History of the PBA Tour Trials

by PBA Editor May 29, 2009 19:00

When the Professional Bowlers Association adopted its “exempt tour” program for the 2004-05 season, the PBA Tour Trials was created as a special event designed to give veteran players who failed to qualify for the tour, up-and-coming young players from the PBA’s regional program, top Senior Tour players and a limited group of international players, a chance to pursue their dreams as exempt tour competitors.

Since its inception, the PBA Tour Trials has been a demanding five-day competition, requiring all competitors to bowl nine games each day on a different PBA Tour lane condition. Total pinfall for 45 games decides who get a chance to earn a living as a full-time touring player.

Depending upon a number of variables, the Tour Trials has offered a minimum of seven exemptions annually. The first five Tour Trials were conducted in early June in northern Indiana before moving to metropolitan Detroit in 2009.

The Tour Trials also has been a companion event held in conjunction with the PBA Regional Players Championship, one of two major championships conducted for PBA regional players.

2004 PBA TOUR TRIALS
Stardust Bowl II, Merrillville, Ind., June 6
1, Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 10,814
2, Patrick Girard, Quebec, Canada, 10,248
3, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 10,202
4, Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 10,200
5, Shannon Buchan, Waterloo, Iowa, 10,176
6, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 10,665
7, David Traber, Bull Valley, Ill., 10,059
8, Jim Pratt, Glendale, Ariz., 10,057

2005 PBA TOUR TRIALS
Stardust Bowl II, Merrillville, Ind., June 5
1, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 10,086
2, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 10,057
3, Tom Daugherty, Tampa, Fla., 10,018
4, Rudy Kasimakis, Tupelo, Miss., 9,978
5, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 9,967
6, DJ Archer, Carrollton, Texas, 9,873
7, Christopher Collins, Fayetteville, N.C., 9,775
8, Andres Gomes, Colombia, 9,765
9, Ritchie Allen, Columbia, S.C., 9,757
10, Bill O’Neill, Levittown, Pa., 9,751

2006 DENNY’S PBA TOUR TRIALS
Stardust Bowl I, Hammond, Ind., June 4
1, Mark Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 10,301
2, Michael Haugen Jr., Las Vegas, 10,279
3, Jim Pratt, Glendale, Ariz., 10,189
4, Chris Hayden, Orlando, Fla., 10,188
5, David Tessman, Tampa, Fla., 10,109
6, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 10,082
7, Chris Johnson, Garland, Texas, 10,065
8, Patrick Girard, Quebec, Canada, 10,035
9, Richard Wolfe, Arlington, Va., 10,019
10, Del Ballard Jr., N. Richland Hills, Texas, 10,009
11, x-Billy Oatman, Chicago, 9,975 (replaced Ritchie Allen, who was granted a medical deferment for a broken finger)

2007 DENNY’S PBA TOUR TRIALS
Stardust Bowl II, Merrillville, Ind., June 3
1, Todd Book, Cantonment, Fla., 10,063
2, Ronnie Russell, Indianapolis, 10,044
3, Steve Harman, Camby, Ind., 10,027
4, Brian LeClair, Athens, N.Y., 9,991
5, Troy Wollenbecker, Toledo, Ohio, 9,973
6, Chad Kloss, Greenfield, Wis., 9,911
7, Stevie Weber, Chalmette, La, 9,891

2008 LAKE COUNTY INDIANA DENNY’S PBA TOUR TRIALS
Stardust Bowl II, Merrillville, Ind., June 1
1, Dave D'Entremont, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, 10,051
2, Craig Tuholski, Washougal, Wash., 10,040
3, Chad Kloss, Greenfield, Wis., 10,012
4, Joe Bailey, Pittsburgh, Pa., 9,865
5, Jason Lundquist, Delaware Water Gap, Pa., 9,841
6, Randy Weiss, Columbia, S.C., 9,806
7, Terrance Reeves, Valrico, Fla., 9,796
8, x-Brian LeClair, Athens, N.Y., 9,793 (replaced Tommie Delutz Jr., who was granted a medical deferment)

2009 LUMBER LIQUIDATORS PBA TOUR TRIALS
Thunderbird Bowl, Allen Park, Mich., May 31
1, Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., 9,648
2, George Lambert IV, Hamilton, Ontario, 9,587
3, Thomas Smallwood, Flushing, Mich., 9,562
4, Cassidy Schaub, Ashland, Ohio, 9,459
5, Mitch Beasley, Puyallup, Wash., 9,457
6, Stuart Williams, England, 9,449
7, Stevie Weber, Chalmette, La., 9,448
8, Tim Mack, Indianapolis, 9,379


PBA Tour Trials Fast Facts
● Out of the original eight players who earned PBA Tour exemptions through the Tour Trials, only Mike Edwards and Mike Wolfe retained their exemptions through the 2009-10 season. Brian Kretzer, Eugene McCune and Dave Traber lost, but regained their exemptions.

● Three players won their first PBA Tour titles after earning exemptions through the Tour Trials: Mike Wolfe has since won four titles, Michael Haugen Jr. two (including the 2008 Tournament of Champions), and Chris Collins one.

● Two players won PBA Rookie of the Year honors after earning their exemptions: Bill O’Neill, Levittown, Pa. (2005-06) and Billy Oatman, Chicago (2006-07)

● Several women have attempted to earn exemptions through the Trials, but Kelly Kulick (2006) is the only one who has earned an exemption.

● Six players have earned exemptions to bowl on the PBA Tour twice through the Trials:
    Brian Kretzer (2004, 2005)
    Jim Pratt (2004, 2006)
    Patrick Girard (2004, 2006)
    Chad Kloss (2007, 2008)
    Brian LeClair (2007, 2008)
    Stevie Weber (2007, 2009)

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