Robert Mushtare, the first youth bowler and only person to shoot two certified 900 series (three consecutive 300 games) will compete in the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour Qualifying Round of the 2008 Cheetah Championship on Wednesday, Dec. 3 at AMF Thruway Lanes in Cheektowaga, N.Y.
The PBA Tour Qualifying Round consists of a seven-game qualifying block in which the top five PBA members plus the top amateur will advance to the Round of 64 qualifying on Thursday, Dec. 4. In order to advance to Thursday’s competition, Mushtare would need to claim the top amateur spot in Wednesday’s Tour Qualifying Round that currently consists of a total of 68 competitors.
The 20-year-old of Carthage, N.Y. shot three perfect 900 series, on Nov. 5 and Dec. 3 of 2005 and the last on Feb. 19, 2006. The first 900 series was not recognized as a certified score by the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) because Mushtare was not competing in a certified league.
“I’m just going to go out there and try to have fun,” said Mushtare. “I’m here to compete and have a good experience and hopefully do really well.”
Mustare’s 900 series came under great scrutiny because they were both pre-bowled, meaning he didn’t bowl them during regular league competition, but rather beforehand and was competing alone instead of with his team. ESPN’s Outside the Lines did a full investigative report on the controversy when it happened.
The 2008 Cheetah Championship marks Mushtare’s first national PBA Tour event.
Mushtare is a junior bowler and will be competing for scholarship money instead of actual prize money.
The 2008 Cheetah Championship, the seventh stop on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour will take place from Wednesday, Dec. 3 through Sunday, Dec. 7. The live ESPN-televised finals will take place at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 7.
The Cheetah Championship will also host the fourth stop on the PBA Women’s Series sponsored by the United States Bowling, held in conjunction with the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour.
Action gets underway Wednesday, Dec. 3, with the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour Qualifying Round and official PBA Practice Session. Thursday marks the Round of 64 and Round of 16 for the Women’s Series, while Friday marks the Rounds of 32 and. PBA Pro-Ams and fan day are held on Saturday, with the four-bowler championship round and the Women’s Series championship match taking place Sunday live on ESPN.
Other notables competing this week include:
- PBA point leader Bill O’Neill of Levittown, Pa. who is having his breakout season to date, starting the season off with three TV appearances and leading the average category with a 226.95 average.
- Last year’s winners Mike Wolfe and Shannon Pluhowsky will be competing in their respective fields. Wolfe of New Albany, Ind. is fresh off of a win at the Ultimate Scoring Championship in Taylor, Mich. earlier this season and Pluhowsky of Phoenix, Ariz. is looking to defend her PBA Women’s Series title.
- Jason Belmonte, the two-handed sensation from Australia was selected for a two week commissioner’s exemption, seeding him into the Round of 64. He is the 2007 World Bowler of the Year and finished 29th in last week’s event – the CLR Carmen Salvino Scorpion Championship in Vernon Hills, Ill.
- Michelle Feldman of nearby Auburn, N.Y. is fresh off of her two consecutive PBA Women’s Series wins, capturing both the Chameleon Championship and the CLR Carmen Salvino Scorpion Championship women’s series.
- Brad Angelo of nearby Lockport, N.Y. is on fire this season, becoming the PBA Tour’s newest champion, capturing his first title at the Pepsi Viper Championship in Omaha, Neb. and making the televised finals of last week’s CLR Carmen Salvino Scorpion Championship, finishing 3rd.
- Doug Kent of Newark, N.Y. will be back competing near his hometown for the second time since being named the 2006-07 PBA Player of the Year. The winner of two of the four Majors during the 2006-07 season, Kent has had recent success at AMF Thruway Lanes, Winning the 2005 GEICO Classic and finishing second in the 2006 Etonic Championship.
- PBA Hall of Famer Tom Baker, a Buffalo native, has won eight PBA Senior Tour titles in three seasons, including four Majors and is the reigning PBA Senior Player of the Year, winning the award for a record fourth consecutive year in 2008. He is the oldest exempt bowler on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour, still exempt from his 2004 PBA World Championship.
- Joe Ciccone of Buffalo, N.Y. is currently in his eighth season on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour. Ciccone, the 2000 PBA Rookie of the Year, is looking to win his first title in front of his hometown crowd.
- Jack Jurek of nearby Lackawanna, N.Y. is looking to win his second PBA Tour title this week. Jurek is the Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award winner for the 2005-06 season.