Mark Roth and Marshall Holman Were Fierce Rivals But Perfect Doubles Partners

by Jerry Schneider February 25, 2015 02:41

 

The individual accomplishments of Mark Roth and Marshall Holman are things of legend.  Roth, a four-time player of the year, ranks tied for fifth all-time with 34 titles. Holman, the 1987 player of the year, ranks 11th all-time with 22 titles. They are credited with revolutionizing the sport with the power games they introduced to bowling.

But among their 56 combined titles are three doubles championships. When it came to teaming up as doubles partners, both players were a force to be reckoned with at the annual PBA Tour doubles events.

In honor of the PBA Hall of Famers, Sunday’s Roth/Holman PBA Doubles Championship on ESPN from Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis bears the name of the two greats who also made their mark as one of the top doubles teams in PBA history. Only the team of Hall of Famers Mike Aulby and Steve Cook has as many doubles titles as Holman and Roth.

Roth and Holman won their first doubles title in the 1977 PBA Doubles Classic at Saratoga Lanes in San Jose, Calif., where they combined for a 7-4-1 match play record and 15,528 pinfall total to outscore runners-up Paul Colwell and Don Johnson by 416 pins.

In 1979, as the top-qualifying team, Roth and Holman won the Columbia Doubles Classic in San Jose with a combined 406 championship match total, defeating Larry Laub and Palmer Fallgren, who combined for a 374 pinfall.

And in 1984 Roth and Holman captured the Showboat Doubles Classic in Las Vegas by defeating Dave Husted and Ted Hannahs in a low-scoring alternate frame championship match, 169-160.

Though fierce rivals on the PBA Tour, it was evident both players had a chemistry that made them successful doubles partners.

“Our bowling styles complemented each other,” said the 60-year-old Holman, who now owns a tax service business in his hometown of Medford. “We played a similar part of the lane which made it easy to line up off each other. From my perspective, I could always count on Mark making a good shot and then it was just a matter of me taking in that information to make a good shot.

“We looked forward to bowling doubles because on Tour you were always alone competing by yourself,” Holman added, “so it was always a nice change of pace to be in a kind of team environment where you could pull for each other.”

The 63-year-old Roth, who continues to make progress in his recovery after a stroke in 2009 which partially paralyzed his left side, also enjoyed the divergence from individual competition while keeping in mind a PBA Tour title was at stake. 

“It was always lot of fun and we always looked forward to it,” said Roth. “We were both at the top of our games at the time so we knew we would always be a tough pair to beat.

“We worked well as a team – he helped me out and I helped him out. Even though it was something we had fun with, you had to remember to take it seriously and stay focused because there was a PBA title on the line.”

Xtra Frame subscribers were treated to several hours of commentary by Roth and Holman during the match play rounds of the 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions at Woodland Bowl earlier in February, and both will be on hand for Sunday’s doubles telecast at 1 p.m. ET.

The doubles pair to beat Sunday will be top qualifiers and defending champions Norm Duke, a Hall of Famer and 37-time PBA Tour winner, and 2008-09 PBA Player of the Year Wes Malott. The tandem won the 2011 Roth/Holman PBA Doubles Championship at the South Point complex in Las Vegas, the last time the event was held. 

Also making up Sunday’s stepladder finals lineup will be No. 2 qualifiers Tom Daugherty and Dino Castillo, No. 3 Bill O’Neill and Jason Belmonte, No. 4 DJ Archer and Shawn Maldonado, and No. 5 Dom Barrett and Osku Palermaa.

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Defending Champions Duke and Malott are Top Qualifiers for Sunday’s Roth/Holman PBA Doubles Championship on ESPN

by Jerry Schneider February 23, 2015 05:59

The PBA Tour brings back its traditional doubles format when the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship finals air Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Named in honor of PBA legends Mark Roth and Marshall Holman who won three doubles titles together during their Hall of Famer careers, the Doubles Championship returns to the PBA Tour for the first time since 2011 with defending champions Norm Duke, a PBA Hall of Famer and owner of 37 PBA Tour titles, and nine-time Tour winner Wes Malott trying to repeat from their position as top qualifiers. The finals take place at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis.

Four other doubles pairs, including three of the Tour’s two-handed players, will battle it out in the alternate frame stepladder final beginning with international standouts Dom Barrett of England and two-hander Osku Palermaa of Finland meeting Texans DJ Archer and two-hander Shawn Maldonado in the opening match. 

Both Barrett and Palermaa will be trying for their fifth Tour titles while Archer will be trying for his second Tour title and Maldonado his first in his television debut.

The winner of the opening match will take on the powerful doubles team of Bill O’Neill and two-hander and two-time reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte. Belmonte, who recently won a record third consecutive USBC Masters and then became the first player to win both the Masters and Tournament of Champions in back-to-back seasons, will be making his fourth consecutive television appearance. The Australian two-handed star will be trying to win his third title of the young 2015 season and 13th of his career. Belmonte kept his TV streak going with a fourth-place finish in last Sunday’s PBA Players Championship. O’Neill, whose last title came in the 2014 Badger Open, will be trying for his sixth Tour title.

The second match winner will take on the team of Tom Daugherty of Tampa, Fla. and Dino Castillo of Carrollton, Texas in the semifinal. Daugherty is making his second consecutive TV appearance after finishing third in the Players Championship. He will be trying for his second career title. Castillo will try for his first PBA Tour title.

The semifinal winner will then take on Duke and Malott who won the doubles championship in  2011 by defeating the doubles team of Ronnie Russell and Sean Rash in the championship match, 193-167. Currently tied with Pete Weber on the PBA’s all-time titles list, Duke will be trying to move into third alone if he gets his 38th win. Malott will be trying for his 10th career title which would make him eligible for PBA Hall of Fame consideration in the future.

For a video preview of Sunday’s doubles show click on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzquWhtBZHI&feature=youtu.be

Fans can follow PBA action through the PBA Network which includes wall-to-wall coverage of an expanded schedule of live events on Xtra Frame, player interactions through Facebook and Twitter, mobile gaming, original programming, archived events and immediate news updates 24/7 on varying communications devices anywhere in the world. For additional PBA Network information visit http://www.pba.com/PBANetwork

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Career Milestones on the Line in PBA Players Championship Finals Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN

by Jerry Schneider February 17, 2015 06:47

 

Two-time reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte, and Hall of Famers Parker Bohn III and Norm Duke highlight the field of five finalists for this Sunday’s PBA Players Championship finals at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.

As top qualifier, Bohn will wait in the wings at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis as the opening stepladder match will feature No. 4 qualifier Duke meeting one-time Tour winner and No. 5 qualifier Tom Daugherty.

Duke will be hoping to win his 38th PBA Tour title, which would move him into third place on the all-time Tour win list by himself.  He is currently tied with fellow Hall of Famer Pete Weber with 37 wins. Daugherty’s first Tour title came in the Bowlers Journal Scorpion Championship in 2012.

The winner of the first match will  meet 12-time PBA Tour titlist Belmonte who will be trying to win a record-tying third consecutive PBA Tour title after winning the Barbasol Tournament of Champions and USBC Masters in back-to-back weeks. Belmonte, who became the first player to win the Masters and Tournament of Champions in back-to-back seasons, will also be trying to win his 14th consecutive match on television as he pursues the PBA record of 16 consecutive TV wins set by Jim Pencak between 1989 and 1991. PBA legends Dick Weber and Johnny Petraglia are the only players to have won three consecutive PBA Tour events in the same season.

The winner of the second match will advance to the semifinal match to bowl against two-time Tour winner and Indianapolis native Ronnie Russell. Russell hopes to continue the momentum of a breakout 2014 season in which he won his second PBA Tour title.

The semifinal winner will then advance to meet Bohn in the title match. Bohn rallied from 69th place after the first round of qualifying and rocketed to the top spot after averaging 261 in the final match play round where he won seven of eight matches.

Bohn, who ranks sixth on the all-time Tour win list with 33  titles, will try for his first win since winning the 2013 PBA World Championship. With a win, he will tie fellow Hall of Famer Mark Roth for the fifth-most titles in PBA history behind Walter Ray Williams Jr. (47), Earl Anthony (43) and Duke and Weber (37).

To check out a video preview of the Players Championship click on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-pqZbFOmtc

Fans can follow PBA action through the PBA Network which includes wall-to-wall coverage of an expanded schedule of live events on Xtra Frame, player interactions through Facebook and Twitter, mobile gaming, original programming, archived events and immediate news updates 24/7 on varying communications devices anywhere in the world.  Click on http://www.pba.com/PBANetwork

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Page Holds Off Belmonte for No. 1 Berth in Sunday’s 50th Anniversary Barbasol PBA TOC Finals on ESPN

by Jerry Schneider February 13, 2015 13:14

INDIANAPOLIS – Rhino Page of Orlando, Fla., survived a heated challenge Friday nig ht at Woodland Bowl to hold on to the top qualifying position for Sunday’s finals in the 50th anniversary Barbasol Professional Bowlers Association Tournament of Champions by 45 pins over defending champion Jason Belmonte of Australia.

Page, who is hoping to win the Tournament of Champions title that evaded him in 2009, won 15 of his 24 matches and tied another, averaging 243.9 for 48 games for a 12,172 pinfall total. Belmonte, who hounded Page the entire tournament, closed his Friday morning round with a 300 game to move into second place and stayed there, finishing with 12,127 pins.

Page, the 2008 PBA Rookie of the Year and a three-time title winner, is trying for his first title since 2009 and hopes to erase the memory of his errant four-count in the 10th frame of the 2009 TOC title match that cost him a 267-263 loss to Patrick Allen.

“It was a lot more exciting than I hoped it would be,” Page said. “I don’t think I’ve ever led from start to finish before, but now it doesn’t matter who I bowl, I get a little payback for the 2009 show. I know I’m going to bowl for the title, no matter what the other guys do.

“That 2009 show doesn’t bother me as much as people think,” he continued. “It doesn’t define my career. It was one bad shot. If people want to call that a choke, then everyone chokes.”

Qualifying No. 1 after undergoing potential career-ending wrist surgery two years ago is what Page thinks about more than that bad shot five years ago.

“When you’re going through surgery, there are some scary moments when you don’t know if you’ll ever be back,” he said. “To preserver through all of that and be bowling in the TOC title match? Tears almost flowed. It’s surreal. I just hope it’s the start of things to come.”

Belmonte, who won the United States Bowling Congress Masters for a record third consecutive time last Sunday, is again in position to make history. The Australian two-handed player is trying for his fifth major title in three years, and he also has a chance to become the first player in PBA history to win back-to-back titles in both the Masters and Tournament of Champions.

Also advancing to Sunday’s finals are two-time PBA Tour titlist Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y.; 2012 TOC winner Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., who won that title with a 239-205 victory over Ciminelli, and Scott Norton of Mission Viejo, Calif., who threw the final five strikes in his 48th game to nip Allen by two pins to capture the fifth berth.

The five-player stepladder finals will be televised live on ESPN Sunday at 1 p.m. ET First prize is $50,000 and the second major title of the 2015 season.

The Tournament of Champions finals Sunday are part of a PBA-ESPN tripleheader weekend. The finals of the PBA Players Championship will be held Saturday at 7 p.m. at Woodland Bowl for telecast on ESPN on Sunday, Feb. 22, at 1 p.m. ET. The finalists, determined during a qualifying event earlier in the month in Milwaukee, will be top qualifier Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J., a PBA Hall of Famer and 33-time title winner; two-time PBA Tour titlist Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind.; Belmonte; PBA Hall of Famer and 37-time winner Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., and one-time titlist Tom Daugherty, Tampa, Fla.

At 4:30 p.m. Sunday, following the live TOC finals, the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship will be contested for telecast on Sunday, March 1, at 1 p.m. ET. The Baker-format doubles finals – in which players will bowl alternate frames – will include top qualifiers Duke and Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, the defending champions; Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, and Daugherty; Belmonte and partner Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa.; DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, bowling with Shawn Maldonado, Houston, Texas, and England’s Dom Barrett with Osku Palermaa, Finland. Among the 10 finalists, Castillo and Maldonado are the only players who have not won a PBA Tour title.

50TH ANNIVERSARY BARBASOL PBA TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, Feb. 13

Final Match Play Standings (after 48 games, including match play bonus pins; top five advance to ESPN stepladder finals Sunday at 1 p.m. ET)

1, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 15-8-1, 12,172.
2, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 14-9-1, 12,127.
3, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 12-11-1, 11,944.
4, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 13-11, 11,911.
5, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., 15-9, 11,878.
6, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 10-13-1, 11,859, $7,000.
7, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 14-10, 11,833, $6,000.
8, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 12-10-2, 11,713, $5,200.
9, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, New York, 13-10-1, 11,649, $4,600.
10, Dan MacLelland, Canada, 12-12, 11,639, $4,200.
11, Dom Barrett, England, 12-12, 11,634, $4,000.
12, D.J. Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 14-10, 11,612, $3,800.
13, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 15-8-1, 11,574, $3,600.
14, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 12-12, 11,525, $3,500.
15, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 8-16, 11,450, $3,400.
16, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 12-11-1, 11,405, $3,300.
17, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 11-12-1, 11,391, $3,200.
18, Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 9-15, 11,319, $3,100.
19, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 12-12, 11,279, $3,000.
20, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 12-12, 11,229, $2,900.
21, J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 8-16, 11,110, $2,800.
22, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 6-18, 11,036, $2,700.
23, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 9-15, 10,989, $2,600.
24, x-Osku Palermaa, Finland, 6-2, 10,862, $2,500.
25, Mike Fagan, Fort Worth, Texas, 7-9, 9,170, $1,950.

x-Palermaa replaced Fagan, who withdrew due to injury.

300 Games (3): Jason Belmonte, Patrick Allen, Dan MacLelland.

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Glass, Peters, Wilt Inducted into PBA Hall of Fame During Ceremonies in Indianapolis

by Jerry Schneider February 10, 2015 15:51

PBA Senior standout Bob Glass, former PBA owner Chris Peters and longtime PBA staff member Barb Wilt were inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame Class of 2015 Tuesday evening at the Marriott Indianapolis North in conjunction with the 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions.

Glass was elected in the PBA50 Performance category while Peters and Wilt were recognized in the Meritorious Service category for their extraordinary contributions behind the scenes to advance the PBA.

Glass, one of the first true power players on the PBA50 Tour, competed as a senior between 1997 and 2007 when he won nine titles and finished in the top five 38 times in 78 tournaments, earning just shy of a half-million dollars. He won a pair of majors – the 2000 Brunswick PBA Senior Championship and 2001 United States Bowling Congress Seniors Masters – and earned PBA50 Player of the Year honors in 2000, 2001 and 2004.

“The Senior Tour was an opportunity to do something I always wanted to do,” Glass said. “It has provided a lot of guys like me an opportunity to combine their career with the tremendous experience of bowling competitively at a high level and meeting a lot of wonderful people – I miss both.

“I’m a very analytical person, but through bowling on the Senior Tour I learned the importance of intuition,” he continued during his acceptance speech. “I also learned that there were similarities between bowling on the Senior Tour and my regular job. Success was gained not only through experience but also from the knowledge and what I could learn from young people.”

Glass, 67, who holds a PhD in economics and has a law degree, lives in Lawrence, Kansas, and currently is Chief of Economics and Rates with the Kansas Corporation Commission in nearby Topeka.

Peters, an early employee of Microsoft who later became an executive with the company, led the effort to purchase the PBA with partners and fellow Microsoft executives Mike Slade and Rob Glaser in 2000.

Peters and his partners provided an infusion of capital to ensure a solid foundation for the organization while at the same time providing vision and innovative ideas to enhance the fan experience especially in the areas of event presentation and online coverage. The introduction of a professionally-designed “arena” style set for TV finals, including professional presentation of signage and an overall enhanced image, helped the PBA generate more new non-bowling corporate sponsorships than the PBA had seen in several years.

Peters also introduced Strike Pass, the forerunner of PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame, and the PBA Exempt Tour creating an “elite” tour to better showcase PBA Tour players and provide the Tour’s most successful players with guaranteed opportunities to make a living by including increased prize money for standard events.

“First, I share this honor with Mike and Rob and couldn’t have done it without them,” Peters said. “When the opportunity presented itself (to purchase the PBA) all I could think of was how wasteful it would have been for this prestigious 40-year-old sports organization to just go away. My motivation was to prevent something so valuable from being just tossed away.”

Wilt, who joined the PBA staff in 1970, retired to North Carolina in 2014 after 44 years of service to the organization. Her duties ranged from processing all PBA Tour entries to managing all of the PBA’s statistical records, and virtually every other hands-on office chore over her extensive career.

When the PBA was sold in 2000, the new owners asked Wilt to assist with the transition to the new headquarters in Seattle, so she moved to Seattle and continued to work to make improvements in membership, entries and statistical processes.

“When a 20-year-old walks into the PBA for the first time it’s just a job, but it would become much more than that,” Wilt said. “More than 40 years later this is the last place I imagined I would be.”

Twice during her tenure with PBA Wilt had left the organization but was asked to return when her replacements didn’t work out.

“I did a job I loved to do, and worked with great people and terrific athletes,” she added. “I’m especially grateful to have had the opportunity to work with (PBA founder) Eddie Elias and all the commissioners who followed him.”

She was the face of the PBA among most of its thousands of members over four-plus decades, providing a familiar and friendly voice to help them with their needs, and she was conduit between PBA’s national and regional tournament directors in bridging the gap between the office and the road. She also became the organization’s unofficial historian and served as a guardian of old records, photographs and historical information.

Wilt was also only the second woman to be inducted into the Hall after longtime Elias assistant Lorraine Stitzlein who was inducted in 1980.

Also during the ceremony, emcee, Nelson Burton Jr., paid tribute to his fellow Hall of Famer Chuck Pezzano who died Jan. 23 at the age of 86. Pezzano, a PBA charter member and bowling historian was widely recognized as the dean of bowling journalists among many other accomplishments in the sport.

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