SEATTLE -- PBA Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli, a two-time Player of the Year on the PBA Tour, was selected as the 2012 PBA Senior Rookie of the Year, becoming the first international player to earn the award.
The 51-year-old native of Venezuela also became the first international player to win the Etonic Senior U.S. Open last June when he defeated fellow Hall of Famer and 2012 Senior Player of the Year Walter Ray Williams Jr., 255-247, in the championship match at the Suncoast Bowling Center in Las Vegas.
He also finished third in the United States Bowling Congress Senior Masters and compiled four other top 20 finishes which included a 10th, 11th, 15th and 19th in his six Senior Tour appearances.
“I quickly found that you still have to be bowling at a top level to do well on the Senior Tour,” said Monacelli. “The competition was very tough and I feel fortunate to do as well I did in my first year.”
During his career on the PBA Tour, Monacelli won 19 titles and was the first foreign-born player to win PBA Player of the Year earning the honor back-to-back in 1989 and 1990. He is the only foreign-born member of the PBA Hall of Fame and was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame in 2012.
“One of my first impressions of bowling on the Senior Tour was how fast time has gone by,” he added. “Bowling with some of the guys I bowled against on Tour brought back a lot of memories.”
Also receiving votes for Senior Rookie of the Year were Bob Learn Jr., Mike Edwards and Lennie Boresch who each won one title during the season, and Bryan Goebel, Rick Minier, Paul McCordic, Joel Carlson, Brian Cooper, Randy Shewmake and Todd Kjell.
Hall of Famer Dave Soutar, who retired after more than 50 years of competing on the PBA Tour and Senior Tour, was voted the winner of the Senior Tour’s Dick Weber Sportsmanship Award.
In a career that started in 1961, Soutar won 18 titles on the PBA Tour and seven on the Senior Tour and becomes the first player to win sportsmanship awards from both Tours. He was named the PBA Tour’s Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award winner in 1970.
“I’ve always respected my competitors and felt that if someone beat me they bowled better than I did and they did the job they were supposed to do,” said the 72-year-old Soutar, who bowled in a record 259 Senior Tour tournaments. “I’ve always been pretty low key. If I got beat or wasn’t bowling well I usually directed my anger at myself and not my opponents.”
The Senior Rookie of the Year award was voted on by PBA members and selected bowling writers while the Sportsmanship award was voted on by Senior Tour players.