PBA Spare Shots: Xtra Frame to Cover Events in Oklahoma, Iowa, Indiana

by Bill Vint July 24, 2014 04:16

PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, is continually adding events to provide PBA fans and competitors with more media coverage.

Xtra Frame has recently added three events to its live coverage schedule, and others are under consideration in addition to previously-announced coverage of all remaining PBA50 Tour events.

New to the schedule will be the PBA Grand Hotel, Casino & Resort Southwest Region Invitational from

Firelake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., Sept. 5-7; the PBA Diamond Jo’s Casino Midwest Region Open from Diamond Jo Casino Cherry Lanes in Dubuque, Iowa, Sept. 13-14; and the PBA Heritage Lanes Central Region Open from Kokomo, Ind., Oct. 18-19. The Dubuque tournament is the second of the PBA Midwest Region’s three PBA Women’s Regional series events.

Also on the Xtra Frame calendar will be live start-to-finish coverage of one of the most prestigious PBA Regional tournaments of the year – the PBA Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Eastern Classic from Mid County Bowling & Entertainment Center in Middletown, Del., Aug. 2-3. The East Region “super regional” will offer a $15,000 first prize, and has expanded its qualifying format to three squads to accommodate more players.

Coverage of 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.

All of the PBA50, PBA Regional and PBA Women’s Regional events have consequences in determining the eight competition points leaders who will advance to the live Xtra Frame PBA50 Finals, PBA Regional Finals and PBA Women’s Regional Finals roll-offs during World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas in October. The top two players emerging from each of the eight-game match play qualifiers will advance to the PBA Challenge finals on ESPN.

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. For complete schedule details, visit pba.com and click on the appropriate event under the Schedules tab.

PBA SOUTH, MIDWEST WOMEN’S SERIES DATES UPDATED

Two events on the new PBA Women’s Regional series have been updated. The PBA South Region will host the Fayetteville South Open at Lafayette Lanes, Fayetteville, N.C., Aug. 22-24, instead of the previously announced tournament in Franklin, Va., in October, and the Midwest Region’s Diamond Jo's Casino Midwest Open presented by Dexter at Cherry Lanes, Dubuque, Iowa, will be held Sept. 13-14 instead of the previously announced dates of Sept. 20-21.

FAGAN, BOHR HELP U.S. QUALIFY FOR PAN AM GAMES FINALS

PBA and Team USA members Mike Fagan of Dallas and Nathan Bohr of Austin, Texas, helped the United States qualify for the 2015 Pan American Games bowling competition in Toronto with a strong performance during the Pan American Sports Festival in Puebla, Mexico, last week.

Fagan and Bohr helped the U.S. dominate national all-events with a combined total of 10,572 pins for 48 games of men’s and women’s doubles, singles and mixed doubles competition. The Team USA women who participated in Mexico were Kayla Johnson of Washington, Ill., and Sarah Lokker of New Baltimore, Mich.

In addition to Pan Am Games qualifying, medals were awarded in the individual events. Fagan and Bohr won the silver medal in men’s doubles, Bohr and Lokker won gold in mixed doubles while Fagan and Johnson claimed the silver medal, and Fagan and Bohr swept the top two spots in men’s singles. Fagan also won gold in the Men’s Masters while Bohr finished third for a bronze medal.

PBA REGIONAL SUMMARY: HARTUNG WINS FIRST TITLE IN FISHERS

Chris Hartung of Goshen, Ind., defeated Eugene McCune of Munster, Ind., 224-222, to win $2,400 and his first PBA Regional title in the Boss Snow Plows/Track Central/Midwest Open at PinHeads in Fishers, Ind., on Sunday, July 20.

Hartung, who is now eligible to participate in the 2015 PBA Tournament of Champions, downed Brandon Novak of Chillicothe Ohio, 445-381, while McCune topped Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, 473-396, in the two-game, total pinfall semifinal round to set up the championship match.

● Amateur Kyle Sherman of O’Fallon, Mo., returned from the USBC Junior Gold Championships in Buffalo, N.Y., where he earned a berth on Junior Team USA 2015, to defeat Shea Bittenbender of St. Charles, Mo., 235-209, in the title match of the PBA St. Charles Lanes Midwest Open in St. Charles, Mo., Sunday.

Sherman won his first PBA Regional tournament and earned $2,000, but he does not get credit for a PBA title because he is not a member. Sherman defeated Charles Nelson of Lee’s Summit, Mo., 245-177, while Bittenbender edged Tom Hess of Urbandale, Iowa, 222-212, in the semifinal round to set up the championship match. Nelson and Bittenbender also are amateurs.

Brian LeClair of Albany, N.Y. defeated top qualifier Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., 277-236, to win the PBA Homefield Bowl Eastern Open presented by MOTIV at Homefield Bowl in Yonkers, N.Y., Sunday and claim his 16th career PBA Regional title along with a $2,500 first prize.

LeClair posted an 8-3-1 match play record to qualify fourth for the stepladder finals. After dispatching Ken Yokobosky of Fredon, N.J., 224-214, LeClair romped past Ray Edwards of Middle Island, N.Y., 279-212, before defeating O’Neill.

Nick Morgan of Sacramento, Calif. and Robby Porter of Rancho Cordova, Calif. defeated Terry Leong of Henderson, Nev. and Johnny Petraglia Jr. of Las Vegas, 502-419, to win the PBA West\Northwest Region Sands Regency Doubles at High Sierra Lanes in Reno, Nev., Sunday. Morgan and Porter each earned their second regional titles and split a $3,400 first prize.

● 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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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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PBA Spare Shots: Veteran Woman Star Yuka Tsuchiya Sweeps Inaugural PBA Japan Region Cheetah Titles

by Bill Vint July 9, 2014 07:35

Yuka Tsuchiya, a 35-year-old right-hander from Kanagawa and an accomplished veteran of Japanese professional competition, got the PBA Japan Regional program off to an historic start over the July 5-6 weekend, sweeping the PBA Japan Women’s Cheetah Open and Cheetah Open titles at Tokyo Port Bowl. The women’s and open events were the first of eight events scheduled for 2014 in the new regional alliance between the Professional Bowlers Association and Japan Bowling Promotions.

On Saturday, Tsuchiya, a PBA member, defeated Shima Washizuka of Tokyo, 223-206, to win the Women’s Cheetah Open. On Sunday, she defeated Shyogo Wada of Wakayama, 211-189, to win the Cheetah Open. The inaugural women’s regional event drew a field of 39 players; the Cheetah Open drew a field of 101 men and women.

The eight-tournament series continues Saturday, July 12, with the PBA Japan Women’s Chameleon Open and Sunday, July 13, with the Chameleon Open, both at Sound Bowl in Ushiku, Japan.

PBA Commissioner Tom Clark and Deputy Commissioner Kirk Von Krueger will attend the Chameleon events as part of a celebration of PBA’s first international regional tournament venture.

IT’LL BE FLORIDA VS. NEW YORK IN 2014 TEEN MASTERS GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP

The Teen Masters Grand Championship match that will be part of the PBA’s Champion’s Challenge ESPN telecast from the PBA World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas will be a one-game match between two recent high school graduates who dominated their divisions in the 17th Teen Masters finals in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last weekend.

Michael Coffey, 19, of Melbourne, Fla., averaged 220.29 for his 42 games and defeated runner-up John Gallagher of Stuart, Fla., by 553 pins for the boys’ title. Kelly Skalacki, 17, who just graduated from Newfield High School near her home in Coram, N.Y., averaged 195.81 in topping Ashley Dunn of Palmdale, Calif., by 337 pins to win the girls’ division. Dunn was the reigning girls’ division champion and a two-time past U14 Girls winner.

Coffey said the secret to his success on the PBA-caliber lane conditions, using only two limited-performance PBA Skills bowling balls, was preparation.

“I practiced with the two (PBA) balls all year long,” the future Lindenwood University student said. “I worked on my grip, throwing at any speed I needed, different hand positions, different angles on the lane. I knew I could do basically anything I wanted. I just had to stay calm and make good shots.”

Skalacki, who bowled in the Teen Masters for the first time, said, “I wasn’t expecting to do this well. It was a matter of making my spares, taking it one shot at a time. I threw the ball with the same speed on both the long and short conditions, and I just moved my feet and moved my eyes.”

The future Webber International University student said she’s eager to face Coffey in the one-game ESPN match to determine the 2014 Teen Masters Grand Champion.

“I’m extremely excited,” she said. “It’s such a great opportunity. I’m hoping to beat him. It’s going to be tough, but I’ll put in the effort.”

“I can’t wait (to bowl Skalacki on ESPN),” Coffey said. “It’ll be a good match.”

The PBA Champion’s Challenge telecast also will feature the PBA50 Tour Finals match, the PBA Women’s Regional Finals title match and the PBA Regional Tour Finals match. The special telecast will be recorded during the first weekend in November at South Point Casino, Hotel and Bowling Center in Las Vegas. The air date for the special ESPN telecast will be announced later.

MONGOOSE PRODUCTS BECOMES PBA REGISTERED PRODUCT COMPANY

Mongoose Products, a manufacturer of premium bowling wrist devices for 33 years, has become a PBA Product Registered Company. Mongoose products are available at quality pro shops across the nation and globally.

SOUTH REGION CHANGES WOMEN’S REGIONAL TO MYRTLE BEACH ON AUG. 8-10

Due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict, the PBA South Region has changed the women’s regional event originally scheduled for Gloucester, Va., to Waccamaw Lanes in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Aug. 8-10.

PBA REGIONAL SUMMARY: JULY SCHEDULE HEATS UP THIS WEEKEND

After a quiet Fourth of July weekend, PBA’s regional program heats up this weekend with the Lubbock Southwest Super Regional in Texas, the second weekend of international regional competition in Japan, and the Proprietors Cup III in Ohio.

The July 11-13 schedule features the Lubbock Southwest Super Regional at South Plains Lanes in Lubbock, Texas, with a projected $10,000 first prize; the Spring Hill (Fla.) Crystal Automotive South Open presented by Track at Spring Hill Lanes; the PBA West/Northwest Wine Country Open presented by Hammer at Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park, Calif.; the PBA50 Cecil Raymond Memorial presented by Track at Playdrome Cherry Hill in Cherry Hill, N.J., and the PBA Japan Women’s Chameleon and Chameleon Open at Sound Bowl, Ushiku, Japan. Also on the July 11-13 schedule is the Proprietors Cup III at Beaver-Vu Lanes in Beavercreek, Ohio. While not an official PBA event, it is supported by the PBA East, Central and Midwest Regions and will pay an estimated $15,000 first prize.

On tap for the July 18-20 weekend are the Boss Snow Plows/Brunswick Central Open at PinHeads Bowling Center in Fishers, Ind. (a PBA Women’s Regional event); the Homefield Eastern Open presented by Motiv at Homefield Bowl in Yonkers, N.Y.; the St. Charles Lanes Midwest Open presented by Storm (a PBA Women’s Regional event), 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:

● Don’t forget: HotelPlanner.com, the official travel partner of the PBA, is running a sweepstakes that will award $250 lodging gift certificates to lucky winners in both July and August. All you have to do is book a hotel room through any link on pba.com, or by using this link: http://pba.hotelplanner.com/, before Aug. 31. For each reservation you make, you’ll receive an additional free entry into the sweepstakes. Drawings will take place on July 31 and August 31.

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