Five past winners of the PBA Tournament of Champions have exercised their options to enter the upcoming Barbasol PBA TOC at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis, expanding the field from 48 PBA Tour champions to 53. Joining the traditional field of Tour titlists will be Indianapolis native George Branham III (1993), Bryan Goebel of Shawnee, Kan. (1998) and PBA50 Tour competitors and PBA Hall of Famers Johnny Petraglia of Jackson, N.J. (1971), Wayne Webb of Columbus, Ohio (1980), and Mark Williams of Beaumont, Texas (1985 and ’88).
PBA TOC past winners who are not currently active as PBA Touring Players are invited to participate if they pay an entry fee equal to the amount of prize money paid to the last cashing position. Previous TOC winners who also will compete as active PBA Touring Players include Sean Rash (2012), Mika Koivuniemi (2011), Kelly Kulick (2010), Patrick Allen (2009), Chris Barnes (2006), Jason Couch (1999, 2000 and 2002), Norm Duke (1994), Michael Haugen Jr. (2008), Steve Jaros (2005), Tommy Jones (2007), and Pete Weber (1987).
The Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions will take place March 27-31 at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis, concluding with the live, five-player, two-hour stepladder finals on ESPN at 2:30 p.m. ET. The PBA League Elias Cup finals, featuring the top four teams based on PBA Detroit Winter Swing qualifying rounds, will be held at 6 p.m. on March 31 at Woodland Bowl for telecast on ESPN on Sunday, April 7, at 1 p.m. ET.
All qualifying and match play rounds of the TOC will be covered live, exclusively on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. For subscription information, visit pba.com.
PBA INTERNATIONAL TOUR EVENTS IN KUWAIT, GERMANY PRECEDE TOC
The final lineup for the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions could change pending the outcome of two WTBA-PBA International Tour events in the days ahead. The Kuwait Open in Kuwait City concludes Sunday, and will be followed by the Brunswick Euro Challenge, March 19-24, in Munich, Germany.
If any player wins his/her first PBA International Tour title in either event, Doug Kent of Newark, N.Y., would be bumped from the 48-player TOC field. Both tournaments also are part of the WTBA World Bowling Tour, and both events may figure into the eventual selection of the 2012-13 PBA Player of the Year.
PBA fans can follow both events via links on pba.com. Visit abf-online.org for updates on the Kuwait Open. Visit brunswickeurochallenge.com or bowlingdigital.com for updates on the Munich event.
PBA LEAGUE TEAM BALLS NOW ON SALE FOR $99.99
For a limited time, PBA League fans can purchase a polyester bowling ball featuring their favorite team’s logo for only $99.99 – a $25 savings. To order, visit ontheballbowling.com and click on the PBA League banner ad for complete details.
The PBA League team balls include the BROOKLYN STyLES, Dallas Strikers, Philadelphia Hitmen, Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits, Silver Lake Atom Splitters, New York City WTT KingPins, L.A. X and Motown Muscle. All balls are USBC certified and available in 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15 and 16-pound versions.
PBA League t-shirts and Gemini jerseys also are available for each team. To order PBA League t-shirts, visit pba.com and click on the “shop” link. To order Gemini jerseys, click on the “custom jersey” link on pba.com.
The PBA League Elias Cup finals will be held Sunday, March 31, at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis and will air on ESPN on Sunday, April 7, at 1 p.m. ET.
BAHRAIN IS 20TH COUNTRY ON KOIVUNIEMI’S INTERNATIONAL VICTORY LIST
Mika Koivuniemi of Finland has added Bahrain to his amazing list of 20 countries where he has won at least one title. The 45-year-old, 11-time PBA Tour champion defeated Ildemaro Ruiz of Venezuela, 248-194, to clinch the 11th Kingdom of Bahrain International Open at Ozone Entertainment Center in Sitra, Bahrain, on Saturday, March 9, claiming the 7,500 Bahraini Dinar first-place check.
Koivuniemi, who qualified No. 1 for the championship round, lost to Ruiz in the first game of the championship match, 207-201, but Ruiz had to beat him twice for the win. Koivuniemi has now won titles in Bahrain, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Netherlands, Qatar, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand and the United States. As a side note, Koivuniemi also rolled a pair of 300 games in Bahrain, boosting his list of countries with at least one 300 game to 19.
PBA REGIONAL ROUNDUP:
● PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo. and partner Nathan Bohr of Wichita, Kan., defeated Bryan Goebel of Shawnee, Kan. and non-member Sean Rangel of Oskaloosa, Iowa, 425-383, to win the PBA Thunderbowl Midwest Over/Under Doubles Open at Thunderbowl in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Sunday.
The tournament paired players who are 50 and older with players under the age of 50. The title was their first of the year for the winning partners, but it was Weber’s 48th and Bohr’s 16th in PBA regional competition. Each earned $2,500 along with the title.
The March 15-17 schedule includes the joint PBA50 John Wegner Allstate Midwest/Central Open (two one-day reduced entry fee events) at Liberty Lanes in Carpentersville, Ill.; the joint PBA Hubbard Central/East Open at Bell Wick Bowl in Hubbard, Ohio; and the PBA50 Franklin South Open presented by Motiv at Franklin (Va.) Bowling Center.
Over the March 22-24 weekend, the East Region will host the PBA50 Rossi Lanes Eastern Open in Elmira, N.Y.; the South Region will host the PBA50 Fayetteville (N.C.) South Open at Fayetteville Lanes, and the West/Northwest Regions will combine for the Caveman Bowl Northwest/West Open presented by DV8 in Grants Pass, Ore.
Closing out the month, the March 29-31 regional calendar includes the joint PBA Best Deal Auto Central/Midwest Open along with the PBA50 Bowling Gift.com Central/Midwest Open at Georgetown Bowl in Ft. Wayne, Ind.; and the West Region will conduct a non-champions event along with a member/non-member doubles tournament, both presented by Etonic, at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas.
For complete PBA regional schedule and entry information, visit pba.com and click on “Regional Tours” under the Schedules tab.
DUKE TO HOST CLINICS 5,000 MILES APART IN APRIL
PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke, and friends, will conduct three bowling instructional clinics/exhibitions just over 5,000 miles apart – as the crow flies – in April. Duke’s Next Level Bowling program, featuring Duke, PBA Tour winner Mike Machuga, Jimmy Pritts and Brian Ziesig, will be hosted by Townline Luxury Lanes in Malden, Mass., on April 13 with sessions at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Two weeks later, Duke and three-time PBA Tour titlist Rhino Page will conduct back-to-back one-day clinics at Hickam Bowling Center on the Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii and at Leeward Bowl in Pearl City, Hawaii, on Saturday and Sunday, April 27-28, respectively.
For complete registration details, costs and more, visit nextlevelbowling.com. Limited reservations will be accepted on a first-come basis for each clinic.
● Entries will be accepted starting on Friday, March 15, for the GEICO PBA Summer Swing, set for May 20-June 2 in Milwaukee. The Summer Swing consists of the Badger, Bear, Wolf and Milwaukee Opens.
● Entries are now being accepted on pba.com for the first events of the PBA50 Tour season, which kicks off April 14-17 with the PBA50 Pasco County Suncoast Open, benefitting Wounded Warriors, at Lane Glo Bowl in New Port Richey, Fla. To enter, visit pba.com, click on the “Schedules” drop-down menu and click on the appropriate tournament under the “PBA50 Tour” link.