PBA Spare Shots: WBT Thailand to Determine World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finalists

by Bill Vint August 21, 2014 08:12

The final qualifying event to determine the top three players for the 2014 World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by PBA is underway in Thailand. The two-year rolling WBT points competition will be complete when the WBT Thailand at Blu-O Paragon in Bangkok ends on Monday, Aug. 25.

In both situations, defending WBT Thailand and WBT Men’s champion Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., is the player to watch.

Rash, an eight-time PBA Tour titlist, defeated Finnish-American star Mika Koivuniemi, 235-225, 245-228, to win the 2013 WBT Thailand title (Koivuniemi was top qualifier, so Rash had to beat him twice). After winning in Thailand, Rash defeated Mike Fagan of Fort Worth, Texas, to win the WBT Men’s Finals during WSOB V. But he’s at risk of not qualifying for the 2014 finals.

Heading into the Thailand event, the WBT Men’s Finals field was a toss-up. Koivuniemi leads the men’s points list with 555 points, 17 points ahead of Australia’s Jason Belmonte (538). Rash is third with 534 points – four points behind Belmonte – but only 27 points ahead of England’s Dom Barrett (507). Barrett is the only other player with a mathematical chance to break into the top three.

With 50 points awarded to the winner in Thailand, a win by any of the four contenders would shake up the final standings for the WBT Men’s Finals, which will be contested (along with the women’s finals) over the Nov. 1-2 weekend during PBA WSOB VI at South Point in Las Vegas.

The top two berths in the women’s finals are decided. Defending WBT Women’s Finals winner Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., has clinched the No. 1 berth with 683 points, more than 200 ahead of Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y. (459). Sweden’s Sandra Andersson is third with 396 points, but she could be overtaken by Singapore’s Jazreel Tan (351) or tied by Missy Parkin of Laguna Hills, Calif. (346).

You can follow the progress of the WBT Thailand event by visiting http://www.ttbaworldtour.com/. The champion will take home the top prize of 1 million Thai baht (roughly $32,258 in U.S. dollars) and a PBA International Tour title if he is a PBA member.

YOUTH MOVEMENT MAKING A STATEMENT IN PBA’S SOUTHWEST REGION

The PBA Southwest Region has experienced a youth movement during the 2014 season, according to Southwest Region manager Pete McCordic. So far this year, the region has seen four players win their first PBA titles – and all of them are under the age of 28.

The most recent additions to the list are 23-year-old twin brothers Anthony and Sean Lavery of Pasadena, Texas, who won their first titles in back-to-back weeks. Sean won the Killeen Southwest Open on Aug. 10 and Anthony won the Emerald Bowl Southwest Challenge in Houston on Aug. 17. The other first-time titlists include 17-year-old Anthony Simonsen of Mesquite, Texas, and 28-year-old Shawn Maldonado of Houston.

In addition to the first-time title winners, 2013 Southwest Region Rookie of the Year Roger Petrin, 23, of Wichita, Kan., won his second title and Andy Patterson of Tyler, Texas, who just turned 26, won his fifth title earlier in the year. And three non-members also have won PBA Southwest events for the first time: Kansas State collegiate bowler Dylan Burns, Eric Traylor of Pearland, Texas, and Jay Nephew of Houston.

PBA REGIONAL SUMMARY: TACKETT TOPS PAGE IN COLDWATER

EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., defeated Rhino Page of Dade City, Fla., 221-193, to win the $4,000 first prize and his third PBA Regional title in the PBA Lefeld Implement Central Classic at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater, Ohio, on Sunday, Aug. 17.

Page edged Brandon Novak of Chillicothe, Ohio, 210-204, to advance to the championship match. In the first stepladder match, Novak defeated Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, 233-223.

The tournament was the first of the PBA Central Region’s three PBA Women’s Regional points events. Three-time PBA Women’s Series titlist Shannon Pluhowsky of Dayton, Ohio, was the top finisher among the five women who bowled the event, finishing in 37th place and earning $325.

Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y., went 7-4-1 in match play and finished with a 20-game total of 4,593 pins to record a 146-pin victory over Brian LeClair of Albany, N.Y., in the PBA Bethmann-Russell Syracuse Open presented by Radical at Flamingo Bowl in Liverpool, N.Y., Sunday.

Shafer led qualifying but lost his first three matches to lose the lead to LeClair. After making a ball change, Shafer won his next five matches to race away to victory while LeClair held on to second place by two pins over Rick Graham of Lancaster, Pa. In addition to his 26th regional title, Shafer earned $2,500 and improved his competition points lead to over 43,000 points over LeClair in the battle to see who represents the East Region in the PBA Regional Finals which will be held during the PBA World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas.

The event also was the second of three PBA Women’s Regional events for women. Kristina Wendell of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., qualified for match play for the second time and virtually guaranteed her spot in the PBAW Regional Finals in Las Vegas as well as a paid entry into the World Series of Bowling.

Anthony Lavery of Pasadena, Texas, out-dueled Mexico’s Humberto Vazquez to win the PBA Houston Emerald Bowl Southwest Challenge, presented by Mike Austin’s Bowling Dynamix, Sunday.

Lavery led Vazquez by 41 pins going into position round, started his final game with five strikes and never looked back to claim the $2,000 winner’s check. PBA Challenge events are open only to nonmembers who have not won a PBA event and PBA members not credited with a PBA title.

● Amateur Daniel Jackson Jr. of Portland, Ore., posted a 9-3 match play record and a 20-game total of 4,910 pins Sunday to win $2,000 and his second regional title as a non-member in the PBA Dave Husted Northwest Open presented by Dexter at Husted’s Milwaukee Bowl by 190 pins over Blaine Weninger of Happy Valley, Ore. The tournament was the 35th annual PBA Regional hosted by the Husted family at Milwaukie Bowl.

● The Aug. 22-24 regional schedule includes the Fayetteville South Open at Lafayette Lanes in Fayetteville, N.C.; the Mil-Ray Foods East Open presented by Columbia 300 at Brunswick Zone in Deptford, N.J.; the PBA and PBA50 Steve Cook’s Fireside Lanes Capital City West/Northwest Opens presented by DV8 in Citrus Heights, Calif.; the Greenville Southwest Open presented by allbowling.com at Shenaniganz in Greenville, Texas, and the Bowlerama Lanes Midwest Open presented by Radical (a live Xtra Frame event) in Des Moines, Iowa. Fayetteville, Deptford, Citrus Heights, Greenville and Des Moines are all PBA Women’s Regional qualifying events.

The extended Labor Day weekend includes another full schedule of events, including the PBA50 Wilson & Sons Termite Pest Control Super Senior Open (for players 60 and older) followed by the PBA50 Mooresville South Open at George Pappas’ Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C.; the Tony Reyes Memorial Member/Non-Member Doubles presented by Brunswick at Fourth Street Bowl in San Jose, Calif., and the BOWLSTRONG Midwest/Central Challenge (for non-winners) plus the BOWLSTRONG Midwest/Central Tournament of Champions (for PBA title winners) at King Pin Lanes in Springfield, Ill.

Kicking off September will be the PBA50 Kingsport Super Senior South Open for players 60 and older at Warpath Lanes in Kingsport, Tenn., Sept. 2-4, followed by Sept. 5-7 weekend events including the Moon City Central Classic presented by Roto Grip at Astro Lanes in Wapakoneta, Ohio; the Grand Hotel, Casino & Resort Southwest Invitational at Firelake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla. (featuring live Xtra Frame coverage); the PBA50 Howell Lanes East Open in Howell, N.J.; the Rufus West Open presented by Columbia 300 at FlipSide Lanes in Gilbert, Ariz., and a pair of one-day PBA50 events presented by Ebonite at Illinois Valley Super Bowl in Peru, Ill.

For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area.

QUICK NOTES

● Don’t forget: Xtra Frame, the PBA’s online bowling channel, will be on hand this weekend to provide live coverage of the PBA Bowlerama Lanes Midwest Region Open from Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 23-24. The event will include coverage of the first of three PBA Women’s Regional competitions in the Midwest Region. Next up: the PBA Grand Hotel, Casino and Resort Southwest Regional Invitational from Shawnee, Okla., Sept. 5-7, and the Diamond Jo’s Casino Midwest Open at Cherry Lanes in Dubuque, Iowa, Sept. 13-14. The Dubuque event will be the second of three PBA Women’s Regional events in the Midwest Region.

● According to Bowlers Journal International’s eBowler, PBA legend Dick Weber's longtime home in Florissant, Missouri will honor the late bowling great with a plaque on the community's Walk Through History. Weber moved to Florissant in 1955 and, 16 years later, opened Dick Weber Lanes. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Weber's widow, Juanita, will be in attendance, as will their famous bowling son, Pete, and other family members. The plaque will be dedicated on Sept. 2.

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Duke Earns PBA50 Player and Rookie of the Year But Williams and Weber Top 2014 PBA50 Tour Statistics

by Jerry Schneider August 21, 2014 02:33

It didn’t take long for PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke to make an impact on the PBA50 Tour. In his rookie season on the tour for players ages 50 and older, the 37-time PBA Tour champion from Clermont, Florida, became only the second player to earn PBA50 Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in the same season.

Despite the great season Duke had, it was two other PBA greats – Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Pete Weber – who led the PBA50 Tour statistical races, claiming the top spots in average, earnings and competition points over the course of the 11-tournament campaign.

Duke, who won two titles in 2014 including the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open presented by Dexter for his first major, joined fellow hall of famer Tom Baker (2005) as the second player to earn the PBA50 Tour’s top awards in the same year. Pete Couture, Mark Roth, Wayne Webb and Williams have also won both honors, but not in the same year.  Duke also joins, Webb, Williams and Roth as the only players to earn PBA Tour and PBA50 Tour Player of the Year crowns.

In addition to his two victories, Duke had three other top-five finishes in the seven tournaments he entered, including second-place finishes in the Dayton Classic presented by Roto Grip and Pasco County Open to win Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year which are based on points awarded for championship round appearances. He finished second in average (233.63), fourth in competition points (141,226) and fourth in earnings ($33,940).

Williams, another two-time winner in 2014 including the USBC Senior Masters for his first PBA50 major title, fell short of his third straight PBA50 Player of the Year title, but he did manage to repeat as earnings ($45,313) and competition points leader (196,062) for the third consecutive year. He also had eight other top-10 finishes including third-place finishes in the Grants Pass Open presented by Track and Pasco County Open.

Weber, who won one title and had seven other top-10 finishes including runner-up finishes in the Senior U.S. Open and Miller High Life Classic presented by Columbia 300, led the average list for the second year in a row, scoring at a PBA50 Tour-record 234.79 pace for 268 games for a one-plus-pin lead over Duke (233.63). Weber finished second in competition points (178,220) and third in earnings ($35,145).

Baker, who made a run at a record fifth PBA50 Player of the Year crown, also won two titles, but a second-place finish to Williams in the season-ending PBA50 Treasure Island Resort & Casino Open presented by Hammer ended his bid to overtake Duke. Baker, who turns 60 Sept. 12, finished second in earnings ($37,980), third in competition points (166,737) and ninth in average (226.01).

By virtue of finishing in the top eight in competition points, Williams, Weber, Baker, Duke and four others in the top eight earned paid entries into PBA World Series of Bowling VI and a berth in the PBA50 Tour Finals which will result in a berth for two players in a PBA Challenge telecast on ESPN. Hall of Famers Parker Bohn III and Amleto Monacelli, two-time PBA50 Player of the Year Ron Mohr and three-time PBA50 Tour winner Harry Sullins also qualified for the finals. Those eight will bowl an eight-game round-robin match play event on Friday, Oct. 24, to determine the PBA Challenge finalists.

Adding to his lengthy portfolio of PBA honors, PBA Hall of Famer and the 1998 PBA50 Rookie of the Year Johnny Petraglia earned Super Senior Player of the Year for players 60 and over as competition points leader among his 60-and-older peers. He had three top-10 finishes including a second-place finish in the PBA50 Dick Weber Super Senior Classic presented by Storm.

For complete PBA50 Tour stats, visit pba.com and click on the “statistics” tab.

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PBA Hall of Famer Gene Stus Dies at 74, Services Set

by Jerry Schneider August 18, 2014 10:48

 

PBA Hall of Famer and Senior Tour standout Gene Stus died Monday at age 74.

As a competitive bowler for most of his adult life, Stus had always wondered how he might have done on the PBA Tour. But the opportunity to compete in Tour competition didn’t present itself until he was able to retire from General Motors after 32 years at the age of 50 and became a regular on the Senior Tour, now called the PBA50 Tour.

Even as a late-bloomer in the professional ranks, Stus’ career on the Senior Tour would ultimately lead to his induction into the PBA Hall of Fame in 2012.

Stus’ 11 Senior Tour titles ranks fifth on the all-time list behind fellow Hall of Famers John Handegard with 14 titles, Gary Dickinson, Dale Eagle and Tom Baker, each with 12.

In 1992, Stus earned Senior Player of the Year honors thanks in part to winning two titles. In July of that year he became the first Senior Tour player to bowl a 300 game on national television, defeating Don Gilman, 300-188, in the Pacific Cal Bowl Senior Open in Lakewood, Calif.

“It was an honor to bowl with the sport’s greats who I admired my whole life and I always wondered how I would measure up,” said Stus, in his Hall of Fame acceptance speech. “When I was able to retire at 50, I started to get back to bowling seriously and found I still had the touch.

“Bowling on the Senior Tour was a lot more than achieving the dream of bowling with the greats of the game,” he added. “Just to be around them and to remember all the fun we had on and off the lanes for those years was an experience I’ll never forget.”

Stus had 50 top-five finishes in 173 PBA50 Tour appearances. He also owned one PBA Regional title and six PBA50 Regional titles.

According to good friend and fellow PBA member Dave Bernhardt, Stus died as a result of a long-standing heart condition.

Stus, elected to the USBC Hall of Fame in 2009, was a three-time USBC Open Championships titlist (1987 Team All-Events title, 1990 Team title, 1992 Doubles title). He was also a member of the Taylor Sports Hall of Fame, the Greater Detroit Bowling Association Hall of Fame, and the Michigan State Bowling Association Hall of Fame.

Stus is survived by his wife Sally, son Troy, stepson Gary Tis, grandchildren Cayla, Chris, D.J., Cody and Nolan, and two great grandchildren.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, Aug. 20 from 5 – 9 p.m. and Thursday, Aug. 21 from Noon – 9 p.m. at the John Molnar Funeral Home Chapel, 23700 West Road, Brownstown, MI. Services have been scheduled for Friday Aug. 22 at 9:30 a.m. (Instate), 10 a.m. (Mass) at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, 9000 Laurence, Allen Park, MI.

He will be laid to rest at Our Lady of Hope Cemetery, 18303 Allen Road in Brownstown.

Donations may be made to the Bo Schembechler Heart Of A Champion Research Fund
http://www.med.umich.edu/cvc/heartofachampion/index.html

Additional information may be obtained from the Molnar Funeral Home via its website at http://www.molnarfuneralhome.com/home2.shtml or by calling (734) 692-1515.

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PBA SPARE SHOTS: Regional Coverage Next Up for Xtra Frame

by Jerry Schneider August 14, 2014 03:36

 

With the PBA50 Tour season now in the record books, Xtra Frame, the PBA’s online bowling channel, will turn its attention to PBA Regional competition in the weeks ahead. Next up is the PBA Bowlerama Lanes Midwest Region Open from Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 23-24, which will include coverage of the first of three PBA Women’s Regional competitions in the Midwest Region.

On the September calendar will include the PBA Grand Hotel, Casino and Resort Southwest Regional Invitational from Shawnee, Okla., Sept. 5-7, and the Diamond Jo’s Casino Midwest Open at Cherry Lanes in Dubuque, Iowa, Sept. 13-14. The Dubuque event will be the second of three PBA Women’s Regional events in the Midwest Region.

Fans who haven’t experienced Xtra Frame can enroll under the monthly rate of $7.99, or sign up for a full year for $64.99. To sign up, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.

ANOTHER 15 MINUTES OF FAME FOR PBA50 TOUR TITLIST MIKE PULLIN

Mike Pullin of Rochelle, Ill., the 1999 PBA50 Rookie of the Year and 2000 PBA50 Hammond (Ind.) Open winner, was featured as the No. 2 star of ESPN Sports Center’s Top 10 Plays of the Day on Tuesday, Aug. 12…but it had nothing to do with his bowling skills.

Pullin, now 65 and retired, put his long-time softball skills to play by rising to his feet and catching a long home run hit by Milwaukee Brewers’ slugger Mark Reynolds at Wrigley Field in Chicago before it disappeared over the left field wall onto Waveland Avenue. Pullin, who then pulled the old “switcheroo,” saved the ball he caught and retrieved an old ball out of pouch he carried along, throwing it back into the Chicago Cubs’ outfield. The entire episode, and more, became a hit not only on ESPN, but on Chicago television stations.

PBA REGIONAL SUMMARY: LAVERY, GUERRERO SHINE IN KILLEEN SOUTHWEST EVENT

● Sean Lavery of Pasadena, Texas, defeated five-time PBA Killeen Southwest Open winner Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, 259-237, to win his first PBA Regional title Sunday in the 18th annual PBA Killeen Southwest Open at Hallmark Lanes in Killeen, Texas.

Lavery, 23, rebounded from an early open frame with a string of strikes, clinching the title in the 10th frame with his eighth strike in a row. Lavery started his road to victory by eliminating last week’s Fort Sill, Okla. champion, Anthony Simonsen of Mesquite, Texas, 2-1 in the opening round of the best two-of-three matches. He then defeated former U.S. Open champion Robert Lawrence of Del Valle, Texas, in the Round of 12, 2-0; Shawn Maldonado from Houston, Texas, 2-0, in the round of 8, and three-time PBA Tour titlist Michael Haugen Jr. of Phoenix, Ariz., in the semifinal round.

In the first of three Southwest Region Women’s Series events, Colombia native Clara Guerrero of Pflugerville, Texas, grabbed the points lead with a third-place overall finish. Fellow Colombian Maria Rodriguez of Austin, Texas, the 2014 USBC Queens champion, was the next of five women, cashing in at 17th place.

● Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., clinched his 12th PBA Regional title with a 259-171 win over Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., in the final match of the PBA Brighton Construction South Classic at Waccamaw Lanes in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Sunday.

O’Neill, holding onto a 58-pin lead going into the position round, finished with a 25-game total of 5,650 pins and a 146-pin margin of victory over Jones to claim $2,500 for the win. Jones, who bowled the only 300 game in the tournament, earned $1,300 for his 5,504 pinfall total.

The Myrtle Beach tournament was the second PBA South Region Women’s Regional. Amateur Melia Bennett of South Charleston, W.Va., was the highest-finishing women in the event, finishing out of the money in 32nd place with an eight-game total of 1,590 pins, but earning a $250 prize as the top woman in the field. Crystal Hall of St. Pauls, N.C., was the highest-placing woman PBA member in the field, finishing 37th.

● Anthony Pepe of Elmhurst, N.Y., defeated Travis Celmer of Wernersville, Pa., 278-246, to win the PBA Bowlers Supply/Storm Products Eastern Open at Colony Park North Lanes Sunday in York, Pa.

Pepe and Celmer each started the championship match with strings of strikes. Celmer broke off after five and missed a single pin spare. Pepe had the first six strikes, converted a split in the seventh frame before striking out to close out the match. Pepe earned $3,100 and his first PBA title for the win while Celmer earned $1,600 as the runner-up.

Pepe had competed in several PBA regional events as a non-member – winning twice – prior to joining the PBA before the 2013 PBA World Series of Bowling. His win came in his fourth PBA East Regional event as a member while Celmer finished second in the York event for the third time in the last four years.

Ron Mohr of Las Vegas picked up $1,700 and his 13th career PBA Regional title when he defeated traveling roommate Darron Peters of Temecula, Calif., 211-167, to win the PBA50 Beverly Lanes Midwest/Central Open in Arlington Heights, Ill., on Aug. 3.

● The Aug. 15-17 PBA Regional calendar includes the Emerald Bowl Southwest Challenge presented by Bowling Dynamix, for non-champions, in Houston, Texas; the Dave Husted Northwest Open presented by Dexter at Husted’s Milwaukie Bowl in Milwaukie, Ore.; the Bethmann Russell Syracuse Eastern Open presented by Radical (a PBA Women’s Regional points event) at Flamingo Bowl in Liverpool, N.Y., and the Lefeld Implement Central Classic (a PBA Women’s Regional points event) at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater, Ohio.

The Aug. 22-24 regional schedule includes the Fayetteville South Open (a PBA Women’s Regional points event) at Lafayette Lanes in Fayetteville, N.C.; the Mil-Ray Foods East Open presented by Columbia 300 at Brunswick Zone in Deptford, N.J.(a PBA Women’s Regional event); the PBA and PBA50 Steve Cook’s Fireside Lanes Capital City West/Northwest Opens presented by DV8 (a PBA Women’s West and Northwest Region points event) in Citrus Heights, Calif.; the Greenville Southwest Open presented by allbowling.com (a PBA Women’s Regional points event) at Shenaniganz in Greenville, Texas, and the Bowlerama Lanes Midwest Open presented by Radical (a live Xtra Frame event and a PBA Women’s Regional points event) in Des Moines, Iowa.

The extended Labor Day weekend includes another full schedule of events, including the PBA50 Wilson & Sons Termite Pest Control Super Senior Open (for players 60 and older) followed by the PBA50 Mooresville South Open at George Pappas’ Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C.; the Tony Reyes Memorial Member/Non-Member Doubles presented by Brunswick at Fourth Street Bowl in San Jose, Calif., and the BOWLSTRONG Midwest/Central Challenge (for non-winners) plus the BOWLSTRONG Midwest/Central Tournament of Champions (for PBA title winners) at King Pin Lanes in Springfield, Ill.

Kicking off the September schedule will be the PBA50 Kingsport Super Senior South Open for players 60 and older at Warpath Lanes in Kingsport, Tenn., Sept. 2-4, followed by Sept. 5-7 weekend events including the Moon City Central Classic presented by Roto Grip at Astro Lanes in Wapakoneta, Ohio; the Grand Hotel, Casino & Resort Southwest Invitational at Firelake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla. (featuring live Xtra Frame coverage); the PBA50 Howell Lanes East Open in Howell, N.J.; the Rufus West Open presented by Columbia 300 at FlipSide Lanes in Gilbert, Ariz., and a pair of one-day PBA50 events presented by Ebonite at Illinois Valley Super Bowl in Peru, Ill.

For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area.

QUICK NOTES

Prior to the season-ending PBA50 Treasure Island Resort & Casino Open presented by Hammer in Welch, Minn., Pete Weber and KARE-TV 11 sports director Eric Perkins took part in the Treasure Island Resort & Casino Bowl Down Cancer charity event that raised more than $8,000 for the USBC Minnesota State Bowling Association Cancer Fund. Donations were raised through pledges-per-pin during the challenge two-game match between Weber and Perkins, matching donations by Treasure Island Resort & Casino, and bowling shirt and ball donated by Weber for auction. The top individual fund raiser – 11-year-old Zach Medin – also had the opportunity to compete against Weber in a one-game match.

Bryan Goebel of Shawnee, Kan., is the 41st member of the PBA Millionaire’s Club, surpassing the milestone in PBA career earnings with his Round of 16 finish in the PBA50 South Shore Open in Hammond, Ind., last week. Goebel, 52, started his PBA Tour career in 1981 and has bowled in just over 510 PBA events across the years.

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W.R. Williams Wins PBA50 Treasure Island Resort & Casino Open; Norm Duke Earns PBA50 Player of the Year

by Jerry Schneider August 13, 2014 13:37

Walter Ray Williams Jr. won his ninth career PBA50 Tour title and Norm Duke withstood a challenge from Tom Baker for PBA50 Tour Player of the Year in the PBA50 Treasure Island Resort & Casino Open presented by Hammer Wednesday at Island Xtreme Bowl in Welch, Minn.

In another all-Hall of Fame championship match, Williams, who won the USBC Senior Masters for his first title of the season, defeated Baker 268-224 in the championship match. With a win Baker could have earned the 16 points necessary to move ahead of Duke of Clermont, Florida, for the Player of the Year title.

“It’s a great way to end a season,” said Williams, who is the PBA Tour’s all-time titles leader with 47 wins. “I had a good season and when you can win against the talent that’s out here now it makes it that much more satisfying.

“I think Norm owes me dinner but you can’t take anything away from him – he bowled awesome all year,” Williams added.

Duke left the door open for Baker to make a run at Player of the Year when the two Hall of Famers slugged it out in the Round of 8 with Baker winning the best-of-three match 2 games to 1.

Duke’s closest competitor in the Player of the Year race going into the tournament was Hall of Famer Pete Weber who was just eight points behind but had to withdraw from the tournament prior to match play because of illness which required a hospital visit. He was treated and released.

In the semifinal matches, Baker defeated Hall of Famer Randy Pedersen of Orlando, 246-162 and Williams defeated Don Breeden of Urbandale, Iowa, 279-190, to advance to the championship match.

Williams’ 268 game in the title match and the 279 in the semifinal match were his highest games of the tournament.

“I saved the best for last and that was the time to have them,” Williams said. “Earlier in the day I wasn’t really executing as well as I wanted but I was able to fine tune my adjustments at the right time.”

Duke, who won two titles this season including the Senior U.S. Open, joined Baker as the only players to win PBA50 Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in the same season. Baker, of King, North Carolina, earned both honors in 2005 which was the start of a record four consecutive PBA50 Player of the Year crowns for the 12-time PBA50 Tour winner.

“Player of the Year is what you aspire to and it’s the pinnacle of the year,” said Duke, who won PBA Tour Player of the Year in 1994 and 2000. “When I got beat in the Round of 8, the ball wasn’t in my court and that’s never a comfortable situation, but either way, I had a blast all season.”

Duke is one of four players to win PBA50 and PBA Player of the Year honors with, Williams, Wayne Webb and Mark Roth also winning both crowns.

Also determined at the conclusion of the tournament which was seen live on pba’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame, were the top eight players in competition points who earned an entry into World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas Oct. 24-Nov. 2 and a berth in the World Series PBA Champions Challenge PBA50 qualifier which will determine the final two players who will compete in the finals to be televised by ESPN.

The eight who qualified were Williams, Weber, Baker, Duke, Parker Bohn III, Amleto Monacelli, Harry Sullins and Ron Mohr.

PBA50 TREASURE ISLAND RESORT & CASINO OPEN PRESENTED BY HAMMER
Wednesday’s final results
At Island Xtreme Bowl
Welch, Minn.

Championship Match

Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla. ($7,500) def. Tom Baker, King, N.C. ($4,000), 268-224.

Semifinal Round (one-game matches, losers earn $2,300)

Baker def. Randy Pedersen, Orlando, 246-162.
Williams def. Don Breeden, Urbandale, Iowa, 279-190.

Round of 8 (best-of-three games, losers eliminated, earn $1,600)

Breeden def. Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 2-0.
Williams def. Jeff Richgels, Madison, Wis., 2-0.
Baker def. Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 2-1.
Pedersen def. Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., 2-1.

Round of 16 (best-of-five games, losers eliminated, earn $1,300)

Duke def. Ted Staikoff, Black Hawk, S.D., 3-2.
Baker def. Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 3-0, (Weber withdrew because of illness).
Pedersen def. Mike Dias, Lafayette, Colo., 3-0.
Richgels def. Lennie Boresch Jr., Kenosha, Wis., 3-0.
Williams def. Ron Mohr, Las Vegas, 3-1.
Sullins def. Bill Henson, Westerville, Ohio, 3-1.
Breeden def. Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 3-1.
Monacelli def. Wayne Webb, Columbus, Ohio, 3-2.

Round of 24 (best-of-five games, losers eliminated, earn $1,100)

Staikoff def. Bryan Goebel, Shawnee, Kan., 3-2.
Baker def John Dudak, Orland Park, Ill., 3-1.
Dias def. Dave Axon, Bellevue, Neb., 3-1.
Henson def. Kevin Foley, Reno, Nev., 3-1.
Richgels def. Steve Stein, Staten Island, N.Y., 3-1.
Williams def. Terry Metzner, Kentwood, Mich., 3-0.
Webb def. Darron Peters, Murrietta, Calif., 3-2.
Breeden def. Chris Keane, Cape Coral, Fla., 3-2.

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