Jason Belmonte Wins PBA-WBT “Storm Lucky Larsen Masters” in Sweden for 15th Career Title

by Bill Vint August 27, 2017 12:15

MALMO, Sweden – Australia’s Jason Belmonte defeated Cameron Weier of Tacoma, Wash., 245-180, to win the PBA International-World Bowling Tour’s Storm Lucky Larsen Masters at Baltiska Bowlinghallen Sunday for his 15th career PBA Tour title.

belmoBelmonte, 34, joined EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., as the only three-time PBA Tour title winners in 2017. Earlier in the year, Belmonte won the Barbasol PBA Players Championship and a record fourth USBC Masters title. His win in Sweden, a new event on the PBA International-WBT schedule, was his second international tour title. He also won the 2012 Australian Masters.

After qualifying first for the Malmo stepladder finals by 45 pins over Weier, Belmonte started the title match with two spares followed by a string of six strikes to build a lead Weier couldn’t overcome. Belmonte won the equivalent of $19,832 along with his title.

Weier, a 26-year-old former Robert Morris-Illinois collegiate star, won his only PBA Tour title in the 2015 Qatar Open. He defeated Finland’s Jari Ratia, 226-194, to advance to the title match.

The Malmo tournament – named for Swedish PBA star Martin Larsen – was a World Bowling Tour points event. The top three men and top three women in 2017 WBT points will bowl in the WBT Men’s and Women’s Finals, presented by the PBA, during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Properties, on Nov. 19 in Reno, Nev. Two additional qualifying events – the WBT Thailand in September, and the PBA World Championship in Reno – remain on the schedule prior to the finals.

PBA INTERNATIONAL-WORLD BOWLING TOUR STORM LUCKY LARSEN MASTERS
Baltiska Bowlinghallen, Malmo, Sweden, Sunday

Final Standings:
1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, $19,832.
2, Cameron Weier, Tacoma, Wash., $13,635.
3, Jari Ratia, Finland, $9,916.
4, Pontus Andersson, Sweden, $8,057.

Stepladder Results:
Match One – Ratia def. Andersson, 224-183.
Semifinal Match – Weier def. Ratia, 226-194.
Championship – Belmonte def. Weier, 245-180.

Step Three Cashers (after 12 games; top 4 advanced to stepladder finals):
1, Belmonte, 2,734.
2, Weier, 2,689.
3, P. Andersson, 2,581.
4, Ratia, 2,486
5, w-Britt Brondsted, Denmark, 2,459, $6,198.
6, w-Sanna Pasanen, Finland, 2,447, $4,958.
7, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 2,443, $3,966.
8, w-Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 2,415, $3,099.

Step Two Cashers (did not advance, after 8 games):
9, Bader Alaishaikh, Saudi Arabia, 1,654, $2,479.
10, w-Nina Flack, Sweden, 1,651, $2,169.
11, Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 1,649, $1,859.
12, Jassim al Muraikhi, Qatar, 1,657, $1,673.
13, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 1,646, $1,580.
14, w-Victoria Johansson, Sweden, 1,643, $1,549.
15 (tie), w-Sandra Andersson, Sweden, and Mattias Olsson, Sweden, 1,627, $1,553.
17 (tie), Timmy Fredricksson, Sweden, and Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 1,612, $1,440.
19, Filip Wilhelmsson, Sweden, 1,597, $1,394.
20, Stuart Williams, England, 1,596, $1,363.
21, Markus Jansson, Sweden, 1,576, $1,332.
22, w-Sandra Gongora, Mexico, 1,573, $1,301.
23, Mik Stampe, Denmark, 1,554, $1,270.
24, William Svensson, Sweden, 1,484, $1,240.

Step One Cashers (did not advance, after 6 games):
25, Nathan Ruest-Lajoie, Canada, 1,227, $1,209
26, Daniel Fransson, Sweden, 1,225, $1,178.
27, Robert Lindberg, Sweden, 1,224, $1,147
28, Stefan Roos, Sweden, 1,223, $1,116.
29, w-Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 1,213, $1,085.
30, Christer Danielsson, Sweden, 1,200, $1,054.
31, Christopher Sloan, Ireland, 1,199, $1,043.
32, Anton Persson, Sweden, 1,169, $992.
33, Emanuel Jonsson, Sweden, 1,160, $961.
34, w-Joline Persson Planefors, Sweden, 1,155, $930.
35, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 1,154, $899.
36 (tie), Johan Danielsson, Sweden, and Francois Louw, South Africa, 1,150, $853.
38, w-Elisa Hiltunen, Finland, 1,138, $806.
40, w-Ida Andersson, Sweden, 1,117, $775.
41, Lars Lindback, Sweden, 1,107, $744.
42 (tie), Alfred Berggren, Sweden, and Fredrik Tjernes, Norway, 1,090, $675.
44, Martin Paulsson, Sweden, 1,087, $620.

w-denotes woman (women received 8 handicap pins per game).

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PBA Spare Shots: PBA Players Help Boston’s Mookie Betts Raise $150,000 for New England Kids’ Charities

by Bill Vint August 24, 2017 09:32

Tommy Jones, Bill O’Neill, Dom Barrett, Tom Daugherty, Chris Via and Malaysia’s Zulmazran (ZZ) Zulkifli were participants in the inaugural Mookie Betts Big League Bowl held on August 17 at Jillian’s Lucky Strike Lanes in Boston, helping the Boston Red Sox star and noted bowling enthusiast raise more than $150,000 to benefit Pitching In For Kids and One Mission, a pair of charities aimed at improving the lives of children in New England and helping affected kids deal with their battles with cancer.

Betts, an accomplished bowler, competed in the 2015 GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VII in Reno and in the 2017 CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational in Los Angeles.

The inaugural fundraiser, held in an upscale bowling facility in the shadow of historic Fenway Park, also included a group of Betts’ Red Sox teammates.

EJ TACKETT CLOSES IN ON XTRA FRAME STORM CUP POINTS BONUS

Even though he hasn’t won a PBA Xtra Frame Tour title in 2017, EJ Tackett’s four top-five finishes in last five events (and a 10th-place finish in the other event) have brought him to the brink of winning the $20,000 bonus as the 2017 PBA Xtra Frame Storm Cup points champion.

Heading into this weekend’s PBA Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Group Classic at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater, Ohio, Tackett has accumulated 83 points thus far. There are only three players who have mathematical chances to catch him: England’s Dom Barrett with 74 points, Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., with 69 and Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C., with 68.

Fifth-place is also up for grabs, with XF Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Classic winner Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., currently holding that spot with 54 points. Behind Rash are Tom Daugherty of Riverview, Fla. (49), Josh Blanchard of Mesa, Ariz. (47), Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y. (45) and four other players in the upper 30s.

In the Xtra Frame Storm Cup series, 25 points are awarded to each tournament winner, 19 to second place, 18 to third, etc. through 20th place. Even one point is valuable because there is significant bonus prize money at stake. In addition to the $20,000 bonus to the points winner, the other top-five finishers will earn $10,000, $8,000, $7,000 and $5,000 respectively.

The points leaders heading into this weekend includes the following:
1, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 83.
2, Dom Barrett, England, 74.
3, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 69.
4, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 68.
5, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 54.
6, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 49.
7, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 47.
8, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 45.
9, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 39.
10 (tie), AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., and Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 37.
12, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 36.
13, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 32.
14, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 28.
15 (tie), Francois Lavoie, Canada, and Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 27.
17, Cristian Azcona, Lake Wales, Fla., 26.
18, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 25.

Also as a final reminder, PBA fans are still eligible for Xtra Frame’s special $2.99 three-day subscription rate for the Coldwater, Ohio Xtra Frame Tour season-finale.

In addition, fans can follow real-time results for PBA50, PBA Xtra Frame Tour and all PBA Regional events by downloading the new PBA app on Apple devices or by visiting the “live scoring” feature on pba.com.

PBA STARS COMPETING IN WORLD BOWLING TOUR MALMO

In addition to the Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Group Classic in Coldwater, Ohio, another group of PBA stars are competing abroad in the PBA International-World Bowling Tour Malmo (also known as the Lucky Larsen Masters) at Baltiska Bowlinghallen in Malmo, Sweden. First prize will be roughly $19,850 plus a PBA Tour title if the winner is a PBA member.

Among the PBA Tour regulars competing include champions Martin Larsen, Thomas Larsen, Stuart Williams, Osku Palermaa, Jesper Svensson, Francois Lavoie, Anthony Simonsen and Cameron Weier.

From an original field of approximately 465 players who began competition on Aug. 13, a field of 44 players will enter the final day of competition on Sunday which will culminate with the top four advancing to the stepladder finals. PBA fans can monitor the results online (http://luckylarsenmasters.com/results/) or watch the Swedish live stream (https://bowlingtv.solidtango.com/vip) for 49kr (Swedish krona), which converts to roughly US$6. Live streaming coverage Saturday and Sunday can be seen at no cost using the link on www.worldbowling.org.

PBA50 STARS SHINE IN WORLD BOWLING SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

PBA50 stars Parker Bohn III, Ron Mohr, Bob Learn Jr. and Lennie Boresch Jr. dominated the World Bowling Senior Championships held last week at Dream Bowl Palace in Munich, Germany, winning gold medals in every event. The U.S. women’s team added gold in every event except doubles.

In men’s singles, Mohr won gold with Boresch and Bohn adding bronze medals. Bohn and Learn won gold in doubles, defeating silver-medalists Boresch and Mohr. Mohr won all-events, and Bohn won the Masters title. The U.S. stars also won the four-man team title.

In the women’s competition, Lynda Barnes (wife of PBA star Chris Barnes) won singles, Masters and team gold medals, a silver in all-events and a bronze medal with Carolyn Dorin-Ballard in doubles. Leanne Hulsenberg won all-events, silver in singles and bronze in Masters. Dorin-Ballard, the wife of PBA Hall of Famer Del Ballard Jr. and manager of the PBA League’s New York City WTT KingPins, also won a bronze medal in the Masters event.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: DEAN RICHARDS WINS TRADITIONAL HUSTED FAMILY EVENT

Dean Richards of Tacoma, Wash., posted a 7-5 match play record and a 20-game total of 4,876 pins Sunday to win his fourth PBA Regional title in the 38th annual PBA Dave Husted Northwest Open presented by 900 Global at Husted’s Milwaukie Bowl in Milwaukie, Ore.

Richards, who earned $2,000, defeated Cameron Weier of Tacoma, Wash., by 99 pins for the win. Weier had an 8-4 match play record and 4,776 pins for his 20 games, including match play bonus pins.

The tournament, hosted by the Husted family at Milwaukie Bowl, is the longest running regional in the PBA.

Former PBA member Clint Land of Houston out-dueled the non-champion field to win the PBA’s Bowling Dynamix Houston Emerald Bowl Challenge Sunday in his hometown after Anggie Ramirez of Colombia, now living in Austin, Texas topped the PBA-PWBA Houston Emerald Bowl Southwest Women’s Open field on Saturday.

Land, who finished the 21-game tournament with a 6-2 match play record and 4,620 total pins, started the modified eight-game round-robin finals with a 20-pin lead. With four games to go, only 85 pins separated the top 10 places. Land jumped to the top of the leaderboard by winning his last three matches with scores of 258, 213 and 241 to claim the $2,000 first place check. Anthony Coats from Pflugerville, Texas, finished second with 4,472 total pins.

On Saturday, Ramirez, started the eight-game women’s event with a 247 game and never looked back as she coasted to the win with 1,709 total pins, topping amateur Ashley Lawley of Friendswood, Texas, by 144 pins. Ramirez earned $1,000 while Lawley collected $360.

● Closing out the August schedule will be the PBA60 Wilson & Sons Super Senior Open presented by the Mooresville Convention and Visitors Bureau Aug. 31-Sept. 2 at George Pappas’ Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C., followed immediately by the PBA50 Samuel Adams South Open presented by the Mooresville Convention and Visitors Bureau at George Pappas’ Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C.

● The Labor Day weekend calendar of PBA Regional action includes the PBA50 Strike Zone Open presented by Track in Pottsville, Pa.; the Tony Reyes Memorial Member/Non-Member Doubles at Fourth Street Bowl in San Jose, Calif.; the Illinois Valley Midwest Open at IV Super Bowl in Peru, Ill., and the DHC Japan PBA Doubles Open, Japan Cheetah Masters and Japan Cheetah Queens at Nagoya Grand Bowl in Nagoya, 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 device users using the new PBA app).

QUICK NOTES

● The PBA has been informed that long-time member Greg Rottengen of Washington, N.J., a veteran of nearly 250 PBA national and regional tournaments, died Tuesday at the age of 74. No additional information was immediately available.

Shawn Maldonado and Dolores Rodriguez are the parents of a baby girl, Mia Bella Maldonado, born on August 14.

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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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