Detroit Open Brings Expanded 2015 PBA Tour Schedule to 30 Title Events

by Bill Vint December 19, 2014 07:28

CHICAGO – The Xtra Frame Detroit Open at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Michigan, December 11-13, has been added to the Professional Bowlers Association’s 2015 schedule, expanding next year’s PBA calendar to 30 tournaments that will award PBA Tour titles.

PBA fans will be able to follow the entire schedule of events through the PBA Network which includes national television coverage on ESPN and CBS Sports Network, and online video streaming on Xtra Frame.

Overall, the 2015 PBA Tour schedule includes three major championships (United States Bowling Congress Masters, 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions and PBA World Championship), nine PBA International-World Bowling Tour events, a total of 21 domestic Tour events (including three doubles tournaments), PBA League competition, and special events including Chris Paul’s CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational presented by AMF, Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort King of the Swing, and World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals. The PBA Tour will visit 22 different cities and eight different countries in 2015.

The PBA also announced it has re-scheduled the Xtra Frame Pensacola South Open at New Liberty Lanes in Pensacola, Florida, to June 19-21, in order to avoid conflict for players who want to participate in the lucrative PBA-World Bowling Tour H.H. Emir Cup in Doha, Qatar.

Complete schedules and entry details will be available on


Jan. 8: Chris Paul’s CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational presented by AMF, AMF Bowl-O-Drome, Torrance, Calif. (ESPN, Feb. 1, 4:30 p.m. ET)

Jan. 6-11: PBA International-World Bowling Tour Ballmaster Open, Tali Bowling Center, Helsinki, Finland

Jan. 11: GEICO WSOB VI PBA World Championship stepladder finals, South Point Bowling Stadium, Las Vegas (ESPN live, 1 p.m. ET)

Jan. 14-18: DHC PBA Japan Invitational 2015, Tokyo Port Bowl, Tokyo, Japan (Xtra Frame)

Jan. 26-30: PBA Players Championship and Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship qualifying and match play, Bowlmor AMF Bowlero, Wauwatosa, Wis. (Xtra Frame)

Feb. 1-8: United States Bowling Congress Masters, Ashwaubenon Bowl, Green Bay, Wis. (preliminary rounds on Xtra Frame, finals on ESPN live, Feb. 8, 1 p.m. ET)

Feb. 10-15: 50th Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions, Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis (preliminary rounds on Xtra Frame, finals on ESPN live, Feb. 15, 1 p.m. ET); PBA Players Championship finals, Feb. 14 (ESPN, Feb. 22, 1 p.m. ET); Mark Roth/Marshall Homan PBA Doubles Championship finals, Feb. 15 (ESPN, March 1, 1 p.m. ET)

Feb. 24-March 2: PBA International-World Bowling Tour H.H. Emir Cup, Qatar Bowling Center, Doha, Qatar

March 5-10: PBA International-World Bowling Tour Kingdom of Bahrain Open, Ozone Entertainment Center, Oman, Bahrain

March 13-17: PBA International-World Bowling Tour Kuwait Open, Cozmo Bowling Center, Kuwait City, Kuwait

March 19-22: PBA International-World Bowling Tour Brunswick Euro Challenge, Dream-Bowl Palace, Munich, Germany

March 28-30: PBA League Playoffs and Elias Cup Finals, Bayside Bowl, Portland, Maine (ESPN, March 29, 4:30 p.m. ET; April 5, 3:30 p.m. ET; April 12, 2 p.m. ET and April 19, 1 p.m. ET)

March 30-31: PBA Xtra Frame Maine Shootout, Bayside Bowl, Portland, Maine (Xtra Frame)

May 9-17: Oklahoma’s Grand Casino and Resort PBA Summer Swing (Wolf, Bear, Badger and Oklahoma Open tournaments), Firelake Bowling Center and Grand Casino Event Center, Shawnee, Okla. (preliminary rounds on Xtra Frame, finals on CBS Sports Network, air dates to be announced)

June 19-21: PBA Xtra Frame Pensacola South Open, New Liberty Lanes, Pensacola, Fla. (Xtra Frame)

June 26-28: PBA Xtra Frame Lubbock Southwest Open, South Plains Lanes, Lubbock, Texas (Xtra Frame)

July 31-Aug. 2: PBA Xtra Frame Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles, Palace Lanes, Houston, Texas (Xtra Frame)

Aug. 4-7: PBA/PBA50 South Shore Doubles, Olympia Lanes, Hammond, Ind. (Xtra Frame)

Aug. 21-23: PBA Xtra Frame Middletown East Open, Mid-County Lanes, Middletown, Del. (Xtra Frame)

Sept. (tba): PBA International-World Bowling Tour Thailand, Blu-O Paragon, Bangkok

Oct. 9-11: PBA Xtra Frame Iowa Midwest Open, Thunderbowl, Council Bluffs, Iowa (Xtra Frame)

Oct. 16-Nov. 1: PBA World Series of Bowling VII (Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon, Scorpion Opens; PBA World Championship; World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by PBA), South Point Bowling Center, Las Vegas (preliminary rounds on Xtra Frame, finals on ESPN, air dates to be announced)

Nov. 21-27: PBA International-World Bowling Tour Qatar Open, Qatar Bowling Center, Doha, Qatar

Nov. 28-Dec. 3: PBA International-World Bowling Tour 9th Kingdom International Open, Universal Bowling Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Dec. 11-13: PBA Xtra Frame Detroit Open, Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich. (Xtra Frame)

About the PBA

The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) is an organization of more than 3,200 of the best bowlers from 27 countries who compete in PBA Tour, PBA International Tour, PBA Regional and PBA50 Tour events. The PBA is in its 55th consecutive year of nationally-televised competition, reaching more than one million American households and thousands more around the world who watch PBA activities on Xtra Frame, the PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel. PBA sponsors include Barbasol, Bowlmor AMF, Brunswick, Concrete Software, Ebonite International, GEICO,, MOTIV, Storm Products and the United States Bowling Congress, among others. For more information, log on to

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PBA Spare Shots: Rolltech’s PBA World Series of Bowling VI Stats Reveal Portrait of PBA Cheetah Championship Finalists

by Bill Vint December 18, 2014 03:24

During the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI, the PBA worked with Rolltech to record unique frame-by-frame, ball-by-ball statistics for the 14 qualifying games. Here’s a look at some of the stats for the four players – Dick Allen, Brad Angelo, Anthony Pepe and Liz Johnson – who made it to the Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game ESPN finals. Pepe won the Cheetah title, defeating Allen in the title match, after rolling a near-perfect 295 in the “shootout” preliminary match…and the reason Liz Johnson advanced to a women’s record second national PBA television appearance may become evident in the stats summary below. The Cheetah finals aired on ESPN on Sunday:

● Strike percentage: Allen, the top qualifier, struck on 116 of 161 shots for a 77.05% success rate. Angelo was second (71.88%, 115 strikes on 160 attempts), Pepe was third (70.12%, 115 of 164) and Johnson fourth (67.26%, 109 of 162). The entire field’s strike percentage was 57.92 (12,042 strikes on 20,791 attempts).

● Spare percentage: Johnson was the leading spare shooter (93.75% successful on 45 of 48 attempts) followed by Allen (81.40%, 35 of 43 attempts) followed by Pepe (79.55%, 35 of 44) and Angelo (73.17%, 30 of 41). Note: splits were not counted as “spare attempts.” The field’s success rate was 73.16.

● Single pin spare conversions: Johnson again led, converting 33 of 34 (97.05%), followed by Pepe (96.66%, 29 of 30), Allen (86.42%, 27 of 28) and Angelo (88.88%, 24 of 27). The field’s success rate was 91.67.

● Multi-pin spare conversions: Johnson was perfect on 12 of 12 attempts, followed by Angelo (85.71%, 6 of 7), Pepe (83.33%, 5 of 6) and Allen (75%, 6 of 8). The field converted 75.33% (1,609 on 2,135 attempts).


A special “take a selfie” promotion sponsored by High 5 Gear during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI gave a lucky fan an opportunity to participate in a one-ball “showdown” against a PBA star prior to each WSOB telecast. In the Cheetah showdown, 14-year-old two-hander Cerell Cardines of Las Vegas knocked down nine pins, but “lost” to reigning PBA World Champion Dom Barrett’s strike. Despite losing the showdown, Cardines left with the autographed ball Barrett used in the contest.

A different High 5 Gear “take a selfie” winner will bowl against a PBA Tour star as part of each upcoming WSOB VI telecast.


Korea was the dominant team as the World Men’s Bowling Championships wrapped up Sunday at Khalifa International Bowling Centre in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, winning four gold and four bronze medals, including impressive gold-medal victories in the five-man team event and the Masters finale, where Kang Heewon defeated PBA star Mike Fagan, representing the United States, 213-198.

Fagan, a four-time PBA Tour titlist, was Team USA’s top player, bringing home four silver medals (Masters, team, all-events and trios). Several other PBA members also visited the medal podium:

In the singles event, Canada’s Dan MacLelland won the gold medal with a 256-212 victory over Shaker Al Hassan of the United Arab Emirates. MacLelland eliminated Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., 269-236, in the semifinal round, handing Jones a bronze medal.

In doubles, Finnish PBA members Kimmo Lehtonen and Joonas Jehkinen won bronze medals, losing to eventual gold medalists Choi Bokeum and Park Jongwoo of Korea, 490-466, in the semifinal round.

In trios, two-time PBA Tour titlist Thomas Larsen along with teammates Carsten Hansen and Frederik Ohrgaard won the gold medal with a 10th-frame victory over American PBA Tour champions Mike Fagan, Sean Rash and Marshall Kent, 647-638. Reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte and Australian teammates David Porto and Sam Cooley earned bronze medals.

In the five-man team event, Korea defeated Team USA (Fagan, Rash, Kent, Jones, Chris Barnes and Bill O’Neill) in the gold medal match, 1,097-1,088, after eliminating Australia in the semifinal round. The U.S. players defeated Sweden in the other semifinal contest, 1,236-985.

Fagan won the silver in all-events with a 24-game total of 5,510 pins, 20 pins ahead of Canada’s MacLelland, who earned the bronze. Fagan also won silver in the Masters finale where Korea won both bronze medals in addition to the gold medal.


GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI telecast No. 2, the Viper Championship finals, will air Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN. Top qualifier Connor Pickford of Charlotte, N.C., making his PBA television debut, will bowl the winner of a three-player shootout match involving No. 2 Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind.; No. 3 Dom Barrett, England, and No. 4 Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich./Finland.

To view a preview of Sunday’s telecast, visit:


In addition to the return of PBA Tour competition to ESPN on Sundays throughout December, January and into the spring, the PBA will provide online viewers with an extensive schedule of programming on its online television channel, Xtra Frame, in the new year.

For a complete schedule of Xtra Frame events, visit: In addition to live preliminary round coverage of the PBA Players Championship, Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship, USBC Masters and 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions, Xtra Frame will make its international debut, providing coverage of the DHC PBA Japan Invitational in January.

For Xtra Frame monthly or year-long XF Season Ticket subscription information, visit and click on the Xtra Frame link.


trioThe team composed of PBA50 star Harry Sullins of Chesterfield Twp., Mich.; PBA60 competitor Bill McCorkle of Westerville, Ohio, and 2014 PBA World Championship finalist Todd Book of Russells Point, Ohio, defeated the team of Jeff Bellinger, Carl Breaman and Dick Allen, 212-179, to win the PBA South Region’s Decker Appraisal Baker Trios event presented by Hammer at Wayne Lanes in Waynesboro, Va., Sunday.

The event was a first-of-a-kind tournament in the PBA South Region, featuring teams composed of one player under the age of 50, one in the 50-59 age group and one 60-or-older player. Each member of the winning team earned $1,900. Breaman and Allen were winning doubles partners in 2013, and added Bellinger, a two-time PBA Tour titlist, to make up their trios roster.

In the first stepladder match, the Ferraro family team from Kingston, N.Y. – older brother Steve, younger brother Dave and Dave’s son John - defeated the team of “super senior” Steve Lickliter, PBA50 player Gary Morgan and 2014 PBA Viper Open finalist Connor Pickford, 257-189. In the semifinal match, Book doubled in the 10th frame to shut out the Ferraro clan, 225-214.

The event drew 34 teams. All competition involved the Baker scoring format, with the leadoff bowler bowling the first, fourth, seventh and 10th frames; the No. 2 bowler bowling the second, fifth and eighth frames, and the No. 3 player bowling the third, sixth and ninth frames.

Michael Haugen Jr. of Phoenix posted a 5-7 match play record and a 24-game total of 5,999 pins Sunday to win his seventh career PBA Regional title in the PBA Sands Regency Tri Regions Open presented by Radical at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev. Haugen, who earned $2,000, defeated Dennis Horan Jr. of Oakley, Calif., by 11 pins.

In the companion PBA50 Open, amateur Chip Aki of Grand Prairie, Texas went 15-1 and knocked down 7,497 total pins for 28 games to top Rory Peterson of Carmichael, Calif., by 495 pins. Aki is a non-member so he does not receive credit for a PBA title, but he wins $2,000.

Leading into the weekend doubleheader, Brett Cunningham of Clay, N.Y., defeated Don Cosper of Reno, 257-225, to win Friday’s Sands Regency Challenge presented by Radical. Challenge events are open to players who had never won a PBA title. By virtue of his win, Cunningham is now eligible to enter the 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions in Indianapolis in February.

● Dean Billings of Rootstown, Ohio, defeated Dan Buchman of Maple Shade, N.J., 2-0, in a best-of-three-game match to win $1,500 and his first PBA Regional title in the McKinley Lanes Central/East Challenge in Niles, Ohio, Sunday.

With his first title, Billings also became eligible to enter the 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions in February in Indianapolis. PBA Challenge events are open to PBA members who do not hold a PBA title or non-members who have never won a PBA event.

● Closing out the 2014 schedule over the Dec. 19-21 weekend will be the PBA/PBA50 Southwest Doubles Open presented by Bowling Dynamix at Emerald Bowl in Houston, Texas.

Regional activity in 2015 gets started over the Jan. 23-25 weekend when Legend Lanes in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, hosts the Don Vay Memorial Regular/PBA50 Central Doubles Classic presented by Ebonite.

The Feb. 6-8 weekend includes the Break Point Alley South Challenge, a non-champions event, in Tavares, Fla., while the Midwest and Central Regions will conduct a joint one-day PBA50 Allstate Midwest/Central Open at River Rand Lanes in Des Plaines, Ill.

There are no regionals scheduled for Feb. 13-15, but the Feb. 20-22 weekend includes the PBA50 Dave Edwards Toyota Southern Open presented by Ebonite at Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C.; the PBA Lakewood Southwest Open at Holiday Bowling and Billiards in Lakewood, Colo.; the West Region’s Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort Championship at Gold Country Lanes in Sutter Creek, Calif., and the Sunday-only Lynwood Midwest Challenge presented by Roto Grip, a non-champions event, at Lynwood Bowl in Lynwood, Ill.

Closing the February schedule will be the PBA50 Pensacola South Open at New Liberty Lanes in Pensacola, Fla.

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.


Reminder: Each month MOTIV is giving away a bowling ball to someone who signs up for a new Xtra Frame subscription, either monthly ($7.99) or 12-month XF Season Ticket ($64.99). The ball-a-month promotion is a continuation of the MOTIV promotion which ran during the 2014 GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI when MOTIV gave away one bowling ball a day for the six days of WSOB competition.

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Tickets on Sale for Chris Paul’s CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational Charity Bowling Tournament

by Jerry Schneider December 17, 2014 06:16


All-Star Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul and the Professional Bowlers Association are once again joining forces to host his charity bowling tournament, CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational presented by Bowlmor AMF, Thursday, Jan. 8 at the AMF Bowl-O-Drome in Torrance, California.

A new addition to the day’s activities will be a pro-am which will allow bowling fans to compete with star PBA players.

The sixth fundraiser, which benefits Paul’s CP3 Foundation, will make its first appearance at AMF Bowl-O-Drome with several PBA stars and celebrities competing. In addition to Paul, early celebrity commitments include comedian/talk-show/podcast personality Chris Hardwick and former NFL All-Pro receiver Terrell Owens, who is currently appearing on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice. Additional celebrities will be announced at a later date.

Celebrity bowlers who have participated in previous events include fellow NBA stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Blake Griffin, Rudy Gay and Kevin Durant; National Football League stars Michael Strahan, Hines Ward, LaMarr Woodley, Jack Del Rio and Reggie Bush; hip-hop stars Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Lil Wayne and Nelly, and comedian, motion picture star Kevin Hart.

The Celebrity Invitational begins with a red carpet ceremony at 6 p.m. PT at AMF Bowl-O-Drome (22000 S. Western Ave.) with the competition beginning at 7 p.m. The event will be tape-delayed and will air Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) at 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN just prior to the Super Bowl.

Bowling with the celebrities will be nine PBA stars including the five PBA finalists who will compete in the live ESPN telecast of the PBA World Championship at the new South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas Jan. 11 at 1 p.m. ET.

The PBA players who will compete in the Celebrity Invitational and the pro-am (which begins at 1 p.m. PT), include:

●Pete Weber, PBA Hall of Famer and 37-time PBA Tour winner
●Jason Belmonte, reigning PBA Player of the Year and 10-time PBA Tour winner
●Chris Barnes, 2007-08 Player of the Year and 17-time PBA Tour winner
●Sean Rash, 2011-12 Player of the Year and 8-time Tour winner

The World Championship finalists competing are:

●Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, a nine-time PBA Tour Champion and 2013 U.S. Open winner
●Mike Fagan of Fort Worth, a four-time PBA Tour champion and 2012 USBC Masters winner
●Ronnie Russell of Marion, Ind., a two-time PBA Tour champion
●Stuart Williams of England, the 2012 Viper Open winner
●Todd Book of Russells Point, Ohio, who will be trying for his first PBA Tour title

Ticket Packages for the CP3 event are available at

Taping begins at 7 p.m.

● VIP Package - $250 – Priority VIP seating for the PBA CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational presented by AMF telecast, Round Room access with full buffet and premium bar (2 hours prior to the event), an article of signed memorabilia and meet and greet with Chris Paul, buffet and premium bar package (2 hours prior to the event).  This is ONLY available by calling Megan Garcia at 310-526-0602 or

VIP Premier Seat - $100
●Seated General Admission - $50
●General Admission (no seat) - $25

Pro-am begins at 1 p.m.

The pro-am entry fee is $100 which includes a ticket to the CP3 show and a PBA goodie bag. Pro-am spots can be reserved at or by calling 206-654-6003.

Chris Paul PBA League All-Stars Past Winners

2013 – Chris Barnes/Chris Hardwick

2012 – Pete Weber/Jerry Ferrara/Blake Griffin

2011 – Jason Belmonte/Chris Paul

2010 – Jason Belmonte/Chris Paul

2009 – Jason Couch/LeBron James

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Pickford to Battle for First Tour Title in TV Debut Against Tour Veterans in PBA Viper Championship Final Sunday on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET

by Jerry Schneider December 15, 2014 04:49

Newcomer and first-time television finalist Connor Pickford of Charlotte, N.C., will be hoping to upset a field of PBA Tour champions Sunday when the finals of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling Viper Championship air on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET.

Opening the second telecast of the World Series will be the three-player shootout round featuring PBA titlists Mika Koivuniemi, Dom Barrett  and Ronnie Russell. The player who bowls the highest game will meet Pickford in the title match.

Koivuniemi, who won a record fourth Brunswick Ballmaster Tournament in his native Finland earlier this season, will be trying for his 14th career Tour title.  Russell, the winner of the 2014 Summer Swing Bear Open, will be trying for his third Tour title, and defending PBA World Championship winner Dom Barrett will be trying for his fifth Tour title.

Pickford, 22, is a fourth-year PBA member and a three-time PBA Regional winner who will be trying for his first PBA Tour title.  He has a previous best Tour finish of 14th which came in the 2013 U.S. Open.

For a Viper Championship video preview click on

The Viper Championship is the second of five World Series Tour events on ESPN to be aired on consecutive Sundays through Jan. 11 at 1 p.m. ET.  Following the Viper Championship will be the Chameleon Championship (Dec. 28) and the Scorpion Championship (Jan. 4).  The PBA World Championship will wrap up the season with a live telecast on Sunday, Jan. 11 from the South Point Bowling Plaza at 1 p.m. ET.

ESPN World Series telecasts will conclude with the PBA Challenge presented by the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame Jan. 18 at 3 p.m. ET and the World Bowling Tour presented by PBA Men’s and Women’s Finals Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. ET.

Road to the PBA World Championship Finals:

The Viper Championship is the second of four qualifying events for the PBA World Championship, the third major and final tournament of the 2014 season.

Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas; Mike Fagan of Fort Worth, Texas; Ronnie Russell of Marion, Indiana; Todd Book of Russells Point, Ohio, and Stuart Williams of England advanced to the World Championship finals based on 52 games of qualifying and match play during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI.

After 14 games of World Championship qualifying (seven from the Cheetah and seven from Viper Championships), Fagan ranked 5th, Malott, 11th, Russell, 14th; Book, 17th and Williams, 37th in the 240-player field.

Bowling fans can follow all the World Series of Bowling 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

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New York’s Anthony Pepe Wins First Title in PBA Cheetah Championship

by Jerry Schneider December 14, 2014 06:06

Anthony Pepe of Elmhurst, New York, in his national television debut, won the PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Challenge Mobile Game at the new South Point Bowling Plaza with an emotional 224-206 come-from-behind victory over top qualifier Dick Allen of Columbia, South Carolina.

The Cheetah finals, the first of five GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI title events, aired Sunday on ESPN. It also was the first national telecast originating from the new state-of-the-art 60-lane bowling facility at the South Point Casino, Hotel and Spa complex on Las Vegas’ south side.

After converting the 6-10 in the first frame of the title match, Allen ran off a string of six strikes to take control of the match, But a 2-4-6-7-9-10 split in the eighth frame, a 6-7 split in the ninth frame and a pocket 7-10 in the 10th frame opened the door for Pepe. After leaving back-to-back 6 pins in the eighth and ninth frames, Pepe threw three strikes in the 10th frame to clinch the title.

“I couldn’t believe it when (Dick) left that split in the 10th frame, but I just told myself to stay calm and execute a good shot,” Pepe said. “After all of those hours of working hard, practicing alone, for this moment, it’s unbelievable.”

In the opening three-player, all-New York shootout match, Pepe, a 26-year-old self-proclaimed healthy-lifestyle advocate, thrilled the crowd by taking a perfect game to his final shot, where he faltered, leaving the 2-4-6-7-8 for a 295 game. It was more than enough to eliminate Brad Angelo of Lockport, who rolled a 226 game, and to spoil the title dreams of Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, who finished with a 224. The first woman ever to qualify for two PBA TV finals had hopes of joining Kelly Kulick as the second woman to win a PBA Tour title, but Pepe made sure she never had room to recover after she left the 4-6-7-10 split in her second frame.

Pepe came within one shot of matching a feat performed only one other time in PBA history: a 300 game in a player’s first-ever game on national television. Bob Benoit of Topeka, Kansas, is the only player to do that, winning the 1988 Quaker State Open in Fort Worth, Texas, with a 300-255 victory over PBA legend Mark Roth.

“On that 12th shot, I was a bundle of nerves,” Pepe admitted. “To think I had the first 11 strikes in my first game on TV…I kinda grabbed (the ball) at the bottom (of my arm swing) and I paid the penalty.”

Pepe also refused to give in to Allen in the title match, despite missing a 7 pin in the sixth frame which put him in a 29-pin hole with four frames to go.

“I just told myself to make better shots,” he said. “It was unfortunate what happened to Dick, especially in the 10th frame – he threw that (7-10) shot really well – but I came up in the 10th and knew I only needed a mark a win. When all 10 pins fell down, I fell down, too.

“There are no words to describe the feeling,” Pepe continued. “I’ve dreamed of this since I was a little kid. (PBA Tour champions) Patrick Allen, Mike Fagan and Ryan Shafer all told me to get my PBA card because they thought I had the potential to be successful out here. That kinda gave me a little confidence. That meant so much to me and the fact I’m now holding this trophy, well, it’s an indescribable feeling.”

The next GEICO PBA WSOB VI final to air on ESPN will be the Viper Championship on Sunday, Dec. 21, at 1 p.m. ET. In the title match, top qualifier Connor Pickford of Charlotte, N.C., making his PBA television debut, will bowl the winner of a three-player shootout match involving No. 2 Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind.; No. 3 Dom Barrett, England, and No. 4 Mika Koivuniemi, Finland.

A preview of the Viper Championship telecast, and all other WSOB VI telecasts, will be available on Xtra Frame and PBA’s YouTube page on Monday prior to the ESPN telecast.


presented by PBA Challenge Mobile Game

South Point Bowling Plaza, Las Vegas

Championship: Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y. ($20,000) def. Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., ($10,000), 224-206.

Shootout Match (winner advanced to championship match; eliminated players earned $6,000): Pepe (295) def. Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y. (226) and Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y. (224).

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