The 196 PBA members in the USBC Masters’ field of 468 dominated the show at Brunswick Zone Carolier in North Brunswick, N.J.
PBA members in the sold-out tournament field, which included 12 women and players from 13 different countries, out-averaged their non-pro counterparts by just over 10 pins per game (201.83 vs. 191.32) during the 15 qualifying games. The average needed to make the 64-player match play finals was 212.93 (up from 209.87 a year ago in Las Vegas).
Fifty PBA members and 14 non-members advanced to double-elimination match play. Included in that group were nine international players, and no women.
Jason Belmonte of Australia became the second international player to win the Masters (Finland’s Mika Koivuniemi was the first in 2000).
XTRA FRAME COVERAGE OF KOIVUNIEMI’S 7-10 SPLIT MAKES ESPN NEWS
Mika Koivuniemi’s successful 7-10 split conversion during the final Elimination Bracket match of the USBC Masters, aired live on Xtra Frame and ultimately was aired as the “Bud Light Play of the Day” on ESPN’s SportsCenter Tuesday night.
The 7-10 conversion proved to be a very big shot for Koivuniemi. It helped him clinch the fifth spot in the ESPN stepladder finals by 12 pins over Mike Machuga.
Speaking of Xtra Frame’s comprehensive coverage of the Masters, the PBA has learned the average Xtra Frame viewer spent 54 consecutive minutes watching the live action.
In addition, ESPN’s “Pardon The Interruption” hosts Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser celebrated the one-year anniversary of Pete Weber’s famous "Who Do You Think You Are? I Am!" moment after winning the 2012 U.S. Open during their Tuesday show.
MORE XTRA FRAME: PBA SOUTH REGION’S PENSACOLA OPEN, TOC COVERAGE ON TAP
Xtra Frame will provide live coverage of the PBA South Region’s New Liberty Lanes South Open from Pensacola, Fla., this weekend. The capacity field of 128 players will include Jason Sterner of McDonough, Ga., who also will appear in the ESPN coverage of the PBA Detroit Winter Swing’s Don Carter Classic Sunday at 3 p.m. ET. Mike J. Laneside and “The Bowling Guy,” Jason Thomas, will provide 15-plus hours of live coverage in Pensacola, including qualifying rounds on Saturday, March 2, starting at 8:40 a.m. and 2:10 p.m., followed by the match play finals starting at 8:45 a.m. Sunday. All times are Eastern.
Also on tap is live coverage of all qualifying and match play rounds of the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions from Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis, March 27-29. Qualifying round coverage will begin at 9:40 a.m. and 4:40 p.m. on Wednesday, and 9:40 a.m. Thursday. Round-robin match play coverage will begin at 4:45 p.m. Thursday, and 10:45 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. Friday.
Following the TOC, Xtra Frame will begin extensive start-to-finish coverage of the PBA50 Tour, beginning with the PBA50 Pasco County Suncoast Open benefitting Wounded Warriors from Lane Glo Bowl in New Port Richey, Fla., April 14-17; the PBA50 Sun Bowl in The Villages presented by Hammer at Spanish Springs Lanes, April 20-23; PBA50 Miller High Life Classic presented by Columbia from George Pappas Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C., May 5-8. Xtra Frame also will cover both PBA50 Tour majors – the
Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open presented by Storm and the United States Bowling Congress Senior Masters from South Point in Las Vegas – in June.
Xtra Frame, PBA’s online bowling channel, is available by subscription on a monthly or annual basis. To sign up, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.
PBA LEAGUE OWNERS HARDWICK, HART MAKE MORE NEWS
PBA League owners Chris Hardwick and Kevin Hart are making news. Hardwick, the comedian/Nerdist Internet entrepreneur, is featured in an interview in the March issue of Playboy magazine. Hart, who is appearing on television, in movies and on the basketball court as the star of the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game, will host NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” on Saturday, March 2.
NEW XTRA FRAME APP A TOP-10 HIT AT GOOGLE PLAY
The new Android version of the Xtra Frame app for mobile devices and tablets, created by NeuLion and available at no cost at Google Play, resulted in more than 2,800 downloads within the first five days – ranking among the top 10 in Google Play downloads. Download statistics were not immediately available from the Apple App Store, which also offers a free app for iPhone and iPad users.
While the Xtra Frame Mobile App is free to download, users must have an Xtra Frame subscription to watch PBA coverage and programming. Subscriptions ($64.99 for 12 months, $7.99 for one month) are available by visiting pba.com and clicking on the Xtra Frame link.
TICKETS ON SALE FOR PBA HALL OF FAME DINNER IN INDIANAPOLIS
Tickets are now on sale to the public for the PBA Hall of Fame Dinner at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, at Indianapolis Marriott North (Marion Ballroom). This year’s inductees are Baltimore’s Danny Wiseman and Doug Kent of Newark, N.Y. Tickets are offered at $125 per person (attendees must be 21 or older) and include cocktail hour with hand-passed hors d'oeuvres, an open bar throughout the evening and dinner. Business attire is expected. To order tickets, visit: http://pbahalloffamedinner.eventbrite.com/
Other tickets for PBA Tournament of Champions week also are available. Tickets for the live ESPN finals on March 31, as well as the finals of the PBA League Elias Cup, range from $10 to $60. Daily tickets range from $10 to $40. Pro-am entry fees are $55 for the Junior Base Package and $75 for Adult Base Package (add $100 to either package to upgrade to obtain a new bowling ball). To purchase tickets, visit: http://tofctickets.eventbrite.com/
FAGAN, PARKIN LEAD WORLD BOWLING TOUR STANDINGS
Four-time PBA Tour titlist Mike Fagan and two-time PBA Regional title winner Missy Parkin lead the World Tenpin Bowling Association’s World Bowling Tour points list at the conclusion of the USBC Masters. The World Bowling Tour is made up of series of international events and awards points based on how players finish in each event. Points are based on a continuous two-year cycle.
Although Fagan did not earn any points at the USBC Masters, which awarded double points as a major, he leads with 444 points. Sean Rash picked up 24 points at the Masters and is second with 437 points, while Mika Koivuniemi of Finland is third with 428 points. Masters winner Jason Belmonte of Australia earned the maximum 100 points and sits in fourth place overall. 17 points behind Koivuniemi.
Parkin was the top finisher among the women at the Masters, earning 100 points to boost her total to 506. Kelly Kulick is second with 484 points and Liz Johnson is third with 365 points.
The next event on the WBT schedule is the Kuwait Open, March 13-17, at Cozmo Bowling Center in Kuwait City, Kuwait. The Kuwait Open will be immediately followed by the Brunswick Euro Challenge, March 19-24, at Dream Bowl Palace in Munich, Germany. Both events also are WTBA-PBA International Tour events, meaning a PBA International Tour title will be awarded if the winner of either event is a PBA member.
WTBA has also announced the 2013 Daejeon International Open in Daejeon, South Korea, July 7-13, has been added to the WBT/WTBA-PBA International Tour schedule as a WBT major event.
EBAY AUCTION TO BENEFIT TONY REYES FAMILY
Vise Inserts, in cooperation with The Chrisman Foundation, is conducting an ongoing eBay auction through mid-April to raise funds for Nichole and Gianna Reyes, wife and daughter of the late PBA Tour champion Tony Reyes, who died from injuries sustained in a traffic accident in September 2012.
Direct donations to the Reyes family fund also will be accepted through links which can be found on the Vise Inserts website (viseinserts.com). In addition, Vise Inserts will be donating $20 to the Reyes Family Fundraiser for every Pop Grip Starter Set sold to pro shops before March 31.
The eBay auction will include a Walter Ray Williams Jr. game-used, autographed ball; Jerome Bettis and Terrell Owens autographed footballs; Gerold Vallie (professional skateboarder) autographed poster; autographed Pete Weber Tour Polo; new bowling balls from Storm, Track, DV8, 900 Global, Brunswick and MOTIV; and assorted autograph balls, posters and accessories by dozens of PBA Players.
PBA REGIONAL ROUNDUP:
● Bob Learn Jr. of Macomb, Mich., defeated Curt Aemisegger of Wauconda, Ill., 202-189, to win the joint PBA50 Todd Renihan Allstate Midwest/Central Open at Beverly Lanes in Arlington Heights, Ill., on Sunday. The win, which included a $1,500 first prize, was Learn’s first in PBA50 regional competition.
The tournament was the second in the PBA Midwest Region’s “lower entry fee” test program, offering bowlers a reduced entry fee structure ($155 for members, $225 for non-members), a one-day format to better manage travel expenses, a one-in-four payoff ratio (compared to the standard one-in-three ratio) and a lower prize fund based upon reduced revenues. The Arlington Heights event drew a field of 49 players ages 50 and older compared to similar events which averaged 38 entries a year ago. The first test event in Elk Grove Village, Ill., two weeks earlier drew a field of 57 players.
Next on the PBA Regional calendar are this weekend’s New Liberty Lanes Pensacola (Fla.) South Open; the PBA50 Showtime Lanes Midwest/Central Open in Virden, Ill., and the PBA Ebonite West Open at Palm Spring Lanes in Cathedral City, Calif. The March 8-10 schedule includes the PBA Thunderbowl Over/Under Doubles Midwest Open in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
For complete PBA regional schedule and entry information, visit pba.com and click on “Regional Tours” under the Schedules tab.