GEICO WSOB IV Notebook: International Players Shut Out in Cheetah Championship, Back in Hunt in Viper

by Bill Vint November 4, 2012 16:09

After winning seven of eight titles (not including the World Bowling Tour men’s championship), international players were shut out of title contention in the Alka Seltzer Plus Cold Cheetah Championships, the opening event of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IV, when all 16 players who advanced to the semifinal round were Americans. Two international players came close to advancing to Saturday’s semifinal round at South Point Bowling Center. England’s Dom Barrett and Sweden’s Johan Hellden tied for 18th place, seven pins shy of making the cut.

● The semifinal field of 16 players included 10 players looking for their first PBA Tour titles (Chris Loschetter, Eddie VanDaniker Jr., Jeff Roche, Brett Spangler, Andrew Graff, Lennie Boresch Jr., Joe Ciccone, Lee Vanderhoef, PJ Haggerty and Josh Blanchard). Roche and Loschetter were among the four who will have a chance to win the Cheetah title after advancing to the stepladder finals.

Wes Malott and Hugh Miller led the semifinalist title-winners with seven PBA Tour titles each. Mike Wolfe has won four times, Bill O’Neill three times, Mike Machuga twice and Ryan Ciminelli once. Wolfe, who is trying to win his first title in four years, and O’Neill will join Roche and Loschetter in the stepladder finals on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 1 p.m. PT.

● The semifinal field also included two PBA Senior Tour competitors: 50-year-old Boresch, who bowled as a Senior Tour “rookie” during the 2012 season, and Hugh Miller of Mercer Island, Wash., who will celebrate his 56th birthday on Monday. Miller is a three-time PBA Senior Tour title winner.

INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS BACK IN THE HUNT IN VIPER CHAMPIONSHIP

After failing to advance a single player to the semifinal round of the Cheetah Championship, the WSOB IV international contingent was back in the hunt in the Viper Championship on Sunday. Four international players were among the top 16 who advanced to Sunday night’s Viper semifinal round, including Canada’s Dan MacLelland, Finland’s Mika Koivuniemi and Osku Palermaa, and Bahrain’s Mohamed Sultan.

On the American side, Chris Loschetter became the first player in WSOB IV to advance to the semifinal round in both the Cheetah and Viper Championships, and he jumped into the PBA World Championships qualifying lead after 16 of 32 games.

FOLLOW THE WORLD SERIES ON XTRA FRAME, LIVE SCORING

Bowling fans around the world can follow all of the action in WSOB IV by watching Xtra Frame’s extensive live online coverage of all qualifying and match play rounds, or by checking “live scoring” on pba.com. Additional coverage will be provided on PBA’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages, both by PBA staff and a number of players in the field.

In addition to the more than 100 hours of live coverage of competition, Xtra Frame will be providing interviews with a variety of bowling industry leaders, coaches and players, both from the U.S. and international representatives.

To subscribe to Xtra Frame, visit pba.com. Special one-day rates are available exclusively during the WSOB for $3.99. One-month subscriptions are offered for $7.99 and a full-year subscription is only $64.99.

SILENT AUCTION TO BENEFIT TONY REYES FAMILY NOW LIVE ON PBA.COM

One of the very special items available in the Tony Reyes Memorial Silent Auction being conducted as part of the GEICO PBA World Series is a unique Tony Reyes commemorative bowling ball – one of only two made – which features a logo image of Reyes.

That ball, along with a variety of autographed bowling balls, competition shirts signed by players who wore them, and other memorabilia will be sold in the silent auction to benefit the family of the late Tony Reyes. The auction is underway on pba.com (click on the special yellow “Tony Reyes Auction” link near the top of the pba.com home page) and will conclude at 6 p.m. Pacific on Thursday, Nov. 8.

Along with photos and a brief description of each item being offered in the auction, instructions are included on how to place a bid via email or telephone.

Reyes, a PBA Tour champion, died on Sept. 28 of injuries sustained in a traffic accident near his northern California home.

QUICK NOTES:

Among the spectators at South Point over the weekend was PBA charter member and hall of famer Billy Hardwick of Memphis, Tenn., who noted, “I think there are only three guys in this (World Series) field who were born when I got my PBA card 51 years ago… Walter Ray Williams Jr. is one of them. He was 2 when I started bowling in the PBA.”

Among the bowlers in the World Series field is United States Bowling Congress President Andrew Cain, who is believed to be the first USBC president to bowl in a PBA Tour event while serving in his office. Cain, the youngest USBC president ever at age 31, has been a PBA member for five years and has bowled in 64 previous PBA Tour events. The former Team USA member owns one PBA Regional title.

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