Monacelli Avenges PBA50 Tour Loss to Williams in PBA Challenge; Parkin, Blanchard, Coffey Also Win

by Bill Vint January 18, 2015 09:00

LAS VEGAS – Venezuelan native Amleto Monacelli defeated fellow Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla., with a near-perfect game, 277-219, to win the PBA50 Tour Finals as part of a four-match PBA Challenge presented by the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame at the new South Point Bowling Plaza.

The PBA Challenge Finals presented by the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame aired Sunday on ESPN. The PBA Challenge was a GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI showcase for four different aspects of PBA competition – youth, seniors, women and regional. PBA50, PBA Women’s Regional and PBA Regional qualifying events were held earlier in the World Series, with the top two players advancing to the finals. The Teen Masters boys’ and girls’ division winners were decided during the summer in Tamarac, Fla.

In the opening PBA50 Tour Finals match between 2013 finalists, Monacelli avenged his 224-204 loss to Williams. Monacelli just missed a perfect game, leaving the 3-6-10 in the eighth frame, for his only mistake.

“I told myself this morning that I should shoot 300 on TV,” Monacelli said. “That would have been nice. I shot 287 against Mark Roth one time, but I was really focusing on what I needed to do to win the match. It’s a nice way to end the season.”

Monacelli said he lost his focus in the eighth frame when he rushed himself to avoid a shot clock violation.

“But I don’t use that as an excuse because I know what I was supposed to do when things like that come up,” he said, “and I just didn’t do what I needed to do. It’s my own fault.”

In the Teen Masters Grand Championship that followed, Michael Coffey, 19, of Melbourne, Fla., defeated 18-year-old Kelly Skalacki of Corem, N.Y., 202-156, in a match that involved a long oil pattern on the left lane and a shorter application on the right. In addition, all Teen Masters players are limited to using one “old-school” plastic ball and/or one urethane ball, placing emphasis on player skill over technology.

Coffey, who is bowling for Lindenwood University in St. Louis, started with three strikes and had only one open frame – a missed 10 pin in the sixth frame. Skalacki, a member of the Webber International collegiate team in Lake Wales, Fla., struggled with the demanding environment and didn’t strike until the eighth frame.

Both Teen Masters gender division winners were making their national television debuts.

“I was a lot less nervous than I thought I would be because I prepared really hard and this is something I want really badly,” Coffey said. “It’s like being around family; you’re not nervous when you’re around family and I feel like this is where I belong.”

Is PBA competition part of his future plans? He answered emphatically, “Yes.”

Parkin won match three easily, 266-202. Parkin, who represented the PBA West Region in the inaugural PBA Women’s Regional finals, defeated PBA Southwest Region representative Clara Guerrero of Pflugerville, Texas. Parkin struck on nine of her first 10 shots, while back-to-back 4-6-7 splits in the seventh and eighth frames ended Guerrero’s hopes.

“I was extremely excited when I heard about the PBA Women’s Regional program,” Parkin said, “so I jumped on the opportunity right away. I actually cancelled a big trip to Costa Rica in order to bowl one of the regionals, so this definitely made it worthwhile. It was really a great opportunity to be able to come to the World Series.

“On top of that, my focus was on making the TV show,” she continued. “I practiced a lot getting ready and I bowled really well to make it to TV. That’s the grandest stage of all, the reason we all bowl. Today, I came out remembering why we bowl – because we love our sport. I wanted to have fun and I did and the pins cooperated, so it all worked out.”

Match four pitted 2012 PBA Rookie of the Year Josh Blanchard of Gilbert, Ariz., representing the PBA Northwest Region, against 2013 Rookie of the Year EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., representing the Central Region, in the PBA Regional Finals.

Blanchard took the lead with a spare followed by three strikes while Tackett struggled with pin carry in the early frames. Tackett made a ball change in the sixth frame and got lined up, but Blanchard was lined up as well, putting the match away with a late string of five strikes to win, 258-236.

“I had a good ball reaction the whole match,” Blanchard said. “I used a ball I hadn’t thrown until my last shot in practice. I struck with it and made all the right moves, so it made it easy to bowl. I knew (EJ) was going to bowl a good game and the other balls I used in practice, it seemed like I’d bowl a 210, 200, so I needed something different. After that one shot, I knew I was going to stick with it the whole match.”

Blanchard also made it into the PBA Regional field by winning the final Northwest Region event of the season.

“I was supposed to go to (fellow PBA competitor) Andres Gomez’s wedding, but I cancelled – and I ended up winning the regional to get into the field,” he said.

While winning the Regional Finals wasn’t the same as winning his first PBA Tour title, Blanchard feels like he’s getting closer to that goal.

“I’ve been out here for two years and I’m still working at it,” he said. “I change my game every year trying to find the ‘it’ factor to get my first win. Usually when guys do that, they’ll win two or three times, and keep moving along. I’m still waiting for that ‘it’ factor.”

Closing the telecast, the four winners participated in a special one-shot, low-player-out Bonus Knockout Round. Parkin won the event with a strike in the third round to eliminate Blanchard, who left a 10 pin. Coffey was eliminated in the first round and Monacelli was knocked out in the second.

The World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by the PBA, the final event conducted during the GEICO PBA WSOB VI, will air Sunday, Jan. 25, on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. ET. The WBT event will be contested using an experimental “best frame” scoring system that is being tested by World Bowling. Finnish native Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, Mich.; Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., and Jason Belmonte of Australia will bowl for the WBT Men’s title. Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J.; Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., and Sandra Andersson of Sweden will compete in the WBT Women’s final.

PBA CHALLENGE
presented by International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame
South Point Bowling Center, Las Vegas

PBA50 Tour Final: Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela ($8,000) def. Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., ($4,000), 277-219.

Teen Masters Grand Championship: Michael Coffey, Melbourne, Fla. ($10,000 scholarship) def. Kelly Skalacki, Corem, N.Y., ($7,500 scholarship), 202-156.

PBA Women’s Regional Final: Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif. ($8,000) def. Clara Guerrero, Pflugerville, Texas ($4,000), 266-202.

PBA Regional Final: Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz. ($8,000) def. E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind. ($4,000), 258-236.

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PBA Spare Shots: Mother’s Passing Inspires DJ Archer’s Near-Perfect 878 Series

by Bill Vint September 17, 2014 07:23

PBA Tour player D.J. Archer of Mineral Wells, Texas, turned an occasion of sorrow into a moment of inspiration on the day of his mother’s death, bowling the highest three-game series of his life.

After learning that his mother Sharon, 59, passed away Monday morning in Baton Rouge, La., after a lengthy battle with cardiac issues, Archer found the strength to go ahead and bowl in his regularly-scheduled league that evening because, he said, that’s what his mother would have wanted him to do.

What he didn’t expect was that he would bowl a personal-best 878 series and nearly add his name to the bowling history books when he finished just two shots away from a 900 in the Armadilla Dollars League at Armadilla Lanes II in Houston. 

“I felt like she was looking over me,” said Archer, whose mother had been in a cardiac rehabilitation center in Baton Rouge for several months. 

“I was dealing with a lot of emotions, but I know my mom would have wanted me to go ahead and bowl,” the 12-year PBA Tour veteran continued. “She and my dad (Dan, who died when DJ was 22) were very supportive of me and really got me started in the sport when I was five years old. But my mom was the one who really pushed me in bowling.”

Archer, a former collegiate star at West Texas A&M, started his series with a 300 game. He followed by a 279 which included a double before leaving a 10 pin and then striking the rest of the way. He concluded the set with a 299, leaving another 10 pin on his final shot.

“It was an incredible feeling because it felt like I could strike on every shot,” Archer said. “Being around friends and getting a lot of support from everyone in the league also was a great help and kept me in a positive state of mind. It was kind of like bowling on TV.”

Archer will return to competition in the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas in late October where he will try to improve on his PBA Tour career-high second-place finish in the 2013 Carmen Salvino Classic.

A memorial service will be held for Sharon Archer on Friday, Sept. 19 at Christian Life Fellowship, 2037 Quail Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70808 (telephone: 225-769-6760) from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to Gideon’s International for placement of bibles around the world. Messages of sympathy may also be sent to DJ via email at donkbowler@yahoo.com

PBA REGIONAL SUMMARY: MALDONADO WINS AGAIN IN McALESTER

Shawn Maldonado from Houston, Texas, dominated the field again to win the PBA McAlester Southwest Open Sunday at Great Balls of Fire in McAlester, Okla., topping Nathan Bohr of Wichita, Kan., by 185 pins for his third title of the 2014 season.

Maldonado, who won $2,500, opened Sunday’s final five games of qualifying in seventh place. He started that block with a 300 game and 786 series for his first three games to overtake Bohr. Maldonado then started the eight-game match play finals with a 215 and a win in his match, earning 30 bonus pins, and he then fired a 280 game to build a lead that no one could challenge. The Houston two-handed player finished with a 21-game total of 5,088 pins.

Steven Taylor of Deer Creek, Ill., defeated Jesse Buss of Belvidere, Ill., 245-171, to win the PBA Budweiser Midwest Open presented by Dexter at Cherry Lanes inside Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque, Iowa, Sunday. The title was Taylor’s second of the year, following his first career win in a PBA Midwest Challenge tournament in Kankakee, Ill., in May. He also earned $2,000.

In the second of three PBA Women’s Regional points competitions, Kayla Stram of Grand Rapids, Minn., finished 12th, two places ahead of Amanda Greene of Romney, W.Va., to pull within 300 points of Greene in the race for a berth in the PBA Women’s Regional Finals and a paid entry into the PBA World Series of Bowling VI at South Point in Las Vegas starting Oct. 24. Stram also earned $250 as the top woman finisher in the field. The final PBAW Midwest Region qualifying event will be held Oct. 3-5 in Belton, Mo.

Jeff Zaffino of Warren, Pa., outscored Bill McCorkle of Westerville, Ohio by 51 pins over 17 games to win the PBA50 Lakeview Lanes Eastern Open in Fulton, N.Y., Sunday. Zaffino, who competes in both the PBA East and Central Regions, picked up his 24th overall PBA Regional title and a $1,500 prize.

Ryogo Tsurumi of Kanagawa slipped past Makoto Kawakami of Tochigi, 172-169, to win the PBA Japan Viper Open Monday at Sagami Fast Lane in Sagamihara, Japan, ending a streak of four consecutive victories in the new PBA Japan Region by Yuka Tsuchiya.

Tsurumi earned roughly $3,950 in U.S. dollars. The tournament, which was conducted on the PBA Viper lane conditioning pattern, drew a field of 127 men and women. Tsuchiya, who had swept the PBA Japan Cheetah and Chameleon women’s and open regional titles earlier in the summer, finished in 30th place in the Viper Open.

● On the Sept. 19-21 PBA Regional calendar are the PBA Rex & Griffin Bigelow Memorial Central Open at Troy Bowl in Troy, Ohio; the PBA/PBA50 Ken & Kathy Fowler Auto Centers West/Northwest Doubles at Yokayo Bowling Center in Ukiah, Calif., and the PBA Odessa Southwest Open at Astro Bowl in Odessa, Texas.

Closing out the month over the Sept. 26-28 weekend will be the PBA Tomball Southwest Open at Tomball Bowl in Tomball, Texas (the Southwest Region’s third-and-final PBA Women’s qualifying event); the PBA and PBA50 Fog City West Open presented by Roto Grip at Classic Bowling Center in Daly City, Calif.; the PBA Break Point Alley Member/Non-Member Doubles (a reduced entry fee event) in Tavares, Fla.; the PBA50 Mel Westrich Memorial Central/Midwest Open presented by Storm at Delphos Recreation Center in Delphos, Ohio; the PBA Midcontinent Communications Midwest Open at Empire Bowl in Sioux Falls, S.D., and the PBA Pavlinko Pro Shops Eastern Open (a one-day re-entry event on Sunday) at Brunswick Zone in Turnersville, N.J.

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

● PBA fans who would like special insights into professional bowling are invited to sign up for the free online PBA e-Newsletter, which is distributed electronically throughout the year. The PBA e-Newsletter including information about upcoming events, special promotions, highlights of recent tournaments and more. More than 200,000 PBA fans are already on the list. To enroll, visit PBA on Facebook and click on the “email signup” link.

● PBA fans who like to follow international competition under the auspices of World Bowling (formerly the World Tenpin Bowling Association) are encouraged to visit World Bowling’s new official website, http://www.worldbowling.org/. In addition to explaining World Bowling’s role as the international governing body for bowling in the eyes of the International Olympic Committee, the website includes information and links for all of the upcoming PBA International-World Bowling Tour events.

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PBA Women’s Regional Schedule and Results

by Bill Vint July 30, 2014 06:57

2014 PBA WOMEN’S REGIONAL TOUR SCHEDULE
(For tournament details and entry information, check the appropriate regional tournament under the “schedules” drop down menu on the pba.com home page)

PBA EAST REGION
July 25-27 – PBA Pure-It Pro Shop East Open presented by DV8, Cedar Lanes, Lebanon, Pa. (top finisher: Kristina Wendell, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., fifth place overall)
Aug. 15-17 – PBA Bethmann Russell Syracuse Eastern Open presented by Radical, Flamingo Bowl, Liverpool, N.Y.
Aug. 22-24 – PBA Mil-Ray Foods East Open presented by Columbia 300, Brunswick Zone Deptford, Deptford, N.J.

PBA SOUTH REGION
July 11-13 – PBA Spring Hill South Open, Spring Hill Lanes, Spring Hill, Fla. (top finisher: a-Kimberly Roe, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.; top PBA member woman finisher: Christina Hardee, Mount Dora, Fla.)
Aug. 8-10 – PBA Waccamaw Bowling Center Myrtle Beach South Classic, Waccamaw Lanes, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Aug. 22-24 – PBA Fayetteville Open, Lafayette Lanes, Fayetteville, N.C.

PBA CENTRAL REGION
Aug. 15-17 – PBA Lefeld Implement Central Classic, Pla-Mor Lanes, Coldwater, Ohio
Sept. 19-21 – PBA Rex & Griffin Bigelow Memorial Central Open, Troy Bowl, Troy, Ohio
Oct. 5 – PBA Northway Lanes/Muskegon Central Open, Northway Lanes, Muskegon, Mich.

PBA MIDWEST REGION
Aug. 22-24 - PBA Bowlerama Lanes Midwest Open presented by Radical, Bowlerama Lanes, Des Moines, Iowa
Sept. 13-24 – PBA Diamond Jo's Casino Midwest Open presented by Dexter, Cherry Lanes, Dubuque, Iowa
Oct. 3-5 – PBA Calvert's Express Auto Midwest/Southwest Open, Aaron’s Family Fun Center, Belton, Mo.

PBA SOUTHWEST REGION
Aug. 8-10 – PBA Killeen Southwest Open, Hallmark Lanes, Killeen, Texas
Aug. 22-24 – PBA Greenville Southwest Open, Shenaniganz, Greenville, Texas
Sept. 26-28 – PBA Tomball Southwest Open, Tomball Lanes, Tomball, Texas

PBA WEST/NORTHWEST REGION
Aug. 22-24 – PBA Steve Cook's Capital City West/NW Open presented by DV8, Fireside Lanes, Citrus Heights, Calif.
Sept. 26-28 – PBA Fog City West Open presented by Roto Grip, Classic Bowling Center, Daly City, Calif.
Oct. 10-12 – PBA Battle at Black Oak Casino West Open, Black Oak Lanes, Tuolumne, Calif.

PBA JAPAN REGION
July 5-6 – Women’s Cheetah Open (winner: Yuka Tsuchiya, Kanagawa)
July 12-13 – Women’s Chameleon Open (winner: Yuka Tsuchiya, Kanagawa)

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PBA Spare Shots: Xtra Frame to Cover Events in Oklahoma, Iowa, Indiana

by Bill Vint July 24, 2014 04:16

PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, is continually adding events to provide PBA fans and competitors with more media coverage.

Xtra Frame has recently added three events to its live coverage schedule, and others are under consideration in addition to previously-announced coverage of all remaining PBA50 Tour events.

New to the schedule will be the PBA Grand Hotel, Casino & Resort Southwest Region Invitational from

Firelake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., Sept. 5-7; the PBA Diamond Jo’s Casino Midwest Region Open from Diamond Jo Casino Cherry Lanes in Dubuque, Iowa, Sept. 13-14; and the PBA Heritage Lanes Central Region Open from Kokomo, Ind., Oct. 18-19. The Dubuque tournament is the second of the PBA Midwest Region’s three PBA Women’s Regional series events.

Also on the Xtra Frame calendar will be live start-to-finish coverage of one of the most prestigious PBA Regional tournaments of the year – the PBA Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Eastern Classic from Mid County Bowling & Entertainment Center in Middletown, Del., Aug. 2-3. The East Region “super regional” will offer a $15,000 first prize, and has expanded its qualifying format to three squads to accommodate more players.

Coverage of the PBA50 Tour continues with the Dayton Classic presented by Roto Grip, July 29-31, at Capri Bowling Lanes in Dayton, Ohio; the South Shore Open presented by DV8 at Olympia Lanes in Hammond, Ind., Aug. 4-7, and the season-ending Treasure Island Resort & Casino Open presented by Hammer at Island Xtreme Bowl in Welch, Minn., Aug. 10-13.

All of the PBA50, PBA Regional and PBA Women’s Regional events have consequences in determining the eight competition points leaders who will advance to the live Xtra Frame PBA50 Finals, PBA Regional Finals and PBA Women’s Regional Finals roll-offs during World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas in October. The top two players emerging from each of the eight-game match play qualifiers will advance to the PBA Challenge finals on ESPN.

To follow the competition as it unfolds, subscribe to Xtra Frame. Monthly subscriptions are $7.99. A full-year subscription is $64.99. Visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link to enroll. For complete schedule details, visit pba.com and click on the appropriate event under the Schedules tab.

PBA SOUTH, MIDWEST WOMEN’S SERIES DATES UPDATED

Two events on the new PBA Women’s Regional series have been updated. The PBA South Region will host the Fayetteville South Open at Lafayette Lanes, Fayetteville, N.C., Aug. 22-24, instead of the previously announced tournament in Franklin, Va., in October, and the Midwest Region’s Diamond Jo's Casino Midwest Open presented by Dexter at Cherry Lanes, Dubuque, Iowa, will be held Sept. 13-14 instead of the previously announced dates of Sept. 20-21.

FAGAN, BOHR HELP U.S. QUALIFY FOR PAN AM GAMES FINALS

PBA and Team USA members Mike Fagan of Dallas and Nathan Bohr of Austin, Texas, helped the United States qualify for the 2015 Pan American Games bowling competition in Toronto with a strong performance during the Pan American Sports Festival in Puebla, Mexico, last week.

Fagan and Bohr helped the U.S. dominate national all-events with a combined total of 10,572 pins for 48 games of men’s and women’s doubles, singles and mixed doubles competition. The Team USA women who participated in Mexico were Kayla Johnson of Washington, Ill., and Sarah Lokker of New Baltimore, Mich.

In addition to Pan Am Games qualifying, medals were awarded in the individual events. Fagan and Bohr won the silver medal in men’s doubles, Bohr and Lokker won gold in mixed doubles while Fagan and Johnson claimed the silver medal, and Fagan and Bohr swept the top two spots in men’s singles. Fagan also won gold in the Men’s Masters while Bohr finished third for a bronze medal.

PBA REGIONAL SUMMARY: HARTUNG WINS FIRST TITLE IN FISHERS

Chris Hartung of Goshen, Ind., defeated Eugene McCune of Munster, Ind., 224-222, to win $2,400 and his first PBA Regional title in the Boss Snow Plows/Track Central/Midwest Open at PinHeads in Fishers, Ind., on Sunday, July 20.

Hartung, who is now eligible to participate in the 2015 PBA Tournament of Champions, downed Brandon Novak of Chillicothe Ohio, 445-381, while McCune topped Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, 473-396, in the two-game, total pinfall semifinal round to set up the championship match.

● Amateur Kyle Sherman of O’Fallon, Mo., returned from the USBC Junior Gold Championships in Buffalo, N.Y., where he earned a berth on Junior Team USA 2015, to defeat Shea Bittenbender of St. Charles, Mo., 235-209, in the title match of the PBA St. Charles Lanes Midwest Open in St. Charles, Mo., Sunday.

Sherman won his first PBA Regional tournament and earned $2,000, but he does not get credit for a PBA title because he is not a member. Sherman defeated Charles Nelson of Lee’s Summit, Mo., 245-177, while Bittenbender edged Tom Hess of Urbandale, Iowa, 222-212, in the semifinal round to set up the championship match. Nelson and Bittenbender also are amateurs.

Brian LeClair of Albany, N.Y. defeated top qualifier Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., 277-236, to win the PBA Homefield Bowl Eastern Open presented by MOTIV at Homefield Bowl in Yonkers, N.Y., Sunday and claim his 16th career PBA Regional title along with a $2,500 first prize.

LeClair posted an 8-3-1 match play record to qualify fourth for the stepladder finals. After dispatching Ken Yokobosky of Fredon, N.J., 224-214, LeClair romped past Ray Edwards of Middle Island, N.Y., 279-212, before defeating O’Neill.

Nick Morgan of Sacramento, Calif. and Robby Porter of Rancho Cordova, Calif. defeated Terry Leong of Henderson, Nev. and Johnny Petraglia Jr. of Las Vegas, 502-419, to win the PBA West\Northwest Region Sands Regency Doubles at High Sierra Lanes in Reno, Nev., Sunday. Morgan and Porter each earned their second regional titles and split a $3,400 first prize.

● The July schedule concludes over the July 25-27 weekend with the PBA50 Sparetimes Hampton Southern Open at Sparetimes Bowling Center in Hampton, Va.; the Pure-It Pro Shop East Open presented by DV8 at Cedar Lanes in Lebanon, Pa.; the Farmer’s State Bank/Roto Grip Central Re-Entry Open at Angola Bowl in Angola, Ind.; the PBA50 Progressive/Gerdeman Insurance Agency/Al Smith Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep Central/Midwest Classic at Al-Mar Lanes in Bowling Green, Ohio; the Fort Sill Southwest Open presented by Columbia 300 at Twin Oaks Bowling Center in Fort Sill, Okla.; the Plamor Lanes Midwest Challenge (for non-winners) presented by Track in Muscatine, Iowa, and the PBA and PBA50 Boise Northwest/West Opens at 20th Century Lanes in Boise, Idaho.

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:

● Looking for a great deal on PBA logoed merchandise? Visit the PBA Tour Store for T-shirts, caps, clearance items and special buys: https://www.kotisdesign.com/estore/landing.asp?estore=pbastore

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PBA Spare Shots: PBA Japan Regional Program Off to Stunning Start

by Bill Vint July 18, 2014 06:53

The PBA’s first international regional tournament program, PBA Japan, is off to a stunning start and already has a “superstar” after its first two weekends of activity.

PBA Commissioner Tom Clark, who attended the second weekend of PBA Japan Region competition over the July 12-13 weekend at Sound Bowl in Ushiku along with PBA Deputy Commissioner Kirk von Krueger, got a first-hand look at the program, met many of the players and tournament officials, and witnessed Yuka Tsuchiya’s historic performance in adding the PBA Japan Women’s Chameleon and Chameleon Open titles to the Women’s Cheetah and Cheetah Open titles she won the previous weekend at Tokyo Port Bowl.

“Yuka has tears in her eyes when we told her she’s now eligible to bowl in the PBA Tournament of Champions and World Series of Bowling,” Clark said.

“It was an extremely successful weekend,” Clark added. “The PBA Japan tournament staffers were everything we’d ever want representing our organization. Japan Bowling Promotions, our partner in the creation of the PBA Japan Region, ran smooth events, with live streaming coverage that will soon be available on Xtra Frame, provided outstanding on-site exposure for the PBA and their main sponsor, DHC, and there were large fields considering the short amount of time we’ve had to promote the program.

“It was very gratifying to see how much the PBA brand means to the Japanese bowlers. The players wore dye-sublimated jerseys with PBA League or PBA player replicas. Our animal pattern lane conditions defined the playing fields. The respect the players gave us and the pride they demonstrated as PBA International members was terrific.

“And topping it all off was watching Yuka Tsuchiya sweep all four of our inaugural women’s and open regional titles. For one person to survive the demanding format and win four trophies and roughly $20,000 in U.S. dollars was incredible.”

Tsuchiya, a 31-year-old veteran of Japanese professional competition, won the Women’s Chameleon title over a field of 29 players on Saturday, defeating Hiroko Shimizu, 221-157, in the championship match. On Sunday, she topped a field of 72 men and women in the Chameleon Open, defeating Naoshi Ishimine in the final match, 197-176, for her fourth consecutive title. With her wins in the Cheetah Open and Chameleon Open, she joins Missy Parkin and Kelly Kulick as the third woman to win two PBA “open” regional titles.

Clark said he and von Krueger had an opportunity to visit with all of Japan’s bowling leaders and discuss the PBA’s long-term goal of expanding PBA-level competition around the world.

The PBA Japan Region has four more tournaments scheduled in its inaugural season: the PBA Japan Viper Open Sept. 15 at Sagami Fast Lane in Sagamihara, the Women’s Scorpion and Scorpion Open tournaments Nov. 8-9 at Higashiyamoto Grand Bowl in Tokyo, and the Badger Open at a location and date to be announced.

The PBA will help the Japan Region expand its international coverage via Xtra Frame. The Cheetah events are already archived on Xtra Frame (with original commentary in Japanese), the Chameleon finals will be added to Xtra Frame’s programming in the near future, and the PBA is working toward carrying future events live.

PBA HALL OF FAMER DEL BALLARD JR. RECOVERING AFTER BYPASS SURGERY

PBA Hall of Famer Del Ballard Jr., a 12-time PBA Tour title winner who currently is PBA Tour representative for Storm Products, is recovering after successful heart bypass surgery in the Dallas area on Tuesday.

"Del underwent a triple bypass and valve repair,” wife Carolyn Dorin-Ballard said Friday. “His surgeon is thrilled with the results and Del is already walking well. It’s a slow process but everything is on track. Thanks to everyone for your support and well wishes."

Ballard celebrated his 51st birthday on July 1.

RACE FOR PBA50 PLAYER, ROOKIE OF THE YEAR RESUME ON XTRA FRAME

The race for PBA50 Tour Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Super Senior Player of the Year and berths in the PBA50 Tour Finals enters the home stretch starting Friday in Fort Wayne, Ind., and PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel will video stream all of the action from the final four events live.

The PBA’s senior citizens return to action with a new Dick Weber Super Senior Classic, presented by Storm, for players 60-and-older. Pro Bowl West in Fort Wayne will host the Dick Weber event Friday thru Sunday, followed immediately by the Pro Bowl West Fort Wayne Classic for all players 50-and-older (including any “super seniors” who care to compete), July 20-23.

The PBA50 Tour continues with the Dayton Classic presented by Roto Grip, July 29-31, at Capri Bowling Lanes in Dayton, Ohio; the South Shore Open presented by DV8 at Olympia Lanes in Hammond, Ind., Aug. 4-7, and the season-ending Treasure Island Resort & Casino Open presented by Hammer at Island Xtreme Bowl in Welch, Minn., Aug. 10-13.

PBA Hall of Famers Norm Duke, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Pete Weber, Tom Baker, Parker Bohn III and Amleto Monacelli are fighting it out for Player of the Year. They also are leading the competition points race for six spots in the PBA50 Tour Finals to be held at PBA World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas in late October. Duke and Bohn are also leading the “rookie” race while two other Hall of Famers, Johnny Petraglia and Dale Eagle, are frontrunners in the “super senior” race.

To follow the competition as it unfolds, subscribe to Xtra Frame. Monthly subscriptions are $7.99. A full-year subscription is $64.99. Visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link to enroll.

ROE CASHES, HARDEE LEADS POINTS IN FIRST PBA WOMEN’S REGIONAL EVENT

Amateur Kimberly Roe of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., earned a check for finishing 17th in the field of 76 players, and new PBA member Christina Hardee of Mount Dora, Fla., became the first woman to earn PBA Women’s Regional points as the new PBA program for women bowlers made its debut in the PBA Crystal Automotive Spring Hill South Open at Spring Hill Lanes in Spring Hill, Fla., Sunday.

The PBA’s recently-announced regional program for women drew four competitors in Spring Hill, where Roe cashed for $425 while Hardee –who had cashed in two previous PBA South Regional tournaments as a non-member – finished 60th. But as a new PBA member, Hardee is the early South Region points leader in her bid to earn a spot in the PBA Women’s Regional Finals in Las Vegas later in the year. Non-members Morgan Rosario of Gainesville, Fla., and Amber Ottilige of Lake Wales, Fla., were the other two women who bowled in Spring Hill.

Two PBA Women’s Regional events in the Central and Midwest Regions scheduled for this weekend have been replaced on their respective regional schedules due to a conflict with the BPAA Women’s All Star which gets underway Sunday in Rockford, Ill. The Central Region’s first women’s event will be part of the Lefeld Implement Central Classic at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater, Ohio, Aug. 15-17 while the Midwest Region’s debut event for women will be the Bowlerama Lanes Midwest Open presented by Radical at Bowlerama Lanes in Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 22-24.

PBA REGIONAL SUMMARY: BEASLEY WINS SOUTHWEST SUPER REGIONAL IN LUBBOCK

Mitch Beasley of Nashville, Tenn., returning to competition after a two-year layoff due to a back injury, defeated amateur Jason Duran of Littleton, Colo., 226-217, to win the PBA Lubbock Southwest Super Regional Open, presented by Track, at South Plains Lanes in Lubbock, Texas, Sunday.

Beasley jumped to an early lead in the final match when Duran left a pocket split in the third frame. After fighting his way back into the match, Duran left the 7-10 split in the ninth frame to allow Beasley a chance to clinch the title and $10,000 first prize with a spare in the 10th. The title was Beasley’s 17th in PBA Regional competition. The tournament drew a field of 138 players.

● Amateur Sean Riccardi of St. Petersburg, Fla., defeated Dustin Ochoa of Carrollton, Texas, 256-214, to win the 26th annual PBA Crystal Automotive Spring Hill South Open at Spring Hill Lanes in Spring Hill, Fla., Sunday.

Riccardi posted a 10-2 match play record and rolled three 300 games in the preliminary rounds to qualify as top seed for the stepladder finals by 253 pins over fellow amateur Jason Mahr of Spring Hill. Ochoa, also an amateur, defeated Mahr, 277-214, in the semifinal round match to advance to the title match. Riccardi earned $2,500 for winning the event, but doesn’t earn a PBA title because he is a non-member.

Jay Boyle of Garnet Valley, Pa., ended his seven-year quest for his first PBA title when he defeated Sammy Ventura of Syracuse, N.Y., 237-175, to win the PBA50 Cecil Raymond Memorial presented by Track at Playdrome Cherry Hill in Cherry Hill, N.J., Sunday.

The tournament, which began in 2004, was renamed this year to honor its sponsor who passed away in January. Raymond was the 2013 recipient of the East Region’s Pat Patterson Award for outstanding contributions to the region. Along with his first PBA Regional title, Boyle earned a $1,500 first prize.

Brad Bufkin of Citrus Heights, Calif., defeated Dennis Horan of Oakley, Calif., 225-164, to win the PBA Wine Country West/Northwest Open presented by Hammer at Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park, Calif., Sunday. In addition to his first PBA Regional title, Bufkin earned a $2,000 prize.

● On tap for the July 18-20 weekend are the Boss Snow Plows/Brunswick Central Open at PinHeads Bowling Center in Fishers, Ind.; the Homefield Eastern Open presented by Motiv at Homefield Bowl in Yonkers, N.Y.; the St. Charles Lanes Midwest Open presented by Storm in St. Charles, Mo., and the PBA/PBA50 Sands Regency West/Northwest Doubles at High Sierra Lanes in Reno, Nev.

The July schedule concludes over the July 25-27 weekend with the PBA50 Sparetimes Hampton Southern Open at Sparetimes Bowling Center in Hampton, Va.; the Pure-It Pro Shop East Open presented by DV8 at Cedar Lanes in Lebanon, Pa.; the Farmer’s State Bank/Roto Grip Central Re-Entry Open at Angola Bowl in Angola, Ind.; the PBA50 Progressive/Gerdeman Insurance Agency/Al Smith Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep Central/Midwest Classic at Al-Mar Lanes in Bowling Green, Ohio; the Fort Sill Southwest Open presented by Columbia 300 at Twin Oaks Bowling Center in Fort Sill, Okla.; the Plamor Lanes Midwest Challenge (for non-winners) presented by Track in Muscatine, Iowa, and the PBA and PBA50 Boise Northwest/West Opens at 20th Century Lanes in Boise, Idaho.

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:

● Looking for a great deal on PBA logoed merchandise? Visit the PBA Tour Store for T-shirts, caps, clearance items and special buys: https://www.kotisdesign.com/estore/landing.asp?estore=pbastore

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