PBA Spare Shots: Walter Ray Williams Jr. Concludes Remarkable 2009-10 Season with Statistical Sweep

by Bill Vint May 7, 2010 03:58

At the ripe old age of 50, Walter Ray Williams Jr. has already used up every superlative you can attach to his record-setting career, and that makes his sweep of every major statistical category during the 2009-10 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season even more stunning.

With the completion of the DyDo Japan Cup, the PBA’s statistical season officially ended in the earnings and average categories. Guess who won both?

The Ocala, Fla., right-hander had previously claimed his record seventh Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year Award and a record eighth Harry Smith Point Leader Award at the conclusion of the Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open, the final regularly-scheduled event of the season.

Williams ended his PBA Tour season by being eliminated in the Round of 16 in his 25th consecutive Japan Cup appearance, earning $3,000 to boost his official 2009-10 earnings total to $152,670 - $5,395 ahead of runner-up Bill O’Neill. It was the seventh time he has led the Tour in annual earnings. He also finished the season with a 222.89 average for 581 games – 50 games more than Tommy Jones bowled – to lock up a record eighth George Young Memorial High Average Award. Wes Malott was runner-up with a 221.34 average.

Adding a little icing, Williams tied for the Tour lead in Championship Round Appearances (five) and titles (two) with both Mike Scroggins and O’Neill, and he led the field in match play appearances with 15 in 19 events.

The 47-time PBA Tour title winner improved his Tour-best career earnings to $4,252,116 as of May 1 (Pete Weber is more than $800,000 behind in second place with $3,407,724).

Returning home from Japan, Williams made his PBA Senior Tour debut on May 3 in the Miller High Life Senior Classic in Mooresville, N.C., and three days later, he won his first PBA Senior Tour title.

Click here for complete 2009-10 Statistics.

REGIONAL, SENIOR ENTRIES HOLDING STRONG

Participation in the first three PBA Senior Tour events of the 2010 campaign, along with member and non-member entries in PBA Regional events, has been strong as the summer season arrives.

The lure of winning a first PBA title of any kind – regional, Senior or PBA Tour – to land an invitation to participate in the 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions has provided a high-stakes incentive to enter those events. All seven PBA Regions will be conducting weekend tournaments throughout the summer and fall. For schedules and entry information, click on the Schedule tab on pba.com. Under Regional Tour, check on your home region.

Bowling fans can also follow the action in select regional competitions. PBA’s Xtra Frame video-streaming service will provide live coverage of the South Region’s Canton, Ga., Open on May 9; the Jupiter, Fla., Open on May 16, and the PBA Regional Players Championship on May 31 from Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich. To sign up for the PBA’s exclusive online television coverage, click on the Xtra Frame logo on pba.com.

JOWDY, KRISTOF, GRANGER HONORED FOR COACHING EFFORTS

Long-time Columbia 300 sales rep and renowned bowling coach John Jowdy has been selected as the 2010 inductee into the Bowling Coaches Hall of Fame in recognition of his superior coaching contributions to the sport. Jowdy will be recognized on Monday, June 18, during the International Bowl Expo general session at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Jowdy, who began his coaching career in San Antonio in the 1940s, became an iconic figure at PBA Tour events with his foot-long cigars (which he never smoked). In his nearly 40 years of travels, he has helped hundreds of men and women advance their professional bowling careers. He is credited with the development of Team Columbia, which became the first staff of professionals to represent a ball company and set an example all other ball companies soon followed.

The author of two instructional books, hundreds of instructional articles and nationally-distributed opinion columns, Jowdy was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1988.

The late Joe Kristof of Columbus, Ohio, a PBA charter member who conducted hundreds of clinics as an AMF staff member, and Jeanette Robinson of Las Vegas will also be honored as coaching “Trailblazers.” Kristof also was a pioneer in the bowling pro shop business.

Former PBA Touring Player Purvis Granger also has earned international recognition as winner of the 2010 World Bowling Writers Tom Kouros Outstanding International Coach Award. Granger, 46, has spent the past 14 years coaching in Hong Kong, The Philippines and Hong Kong again.

LONG-TIME PBA EAST REGION LEADER TONY LAKAWICZ DIES

Tony Lakawicz of Elmwood Park, N.J., who spent nearly 35 years as tournament director and organizational leader in the PBA East Region, died on April 28 at the age of 92.

Lakawicz was a shop manager for Servo Tek in Hawthorne, N.J., for more than 40 years before retiring and spending another 10 years working the control counter at Parkway Lanes in Elmwood Park. The long-time Elmwood Park Elks Lodge member and Elmwood Park fire department chaplain was an avid bowler as well, once being a member of a five-man team that held the team game and series world records.

Lakawicz is a member of the Paterson Old Timers, New Jersey Bowling, Bergen County Bowling and Passaic County Bowling Halls of Fame. He is survived by his wife Marian, son Peter, daughter Valerie Ambrose, brother Joseph and three grandchildren. Services were held Monday in Elmwood Park. The family asks that any memorials be sent to the Elmwood Park Elks Lodge #60 Special Children’s Committee, 192 Market St., Elmwood Park, NJ 07407.

ESPN REVISES GEICO TEAM SHOOTOUT TELECAST SCHEDULE

ESPN has revised the telecast schedule for the upcoming GEICO Team Shootout series from Six Flags Adventure in Jackson, N.J. The revised schedule (all times Eastern) includes:

Sunday, June 27 – Four consecutive half-hour shows beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 3 – Re-broadcasts of Shows 3 and 4 followed by telecasts of new Shows 5 and 6 beginning at 2 p.m.

Sunday, July 4 – Re-broadcasts of Shows 5 and 6 followed by four new shows beginning at 1 p.m.

Sunday, July 11 – Five consecutive new shows beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Competition in the GEICO Team Shootout, pitting teams sponsored by Brunswick, Ebonite International, Storm Products and 900 Global, is scheduled for June 10 and 11 in Jackson.

KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE, YOUR ENEMIES CLOSER

During the Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open in Baltimore, fellow Texans Wes Malott (the 2008-09 PBA Player of the Year) and Chris Barnes (who held that title for the 2007-08 season), were in first and second place, respectively, after three rounds.

Starting the fourth round on the Chameleon pattern and bowling on the same pairs of lanes, Malott and Barnes bowled identical games of 233, 193 and 245.

“That was interesting,” Malott laughed. “We were just trying to make it easy on scorekeepers.”

After finishing the Chameleon round in the same one-two positions, they were again assigned to bowl together for the fifth (Scorpion) round. In the first game, both bowled 217 games.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it.