Ohio’s Bill McCorkle Wins Inaugural PBA50 Dick Weber Super Senior Classic for First PBA50 Title

by Jerry Schneider July 20, 2014 07:01

 

Bill McCorkle of Westerville, Ohio, won the biggest tournament of his professional career Sunday by defeating PBA Hall of Famer and eight-time PBA50 Tour winner Johnny Petraglia in the championship match of the PBA50 Dick Weber Super Senior Classic presented by Storm.

In the inaugural event for PBA50 Tour players ages 60 and over, McCorkle defeated the top-seeded Petraglia 244-173 at Pro Bowl West in Fort Wayne to record his first PBA50 Tour title.

McCorkle got off to the early lead stringing the first five strikes while Petraglia struggled missing the 2-4-6-10 split in the first frame and the 1-3-6-7 washout in the fifth frame.

“I’ve been bowling in PBA competition for 40 years and never won at the national level so I’m a little overwhelmed,” said the 61-year-old McCorkle whose best previous PBA50 Tour finish was sixth. “I was fortunate to get off to a good start but then I had to remind myself to stay loose and continue to throw good shots.

“Toward the end of the match I started to get a little emotional but then I looked over at the Dick Weber trophy and thought what would Dick do, and at that moment I was able to get the inspiration I needed.”

McCorkle qualified second for the stepladder final thanks to a 11-1 record in match play.

“My goal was to make the top five,” McCorkle said. “I think I benefited from the tougher condition because it enabled me to throw harder which I like to do. The big games weren’t out there so there was a premium on making good shots.”

In the opening stepladder match one-time PBA50 Tour winner No. 4 seed Dave Patchen of Oregon, Ohio, defeated one-time PBA50 Tour winner No. 5 seed Mike Henry of Brunswick, Ohio, 258-190, and then went on to beat Don Blatchford of Santa Monica, Calif., 207-202, in the second match to eventually finish third. McCorkle defeated Patchen 212-195 in the semifinal to advance to the title match.

PBA50 Tour action continues Monday with the start of the PBA50 Pro Bowl West Fort Wayne Classic presented by Ebonite open to all PBA50 Tour players ages 50 and over. The first qualifying round will get underway at 10 a.m.

The Fort Wayne Classic can be seen on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame. For subscription and schedule information click on the Xtra Frame logo on the pba.com homepage.

PBA50 DICK WEBER SUPER SENIOR CLASSIC PRESENTED BY STORM
Sunday's Final Results
At Pro Bowl West
Fort Wayne, Ind.

Final Standings: 1, Bill McCorkle, Westerville, Ohio, $7,500. 2, Johnny Petraglia, Jackson, N.J., $4,000. 3, Dave Patchen, Oregon, Ohio, $2,500 4, Don Blatchford, Santa Monica, Calif., $2,000. 5, Mike Henry, Brunswick, Ohio, $1,700.

Playoff Results: Match One – Patchen def. Henry, 258-190. Match Two – Patchen def. Blatchford – 207-202. Semifinal – McCorkle def. Patchen, 212-195. Championship match – McCorkle def. Petraglia, 244-173.

FOURTH ROUND RESULTS
24-game pinfall totals including bonus pins, match play record and money earned.
Top five advanced to stepladder
a-denotes amateur

1, Johnny Petraglia, Jackson, N.J., 8-4, 5,318.
2, Bill McCorkle, Westerville, Ohio, 11-1, 5,298.
3, Don Blatchford, Santa Monica, Calif., 9-3, 5,295.
4, Dave Patchen, Oregon, Ohio, 9-3, 5,263.
5, Mike Henry, Brunswick, Ohio, 7-5, 5,230.
6, Paul McCordic, Sugar Land, Texas, 8-4, 5,224, $1,500.
7, Pete Gurskis, Orland Park, Ill., 10-2, 5,181, $1,475.
8, Gary Kammes, Winfield, Ill., 9-3, 5,098, $1,450.
9, Ron Profitt, Brookville, Ohio, 6-6, 5,084, $1,425.
10, Bob Caruso, Dayton, N.J., 8-4, 5,083, $1,400.
11, Timothy Kauble, Marion, Ohio, 7-5, 5,052, $1,375.
12, Patrick King, Yankton, S.D., 6-6, 5,047, $1,350.
13, Kerry Painter, Henderson, Nev., 5-7, 5,035, $1,325.
14, Marc Lineberry, Camanche, Iowa, 6-6, 5,012, $1,300.
15, Dick Gran, Hartville, Ohio, 8-4, 5,006, $1,275.
16, Sam Perrotta, Lincoln Park, N.J., 4-7-1, 4,965, $1,250.
17, a-Bob Shank, Fort Wayne, Ind., 6-6, 4,956, $1,225.
18, Henry Gonzalez, Colorado Springs, Colo., 7-5, 4,949, $1,200.
19, a-Michael Lucente, Warren, Mich., 5-7, 4,907, $1,180.
20, Tommy Kress, Rochester, N.Y., 5-7, 4,900, $1,160.
21, Dennis Lane, Kingsport, Tenn., 3-8-1, 4,898, $1,140.
22, Norb Wetzel, Fond du Lac, Wis., 6-6, 4,896, $1,120.
23, Ted Staikoff, Black Hawk, S.D., 5-7, 4,874, $1,100.
24, a-Jim Starks, San Bernardino, Calif., 6-6, 4,866, $1,090.
25, a-Linda Kelly, Dayton, Ohio, 6-6, 4,816, $1,085.
26, Chris Fedden, Albany, N.Y., 3-9, 4,802, $1,080.
27, Greg McMahan, Dandridge, Tenn., 4-8, 4,793, $1,075.
28, Mitchell Jabczenski, Novi, Mich., 2-10, 4,763, $1,070.
29, Brendan Bierch, Grafton, Mass., 6-6, 4,742, $1,065.
30, a-Mike Buchanan, Crystal River, Fla., 3-9, 4,673, $1,060.
31, Don Lane, San Francisco, 3-9, 4,643, $1,055.
32, Mike Moore, Marietta, Ohio, 0-12, 4,521, $1,050.

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PBA Adjusts Women’s Dues, Re-Schedules Central, Midwest Region Events

by Bill Vint July 18, 2014 08:11

SEATTLE – Based upon input from women bowlers, Professional Bowlers Association Deputy Commissioner Kirk von Krueger announced Friday that the PBA has adjusted membership dues for women for the balance of the 2014 season as part of a revised PBA Women’s Regional program.

The inaugural PBA Women’s Regional program, offering women bowlers close-to-home opportunities to bowl in PBA-caliber competition, will culminate with a PBA Challenge television event on ESPN which also will feature the PBA Regional Finals match, PBA50 Tour Finals match and Teen Masters Grand Championship match. To enhance the program, the PBA will pro-rate membership dues for women to $75 for the balance of the 2014 season, and waive the standard initiation fee for new members.

Von Krueger also announced tournaments originally scheduled for this weekend in the Central and Midwest Regions have been replaced due to an unforeseen conflict with the BPAA Women’s All Star which gets underway Sunday in Rockford, Ill.

“We’ve received a lot of favorable reaction from interested women bowlers since we announced this new program, and based upon that feedback, we’re making a few other adjustments to the program – including a pro-rated membership structure for women for the rest of the 2014 season – to make it more accessible and more affordable,” von Krueger said.

The new regional program will result in eight women’s points leaders based on three-tournament series conducted by the PBA’s East, South, Central, Midwest, Southwest, West/Northwest combined and Japan Regions advancing the PBA World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas.

The PBA Women’s Regional Finals in Las Vegas will feature an eight-game round-robin match play competition at South Point Bowling Center on Oct. 24. The top two players will advance to the ESPN telecast. The eight regional qualifiers also will receive paid entries into the World Series where they will compete in the PBA Cheetah, Scorpion, Chameleon and Viper Opens – all leading to a chance to qualify for the PBA World Championship.

Additional updates to the women’s program announced Friday include:

● A new $75 PBA membership, with no initiation fee, will be offered to women for the duration of 2014 if they wish to join. Women who want to compete for berths in the PBA Women’s Regional Finals in Las Vegas must be PBA members in order to earn points in their regions, and to enter the PBA World Series of Bowling VI.

● Tournaments scheduled in the PBA Central and Midwest Regions for the July 19-20 weekend have been re-scheduled to avoid a conflict with the BPAA Women’s All Star in Rockford, Ill., and to give more players an opportunity to enter (see revised schedule below).

● The competition points leaders for three designated tournaments in the eight regional programs will also receive paid entries to bowl in the PBA World Series of Bowling VI. The top two women in combined West/Northwest Region points will qualify for the PBAW Regional Finals.

● A PBA Regional title will be awarded if the regional tournament field includes 20 or more PBA women members, or if a woman wins the “open” portion of the regional outright. Winning a PBA Regional title also means a player is eligible to enter the PBA Tournament of Champions.

Other aspects of the PBA Women’s Regional program will continue as originally announced:

● Women will bowl with and against male bowlers in each regional tournament, but women will be guaranteed at last one cashing spot (minimum $250). All women will be eligible to cash in the general prize fund and if she is a PBA member and wins the regional, she will earn a PBA Regional title (which also means eligibility for the PBA Tournament of Champions).

● Women who are PBA members may enter regionals at the PBA member entry fee; non-member women will pay the non-member entry fee.

“This is an entirely new program for us,” von Krueger added. “We are going to watch it closely, listen to players and do whatever we can to make it bigger and better in the future. We know there are hundreds of women bowlers across the United States who are looking for a place to bowl in high-level competition, and that’s what we’re striving to provide.”

2014 PBA WOMEN’S REGIONAL TOUR SCHEDULE

PBA East Region

July 25-27 – PBA Pure-It Pro Shop East Open presented by DV8, Cedar Lanes, Lebanon, Pa.

Aug. 15-17 – PBA Bethmann Russell Syracuse Eastern Open presented by Radical, Flamingo Bowl, Liverpool, N.Y.

Aug. 22-24 – PBA Mil-Ray Foods East Open presented by Columbia 300, Brunswick Zone Deptford, Deptford, N.J.

PBA South Region

July 11-13 – PBA Spring Hill South Open, Spring Hill Lanes, Spring Hill, Fla. (top woman finisher: a-Kimberly Roe, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.; top PBA member woman finisher: Christina Hardee, Mount Dora, Fla.)

Aug. 8-10 – PBA Waccamaw Bowling Center Myrtle Beach South Classic, Waccamaw Lanes, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Aug. 22-24 – PBA Fayetteville South Open, Lafayette Lanes, Fayetteville, N.C.

PBA Central Region

Aug. 15-17 – PBA Lefeld Implement Central Classic, Pla-Mor Lanes, Coldwater, Ohio

Sept. 19-21 – PBA Rex & Griffin Bigelow Memorial Central Open, Troy Bowl, Troy, Ohio

Oct. 5 – PBA Northway Lanes/Muskegon Central Open, Northway Lanes, Muskegon, Mich.

PBA Midwest Region

Aug. 22-24 - PBA Bowlerama Lanes Midwest Open presented by Radical, Bowlerama Lanes, Des Moines, Iowa

Sept. 13-14 – PBA Diamond Jo's Casino Midwest Open presented by Dexter, Cherry Lanes, Dubuque, Iowa

Oct. 3-5 – PBA Calvert's Express Auto Midwest/Southwest Open, Aaron’s Family Fun Center, Belton, Mo.

PBA Southwest Region

Aug. 8-10 – PBA Killeen Southwest Open, Hallmark Lanes, Killeen, Texas

Aug. 22-24 – PBA Greenville Southwest Open, Shenaniganz, Greenville, Texas

Sept. 26-28 – PBA Tomball Southwest Open, Tomball Lanes, Tomball, Texas

PBA West/Northwest Region

Aug. 22-24 – PBA Steve Cook's Capital City West/NW Open presented by DV8, Fireside Lanes, Citrus Heights, Calif.

Sept. 26-28 – PBA Fog City West Open presented by Roto Grip, Classic Bowling Center, Daly City, Calif.

Oct. 10-12 – PBA Battle at Black Oak Casino West Open, Black Oak Lanes, Tuolumne, Calif.

PBA World Series of Bowling VI, South Point Casino, Hotel and Bowling Center, Las Vegas

Oct. 24 – PBA Women’s Regional Finals match play round (point leaders in eight PBA regions bowl eight games round-robin match play; top two advance to PBA Challenge Women’s Regional Finals match)

Nov. 2 – PBA Women’s Regional Finals (part of PBA Challenge ESPN television event)

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PBA Spare Shots: PBA Japan Regional Program Off to Stunning Start

by Bill Vint July 18, 2014 06:53

The PBA’s first international regional tournament program, PBA Japan, is off to a stunning start and already has a “superstar” after its first two weekends of activity.

PBA Commissioner Tom Clark, who attended the second weekend of PBA Japan Region competition over the July 12-13 weekend at Sound Bowl in Ushiku along with PBA Deputy Commissioner Kirk von Krueger, got a first-hand look at the program, met many of the players and tournament officials, and witnessed Yuka Tsuchiya’s historic performance in adding the PBA Japan Women’s Chameleon and Chameleon Open titles to the Women’s Cheetah and Cheetah Open titles she won the previous weekend at Tokyo Port Bowl.

“Yuka has tears in her eyes when we told her she’s now eligible to bowl in the PBA Tournament of Champions and World Series of Bowling,” Clark said.

“It was an extremely successful weekend,” Clark added. “The PBA Japan tournament staffers were everything we’d ever want representing our organization. Japan Bowling Promotions, our partner in the creation of the PBA Japan Region, ran smooth events, with live streaming coverage that will soon be available on Xtra Frame, provided outstanding on-site exposure for the PBA and their main sponsor, DHC, and there were large fields considering the short amount of time we’ve had to promote the program.

“It was very gratifying to see how much the PBA brand means to the Japanese bowlers. The players wore dye-sublimated jerseys with PBA League or PBA player replicas. Our animal pattern lane conditions defined the playing fields. The respect the players gave us and the pride they demonstrated as PBA International members was terrific.

“And topping it all off was watching Yuka Tsuchiya sweep all four of our inaugural women’s and open regional titles. For one person to survive the demanding format and win four trophies and roughly $20,000 in U.S. dollars was incredible.”

Tsuchiya, a 31-year-old veteran of Japanese professional competition, won the Women’s Chameleon title over a field of 29 players on Saturday, defeating Hiroko Shimizu, 221-157, in the championship match. On Sunday, she topped a field of 72 men and women in the Chameleon Open, defeating Naoshi Ishimine in the final match, 197-176, for her fourth consecutive title. With her wins in the Cheetah Open and Chameleon Open, she joins Missy Parkin and Kelly Kulick as the third woman to win two PBA “open” regional titles.

Clark said he and von Krueger had an opportunity to visit with all of Japan’s bowling leaders and discuss the PBA’s long-term goal of expanding PBA-level competition around the world.

The PBA Japan Region has four more tournaments scheduled in its inaugural season: the PBA Japan Viper Open Sept. 15 at Sagami Fast Lane in Sagamihara, the Women’s Scorpion and Scorpion Open tournaments Nov. 8-9 at Higashiyamoto Grand Bowl in Tokyo, and the Badger Open at a location and date to be announced.

The PBA will help the Japan Region expand its international coverage via Xtra Frame. The Cheetah events are already archived on Xtra Frame (with original commentary in Japanese), the Chameleon finals will be added to Xtra Frame’s programming in the near future, and the PBA is working toward carrying future events live.

PBA HALL OF FAMER DEL BALLARD JR. RECOVERING AFTER BYPASS SURGERY

PBA Hall of Famer Del Ballard Jr., a 12-time PBA Tour title winner who currently is PBA Tour representative for Storm Products, is recovering after successful heart bypass surgery in the Dallas area on Tuesday.

"Del underwent a triple bypass and valve repair,” wife Carolyn Dorin-Ballard said Friday. “His surgeon is thrilled with the results and Del is already walking well. It’s a slow process but everything is on track. Thanks to everyone for your support and well wishes."

Ballard celebrated his 51st birthday on July 1.

RACE FOR PBA50 PLAYER, ROOKIE OF THE YEAR RESUME ON XTRA FRAME

The race for PBA50 Tour Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Super Senior Player of the Year and berths in the PBA50 Tour Finals enters the home stretch starting Friday in Fort Wayne, Ind., and PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel will video stream all of the action from the final four events live.

The PBA’s senior citizens return to action with a new Dick Weber Super Senior Classic, presented by Storm, for players 60-and-older. Pro Bowl West in Fort Wayne will host the Dick Weber event Friday thru Sunday, followed immediately by the Pro Bowl West Fort Wayne Classic for all players 50-and-older (including any “super seniors” who care to compete), July 20-23.

The PBA50 Tour continues with the Dayton Classic presented by Roto Grip, July 29-31, at Capri Bowling Lanes in Dayton, Ohio; the South Shore Open presented by DV8 at Olympia Lanes in Hammond, Ind., Aug. 4-7, and the season-ending Treasure Island Resort & Casino Open presented by Hammer at Island Xtreme Bowl in Welch, Minn., Aug. 10-13.

PBA Hall of Famers Norm Duke, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Pete Weber, Tom Baker, Parker Bohn III and Amleto Monacelli are fighting it out for Player of the Year. They also are leading the competition points race for six spots in the PBA50 Tour Finals to be held at PBA World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas in late October. Duke and Bohn are also leading the “rookie” race while two other Hall of Famers, Johnny Petraglia and Dale Eagle, are frontrunners in the “super senior” race.

To follow the competition as it unfolds, subscribe to Xtra Frame. Monthly subscriptions are $7.99. A full-year subscription is $64.99. Visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link to enroll.

ROE CASHES, HARDEE LEADS POINTS IN FIRST PBA WOMEN’S REGIONAL EVENT

Amateur Kimberly Roe of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., earned a check for finishing 17th in the field of 76 players, and new PBA member Christina Hardee of Mount Dora, Fla., became the first woman to earn PBA Women’s Regional points as the new PBA program for women bowlers made its debut in the PBA Crystal Automotive Spring Hill South Open at Spring Hill Lanes in Spring Hill, Fla., Sunday.

The PBA’s recently-announced regional program for women drew four competitors in Spring Hill, where Roe cashed for $425 while Hardee –who had cashed in two previous PBA South Regional tournaments as a non-member – finished 60th. But as a new PBA member, Hardee is the early South Region points leader in her bid to earn a spot in the PBA Women’s Regional Finals in Las Vegas later in the year. Non-members Morgan Rosario of Gainesville, Fla., and Amber Ottilige of Lake Wales, Fla., were the other two women who bowled in Spring Hill.

Two PBA Women’s Regional events in the Central and Midwest Regions scheduled for this weekend have been replaced on their respective regional schedules due to a conflict with the BPAA Women’s All Star which gets underway Sunday in Rockford, Ill. The Central Region’s first women’s event will be part of the Lefeld Implement Central Classic at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater, Ohio, Aug. 15-17 while the Midwest Region’s debut event for women will be the Bowlerama Lanes Midwest Open presented by Radical at Bowlerama Lanes in Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 22-24.

PBA REGIONAL SUMMARY: BEASLEY WINS SOUTHWEST SUPER REGIONAL IN LUBBOCK

Mitch Beasley of Nashville, Tenn., returning to competition after a two-year layoff due to a back injury, defeated amateur Jason Duran of Littleton, Colo., 226-217, to win the PBA Lubbock Southwest Super Regional Open, presented by Track, at South Plains Lanes in Lubbock, Texas, Sunday.

Beasley jumped to an early lead in the final match when Duran left a pocket split in the third frame. After fighting his way back into the match, Duran left the 7-10 split in the ninth frame to allow Beasley a chance to clinch the title and $10,000 first prize with a spare in the 10th. The title was Beasley’s 17th in PBA Regional competition. The tournament drew a field of 138 players.

● Amateur Sean Riccardi of St. Petersburg, Fla., defeated Dustin Ochoa of Carrollton, Texas, 256-214, to win the 26th annual PBA Crystal Automotive Spring Hill South Open at Spring Hill Lanes in Spring Hill, Fla., Sunday.

Riccardi posted a 10-2 match play record and rolled three 300 games in the preliminary rounds to qualify as top seed for the stepladder finals by 253 pins over fellow amateur Jason Mahr of Spring Hill. Ochoa, also an amateur, defeated Mahr, 277-214, in the semifinal round match to advance to the title match. Riccardi earned $2,500 for winning the event, but doesn’t earn a PBA title because he is a non-member.

Jay Boyle of Garnet Valley, Pa., ended his seven-year quest for his first PBA title when he defeated Sammy Ventura of Syracuse, N.Y., 237-175, to win the PBA50 Cecil Raymond Memorial presented by Track at Playdrome Cherry Hill in Cherry Hill, N.J., Sunday.

The tournament, which began in 2004, was renamed this year to honor its sponsor who passed away in January. Raymond was the 2013 recipient of the East Region’s Pat Patterson Award for outstanding contributions to the region. Along with his first PBA Regional title, Boyle earned a $1,500 first prize.

Brad Bufkin of Citrus Heights, Calif., defeated Dennis Horan of Oakley, Calif., 225-164, to win the PBA Wine Country West/Northwest Open presented by Hammer at Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park, Calif., Sunday. In addition to his first PBA Regional title, Bufkin earned a $2,000 prize.

● On tap for the July 18-20 weekend are the Boss Snow Plows/Brunswick Central Open at PinHeads Bowling Center in Fishers, Ind.; the Homefield Eastern Open presented by Motiv at Homefield Bowl in Yonkers, N.Y.; the St. Charles Lanes Midwest Open presented by Storm in St. Charles, Mo., and the PBA/PBA50 Sands Regency West/Northwest Doubles at High Sierra Lanes in Reno, Nev.

The July schedule concludes over the July 25-27 weekend with the PBA50 Sparetimes Hampton Southern Open at Sparetimes Bowling Center in Hampton, Va.; the Pure-It Pro Shop East Open presented by DV8 at Cedar Lanes in Lebanon, Pa.; the Farmer’s State Bank/Roto Grip Central Re-Entry Open at Angola Bowl in Angola, Ind.; the PBA50 Progressive/Gerdeman Insurance Agency/Al Smith Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep Central/Midwest Classic at Al-Mar Lanes in Bowling Green, Ohio; the Fort Sill Southwest Open presented by Columbia 300 at Twin Oaks Bowling Center in Fort Sill, Okla.; the Plamor Lanes Midwest Challenge (for non-winners) presented by Track in Muscatine, Iowa, and the PBA and PBA50 Boise Northwest/West Opens at 20th Century Lanes in Boise, Idaho.

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:

● Looking for a great deal on PBA logoed merchandise? Visit the PBA Tour Store for T-shirts, caps, clearance items and special buys: https://www.kotisdesign.com/estore/landing.asp?estore=pbastore

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Pete Weber Wins Fourth “Best Bowler” ESPY Award

by Bill Vint July 17, 2014 03:23

LOS ANGELES – PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., won his fourth Best Bowler ESPY Award Wednesday during the 22nd annual ESPY Awards ceremony at the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

Weber was the leading vote-getter among Best Bowler candidates Jason Belmonte, Wes Malott and Sean Rash, who attended the event with his wife Sara and father Gene Rash. ESPN awards for a variety of sports categories and special moments are determined by fan voting on espn.com.

Weber, who previously won the Best Bowler ESPY in 2002, 2004 and 2013, won after completing the PBA’s Triple Crown for a second time, winning the USBC Senior Masters title – a PBA50 Tour major – and earning PBA50 Rookie of the Year honors.

“It’s not necessarily based on whoever did the best bowling because Belmo should have won, hands down,” Weber said. “But that just goes to show I have more fans around the world than he does.

“That said, it’s absolutely a nice thing,” he added. “I’m honored, I’m humbled, I’m grateful, all of the above. It’s neat to see I actually do have that many fans.”

HISTORY OF BEST BOWLER ESPY AWARD WINNERS

2014 – Pete Weber
2013 – Pete Weber
2012 – Sean Rash
2011 – Jason Belmonte
2010 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
2009 – Norm Duke
2008 – Norm Duke
2007 – Norm Duke
2006 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
2005 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
2004 – Pete Weber
2003 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
2002 – Pete Weber
2001 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
2000 – Parker Bohn III
1999 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
1998 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
1997 – Bob Learn Jr.
1996 – Mike Aulby
1995 – Norm Duke
1994 – Norm Duke

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Former PBA Commissioner Mike Connor Dies at Age 81

by Bill Vint July 14, 2014 11:16

Mike Connor, who served as PBA Commissioner from 1992-1995, passed away July 12 at the age of 81 after a short illness.

Connor, of Akron, Ohio, became PBA’s second Commissioner replacing Joe Antenora who served in the position from 1978-1991. During Connor’s tenure, Bud Light became the official beer of the PBA and sponsor of the PBA National Championship and Touring Players Championship.

Prior to joining PBA, Connor worked for the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company where he spent 34 years in the areas of advertising, marketing and public relations, eventually retiring as Vice President of Marketing Services.

Connor was also an active community leader in Akron serving as Chairman of the Akron Regional Development Board, President of the Akron Roundtable, President of the Board of Trustees of the Akron Golf Charities, and as a trustee for Akron City Hospital, the Akron Community Foundation, the Akron-Canton Regional Airport and the Sisler-McFawn Foundation.

Connor earned a journalism degree from Northwestern University before joining the Marine Corps where he served as a helicopter pilot.

In addition to his wife Patti, he is survived by his three children, Christopher Connor, Tricia Connor Selio Arnold and Colleen Connor Coyne and their respective spouses, Sara Herminghausen Connor, Thomas Arnold and Kevin Coyne. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Daniel and Kevin Connor, Erin Connor Reif and her husband Nicholas Reif, John and Emily Selio, Sean, Katie, and Timothy Coyne.

The family will receive guests at Hummel Funeral Home, 500 E. Exchange St. in Akron on Tuesday, July 15 between 2 and 4 p.m. and again between 6 and 8 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, July 16 at Saint Hilary Catholic Church, 2750 W. Market St. in Fairlawn, Ohio at 9:30 a.m. followed by interment at Holy Cross cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to Summa Akron City Hospital, 525 E. Market St., Akron, OH 44304. Additional information may be obtained by visiting visit the Hummel Funeral Home at www.hummelcares.com where visitors can also share memories and condolences.

Photo Caption: PBA Commissioner Mike Connor (inset and second from left) was on hand when Brunswick paid tribute to bowling legend Dick Weber during the 1994 Brunswick Memorial World Open in Chicago. From left are Brunswick’s Fred Florjancic, Connor, Arnie Fogel, Weber and the Jack Reichert.

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