Sean Rash has been fined an undisclosed amount by the Professional Bowlers Association for conduct unbecoming a professional in a “bottlegate” incident that has led to a written response by Australian two-handed competitor Jason Belmonte.
The incident took place during the GEICO PBA Team Shootout, the PBA’s fifth annual summer series event which will air on ESPN June 25-26 and July 2-3.
“For bowling fans who may think the GEICO Team Shootout was a so-called ‘silly season’ exhibition, I think they will find out otherwise,” said PBA COO and Deputy Commissioner
Tom Clark. “It was a fierce competition for the second annual Manufacturer's Cup, with significant money and a great deal of pride on the line. It featured 20 of the best players in the world bowling with one goal - to win - and that shines through in this series."
The incident in question occurred at 10pin bowling lounge in Chicago, where Rash and Belmonte were involved in a heated head-to-head showdown match. Belmonte was accused of making a noise with his plastic water bottle that annoyed Rash, causing him to back off the approach. After throwing a strike, Rash unleashed profanity-laced remarks at Belmonte that resulted in the misconduct fine.
VIDEO The so-called “bottlegate” incident was similar to another which took place during the 2011 Dick Weber PBA Playoffs in Indianapolis when Brad Angelo accused Belmonte of making distracting noises with his water bottle while Angelo was in his approach.
VIDEO Whether the incident(s) were accidental or intentional has been the topic of extensive discussion on the pba.com forum, PBA’s Facebook page and YouTube after a video clip of the Rash-Belmonte incident was posted on pba.com. In his own defense, Belmonte has posted a lengthy response, explaining what happened from his point of view.
“I will say this loud and very clear and I say it to those who have bowled against me in the past, those I will play in the future and to the fans watching,” Belmonte said in his pba.com response. “I am a respectful, honourable and honest bowler and person. If you beat me, you did it because you were better than me on the day and the same goes if I beat you. Simple as that.”
The GEICO PBA Team Shootout, featuring a total of 15 30-minute programs on ESPN, airs Saturday, June 25, at noon; Sunday, June 26, at 4 p.m.; Saturday, July 2, at 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, July 3, at 2:30 p.m. All times are Eastern. The Team Shootout telecasts also will include a "tips series" where each player reveals to viewers the best bowling tip he or she has ever received.
NEW PBA.COM VIDEO FEATURE ASKS WHAT IT’S LIKE TO WIN IN FRONT OF FAMILY
What’s it like to win a PBA title in front of family and friends? That’s the question Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour stars answer in this week’s free three-minute video feature on pba.com. The third in a series of special topics was produced during the GEICO PBA Team Shootout in Chicago, and are airing each week on pba.com.
Also on pba.com, Xtra Frame will provide continuing coverage of Wednesday’s match play final rounds of the Senior Northern California Classic at Harvest Park Bowl in Brentwood, Calif.
Xtra Frame concludes its June coverage with a series of on-site segments from International Bowl Expo in Texas. Bowlers Journal International and Ebonite’s Powerhouse division are teaming up with Xtra Frame to provide "Bowlers Journal on Xtra Frame" coverage from AMF Showplace Lanes in Euless and the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas, June 28-30.
Coverage will begin at Ebonite's new product showcase at Showplace Lanes on Tuesday, June 28. Bowling industry interviews and features from the trade show floor at Bowl Expo will follow on Wednesday, June 29 and Thursday, June 30. "On-demand" coverage will follow Bowl Expo, including interviews from "A Night on the Campus" from the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas.
To subscribe to Xtra Frame, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame logo.
HUGH MILLER JOINS PBA MILLIONAIRE’S CLUB
With his 16th-place finish and check for $1,800 in the PBA Senior U.S. Open, Seattle’s
Hugh Miller has become the 40th member of the “PBA Millionaire’s Club” with a career total of $1,001,441.66.
The 54-year-old left-hander reached the $1 million milestone after bowling in a combined total of 778 PBA events (503 PBA Tour, 232 PBA Regional, 43 Senior Tour and nine Senior Regional) while winning a total of 42 titles (seven PBA Tour, 32 Regional, one Senior Tour and two Senior Regional).
PBA REGIONAL ROUNDUP:
RASH COMPLETES FESTIVE WEEKEND WITH REGIONAL WIN IN WICHITA
Sean Rash, who recently moved from Wichita, Kan., to suburban Chicago, defeated Chris Drewes of Wichita, 225-190, to win the PBA Southwest/Midwest Region Budweiser Wichita Open at Thunderbird Bowl on June 19.
Rash completed a celebratory weekend after he was inducted into the Great Plains USBC Hall of Fame Thursday night by winning his fourth PBA Regional title. He also earned $2,600 after stringing three strikes late in the title game to apply pressure to Drewes and clinching the win with another strike in the 10th frame. Along the way to his victory, Rash eliminated
Mike Bailey of Frisco, Texas, 236-202, in the semifinal round; Cory Simmons of Wichita in the Round of 8 and Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, in the Round of 16.
In the PBA East Region, amateur
Anthony Pepe of Elmhurst, N.Y., won for a second time without earning a PBA title. Pepe defeated Joe Paluszek of Bensalem, Pa., 224-211, to win the PBA East Region Howell Lanes Open at Howell Lanes on June 19.
Pepe, who won’t be credited with a PBA title because he is not a member, teamed with
Alex Cavagnaro to win a member/non-member doubles event last season. Pepe earned $2,500 for his Howell win. En route to his victory, Pepe defeated John Conroy of Mahopac, N.Y., 207-192, in the semifinal round after eliminating four-time PBA Tour title winner Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y., 2-0, in their best-of-three-game Round of 8 match.
In the East Region, Regional Manager
R uss Mills also announced the upcoming July 29-31 Appletree Classic at Mid County Lanes in Middletown, Del., will offer an $8,000 first prize, thanks to a new sponsorship by Appletree Answering Service.
On June 18,
Joe Ciccone of Buffalo, N.Y. defeated Troy Stus of South Lyon, Mich. by 51 pins to win the PBA Central Region Dan Ottman Memorial Classic at Sunnybrook Bowling Center. Ciccone finished the one-day, 16-game event with a 6-2 match play record and a total of 3,788 pins, including match play bonus pins.
The win was Ciccone’s 13th in PBA Regional competition. He earned $2,200 along with his title. Fellow Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour competitors
Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y., and Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y., finished third and fourth, respectively.
Across the country,
Curtis Woods Jr., of Santa Rosa, Calif., defeated PJ Haggerty of Roseville, Calif., 212-201, to win the PBA West Region\NW event at Double Decker Lanes, Rohnert Park, Calif., on June 19, for a $2,000 prize and his 17th career PBA Regional title.
In the semifinal round, Woods defeated Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour exempt player
Stuart Williams of England, 258-186, while Haggerty defeated PBA Senior Tour member Kevin Croucher of Grants Pass, Ore., 243-223.
Shannon Starnes of Fort Worth, Texas, defeated Dean Jones of Las Vegas, 234-230, to win the PBA West Region Orleans Senior Classic at The Orleans Bowling Center on June 16. The title was the second of Starnes’ career and netted him $1,500. The event was conducted as a “second chance” event for players who failed to cash in the PBA Senior U.S. Open.
On this weekend’s PBA Regional calendar are: the PBA East Region Knob Hill Country Lanes Senior Open in Manalapan, N.J., Friday-Sunday; back-to-back one-day joint PBA Midwest/Central Region Orland Bowl Senior Opens 1 and 2, sponsored by Allstate Insurance, in Orland Park, Ill., Friday-Sunday; the PBA Midwest Raymond’s Bowl Miller Light Open in Johnsburg, Ill., Friday-Sunday; the PBA Southwest Regional Greater Little Rock Open at Allfam Bowling and Entertainment in Cabot, Ark., Friday-Sunday, and the PBA Northwest Region General Distributors Open presented by Molalla Communications at Molalla Bowl in Molalla, Ore., Friday-Saturday.
For Regional tournament schedules and entry information, visit pba.com and click on “Regional Tour” under the “Schedules” drop-down tab.