Coming to CBS Sports Network: Marshall Kent Leads Pack into PBA Wolf Open Finals in Bid for Second Title

by Bill Vint May 21, 2015 03:20

SHAWNEE, Okla. – Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., the 2014 PBA Rookie of the Year, will bowl for his second PBA Tour title as top qualifier in the PBA Wolf Open on CBS Sports Network on Tuesday, May 26, at 8 p.m. ET.

Kent, who won his only PBA Tour title in the Kingdom International Open in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last December, earned the top berth in the five-man stepladder finals by averaging 240 for 12 games for a 2,883 pinfall total. He earned the No. 1 spot by 47 pins over five-time PBA Tour title-winner Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa.

Qualifying third was Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C., the colorful 24-year-old son of equally colorful eight-time PBA Tour champion Guppy Troup. No. 4 qualifier and two-time PBA Tour winner Andres Gomez of Colombia will meet No. 5 Tommy Jones, a 15-time PBA Tour titlist from Simpsonville, S.C., in the opening match.

The Wolf Open is the first of five events held as part of Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Summer Swing. Qualifying rounds were conducted at nearby FireLake Bowling Center and the CBS Sports Network finals were held on specially-installed lanes in the Grand Casino Event Center. The Wolf Open was contested on the 32-foot Wolf lane condition, the shortest of all of the PBA “animal pattern” lane conditions.

Kent has made four previous television appearances in the U.S., but has yet to win a PBA Tour title in the U.S.

O’Neill, who also qualified No. 2 for the CBS Sports Network finals of the Bear Open and No. 1 for the Oklahoma Open finals, won the Badger Open and Oklahoma’s Grand Casino King of the Swing events during the 2014 Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Summer Swing.

Kyle Troup, a two-handed player, will make his PBA Tour television debut and hopes to join his father as the fourth father-son tandem to win PBA Tour titles (joining Don and Jimmy Johnson, Don and Eugene McCune, and Dick and Pete Weber).

Gomez will try for his third title – and first in a tournament NOT named in honor of PBA legend Carmen Salvino. His previous titles came in the 2011 and 2013 Carmen Salvino Classic tournaments.

Jones, whose 39-21 record on television ranks among the top 10 in PBA history, will be trying for his first title on U.S. soil since winning the 2008 GEICO Classic in West Babylon, N.Y. He has made 13 television appearances in the U.S. since then with two second-place finishes, including a runner-up finish in the 2014 Summer Swing Bear Open.

For a Wolf Open preview video, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkYKSRhqpVo

CBS Sports Network coverage of Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Summer Swing will continue on four consecutive Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET with the finals of the PBA Bear Open on June 2, the PBA Badger Open on June 9, the Oklahoma Open on June 16 and the Oklahoma’s Grand Casino King of the Swing on June 23.

CBS Sports Network is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 221 and Dish Network Channel 158.  For more information, including a full programming schedule and how to get CBS Sports Network, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com.

Xtra Frame, the PBA’s on-line video subscription service, will feature a preview show for the PBA Wolf Open beginning on Friday, May 22, and a post-game show immediately following the conclusion of the CBS Sports Network on Tuesday, May 26, at 10 p.m. ET. PBA Fans can find additional coverage of Summer Swing action through the PBA Network which includes archived coverage of all preliminary rounds 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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PBA Spare Shots: Entries Available for PBA Senior U.S. Open, Two PBA50 Tour California Events

by Bill Vint May 20, 2015 04:10

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 maryvk@pba.com 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: chris.skillings@potawotami.org; 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.

QUICK NOTES

● 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.

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Former ESPN, ABC, NFL Network President Steve Bornstein Joins PBA Board of Directors

by Bill Vint May 11, 2015 03:42

228642_8123303742_7994_nCHICAGO – Steve Bornstein, one of the most influential sports and entertainment media executives of the last quarter century, has joined the Professional Bowlers Association Board of Directors, Board Chairman Mike Slade announced Monday.

Bornstein played a major role in shaping the growth and success of ESPN and the National Football League. His career began as program coordinator for ESPN in 1980 and 10 years later, he was named ESPN President and CEO. He will lend his visionary expertise in areas of marketing and deal-making to the PBA at a time when the professional bowling organization is experiencing unprecedented growth in television viewership and international multi-media awareness.

As a member of the PBA Board of Directors, Bornstein has offered to lend his vast array of experiences in the world of sports to the development of the PBA and its programs.

“I have always recognized the importance of the PBA on television, going back to my ESPN and ABC Sports days,” Bornstein said. "The PBA has shown great strength and momentum this season. I am very excited to join the board to help the PBA maximize its vast potential.”

Slade, one of the PBA’s owners since 2000, is excited to add Bornstein’s insights to the PBA leadership team.

“I’ve known Steve as a colleague and a close friend for over 20 years,” Slade said. “His expertise, enthusiasm and integrity are a huge plus for the PBA. I couldn’t be more excited. Together we will achieve great things for the PBA.”

PBA Commissioner Tom Clark is also looking forward to working with Bornstein.

“Having Steve join the board is a benchmark moment for the Professional Bowlers Association,” Clark said. "His accomplishments in the world of sports and sports entertainment are second to none. The PBA is riding a great wave of momentum and Steve brings an incredibly high level of expertise and connections. I look forward to working with and learning from him as we take the PBA to great heights.”

Bornstein, the President and CEO of the NFL Network from 2003 until 2013, teamed up with Jim Valvano to start The V Foundation for Cancer Research while president of ESPN, Inc. in 1993. Prior to working with the NFL Network, Bornstein served as the President of ABC Inc., overseeing the network, TV/radio stations, and all the Disney owned cable assets, as well as Touchstone Television and Buena Vista Television.

After becoming ESPN, Inc.’s youngest President and CEO in 1990, Bornstein led the company through a nine-year period of network development and brand extension which included the launches of ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Radio and the Internet’s first sports website, ESPN.com. This spurred a global expansion of the company to numerous countries in their respective languages. Through this initiative, ESPN, Inc. further established itself as “The Worldwide Leader in Sports.”

While continuing his responsibilities at ESPN, Inc., Bornstein also was named President of ABC Sports in 1996. Through the creation of the National Championship of College Football (the Bowl championship series), he played a key role in establishing ABC Sports as the leading network for college football.

Bornstein is a recipient of the prestigious Vanguard Award for programmers, one of the highest honors given by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

A native of Fair Lawn, N.J., and a 1974 University of Wisconsin graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in film, Bornstein resides in New York and Los Angeles.

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PBA Spare Shots: Rolltech Sponsors Summer Swing “Bowl the Pros” Challenge

by Bill Vint May 6, 2015 08:19

For the first time in PBA history, pros and fans can battle each other in real time from anywhere in the world. Each day of the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Summer Swing, May 9-17 in Shawnee, Okla., Jason Belmonte, Mike Fagan and Bill O'Neill will challenge their Rolltech followers to a “Bowl the Pros Challenge” during one of their tournament games.

Here’s how to accept the challenge for a chance to win lifetime bragging rights:

1) Download Rolltech or visit rolltechbowling.com to create an account.

2) Click on Belmonte’s, Fagan’s or O’Neill’s name and "Follow" on their profile. If you're in the app, go to "Me" tab, "Find Friends" and "Search."

3) Turn push notifications on for Rolltech. You'll receive one when the pros send you a challenge.

4) To accept: Start a new game, enter lane/position, then hit "Select a Challenge" and "View Incoming Challenges."

5) Bowl your face off!

6) Share your results after you receive your Challenge Complete push notification.

For more information, look for the Rolltech logo on pba.com, watch Xtra Frame or look for links on PBA’s Facebook or Twitter pages.

GRAND CASINO HOTEL & RESORT PBA SUMMER SWING ACCEPTING STANDBY ENTRIES

For the second year in a row, the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Summer Swing has reached its capacity of 120 entries, and is now accepting additional entries on its first-come standby list. The multi-tournament series gets underway with pro-am squads on Saturday, May 9; practice sessions on Sunday, May 10, and competition on Monday, May 11.

The preliminary qualifying and match play rounds of the Wolf, Badger, Bear and Oklahoma Opens Monday through Thursday will be covered live on Xtra Frame. The CBS Sports Network finals of those four events, plus the King of the Swing special event, will be conducted Saturday-Sunday, May 16-17, for delayed telecast on five consecutive Tuesdays beginning May 26.

GREAT SCHEDULE OF EVENTS ON TAP FOR XTRA FRAME VIEWERS

Bowling fans will have a great opportunity to explore the depth of online video-streaming coverage available on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel over the next few weeks, beginning with PBA Tour qualifying and match play rounds in the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Summer Swing May 11-14 from FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla.

Action then shifts to Xtra Frame’s first Professional Women’s Bowling Association event, featuring qualifying and match play elimination rounds of the USBC Queens from Ashwaubenon Bowl in Green Bay, Wis., May 15-18 (May 14 coverage will be provided by USBC’s BowlTV on bowl.com).

At the end of May, the PBA50 Tour returns to Xtra Frame with start-to-finish coverage of the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open, presented by Storm, May 31-June 5 from Suncoast Casino, Hotel and Bowling Center in Las Vegas. The Senior U.S. Open is the first major on the 2015 PBA50 Tour schedule, and the only PBA50 major that will be held in Las Vegas this year. Entries are being accepted online via pba.com, or by calling (206) 332-9688.

PBA50 Tour coverage will continue on the West Coast following the Senior U.S. Open. The PBA50 Fountain Valley Open, presented by Track, will be coverage June 7-10 followed by the annual PBA50 Northern California Classic, presented by MOTIV, June 14-17 in Brentwood, Calif.

Xtra Frame subscriptions are available in three options: $3.99 for three-day (72-hour) access, $7.99 for a one-month subscription and $64.99 for the XF Season Ticket, a full 12 months of access at a great value of only $5.41 per month. To subscribe, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.

WE HAVE A “PICK-THE-WINNERS” WINNER!

The winner of the special pick-the-winners contest held in conjunction with the “PBA Clash of the Legends” is Brent Joel from Salem, Ore. Joel correctly picked the American Pharaoh (Kentucky Derby), Amleto Monacelli (PBA Clash of the Legends) and Floyd Mayweather Jr. (prize fight) on May 2. For correctly picking the three winners in the PBA Facebook page promotion, Joel wins a PBA Prize Pack.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: NORTON WINS TWICE IN “MIRROR IMAGE” HAWAII EVENTS

For the second time in four days, Scott Norton of Mission Viejo, Calif., defeated Tom Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla., to win the PBA Hickam AFB West/Northwest Open presented by Storm at Hickam Lanes Sunday to conclude the West and Northwest Region’s traditional Hawaii tripleheader series.

Norton topped Daugherty at Hickam Lanes, 207-185, four days after defeating the Floridian, 217-186, to win the Hawaii West/Northwest Open at Schofield AFB Lanes the previous Wednesday. Norton won his eighth and ninth PBA Regional titles and $2,000 prizes in both events.

Ironically, the Hickman Lanes event was almost a mirror image of the Schofield tournament. In the semifinal round at Hickam, Norton defeated Toby Sambueno, Las Vegas, 202-176, and Daugherty defeated Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., 227-197, to set up the championship match. In the Schofield semifinal round, Norton defeated Sambueno, 235-188, and Daugherty eliminated Jones, 205-146, to set up the title match.

Daugherty earned a $1,300 prize for second place in each of the three Hawaii tournaments while Sambueno and Jones each earned $1,000 as semifinal round losers at Hickam and Schofield.

Josh Blanchard of Mesa, Ariz., won the first event in the series, the Kona West/Northwest Open at KBXtreme Lanes in Kona on Monday, April 27, when he defeated Daugherty, 247-239, in the title match.

Nathan Bohr from Austin, Texas, defeated Miguel Lopez of Wichita, Kan., 214-204, to win the eighth annual Professional Bowlers Association Junction City Bowl Southwest/Midwest Open, presented by Radical, at Junction City Bowl Sunday.

Bohr’s victory was his 20th PBA Regional title, and the third time he has won in Junction City.

Bohr took the lead during the casher’s round and built it to 134 pins in the round-robin match play, before losing the final game position round game, 210-180, to Anthony Lavery-Spahr of Denton, Texas. Despite Lavery-Spahr’s win in the position round, he dropped to third place because Lopez won his position round match, 279-184, over Wichita State University bowler Nick Powers of Sun Prairie, Wis. Kurt Gengelbach of Carrollton, Texas, vaulted into fourth place for the four-player stepladder finals by defeating Will Barnes of Wichita, 203-155, in his final match. 

In the stepladder finals, Lavery-Spahr eliminated Gengelbach, 227-191, before falling to Lopez, 213-211. Bohr then secured a close title match with a spare in the final frame.

● The May 8-10 weekend includes a PBA/PBA50 joint regional doubleheader, the PBA and PBA50 Baldo Campana Central/Midwest Open benefitting the Lorain County Kids Fund, presented by Radical Bowling, at Rebman Recreation in Lorain, Ohio, and the PBA50 Station 300 Bluffton Open in Bluffton, S.C.

On the May 15-17 calendar are the Debbie & Leo Nunan Memorial Central Open presented by Nance Construction and Brunswick at AMF Stardust Lanes in Grove City, Ohio; the Victory Lanes Midwest Challenge (for non-champions) in Kankakee, Ill., and the Lightning Lanes Challenge in Marion, N.C. The originally-scheduled Bethmann Russell Syracuse Open at Thunderbird Lanes in Syracuse, N.Y., has been cancelled due to closing of the host center. The East Region is seeking an alternative center and may re-schedule the Bethmann Russell event at a later date.

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.

QUICK NOTES

● Applications for the $1,000 2015 PBA Billy Welu Scholarship Award recognizing exemplary qualities in male or female college students who compete in the sport of bowling 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/.

● The winner of the April MOTIV Xtra Frame sweepstakes and a new MOTIV bowling ball is Jonathan Kusiak of Palm Coast, Fla. If you are not an Xtra Frame subscriber, you can enter the MOTIV sweepstakes by signing up for a new monthly or full-year Xtra Frame subscription –monthly ($7.99) or 12-month XF Season Ticket ($64.99). MOTIV’s ball-a-month sweepstakes will continue throughout 2015.

● April’s winner in the monthly HotelPlanner.com sweepstakes is Walter McKnight of Brick, N.J. The official travel partner of the PBA awards a $200 lodging gift certificate each month to a lucky person who books a hotel room through HotelPlanner.com. Use the “Book Hotel” link on pba.com and you will be automatically entered. The gift certificate will be valid for hotel room and tax only.

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PBA Spare Shots: Largest PBA League Audience Ever Watches Elias Cup Finals on ESPN

by Bill Vint April 29, 2015 03:14

Closing out a highly-successful season of ESPN coverage, the PBA Tour posted the largest audience ratings in the three-year history of PBA League competition. The PBA League Elias Cup finals from Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, reached an audience of more than 670,000 viewers, up 66 percent over the previous year and up 22 percent over the inaugural Elias Cup finals held in 2013.

The strong PBA League ratings capped a season that began with the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling, where ESPN finals recorded 20-plus percent increases over the previous year, followed by even larger increases for five PBA telecasts airing in February into early March when ratings were up 66 percent over the same period in 2014. ESPN’s average viewership was over 920,000 for five shows including the CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational (at 1.1 million average viewers the highest for a PBA telecast since 2012), the USBC Masters (up 62% over 2014), 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions, PBA Players Championship and Roth/Holman PBA Doubles Championship.

XTRA FRAME TO COVER BOWLMOR AMF U.S. OPEN PRELIMINARY ROUNDS

The PBA continues to expand its schedule of live online video streaming events, announcing that Xtra Frame will be the exclusive home for live qualifying and match play coverage of the 2015 Bowlmor AMF US Open, Nov. 2-8 in Garland, Texas. The U.S. Open will conclude with a live telecast on CBS Sports Network.

During 2015, Xtra Frame is providing its growing legion of subscribers with live coverage of all preliminary rounds of PBA Tour events, start-to-finish coverage of a series of new PBA Tour Xtra Frame tournaments, start-to-finish coverage of all PBA50 Tour events (except for the USBC Senior Masters, which will be covered by USBC’s BOWL.tv), and complete coverage of all new Professional Women’s Bowling Association events (except the nationally-televised finals of the PWBA majors including the USBC Queens, Bowlmor AMF Women’s U.S. Open and the end-of-season PWBA Championship).

Xtra Frame’s extensive video streaming schedule is available to a world-wide audience at nominal subscription rates: $3.99 for a three-day subscription for fans who want to watch a specific three-day event, $7.99 for a full month subscription, and $64.99 for a 12-month XF Season Ticket package. For complete information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link. In addition to live event coverage, subscribers have access to Xtra Frame’s extensive archive of past PBA events, interviews, instructional videos and more.

PBA COMMISSIONER ADDRESSES USBC DELEGATION IN OMAHA

PBA Commissioner Tom Clark will provide United States Bowling Congress delegates, convened in Omaha for USBC’s annual meeting and convention, an update on PBA’s progress during the 2015 season Wednesday afternoon as part of the USBC’s industry update program. The session will be video-streamed on bowl.com’s BowlTV service.

BowlTV also will video-stream Wednesday night’s USBC Hall of Fame ceremonies, which will include the inductions of PBA members Larry Laub and Liz Johnson.

GENESIS, LANE MASTERS, LEGENDS by LANE MASTERS ARE PBA PRODUCT REGISTERED

Genesis Bowling Accessories along with Lane Masters and Legends by Lane Masters bowling balls will join the roster of PBA Product Registered brands as of April 30.

Genesis Bowling Accessories’ approved products include K-Motion (kinesiology) Tape; Excel Performance Thumb Tapes; leather ball-wipe pads; Hydro, Intense and Maxx ball cleaners; roller bags and its power wrist wrap. Lane Masters and Legends by Lane Masters bowling balls will be approved for use in PBA Regional and PBA50 Tour competition.

For more information about the PBA Product Registered program, including a complete listing of approved brands and products, go to the “approved products” link under the Resources tab on the pba.com home page (http://www.pba.com/ProductRegistration/Manufacturers/).

CBS SPORTS NETWORK ANNOUNCES GRAND CASINO PBA SUMMER SWING AIR DATES

CBS Sports Network and the PBA have announced the broadcast dates for five two-hour finals that will originate from the Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Summer Swing from Shawnee, Okla., in late May. All five shows will air on consecutive Tuesdays beginning with the Wolf Open on May 26 at 8 p.m. ET.

The other telecasts, all airing at 9 p.m. ET, will include the Bear Open finals on June 2, the Badger Open on June 9, the PBA Oklahoma Open on June 16 and the Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort King of the Swing special event on June 23.

PBA STARS TO PARTICIPATE IN BABY REESA FOUNDATION PRO-AM JUNE 5

An all-star cast of PBA stars will participate in the second annual Baby Reesa Foundation Pro-Am No-Tap bowling tournament hosted by PBA/PWBA star Missy Parkin. The fund-raising event at Bowlium Lanes in Montclair, Calif., June 5, will benefit children with the disease Krabbe Leukodystrophy.

The event, which will be conducted in conjunction with the PBA Parkin’s Bowling Supply West Open regional June 6-7, will include PBA stars Josh Blanchard, Scott Norton, Clara Guerrero and Michael Haugen Jr. along with Parkin and others. The entry fee for the pro-am is $69 which includes participation in the Demo Day at 5:30 p.m. on June 5 where fans can try out the latest bowling equipment. For entry information, contact Bowlium Lanes at (909) 626-3528 or Drew Parkin at (323) 491-7221.

LONG-TIME PBA MEMBER BALDO CAMPANA DIES AT AGE 90

Baldo Campana, a long-time PBA member and the namesake of the upcoming PBA and PBA50 Baldo Campana Central/Midwest Open benefitting the Lorain County Kids Fund in his lifelong home, Lorain, Ohio, died Friday at Mercy New life Hospice in Lorain. He was 90.

Campana was the founder of Baldo Campana Concrete, a U.S. Army veteran, an accomplished artist and a skilled golfer, but his passion always was bowling. In honor of his 80th birthday in 2005, his five children and numerous grandchildren created the “Baldo Bash,” a New Year’s Day tournament hosted by Rebman Recreation, and eight years ago, Rebman Recreation and the PBA Central Region created the Baldo Campana Open in his honor. The 2015 PBA and PBA50 doubleheader will be held over the May 8-10 weekend. For more information about Campana, click here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/morningjournal/obituary.aspx?pid=174724774

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: BLANCHARD CONTINUES HOT STREAK IN HAWAII

Josh Blanchard of Mesa, Ariz., defeated Tom Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla., 247-239, to win the PBA Kona West/Northwest Open at KBXtreme Lanes in Kona, Hawaii, Monday, kicking off the joint West and Northwest Regions’ traditional Hawaii tripleheader series.

Blanchard, fresh off winning his first two PBA Tour titles in the Brunswick Euro Challenge and Xtra Frame PBA Maine Shootout, won his ninth PBA Regional title along with a $2,000 first prize. Blanchard defeated Missy Parkin of Laguna Hills, Calif., 268-224, and Daugherty defeated Austin Hunt of Kennewick, Wash., 278-219, in the semifinal round.

The Hawaii series continues with the PBA Hawaii West/Northwest Open presented by Storm at Scofield Air Base on Wednesday, and the PBA Hickam AFB West/Northwest Open Saturday and Sunday. Both events are hosted by U.S. military bases on Oahu.

● On the heels of winning his first PBA50 Tour title the previous week in the UnitedHealthcare Villages Open, Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, continued his winning ways as he defeated Ken Shealy of Myrtle Beach, S.C., 210-183, 238-198, in a best-of-three-game championship final to win his 42nd PBA Regional title in the Tarheel Lanes South Open in Hendersonville, N.C., on Saturday, April 25.

The Hendersonville stop included a number of PBA50 Tour players who were on their way to the PBA50 Miller High Life Classic in Mooresville, N.C. Scroggins, a rookie in PBA50 competition, earned $2,000. Shealy received $1,000 as runner-up.

In best-of-three-game semifinal round, Scroggins defeated Brian Cooper of Henderson, Nev., 237-156, 238-203, and Shealy took out Sammy Ventura of Syracuse, N.Y., 245-164, 174-145.

● Leading off the May regional schedule, over the May 1-3 weekend, will be the Junction City (Kan.) Bowl Southwest/Midwest Open presented by Radical, and the Pro Bowl West Tri-Region Member/Non-Member Doubles presented by the Proprietor’s Cup in Ft. Wayne, Ind.

The May 8-10 weekend includes a PBA/PBA50 joint regional doubleheader, the PBA and PBA50 Baldo Campana Central/Midwest Open benefitting the Lorain County Kids Fund, presented by Radical Bowling, at Rebman Recreation in Lorain, Ohio, and the PBA50 Station 300 Bluffton Open in Bluffton, S.C.

On the May 15-17 calendar are the Debbie & Leo Nunan Memorial Central Open presented by Nance Construction and Brunswick at AMF Stardust Lanes in Grove City, Ohio; the Victory Lanes Midwest Challenge (for non-champions) in Kankakee, Ill., and the Lightning Lanes Challenge in Marion, N.C. The originally-scheduled Bethmann Russell Syracuse Open  at Thunderbird Lanes in Syracuse, N.Y., has been cancelled due to closing of the host center.

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.

The Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open, presented by Storm, is set for May 31-June 5 at the Suncoast Casino, Hotel and Bowling Center in Las Vegas. The Senior U.S. Open – the first major on the 2015 PBA50 Tour schedule – will be covered live from start to finish on Xtra Frame.

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

● Storm has announced the signing of former Major League Baseball pitching star John Burkett, a 50-year-old rookie on the PBA50 Tour, to its stable of staff representatives.

● Only two days remain to qualify for the April MOTIV Xtra Frame sweepstakes. If you are not an Xtra Frame subscriber, you can enter the MOTIV sweepstakes by signing up for a new Xtra Frame subscription – your choice of three-day ($3.99), monthly ($7.99) or 12-month XF Season Ticket ($64.99). MOTIV’s ball-a-month sweepstakes will continue throughout 2015.

● Another April reminder: Every month, HotelPlanner.com, the official travel partner of the PBA, is awarding a $200 lodging gift certificate to a lucky person who books a hotel room through HotelPlanner.com. Use the “Book Hotel” link on pba.com before the last day of the month, and you will be automatically entered. The $200 gift certificate will be valid for hotel room and tax only.

● Last call: You can still earn a discount on an Xtra Frame Season Ticket subscription with the purchase of a new bowling ball through a special limited-time arrangement with Bowling Infinity Group. Visit http://offthetrailer.com/ for details on how to earn a $25 discount and free shipping on the bowling ball-Xtra Frame Season Ticket package now through April 30.

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