PBA Spare Shots: USBC Masters is Last Chance for PBA Players to Qualify for Inaugural PBA Playoffs

by Bill Vint March 25, 2019 11:51

An intense, season-long competition to qualify for the inaugural PBA Playoffs at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, beginning on April 8 will reach its conclusion next Monday with the United States Bowling Congress Masters finals, wrapping up the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s fourth major championship and a Tier 1 points event in the PBA Playoffs scenario.

With 7,500 points awaiting the Masters champion, and significant points at stake throughout the Masters’ final standings, how players perform at the Gold Coast Bowling Center in Las Vegas this week may prove pivotal in not only earning berths in the 24-player PBA Playoffs field, but in other related competitions:

• The top eight in points at the conclusion of the Masters on Sunday will earn byes for the first round of the single-elimination PBA Playoffs match play competition. Australia’s Jason Belmonte has locked up the No. 1 berth, but the next seven positions are still up for grabs.

• The top 24 in points also earn berths in the PBA Playoffs.

• The top 40 in points will be eligible to participate in the 2019 PBA League draft that will take place on Monday, April 8 at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

• 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour points through the Masters will be combined with 2018 points to determine the eight players who will compete in the Barbasol PBA Tour Finals July 19-21 at Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Las Vegas.

• 2019 points will qualify players for priority entries into future PBA Tour events.

• Points status will be an important factor in consideration for 2019 PBA Player and Rookie of the Year voting at the end of the year.

Heading into the Masters, the top 40 in PBA competition points are listed below. A number of additional players could advance based upon how they finish in the Masters. For the complete 2019 points standings, click here: https://www.pba.com/SeasonStats/PointsList/132?list=1.

The USBC Masters will conclude with a live two-hour telecast on FS1 on Monday, April 1, at 9 p.m. Eastern.

PBA PLAYOFFS POINTS STANDINGS
(As of Monday, March 25)
1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 29,210
2, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 17,715
3, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 17,160
4, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 16,960
5, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 15,775
6, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 13,450
7, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 13,065
8, Tom Daugherty, Tampa, Fla., 12,885
9, Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 12,180
10, Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., 11,985
11, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 10,640
12, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 10,615
13, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 9,818
14, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 9,658
15, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 9,595
16, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 9,585
17, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 8,600
18, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 8,508
19, Dom Barrett, England, 8,010
20, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 7,915
21, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 7,420
22, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 7,190
23, Patrick Girard, Canada, 6,870
24, AJ Chapman, Wichita, Kan., 6,865
25, Brad Miller, Lees Summit, Mo., 6,850
26, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 6,830
27, Darren Tang, San Francisco, 6,685
28, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 6,398
29, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 6,325
30, Nick Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 6,225
31, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 5,918
32, Stuart Williams, England, 5,900
33, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 5,873
34, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 5,725
35, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 5,440
36, Matthew McNiel, Minneapolis, Minn., 5,310
37, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 5,273
38, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 5,105
39, Matt Ogle, Louisville, Ky., ,4955
40, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 4,880
41, Zacharay Wilkins, Canada, 4,835
42, Richie Teece, England, 4,623
43, Sam Cooley, Australia, 4,608
44, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 4,353
45, Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 4,095
46, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 4,040
47, Mitch Hupe, Canada, 4,038
48, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 3,938
49, Michael Tang, San Francisco, 3,845
50, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 3,660

BAYSIDE BOWL, PORTLAND ARE GETTING READY FOR A BIG YEAR

Bayside Bowl and its rabid fans in Portland, Maine, are getting ready for the biggest year in bowling Maine has ever seen, and the Portland business community is solidly behind the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s invasion.

PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark made a special pre-World Series of Bowling trip to Portland for a special kickoff event for 2019 that include the participation of a host of participating sponsors, including: Maine Beer Company, Port Property Management, bowlingball.com, Dexter, Revision Energy, Hyatt Place, Residence Inn, Local Economy Payroll & Tax, Bernstein Shur, Maine Health, Clark Insurance, State 23 Media, Spectrum, Portland Downtown, City of Portland, Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, Visit Portland and Buy Local.

Bayside Bowl will be host to the inaugural PBA Playoffs elimination rounds, April 8-10; the PBA League Draft, April 8; the live PBA Playoffs semifinal and final rounds, live on FOX, June 1-2, and the complete PBA League Elias Cup competition, live on FS1, July 16-18.

PBA BOWLING CHALLENGE’S PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SPECIAL EVENT IS UNDERWAY

Competition in the special Concrete Software PBA Bowling Challenge mobile game PBA World Series of Bowling 10th anniversary special event is now underway. Millions of mobile devise users are invited to try to bowl a game higher than PBA World Champion Jason Belmonte’s winning 236 effort that aired live on FS1 on Thursday night.

The special PBA Bowling Challenge “tournament” began Friday and will end on Thursday, March 28. It features a custom WSOB X venue, and the introduction of a special ball that can be used in the competition. Players can enter as often as they wish. All scores that beat Belmonte’s 236 will be entered into a sweepstakes pool with one lucky winner to be selected to win a bowling pin signed by the PBA World Champion plus 5,000 Gold Pins.

To review the official rules, visit: http://bit.ly/PBA_OfficialRules. If you have not already done so, the PBA Bowling Challenge game can be downloaded to your mobile device at no cost. Visit https://concretesoftware.com/games/pba-bowling-challenge/ for details.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: BORESCH WINS PBA50 EVENT IN ILLINOIS

Lennie Boresch, Jr. of Kenosha, Wis., defeated Brian Menini of Brookfield, Mo., 258-199, to win the PBA50 Showtime Lanes Midwest/Central Open presented by Radical at Showtime Lanes in Virden, Ill., Sunday.

The title was Boresch’s sixth PBA50 Regional title. He earned $1,500 along with his title.

Boresch defeated Gary Alstott of Washington, Ill., 247-176, and Menini topped Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, 259-232, in the semifinal round to set up the championship match.

A busy schedule of PBA Regional activity resumes over the March 22-24 weekend with the PBA50 Rossi Lanes East Open in Elmira, N.Y.; the Hubbard Central Open presented by Brunswick at Bell-Wick Bowl in Hubbard, Ohio; the PBA50 Allstate Monte Skeets Midwest/Central Open presented by Ebonite at Liberty Lanes in Carpentersville, Ill.; the PBA50 Ultra Star Multi-Tainment Center South Open at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in Cherokee, N.C., and the Caveman Bowl Northwest/West Open presented by DV8 in Grants Pass, Ore.

● 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: Even Fellow PBA Competitors Join “Norm Duke Fan Club”

by Bill Vint March 6, 2019 12:50

Norm Duke knows he has been a fan favorite for quite some time. The extended “Duuuuukkke…” chant whenever he’s introduced is a clue. But what the 54-year-old 40-time PBA Tour champion and hall of famer didn’t fully realize until the past couple of weeks is how much he’s idolized by the growing group of 20-something future stars who will soon steal the spotlight.

“The kids out here treat me unbelievably good, unbelievably!” Duke said after winning his 39th PBA Tour title in the Go Bowling! PBA Indianapolis Open, a week before he captured title no. 40 in last Sunday’s Go Bowling! PBA Jonesboro Open in Arkansas. “They make every day I spend on this tour so enjoyable. To get this title means maybe they can appreciate other things, like winning when you’re not bowling your best.”

First in line to proclaim his admiration for what Duke has contributed to the sport was Australia’s Jason Belmonte, who is widely considered the best bowler in the world, and who was Duke’s victim in the Indianapolis Open title match. After that match, Belmonte posted a comment on his Facebook page that in part said, “…you’re a treasure to the game and still my idol.”

A week later, after his win in Jonesboro, Belmonte proclaimed Duke the front-runner in the 2019 PBA Player of the Year race.

Duke, who had proclaimed earlier in the season that he fully intended to win another title despite his age and a seven-year dry spell since his last singles victory, also noted the new PBA Playoffs have provided him with a renewed drive to win, especially after sitting in 31st place – on the outside looking in – heading into the Indianapolis tournament.

“I know what it takes,” he said after his win in Indy not only moved him into the top 24 who will qualify for the PBA Playoffs, but all the way to seventh place in the points race. His win in Arkansas moved him into third place, comfortably (for now) within the top eight who will earn a first-round bye when the Playoffs begin.

“Everything I’ve done the last three months has been with the Playoffs in mind. It’s everyone’s goal,” Duke said. “Everyone wants to win that $100,000 (Playoffs first prize) and you can’t win it if you don’t get there.

“It’s a tall order, but to this point, everything I’ve done in my life has been a tall order,” the 5-foot-6 Duke said as a point of emphasis.

Duke also addressed the PBA’s dual, or mixed, pattern scoring environments he conquered in both of his Indianapolis and Jonesboro victories. It’s a challenging test of skill and patience the PBA has employed, applying dramatically different oiling patterns on the left and right lanes in both events.

“I think they’re a tremendous requirement to make you better than you thought you’d needed to be,” Duke said. “Every pattern changes. Every day they change. You have to be smart enough to deal with the patterns and physically strong enough to get all that extra equipment across the center, because you’re using different balls on each lane.

“It’s ridiculously hard, but for those of us who have been out here a long time, it’s an advantage if you’re prepared for it.”

To further endear himself to his adoring fans, Duke has created what may be a new tradition by handing his championship trophy to the fans to pass around, kind of like NHL players sharing the Stanley Cup with their fans. That might not be the end of it.

“The next time, I might just jump into the crowd myself,” Duke said with a laugh.

PBA WORLD SERIES OF BOWLING X BY THE NUMBERS

As an international field of 135 players representing 20 countries gets ready to compete in PBA World Series of Bowling X at Thunderbowl Lanes beginning Sunday in suburban Detroit, what has become the premier international showcase of professional bowling competition has produced its own impressive history and statistics over the last decade.

Here’s a look at some of the records WSOB competitors will try to improve upon in Allen Park:

4 – PBA Tour titles won by Jason Belmonte in WSOB competition.

8 – Number of perfect games Dom Barrett has bowled in WSOB history.

18 – Telecasts made by Jason Belmonte in nine WSOB events.

40 – Number of countries represented in WSOB history.

85 – Number of players who have made the TV finals in PBA WSOB history.

195 – Total number of perfect games bowled in WSOB history.

225.95 – EJ Tackett’s leading average for all WSOB events.

227.8Sean Rash’s leading PBA World Championship average.

239.88Jesper Svensson’s average in WSOB Chameleon Championship events, tops among all animal pattern events.

329 – Number of players who have cashed in the WSOB.

827 – Number of players who have bowled in at least one WSOB event.

73,432 – Total number of games bowled in PBA WSOB qualifying.

$317,995 – Jason Belmonte as all-time WSOB earnings leader.

$2,903,304 – Combined earnings of top 20 on WSOB all-time money list.

$6,630,750 – Total earnings paid out in PBA WSOB history.

15,187,562 – Total number of pins knocked down in WSOB history.

FLOBOWLING WILL PROVIDE 50 HOURS OF WSOB X COVERAGE

PBA’s live streaming partner, FloBowling, will provide approximately 50 hours of preliminary round coverage of WSOB X from Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich., beginning with PBA Cheetah Championship qualifying on Tuesday, March 12. For a schedule of FloBowling coverage click on https://www.flobowling.com/events/6264031-2019-pba-world-series-of-bowling-x/schedule.

In addition to its multi-lane coverage of WSOB qualifying and match play rounds, the live finals of each WSOB FS1 telecast will be available to FloBowling’s international subscribers as they air. For subscription and additional schedule information visit www.flobowling.com.

DUKE, TACKETT, SIMONSEN FORTIFY PBA PLAYOFFS POINTS POSITIONS

While Australia’s Jason Belmonte took a break from PBA Tour competition to spend time with his family before the start of the PBA World Series of Bowling X, EJ Tackett and Anthony Simonsen joined Norm Duke in fortifying their positions among the top eight players in the race to qualify for first-round byes in the inaugural PBA Playoffs.

Belmonte was solidly in the lead in PBA Playoffs points after his win in the PBA Tournament of Champions followed by back-to-back second-place finishes in the PBA Players Championship and Go Bowling! PBA Indianapolis Open with 18,550 points and Tackett retained second place on the basis of his third straight top five finish in Jonesboro with 13,890 points. Duke, with back-to-back titles in Indy and Jonesboro, advanced from 31st to third (13,565) while Simonsen (13,200) has advanced from 35th prior to the TOC to fourth, in great part thanks to his win in the PBA Players Championship.

Rounding out the top eight after Jonesboro are Sean Rash (12,640), Jakob Butturff (11,475), Marshall Kent (9,595) and Tom Daugherty (9,250). Heading into the WSOB X, Wes Malott (8,260) and Kyle Troup (8,150) sat in ninth and 10th places, respectively.

The race for the 24th-and-final berth in the PBA Playoffs currently involves Brad Miller and Nick Pate in a tie for 24th with Tom Smallwood and Stuart Williams right behind as the Tour heads toward the April 1 cutoff date.

Under the new PBA competition points structure in play this season, a win in a Tier 1 (major championship) event is worth 7,500 points, a Tier 2 (standard PBA Tour tournament) title is worth 5,000 points and a Tier 3 (limited entry and/or modified format tournament) title is worth 2,500 points. In the upcoming WSOB X, the Cheetah, Chameleon and Scorpion Championships will be Tier 3 events; the PBA World Championship will be the season’s third Tier 1 event.

Players finishing in the top 24 in points as of April 1 qualify for a berth in the Playoffs. Finishing in the top 40 is required for eligibility to enter the 2019 PBA League Draft. To follow the points competition as the season progresses, use this link: https://www.pba.com/SeasonStats/PointsList/132?list=1.

The PBA Playoffs begin on Monday, April 8, with live coverage of the opening Round of 24 matches on FS1 at 7 p.m. EDT from Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: BRIAN KRETZER WINS 12TH PBA50 REGIONAL TITLE IN CANTON

Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio defeated Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y. by 48 pins to win the PBA50 Strike Zone Lanes Central Classic presented by Radical at Strike Zone Lanes in Canton, Ohio, Sunday.

Kretzer finished with an 8-4 match play record and a total of 4,991 pins for 20 games, including match play bonus pins. The title was Kretzer’s third of the year in the PBA Central Region and his 12th career PBA50 Regional title. He also earned $1,600.

Robby Porter of Rancho Cordova, Calif. defeated Michael Pixley of Modesto, Calif., 268-217, to win the PBA West Region’s Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort Championship at Gold Country Lanes in Sutter Creek, Calif., on Sunday.

This was Porter’s third PBA Regional title and earned him $2,000. Pixley earned $1,500 for second place.

In the semifinal round, Porter defeated Wayne Garber of Modesto, Calif., 258-206, and Pixley defeated Josh Blanchard of Mesa, Ariz., 279-228, to set up the championship match. Garber and Blanchard each earned $1,000 as semifinal round losers.

• PBA’s March 8-10 regional tournament schedule includes the PBA50 Fayetteville South Open at Lafayette Lanes in Fayetteville, N.C., and the PBA50 Showtime Lanes Midwest/Central Open presented by Radical in Virden, Ill.

• There are no tournaments on the March 15-17 calendar, but activity resumes over the March 22-24 weekend with the PBA50 Rossi Lanes East Open in Elmira, N.Y.; the Hubbard Central Open presented by Brunswick at Bell-Wick Bowl in Hubbard, Ohio; the PBA50 Allstate Monte Skeets Midwest/Central Open presented by Ebonite at Liberty Lanes in Carpentersville, Ill.; the PBA50 Ultra Star Multi-Tainment Center South Open at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in Cherokee, N.C., and the Caveman Bowl Northwest/West Open presented by DV8 in Grants Pass, Ore.

● 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:

If you’d like some insight into how PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark earned his position as the PBA’s visionary leader, listen to his 35-minute conversation with WTMJ Radio’s Mike Spaulding: http://www.wtmj.com/wtmj-conversations.

In a recent Facebook post, PBA Hall of Famer and 10-time titlist Steve Hoskins announced he's returning to pro competition to bowl the PBA50 Tour in 2019. Hoskins, who was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 2017, became eligible for PBA50 competition when he turned 50 in January.

Nationally-syndicated columnist Norman Chad, a noted bowling fan, also has become a dedicated Jason Belmonte fan. You can read his views on the Australian here: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/sports/columnists/norman_chad/norman-chad-belmonte-s-bowling-style-is-changing-the-game/article_d1871ce4-2fdb-580a-aedc-49fb0671f0ba.html.

There has been a change in the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour competition points race among 2019 Bowl4life PBA Rookie Watch candidates. Thanks to a 16th-place finish in the PBA Jonesboro Open, Mike Coffey of Melbourne, Fla., has moved into third place among 2019 PBA rookies in terms of points while Wichita’s Patrick Hanrahan is now the points leader among rookies after his 18th-place finish in Jonesboro. Jake Rollins of Glen Rock, N.J., previously the rookie points leader, is now second. The 2019 PBA Rookie of the Year 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.

This week’s unofficial FloBowling PBA Power Rankings top 10 following the PBA Jonesboro Open includes: 1, Norm Duke (13); 2, Jason Belmonte (1); 3, EJ Tackett (2); 4, Jakob Butturff (3); 5, Sean Rash (4); 5, Dom Barrett (4); 6, Tom Daugherty (10); 7, Marshall Kent (11); 8, Kris Prather (12); 9, Dom Barrett (5), and 10, Kyle Troup (8). Visit FloBowling.com for a complete list along with Flo’s rationale for its rankings.

USBC and BPAA have awarded the 2020 U.S. Open to Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln, Neb. The tournament, a major championship on the PBA Tour schedule, will begin on Feb. 16 and will become part of the PBA’s live FOX schedule.

In the “He’s Old, But Not That Old Department”…Sunday’s Go Bowling! PBA Jonesboro Open release mistakenly noted that winner Norm Duke had been bowling on Tour for 25 years by the year Anthony Simonsen was born. The correct gap was 15 years. But it also can be noted that Duke won PBA Player of the Year honors for the first time in 1994, three years before Simonsen was born in 1997.

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PBA Spare Shots: Live Tournament of Champions Telecast on FOX Again Posts Great Audience Ratings

by Bill Vint February 14, 2019 11:39

Sunday’s live FOX telecast of the PBA Tournament of Champions finals from AMF Riviera Lanes in Fairlawn, Ohio, averaged 1,131,000 viewers over the course of two hours, according to Nielsen Media Research figures released this week. The audience was 75% larger than last year’s 646,000 viewers and ranks as the most-watched non-NFL adjacent PBA telecast since 2010.

Sunday's show, which featured Jason Belmonte’s PBA record-tying 10th major championship, also hit a peak of 1.301 million viewers during the championship match according to Nielsen’s figures. Belmonte defeated EJ Tackett, 225-196, to tie PBA Hall of Famers Earl Anthony and Pete Weber, the only other players in PBA history to win 10 major championships.

The 2019 telecast drew the largest audience for a live PBA Tour finals telecast since the historic 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions when Kelly Kulick won the PBA Tournament of Champions at Red Rock Bowling Center in Las Vegas to become the first woman ever to win a PBA Tour title.

Through seven events since the PBA on FOX series began, 12,281,000 viewers have tuned-in to watch the PBA on FOX, FS1 or FS2 including repeats, which is up 56% over last year’s total audience through seven events (7,891,000) and 13% higher than the total audience for the entire 2018 season (10,907,000).

Belmonte will try for sole possession of the major titles record this week in the PBA Players Championship which is underway at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in Columbus, Ohio. The finals will air live on FOX Sport’s FS1 channel Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern.

JASON BELMONTE JUMPS INTO PBA PLAYOFFS POINTS LEAD WITH TOC VICTORY

With his victory Sunday in the PBA Tournament of Champions – the first Tier 1 event on the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule – Jason Belmonte jumped from 10th place into the 2019 PBA Playoffs points lead with 11,050 points.

Under the new PBA competition points structure in play this season, a win in a Tier 1 (major championship) event is worth 7,500 points – triple the value of the base points total for a victory (2,500 points) in a Tier 3 (limited entry and/or modified format) tournament. Tier 2 (standard PBA Tour) events award double the Tier 3 points.

Previous points leader Jakob Butturff slipped to third place with 8,645 points after finishing 48th in the TOC while Sean Rash moved into second place with 8,885 points after his eighth-place finish in Fairlawn. Rounding out the top eight heading into the PBA Players Championship – another Tier 1 major championship event – were TOC runner-up EJ Tackett (8,610), Dick Allen (6,950), Bill O’Neill (5,310), Jesper Svensson (5,145), and Kyle Troup (4,700). Right behind Troup are Marshall Kent (4,620) and Dom Barrett (4,610).

Finishing in the top eight as of the end of the USBC Masters on April 1 is important because those players will earn a first-round bye in the new single-elimination PBA Playoffs. Finishing in the top 24 is a necessity to qualify for a place in the Playoffs. To follow the points competition as the season progresses, use this link: https://www.pba.com/SeasonStats/PointsList/132?list=1. The PBA Playoffs begin on Monday, April 8, with live coverage of the opening Round of 24 matches on FS1 at 7 p.m. Eastern from Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: JOHNSON, MCMAHON WIN CHALLENGE EVENTS IN FLORIDA

Non-member Steve Johnson of Coral Springs, Fla., defeated Adam Glickman of Woodmere, N.Y., 189-169, to win the PBA Break Point Alley Challenge presented by Ebonite Sunday in Tavares, Fla., while Brian McMahon of Boca Raton, Fla., defeated Doug Nairn of Debary, Fla., 242-224, to win the PBA50 half of the doubleheader.

Johnson earned $1,800 and McMahon’s first win in PBA competition pocketed $1,500, but only McMahon earned credit for a PBA title because Johnson was not a PBA member at the time he won.

• PBA50 regional activity continues in the South Region over the Feb. 15-17 weekend when Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C., hosts the PBA50 Dave Edwards Toyota South Open presented by 900 Global.

• The PBA Central and Midwest Regions will participate in the joint PBA50 Plaza Lanes Central/Midwest Open in Crawfordsville, Ind., over the Feb. 22-24 weekend. Over the same weekend, South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas will host a doubleheader including the South Point West Challenge on Friday, and the South Point Member/Non-Member Doubles, both presented by Radical.

● 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:

• For fans who missed the live PBA Tournament of Champions telecast Sunday on FOX, the finals will be re-broadcast on FS1 Saturday at midnight EST (11 p.m. Central, 9 p.m. Pacific). In the event fans miss any PBA on FOX Sports telecast, they are encouraged to check local listings for re-airs on either FS1 or FS2.

• To no one’s surprise, the new unofficial PBA Power Rankings, created by PBA’s new online streaming partner, FloBowling, puts PBA Tournament of Champions winner Jason Belmonte in the no.1 position (moving up from third). Rounding out the top 10 heading into the PBA Players Championship were: EJ Tackett (retaining his no. 2 position from the previous ranking); 3, Jakob Butturff (previously no. 1); 4, Dom Barrett (6); 5, Sean Rash (7); 6, Rhino Page (9); 7, Kris Prather (4): 8, Jesper Svensson (5); 9, Bill O’Neill (11) and 10, Andrew Anderson (10).

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PBA Spare Shots: PBA Legend Carmen Salvino to Bowl in PBA Tournament of Champions at Age 85

by Bill Vint January 31, 2019 11:46

There seems to be no stopping PBA legend Carmen Salvino.

The 85-year old PBA Hall of Famer will compete in his 29th PBA Tournament of Champions, extending his record as the oldest player to compete in a Go Bowling! PBA Tour event.

PBA’s most famous showman is one of the few remaining links to the storied tournament’s origin dating back to the inaugural event in 1962.

“I’m in shape and ready to go,” said the 17-time tour winner. “I’m working out and doing a lot of bowling to get ready. My weight hasn’t changed in 63 years.  I’m 195 (pounds) and haven’t fluctuated five pounds either side of that.”

Salvino began planning to bowl in the 2019 TOC after competing in last season’s PBA 60th Anniversary Classic in Indianapolis.

“People have no idea of how it feels to go into the locker room of one of the great tournaments and see all the guys,” Salvino said. “For me, it goes beyond bowling—just to be there with those guys is a thrill.”

The 1962 TOC was held at Play Bowl in Indianapolis and was actually billed as the Indianapolis 500 Festival Tournament of Champions according to the Indianapolis Star’s coverage of the tournament. It’s an often-overlooked event because the tournament would not be held again for three years. In 1965, Firestone began its landmark sponsorship, the classic moved to Bowlarama in Akron, Ohio and then to AMF Riviera Lanes the following year where it remained for 29 years.

The first TOC was a two-day event featuring 25 PBA Tour champions – everyone who had won a title since the PBA’s formation four years earlier. It was conducted immediately after the Indianapolis PBA Open, the final regular event of the Tour season, which also was held at Play Bowl. Salvino finished third in the inaugural tournament (his best finish in the classic). Joe Joseph won with a two-game total of 480 pins followed by fellow Michigan star Billy Golembiewski with 413 pins and Salvino with a 409 total.

“I’m an example of not letting your age stop you,” Salvino added. “I’m looking forward to showing those young guns a thing or two.”

LIVE LUBBOCK SPORTS OPEN TELECAST CONTINUES STRONG FOX VIEWERSHIP GAINS

Sunday’s live FS1 telecast of the PBA Lubbock Sports Open continued a strong trend of viewership gains under the PBA’s new relationship with FOX Sports.

"We are gaining momentum with our new broadcast partner FOX Sports,” said PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark. “Our fans are finding us."

Sunday's telecast of the PBA Lubbock Sports Open finals was the most viewed show on FS1 so far this year, Clark said, producing a 28% gain over the previous week’s Roth-Holman PBA Doubles Championship telecast, and an 83% gain over the PBA Oklahoma Open telecast the Sunday before the doubles show. The original airing of the Lubbock Open averaged 345,000 viewers with the first re-air later Sunday evening tallying another 157,000 viewers. The live Lubbock show also had 316% more viewers than the program FS1 aired in the same time slot the previous year.

For the year to date, through five original shows plus re-airs on FOX, FS1 and FS2, the PBA has attracted 6,921,000 viewers, up 26% over the first five shows in 2018 on a different network, Clark noted.

LIVE FOX TELECAST HELPS SPARK MEDIA FRENZY OVER KYLE TROUP’S HAIR…AND FLAIR

Guppy Troup built his legion of fans with his showmanship and colorful wardrobe in a 1970s and ‘80s PBA Tour career that resulted in eight titles, and now son Kyle Troup is extending the Troup family legacy by adding an Afro hairdo, a two-handed delivery and his own charisma to the family portfolio.

Troup’s third-place finish in Sunday’s Lubbock Sports Open, live on FS1, helped the 27-year-old Taylorsville, N.C., two-hander create his own unique fan club when his hair – and flair – became a social media hit. It was noted prominently by TMZ (https://www.tmz.com/2019/01/28/bowler-afro-kyle-troup/?fbclid=IwAR1yqIjTMwsAqVbavfQcCUgn6bu30bLA63UmwSNKsDfU_Eco72TMTcJcJ4M); became a trending topic on Twitter (https://twitter.com/barstoolsports/status/1090036603484020736), and captured the attention of SI.com’s “Extra Mustard” (https://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2019/01/29/pba-bowler-kyle-troup-fro-pants-celebration-video).

It’s becoming obvious that this “Guppy minnow” hasn’t swum very far away from the school…

FLOBOWLING UNVEILS ITS OWN “PBA POWER RANKINGS”

While FOX Sports is providing the PBA with new dimensions in television coverage, PBA’s new online streaming partner is likewise opening new doors and windows into the vast social media world with its event coverage, feature stories and related features such as its new “PBA Power Rankings” that provide fans with an ongoing discussion topic: Who’s the best?

This week, for example, Lubbock Sports Open winner Dick Allen makes his first appearance in the rankings while a significant amount of shuffling among the contenders also took place in Week Five of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season. Unchanged in Flo’s rankings: Jakob Butturff retains the top spot as the season’s top player heading into the PBA Tournament of Champions, where FloBowling’s coverage of the preliminary rounds begins on Feb. 6.

The PBA Power Rankings, with rationale for each player’s ranking, are just another special feature PBA fans can follow as FloBowling subscribers (to subscribe, visit flobowling.com). To catch you up on where things stand, following the PBA Lubbock Sports Open, here are the current Top 10 Power Rankings (with the previous week’s ranking in parenthesis): 1, Jakob Butturff (previous ranking: 1); 2, EJ Tackett (3); 3, Jason Belmonte (2); 4, Kris Prather (6); 5, Jesper Svensson (4); 6, Dom Barrett (5); 7, Sean Rash (15); 8, Kyle Troup (14); 9, Rhino Page (12); 10, Andrew Anderson (9).

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: REGIONAL ACTIVITIES SUPPLEMENT MAJORS IN FEBRUARY

In addition to the Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s first major championships of the 2019 season, PBA’s regional members will have a slate of events available as well, beginning with a pair of “challenge” events for non-title winners in the PBA South Region over the Feb. 8-10 weekend in Tavares, Fla.: the PBA50 Break Point Alley Challenge and the PBA Break Point Alley Challenge, both presented by Ebonite.

• PBA50 regional activity continues in the South Region over the Feb. 15-17 weekend when Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C., hosts the PBA50 Dave Edwards Toyota South Open presented by 900 Global.

• The PBA Central and Midwest Regions will participate in the joint PBA50 Plaza Lanes Central/Midwest Open in Crawfordsville, Ind., over the Feb. 22-24 weekend. Over the same weekend, South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas will host a doubleheader including the South Point West Challenge on Friday, and the South Point Member/Non-Member Doubles, both presented by Radical.

● 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:

• After the first four Go Bowling! PBA Tour points events in 2019, the eight leaders in the race to the PBA Playoffs are: Jakob Butturff (8,255), Sean Rash (6,830), Dick Allen (5,735), Jesper Svensson (4,725), Anthony Lavery-Spahr (4,435), EJ Tackett (4,110), Kris Prather (4,080) and Kyle Troup (3,875). The top 24 in points following the USBC Masters will qualify for the inaugural PBA Playoffs; the top eight will earn a first-round bye in the single-elimination Playoffs. To follow the points competition as the season progresses, use this link: https://www.pba.com/SeasonStats/PointsList/132?list=1.

An additional points competition including 2018 and 2019 points will qualify the field of eight for the 2019 PBA Tour Finals. To track the leaders in that competition, click here: https://www.pba.com/SeasonStats/PointsList/132?list=5.

• The Bowl4life PBA Rookie Watch will lead to the 2019 PBA Rookie of the Year earning a $2,500 bonus from Chuck Gardner’s Bowl4Life Foundation while the foundation donates another $2,500 to a youth bowler scholarship in the Rookie of the Year’s name. After four Go Bowling! PBA Tour events, the top three rookies in PBA competition points are: Jake Rollins (1,430), Patrick Hanrahan (1,365) and AJ Rice (815).

• Tickets for the Weber Cup’s American debut June 18-21 at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas will go on sale at 10 a.m. PST on Monday, Feb. 4. Tickets are priced from just $20 per session via AXS and at www.webercup.com. Fans can follow the points status of eligible PBA Tour players competing for berths on the U.S. and European Weber Cup teams as the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season progresses on Twitter and Facebook: https://twitter.com/webercup/status/1085141731685945344 or https://www.facebook.com/WeberCup/photos/a.643454192442977/2027287540726295/?type=3&theater

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PBA Spare Shots: Dave LaMont to Fill in as FOX Sports Announcer for Lubbock Sports Open

by Bill Vint January 23, 2019 08:25

Veteran PBA announcer Dave LaMont will fill in as the lead announcer for the Lubbock Sports Open live on FS1 on Sunday, Jan. 27, at 3 p.m. EST, replacing Rob Stone, who has previous commitments with FOX and won’t be available for Sunday’s PBA telecast.

TRUE OR FALSE: BO BURTON MAY HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO WEBER’S TROPHY CRASH

Bowling fans who watched the televised finals of the 1991 U.S. Open from Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis will never forget the trophy presentation when winner Pete Weber hoisted the majestic ceramic eagle trophy, gave it a shake and saw it crash and shatter into a thousand pieces on the approach.

Pete Weber 1991 US Open_ceramic eagle fell off trophy & shatteredHow that actually happened came to light during the 2019 PBA Hall of Fame ceremonies in Arlington, Texas, when PBA HOF legend Nelson (Bo) Burton Jr. told the crowd he may have contributed to the trophy incident. According to Bo, when he saw the trophy sitting off to the side before the ABC-TV telecast, he decided to show the eagle to the crowd, so he unscrewed the nut that held the eagle to the base…and forgot to re-attach the nut when he replaced the eagle 0n the base. So, bottom line, one of PBA’s historic moments was actually his fault.

Was the story true or a fable invented by Burton? When asked to confirm the story, he laughed and said, “You decide. It remains a mystery. What I actually did was mention to Chris Schenkel that it was a really pretty trophy, so I picked it up and staged it for a camera shot,” Burton said. “Whether or not I loosened the eagle, who knows? I honestly don’t know what happened…but it’s a good story.”

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: BUTTURFF JOINS ELITE GROUP WITH 20TH REGIONAL TITLE

Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., overcame a tightly bunched leaderboard in the final position round match to win his 20th PBA Regional title Sunday in the PBA Lubbock Sports Southwest Open at South Plains Lanes, reaching the 20-title milestone in only 59 tournaments.

At age 24, Butturff is believed to be the youngest player to reach that title milestone. He is the 38th player in PBA history to win 20 regional titles.

Butturff, undoubtably the hottest player in the PBA, held a 38-pin lead over Sam Cooley of Australia going into the 21st and final game of the tournament while snapping at their heels were former PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., and Tom Daugherty from Riverview, Fla. Only 66 pins separated the top four players. In the final game, Butturff suffered a first-frame open, but rebounded with a plethora of strikes to win his match against Cooley, 248-202. He earned an additional 30 bonus pins for winning the match and won the tournament going away by completing an unbeaten 8-0 round of match play.

The tournament was a prelude event to the Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s Lubbock Sports Open that begins Wednesday in Lubbock, Texas.

Rash defeated Daugherty, 222-210, to jump to second place as Cooley claimed third while Daugherty maintained fourth place. Butturff earned $4,000 for the victory, Rash collected $2,400, as Cooley added $1,600, while Daugherty settled for $1,200.

The PBA Tour’s Lubbock Sports Open follows at South Plains with the finals to be televised live on Fox Sports’ FS1 channel on Sunday at 2 p.m. Central.

Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio and partner Ronnie Russell of Marion, Ind., defeated Eugene McCune of Munster, Ind. and non-PBA member Ryan Burks of Valparaiso, Ind., 2-0, in a best-of-three-game title match to win the PBA/PBA50 Don Vay Memorial Central Doubles Classic title at Legend Lanes in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Sunday.

Teams in the PBA Central Region’s first tournament of 2019 included one bowler age 50 or older, and one bowler under the age of 50. The title was the Kretzer’s 25th and Russell’s ninth. They also split a $4,000 first prize.

Kretzer and Russell blanked Larry Verble of Mason, Mich., and T.J. Schmidt of Mishawaka, Ind., 2-0, while McCune and Burks topped Doug Kent of Newark, N.Y. and Tim Pfeifer of Oakdale, Pa., 2-1, in the best-of-three semifinal round to set up the championship match.

● The only regional event on tap for the Jan. 26-27 weekend is the PBA Japan Region’s Roto Grip Cup and Shark Open at PBA Fuji Bowl in Iruma, Japan.

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

QUICK NOTES:

• Fans can follow the points status of eligible PBA Tour players competing for berths on the U.S. and European Weber Cup teams as the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season progresses on Twitter and Facebook by clicking on these links: https://twitter.com/webercup/status/1085141731685945344 or https://www.facebook.com/WeberCup/photos/a.643454192442977/2027287540726295/?type=3&theater

• After three Go Bowling! PBA Tour points events in 2019, the eight leaders in the race to the PBA Playoffs are: Jakob Butturff, 7,185 points; Jesper Svensson, 4,725; Sean Rash, 3,830; Bill O'Neill; 3,705; Jason Belmonte; 3,550; Patrick Girard, 3,250; Anthony Lavery-Spahr, and Matt Ogle, 2,880. The top 24 in points following the USBC Masters will qualify for the inaugural PBA Playoffs; the top eight will earn a first-round bye in the single-elimination Playoffs. To follow the points competition as the season progresses, use this link: https://www.pba.com/SeasonStats/PointsList/132?list=1. An additional points competition including 2018 and 2019 points will qualify the field for the 2019 PBA Tour Finals. To track the top eight in that competition, click here: https://www.pba.com/SeasonStats/PointsList/132?list=5.

• Another ongoing competition to follow is the Bowl4life PBA Rookie Watch which will lead to the 2019 PBA Rookie of the Year earning a $2,500 bonus from the Bowl4Life Foundation while the foundation donates another $2,500 to a youth bowler scholarship in the Rookie of the Year’s name. After three Go Bowling! PBA Tour events, the top three rookies in PBA competition points are: Patrick Hanrahan, Wichita, Kan.;, Jake Rollins, Glen Rock, N.J., and Mykel Holliman, Collierville, Tenn.

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