s Lanes Valdosta South Open presented by DV8 in Valdosta, Ga., and the PBA and PBA50 Earl Anthony West/Northwest Memorial doubleheader at Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl in Dublin, Calif.

• The only event heading into the Easter weekend is the PBA50 Sarasota Ford South Open April 18-20 at Sarasota Lanes in Florida.

• Closing the April PBA Regional calendar over the April 26-28 weekend will be the Houston Copperfield Bowl Southwest Challenge for non-title winners, presented by Global 900; the Brighton Construction Myrtle Beach South Open at Myrtle Beach Bowl in South Carolina; the Oklahoma City Southwest Open presented by Roto Grip at Planet Bowl in Oklahoma; the PBA/PBA50 Tumwater Lanes Doubles event presented by MOTIV in Tumwater, Wash., and the Greater Richmond Central Open at Richmond 40 Bowl in Richmond, Ind.

● 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: Kris Prather, Andrew Anderson to Make Barbasol PBA Tour Finals Debuts in July

by Bill Vint April 5, 2019 09:35

Two of the Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s hottest young players – Kris Prather of Plainfield, Ill., and 2018 PBA Player of the Year Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich.- will make their debuts in the elite eight-player Barbasol PBA Tour Finals field in July.

The Barbasol PBA Tour Finals, presented by Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa, will take place at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas and will be televised live by CBS Sports Network over a span five shows (two on Saturday, July 20 and three on Sunday, July 21).

2018_USBC_MastersPrather (pba.com feature photo), who won his first PBA Tour title in the 2019 Scorpion Championship during PBA World Series of Bowling X, has made eight championship round appearances during the past two seasons while Anderson (at left) used his break-through campaign in 2018 to build his two-year competition points total and break into the eight-man PBA Tour Finals field.

Australia’s Jason Belmonte, the PBA Tour Finals defending champion, was leader in the competition points race to qualify for 2019 after he accumulated 46,700 points in Go Bowling! PBA Tour competition over the past two seasons. The two-year points race ended with the USBC Masters on April 1.

Also qualifying for the 2019 Tour Finals are Masters champion Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz. (40,267 points); Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas (38,919); EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind. (37,919); Prather (31,266); Anderson (30,983); Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash. (29,447), and Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa. (28,937). Prather and Anderson replace Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., and Dom Barrett of England, who finished ninth and 10th, respectively. Rash and Barrett both bowled in the 2017 and ’18 Tour Finals.

Tickets for the showcase event are now available online. To order, click here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/barbasol-pba-tour-finals-presented-by-red-rock-casino-resort-spa-tickets-57610119418

FOX VIEWERSHIP, SOCIAL MEDIA IMPRESSIONS CONTINUE TO IMPRESS

The PBA Tour’s historic television package with FOX Sports and its social media impact, boosted by its new relationship with FloSports, continue to show impressive gains in 2019.

During the recently-completed PBA World Series of Bowling X, highlighted by live or first-run WSOB events on FS1 for five consecutive nights in late March plus multiple re-airs throughout the week, PBA competition was watched by 3,106,000 viewers on FS1 or FS2.

To date, 15,583,000 viewers have tuned-in to watch the PBA on FOX, FS1 or FS2 in 2019, including repeats. That’s 43 percent higher than the total audience for PBA telecasts during the entire 2018 season (10,907,000).

In addition to FOX coverage, FloBowling streamed more than 50 hours of WSOB X coverage, including exciting elimination match play rounds during a week FloSports said had the most bowling fan viewership traffic to date.

At the same time, PBA’s social media and web site traffic continues to set records, rolling along at a pace that approached 70 million impressions across its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts during the first three months of the year.

It was due to history being made on the lanes with Jason Belmonte's 11th major victory in a thrilling climactic title match in the PBA World Championship; Kris Prather winning his first title; Dick Allen winning his second title of the year and The World team captained by Amleto Monacelli again shining the spotlight on the PBA’s powerful base of global stars. Rising talents including Kyle Sherman, AJ Chapman and others served notice that many styles of players can achieve success across the multiple challenging patterns and conditions PBA Tour competition presents.

The inaugural FOX Sports season now moves into the highly-anticipated PBA Playoffs that will include eight consecutive Monday night prime-time telecasts on FS1 April 8 through May 27 leading into the live FOX semifinal and final rounds on Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: SOUTHWEST PLAYERS RETURN TO FIRELAKE

April arrives with a robust schedule of PBA Regional activity beginning over the April 5-7 weekend with the Grand Casino Resort Southwest Open presented by Brunswick at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla.

Headlining the April 12-14 PBA Regional schedule will be the Bowlers Discount Pro Shop Open presented by DV8 at AMF Towson Lanes in Towson, Md.; the Debbie and Leo Nunan Memorial Central Open presented by Track at AMF Stardust Lanes in Grove City, Ohio; the Jac’s Lanes Valdosta South Open presented by DV8 in Valdosta, Ga., and the PBA and PBA50 Earl Anthony West/Northwest Memorial doubleheader at Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl in Dublin, Calif.

The only event heading into the Easter weekend is the PBA50 Sarasota Ford South Open April 18-20 at Sarasota Lanes in Florida.

• Closing the April PBA Regional calendar over the April 26-28 weekend will be the Houston Copperfield Southwest Challenge for non-title winners, presented by Global 900; the Brighton Construction Myrtle Beach South Open at Myrtle Beach Bowl in South Carolina; the Oklahoma City Southwest Open presented by Roto Grip at Planet Bowl in Oklahoma; the PBA/PBA50 Tumwater Lanes Doubles event presented by MOTIV in Tumwater, Wash., and the Greater Richmond Central Open at Richmond 40 Bowl in Richmond, Ind.

● 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:

Thanks to his runner-up finish in the USBC Masters, 26-year-old lefthander Mykel Holliman of Collierville, Tenn., has soared into the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour competition points lead among rookies. Holliman earned 4,500 points in the Tier 1 event to advance to 25th place on the overall points list. He holds a 4,220-point lead over Kenneth Ryan of Farmingdale, N.J., among 2019 Bowl4life PBA Rookie Watch candidates. Wichita’s Patrick Hanrahan is third among rookies with 2,813 points. The PBA Rookie of the Year, which will be decided in voting to be conducted at the end of the 2019 season, will receive a $2,500 bonus from Chuck Gardner’s Bowl4Life Foundation and the foundation will donate an additional $2,500 to a youth bowler scholarship in the ROY’s name.

In the wake of the USBC Masters, the unofficial FloBowling PBA Power Rankings top 10 now features Jakob Butturff as the player to beat in Go Bowling! PBA Tour competition. Butturff has assumed the No. 1 position over Jason Belmonte after the Australian two-handed star sustained an injury to the middle finger of his bowling hand in a freak accident, forcing him to bowl qualifying in the Masters using his ring and little fingers. After his worst finish of the year (169th), Belmonte dropped to No. 2 in FloBowling’s power rankings. The current top 10 (with previous ranking in parenthesis) includes: 3, EJ Tackett (3); 4, Anthony Simonsen (8); 5, Kyle Sherman (11); 6, Norm Duke (6); 7, Rhino Page (13); 8, Kris Prather (5); 9, Dom Barrett (9) and 10, Bill O’Neill (4). Visit FloBowling.com for a complete list along with Flo’s rationale for its rankings.

• WSOB X Note: The 10th anniversary PBA World Series of Bowling at Thunderbowl in Allen Park, Mich., featured a field of 135 players bowling in three animal pattern championships plus the PBA World Championship. Out of the 135, 52 players (38.5 percent) earned at least one check.

• Based on their performances at the USBC Masters and the Pan American Games Trials, Masters champion Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., and Nick Pate of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., have earned the right to represent the United States in the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, July 26-Aug. 11. The two women’s representative will be determined at the 2019 USBC Queens May 15-21 at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan.

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