In the Professional Bowlers Association’s first live event after the 69th U.S. Open, PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber will be looking to make it two in a row when the PBA Xtra Frame Tour visits Thunderbowl Lanes Friday through Sunday for the Detroit Open presented by Track.
The Xtra Frame Tour is a new series of four PBA Tour events which feature exclusive start-to-finish coverage on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel this season. Xtra Frame’s world-wide coverage of the third of four Xtra Frame events begins with the nine-game qualifying round, including two sessions at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 10. Coverage continues on Sunday when the top 24 players begin round-robin match play at 9 a.m. Following a second match play round at 1:30 p.m., the top four will bowl for the $10,000 first prize and a berth in the Round of 36 for the end-of-season PBA Tournament of Champions in the stepladder finals at 6 p.m.
To subscribe to Xtra Frame, visit xtraframe.tv or pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame logo. Monthly subscriptions are available for $7.99 and full-year subscriptions cost $64.99.
Weber, who recently won a record fifth PBA U.S. Open title, will be among the field of approximately 100 players who will compete in the season’s third of four Xtra Frame Tour events.
Weber defeated United States Bowling Congress Masters winner Mike Fagan, 215-214, in the dramatic title match on Feb. 26 at Brunswick Zone-Carolier in North Brunswick, N.J., surpassing his father Dick Weber and Don Carter who had won the prestigious tournament four times.
The Detroit Open will also be a homecoming for two of the Tour’s top players – reigning PBA Player of the Year Mika Koivuniemi and 2009 PBA World Championship winner Tom Smallwood.
Koivuniemi, a native of Finland, had a stellar 2010-11 season in which he who won the $250,000 first prize in the $1 million PBA Tournament of Champions, finished second in the 2011 U.S. Open, third in the Bayer USBC Masters and sixth in the PBA World Championship. He finished the season with $330,040 – the third-highest total in PBA Tour history. The 44-year-old right-hander was also the PBA Player of the Year in 2003-04.
Koivuniemi, who now lives in Hartland, Mich., and Venezuela’s Amleto Monacelli (1989 and 1990) are the only international players who have won PBA Player of the Year honors.
Smallwood, of Saginaw, gained nationwide media attention when he won the 2009 PBA World Championship for his first Tour title by defeating 2008-09 Player of the Year Wes Malott, 244-228, in the championship match. Having recently been laid off from his job at General Motors he decided it was time to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional bowler.
Another player hoping to make a breakthrough in the Detroit Open will be Windsor, Ontario, native and former Saginaw Valley State University collegiate star Dan MacLelland who hopes to become the first Canadian player to win a PBA Tour title.
When the PBA Tour last visited the Detroit area, it was for the five-week-long PBA World Series of Bowling in August 2009 which was also conducted at Thunderbowl.
For admission and pro-am entry information contact Thunderbowl at (313) 928-4688.
PBA Xtra Frame Tour Detroit Open presented by Track schedule
Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich. (all times Eastern)
FRIDAY, MARCH 9
Noon – A squad practice
2 p.m. - B Squad Practice
6 and 8 p.m. - Pro-am squads
SATURDAY, MARCH 10
9 a.m. - A Squad (9 qualifying games)
4 p.m. - B Squad (9 qualifying games)
Top 24 advance to match play on Sunday
SUNDAY, MARCH 11
9 a.m. – Top 24, 6 games round-robin match play
1:30 p.m. – Top 24, 7 games round-robin match play
Top four advance to stepladder finals
6 p.m. – Top four stepladder finals