The Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour moves to ESPN2 Sunday for the finals of the PBA One A Day Earl Anthony Memorial at 2 p.m. Eastern (11 a.m. Pacific) from Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl in Dublin, Calif.
Heading the list of the world’s greatest bowlers competing in the Earl Anthony Memorial, which will be conducted Jan. 26-30, are 2011 PBA Tournament of Champions winner Mika Koivuniemi and runnerup Tom Smallwood. Koivuniemi defeated top qualifier Smallwood, 269-207, last Saturday to win the record $250,000 first prize in the $1 million Tournament of Champions at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas.
Smallwood, who gained nationwide media attention—including a feature in Sports Illustrated—for winning last season’s PBA World Championship after being laid off from his job at General Motors, earned $100,000 for second.
After rolling a dramatic 299 game against Tom Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla., in the semifinal match, Koivuniemi threw another 10 strikes on 12 tries against Smallwood to become the first international player ever to win the PBA’s signature tournament.
“I can’t even say what this title means right now,” Koivuniemi said after winning his ninth PBA Tour tournament and third major title. “It was my third major and I have nine titles now. I hope I can win a few more and secure a spot in the hall of fame.”
Also competing will be Earl Anthony Memorial defending champion Anthony LaCaze of Melrose Park, Ill.
LaCaze, who finished a respectable 24th in his first Tournament of Champions last week, won his first Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour title in last year’s Earl Anthony Memorial, throwing three clutch strikes in the ninth and 10th frames to defeat Michael Machuga of Erie, Pa., 214-206, in the title match.
LaCaze trailed until he threw the biggest strike of his life in the ninth frame and followed with two even bigger strikes in the 10th to force Machuga to double in his 10th frame to win. Machuga got the first strike, but left a 10 pin on his second to hand LaCaze the $25,000 first prize.
Also entered are:
•2011 PBA World Championship winner and 13-time PBA Tour titlist Chris Barnes.
•Bowling legend, all-time PBA Tour titles leader (47) titles and former nearby Stockton, Calif., resident Walter Ray Williams Jr.
•2010 PBA Tournament of Champions winner Kelly Kulick, the first woman to win a PBA Tour event.
•Two-time Earl Anthony Memorial winner Wes Malott.
•PBA titlist and two-handed specialists Jason Belmonte of Australia.
•Hall of Famers Pete Weber, Norm Duke, Parker Bohn III and Johnny Petraglia.
•Three-time PBA Tour titlist Dave Arnold who now makes his home in Dublin, Calif.
•Former exempt player Wayne Garber of Modesto, who was granted a commissioner’s exemption.
The 2011 Earl Anthony Memorial is the third tournament of PBA’s “live-telecast” Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour schedule. The first six Tour events were telecast on a tape-delayed basis on ESPN.
Competition will get underway Jan. 26, with a Tour Qualifying Round where non-exempt bowlers will bowl seven games to try to qualify for the 64-player exempt field.
PBA EARL ANTHONY MEMORIAL SCHEDULE
Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl, Dublin, Calif., Jan. 26-30 (all times Pacific)
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26
9 a.m. - Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour Qualifying Round (7 games total pins)
4:30 p.m. - Practice session
7 p.m. - pro-am
THURSDAY, JANUARY 27
10 a.m. - Round of 64 Round 1 (7 Games)
5 p.m. - Round of 64 Round 2 (7 Games)
Cut to the top 32 Players
FRIDAY, JANUARY 28
11 a.m. - Match Play Round 1 (9 games)
Cut to top 16 players
6 p.m. - Match Play Round 2 (9 games)
Top 4 advance to ESPN finals
SATURDAY, JANUARY 29
Pro-Am Events and PBA Fan Day
9 a.m. - Youth pro-am
11:15 a.m. - Senior pro-am
1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 9 p.m. / Adult pro-ams
SUNDAY, JANUARY 30
11 a.m. - Live ESPN2 Finals from Earl Anthony's Dublin Bowl