PBA Spare Shots: Belmonte, Walter Ray Achieve PBA Pinfall Milestones

by Bill Vint April 9, 2014 07:58

One of the most notable pinfall milestones a grassroots bowler can accomplish is membership in the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships’ 100,000 pinfall club, a feat long-time PBA member and current Storm Products Vice President-Public Relations Bob Hart accomplished recently in Reno. In his 58th USBC Open appearance, Hart became the 14th bowler to join that elite club.

By way of comparison, Australia’s Jason Belmonte is the first member a new PBA 100,000 pinfall club, and it only took him five years to do it. The reigning PBA Player of the Year is the first player to surpass that milestone in PBA World Series of Bowling competition, knocking over 101,431 pins in 456 games (a 222.43 scoring pace). Sean Rash will likely become the second member of the WSOB 100,000 pinfall club this fall in his sixth World Series. Rash has a 99,717 total for 445 games, averaging 224.04.

While membership in any 100,000 pinfall club is noteworthy, PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. has established a standard for PBA Tour competition that will be hard to beat. Williams closed the 2012-13 PBA Tour season as the first-and-only player to knock down more than five million pins in PBA Tour competition. As of Dec. 31, 2013, Williams had bowled 22,926 games in 775 PBA Tour events and knocked down a total of 5,019,834 pins – a lifetime average of 218.95.

To put WRW’s career into perspective, an average league bowler rolling 100 games in a season would need to average nearly 219 for a little more than 229 years to match that feat.

Williams’ closest challenger is fellow Hall of Famer Pete Weber who has toppled 4,650,511 pins in 21,482 games during a career that began in 1979. Weber has averaged 216.48 in his 750 PBA Tour events.

ESPN “SPORTS SCIENCE” SEGMENT EXPLORES RASH’S STRIKING POWER ON SUNDAY

Sunday’s ESPN coverage of the PBA League Elias Cup Finals at 2 p.m. ET will include a special “Sports Science” feature by John Brenkus examining PBA star Sean Rash’s striking power. The use of a variety of sensors and slow-motion video helps Brenkus break down Rash’s delivery as he explains how the former PBA Player of the Year generates the speed and power that set him apart from the “average” league bowler.

XTRA FRAME TO PROVIDE EXTENSIVE COVERAGE OF PBA50 TOUR

Beginning with the PBA50 Pasco County Open at Lane Glo Bowl in New Port Richey, Fla., and continuing through the summer months, PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, will provide extensive live coverage of almost the complete PBA50 Tour’s 2014 schedule.

PBA50 Tour events confirmed for coverage following the April 13-15 Pasco County Open include the Miller High Life Classic presented by Columbia 300, George Pappas Victory Lanes, Mooresville, N.C., April 27-30; the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open presented by Dexter, Suncoast Bowling Center, Las Vegas, June 1-6; the Northern California Classic presented by MOTIV, Harvest Park Bowl, Brentwood, Calif., June 15-18; the Dick Weber Super Senior Classic presented by Storm, Pro Bowl West, Fort Wayne, Ind., July 18-20; the PBA50 Pro Bowl West Fort Wayne Classic presented by Ebonite, Pro Bowl West, Fort Wayne, Ind., July 20-23; the Dayton Classic presented by Roto Grip, Capri Bowling Lanes, Kettering, Ohio, July 28-31; the South Shore Open presented by DV8, Olympia Lanes, Hammond, Ind., Aug. 4-7, and the Treasure Island Resort & Casino Open presented by Hammer, Island Xtreme Bowl, Welch, Minn., Aug. 10-13.

The USBC Senior Masters at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas, June 8-13, will be covered by USBC’s BowlTV.

The star-studded 2014 PBA50 Tour season will feature a number of PBA Hall of Famers (Norm Duke, Parker Bohn III, Tom Baker, Dale Eagle, Amleto Monacelli, Randy Pedersen, Johnny Petraglia, Brian Voss, Wayne Webb, Pete Weber and Walter Ray Williams Jr.) and a host of PBA Tour and PBA50 Tour champions. Throughout the season, PBA50 competitors will be competing for three berths in the end-of-season PBA50 Tour Finals which will be conducted in conjunction with the PBA World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas.

For scheduled PBA50 Tour events, Xtra Frame will provide start-to-finish coverage of qualifying and match play rounds, including title matches. To subscribe to Xtra Frame, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link. Monthly subscriptions are $7.99; a full year of Xtra Frame coverage, which includes access to a huge archive of past telecasts, interviews and instructional materials, is available for $64.99.

In addition to the PBA50 Tour events, Xtra Frame will provide live coverage of all preliminary and match play rounds of Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort Summer Swing from FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., May 19-22.

BARNES FAMILY’S STRIKE OUT DIABETES FUNDRAISER SET FOR MAY 10

Seventeen-time PBA Tour titlist Chris Barnes and his wife Lynda will host their fifth annual Strike Out Diabetes fundraiser at Plano Super Bowl in Plano, Texas, on Saturday, May 10. The Barnes family hopes to add $60,000 to the more than $250,000 they’ve already raised in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The event will include a lineup of PBA, Team USA and USBC personalities including Clara Guerrero, Kim Terrell-Kearney, Tennelle Milligan, Rod Ross, Paul Fleming, Dino Castillo, and Chris and Stefanie Johnson, among others. It will include a coaching clinic, silent auction, prize drawings, trick shots and more. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities or how you can participate, visit strikeoutdiabetes.org.

PBA REGIONAL ROUNDUP: GUNN WINS FIRST REGIONAL TITLE IN INDIANA

Brian Gunn of Chicago defeated Ronnie Russell of Marion, Ind., 268-209, to win his first PBA Regional title in the PBA Security Federal Savings Bank Central/Midwest Championship at Star Lanes in Lafayette, Ind., Sunday.

Gunn, the top qualifier, earned $2,300. Russell defeated Tom Hess of Urbandale, Iowa, 247-244, to advance to the championship match after Hess kicked off the stepladder finals by eliminating Mike Wolfe of Jeffersonville, Ind., 255-245, and Tim Mack of Indianapolis, 269-238.

● The April 11-13 PBA Regional schedule includes the PBA Rockaway Lanes Eastern Open presented by Storm at Rockaway Lanes in Rockaway, N.J.; one of the West/Northwest Region’s premier events, the PBA Earl Anthony Memorial Classic at Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl in Dublin, Calif.; a PBA Summer Swing preview event, the FireLake Grand Casino Hotel Resort Southwest Open presented by Dexter in Shawnee, Okla.; and the PBA Debbie & Leo Nunan Memorial Central Open presented by Track at AMF Stardust Lanes in Grove City, Ohio.

The April 16-18 weekend features the PBA50 Sarasota Southern Open at Sarasota (Fla.) Lanes; the PBA South Point West Challenge (for non-champions) and the South Point West Member/Non-Member Doubles in Las Vegas, and the PBA Del Mar Lanes U Can Bowl 2 Southwest Challenge presented by MOTIV (for non-champions) in Houston, Texas.

Closing the April schedule will be the PBA50 Cherokee Lanes Southern Open presented by MOTIV in Canton, Ga., April 24-26.

The annual PBA West/Northwest Hawaii tripleheader is also on tap, beginning with the PBA Kona West/Northwest Open at KBXtreme Lanes in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, April 27-28, and followed by the PBA John Gonsalves Memorial West/Northwest Open at Schofield Barracks on May 1, and the Hickam AFB West Northwest Open presented by Columbia 300 May 2-4.

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

Reminder: PBA members, amateur bowlers and fans who are planning to attend the Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort PBA Summer Swing in Shawnee, Okla., are urged to use a special online link to obtain the special $99-per-night room rate. To reserve your room at the special PBA rate, visit http://usgcr.webhotel.microsdc.us/ and enter 140516SUMM in the Group Code Box. Or you can call the Grand directly at 405-964-7777 and mention the PBA Summer Swing to obtain the preferred rate.

● Reminder: Four paid entries into Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort PBA Summer Swing will be awarded in a “win-a-spot” qualifier to be hosted by FireLake Bowling Center on Sunday, April 27, at noon. The entry fee is $150. Competition will involve nine games total pinfall, including three games each on the Wolf, Badger and Bear patterns that will be used during the Summer Swing. To enter the win-a-spot qualifier, call FireLake at 405-275-0404.

● A line of lightweight spring clothing items are now available at the PBA Store. To shop for PBA-logoed merchandise, visit pba.com and click on the “shop” tab.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it.

Silver Lake Atom Splitters Sweep Philly Hitmen, Advance to PBA League Elias Cup Finals Vs. L.A. X

by Bill Vint April 6, 2014 06:55

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Chris Barnes and his Silver Lake Atom Splitters teammates swept the Philadelphia Hitmen in the final Professional Bowlers Association League semifinal match to earn a berth in the 2014 Elias Cup finals against Jason Belmonte and his L.A. X team.

The final semifinal round match at Thunderbowl Lanes aired Sunday on ESPN. The all-Los Angeles area battle for the Elias Cup will air on ESPN on Sunday, April 13, at 2 p.m. ET.

After finishing in sixth place among eight teams in the 2013 introductory PBA League season, the Atom Splitters, presented by Spiceworks and owned by Internet podcast innovator and television host Chris Hardwick, bolstered their 2014 lineup with the addition of former PBA Players of the Year Tommy Jones and Wes Malott, and won 11 of a possible 12 points in matches against the Dallas Strikers and the Hitmen, presented by High 5 Gear, to advance to the Elias Cup finals at Brunswick Zone Carolier in North Brunswick, N.J.

“Our team keeps getting better as we go,” Barnes said. “We’ll switch venues for the Elias Cup, which will have an impact. Carolier hooks a lot less than Thunderbowl does. As far as L.A. X’s fearless leader (Australian two-handed star Belmonte) is concerned, that’s not much of a deal, but I don’t know about the rest of their team. They have a lot of good shot-makers, but so do we. I think we’re down to the two strongest teams.”

Belmonte agreed.

“The Atom Splitters are a stacked team,” the L.A. X team leader said. “I feel our performance speaks for itself. If there’s a team that’s going to give (Silver Lake) a run for their money, it’s us.”

L.A. X, presented by GoBowling.com, eliminated the BROOKLYN STyLES and the defending Elias Cup champion New York City WTT KingPins in earning its berth in the Elias Cup finale.

Barnes gave Silver Lake a 1-0 lead by winning the singles match against Philadelphia franchise player Bill O’Neill. Barnes survived a 3-4-6-7-10 split in the sixth frame after throwing five strikes to start the game. After he failed to convert the split, he threw another string of four strikes for a 248-236 win.

In alternate ball doubles, Philadelphia’s Josh Blanchard and Ryan Ciminelli threw back-to-back strikes in the ninth and 10th frames to overcome the Atom Splitters’ one-pin lead, but Barnes and partner Bryon Smith answered with three strikes in their 10th frame to pull out a 228-226 win for a 2-0 lead.

Silver Lake’s Tommy Jones, Dom Barrett and Wes Malott started the Baker trios contest with six strikes, building a 53-pin lead, and held on for a 233-216 win over Ciminelli, O’Neill and Dan MacLelland for a 3-0 lead.

The Atom Splitters completed the sweep with a convincing 247-224 victory in the Baker team finale. Smith, Barnes, Barrett, Malott and Jones struck on eight of their first nine shots and Silver Lake never gave the Hitmen a chance.

“We’re five players deep,” Barnes said. “We didn’t bowl very well in our first match (against Dallas), but we survived that. We figured that was as bad as it could get, so we threw everyone back out there and it worked out. We just don’t like to lose. Ever.”

PROFESSIONAL BOWLERS ASSOCIATION LEAGUE SEMIFINAL MATCH TWO
Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich.

Final Standings
Silver Lake Atom Splitters presented by Spiceworks def. Philadelphia Hitmen presented by High 5 Gear, 6-0.

Singles Match (one point)
Chris Barnes, Silver Lake Atom Splitters, def. Bill O’Neill, Philadelphia Hitmen, 248-236.

Alternate Ball Doubles (one point)
Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Chris Barnes/Bryon Smith) def. Philadelphia Hitmen (Ryan Ciminelli/Josh Blanchard), 228-226.

Baker Trios (one point)
Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Tommy Jones/Dom Barrett/Wes Malott) def. Philadelphia Hitmen (Ryan Ciminelli/Bill O’Neill/Dan MacLelland), 233-216.

Five-Man Baker Team (three points)
Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Bryon Smith/Chris Barnes/Dom Barrett/Wes Malott/Tommy Jones) def. Philadelphia Hitmen (Dan MacLelland/Mike DeVaney/Josh Blanchard/Bill O’Neill/Ryan Ciminelli), 247-224.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it.

PBA Spare Shots: Xtra Frame to Cover First Leg of Race of PBA50 Tour Finals

by Bill Vint April 4, 2014 04:05

The road to the 2014 PBA50 Tour Finals begins April 13 in New Port Richey, Fla., and PBA fans around the world can watch the first leg of the race on Xtra Frame.

The PBA50 Pasco County Open from Lane Glo Bowl will not only kick off the 2014 PBA50 Tour season, but it will make the “senior” debut of PBA Hall of Famers Norm Duke and Parker Bohn III competing in a field of more than 110 players that will include fellow hall of famers Tom Baker, Dale Eagle, Amleto Monacelli, Randy Pedersen, Brian Voss, Wayne Webb, Pete Weber and Walter Ray Williams Jr. Throughout the season, PBA50 competitors will be competing for three berths in the end-of-season PBA50 Tour Finals which will be conducted in conjunction with the PBA World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas.

The Pasco County Open will be the first of several PBA50 Tour events covered live on PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. Start-to-finish coverage of the Pasco County event (won last year by Bob Learn Jr.) begins with qualifying rounds on Sunday, April 13, and continues through the match play eliminations on Tuesday, April 15. To subscribe to Xtra Frame, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link. Monthly subscriptions are $7.99; a full year of Xtra Frame coverage, which includes access to a huge archive of past telecasts, interviews and instructional materials, is available for $64.99.

FIRELAKE TO HOST PBA SUMMER SWING “WIN A SPOT” QUALIFIER

Four paid entries into Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort PBA Summer Swing will be awarded in a “win a spot” qualifier to be hosted by FireLake Bowling Center on Sunday, April 27, at noon. The entry fee is $150. Competition will involve nine games total pinfall, including three games each on the Wolf, Badger and Bear patterns that will be used during the Summer Swing. To enter, call FireLake Bowling Center (405-275-0404).

“BOWLING GUY” JASON THOMAS APPEARS ON NEULION’S “DIGITAL DUDES” PANEL

Sports are no longer just for spectators. Today’s fans are more active, connected and engaged than ever before. NeuLion, a world leader in digital video broadcasting and the PBA’s partner in distribution of its Xtra Frame online bowling content, is changing the way fans consume sports with the most far-reaching digital experiences, delivering live and on-demand HD, interactive video to any device.

The developments that will immerse fans in the game like never before - letting them control how and when they want to watch, view real-time highlights, multiple camera angles, instant replays, slow motion, live stats, social media and chat – are topics NeuLion and other industry experts are discussing in a series of “Digital Dudes” forums that can be found on NeuLion’s website.

The most current group of experts appearing on Digital Dudes included Xtra Frame’s own “Bowling Guy,” Jason Thomas. To hear the discussion involving Thomas, NeuLion co-founder and Executive VP Chris Wagner, National Basketball Association Senior VP-Interactive Services Michael Allen, University of Nebraska Director of Web Operations Kelly Mosier, Newtek Chief Relationship Officer Phillip Nelson and Limelight Senior Marketing Director Jason Thibeault, visit neulion.com and click on the Digital Dudes link.

WORLD BOWLING TOUR LEADERS RETAIN POSITIONS

In the aftermath of three World Bowling Tour events in the Middle East and the Brunswick Euro Challenge, Sean Rash and Kelly Kulick remain the World Bowling Tour men’s and women’s points leaders. The WBT points list is based upon a two-year, rolling system of points earned in World Bowling (former World Tenpin Bowling Association)-PBA International Tour events.

As of March 26, Rash (635 points) held a 30-point edge over Mika Koivuniemi. Jason Belmonte is third at 601 followed by Tommy Jones (526). Kulick leads the women with 780 points, followed by Liz Johnson (510), Missy Parkin (481) and Sweden’s Sandra Andersson (440). The next WBT event is a women only competition, the USBC Queens in Reno, June 27-July 3.

ONLINE AUCTION RAISES $3,128 FOR CHRIS PAUL’S CP3 FOUNDATION

The PBA’s online PBA League auction to raise money for Chris Paul’s CP3 Foundation generated $3,128 to help support the PBA League owner’s charitable activities. Included in the auction were a number of bowling balls and game-worn jerseys belonging to PBA League franchise players, including L.A. X team leader Jason Belmonte.

Belmonte earned the right to select the charity that would receive the online auction funds by winning a special skills challenge competition involving all PBA League franchise players during the PBA World Series of Bowling V. The Australian two-handed star designated the L.A. X team owner’s foundation as his charity of choice.

PBA REGIONS TO COOPERATE WITH PROPRIETORS CUP III EVENT IN OHIO

The PBA and its East, Central and Midwest Regions are cooperating in the promotion of the Proprietors Cup III, an independent tournament that will be open to all comers, July 11-13 at Beaver-Vu Bowl in Beavercreek, Ohio. Projected first prize is $15,000. If the winner is a PBA member, he/she will be credited with a PBA Regional title.

Proprietors Cup III will include a win-a-spot round and Ace Mitchel All-Star Team Challenge on Friday, qualifying on Saturday and elimination rounds on Sunday. Complete details will be posted on pba.com in the “regional tour” section under the “schedules” tab.

PBA REGIONAL ROUNDUP: CARTER WINS MIDWEST/CENTRAL PBA50 TITLE

Tom Carter of Rockford, Ill., defeated Dale Traber of Cedarburg, Wis., 278-172, to win the PBA50 Boys & Girls Club Midwest/Central Open at Liberty Lanes in Carpentersville, Ill., on Saturday, March 29. The title was Carter’s fifth PBA50 Regional title. He also earned $1,500 along with his title.

Steve Pavlinko Jr. of Sewell, N.J., defeated 2013 PBA East Region Rookie of the Year Gary Haines of West Babylon, N.Y., 244-236, to win his first PBA Regional title in the PBA Bowlers Discount Pro Shop Eastern Open at Brunswick Zone Normandy in Ellicott City, Md., Sunday.

Pavlinko survived a tense 10th frame for the victory. Haines, needing a double in his final frame for the win, carried the first strike but left a solid 8 pin on the second shot to miss out on his first PBA title. With his win, Pavlinko joined his father Steve Pavlinko Sr. and uncle Larry Pavlinko as the third member of the family to capture PBA Regional titles.

● An extensive schedule of spring PBA Regional events continues into April and May.

The April 4-6 weekend includes the joint PBA Security Federal Savings Bank Central/Midwest Championship at Star Lanes in Lafayette, Ind.

The April 11-13 schedule includes the PBA Rockaway Lanes Eastern Open presented by Storm at Rockaway Lanes in Rockaway, N.J.; one of the West/Northwest Region’s premier events, the PBA Earl Anthony Memorial Classic at Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl in Dublin, Calif.; a PBA Summer Swing preview event, the FireLake Grand Casino Hotel Resort Southwest Open presented by Dexter in Shawnee, Okla.; and the PBA Debbie & Leo Nunan Memorial Central Open presented by Track at AMF Stardust Lanes in Grove City, Ohio.

The April 16-18 weekend features the PBA50 Sarasota Southern Open at Sarasota (Fla.) Lanes; the PBA South Point West Challenge (for non-champions) and the South Point West Member/Non-Member Doubles in Las Vegas, and the PBA Del Mar Lanes U Can Bowl 2 Southwest Challenge presented by MOTIV (for non-champions) in Houston, Texas.

Closing the April schedule will be the PBA50 Cherokee Lanes Southern Open presented by MOTIV in Canton, Ga., April 24-26.

The annual PBA West/Northwest Hawaii tripleheader is also on tap, beginning with the PBA Kona West/Northwest Open at KBXtreme Lanes in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, April 27-28, and followed by the PBA John Gonsalves Memorial West/Northwest Open at Schofield Barracks on May 1, and the Hickam AFB West Northwest Open presented by Columbia 300 May 2-4.

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

Reminder: PBA members, amateur bowlers and fans who are planning to attend the Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort PBA Summer Swing in Shawnee, Okla., are urged to use a special online link to obtain the special $99-per-night room rate. To reserve your room at the special PBA rate, visit http://usgcr.webhotel.microsdc.us/ and enter 140516SUMM in the Group Code Box. Or you can call the Grand directly at 405-964-7777 and mention the PBA Summer Swing to obtain the preferred rate.

● Storm Products Vice President-Public Relations Bob Hart, a long-time fixture as a Storm representative at PBA events, became the 14th player in USBC Open Championships history to knock down 100,000 pins when he accomplished the feat in his 58th tournament appearance on April 1 in Reno. Needing 472 pins to reach the milestone, the 76-year-old USBC Hall of Famer rolled a 561 series in team event and finished with a 1,645 all-events total after doubles and singles to boost his career pinfall total to 101,173 pins. The late Joe Norris is the all-time USBC Open Championships pinfall leader with 123,770 pins in a record-tying 71 appearances.

David Letterman’s late-night bowling career is coming to an end. Arguably the late-night television host who has done the most to popularize bowling announced on Thursday that his lengthy run with CBS Television will come to an end, probably in 2015. Over the years, Letterman has featured comical bowling stunts with superstars Dick Weber, Mike Aulby, Norm Duke, Tommy Jones and Chris Barnes...not to mention his own feat of throwing bowling balls off a five-story building.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it.

L.A. X Defeats Defending Champion New York City WTT KingPins, Advances to PBA League Elias Cup Finals

by Bill Vint March 30, 2014 10:29

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – A clutch ninth-frame spare by reigning Professional Bowlers Association Player of the Year Jason Belmonte followed by three equally clutch 10th frame strikes in the Baker team finale by Parker Bohn III gave L.A. X a 5-1 victory over the defending PBA League champion New York City WTT KingPins and a berth in the 2014 Elias Cup finals.

The first PBA League semifinal round match at Thunderbowl Lanes aired Sunday on ESPN. The second semifinal match will pit actor/comedian Kevin Hart’s Philadelphia Hitmen, led by captain Bill O’Neill, against the Silver Lake Atom Splitters, owned by “Nerdist” creator Chris Hardwick and led by captain Chris Barnes, on ESPN on Sunday, April 6, at 1 p.m. ET. The Elias Cup finals will air on ESPN on Sunday, April 13, at 2 p.m. ET.

The Baker team game, worth a decisive three points in the PBA League elimination competition, was a three-pin contest when Belmonte left the 3-4-7-10 split in the ninth frame, and converted the difficult spare. The spare forced New York City captain Pete Weber to double in the 10th frame to take the lead, but Weber left a 4 pin on his first ball, giving L.A. X. a chance. Bohn, needing a mark and good count, struck out for a 218-204 win to send Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul’s team to the Elias Cup finals.

The win was redemption for the Los Angeles-based team that missed a trip to the 2013 finals by two points. It probably wouldn’t have happened if Belmonte hadn’t converted the split he left in the ninth frame.

“I wasn’t too confident; that was an interesting looking spare,” the Australian two-handed player said. “I didn’t know whether to hook it or throw my spare ball, but I threw my spare ball straight at it and it paid off.

“We get one shot on each lane in team event and I went through the nose on that lane in practice, so when we came back to that lane, I made a five-board move left and threw it really good,” he said of the shot that resulted in the split. “I thought it was a strike off my hand, but then I saw it hook and there were grandma’s teeth staring at me.”

L.A. X is now ready for whichever opposing team advances to the Elias Cup finals.

“We wanted to improve on our position from last year. Our goal was to play in the finals,” Belmonte said. “We accomplished that today. I’m stoked. We gelled as a team. We lifted each other. We made spares when we had to. We struck out when we had to. It wasn’t just one guy. We have a great team.”

In the singles game between team captains to start the match, Belmonte claimed the first point for L.A. X with a 234-208 victory over Weber. The decisive shot was Weber’s pocket 7-10 split in the ninth frame.

L.A. X added its second point on a near-perfect performance by Mika Koivuniemi and Bohn in a 299-216 romp in alternate-ball doubles. The perfect game was spoiled when Bohn left a 10 pin on the team’s 12th shot.

The KingPins, owned by women’s sports icon Billie Jean King and presented by GEICO, averted a sweep with a 249-235 come-from-behind win in the Baker trios game. L.A. X, presented by GoBowling.com, was cruising behind Belmonte, Andres Gomez and PBA Rookie of the Year E.J. Tackett until Tackett failed to convert the 10 pin in the ninth frame. New York City’s Stuart Williams struck in the ninth and anchor Scott Norton threw three strikes in the 10th to claim the trios point.

PROFESSIONAL BOWLERS ASSOCIATION LEAGUE SEMIFINAL MATCH ONE
Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich.

Final Standings
L.A. X presented by GoBowling.com def. New York City WTT KingPins presented by GEICO, 5-1.

Singles Match (one point)
Jason Belmonte, L.A. X, def. Pete Weber, New York City WTT KingPins, 234-208.

Alternate Ball Doubles (one point)
L.A. X (Mika Koivuniemi/Parker Bohn III) def. New York City WTT KingPins (John Szczerbinski/Pete Weber/sub Stuart Williams), 299-216.

Baker Trios (one point)
New York City WTT KingPins (Scott Norton/Jake Peters/Stuart Williams) def. L.A. X (Jason Belmonte/Andres Gomez/E.J. Tackett), 249-235.

Five-Man Baker Team (three points)
L.A. X (Mika Koivuniemi/E.J. Tackett/Andres Gomez/Jason Belmonte/Parker Bohn III) def. New York City WTT KingPins (Stuart Williams/Jake Peters/John Szczerbinski/Scott Norton/Pete Weber), 218-204.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it.

PBA Spare Shots: Norm Duke Turns 50, Makes PBA50 Debut in Pasco County Open April 12-15

by Bill Vint March 26, 2014 04:19

The PBA50 Tour will make its 2014 debut April 12-15 when Lane Glo Bowl hosts the Pasco County Open in New Port Richey, Fla. Among the field of 100-or-so players will be another PBA Hall of Famer making his PBA50 debut.

Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., turned 50 on Tuesday. Duke, who still holds the PBA record as the youngest player ever to win a PBA Tour title, will join the ranks of 50-and-older players 31 years after that memorable event. Duke was 18 years and 345 days old when he defeated Tom Milton of St. Petersburg, Fla., 238-204, to win the 1983 Cleveland Open.

Duke, who is tied for third place on the all-time PBA Tour titles list with fellow PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber – last year’s PBA50 Rookie of the Year – is eligible for PBA50 competition in 2014 along with 33-time PBA Tour winner and hall of famer Parker Bohn III (who turned 50 last July, at the close of the 2013 season), along with PBA Tour titlists Dave Arnold (New Year’s Day), twin brothers Mike and Mark Scroggins (March 12) and Rick Steelsmith (June 1).

Duke wasn’t sure if he wanted to bowl on the so-called senior tour or not, but as his 50th birthday grew closer, he examined his options more closely and decided he should participate.

“I polled some of my close friends and they all told me I’d be missing the boat if I didn’t bowl,” he said. “Not only will my fans want to see me compete, but maybe I can do some good for the senior tour. Look at what Pete (Weber) has done, and Walter Ray (Williams Jr.) and Mark Roth and Earl Anthony before them. It began to make sense, and Storm – my ball sponsor – also wanted me to be there.

“That’s what I needed to hear,” he continued. “If my sponsors think it’s important, it’s important to me. My career goal, from the very beginning, was to bowl against the very best in the world and beat them, but when you look at it from the viewpoint of what your sponsors want, it’s a whole different landscape.”

But Duke said he isn’t going to approach the PBA50 Tour as a leisurely hobby.

“I’m going to be prepared. I’m not going to approach this like it’s retirement,” he said. “It’s something I’ll take very seriously. I’m not going just to play; I’m going to compete.

“I thought about Pete and Walter Ray and Amleto (Monacelli) – guys who were the heroes while we were all bowling on the PBA Tour – I don’t remember bowling in events when those guys weren’t my competition. So I want to go out there on the PBA50 Tour and equal or exceed what they’ve already done. It’s like starting my quest all over.”

Duke said his current plan is to bowl the first three PBA50 Tour events in Florida and North Carolina, plus the PBA Senior U.S. Open and USBC Senior Masters in Las Vegas in June. At that point he’ll re-assess his plans for the duration of the PBA50 Tour’s 12-event 2014 schedule.

XTRA FRAME GEARS UP FOR PBA50 TOUR COVERAGE

The PBA50 Pasco County Open from Lane Glo Bowl in New Port Richey, Fla., will be the first of several PBA50 Tour events covered live on PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. Start-to-finish coverage of the Pasco County event (won last year by Bob Learn Jr.) begins with qualifying rounds on Sunday, April 13, and continues through the match play eliminations on Tuesday, April 15.

To subscribe to Xtra Frame, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link. Monthly subscriptions are $7.99; a full year of Xtra Frame coverage, which includes access to a huge archive of past telecasts, interviews and instructional materials, is available for $64.99.

ROOM RATES AVAILABLE FOR SUMMER SWING AT OKLAHOMA’S GRAND CASINO RESORT

PBA members, amateur bowlers and fans who are planning to attend the Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort PBA Summer Swing in Shawnee, Okla., are urged to use a special online link to obtain the special $99-per-night room rate. To reserve your room at the special PBA rate, visit http://usgcr.webhotel.microsdc.us/ and enter 140516SUMM in the Group Code Box. Or you can call the Grand directly at 405-964-7777 and mention the PBA Summer Swing to obtain the preferred rate.

PBA REGIONAL ROUNDUP: AULT NEARLY PERFECT IN PORTLAND WIN

Thomas Ault Jr. of Portland, Ore., was nearly perfect in defeating top qualifier Wayne Garber of Modesto, Calif., 298-187, to win the PBA Northwest/West DV8 Open at Caveman Bowl in Grants Pass, Ore., on Sunday, March 23.

The win for Ault, who left a pocket 7-10 on his final shot in the title match, was his fifth in PBA Regional competition and included a $2,000 first prize.

Kevin Vostry of Plainfield, Ill., defeated Darryl Traber of Waterford, Wis., 214-170, to win the PBA50 Showtime Lanes Midwest/Central Open presented by MOTIV at Showtime Lanes in Virden, Ill., Sunday for a $1,500 first prize and his first PBA Regional title.

Gary Morgan of Atlanta, Ga., defeated Bill Keenan of Orlando, Fla., 230-225, 185-235, 258-155, in the best-of-three-game title match to win $1,600 and his 14th PBA Regional title in the PBA50 Fayetteville Southern Open at LaFayette Lanes in Fayetteville, N.C., Sunday.

Andy Patterson of Tyler, Texas, defeated Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, 236-202, to win $2,500 and his fifth PBA Regional title Sunday in the inaugural PBA San Angelo Southwest Open, presented by Ebonite, at Stadium Lanes in San Angelo, Texas.

David Kneas of Annapolis, Md., doubled in the 10th frame to defeat Jeff Zaffino of Warren, Pa., 201-186, to win the PBA50 Rossi Lanes Eastern Open at Rossi Lanes in Elmira, N.Y., Sunday. Kneas earned $2,200 along with his eighth career PBA Regional title.

● Closing out the March schedule will be the PBA50 Boys and Girls Club Midwest/Central Open presented by Columbia 300 at Liberty Lanes in Carpentersville, Ill., and the Bowlers Discount Eastern Open at Brunswick Zone Normandy in Ellicott City, Md.

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

Reminder: The starting time for Sunday’s ESPN telecast of the PBA League semifinal showdown between L.A. X and the New York City WTT Kingpins has been changed to 5 p.m. ET.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it.