Missy Bellinder is making quite a name for herself on the PBA Regional Tour.
Bellinder captured her second career PBA Regional Tour title in last weekend’s PBA West/Northwest Regions Don Johnson Memorial Classic in Pacifica, Calif., defeating an impressive list of Denny’s PBA Tour champions along the way.
The 25-year-old, who recently qualified for the 2007 PBA Women’s Series by finishing 10th in the PBA Women’s Tour Trials in August, finished fifth in qualifying then went on to defeat two current exempt bowlers and two others with a combined 12 Denny’s PBA Tour titles.
Bellinder started her march through match play with a 3-0 sweep of seven-time champion Hugh Miller, winning by scores of 235-197, 214-202 and 232-226. She then advanced to the Round of 4 with a 2-0 win over Curtis Woods Jr., who will be exempt in 2007-08 after leading the 2006-07 PBA West Region point rankings.
In the semifinal match, Bellinder knocked off another exempt bowler and Denny’s PBA Tour champion in Mike DeVaney, 212-199, setting up a title match against five-time champion and former exempt bowler Eric Forkel.
The match came down to the final frame as Bellinder needed a double in the 10th to beat Forkel. She did just that, winning the match, 240-234, becoming the first woman in history to win two PBA Regional Tour events.Reyes Raises More Money
At the same regional where Bellinder made history, Tony Reyes continued to show he is one of the true good guys in the world of bowling.
Reyes, who co-hosted the regional event at Seabowl, spent the weekend raising $6,500 for Juvenile Diabetes. One of the key items up for bid was a lesson with Reyes and a bowling ball, which caused a bidding war and eventually went for $400 to former San Francisco Giants outfielder Jeffrey Leonard. The two other men who were bidding with Leonard then decided they would each donate $300, and Reyes chipped in a lesson for each of them as well.
All in all, 144 bowlers participated with 10 on the waiting list, and the event saw almost 200 Pro-Am entries. It was the fourth consecutive year Reyes has helped host the event.
“Whether they finish first or last, I want everyone to come out of the event with a great feeling,” Reyes said. “They’re pro athletes and they’re entertainers so I want to make everyone feel special. It was really great. We had a packed house all weekend and to see Missy win was just awesome.”
Following the title match, Bellinder and Senior winner Fred Kaczmarczyk squared off in a challenge match, which Bellinder also won after which she donated her winnings from the challenge match to the fund.Jaros, Weber Running Neck and Neck
Steve Jaros and Pete Weber have quite a battle going in the PBA Midwest Region.
Not only have the two Denny’s PBA Tour stars been dominating the region, combining to win four of the last five events, they’re in the middle of a heated battle for the crown of the PBA Regional Tour’s all-time winningest bowler.
Jaros and Weber came into the summer with 36 PBA Regional Tour titles each, tied for the all-time lead. Weber got off to a strong start this summer, winning the Midwest Region’s fourth event for his 37th title to take the lead. He then teamed with Camden Rokita in July to win a Midwest Region doubles title for win No. 38. The next week, however, Jaros pulled within one of Weber with a win in the PBA Midwest Region Thunderbowl Open.
Things really got interesting in the PBA Midwest Region Greater Cedar Valley USBC Open on August 19, where Jaros and Weber this time squared off for the title. Jaros came out victorious with a 225-201 win which pulled him even with Weber in the record books with title No. 38.
This past weekend, the two stars met again in the title match, this time in the PBA Midwest Region Illinois Valley Classic in Peru, Ill. Weber earned the top seed for the stepladder final while Jaros earned the No. 2 seed. After Jaros knocked off fellow exempt bowler Jeff Carter in the semifinal, Weber exacted some revenge over Jaros, streaking past him with a 286-235 win to take his 39th career PBA Regional Tour title.
Though Weber trails Walter Ray Williams Jr. on the all-time Denny’s PBA Tour titles list, he can stake his claim to not only being the all-time leader in PBA Regional Tour titles, but with his 34 Denny’s PBA Tour titles he is the PBA’s all-time titles leader with a combined 73 PBA titles.
Not to be outdone, Williams captured his 29th career PBA Regional Tour title this weekend with a win in the PBA South Region Port Saint Lucie Open. It was Williams’ second regional win of the year and gives him 71 PBA titles, just two shy of Weber.Williams Shines on the Green
While he’s not winning PBA Regional Tour events, Williams is winning golf tournaments. Both Williams and Weber were invited to play in the Tom Dreesen Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament recently in Bolingbrook, Ill., where Williams teamed up with former NBA player Jack Marin and former New York Jets player John Ebersole to win the event in a playoff.
Williams, Marin and Ebersole topped the team of CFL quarterback and NFL color analyst John Congemi, NHL defenseman Darren Veitch and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Morgan with two pars as the format switched from a morning scramble to two best balls of three during the afternoon shootout.
According to Ron Kremer of the Daily Herald
in Chicago, Williams made a nifty up-and-down from 30 yards off the green and Marin dropped a 3-footer for birdie on the 27th hole to send the competition to a playoff.
Though Marin was the star in the playoff, he credited Williams for his play.
“Walter Ray played very well, and John was our ‘C’ player and he’s no ‘C’ player,” Marin told Kremer. “We were real lucky on the draw.”
Said Williams: “Oh, man, this was something else. I’m not used to this stuff in golf. I hit some decent shots. But I had two great partners. Jack was awesome. He was right at the same spot all five times on that ninth hole.”
Williams, Marin and Ebersole accepted three checks during an awards ceremony afterward, one for $25,000 to be split three ways, the winner’s share of the total purse. The two others were made out in the amount of $20,000 each and presented to the tournament’s two primary charities – Illinois Fatherhood Initiative and United Way of Will County.Tomek, Wiseman Head to Races
Jim Tomek Jr. and Danny Wiseman recently got up close and personal with the power of drag racing as they were guests in the pit at the NHRA Drag Racing Series event at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa.
Tomek and Wiseman also had the chance to meet Chuck and Del Worsham, famous in the NHRA Funny Car Series, who showed the two exempt Denny’s PBA Tour bowlers around the pits.