Follow the PBA Stars in the Qatar Open

by Bill Vint November 25, 2014 05:22

DOHA, Qatar – You can follow the stars of the PBA as they contend for the Qatar Open this week. England’s Dom Barrett is defending champion. You can monitor the qualifying final rounds by visiting or The tournament ends Thanksgiving Day. First prize is $US40,000.

The Qatar Open format includes 17 squads of qualifying plus a last-chance “desperado” round on Wednesday leading to Thursday’s “step” finals. The top 10 qualifiers, based on six-game totals, earn a bye into Final Step 2. In Final Step 1, qualifiers 11-34, plus two qualifiers each from three rounds held early in the week and three “desperado” qualifiers will bowl six games (qualifying pins do not carry over). The top 18 from Step 1 will join the top 10 for Step 2. Step 2 is another six game round, from scratch. The top four players from Step 2 advance to the Step 3 championship round, where qualifier No. 1 will bowl a two-game total pinfall match against No. 4, while No. 2 will bowl No. 3 in a two-game match. The two winners will advance to a two-game, total pinfall championship match.

The Qatar Open is a PBA International Tour-World Bowling Tour event. A PBA Tour title will be awarded to the winner if he is a PBA member. Women bowling in PBA-WBT events can earn a PBA title only if they are not accepting the traditional 8 handicap pins per game offered in many international tournaments.

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Korea’s Song Si Ra Wins It’s Daejeon International Open; Canada’s Dan MacLelland Finishes Third

by Bill Vint November 22, 2014 01:56

DAEJEON, Korea (Nov. 22, 2014) – Korea’s Song Si Ra became the first woman to win a World Bowling Tour major title when she upset countryman and top qualifier Choi Tae Seung, 231-205, to win the It’s Daejeon International Open at the Daejeon World Cup Bowling Centre Sunday.

Song, 24, advance to the title match by defeating Canada’s Dan MacLelland, 213-195, in the semifinal match after MacLelland won a three-player shootout match to start the championships round.

In the It’s Daejeon International Open, like many international events, women who entered the “open” division received eight handicap pins per game, but Song didn’t need the “bonus” pins because she won each match by more than eight pins. Along with her title, Song earned 40 million Korean won, the equivalent of $37,200 U.S. dollars. Choi earned $18,600 and MacLelland took home $9,300 for his third-place finish.

In the shootout match, which was televised nationally in Korea, MacLelland’s 196 eliminated Korea’s Lee Na Hyun (168) and Jang Dong Chul (167). Lee was the second woman to make the championship round.

Song does not receive credit for a PBA International Tour title because she is a non-member, and in order for a woman to earn a PBA Tour title, she must be a PBA member and bowl the event without receiving handicap pins.

PBA International Tour players now travel to Doha, Qatar for the Qatar Open, Nov. 22-27, and the 8th Kingdom International Open in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Nov. 28-Dec. 2. A number of PBA members from around the world will then close the year by competing in the World Men’s Bowling Championships – a non-PBA event – in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Daejeon World Cup Bowling Centre, Daejeon, Korea, Nov. 22

Final Standings: 1, f-Song Si Ra, Korean, $37,200. 2, Choi Tae Seung, Korea, $18,600. 3, Dan MacLelland, Canada, $9,300. 4, f-Lee Na Hyun, Korea, $4,650. 5, Jang Dong Chul, Korea, $3,050.

Stepladder Results: Shootout Match: MacLelland (196) def. f-Lee (168) and Jang (167). Semifinal Match: Song def. MacLelland, 213-195. Championship: Song def. Choi, 231-205.

f-denotes female bowler (under tournament rules, female bowlers received an additional 8 handicap pins per game).

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Ryan Ciminelli, Buffalo Area PBA Members Struggle Through Historic Snowfall

by Bill Vint November 21, 2014 08:51

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – Two-time Professional Bowlers Association titlist Ryan Ciminelli feels lucky today to be among the survivors of what may be the worst snowstorm to bury the Buffalo, New York, area in a century.

Ciminelli, a 28-year-old lifelong resident of Buffalo suburb Cheektowaga, explained his harrowing story while taking a break Friday from trying to clear more than five feet of snow from the roof of his house.

Last Sunday, Ciminelli flew home from Tokyo, where he had competed in the Round1 Japan Cup, when the lake-effect snow across Lake Erie began to bury the region in up to nine feet of snow. Ciminelli’s personal troubles began with an airline maintenance problem that delayed his arrival in Buffalo from Monday night until Tuesday.

“When we got in, there was only about three inches of snow on the ground at the airport, but no one could come and get me, so I decided to walk home (about three miles),” he said. “I wasn’t dressed for the snow. I didn’t have a hat or gloves, or anything. By the time I got to the end of my street, there was no way I could get to my house. I could either try to walk through five feet of snow to a neighbor’s house, or turn around and go back toward another friend’s house near the airport. I decided to try for my neighbor’s house.

“By the time I got through the snow – it was less than 500 feet – my legs had gone numb. I literally fell into their garage. They got me inside and warmed me up, but I couldn’t stay there, so I went to another neighbor’s. I was really scared; I’m convinced I almost died,” he said.

“Apparently someone called in a false alarm to the fire department, so a small bobcat went through and plowed a path down my street on Wednesday morning, so I was able to follow that path to get home. That night, my wife Chelsea was making dinner, and I looked up and saw stress cracks all over the ceiling, so we called the fire department to ask what we should do. They told us they couldn’t remove the snow, but we should evacuate the house, so we went to my parents’ house.

“We decided to go back and try to get the snow off our roof,” Ciminelli continued. “I had a couple of guys helping and we got most of it off, but Chelsea said it seemed pretty cold in the house. Turns out our furnace is broken, so we’ve had no heat for the past 14-16 hours.

“And it could get worse. Rain is on the way, which will add more weight to the snow on the roof,” he added. “I think the news said there were 30 roof collapses last night alone, and there have been 13 deaths reported so far. And it’s supposed to warm up to 40-50 degrees, so it’s going to flood. It’s bad, really bad.”

Fellow Cheektowaga resident Liz Johnson had similar issues with snow, but made it safely back to the Buffalo airport late Monday night following the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling, where she qualified for the ESPN finals of the PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game, followed by a promotional engagement in Las Vegas. She made it home without incident but knowing heavy snow was on its way, immediately headed to the closest hardware store to buy a new snow blower.

“All of the snow blowers were gone, and by the time I got back home, it was insane. It didn’t stop snowing for two days, so other that going outside to try to help others dig out, I haven’t been out of the house,” Johnson said Friday. “It’s unbelievable. I live about a half mile from (Ciminelli), and we got about 80 inches of snow, but you can go five miles north, and they got next to nothing. The bands of snow were amazing. There are areas with next to nothing, but then you run into a wall of snow.

“I’ve lived here for 15 years,” the native of nearby Niagara Falls said, “and I remember some pretty bad snowfalls before. But this is double the worse I’ve ever seen. It’s pretty, but it’s pretty crazy. And now we’re going to have to deal with the flooding.”

Two-time PBA titlist Jack Jurek, who lives in Lackawanna on Buffalo’s south side – right in the path of the worst of it – said he got home from work Monday night “just when it started, and it snowed steadily for the next 30 to 36 hours. The band of snow coming off the lake never moved.

“I was born and raised in Lackawanna,” the 50-year-old PBA50 Tour “rookie” said, “but I’ve never seen anything like this. The blizzard of ’77 was bad, but that one didn’t have as much snow. It just covered a bigger area. This time we got as much snow in two days as we normally get in a whole year.”

Other than being tired from shoveling, Jurek said “we’re getting low on milk, but otherwise we’re good, and there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It’s going to start warming up, so the snow is going to start melting. But now we’ll start worrying about flooding.”

Other PBA players who live in the area, but apparently were spared the worst of the weather, are John Szczerbinski, who lives on the north side of Buffalo; Buffalo resident Joe Ciccone and Brad Angelo, who lives northeast of Buffalo in Lockport.

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PBA Spare Shots: Canada’s Dan MacLelland Bids for First PBA Tour Title in Korea

by Bill Vint November 21, 2014 07:28

Canada’s Dan MacLelland will try to out-score a field of four Korean bowlers to win his first PBA Tour title Saturday in the finals of the It’s Daejeon International Open at Daejeon World Cup Bowling Centre in Daejeon, Korea. The Daejeon tournament is part of the World Bowling Tour, conducted in cooperation between World Bowling and the PBA.

MacLelland qualified fifth for the five-player Korean-televised finals on Friday, recording a 16-game qualifying total of 3,458 pins. He will bowl against Korea’s Lee Na Hyun in the opening match. Lee finished with a 3,469 total, including eight handicap pins per game awarded to female competitors in the “open” field. Current Asian Youth Masters champion Choi Tae Seung was No. 1 qualifier with 3,536 pins followed by Song Si Ra, another female competitor, with 3,493 pins and Jang Dong Cheol in third place with a 3,471 pinfall total.

Josh Blanchard of Gilbert, Ariz., the only other PBA Tour competitor who bowled in Daejeon, finished seventh with 3,444 pins, earning $2,976. First prize in the Korean event is equivalent to $37,200 U.S. dollars. Blanchard also was trying for his first PBA Tour title.


Effective immediately, World Bowling has adopted a calendar year schedule in order to be compatible with PBA’s calendar year scheduling for the cooperative World Bowling Tour tournament program. The transition to calendar year for WBT competition will be fully implemented starting Jan. 1, 2016.

For 2015, World Bowling will extend the WBT season from Oct. 31, 2014, to Dec. 31, 2015.  All events between those dates will be included in the 2015 point list, which means the results of both the 2014 and 2015 PBA World Championships (conducted during PBA World Series of Bowling) along with the 2014 and 2015 It’s Daejeon Opens in Korea, Qatar Opens and Kingdom International Opens in Saudi Arabia will be conducted twice – and counted twice – as part of the 14-month 2014-15 season.

Starting Jan. 1, 2016, the three-man/three-woman World Bowling Tour Finals will be based on 2016 events only. WBT Points will continue to use its two-year rolling points list for world ranking purposes.

All World Bowling Tour tournaments award a PBA International Tour title to winners if they are PBA members.


(World Bowling Tour tournaments are held in cooperation between World Bowling and the Professional Bowlers Association; male and female participants earn competition points toward the annual WBT Finals; PBA International Tour titles are awarded if the winner is a PBA member; events designated as “major” award double WBT points)

Nov. 9-22, 2014 - It's Daejeon International Open, Daejeon, Korea (major)

Nov. 22-27, 2014 - Qatar Open, Doha, Qatar

Nov. 28-Dec. 2, 2014 - Kingdom International Open, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Dec. 4-15, 2014 - World Men's Championships, Abu Dhabi, UAE (men only; major; players must qualify through their home federations)

Jan. 2-11 - Brunswick Ballmaster Open, Helsinki, Finland

Jan. 11 - PBA World Championship finals, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States (major)

Feb. 1-8 - United States Bowling Congress Masters, Green Bay, Wis. (major)

Feb. 24-March 2 - H.H. Emir Cup, Doha, Qatar

March 3-9 - Kingdom of Bahrain Open, Manama, Bahrain

March 10-14 - Kuwait International Open, Kuwait City, Kuwait

March 14-22 - Brunswick Euro Challenge, Munich, Germany

May 9-17 - Grand Casino Resort PBA Summer Swing Oklahoma Open, Shawnee, Okla.

May 13-19 – USBC Queens, Green Bay, Wis. (women only)

tba - WBT Thailand, Bangkok Thailand

Oct. 16-Nov. 1 – PBA World Championship (PBA World Series of Bowling VII), Las Vegas (major)

Nov. 1 - World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by PBA, Las Vegas

Nov. 17-28 – World Women’s Championships, Abu Dhabi, UAE (women only; major)

tba – WBT UAE Open, Abu Dhabi, UAE

tba – It’s Daejeon International Open, Daejeon, Korea (major)

tba – 9th Kingdom International Open, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

tba – Qatar Open, Doha, Qatar


Eugene McCune of Munster, Ind., who has won two of his three PBA Tour titles in the Cheetah Championship events, again dominated the PBA animal pattern on Sunday, Nov. 16, when he was perfect in defeating Nathan Michalowski of Burlington, Wis., 300-233, to win the PBA Pro Bowl West Central/Midwest Cheetah Classic at Pro Bowl West.

The title was McCune’s 20th and he earned $2,000 along with his title.

McCune downed Dave Flemming of Fairborn, Ohio, 276-226, and Michalowski topped amateur Anthony Kennard of Wapakoneta, Ohio, 268-187, in their respective semifinal round matches.

Dean Richards of Tacoma, Wash. and partner Scott Halvarson of Lakewood, Wash. posted a 4-2 match play record and a 14-game total of 6,355 pins to win the PBA Go Bowl Northwest Doubles at Go Bowl in Pasco, Wash., by two pins Saturday.

The win was Richards’ fourth in PBA Regional competition, and Halvarson won his first PBA title, making him eligible to enter the 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions in February in Indianapolis.

Richards and Halvarson, who split the $2,500 first prize, nipped Alfredo Lopez of Pocatello, Idaho and Robert Harvey of Boise, Idaho, who finished with 6,353 pins.

Mike Tucker of Concord, N.C., defeated Gary Shultis of Levittown, N.Y., 277-247, 279-247, in the best-of-three-game title match to win $1,800 and his second PBA South Region title in the PBA50 Gastonia Southern Open presented by Brunswick at Liberty Lanes in Gastonia, N.C., Sunday.

In the best-of-three semifinal round, Tucker defeated Gary Morgan of Atlanta, 224-186, 246-299, 197-193, while Shultis swept Steve Lickliter of Beaver, W.Va., 258-235, 249-229.

● On the Nov. 21-23 PBA Regional schedule are the PBA50 Bryan’s Bowling Center Eastern Open presented by The Insurance Market in Laurel, Del.; the PBA50 Dick’s Pro Shop Northwest/West Open at Linn Lanes in Lebanon, Ore.; the Dallas Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeons Southwest Open at Brunswick Zone in Watauga, Texas, and the PBA50 Shore Lanes Merritt Island Open presented by Storm and Sill’s Pro Shop at Shore Lanes in Merritt Island, Fla.

Thanksgiving weekend includes the Beaumont Southwest Open at Crossroads Bowling Center in Beaumont, Texas, and the La-Z-Boy/Monroe Sport Center Central Challenge for non-titlists in Monroe, Mich.

For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit, open the “schedules” tab and click on Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area.


● The answer on Jeopardy was, “Earning more than $4 million, Walter Ray Williams Jr. is the PBA’s career earnings leader in this sport.” The question is?

● Last call: nominations for the 2014 Tony Reyes Community Service award are due Wednesday, Nov. 26. Nominees must be current PBA members in good standing. The winner will be selected by a PBA committee and announced along with the 2014 PBA Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award winners early in 2015. Nominations may be submitted by anyone. To obtain a nomination form, visit: (

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Korea’s Park Wins 28th Round1 Japan Cup

by Bill Vint November 15, 2014 02:47

TOKYO, Japan – Korea’s Kyung Shin Park became his country’s first Round1 Japan Cup winner Saturday when he defeated Japan’s Akio Ishihara, 241-203, in the 28th edition of the international tournament.

Park, who ended Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr.’s bid for history in the Round of 8 at Minami Suna Round1, earned $51,700 along with his title. Park also eliminated Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, in the semifinal round, 244-166, ending the PBA’s last hope for a title for the second straight year.

In the other semifinal match, Ishihara defeated Korea’s Young Kwan Kim, 226-225, to prevent an all- Korea title match.

Williams, 55, entered the championship round seeking his third Japan Cup title, a record 48th PBA Tour title, and his first PBA Tour title since 2010. But Park’s 278 made easy work of the Oxford, Florida, superstar.

PBA Rookie of the Year contender Marshall Kent of Yakima, Washington, and past Japan Cup titlist Mika Koivuniemi of Finland also were eliminated in the Round of 8. Ishihara ended Kent’s hopes for his first PBA title, 216-203, and Kim knocked Koivuniemi out of the finals, 247-226.

PBA Tour players now travel to South Korea and the Middle East to complete the 2014 season with three PBA International-World Bowling Tour events: the It’s Daejeon International Open in Daejeon, South Korean, today-Nov. 22; the Qatar Open in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 22-27, and the 8th Kingdom International Open in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Nov. 28-Dec. 2.

Minami Suna Round1, Tokyo, Saturday

Kyung Shin Park, Korea ($51,700) def. Akio Ishihara, Japan ($27,570), 241-203.

SEMIFINAL ROUND (losers earned $12,925)
Ishihara def. Young Kwan Kim, Korea, 226-225.
Park def. Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 244-166.

ROUND OF 8 (losers earned $6,545)
Kim def. Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, 247-226.
Ishihara def. Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 216-203.
Loschetter def. Takuya Miyazawa, Japan, 205-173.
Park def. Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 278-214.

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