PBA Spare Shots: Inaugural PBA Team Challenge Roster Features Fish, Couch Potatoes & More

by Bill Vint September 3, 2015 04:33

The inaugural PBA Team Challenge, inviting PBA players and all comers to put together a roster of five players for a team battle never before seen in the United States, has already produced some interesting combinations of players.

Among the first 15 teams entered are Team Fish, the Couch Potatoes, the unnamed “super team,” another unnamed team with a distinct international flavor, teams with pronounced regional ties, others with lots of collegiate experience, and it’s rumored an all-women’s team will be in the field.

Team Fish, as previously announced, includes five PBA players who like to have fun: Dick (FishStick) Allen, Kyle (AfroFish) Troup, Connor (FishFord) Pickford, Anthony (TwoFinFish) Simonsen and Kris (WickedFish) Prather while PBA Hall of Famer Jason Couch’s Couch Potatoes includes fellow lefty Ryan Ciminelli, Denmark’s Thomas Larsen, Ryan Shafer, Dave Wodka and Couch himself.

The so-called “super team” without an official name features Chris Barnes, Jason Belmonte, Tommy Jones, Wes Malott and Bill O’Neill – owners of a combined 13 major championships among their 63 total PBA titles. The “internationals” includes England’s Dom Barrett and Stu Williams bowling with Sweden’s Martin Larsen, Finland’s Osku Palermaa and token U.S. player Patrick Allen.

Team Brunswick is in the field with Sean Rash, Parker Bohn III, Tom Smallwood, Jason Sterner and the king of PBA title winners, Walter Ray Williams Jr. South America will challenge the field with Colombia’s Andres Gomez, Jaime Gonzalez, Jaime Monroy, Manuel Otalora and Venezuela’s Ildemaro Ruiz.

If experience counts, look to the McCorkle Real Estate team which includes PBA50 Tour stars Tom Baker, Bob Learn Jr., Ron Mohr, Amleto Monacelli and Pete Weber.

For more information on who is entered, check out the link to current team rosters:

http://www.pba.com/Content/files/Downloads/2015%20FALL%20CLASSIC%20(Team).pdf

Entries for the PBA Team Challenge, as well as the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship and PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open singles event, are being accepted online (https://secure.pba.com/Store/catalog/entry-fee-national-open,8.htm) or by calling Mary von Krueger at 206-332-9688 (email: maryvk@pba.com).

The PBA Team Challenge will include six full qualifying games by all five team members at 9 a.m. PT on Saturday, Oct. 24, followed by 12 Baker format qualifying games at 5 p.m. After 18 combined team games, the top eight teams will advance to a Baker format round-robin match play at 9 a.m. Sunday, and after a combined 26 team games, the top four teams will bowl a Baker format stepladder final round at 3 p.m. All PBA Team Challenge competition will be covered live, exclusively on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel.

NOW AIRING ON XTRA FRAME: BOWLMOR AMF WOMEN’S U.S. OPEN

Now airing on Xtra Frame is exclusive live coverage of the Bowlmor AMF U.S. Women’s Open from Brunswick Zone-Carolier in North Brunswick, N.J. The qualifying and match play rounds will be covered through Saturday. The stepladder finals will air live on CBS Sports Network on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Next up on Xtra Frame will be the preliminary rounds of the season-ending Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship presented by gobowling.com on Friday, Sept. 11, from the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas. The PWBA Tour Championship finals will air live on CBS Sports Network on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 1 p.m. ET.

PBA action returns to Xtra Frame on Oct. 4 with the Kokomo Central Shootout presented by Security Federal Savings Bank from Heritage Lanes in Kokomo, Ind., followed by the PBA Xtra Frame Iowa Midwest Open from Thunderbowl in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Oct. 10-11, where a projected $10,000 first prize and a PBA Tour title will be at stake.

The Iowa Midwest Open is the final event leading into the PBA Fall Classic, a multi-event Xtra Frame extravaganza hosted by South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas beginning Oct. 19 and concluding with the PBA Team Challenge finals on Sunday, Oct. 25.

Bowling fans who want to sample Xtra Frame can subscribe on a three-day (72-hour) basis for only $3.99. Fans can lock in the entire September package with a full month Xtra Frame subscription for only $7.99. But PBA’s best package is the 12-month XF Season Ticket for $64.99, or $5.41 per month. To sign up, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.

PBA MODERN CLASSICS LIBRARY ON YOUTUBE

Australian two-handed star Jason Belmonte gave PBA fans a preview of things to come when he won the Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic in West Babylon, N.Y., in March 2009, leading to his selection as PBA Rookie of the Year. You can re-visit Belmonte as a PBA rookie and re-live his first PBA Tour victory, earned on a pair of lanes featuring different lane conditions on each lane, by watching the newest addition to the PBA Modern Classics Library on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApZeNeIxFus.

Coming soon to the PBA Modern Classics collection will be the 2009 National Bowling Stadium Championship from Reno, Nev., where Patrick Allen ran the table, winning the title over PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. in a match that wasn’t settled until a dramatic 10th frame.

You’ll find the complete collection of classic PBA Tour telecasts in the PBA Modern Classics Library on YouTube, with new telecasts being added on a regular basis.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: FINAL MONTH OF PBA REGIONAL CHALLENGE QUALIFYING

September is the final month of qualifying for men and women trying for berths in the PBA Regional and PWBA-PBA Women’s Regional Challenge events which will be held as part of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VII in December at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno. The top players in competition points in each of the PBA’s eight regions will earn paid entries into the World Series and they’ll compete for berths in the PBA Challenge Finals, which will be part of the PBA’s ESPN series originating from WSOB VII. For current points standings in each PBA region, click here (http://www.pba.com/Tours/Regional/) and then click on the region in question to find points standings.

For news of last weekend’s activities, and a full schedule of September tournaments, see below:

● Amateur Michael Tang of San Francisco and partner Jeff Frankos of Daly City, Calif., posted a 6-4 match play record and a combined 18-game total of 8,487 pins Sunday to win the PBA Tony Reyes Memorial Member/Non-Member Doubles presented by Brunswick at 4th Street Bowl in San Jose, Calif.

Tang, a member of Junior Team USA, and Frankos defeated Jake Peters of Henderson, Nev. and amateur Adam Ishman of Las Vegas, who had a 9-1 match play record and 8,329 pins. Tang and Frankos shared the $4,000 first prize. Peters and Ishman earned $2,000.

Shawn Maldonado from Houston, Texas, defeated Roger Petrin of Grand Prairie, Texas, 257-212, to win the second annual PBA Grand Casino Resort & Hotel Southwest Invitational at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., Sunday.

Maldonado, fresh off his victory in Greenville, Texas, a week earlier, overcame an open frame to start the championship match and followed with seven strikes to claim the $4,500 winner’s check.

After qualifying fifth and earning a berth into the Round of 12, the Houston two-handed player started his road to victory by eliminating defending champion Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, 2-1, in their best-of-three-game match; newly-inducted PBA Southwest Region Hall of Famer Chris Barnes from Double Oak, Texas, 2-0, in the Round of 8, and DJ Archer of Kingwood, Texas, in the semifinal round, 246-170.

Brian Gunn of Chicago defeated Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill. 279-269, to win the PBA Illinois Valley Midwest/Central Region Open at Super Bowl in Peru, Ill., Sunday.

Gunn, who fired a 269 game in his position round match to sneak into the stepladder finals, then posted an 809 series in three stepladder matches to collect his second career PBA Regional title along with the $2,100 first prize. He defeated Brad Miller of St. Charles, Mo. 251-195, in the first match before eliminating PBA rookie A.J. Johnson of Oswego, Ill., 279-233.

Lee Vanderhoef of Canton, Ga., rallied to defeat Kip Roberts of Glen Allen, Va., 2-1, in the best-of-three-game title match to win the PBA Fayetteville South Open presented by Global 900 at Lafayette Lanes in Fayetteville, N.C., Sunday.

After losing the first game, 232-190, Vanderhoef came back to win the next two games, 237-227 and 221-173, to win his 12th South Region title and his first since 2008. He also earned $2,500.

In the semifinal round, Vanderhoef defeated Tom Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla., 2-1. After winning the opening game in a one-ball roll-off, 9-7, after a 258-258 tie, Daugherty won game two, 210-214, before Vanderhoef won the third game, 278-208. Roberts eliminated Dan Buchman of Maple Shade, N.J., 247-214, 236-214, in the other semifinal match.

● A limited schedule of Labor Day weekend activity for the PBA Regional program includes back-to-back events at George Pappas’ Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C. – the PBA60 Wilson & Son Pest Control Super Senior South Open, Sept. 3-5, followed by the PBA50 Budweiser Mooresville South Open presented by Columbia 300. Also on tap is the PBA50 Strike Zone/Ebonite East Open, Sept. 4-6, at Strike Zone in Pottsville, Pa.

● The PBA60 Warpath Kingsport Super Senior South Open is scheduled for mid-week (Tuesday-Thursday, Sept. 8-10) in Kingsport, Tenn., leading into the Sept. 11-13 weekend schedule which includes the McAlester Southwest Open presented by Columbia 300 at Great Balls of Fire Entertainment Center in McAlester, Okla.; the PBA50 Howell Lanes East Open presented by Radical in Howell, N.J., and the Moon City Central Classic at Astro Lanes in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

● On tap over the Sept. 18-20 weekend are the Rex & Griffin Bigelow Memorial/BW3’s/Nance Construction Central Open presented by MOTIV at Troy Bowl in Troy, Ohio; the Sarasota South Open at Sarasota Lanes in Sarasota, Fla.; the PBA50 Lakeview Lanes East Open presented by Brunswick in Fulton, N.Y.; the Dallas Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeons Southwest Open at Brunswick Zone-Watauga, Texas, and the Sunday-only Budweiser Midwest Open at Diamond Jo Casino’s Cherry Lanes in Dubuque, Iowa.

● The final chance to earn PBA and PWBA Regional Challenge points for 2015 will take place over the Sept. 25-27 weekend. The schedule includes the PBA and PWBA-PBA Women’s Tomball Southwest Open at Tomball Bowl in Tomball, Texas; the Battle at Black Oak Casino West Open at Black Oak Lanes in Tuolumne, Calif.; the Break Point Alley Member/Non-Member Doubles presented by MOTIV in Tavares, Fla.; the Monte Skeels Allstate and PWBA-PBA Women’s Midwest Open tournaments at Liberty Lanes in Carpentersville, Ill., and the PBA50 Mel Westrich Memorial Central/Midwest Open presented by Storm at Delphos Recreation Center in Delphos, Ohio,

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

● Remember, book a room through HotelPlanner.com’s link on pba.com and you’ll become eligible to win a $200 lodging certificate in the monthly sweepstakes sponsored by PBA’s official hotel booking partner, just like Paul Bajorski did in the month of August.

● Subscribe to Xtra Frame (monthly plan at $7.99 or XF Season Ticket for $64.99) to automatically enter the monthly MOTIV and DV8 sweepstakes for a chance to win a new high-performance MOTIV or DV8 bowling ball. New subscribers Harry Archer of Churchville, Va., won the new MOTIV ball in August while Philip Cotton of Salem, Ore., won the DV8 ball.

# # #

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2016 FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions Heads to Oklahoma; Live ESPN Finals Set for Feb. 7

by Bill Vint August 27, 2015 07:51

SHAWNEE, Okla. – After hosting two highly successful Professional Bowlers Association Summer Swing events in 2014 and 2015, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Grand Casino Resort & Hotel, and FireLake Bowling Center and Arena will partner with the PBA to host the organization’s signature event in 2016, the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions.

The premier event for PBA champions will take place Jan. 30-Feb. 7, concluding with live ESPN coverage of the five-player stepladder finals staged in a special installation inside FireLake Arena at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 7. All preliminary rounds will be conducted across the parking lot at 24-lane FireLake Bowling Center.

The 2016 PBA Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremonies will be part of the package.

“Citizen Potawatomi Nation and its properties have been outstanding partners,” said PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark. “This is going to be a very special week for our players and all of our fans.”

Chris Skillings, Director of FireLake Bowling Center, said the sponsorship agreement is part of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s strategy to make the Grand Casino Resort & Hotel complex a focal point for visitors to Oklahoma.

“We are thrilled to partner with our friends at FireLake Arena to host the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions,” Skillings said. “Citizen Potawatomi Nation has proven that we are a premier destination for PBA events in recent years, and the Tournament of Champions will only build on that.”

The 2016 FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions will include a field of 96 players, including 72 PBA Tour title holders based on the number of titles each player has won, and 24 additional PBA champions who will qualify during a special TOC Regional qualifying event that will precede the first major championship of the 2016 PBA season.

The TOC gets underway with 96 players bowling eight-game qualifying squads at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 2-3. After 16 games, the top 40 advance to an eight-game cashers’ round at 10 a.m. Thursday. Based on 24-game pinfall totals, the top 24 will advance to eight-game round-robin match play rounds at 5 p.m. Thursday, and 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday. The top five players after 48 games will compete for the $50,000 first prize during Sunday’s ESPN finals.

The TOC week schedule also includes practice squads on Monday, Feb. 1, with the PBA Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremonies at 6 p.m. at the Grand Casino Resort & Hotel. Saturday, Feb. 6, will be a day of pro-am squads when Oklahoma grassroots league bowlers will bowl alongside PBA stars for their own prizes.

Australia’s Jason Belmonte is the two-time defending champion. He will attempt to join Jason Couch as the second player to win three consecutive TOC titles.

All of the preliminary rounds of TOC week, including the TOC Regional, PBA Hall of Fame ceremonies and TOC qualifying and match play rounds, will be covered live, exclusively on PBA’s Xtra Frame online video-streaming service. For Xtra Frame subscriptions, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.

2016 FIRELAKE PBA TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS SCHEDULE

FireLake Bowling Center, Shawnee, Okla., Jan. 30-Feb. 7 (times listed are Central)

Friday, Jan. 29

3 & 5 p.m. – TOC Regional practice sessions

Saturday, Jan. 30

8 a.m. – TOC Regional Squad A, 8 qualifying games (max. field 60)

2:30 p.m. - TOC Regional Squad B, 8 qualifying games (max. field 60)

Top 1/3 of combined field advance to cashers’ round

Sunday, Jan. 31

8:30 a.m. – TOC Regional cashers’ round, 5 games

Top 24 PBA TOC-eligible title winners based on 13 games advance to FireLake TOC; top 16 players in the field advance to modified match play round

Noon – TOC, top 16, 8 games modified round-robin match play

Winner decided based on 21 games, total pinfall including match play bonus pins.

Monday, Feb. 1

10 a.m. – PBA TOC Squad A practice session

2 p.m. – PBA TOC Squad B practice session

6 p.m. – PBA Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremonies (Grand Casino Resort & Hotel)

Tuesday, Feb. 2

10 a.m. – TOC Squad A, 8 qualifying games

5 p.m. – TOC Squad B, 8 qualifying games

Wednesday, Feb. 3

10 a.m. – TOC Squad B, 8 qualifying games

5 p.m. – TOC Squad A, 8 qualifying games

Top 40 players after 16 games advance to cashers’ round

Thursday, Feb. 4

10 a.m. – TOC top 40 cashers’ round, 8 games

Top 24 after 24 games advance to round-robin match play

5 p.m. – TOC top 24, 8 games match play

Friday, Feb. 5

10 a.m. – TOC top 24, 8 games match play

5 p.m. – TOC top 24, 8 games match play

Top 5 after 48 games advance to ESPN stepladder finals

Saturday, Feb. 6

tba – Pro-Am squads

Sunday, Feb. 7

1 p.m. (2 p.m. ET) – Top 5 ESPN stepladder finals

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PBA Spare Shots: Team Fish–Sometimes, Boys Just Wanna Have Fun, Too

by Bill Vint August 27, 2015 04:06

To borrow from the famous Cyndi Lauper song, sometimes boys just wanna have fun, too. Take “Team Fish” for example. “Team Fish” began to create national curiosity during the Grand Casino Resort & Hotel PBA Summer Swing when Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C., made his national television debut on CBS Sports Network in winning the PBA Wolf Open title, with fellow “Team Fish” friends Connor Pickford of Matthews, N.C., and Craig Nidiffer of Trenton, Mich., in the background, cheering him on.

Contrary to conclusions drawn by some fans, the “Team Fish” concept had nothing to do with Troup being the son of PBA Tour champion Guppy Troup.

“At the (PBA) World Series (of Bowling) two years ago, Connor, Craig and I were rooming together,” Kyle Troup explained. “Nidiffer plays online poker, and there are a lot of ‘fish’ who play as well. People who don’t play poker well are called ‘fish.’ So during the World Series, we all bowled bad. None of us got a check. We decided we bowled like ‘fish’ so we kind of made up a little team among the three of us, and called ourselves Team Fish.

“When I made (the Wolf Open) show, the name kinda took off because I had the name on my collar,” Troup continued, “so we decided to make a logo and have fun with it. It’s nothing serious; it’s just going along to see what we can do with it.”

The little group began giving each other nicknames. Troup is “AfroFish” because of the Afro hairstyle he sported during the Wolf Open finals. Nidiffer became “NidiFish.” Pickford is “FishFord.” They created their own Facebook and Twitter pages (Team Fish), and a website is in the works. Through Facebook, fans create their own “fish” nicknames and can order o-FISH-al merchandise, like t-shirts.

“If it takes off, hopefully other guys on Tour will make their own teams with their own names,” Troup said. “It’s all in fun. It just gives fans something special to cheer for.”

Next up, Team Fish will make its formal competitive debut during the upcoming PBA South Point Bowling Plaza Fall Classic in Las Vegas when five “fish” will bowl together in the new five-player PBA Team Challenge Oct. 24-25. Bowling for Team Fish will be Dick (FishStick) Allen of Columbia, S.C.; Kyle (AfroFish) Troup; Connor (FishFord) Pickford; two-hander Anthony (TwoFinFish) Simonsen of Princeton, Texas, and Kris (WickedFish) Prather of Milton, Fla.

Entries for the PBA Team Challenge, as well as the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship and PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open singles event, are being accepted online (https://secure.pba.com/Store/catalog/entry-fee-national-open,8.htm) or by calling Mary von Krueger at 206-332-9688 (email: maryvk@pba.com).

The PBA Team Challenge will include six full qualifying games by all five team members at 9 a.m. PT on Saturday, Oct. 24, followed by 12 Baker format qualifying games at 5 p.m. After 18 combined team games, the top eight teams will advance to a Baker format round-robin match play at 9 a.m. Sunday, and after a combined 26 team games, the top four teams will bowl a Baker format stepladder final round at 3 p.m. All PBA Team Challenge competition will be covered live, exclusively on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel.

WEST, NORTHWEST FINALISTS FOR PBA CHALLENGE EVENTS ARE SET

With only two qualifying events scheduled before the September 30 PBA Regional and PWBA-PBA Women’s Regional qualifying deadline, the PBA West and Northwest Regional qualifiers for the end-of-season PBA Challenge events to be held during GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VII are mathematically decided.

Earning paid entries into WSOB VII along with berths in the eight-player PBA Regional Finals qualifying tournament are West Region competition points champion Josh Blanchard of Gilbert, Ariz., and Northwest Region points winner Scott Norton of Mission Viejo, Calif. Topping the PWBA-PBA Women’s Regional standings in the West Region is Missy Parkin of Laguna Hills, Calif., while April Lord Wittig of Steilacoom, Wash., is runner-up in Northwest Region women’s points but gets the region’s berth because Parkin, the points leader, is already in the field as West Region winner.

NEXT ON XTRA FRAME: PWBA TOUR HEADS TOWARD SEASON FINALE

Coming up on Xtra Frame will be the final three events of the PBWA’s revival season, including exclusive live coverage of the PWBA Detroit Open from Super Bowl in Canton, Mich., Aug. 28-29, the final standard PWBA event of its revival season; the BowlmorAMF U.S. Women’s Open from Brunswick Zone-Carolier in North Brunswick, N.J., Sept. 1-5, and the season-ending PWBA Tour Championship presented by gobowling.com, Sept. 11 at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas.

PBA action returns to Xtra Frame Oct. 4 with the Kokomo Central Shootout presented by Security Federal Savings Bank from Heritage Lanes in Kokomo, Ind., followed by the PBA Xtra Frame Iowa Midwest Open from Thunderbowl in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Oct. 10-11, where a projected $10,000 first prize and a PBA Tour title will be at stake.

The Iowa Midwest Open is the final event leading into the PBA Fall Classic, a multi-event Xtra Frame extravaganza hosted by South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas beginning Oct. 19.

Bowling fans who want to sample Xtra Frame can subscribe on a three-day (72-hour) basis for only $3.99. Fans can lock in the entire August package with a full month Xtra Frame subscription for only $7.99. But PBA’s best package is the 12-month XF Season Ticket for $64.99, or $5.41 per month. To sign up, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.

PBA STARS TO REPRESENT U.S. IN PAN AMERICAN MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS

Five PBA Tour champions – Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones, Marshall Kent, Bill O’Neill and Sean Rash) along with highly-regarded amateur competitor John Janawicz will represent the United States in the Pan American Bowling Confederation (PABCON) Men’s Championships in Puerto Rico Sept. 14-18.

The competition at AMF Bolera Paradise Lanes in San Juan will feature the best bowlers from the American Zone competing for medals in singles, doubles, trios, team, all-events and match-play Masters.

At the last PABCON Men's Championships in Las Vegas in 2012, Team USA took gold medals in singles, doubles, team and all-events. Janawicz is the defending singles champion, O'Neill is the reigning all-events champion and O'Neill teamed with Jones to win the doubles gold medal that year. O'Neill, Jones, Janawicz and Kent were a part of the gold-medal winning team.

A number of other PBA members are expected to compete, representing their home countries within the American Zone.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: WALTER RAY IMPROVES HIS OVERALL PBA TITLES RECORD

Walter Ray Williams Jr. improved his overall PBA titles record to 95 when he defeated Mike Dias of Lafayette, Colo., 279-207, to win the one-day the PBA50 Ft. Wayne Central/Midwest Shootout, an event sandwiched between the PBA50 DeHayes Insurance Group Championship and the PBA60 Dick Weber Super Senior Open, all hosted by Pro Bowl West in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The latest title was Williams’ seventh PBA50 Regional title to go along with his record 47 PBA Tour, nine PBA50 Tour and 32 standard PBA Regional titles. He’s two titles ahead of Pete Weber who has 93 titles: 37 PBA Tour, 48 standard regionals, four PBA50 Tour and four PBA50 regionals.

● Reigning PBA Southwest Region Player of the Year Shawn Maldonado from Houston, Texas, won his last five matches to overtake Nathan Bohr of Austin, Texas, and successfully defend his PBA Greenville Southwest Open title Sunday at Shenaniganz in Greenville, Texas.

Maldonado opened the tournament with a 279 game and remained near the top of the leader board throughout qualifying and the match play finals. Trailing Bohr by 39 pins going into the final game position match, Maldonado recorded a decisive 226-200 victory to finish the event with a 21-game total of 4,835 pins and a 17-pin margin of victory over Bohr. Maldonado earned $2,500 along with his first PBA Southwest Region title of the year.

Sam Maccarone of Blackwood, N.J. defeated Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J., 257-235, to win the PBA Progressive/Gerdeman Insurance/Al Smith Jeep Central/Midwest Classic at Al-Mar Lanes in Bowling Green, Ohio, on Aug. 19. The title was Maccarone’s first of the year in the PBA Central Region, his 14th career PBA Regional title and he earned $3,500.

Ted Staikoff of Black Hawk, S.D., finished with a 4,261 pinfall total over 20 games to win the PBA50 Beverly Lanes Allstate Midwest/Central Open Sunday by 16 pins over Harry Sullins of Chesterfield Township, Mich. Staikoff, 67, earned $1,600 along with his first PBA Regional singles title. He recently won his first PBA Regional title in a PBA50 doubles event in Minnesota with partner Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas.

● Closing out the August schedule over the Aug. 28-30 weekend will be the Tony Reyes Memorial Member/Non-Member Doubles presented by Brunswick at Fourth Street Bowl in San Jose, Calif.; the Grand Hotel, Casino & Resort Southwest Invitation at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla.; the LaFayette Lanes Fayetteville (N.C.) South Open presented by 900 Global, and the Illinois Valley Midwest/Central Open at Illinois Valley Super Bowl in Peru, Ill.

● Also on tap as part of the Southwest Region’s PBA Grand Casino Resort & Hotel Southwest Invitational, Aug. 28-30, at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., will be the region’s second annual hall of fame induction ceremonies. The Invitational event will boast 32 of the top bowlers in the Southwest Region, and the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 29, will begin at 7 p.m. at the Grand Casino, Hotel and Resort in Shawnee when Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas; Nathan Bohr of Austin, Texas; the late Sean Swanson of Springfield, Mo.; Cary Mogard of Houston; and former College Bowl proprietors Ed and Virginia Autry of Texarkana, Texas, will be honored.

● A limited schedule of Labor Day weekend activity for the PBA Regional program includes back-to-back events at George Pappas’ Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C. – the PBA60 Wilson & Son Pest Control Super Senior South Open, Sept. 3-5, followed by the PBA50 Budweiser Mooresville South Open presented by Columbia 300. Also on tap is the PBA50 Strike Zone/Ebonite East Open, Sept. 4-6, at Strike Zone in Pottsville, Pa.

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

● Former PBA Rookie of the Year Rhino Page will make an appearance in a charity bowling event in conjunction with the Tidewater Patriot Day Charity Golf Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., over Labor Day weekend. The weekend event is a benefit for the Folds of Honor Foundation, benefitting soldiers who have been wounded in combat.

● Correction: The Ballard Vs. The Big “C” fundraiser to benefit the Baylor Cancer Care Center will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19, at AMF Euless Lanes, not Sept. 9 as noted in last week’s Spare Shots. For more information about the four-player team event, call Tina or Terry Taylor at 817-996-4544 or look for Ballard Vs. The Big “C” on Facebook.

● Reminder: Book a room through HotelPlanner.com’s link on pba.com and you’ll automatically become eligible to win a $200 lodging certificate in the monthly sweepstakes sponsored by PBA’s official hotel booking partner. And subscribe to Xtra Frame (monthly plan at $7.99 or XF Season Ticket for $64.99) to automatically enter both the MOTIV and DV8 monthly sweepstakes for a chance to win a new high-performance MOTIV or DV8 bowling ball.

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Ryan Shafer Ends 12-Year Title Drought, Wins PBA Xtra Frame Gene Carter Pro Shop East Classic

by Bill Vint August 23, 2015 11:56

MIDDLETOWN, Del. – Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y., ended a 12-year title drought Sunday, defeating Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., 254-144, to win the PBA Xtra Frame Gene Carter Pro Shop East Classic at Mid-County Bowling and Entertainment.

Shafer, who turned 49 five days earlier, started the title match with seven strikes and ran away with the match when Kent ran into split trouble, leaving four and failing to convert any of them. Shafer, a 29-year PBA Tour veteran and a 26-time PBA Regional title winner, earned $15,000 along with his fifth PBA Tour title and first since the 2003 Empire State Open in Latham, N.Y.

“It’s been a long time, 12 years. I’m glad it’s over. It really feels good,” Shafer said.

“I’ve been through a rough few years. You start to feel like the young guys are really taking over,” Shafer said. “You lose ball speed. The only thing you can do is practice a lot and make your spares, and grind it out. That’s the kind of tournament I prefer. I like a lot of games.

“They were a little toasty, the second eight games today,” Shafer said, referring to the lane conditions that got burned out during Sunday’s 16-game match play competition leading up to the stepladder finals. Without re-oiling the lanes, conditions became difficult, but, he noted, “That’s what I’m best at. I’m a grinder.”

Shafer qualified seventh for Sunday’s match play and then won 10 of his 16 matches, averaging 221 for the tournament to earn the top berth for the stepladder finals.

After rolling a 279 in the final game of match play to advance from eighth place to capture the third berth in the stepladder finals, Kent defeated No. 4 qualifier John Szczerbinski of N. Tonawanda, N.Y., 225-189, ending Szczerbinski’s bid for his first PBA Tour title.

In the semifinal match, Kent continued his hard loft-shot to the first arrow, throwing the final five strikes to edge PBA East Region veteran Tommy Gollick of Oberlin, Pa., 244-242. Gollick, a 38-year-old lefthander, also was trying for his first PBA Tour title in his first stepladder finals appearance, but when he left the 1-3-4-7 washout in the fifth frame and failed to convert, Gollick gave Kent a lead he was never able to overcome.

The PBA Tour’s next event will be the Xtra Frame PBA Iowa Midwest Open from Thunderbowl in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Oct. 9-11. The tournament will be covered live from start to finish, exclusively on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel. For subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.

PBA XTRA FRAME GENE CARTER PRO SHOP EAST CLASSIC
Mid-County Bowling and Entertainment, Middletown, Del., Sunday

Final Standings: 1, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., $15,000. 2, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., $7,800. 3, Tommy Gollick, Oberlin, Pa., $4,000. 4, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y., $2,500.

Stepladder Results: Match One – Kent def. Szczerbinski, 225-189. Semifinal – Kent def. Gollick, 244-242. Championship - Shafer def. Kent, 254-144.

Final Match Play Standings (after 23 games, including match play bonus pins)
1, Shafer, 10-6, 5,399.
2, Gollick, 10-6, 5,367.
3, Kent, 11-5, 5,315.
4, Szczerbinski, 11-5, 5,311.
5, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 11-5, 5,297, $1,700.
6, J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 8-8, 5,288, $1,300.
7, Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 9-6-1, 5,276, $1,100.
8, Steven Arehart, Chesapeake, Va., 9-7, 5,223, $1,000.
9, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 7-9, 5,196, $950.
10, Matt O'Grady, Matawan, N.J., 9-7, 5,162, $925.
11, A.J. Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 6-9-1, 5,125, $900.
12, Rick Graham, Lancaster, Pa., 8-8, 5,082, $880.
13, Kristian Rogers, Charlotte, N.C., 8-8, 5,064, $860.
14, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 8-8, 5,056, $850.
15, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 7-9, 5,051, $840.
16, Nick Christy, Newport, N.C., 8-8, 5,026, $830.
17, Jon VanHees, Charlestown, R.I., 7-9, 5,006, $820.
18, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 8-8, 4,988, $810.
19, Chris Arcaro, Wilmington, N.C., 8-8, 4,962, $800.
20, Tim Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., 6-10, 4,924, $790.
21, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 6-10, 4,916, $780.
22, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 7-9, 4,902, $770.
23, Adam Baer, Gettysburg, Pa., 5-11, 4,876, $760.
24, Frank Gray, North East, Md., 4-12, 4,576, $750.

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PBA’s 36th Season of Coverage on ESPN Begins Live in Prime Time on December 17

by Bill Vint August 19, 2015 04:37

CHICAGO – On the heels of a break-out viewership season, the Professional Bowlers Association returns to ESPN for the 36th consecutive year with a live prime-time telecast on Thursday, Dec. 17, as part of a 17-event schedule that includes four major championship live telecasts.

The 2015-16 schedule, released today by the PBA and ESPN, begins with two hours of live coverage of the PBA World Championship from the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., at 7 p.m. ET on Dec. 17, and concludes with the PBA League Elias Cup finals on Sunday, May 8, from Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

In between, the schedule includes three consecutive Sunday telecasts in February featuring live coverage of major championships: the PBA FireLake Tournament of Champions originating from Shawnee, Okla., live on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 7) at 2 p.m. ET; the United States Bowling Congress Masters on Sunday, Feb. 14, at 1 p.m. from Indianapolis and the PBA Players Championship on Sunday, Feb. 21, at 1 p.m. from Columbus, Ohio.

The February schedule concludes at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 28, with Chris Paul’s CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational which in 2015 garnered the highest PBA TV viewership (averaging more than 1.1 million viewers) for any event since 2012.

Across the schedule, ESPN will provide PBA fans with 30 hours of world-class bowling coverage. The complete schedule is listed below.

“The PBA is looking forward to building on our exciting 2014-15 season which saw our audience increase by 23 percent, the largest year-over-year viewership increase in decades,” PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark said. “It’s a credit to our great partners at ESPN, our business partners and host proprietors, the PBA players who consistently deliver thrilling sports entertainment, and the wide-spread awareness we have developed through our multi-media PBA Network.”

Brian Kweder, ESPN Senior Director, Programming and Acquisitions, also had praise of the network’s long-standing relationship with the PBA.

“The PBA has been a staple of ESPN’s schedule for the past 36 years and following the success of last year’s rating, we’re excited to kick things off with a live prime time event on December 17,” Kweder said. “We are looking to continue the ratings upswing this season with an appealing and consistent schedule.”

As part of the comprehensive ESPN schedule, the PBA will provide coverage of five PBA Tour titled events that are part of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VII, season four of PBA League competition, and five additional events that have become part of the PBA’s traditional schedule: the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship, the PBA Challenge Finals (featuring top players from the PBA50 Tour, PBA Regional program, PBA-PWBA Women’s Regional program and the Teen Masters Grand Championship); the DHC PBA Japan Invitational finals from Tokyo (airing on ESPN2), and the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by PBA which will feature three men and three women who have qualified in world-wide World Bowling-PBA International Tour competition.

Australia’s Jason Belmonte is the two-time defending PBA Player of the Year, and is on an unprecedented run in major championships, winning the past three USBC Masters and past two PBA Tournaments of Champions. His revolutionary two-hand bowling style has inspired legions of young bowlers.

Belmonte heads a group of players in the prime of their careers, while legends of the game such as Pete Weber, Parker Bohn III, Norm Duke and Walter Ray Williams Jr. continue to compete for titles with them and an exuberant crop of rising stars.

The PBA’s schedule of ESPN-televised tournaments will be supported by the entire PBA Network, including extensive live preliminary-round coverage on Xtra Frame, PBA’s online video-streaming channel; mainstream news media, PBA.com, social media outlets including the PBA’s YouTube Channel and more. For a video recap of the 2014-15 PBA Tour season, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JI__7Y1Znw0

2015-16 PBA-ESPN TELECAST SCHEDULE (all times are Eastern)

Thursday, Dec. 17 – PBA World Championship (live), 7 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 20 – WSOB VII PBA Cheetah Championship, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 27 – WSOB VII PBA Viper Championship, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 3 – WSOB VII PBA Chameleon Championship, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 10 – WSOB VII PBA Scorpion Championship, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 17 – Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 24 – WSOB VII PBA Challenge Finals (PBA-PWBA Women’s Regional, PBA Regional and PBA50 Tour Finals plus Teen Masters Grand Championship), 3 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 31 (ESPN2) – DHC PBA Japan Invitational from Tokyo, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 7 – PBA FireLake Tournament of Champions (live), 2 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 14 – United States Bowling Congress Masters (live), 1 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 21 – PBA Players Championship (live), 1 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 21 – World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by PBA, 3 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 28 – Chris Paul’s CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational, 1 p.m.

Sunday, April 17 – PBA League Quarterfinals, 1 p.m.

Sunday, April 24 – PBA League Quarterfinals, 1 p.m.

Sunday, May 1 – PBA League Semifinals, 1 p.m.

Sunday, May 8 – PBA League Elias Cup Finals, 1 p.m.

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