In front of the biggest crowd ever at Plus Bowling in Vienna, Austria, PBA Tour star Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, captured his 14th PBA Tour title and his second Columbia 300 Vienna Open win Sunday when he defeated fellow American star Sean Rash, 257-214, in the title match.
By winning the event, Barnes took a 54-point lead over Rash in the race for the third and final berth in the Bayer Advanced Aspirin World Bowling Tour men’s finals, presented by the PBA. With only the Australian Masters remaining in the 2012 WBT points race – and 50 points available to the winner – Barnes has officially locked Rash out of the WBT finals, which will be conducted during the PBA World Series of Bowling IV at South Point Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas on Saturday, Nov. 10.
Barnes, who won his first PBA International Tour title, also collected a first prize of roughly $9,000. Rash, who lives in Montgomery, Ill., made a valiant bid for the title, striking out in the final game of Round 3 to advance from fifth place into the stepladder finals as the No. 3 qualifier. Rash then eliminated England’s Stuart Williams, 191-181, and Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., 189-158, to advance to the title match.
Heading into the Australian Masters (which concludes Oct. 27 in Sydney), reigning WBT men’s champion Mika Koivuniemi of Finland has retained the top qualifying position for the three-man stepladder finals with 408 points. Mike Fagan (342 points) and Barnes (328 points) are second and third, respectively. Rash is fourth with 274 points.
The women’s WBT rankings are dominated by American PBA members with Missy Parkin of Lake Forest, Calif., leading the way with 329 points. Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., is second with 319, while Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., is third with 295. Defending WBT women’s champion Carolyn Dorin-Ballard has a chance to overtake Johnson, but is not entered in the Australian event.
The World Bowling Tour, conducted by the World Tenpin Bowling Association, is made up of a series of events around the world. Players earn points based on where they finish in each event. The top three men and top three women on the basis of total points over a span of two years are invited to compete in the Bayer Advanced Aspirin WBT Finals presented by the PBA.
The WBT Finals will pay a total prize fund of $70,000 with the winner of each division earning $20,000, second place $10,000 and third place $5,000. The WBT finals will be conducted on a special lane installation at South Point Hotel and Casino on Saturday, Nov. 10, and will air on ESPN as the first event of the PBA Tour’s 2012-13 television season on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 1 p.m. ET.
WBT men’s points leaders at the conclusion of the Vienna Open: 1, Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, 408. 2, Mike Fagan, USA, 342. 3, Chris Barnes, USA, 338. 4, Sean Rash, USA, 284. 5, Osku Palermaa , Finland, 221. 6, Tommy Jones, USA, 218. 7, Dan MacLelland, Canada, 200. 8, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 189. 9, Bill O'Neill, USA, 148. 10, Dominic Barrett, England, 148.
WBT women’s points leaders: 1, Missy Parkin, USA, 329. 2, Kelly Kulick, USA, 319. 3, Liz Johnson, USA, 295. 4, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, USA, 280. 5, Diandra Asbaty, USA, 201. 6, Sandra Andersson, Sweden, 198. 7, Nina Flack, Sweden , 137. 8, Krista Pollanen, Finland, 133. 9, Clara Guerrero, Colombia, 116. 10, Shannon Pluhowsky, USA, 115.
THREE NEW COUNTRIES PUSH WORLD SERIES IV TO INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES RECORD
As of Oct. 10, the international flavor of the PBA World Series of Bowling IV had reached a record level. New entries from Bahrain, Korea and Saudi Arabia, pushed the WSOB IV international representation to a record 16 countries, topping last year’s record of 15 countries.
Other nations with players entered include Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Mexico, The Philippines, Sweden, the U.S. and Venezuela. Sweden has the largest international contingent to date with 11 entries.
“TR” TRIBUTE EMBLEMS FOR TONY REYES’ FAMILY AVAILABLE
A reminder: while supplies last, “TR” tribute emblems to benefit Tony Reyes’ family are available through the PBA office (and on-site at all PBA tournaments) for $5 each. All proceeds benefitting Reyes’ family. To order, send a check or money order (sorry, no credit cards accepted) to: PBA, c/o TR emblem, 719 Second Ave., Suite 701, Seattle, WA 98104. Make sure you include your return address and please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery (emblems have just been ordered).
To keep track of other memorials honoring Reyes, visit pba.com on a regular basis for the latest information.
PBA REGIONAL ROUNDUP: EDWARDS WINS JOINT REGIONAL IN MISSOURI
Mike Edwards of Tulsa, Okla., defeated Casey Murphy of Springfield, Mo., 204-199, to win the joint PBA Midwest/Southwest Region Barney’s Open at Enterprise Park Lanes in Springfield, Mo., on Sunday, Oct. 7. The title was Edwards’ seventh in PBA Regional competition. He also earned $2,500.
In a Teen Masters qualifier held in conjunction with the Springfield regional, Bobby Zell of Lampe, Mo., posted an eight-game total of 1,733 pins to win a berth in the 2013 Teen Masters high school boys’ division finals.
● In Anderson, Ind., Craig Nidiffer of Trenton, Mich. defeated Ronnie Russell of Marion, Ind., 243-215, to win the PBA Central Region’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino Open at Cooper’s Sport Bowl Sunday for a $2,500 prize and his first PBA Regional title.
Jessica Neu of Indianapolis topped an otherwise all-male field of Teen Masters high school division players to win a berth in the 2013 Teen Masters national finals. Neu posted an eight-game total of 1,519 pins.
● PBA Southwest and Midwest seniors got together at Junction City (Kan.) Bowl for a pair of one-day events. Mike Dias of Lafayette, Colo., won Saturday’s Scorpion Open, winning 13 of 16 games in the all-match play format to claim the $1,000 first prize over Allen Grobmeier of Gilbert, Ariz.
Marc Lineberry of Comanche, Iowa, won Sunday’s Chameleon Open, a stepladder final event, defeating Dave Axon of Bellevue, Neb., 237-221; Joel Carlson of Omaha, 238-222, and top qualifier Henry Gonzalez of Colorado Springs, 266-228, to claim the $1,000 top prize.
● In Ukiah, Calif., former PBA members Sam Carter of Lomond, Calif. and Curtis Woods Jr. of Santa Rosa, Calif. posted a 5-1 match play record and a 14-game total of 6,497 pins to win Sunday’s PBA West/Northwest Regions Ken & Kathy Auto Center Regular/Senior Doubles at Yokayo Bowl by 253 pins over reigning PBA Senior Player of the Year Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla. and his partner, Todd Adams of Sacramento, Calif.
● With three weekends remaining before the start of PBA World Series of Bowling IV at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas, Nov. 2-11, players continue to get their games tuned up. The Oct. 12-14 regional schedule includes the PBA South Region NAS Jacksonville (Fla.) Open at NAS Freedom Lanes; the Midwest Region Qubica Open at Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln, Neb.; the PBA Southwest Region Young & Pratt Austin (Texas) Open at Dart Bowl, and the PBA West/Northwest Regions Red Bluff Open presented by DV8 at Lariat Bowl in Red Bluff, Calif.
Two events are on tap over the Oct. 19-20 weekend: the PBA Southwest Region Dallas Open presented by Dallas Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeons at AMF Richardson Lanes, and the PBA South Region Franklin (Va.) Open at Franklin Bowling Center.
The final pre-WSOB IV tuneup over the Oct. 26-28 weekend features the PBA East Region’s annual Dom DiCicco Memorial Senior Open at Glassboro (N.J.) Bowling and Entertainment; joint one-day PBA Midwest/Central Region Lancer Lanes Senior Chameleon and Viper Open events in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the standard Central/Midwest Region Star Lanes Classic presented by Sysco Food Services of Indianapolis in Lafayette, Ind.
For complete PBA regional schedule and entry information, visit pba.com and click on “Regional Tours” under the Schedules tab.
● Last call on special room rates at South Point Hotel in Las Vegas for PBA World Series of Bowling IV. Oct. 12 is the deadline to reserve the discounted WSOB rate ($48 Sunday thru Thursday, $88 Friday-Saturday nights), reservations must be made by calling South Point and referencing PBA World Series of Bowling.