GEICO PBA WSOB IX Notebook IX: ‘Youngest PBA Tour Title Winner’ Record is Safe…for Now

by Bill Vint November 16, 2017 16:00

Norm Duke’s record as the youngest player ever to win a PBA Tour title is safe…for now…after 17-year-old Trey Ford III of Bartlesville, Okla., lost his best-of-five-game, Round of 16 match to South Africa’s Francois Louw in Thursday’s PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game.

If Ford, bowling in his second PBA World Series of Bowling, had continued to advance and actually won the Cheetah Championship title on Saturday, he would have eclipsed Duke’s record more than full year. Duke was 18 years, 345 days old when he won the Cleveland Open back in 1983. Ford will be 17 years, 85 days old on Saturday.

Ford, a two-handed player, had his best previous finish as a PBA member in the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Oklahoma Open in July when he finished 11th. In his WSOB debut in 2015 at age 15, Ford averaged 196.36 and finished in 195th place. After skipping WSOB XIII in 2016, Ford returned to Reno at age 17 and averaged 225.05 for his 40 games on the four animal patterns, qualifying for the PBA World Championship cashers’ round in a tie for 42nd as well as qualifying No. 9 for the Cheetah Round of 16 .

Ultimately, Ford finished his PBA World Championship test in 43rd place with a composite 60-game average of 222.6 along with a top 16 finish in the Cheetah Championship. He will leave Reno with more than a year to chase Duke’s record…but he also may be watching in the rearview mirror, because he isn’t the only talented young teenager bowling in PBA competition these days.

Also making his PBA Tour debut in Reno this year was Pyry Puharinen, a 15-year-old two-hander from Finland. Puharinen finished the 40-game World Championship qualifying portion of WSOB IX in 107th place, averaging 215.05.


Lanetalk, PBA’s statistical analysis partner for WSOB IX, has been tracking performance data for all 195 players through 10 qualifying games on each animal pattern, followed by the 49 PBA World Championship cashers as they completed their final five-game rounds on each pattern, and finally data for the 16 match play finalists in each event. Much more detailed information is available on Lanetalk’s Facebook page, but here’s a glimpse of the comparisons for the 10-game Cheetah and Scorpion rounds, the five-game cashers’ rounds and Wednesday’s best-of-five and/or best-of-three-game match play rounds:

Chameleon 39 Championship comparisons:

— Composite averages: full field of 195 - 212.24 (10 games); 49 World Championship cashers composite average: 224.72 (5 games); match play composite average: 226.1.

— Strike percentage: full field - 55.66%; WC cashers strike rate 62.35%; match play strike rate 62.84%.

— First shot splits: full field - 8.24%; WC cashers split rate 7.14%; match play split rate 6.42%.

— First shot single-pin leaves: full field - 23.21%; WC cashers 21.72%; match play finalists 23.78%.

— Clean frame rate: full field - 88.16%; WC cashers 91.51%; match play finalists 93.6%.

— “Makeable spares” conversion rate: full field - 86.12%; WC cashers 91.34%, match play finalists 94.35%.

Shark 45 Championship comparisons:

— Composite averages: full field of 195 – 217.6 (10 games); 49 World Championship cashers composite average: 229.14 (5 games); match play composite average: 232.13.

— Strike percentage: full field – 58.01%; WC cashers strike rate 63.66%; match play strike rate 65.64%.

— First shot splits: full field - 7%; WC cashers split rate 6.45%; match play split rate 4.81%.

— First shot single-pin leaves: full field - 23.41%; WC cashers 22.75%; match play finalists 29.55%.

— Clean frame rate: full field – 89.93%; WC cashers 92.9%; match play finalists 93.97%.

— “Makeable spares” conversion rate: full field - 88%; WC cashers 93.7%, match play finalists 91.98%.


Xtra Frame’s extensive live coverage of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Resorts Reno Properties, ended Thursday with coverage of the Rounds of 16 and 8 in the PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game followed by the Pepsi PBA Scorpion Championship presented by

From Tuesday, Nov. 7, through Friday – with the exception of one rest day – Xtra Frame subscribers were able to watch the PBA Regional and PBA50 Tour Challenge finals, start-to-finish qualifying rounds on the Chameleon 39, Shark 45, Cheetah 33 and Scorpion 42 animal patterns, all of which were stages leading into the PBA World Championship. Then came the World Championship cashers’ extended qualifying rounds on the four animal patterns, followed by the match play elimination rounds in each of the four animal pattern events.

All in all, Xtra Frame’s crew of Phil Brylow, Jef Goodger, Craig Elliott and Van McNeil, plus commentary by PBA Hall of Famer Marshall Holman, assorted players and bowling industry representatives, gave bowling fans a comprehensive view of the WSOB that would never have been possible in years past. Subscribers who missed the live action always have the opportunity to visit the Xtra Frame archives for previously recorded sessions, interviews and more.

With the preliminaries completed Friday, Xtra Frame’s crew headed home for the holidays, turning the final stages of WSOB IX over to ESPN and ESPN3. Xtra Frame will return to live coverage in January when the DHC PBA Japan Invitational kicks off the 2018 PBA Tour season.

What a great way to launch the new 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour partnership.

And what a great Christmas gift idea for the bowler in your family? Xtra Frame subscriptions are available in a variety of packages: three-day ($3.99), 30-day ($7.99) and Xtra Frame Season Ticket (a full-year’s coverage at an average cost of $1.25 per week) subscriptions are available by visiting “” and clicking on the “subscribe now” link.

Under the new Go Bowling! PBA Tour sponsorship, Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America centers are entitled to complimentary subscriptions, simply by contacting PBA’s Dave Schroeder at

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