USBC Masters Moves to Las Vegas

by PBA Editor January 10, 2008 19:00
By Lucas Wiseman, USBC

One of the sport of bowling's most prestigious events, the United States Bowling Congress Masters, will reunite with the tradition-rich USBC Open Championships next season.

The two events, which were united together from the Masters inception in 1951 until 2001, will be conducted at Cashman Center in Las Vegas in 2009. The Masters is tentatively scheduled to be held Feb. 8-15, 2009, with the Open Championships beginning shortly thereafter.

"These events really complement each other and this move brings back some of the tradition these events have shared in the past," USBC Chief Operating Officer Kevin Dornberger said. "The Masters will be the perfect kickoff to the Open Championships and the unique venue is unmatched in the sport of bowling."

The events will be conducted on 56 specially constructed lanes inside Cashman Center, creating a stadium setting and enhancing the event for spectators as well as competitors.

For the past four years, the Masters has enjoyed a successful run in suburban Milwaukee, with the television finals being held at Miller Park in 2004 and 2007. Although the Masters will not be conducted during the 2008 calendar year, it will remain one of four major events on the Denny's Professional Bowlers Association Tour schedule for the 2008-09 season.

"We are looking forward to repositioning the USBC Masters and are intrigued to see what the change in location and timing will do for attendance, media coverage and TV ratings," PBA Commissioner and CEO Fred Schreyer said. "We have a great partnership with the USBC and while Milwaukee has been an outstanding host for the Masters in recent years, we agreed with the USBC that some changes were needed to maximize the amount of attention this prestigious event will receive."

With the move to February, the Masters television finals will no longer go up against the National Football League, paving the way for an increase in mainstream media exposure and higher television ratings.

"The Masters is now positioned to achieve maximum television ratings and our hope is to expose this great event to an even bigger audience," USBC Vice President of Marketing and Communications Tom Clark said. "The plan is to build the Masters into the pinnacle week in the sport of bowling and this is a move in that direction."

In 1951, the Masters began as an invitational event showcasing national and local bowling stars and has grown to become bowling's most prestigious event. The tournament draws nearly 500 of the best professional and amateur bowlers in the world competing for a prize fund of more than $350,000.

The Open Championships, which was held for the first time in 1901, is the world's largest participatory sporting event. The 2009 event in Las Vegas is scheduled to run at least five months and is expected to draw more than 80,000 bowlers from across the world.


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New Young Gun Emerging

by PBA Editor January 9, 2008 19:00
All-time Denny’s PBA Tour titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. started Thursday’s Round of 64 with a 300 game and was atop the leader board after each of the first 12 games. But when it was all said and done, 21-year-old Ryan Ciminelli stood alone at the top.

Ciminelli, who led Wednesday’s Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round to earn a spot in the Round of 64 Thursday, averaged 254.88 over the final seven games of qualifying to finish with a 3,402 14-game pinfall to earn the top seed for match play in the 2008 Lumber Liquidators Earl Anthony Medford Classic at Lava Lanes.

This week marks just the third time in his career Ciminelli has advanced to the Round of 64 through the TQR, but every time he’s been there he’s made a splash. Two years ago he finished ninth in the GEICO Classic in Cheektowaga, N.Y., as an amateur and earlier this season he finished 11th in the Lumber Liquidators Championship in Baltimore.

On Thursday, Ciminelli was eighth after the first seven-game block, but was a machine in the second block, shooting five consecutive games of 255 or better in the middle of the block including a 277 in game 13 which pushed him past Williams for the first time.

“It was in the back of my mind the whole time I was gaining on him,” Ciminelli said of catching the PBA Hall of Famer. “I set a little goal for myself to catch him just to keep myself focused. I didn’t think I would catch him since Walter Ray throws so many strikes, but I guess every dog has its day.”

Ciminelli (Cheektowaga, N.Y.) will face No. 32 Troy Wollenbecker (Miami) in Friday’s Round of 32. Wollenbecker fired a 229 in the final game to take the final spot in match play by just seven pins over Ritchie Allen.

Williams (Ocala, Fla.) finished second with 3,367 and will face No. 31 Doug Kent, the 2006-07 PBA Player of the Year. The two have gone in opposite directions this season as Williams has won two titles and leads the 2007-08 PBA Player of the Year race while Kent is looking to make his first championship round appearance of the season.

Rhino Page (Topeka, Kan.), who qualified through Wednesday’s Tour Qualifying Round for the seventh time in nine tries this season, finished third with 3,328 and will face No. 30 Stevie Weber. Page has made history this season, becoming the first qualifier to advance to two championship rounds, including a second-place finish to PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III in the Spartanburg Classic. Bohn finished right behind Page in fourth with 3,300 and will face No. 29 Steve Jaros.

In a rematch of last week’s ConstructionJobs.com Championship title match, No. 7 Patrick Allen will face No. 26 Tommy Jones. Last Sunday, Jones defeated the 10-time titlist Allen to win his 11th career title.

Defending champion Sean Rash finished ninth with 3,137 and will face No. 24 Michael Haugen Jr.

Single elimination match play gets underway Friday at 9 a.m. PST with the Round of 32, followed by the Round of 16 at 2 p.m. and the Round of 8 at 7 p.m. The final four bowlers will advance to Sunday’s live ESPN-televised championship round, which gets underway at 10 a.m. PST. The winner will take home $25,000 and an exemption for the 2008-09 season.
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New Young Gun Emerging

by PBA Editor January 9, 2008 19:00
All-time Denny’s PBA Tour titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. started Thursday’s Round of 64 with a 300 game and was atop the leader board after each of the first 12 games. But when it was all said and done, 21-year-old Ryan Ciminelli stood alone at the top.

Ciminelli, who led Wednesday’s Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round to earn a spot in the Round of 64 Thursday, averaged 254.88 over the final seven games of qualifying to finish with a 3,402 14-game pinfall to earn the top seed for match play in the 2008 Lumber Liquidators Earl Anthony Medford Classic at Lava Lanes.

This week marks just the third time in his career Ciminelli has advanced to the Round of 64 through the TQR, but every time he’s been there he’s made a splash. Two years ago he finished ninth in the GEICO Classic in Cheektowaga, N.Y., as an amateur and earlier this season he finished 11th in the Lumber Liquidators Championship in Baltimore.

On Thursday, Ciminelli was eighth after the first seven-game block, but was a machine in the second block, shooting five consecutive games of 255 or better in the middle of the block including a 277 in game 13 which pushed him past Williams for the first time.

“It was in the back of my mind the whole time I was gaining on him,” Ciminelli said of catching the PBA Hall of Famer. “I set a little goal for myself to catch him just to keep myself focused. I didn’t think I would catch him since Walter Ray throws so many strikes, but I guess every dog has its day.”

Ciminelli (Cheektowaga, N.Y.) will face No. 32 Troy Wollenbecker (Miami) in Friday’s Round of 32. Wollenbecker fired a 229 in the final game to take the final spot in match play by just seven pins over Ritchie Allen.

Williams (Ocala, Fla.) finished second with 3,367 and will face No. 31 Doug Kent, the 2006-07 PBA Player of the Year. The two have gone in opposite directions this season as Williams has won two titles and leads the 2007-08 PBA Player of the Year race while Kent is looking to make his first championship round appearance of the season.

Rhino Page (Topeka, Kan.), who qualified through Wednesday’s Tour Qualifying Round for the seventh time in nine tries this season, finished third with 3,328 and will face No. 30 Stevie Weber. Page has made history this season, becoming the first qualifier to advance to two championship rounds, including a second-place finish to PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III in the Spartanburg Classic. Bohn finished right behind Page in fourth with 3,300 and will face No. 29 Steve Jaros.

In a rematch of last week’s ConstructionJobs.com Championship title match, No. 7 Patrick Allen will face No. 26 Tommy Jones. Last Sunday, Jones defeated the 10-time titlist Allen to win his 11th career title.

Defending champion Sean Rash finished ninth with 3,137 and will face No. 24 Michael Haugen Jr.

Single elimination match play gets underway Friday at 9 a.m. PST with the Round of 32, followed by the Round of 16 at 2 p.m. and the Round of 8 at 7 p.m. The final four bowlers will advance to Sunday’s live ESPN-televised championship round, which gets underway at 10 a.m. PST. The winner will take home $25,000 and an exemption for the 2008-09 season.
If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it.

New Young Gun Emerging

by PBA Editor January 9, 2008 19:00
All-time Denny’s PBA Tour titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. started Thursday’s Round of 64 with a 300 game and was atop the leader board after each of the first 12 games. But when it was all said and done, 21-year-old Ryan Ciminelli stood alone at the top.

Ciminelli, who led Wednesday’s Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round to earn a spot in the Round of 64 Thursday, averaged 254.88 over the final seven games of qualifying to finish with a 3,402 14-game pinfall to earn the top seed for match play in the 2008 Lumber Liquidators Earl Anthony Medford Classic at Lava Lanes.

This week marks just the third time in his career Ciminelli has advanced to the Round of 64 through the TQR, but every time he’s been there he’s made a splash. Two years ago he finished ninth in the GEICO Classic in Cheektowaga, N.Y., as an amateur and earlier this season he finished 11th in the Lumber Liquidators Championship in Baltimore.

On Thursday, Ciminelli was eighth after the first seven-game block, but was a machine in the second block, shooting five consecutive games of 255 or better in the middle of the block including a 277 in game 13 which pushed him past Williams for the first time.

“It was in the back of my mind the whole time I was gaining on him,” Ciminelli said of catching the PBA Hall of Famer. “I set a little goal for myself to catch him just to keep myself focused. I didn’t think I would catch him since Walter Ray throws so many strikes, but I guess every dog has its day.”

Ciminelli (Cheektowaga, N.Y.) will face No. 32 Troy Wollenbecker (Miami) in Friday’s Round of 32. Wollenbecker fired a 229 in the final game to take the final spot in match play by just seven pins over Ritchie Allen.

Williams (Ocala, Fla.) finished second with 3,367 and will face No. 31 Doug Kent, the 2006-07 PBA Player of the Year. The two have gone in opposite directions this season as Williams has won two titles and leads the 2007-08 PBA Player of the Year race while Kent is looking to make his first championship round appearance of the season.

Rhino Page (Topeka, Kan.), who qualified through Wednesday’s Tour Qualifying Round for the seventh time in nine tries this season, finished third with 3,328 and will face No. 30 Stevie Weber. Page has made history this season, becoming the first qualifier to advance to two championship rounds, including a second-place finish to PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III in the Spartanburg Classic. Bohn finished right behind Page in fourth with 3,300 and will face No. 29 Steve Jaros.

In a rematch of last week’s ConstructionJobs.com Championship title match, No. 7 Patrick Allen will face No. 26 Tommy Jones. Last Sunday, Jones defeated the 10-time titlist Allen to win his 11th career title.

Defending champion Sean Rash finished ninth with 3,137 and will face No. 24 Michael Haugen Jr.

Single elimination match play gets underway Friday at 9 a.m. PST with the Round of 32, followed by the Round of 16 at 2 p.m. and the Round of 8 at 7 p.m. The final four bowlers will advance to Sunday’s live ESPN-televised championship round, which gets underway at 10 a.m. PST. The winner will take home $25,000 and an exemption for the 2008-09 season.
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Not So Deep Thoughts

by Randy Peterson January 9, 2008 19:00
By Randy Pedersen

Happy New Year, everyone. I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday and I wish the most prosperous New Year to you all.

We had a great Christmas… well, at least the kids did and isn’t it all about the kids? Yes it is. And I’m the biggest kid on the planet, that’s why I can’t stop playing the Nintendo Wii my kids got. We’ve played bowling and baseball and then the kids opened the Guitar Hero III. OH MY GOD!!!!!! Let me just say that growing up, I was the biggest air guitar freak on the planet. Well, not anymore. Not when I can play Guitar Heroooooooo! Let me just say that I can flat out JAM!!!.

My kids get mad when I hog the game but so what! I’m a rock star. What a great game. I got some nice gifts as well. Lots of golf stuff. I also got some new equipment from Storm. Since I’m going to be bowling the Tournament of Champions, I figured I better start practicing. I don’t want to embarrass myself. I do enough of that on Sundays.

Now let’s segue to a new movie I saw on Sunday entitled, “Carolina Jones and the Temple of Pin Carry”. I know Tommy Jones has struggled this season. He says his pin carry has been crappy but not on Sunday it wasn’t! My God. I remember him doing this last season at the Tournament of Champions. That’s what power, speed and a boat-load of talent will do for ya. Congrats Mr. Jones. We all love watching you bowl on TV.

Until next week bowling fans, stay safe, and I’m out of here.

Read more "Not So Deep Thoughts" by Randy Pedersen:

Dydo Japan Cup

USBC Masters

Motor City Classic

Etonic Championship

Lake County Indiana Classic

Great Lakes Classic

Lumber Liquidators Championship

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