Historic Week in Bowling Begins Monday in Detroit

by PBA Editor August 29, 2009 19:00
The Professional Bowlers Association’s bold World Series of Bowling experiment will reach an historic conclusion beginning Monday when Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., begins his bid to win a third consecutive PBA World Championship, the top women bowlers in the world begin competition in their inaugural PBA Women’s World Championship, and the nation’s top senior players close their season with a nostalgic PBA Senior World Championship.
 
It all will happen at Thunderbowl Lanes in suburban Detroit, where the grand finale will be a weekend of PBA championships conducted in Thunderbowl's historic Arena Bay for tape-delayed airing on ESPN.
 
Headlining the week’s schedule will be Duke’s attempt to join Earl Anthony and Jason Couch as the only PBA players to win the same major championship three times in a row. Anthony won the PBA National Championship three consecutive times twice, while Couch won three straight PBA Tournament of Champions titles.
 
“To win a major title is a big deal. To defend a major title is a bigger deal, but to have a chance to win the same major three times in a row is really special,” said Duke, who last season became the first player in PBA history to win three consecutive major championships. “Every year my goal is to win Player of the Year honors. With only 23 events, it’s imperative to play well in the majors and this is the first one of the 2009-10 season, so for me, everything begins this week.”
 
After winning a PBA World Championship, U.S. Open and a second PBA World Championship in 2009, Duke not only understands how difficult winning another will be, but this event is the seventh the stars of the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour have bowled during the five-week World Series.
 
“It’s hard to stay mentally sharp after all these weeks,” Duke said, “but everyone is in the same boat. It will take a great head to win this one. You have to keep your focus. That’s my biggest concern and at the same time, that is my biggest motivation.”
 
Bowling alongside the sold-out 120-player field in the PBA World Championship will be more than 100 PBA Senior Tour stars bowling in a revival of the PBA Senior World Championship, and a group of talented women competing in their inaugural Women’s World Championship.
 
“This event is exactly what the Senior Tour players have been asking for,” said Ron Mohr of Eagle River, Alaska, the PBA Senior Tour’s leading Player of the Year candidate as its only three-time winner in 2009. “We’ve been wanting a larger prize fund and the same format and lane conditions as the so-called junior tour. The Senior World Championship will be the perfect culmination for our year. And, hopefully, it’ll be the perfect ending for me, too.”
 
The last PBA Senior World Championship was held in Las Vegas in 2002 and, ironically, was won by PBA Hall of Famer Mark Roth who recently suffered a severe stroke that left him paralyzed on the left side of his body. Throughout the season, the senior players have conducted fund-raisers at all of their tournaments to raise money to help Roth defray his medical expenses.
 
The PBA Women’s World Championship is a new event, and joins the United States Bowling Congress Queens and U.S. Women’s Open as a third major championship for women. Heading the field for that event will be Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., who won the USBC Queens in April and Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of Keller, Texas, who have each qualified for the TV finals in two of the four PBA Women’s Series presented by BOWL.COM events conducted as part of the World Series.
 
All three tournaments will be conducted concurrently at Thunderbowl Lanes with qualifying rounds Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before the fields are trimmed for best-of-seven-game single-elimination match play rounds Thursday and Friday.
 
THIS WEEK’S PBA WORLD SERIES OF BOWLING AT A GLANCE
 
LUMBER LIQUIDATORS PBA TOUR
Event: PBA World Championship
When: Monday-Friday, Aug. 31-Sept. 4
Where: Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich.
First Prize: $50,000
Television: Finals to be conducted live on Dec. 13 at Northrock Lanes, Wichita, Kan.
Online: Xtra Frame on PBA.com, Thursday, 2 p.m., Round of 32; Friday, 9 a.m., 2 and 7 p.m., Rounds of 16, Super 16 and 8
Last Year: Norm Duke has won the last two PBA World Championships
 
PBA WOMEN’S SERIES PRESENTED BY BOWL.COM
Event: PBA Women’s World Championship
When: Monday-Friday, Aug. 31-Sept. 4
Where: Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich.
First Prize: $15,000
Television: Finals to be taped Sept. 5 for airing on ESPN (Sunday, Oct. 25, 1 p.m. ET)
Online: Xtra Frame on PBA.com, Thursday, 2 p.m., Round of 16; Friday, 9 a.m., 2 and 7 p.m., Rounds of 8, Super 8 and semifinals.
Last Year: New major championship for women
 
PBA SENIOR TOUR
Event: PBA Senior World Championship
When: Monday-Friday, Aug. 31-Sept. 4
Where: Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich.
First Prize: $15,000
Television: Finals to be taped Sept. 5 for airing on ESPN (Sunday, Oct. 25, 1 p.m. ET)
Online: Xtra Frame on PBA.com, Thursday, 7 p.m., Round of 16; Friday, 9 a.m., 2 and 7 p.m., Rounds of 8, Super 8 and semifinals.
Last Year: Mark Roth won the last Senior World Championship, held in 2002 in Las Vegas
 
WORLD SERIES OF BOWLING GRAND FINALE WEEKEND
Event: Six telecasts to be taped for delayed airing on ESPN
When: Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 5 and 6, at noon, 3:30 and 7 p.m. both days

Where: Arena Bay inside Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich.

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