PBA Spare Shots: PBA’s Influence on International Bowling Community Continues to Grow

by Bill Vint June 29, 2017 13:19

Bowlers from around the world have always considered the PBA as the gold standard. If you wanted to find out how good you are, you had to bowl against – and beat – the world’s best. For decades, that was a difficult decision to make because the Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs, the international governing body in the eyes of the International Olympic Committee, banned professionals from its ranks.

(Feature photo, from left: Members of the victorious international team in the inaugural USA Vs. The World team match held during PBA World Series of Bowling II in Las Vegas in 2010 were Finland’s Osku Palermaa, Kimmo Lehtonen and Mika Koivuniemi, Canada’s Dan MacLelland, Australia’s Jason Belmonte and Venezuela’s Amleto Monacelli)

That policy changed in 2008, when the World Tenpin Bowling Association (WTBA) – now World Bowling – became the official governing body of tenpin bowling and opened its doors to professionals in the hopes of advancing bowling’s hope to gain Olympic acceptance, meaning that international players would no longer jeopardize eligibility to represent their national teams if the joined the PBA.

The introduction of the multi-event PBA World Series of Bowling concept a year later brought a veritable flood of international players into PBA competition. While notable players like PBA Tour champions Amleto Monacelli of Venezuela (1982), Sweden’s Mats Karlsson (1983) and Finland’s Mika Koivuniemi (1999), among a handful of others, had ventured into the PBA arena prior to 2008, the inaugural WSOB included an unprecedented 28 players from 14 different countries.

flagsThe WSOB has continued to welcome players from around the world. Since 2009, 38 different countries have been represented in the World Series, including a record 23 countries and 55 international players last year in Reno. The same sort of trend has had an impact of the recently-resurrected Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour, which has featured a strong influx of international players.

In 2017, the PBA has seen international competition grow in events not previously known for global appeal, such as the Xtra Frame PBA Tour program and, this week, the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Oklahoma Open, which includes 16 nations and 26 international players in its field of 91.

It’s an exciting trend for bowling, especially as the sport continues to seek the attention of the IOC and bowling manufacturers continue to expand their global markets. It’s good for bowling fans around the world, who can cheer for their home-country favorites thanks to the advent of Xtra Frame, pba.com and other social media outlets with world-wide accessibility. And it’s good for competition, because the level of talent in PBA competition has never been stronger, which only adds to the prestige of winning a PBA Tour title.

XTRA FRAME SCHEDULE INCLUDES OKLAHOMA PRELIMS, PWBA ACTION

This week’s Xtra Frame’s live streaming schedule will feature qualifying round coverage of the PBA Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Oklahoma Open from FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., through Friday, leading up to two days of live ESPN coverage of the Oklahoma Open’s nine-player stepladder finals Saturday and Sunday, July 1-2, at 1 p.m. EDT both days. The Oklahoma Open finals also will be live streamed on ESPN and the WatchESPN app.

This week’s PWBA Tour coverage features the Orlando Open Friday and Saturday.

Heading into July, Xtra Frame’s schedule includes the Teen Masters from Richmond, Va., July 5-7; the PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open from Seminole, Fla., July 7-8; the Proprietors Cup from Beavercreek, Ohio, July 8-9; the Nationwide PWBA Rochester (N.Y.) Open, July 14-15; the PBA50 South Shore Open from Hammond, Ind., July 25-27; the XF Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles from Copperfield Bowl in Houston, Texas, July 28-30, which will award PBA and PWBA Tour titles; and the PBA50 Dave Small’s Championship Lanes Classic from Anderson, Ind., July 30-Aug. 1. For broadcast time and other details, check under the “schedules” tab on pba.com.

PBA fans also can follow real-time results for PBA50, PBA Xtra Frame Tour and all PBA Regional events by visiting the “live scoring” feature on pba.com. PWBA live scoring is available on pwba.com.

Xtra Frame subscription packages are available for three days, 30 days and a full year. To sign up, visit xtraframe.tv for details.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: WARREN, TANG WIN PBA50/PBA DOUBLES TITLE IN RENO

PBA50 competitor Chris Warren of Grants Pass, Ore., teamed up with Darren Tang of San Francisco to win the PBA50/PBA Sands Regency West/Northwest Doubles Open, presented by MOTIV, at High Sierra Lanes Sunday over PBA50 rookie Michael Haugen Jr. of Phoenix and Tang’s younger brother, amateur Michael Tang, 449-422.

Warren and Darren Tang took an early lead and a costly open late in the game by Michael Tang, combined with Haugen’s inability to carry pocket hits, resulted in Warren claiming his fourth PBA50 Regional title while Darren Tang picked up his second title since becoming a member a year ago.

In the single elimination match play leading up to the title match, the Warren/Tang team swept Utah amateurs Clay Rees from Riverton and Craig Harrington of Harriman, 3-0. Warren/Tang then defeated the San Jose, Calif., team of Gregory Thompson Jr. and Marty Deh in the semifinal match, 490-416, while the Haugen/Tang team survived a semifinal round shootout against PJ Haggerty from Roseville, Calif., and Las Vegan Ron Mohr, 546-545.

● PBA rookie Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich., defeated Chandler Stevens of Archbold, Ohio, 216-177, to win his first PBA title in the PBA Pro Bowl West Central/Midwest Challenge presented by Roto Grip at Pro Bowl West on Saturday.

Challenge events are open to PBA members without a PBA title or non-members who have never won a PBA event. In addition to his first title, Anderson won $1,500.

Anderson downed Frank Snodgrass of Center Line, Mich., 228-161, in the semifinal round while Stevens topped Charlie Brown of Grandville, Mich., 208-159, to set up the championship match.

Keith Lesko of Chicago defeated Mark Sullivan of Indianapolis, 222-202, to win the PBA50 Ultimate Inserts Midwest Open presented by Hammer at Lakeside Lanes in Davis, Ill., Sunday. 

Lesko, who led qualifying, took each of the preliminary matches to the maximum number of games.  He defeated Jeff Johnson of Freeport, Ill. 3-2, in the best-of-five-game Round of 8, and then defeated R.J. Alman of Murrysville, Pa., 2-1, in the best-of-three semifinal round. Sullivan bested his travelling partner Danny Clark of New Palestine, Ind. 3-2, before beating Dave Traber of Hebron, Ill., 2-1, in his semifinal match.

Along with his third PBA Regional title Lesko received $1,700.

● The July PBA Regional calendar begins with the PBA and PBA50 Vanessa Brown Homes West Opens, both presented by Columbia 300 at Yosemite Lanes, in Modesto, Calif.

● On the July 7-9 weekend schedule is the PBA50 Cecil Raymond Memorial presented by Columbia 300 at 30 Strikes Bowling Pub & Pizza in Stratford, N.J.

● July 14-16 weekend activity for PBA Regional players includes the Albany Strikers South Open at in Albany, Ga., and the St. Charles Lanes Midwest Open presented by Storm in St. Charles, Mo. The PBA Central Region will conduct a mid-week event, the PBA50 Fairborn Central Classic at Bowl 10 Fairborn in Fairborn, Ohio, July 18-20.

● On the busy July 21-22 PBA Regional calendar are the PBA50 Parkway Lanes Open and the PWBA/PBA Parkway Lanes Open in Elmwood Park, N.J.; the Angola Central/Midwest Open at Angola Bowl in Angola, Ind.; the PBA50 Beverly Lanes Midwest/Central Open presented by Roto Grip in Arlington Heights, Ill.; the Spring Hill South Open at Spring Hill Lanes in Spring Hill, Fla.; the Fort Sill Southwest Open at Twins Oaks Bowling Center in Fort Sill, Okla., and the Secoma Lanes Northwest/West Open, PBA50 Northwest/West Open and PWBA/PBA Open, all presented by Storm, in Federal Way, Wash.

● Also in July are the PBA Japan Region’s first events of 2017, the PBA Chameleon Open on July 23 followed by the Women’s Chameleon Championship on July 30, both at Shinsayama Grand Bowl in Sayama.

● 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.

MageQUICK NOTES:

● Chris Paul’s blockbuster trade to the Houston Rockets this week also means the annual CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational will move to Houston in 2018. Details will be announced later.

PBA West/Northwest Region manager Gary Mage (at left with wife Toni) was inducted into the Washington State USBC Hall of Fame Saturday at the Lucky Eagle Casino and Hotel in Rochester, Wash.

● Now available in the PBA Store (http://pba.firelakedesigns.com/), the Marshall Holman t-shirt and polo joins the Signature Collection which already includes Earl Anthony, Mark Roth and Dick Weber signature apparel.

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Anthony Simonsen, Danielle McEwan Win World Bowling Tour Men’s, Women’s Finals

by Bill Vint February 26, 2017 16:42

By PBA Staff and Aaron Smith, PWBA Communications

LAS VEGAS – Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas, capped a year of globetrotting by winning the World Bowling Tour Men’s Finals, presented by the PBA, Sunday at The Orleans Bowling Center, defeating WBT points leader Martin Larsen of Sweden, 243-213, for the $20,000 first prize.

Simonsen, a 20-year-old two-handed player who qualified second for the finals after a year-long, world-wide points competition based on performances in PBA International-World Bowling Tour events, eliminated no. 3 qualifier Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., in the opening match of the three-man stepladder, 263-253.

Women’s top qualifier and defending champion Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., successfully defended her WBT Women’s Finals title in unexpected fashion when Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., needing only a mark in the 10th frame to win, left a pocket 7-10 split and opened, handing McEwan a 203-200 victory.

Simonsen, the 2016 United States Bowling Congress Masters champion, struck on six of his first seven shots in the title tilt to build a 33-pin lead under WBT’s experimental “Current Frame” scoring system and secured the win on the bench when Larsen did not strike in the 10th frame.

Under the “Current Frame” system, players earned 30 pins a frame for each strike; 10 pins plus the total from their first shot of the frame for a spare, and actual pinfall for an open frame. Games consisted of 10 frames with no additional shots in the 10th frame if a player strikes or spares. The maximum score is 300 (30 pins for 10 strikes).

For Simonsen, the WBT win was a bit of redemption after falling short in his title defense at the USBC Masters. Simonsen finished the week tied for 17th place.

“It’s been a good three-week swing,” said Simonsen, who finished second at the 2017 Barbasol PBA Players Championship. “I made a TV show, all three cuts, so it’s been a good run. You obviously want to win them all, but being able to finish this week with the win makes it all worth it.”

McEwan, a 25-year-old right-hander, threw a strike in her 10th frame for a 203, forcing Johnson, a two-time PWBA Player of the Year, to mark in her 10th frame for the win. Johnson ran into a disaster instead.

After starting the title match with two strikes, McEwan was unable to strike again until the 10th frame, converting four multiple-pin combinations to remain in contention. Johnson held a 28-pin lead heading into the ninth frame but was unable to mark in her final two frames.

“In the moment, I didn’t think that strike would be enough,” said McEwan, who won the 2016 H.H. Emir Cup in Doha, Qatar. “I hadn’t struck on that lane in a while, so I just wanted to get to the pocket. It’s hard to watch that happen on the bench to someone who’s such a good friend and someone I look up to, but sometimes bowling works that way. I need to appreciate being on this side of it, because I know the other side can come just as easily.”

In the semifinal match, Johnson bested Colombia’s Anggie Ramirez, 268-220.

WORLD BOWLING TOUR FINALS PRESENTED BY PBA
The Orleans Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Sunday

WBT WOMEN’S FINALS
Final Standings:

1, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., $20,000.
2, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., $10,000.
3, Anggie Ramirez, Colombia, $5,000.
Stepladder Results (WBT Current Frame scoring system):
Semifinal Match: Johnson def. Ramirez, 268-220.
Final: McEwan def. Johnson, 203-200.

WBT MEN’S FINALS
Final Standings:

1, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, $20,000.
2, Martin Larsen, Sweden, $10,000.
3, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., $5,000.
Stepladder Results (WBT Current Frame scoring system):
Semifinal Match – Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, def. Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 263-253.
Final – Simonsen def. Martin Larsen, Sweden, 243-213.

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PBA Spare Shots: PBA’s ESPN Telecasts Continue to Post Impressive Viewership Gains

by Bill Vint February 23, 2017 13:16

With the final championship events of “Big February” scheduled to air live Sunday, the PBA on ESPN continues to have strong viewership gains year-over-year. Through the first 10 telecasts of the 2016-17 ESPN season including the WSOB, viewership is up 13%, averaging 650,000.

BelmoBig February’s four shows so far include the Main Event Terrell Owens PBA Super Clash (averaging 712,000 viewers), the Barbasol PBA Players Championship (averaging 664,000 viewers), the State Farm CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational (averaging 834,000 viewers) and FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions (averaging 704,000 viewers). Each of the shows has been among the highest rated sports program on cable on its respective air date.

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Of note, the State Farm CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational had a strong rating among coveted 18-49 year-olds, with 482,000 of the 834,000 average number of viewers in that category (58 percent).

Tackett.EJ_2017 TOC (42)Big February concludes Sunday with another TV first for the PBA on ESPN: back-to-back live telecasts. First the USBC Masters title will be decided with a stepladder final at 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PST), followed by the Men’s and Women’s World Bowling Tour Finals at 3 p.m. EST (noon PST), both live from The Orleans in Las Vegas.

In addition to ESPN’s live coverage, the Masters and WBT Finals will be live streamed on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.

WORLD BOWLING TOUR FINALS TO FEATURE EXPERIMENTAL SCORING SYSTEM

The 2016 World Bowling Tour season officially concludes Sunday when the PBA presents the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals, live on ESPN at 3 p.m. EST from The Orleans Bowling Center in Las Vegas.

Sunday’s WBT finals will include men’s top qualifier Martin Larsen of Sweden, Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas, and Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash. The women’s finalists will be defending champion Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y.; Colombia’s Anggie Ramirez, and Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y. Players in both divisions will compete for $20,000, $10,000 and $5,000 prizes.

Competition will again be conducted using the experimental “World Bowling scoring system” introduced last year whereby players will bowl 10 frames with a strike counting as 30 points, a spare counting for 10 points plus the number of pins converted (example: a 10 pin spare will be worth 10 plus 9 = 19), and an open frame will count as the actual pinfall (example: if a player leaves the 4-6-7-10 split and converts the 4-7, the score for the frame will be 8).

The maximum score under the World Bowling system is still 300 – based on 10 consecutive strikes - and there is no extra shot or bonus pins in the 10th frame. In last year’s final, England’s Dom Barrett shot the first “World Bowling 300 game” in winning the men’s title over American qualifier Mike Fagan, 300-256.

XTRA FRAME CONTINUES “BIG FEBRUARY” COVERAGE AT THE MASTERS

Xtra Frame’s “Big February” coverage continues with qualifying and double-elimination match play coverage of the USBC Masters today through Saturday from The Orleans Bowling Center in Las Vegas. The Masters finals, followed by the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by the PBA will air live, back-to-back, on ESPN on Sunday, Feb. 26, beginning at 1 p.m. EST.

Xtra Frame subscriptions are available for $3.99 (three days), $7.99 (a full month) or the full year Xtra Frame Season Ticket (at about $5 a month). Visit xtraframe.tv to enroll.

QUBICA AMF PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: BARNES WINS 27TH REGIONAL TITLE IN SHAWNEE

PBA Southwest Region Hall of Famer and 18-time PBA Tour champion Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, defeated Greg Ostrander of Freehold, N.J., 243-200, to win his 27th QubicaAMF PBA Regional title and the $2,500 first prize in the second annual PBA FireLake Grand Casino Resort Southwest Winter Open at FireLake Bowling Center preceding the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions.

Barnes, one of several PBA Tour champions who used the event as a warmup for the TOC, qualified in sixth place for the best-of-two-game match play elimination rounds in the regional event, and he began his march to the title with a 2-0 victory over PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla. He then disposed of BJ Moore III of Greensburg, Pa., 2-0 in the Round of 8 and won his semifinal round match against defending champion Anthony Pepe of Elmhurst, N.Y., 213-210.

Greg McMahan of Dandridge, Tenn., defeated Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, 213-205, 216-212, in the best-of-three-game title match to win his fourth QubicaAMF PBA Regional title in the PBA50 Dave Edwards Toyota Spartanburg Southern Open presented by Global 900 at Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C., Sunday.

McMahan, who was in control throughout both games of the title match, won the $2,400 first prize while Kretzer pocketed $1,400 as the runner-up. In the best-of-three semifinal round, McMahan swept Dave Sill of Titusville, Fla., 237-212, 208-203, while Kretzer rallied to eliminate Dale Csuhta of Wadsworth, Ohio, 208-205, 199-181.

● For complete QubicaAMF PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information heading into the new year, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on QubicaAMF Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area. For more information about QubicaAMF, visit www.qubicaamf.com or, for social media posts, visit http://bit.ly/QAMFSponsorship1.

QUICK NOTES

● PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber has learned he’ll be inducted into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame in September, along with standout St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter. Additional details will be announced later.

● Just in time for the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship in Portland, Maine, the PBA Store (pba.com/store) is offering a new line of Mark Roth signature t-shirts and polos. The Roth/Holman doubles event will include a pro-am and qualifying rounds April 9-12, concluding with live ESPN stepladder finals on Sunday, April 16, at 1 p.m. ET.

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PBA Spare Shots: 50th Anniversary of Jack Biondolillo’s Historic Televised 300 Game Approaches

by Bill Vint February 11, 2017 10:38

On April 1, 1967, the PBA’s post-tournament news release reported, “Jack Biondolillo socked the biggest 300 in the history of the game. His came before the American Broadcasting Company's national colored television cameras for which he collected a cool ten thou ($10,000)…”

The first nationally-televised 300 game in PBA history – witnessed by a television audience of 25 million viewers according to PBA’s release – occurred during the Firestone PBA Tournament of Champions at Riviera Lanes in Akron, Ohio, during a first-game 300-216 win over Les Schissler. Biondolillo then defeated Mike Durbin, 188-181, before losing in the semifinal match to Don Johnson, 228-172. Jim Stefanich then won the TOC, defeating Johnson, 43-36, in a two-frame roll-off after they tied at 227.

As the 50th anniversary of his historic feat closes in, Biondolillo, a Houston native, attended the Main Event Terrell Owens PBA Super Clash on Super Bowl Sunday in Katy, Texas, where he posed with four other PBA members who also bowled nationally-televised 300 games. Pete McCordic bowled televised 300 no. 4 in Torrance, Calif., on Jan. 31, 1987. Parker Bohn III bowled no. 13 in the USBC Masters in Reno, Nev., on May 9, 1998. Norm Duke bowled no. 16 in Tacoma, Wash., on Jan. 5, 2003. Jason Belmonte recorded no. 21 in Las Vegas on Nov. 19, 2011.

(In the featured photo, from left are Pete McCordic, Parker Bohn III, Jack Biondolillo, Jason Belmonte and Norm Duke)

Including Biondolillo’s historic 300, there have been a total of 26 nationally-televised perfect games in PBA competition.

WORLD BOWLING ANNOUNCES 2017 PBA INTERNATIONAL-WBT SCHEDULE

World Bowling, the international governing body for tenpin bowling, and the PBA have announced a schedule of PBA International-World Bowling Tour tournaments that will award PBA Tour titles to winners (if they are PBA members) and points to players toward the 2018 WBT Finals presented by the PBA. Points also will be awarded to women bowlers. Women are eligible for PBA Tour titles if they bowl against the men and don’t accept handicap pins.

Tournaments included on the 2017 PBA International-WBT schedule include:

● Brunswick Euro Challenge, Munich, German, March 18-26;

● Oklahoma Open, Shawnee, Okla., June 26-July 2;

● Sweden WBT, Malmo, Sweden, Aug. 14–28;

● WBT Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand, Sept. 30-Oct. 6;

● PBA World Championship, tba;

● Kingdom of Saudi Open, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Nov. 16-22;

● Kingdom of Bahrain Open, Manama, Bahrain, Nov 23-28;

● Kuwait Open, Kuwait City, Kuwait, Nov. 29-Dec. 3.

The World Bowling World Championships, set for Dec. 4-18 in Kuwait City, also is a WBT points event, but will not award a PBA title. For more information about World Bowling, visit Worldbowling.org.

The 2017 WBT Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by the PBA will be televised live on ESPN on Sunday, Feb. 26 following the finals of the USBC Masters. The men’s finalists, based on 2016 WBT points, will include top qualifier Martin Larsen of Sweden, Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas, and Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash. The women’s finalists will be Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y.; Colombia’s Anggie Ramirez, and Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y.

TOC, HOF NEXT AS XTRA FRAME CONTINUES “BIG FEBRUARY” COVERAGE

Following the live ESPN finals of the Players Championship on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 1 p.m. ET, the PBA and Xtra Frame head to Shawnee, Okla., for live coverage of the PBA Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and 2016 PBA Awards presentations on Monday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. ET from the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort.

Xtra Frame coverage then moves to FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee for the preliminary rounds of the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions, Feb. 14-17. That week is concluded by the live ESPN finals of the TOC from FireLake Arena on Sunday, Feb. 19, at 1 p.m. ET.

Xtra Frame’s Big February coverage continues with qualifying and double-elimination match play coverage of the USBC Masters from The Orleans Bowling Center in Las Vegas, Feb. 21-25. The USBC Masters finals, followed by the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by the PBA will air live, back-to-back, on ESPN on Sunday, Feb. 26, beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

PBA fans also are reminded that Xtra Frame coverage features two channels which means viewers can watch more players in action. The primary XF channel includes commentary; the secondary channel includes video coverage only. And PBA’s ESPN coverage also will include the Chris Paul PBA Celebrity Invitational, benefitting the Chris Paul Family Foundation, on Friday, Sept. 17, at 9 p.m.

PBA’s all-star month is a perfect time for PBA fans to sign up for Xtra Frame’s full month subscription for only $7.99. Three-day ($3.99) and full year Xtra Frame Season Ticket (less than $1.25 a week) options also are available. Visit xtraframe.tv to enroll.

QUBICA AMF PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: CLIFFORD, BYERS WIN SOUTH CHALLENGE EVENTS

Amateur Charles Clifford Jr. of Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., defeated Carlos Tobon of Hollywood, Fla., 230-225, to win the PBA BreakPoint Alley Challenge presented by DV8 Sunday and, in the PBA50 portion of the QubicaAMF PBA South Region doubleheader weekend, Mike Byers of Charleston, S.C., defeated Ralph Brunt of Jensen Beach, Fla., 236-190 for his first PBA title.

Clifford Jr. earned $2,300 for his win, but he doesn’t earn credit for a PBA title because he isn’t a PBA member. Byers pocketed $1,600 and became eligible to compete for a berth in the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions Feb. 10-11 if he decides to do so.

Both Challenge events were open to players who have not won PBA titles.

● Leading into the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions, FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., will host the PBA Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Southwest Winter Open Feb. 10-12. The tournament, in addition to serving as a standard PBA Regional event, is also a qualifying event for the TOC, with at least 24 eligible PBA title-holders advancing to the TOC.

● The PBA South Region will host the PBA50 Dave Edwards Toyota Spartanburg Open, presented by 900 Global, over the Feb. 17-19 weekend at Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C.

● For complete QubicaAMF PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information heading into the new year, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on QubicaAMF Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area. For more information about QubicaAMF, visit www.qubicaamf.com or, for social media posts, visit http://bit.ly/QAMFSponsorship1.

QUICK NOTES

● Just in time for the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship in Portland, Maine, the PBA Store (pba.com/store) is offering a new line of Mark Roth signature t-shirts and polos. The Roth/Holman doubles event will include a pro-am and qualifying rounds April 9-12, concluding with live ESPN stepladder finals on Sunday, April 16, at 1 p.m. ET.

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PBA Spare Shots: Sweden’s Martin Larsen, USA’s Danielle McEwan Lead World Bowling Tour Finalists

by Bill Vint December 22, 2016 09:12

McEwan.Danielle_AS_2013WomensUSOpen(7)Sweden’s Martin Larsen and Danielle McEwan (left) of Stony Point, N.Y., are the top qualifiers for the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals, presented by the PBA, which will air live as part of an ESPN doubleheader on Sunday, Feb. 26, from The Orleans Bowling Center in Las Vegas. The WBT Finals will immediately follow the ESPN telecast of the USBC Masters finals.

Larsen was the points leader in PBA International-World Bowling Tour men’s qualifying in 2016, earning 146 points to nip Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas (142), and Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash. (133). Sweden’s Jesper Svensson finished fourth with 128 points and Australia’s Jason Belmonte was fifth with 125 points.

McEwan led the women’s points race with 230, comfortably ahead of Colombia’s Anggie Ramirez (158) and Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y. (100). Summer Jasmin of Beckley, W.Va., was fourth with 80 points and Venezuela’s Ingelimar Beasley, now living in Clarksville, Tenn., was fifth with 70 points.

The WBT Finals will pay the winners $20,000. Second place is $10,000 and third pays $5,000.

ENTRIES OPEN FOR FIRELAKE PBA TOC, BARBASOL PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP

Entries are now being accepted for the 2017 Barbasol PBA Players Championship, Feb. 6-12 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in Columbus, Ohio, and the 2017 FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions, Feb. 13-19 at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla.

To enter the PBA Players Championship, use the online system at pba.com. The entry fee is $500. The tournament is limited to a field of 138 PBA members.

The TOC will include a field of 96 players of which 72 are reserved for PBA Tour title holders. An additional 24 PBA Regional, PBA50, PWBA-PBA Women’s Regional and/or PBA Women’s Series champions will qualify during a special TOC Regional event that will precede the TOC.

PBA members planning to compete in the TOC must have a confirmed reservation at the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort at the time of entry; please be sure to include your reservation number with your entry. The rate of $109 for a single or double occupancy is available by calling (405) 964-7777 and using the code 1702102107 or at www.GrandShawnee.com (enter the code under “Group Code").

Eligible PBA Tour champions who want to participate must submit their entries by no later than Friday, Jan. 13 at 5 p.m. ET. Spots reserved for PBA Tour title holders that are not filled will be added to the spots coming out of the Regional Qualifier. To enter the TOC, contact PBA Tournament Entries Coordinator Mary von Krueger (email: maryvk@pba.com; phone: (206) 332-9688).

QUBICA AMF PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: WILLIAMS, LANE, ALLEN WIN TRIOS EVENT

PBA60 competitor Dennis Lane, PBA Tour champion Dick Allen and PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. defeated Ken Parks, Dale Csuhta and Kyle Troup, 213-201, to win the PBA South Region’s Decker Appraisal PBA/PBA50/PBA60 Baker Trios event presented by Hammer at Valley Lanes in Harrisonburg, Va., Sunday.

Williams, in the PBA50 role, struck in the 10th frame to seal the victory and pick up his 11th PBA50 Regional title to go along with his record 47 PBA Tour titles, 32 PBA Regional titles and 10 PBA50 Tour titles for a composite total of 100 PBA titles. Williams had been tied with fellow PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber with 99 combined titles until Sunday.

This was the third time the PBA South Region hosted the multi-age trio event, but the first time it was hosted by Valley Lanes. Each member of the winning team earned a $1,700 share of the $5,100 first prize.

In the first stepladder match, Lane, Williams and Allen defeated the team of Ross McDonald, Thad Rand and Richie Wolfe from Rapidan, Va., 218-168, to advance to the title match.

● Past U.S. Open champions Robert Lawrence of Austin, Texas, and Wes Malott from Pflugerville, Texas, teamed up to dominate the fourth annual PBA50/PBA Houston Emerald Bowl Southwest Doubles, presented by Bowling Dynamix, Sunday, winning by 675 pins over Jay Nephew of Houston and his partner, D.J. Archer from Spring, Texas.

The winning duo led the eight-game qualifying portion of the event by 68 pins and then charged into a commanding lead in the 12-game round-robin match play finals, crushing their first four opponents with team games of 509, 492, 509 and 488 and they never looked back. They swept all 12 matches as they cruised to the $5,000 winners’ check and Lawrence’s first regional title in 24 years.

Nephew and Archer held on to second place with 9,625 pins, safely ahead of defending champions Pete Thomas of Oklahoma City and Anthony Lavery-Spahr of Pasadena, Texas.

● QubicaAMF PBA Regional competition in the new year gets underway over the Jan. 20-22 weekend at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas with the South Point West Challenge for non-champions, and the South Point member/non-member doubles, both presented by Track. The PBA Central Region also returns to action with the PBA/PBA50 Don Vay Memorial Central Doubles Classic at Legend Lanes in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

● The Jan. 27-29 weekend includes the PBA and PBA50 Sands Regency West/Northwest Winter Classic doubleheader presented by Storm at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev. The weekend also will include a Sands Regency West/Northwest Winter Challenge event for non-champions.

● For complete QubicaAMF PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information heading into the new year, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on QubicaAMF Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area. For more information about QubicaAMF, visit www.qubicaamf.com or, for social media posts, visit http://bit.ly/QAMFSponsorship1.

QUICK NOTES:

● Don’t forget: everyone age 18 or older who plays PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game by Dec. 26 is invited to participate in a special sweepstakes being conducted by PBA Cheetah Championship presenting sponsor Concrete Software, the creator of the PBA Bowling Challenge game. To enter the PBA “Cheetah” Bowling Challenge, when you launch the game, go into the “venue” section and look for the PBA Cheetah Championship. Then bowl your one game. If you beat the 279 bowled by Cheetah winner Mike Wolfe, you’ll be eligible to win special prizes, including a special PBA bowling pin autographed by the winner.

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