March 2, 2008 19:00
PBA Commissioner and CEO Fred Schreyer announced today he has awarded PBA Hall of Famer Mark Roth a Commissioner’s Exemption to compete in the 2008 Go RVing Classic at Norwich Bowling and Entertainment Center in Norwich, Conn., March 5-9.
Roth, who is tied for third all-time with 34 Denny’s PBA Tour titles, was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1987. He was named PBA Player of the Year four times in his career and led the Tour in average a record-tying six times. He still holds the PBA record for most titles in a single season, capturing eight in 1978. He followed up that record-setting season with seven victories in 1979.
Roth, who resides in Fulton, N.Y., was – and still is – one of the most popular stars in the game due to his unique style.
“They say I’m the grandfather of the modern game. I started cranking the ball and played about five boards deeper than most guys,” Roth said. “When you watch the old shows you can see the difference. That gave me what these guys have now. They learned to bowl with resin and urethane and we started bowling with rubber. The game changes every 10 years. It’s just part of life.”
Roth, who competes regularly on the PBA Senior Tour, also took part in this season’s H&R Block Tournament of Champions, one of four Majors on the Denny’s PBA Tour.
“It was a really great week although it would have been better if I’d carried better the last block,” Roth said of his 45th-place finish. “I’m feeling good though, I went to Michigan last week to do an exhibition and shot 740 in a league there which was kind of neat. I shot 280 the last game and people were going nuts.”
The 56-year-old Roth, who owns two PBA Senior Tour titles including the 2002 PBA Senior World Championship – captured one of his 34 Denny’s PBA Tour titles at Bradley Bowl in nearby Windsor Locks, Conn. His win in the 1978 Greater Hartford Open came on his 27th birthday.
“I’d like to get to the top 32 this week and take it from there. You always want to get to the show because once you get there, whatever happens, happens,” Roth said. “I hope to find the magic touch again and use it this week. I’m looking forward to going out and enjoying myself. I’ll just bowl my best and hope I can carry when I need to. Give me the extra hit and carry the 10-pin.”
The Go RVing Classic gets underway Wednesday, March 5 with the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round followed by the Round of 64 on Thursday where Roth will join a field of 11 qualifiers and 52 Denny’s PBA Tour exempt bowlers. The top 32 will advance to match play Friday with the final four competing for the $25,000 top-prize Sunday, March 9 live on ESPN at 12:30 p.m. ET.
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