PBA Spare Shots: Race for World Bowling Tour Finals Heads into Final Three International Events

by Bill Vint September 27, 2012 06:34

The race for the final three berths in the World Tenpin Bowling Association’s 2012 Bayer Advanced Aspirin World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by the PBA heads into its final three events, starting next week in Thailand.

The final three WBT qualifying events leading into the PBA World Series of Bowling are the PTT Thailand Open, which is currently underway in Bangkok, ending Monday; the Columbia 300 Vienna Open, Oct. 2-7, in Vienna, Austria, and the AMF Australian Masters, Oct. 8-27, at Sydney.

Bowling fans can follow the action in the PTT Thailand Open by clicking here.

In addition to WBT points, all three events will award a PBA International Tour title in the men’s/open division if the winner is a PBA member. A PBA International Tour title will count toward eligibility for the 2013 PBA Tournament of Champions, but the title and any other stats from these three events will not count toward the 2012-13 PBA Player of the Year race because all three tournaments pre-date the start of the new PBA Tour season. The 2012-13 PBA Tour season officially gets underway with World Series of Bowling IV in Las Vegas Nov. 2-11 and concludes Dec. 31, 2013.

The WBT Finals will be contested as part of the PBA’s ESPN World Series of Bowling package. Three-player stepladder finals for men and women will be conducted on Saturday, Nov. 10, on lanes specially installed in the South Point Hotel and Casino exhibition area. The men’s and women’s finals will kick off the PBA Tour season on ESPN, airing on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. ET. The winner in each division will earn $20,000.

The winners of the inaugural WBT titles, contested during WSOB III in Las Vegas, were Finland’s Mika Koivuniemi and Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of Keller, Texas.

World Bowling Tour points are based on a two-year cumulative total. Heading into the Thailand event, the men’s leaders are: 1, Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, 358 points. 2, Mike Fagan, Dallas, 327. 3, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 248. 4, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 223. 5, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 204. 6, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 176. 7, Dan MacLelland, Canada, 174. 8, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 169. 9, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 137. 10, Dom Barrett, England, 135.

Women’s WTB points leaders heading into Thailand are: 1, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Keller, Texas, 280. 2, Missy Parkin, Lake Forest, Calif., 273. 3, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 269. 4, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 265. 5, Sandra Andersson, Sweden, 157. 6, Diandra Asbaty, Chicago, 151. 7, Nina Flack, Sweden, 137. 8, Krista Pöllänen, Finland, 133. 9, Shannon Pluhowsky, Kettering, Ohio, 115. 10, Wendy Macpherson, Henderson, Nev., 110.

BARNES, KULICK WIN WTBA WORLD SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP IN CYPRUS

Team USA members and PBA Tour champions Chris Barnes and Kelly Kulick earned gold medals Tuesday in the inaugural World Tenpin Bowling Association World Singles Championships in Limassol, Cyprus.

Kulick defeated Latvia’s Diana Zajalova, 228-226, to win the women’s title while Barnes topped fellow PBA Tour star Tommy Jones, 212-198, to win the men's title.

"To dominate all week long and make it through to the final shots in the 10th frame and coming up clutch is really what I wanted to show up and do," said Kulick, the 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions winner.

"I know I didn't win money, but you don't get very many opportunities like this to win a world title against a world-class field," Barnes said. "I find it much more special at this point in my career than I might have at an earlier point in time. I really cherish a win like this."

In the semifinals, Barnes survived a tough match to beat Colombia's Andres Gomez, 246-244, while Jones knocked off Osku Palermaa, 259-199. On the women's side, Kulick defeated Malaysia's Esther Cheah, 212-207, while Zavjalova beat Mexico's Aseret Zetter, 237-212. Team USA's Shannon O'Keefe, a former PBA Women’s Series competitor, lost her best-of-three-game quarterfinal match against Cheah, 3-2.

KIMBERLY PRESSLER RETURNS AS PBA “LANESIDE REPORTER”

After a one-season hiatus, former Miss USA Kimberly Pressler will be back with the PBA as “laneside reporter” for ESPN telecasts from the PBA World Series of Bowling in Las Vegas, Nov. 2-11, and later in the season, at the fourth annual Chris Paul PBA League All-Stars event.

“I’m so excited; I’m honored to be coming back,” Pressler said. “I love being part of the PBA family. It’s wonderful to be part of such a monumental event, with bowlers coming from around the world. Where else do you have people coming from so many countries for an event like this?

“The thing that really struck me when I did the World Series in 2010 is that there is a lot of technique and hard work and practice that is needed to get to this level,” she added. “It’s amazing, too, that there is so much camaraderie among the players. It’s such a great family atmosphere and it’s such an amazing group of athletes putting on a great show. I’m thrilled to be part of it.”

Pressler, who once worked for the U.S. Department of Energy at a nuclear power plant, has hosted television programs for ABC, MTV, ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC and the Speed Network. She has covered events ranging from the ACIS Fitness National Championships to the Traxxas TORC truck racing series, from the Red Bull X-Fighters series to the X-Games. She made her PBA debut in a similar capacity during the 2010 event in Las Vegas.

UNIVERSITY OF AKRON TO HOST THIRD EDDIE ELIAS SCHOLARSHIP TOURNAMENT

For the third year in a row, the University of Akron will present the Edward G. Elias Bowling Scholarship Tournament at the university’s Edward G. Elias Bowling Center, Oct. 27-28, in honor of the PBA’s founder.

In its first two years, the tournament attracted hundreds of Akron students who paid no entry fee, but competed for three male and three female scholarships. This year, four skill-based divisions have been added, expanding the number of scholarships to be awarded to 12.

“Eddie would be proud to know his love of bowling spurred an annual tournament that provides much-needed financial assistance for the hardworking students at his alma mater,” Peggy Elias, Eddie’s widow, said.

PBA REGIONAL ROUNDUP: COREY HUSTED WINS FIRST SINGLES TITLE

Corey Husted of Milwaukie, Ore., posted a 4-4 match play record and a 16-game total of 3,457 pins Sunday to win his first PBA singles title in the PBA Northwest/West Regions Ten Down Open presented by Track at Ten Down Lanes in Roseburg, Ore.

Husted, the son of PBA Hall of Famer Dave Husted, earned $2,000 by defeating Blaine Weninger of Aurora, Ore., by 31 pins for the win. Husted had previously won a Northwest Region doubles title when he teamed up with his father in Walla Walla, Wash., in October of 2010.

In Delphos, Ohio, Harry Sullins of Chesterfield Twp., Mich., defeated Bob Learn Jr. of Macomb, Mich., by 323 pins to win the joint PBA Central/Midwest Region Mel Westrich Senior Open at Delphos Recreation Center Sunday.

Sullins finished with a 10-2 match play record and averaged 255 for 20 games, finishing with 5,400 pins including match play bonus pins. The title was Sullins’ 21st overall PBA Regional title. He also earned $1,400.

In Odessa, Texas, Lee White of Odessa won five of his eight matches to finish with a 20-game total of 4,150 pins and claim his first PBA Regional title in the PBA Southwest Region Odessa Challenge at Astro Bowl on Sunday.

PBA Challenge events are open only to players who have never won a PBA title. White, a PBA member since 2007, held off challenges from Gabe Yanes of Shertz, Texas, and amateur Scotty Pope Jr. of Lubbock Texas. White won matches in games five, six, and seven of the final round to build a comfortable lead and held on to win by 30 pins despite losing to Yanes, 181-170, in their position round match.

In Mooresville, N.C., Jeff Schrum of Cherryville, N.C., defeated Kent Wagner of Palmetto, Fla., 235-203 and 197-190, in the best-of-three-game title match to win his third PBA South Region title and a $1,600 first prize in the Budweiser Senior Open at Victory Lanes Sunday.

● The Sept. 29-30 weekend schedule features the West/Northwest Regions’ Sands Regency Casino Open and non-champions events at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno; the Central, East and South Regions will combine for the Roger Boone Memorial Senior Classic presented by Fritz’s Pharmacy at Greenbreier Bowling Center in Lewisburg, W.Va.; and the Midwest Region will host standard and senior St. Clair Bowl events sponsored by Allstate Insurance in Fairview Heights, Ill.

For complete PBA regional schedule and entry information, visit pba.com and click on “Regional Tours” under the Schedules tab.

WATCH XTRA FRAME’S PBA WEST/NORTHWEST REGIONAL COVERAGE FREE ON SATURDAY

PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, will visit the National Bowling Stadium in Reno to provide live coverage of the PBA West/Northwest Region Sands Regency Casino Open presented by Roto Grip Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28-30. Coverage begins Friday at 10 a.m. with the non-champions event and continues with qualifying at 1 p.m. Saturday followed by the round-robin match play finals starting at 9 a.m. Sunday (all times are Pacific).

To subscribe to Xtra Frame, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame logo for details.  Saturday's qualifying coverage will be free of charge and available on the PBA's home page.

QUICK NOTES:

● Special room rates at South Point Hotel in Las Vegas for PBA World Series of Bowling IV are available only to individuals who reserve their rooms by no later than Oct. 12. To receive 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. The preferred rates expire on Oct. 12.

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