As a reminder to players 50 years of age and older, the PBA50 Tour begins its western swing with the first major and only stop in Las Vegas when the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open presented by Storm gets underway May 31-June 5 at the Suncoast Bowling Center.
The second PBA50 major of 2015 will be the USBC Senior Masters at The Ashwaubenon Bowl in Green Bay, Wis., July 27-Aug. 1.
The Senior U.S. Open is the most prestigious of all PBA “senior tour” events and features a challenging format contested on challenging lane conditions. Reigning PBA50 Player of the Year Norm Duke is defending champion. “Bonus” competition points earned in the Senior U.S. Open, as well as standard points earned in two additional “western swing” events to follow, will play a key role in determining the eight players who will qualify for the PBA50 Challenge and paid entries into the PBA World Series of Bowling VII later in the year.
Following the PBA Senior U.S. Open will be the PBA50 Fountain Valley Open presented by Track at Fountain Bowl in Fountain Valley, Calif., June 7-10, and the PBA50 Northern California Classic presented by MOTIV in Brentwood, Calif., June 14-17. The events will be a mix of the traditional round-robin format and new final-day format with guaranteed PBA60 (super senior) cashers at each event.
Entries are being accepted on a first come, first serve basis. You can enter online at pba.com or through Mary von Krueger at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 332-9688.
LIZ JOHNSON WINS SECOND USBC QUEENS TITLE
Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., one of the most successful woman bowlers in PBA history, became the ninth woman to win multiple USBC Queens titles when she defeated top qualifier Erin McCarthy of Omaha, Neb., in the title match at Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley in Green Bay, Wis., Tuesday night.
Johnson, who won her first USBC Queens title in 2009, is the only woman in PBA history to qualify for two PBA Tour national television finals, was the first woman to win a PBA Regional title and owns three PBA Women’s Series titles. She was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame in April.
CHRIS BARNES AMONG SIX ELECTED TO PBA SOUTHWEST REGION HALL OF FAME
PBA star Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, who has excelled in PBA Southwest Region competition as well as on the PBA Tour, is among six individuals elected to the PBA Southwest Region Hall of Fame, PBA Southwest Manager Pete McCordic has announced.
The induction ceremony will be at 7 p.m. CT on Friday, Aug. 28, at the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort in Shawnee, Okla., as part of the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Invitational weekend. The tournament will be hosted by FireLake Bowling Center. Grand Casino is the home of the PBA Southwest Region Hall of Fame, housing a special display to honor the inductees.
In addition to Barnes, the 2015 hall of fame class includes Nathan Bohr of Austin, Texas, and Sean Swanson of Springfield, Mo., along with Meritorious Service honoree Cary Mogard of Houston, and former College Bowl proprietors Ed and Virginia Autry of Texarkana, Texas.
Barnes is the winner of 26 PBA regional titles as well as 18 PBA Tour titles including the PBA Triple Crown. Bohr, a two-time Southwest Player of the Year, won his 20th regional title earlier this year. Swanson, who lives in the PBA Midwest Region, has competed extensively in the Southwest Region, accumulating 16 titles and earning Southwest Player of the Year twice.
Mogard was in charge of the region’s lane maintenance from 1997-2011. He also was instrumental in hosting five regional events and raising donations for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, earning the Southwest Pat Patterson award in 2000 and 2005-06. Autry and his wife hosted 35 PBA Regional events at College Bowl in Texarkana before selling their center.
Hall of fame dinner tickets will be available for $30 per person. For reservations, email or call FireLake Bowling Center (email: email@example.com; telephone: 405-275-0404).
CHECK OUT NEW “LIKE ME, FOLLOW ME” LINKS TO PBA TOUR PLAYERS
PBA fans will find it easier to “like” their favorite players on Facebook, “follow” them on Twitter and/or Instagram, visit their personal websites, or learn more about them by clicking on new links under the “bowlers” drop-down menu on pba.com, PBA’s official website.
To learn more about your favorite PBA Tour player, click on the “bowlers” tab, and then click on “PBA Tour Bowlers” to open the gallery of players. In addition to direct links to any given player’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or website pages, you’ll find his/her current bio, a year-by-year profile of the player’s career performances and more. If you can’t find a player on the 2015 season roster, open the “Select a Season” drop-down menu and enter a different season when the player you’re looking for may have met “PBA Tour” qualifying status.
You might also want to take a few minutes to cruise pba.com to get an idea of the depth of information available. Click on each of the drop-down tabs (News, Bowlers, Schedule, Scores, Resources) to discover the variety of information archived on the website – all of which ties into the comprehensive multi-media PBA Network.
PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: BRANDON NOVAK WINS NUNAN MEMORIAL TITLE
Brandon Novak of Chillicothe, Ohio defeated Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y. by 329 pins on May 17 to win the PBA Debbie & Leo Nunan Memorial Central Open presented by Nance Construction and Brunswick at AMF Stardust Lanes in Grove City, Ohio.
Novak finished with an 8-4 match play record and a total of 4,636 pins for 20 games, including match play bonus pins. The title was Novak’s first of the year in the PBA Central Region and his third career PBA Regional title. He earned $5,000 along with his title.
On May 10, amateur Joe Hostetler of Louisville, Ky. defeated T.J. Schmidt of Mishawaka, Ind., by 99 pins to win the PBA Baldo Campana/Ohio Lottery Central/Midwest Open presented by Track at Rebman Recreation in Lorain, Ohio, and Richie Brown of Marion, Ohio defeated Harry Sullins of Chesterfield Township, Mich., by 151 pins to win the PBA50 companion event.
Hostetler finished with a 10-2 match play record and a total of 4,612 pins for 20 games, including match play bonus pins, to win the $2,500 first prize in the standard regional event. Because Hostetler is an amateur, he is not recognized as earning a PBA title.
Brown finished with a 5-4-1 match play record and 4,301 pins for 18 games, including match play bonus pins, to win his sixth PBA50 title and $1,500.
The Lorain tournaments were named in honor of the late Baldo Campana, a long-time PBA supporter, who died on April 24 at age 90.
● Amateur Darrin Casstevens of Rural Hall, N.C., defeated Dave Shinn of West Columbia, S.C. 232-177, to win the PBA Lightning Lanes South Challenge Sunday in Marion, N.C. Casstevens earned $1,500 while Shinn took home $900 for second place.
Casstevens, a former PBA member who is now a bowling center proprietor and father of two young daughters, qualified fifth and then won four consecutive single-elimination matches to win the event. PBA Challenge tournaments are open only to players who have never won a PBA event, but Casstevens will not be credited for a PBA title because he is a non-member.
On May 10, Stoney Baker of Canton, Ga., defeated Wayne Bolin of Lumberton, N.C., 257-177, to win the inaugural PBA50 Station 300 Coastal Classic at Station 300 in Bluffton, S.C.
Baker posted a 6-4 match play record, including a 300 in game eight, to qualify third for the stepladder finals. He defeated Gary Morgan of Atlanta, Ga., in the first stepladder match, 212-196, and advanced to the title match by defeating Todd Haney of Boiling Springs, S.C., 225-178, in the semifinal round before topping Bolin for the title. Baker earned $1,800 along with his 24th overall PBA Regional title.
● Jerry Marrs of Huntley, Ill., finished with a 14-game total of 3,066 pins to top amateur Daniel Lemiesz of Machesney Park, Ill., by 55 pins for his first PBA title in the PBA Victory Lanes Midwest Challenge in Kankakee, Ill., Sunday.
Marrs, who earned $1,300 along with his title, is now eligible to bowl in the PBA Tournament of Champions. PBA Challenge events are open to players who have never won a PBA title.
● Heading into Memorial Day weekend, the East Region will host the Colony Park Lanes East Challenge (a reduced entry fee event) May 23 in York, Pa., while the Northwest Region hosts the PBA and PBA50 Daffodil Bowl Open presented by Sunset Chevrolet May 22-24 in Puyallup, Wash.
Closing the May schedule will be a West Region PBA50 doubleheader leading into the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open – the 6th annual PBA50 Lona King Saguaro West Open at Johnson Lanes in Sun City West, Ariz., May 25-27, followed by the PBA50 Miller Lite Western Open at Starlite Lanes in Flagstaff, Ariz., May 27-29.
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.
● England’s Paul Moor, a four-time European Bowling Tour rankings champion who won his first-and-only PBA Tour title in the 2015 Ballmaster Open in Helsinki, Finland, has been elected to the UK Tenpin Hall of Fame. He will be inducted along with Brian Michael, Gina Wardle, Lisa John and proprietor David Grainger later in the year. Details will be announced soon.
● The PBA has learned former PBA West and Northwest Region lane maintenance supervisor Steve Stevens of The Dalles, Ore., has died. Affectionately known as “The Lane Dude,” Stevens was most recently involved as a self-employed bowling coach. No further details were immediately available.
● If you know of a deserving young college student who participates in bowling and is in need of financial assistance, encourage him/her to apply for the PBA Billy Welu Scholarship. Applications for the $1,000 Welu Scholarship Award recognize exemplary qualities in a collegiate bowler. Applications must be postmarked by June 15. Eligible candidates must be currently in college and maintaining at least a 2.5/4.0 GPA or equivalent. The two-part application can be downloaded using this link: https://pba.com/Corporate/Scholarships/.
● Visit the “shop” link on pba.com for the latest in PBA logoed merchandise, including special new PBA Summer Swing t-shirts…and a “future PBA star” t-shirts for the little one(s) in your family.