LAS VEGAS, Nev. - As the centerpiece of the 2011 Professional Bowlers Association World Series of Bowling and the first major championship of the season, the PBA World Championship will again live up to its name when a powerful field of PBA and international stars from more than 15 different countries convene at South Point Bowling Center on Nov. 4.
Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, will be on hand to defend his 2010 victory in the World Championship, a 267-237 upset win over top qualifier Bill O’Neill of Southampton, Pa., that proved to be a milestone victory for Barnes. With the title, he became the sixth player in history to complete the PBA’s Triple Crown and in all likelihood locked up his eventual election to the PBA Hall of Fame.
The elite Triple Crown club (consisting of titles in the U.S. Open, PBA World Championship and PBA Tournament of Champions) includes Billy Hardwick, Johnny Petraglia, Pete Weber, Mike Aulby and Norm Duke – all PBA Hall of Famers.
As an integral part of the 2011 World Series of Bowling, the PBA World Championship will again be a unique test of physical and mental abilities.
In 2010, for the first time, qualifying for the World Championship included rounds on five different PBA “animal patterns” – the Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon, Scorpion and Shark. Combined pinfall totals for qualifying in those five rounds earned Barnes the No. 4 slot in the stepladder finals. He then won four consecutive matches, defeating Michael Haugen Jr. of Carefree, Ariz., 243-172; Finland’s Osku Palermaa, 246-176, and Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., 237-161, en route to his match with O’Neill for the $50,000 first prize.
In 2011, the PBA World Championship will be decided in similar fashion. The entire World Series field will bowl eight games each on the Viper, Chameleon, Scorpion and Shark patterns. After 32 games, the top 60 (based on a field of 240) will advance to an eight-game cashers round.
After a total of 40 games, the top qualifier will earn a $5,000 bonus and the top 16 will advance to a series of ESPN-televised divisional elimination rounds named in honor of four past PBA World Champions, all of whom are among the PBA’s greatest players: Don Carter, Billy Hardwick, Johnny Petraglia and Mike Aulby. Carter won the inaugural PBA Championship in 1960. Hardwick, the initial PBA Triple Crown winner, won in 1963. Petraglia, also a Triple Crown winner, was the 1980 winner. Aulby, the first PBA Grand Slam winner, won the 1985 PBA Championship.
For the ESPN-televised rounds, each of the four divisional finals will feature four players, seeded into the groups based upon their qualifying totals. In each divisional final, the highest seeded player will select the lane condition and all four players will bowl one game with the lowest-scoring player eliminated. The three surviving players will bowl a second game, again eliminating the low score. The two survivors will bowl the final match. The winner of all four divisional finals will then advance to the PBA World Championship finals which will follow the same elimination format. The highest seeded player remaining will select the lane condition for the championship round.
All PBA World Championship rounds will be contested on Saturday, Nov. 19, in a special arena lanes setup at South Point. The telecasts will air on ESPN on five consecutive Sundays except Christmas Day (Dec. 11, 18, Jan. 1, 8 and 15) at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.
All of the preliminary rounds of the World Championship (and all other World Series preliminaries) will be webcast live on pba.com’s exclusive online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. To subscribe to Xtra Frame, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame logo. Look for information on special one-day and World Series of Bowling subscription offers.
First prize in the 2011 PBA World Championship will be $50,000. If reigning PBA Player of the Year Mika Koivuniemi or 13-time PBA Tour titlist Tommy Jones should happen to win the event, the PBA Triple Crown club will have its seventh member.