After bowling a 300 game in his third qualifying game Wednesday, a flare-up of a painful plantar faciitis condition in his right foot forced eight-time PBA Tour titlist Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, to withdraw from the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis. The 49-year-old left-hander said the injury surfaced during the USBC Masters in New Jersey in late February, and hasn’t improved. He completed five of eight games, but the pain to the foot he uses for his power step became too much.
Scroggins also is a member of the PBA League’s Motown Muscle team that qualified No. 2 for the Elias Cup finals which will be contested Sunday at Woodland Bowl. He hopes the condition will improve enough so he can bowl in the PBA League finals.
2012-13 PBA PLAYER OF YEAR RACE HEATING UP
Based on statistics after the first 11 tournament of the 2012-13 PBA Tour season, the race for Player of the Year is going to be intense.
The leader in averages, based upon a minimum of 120 games bowled thus far, is Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, who is scoring at a 235.58 through 178 games. Australian two-handed competition Jason Belmonte is right behind at 235.03 and reigning Player of the Year Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., is third at 232.58.
The early earnings leader is Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, Mich., who has won a pair of titles leading to his $155,912 total. Rash is second with one title and $128,473 and Belmonte is third, also with one title and $106,486.
Belmonte is the competition points leader with a 133,476 total, ahead of Malott (112,779) and Rash (111,549).
For complete PBA Tour statistics, click on the “statistics” tab on the pba.com home page.
BLACK, LINKLATER VISIT TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Actor Jack Black and movie director Richard Linklater stopped by Woodland Bowl during the PBA Tournament of Champions to chat with PBA players and do some research about professional bowling.
“They had a great time,” said PBA Commissioner Tom Clark. “Both of them got a ball drilled and they had a chance to bowl with some of our players. It was a fun time.”
PBA REGIONAL ROUNDUP: CONROY GETS FIRST PBA50 REGIONAL TITLE
● John Conroy of Mahopac, N.Y., defeated Bob Kavanaugh of Clifton Park, N.Y., 186-149, to win the PBA50 Rossi Lanes Eastern Open at Rossi Lanes in Elmira, N.Y., Sunday, capping an impressive performance for this first PBA50 regional title.
Conroy, who turned 50 last summer, rolled 231 in his final qualifying game to claim the 16th position for the single-elimination finals. He then averaged 241 while going undefeated in the elimination rounds to claim the $2,000 first prize.
● PBA Hall of Famer Tom Baker of King, N.C., defeated Paul Bryant of Fayetteville, N.C., 238-237, 279-221, in the best-of-three-game title match to win his 28th PBA Regional title in the PBA50 Fayetteville (N.C.) Southern Open at LaFayette Lanes Sunday. Baker earned $1,600.
● Bryon Smith of Roseburg, Ore., defeated top qualifier Dean Bollinger of Portland, Ore., 215-198, Sunday to win his 12th career regional title in the PBA Caveman Bowl Northwest/West Open presented by DV8 in Grants Pass, Ore.
Closing out the month, the Easter weekend 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.
USBC SPORT LEAGUE BOWLERS TO COMPETE FOR FREE PBA REGIONAL ENTRIES
The PBA is offering USBC Sport League members an opportunity to earn a free entry into a PBA regional tournament through a new PBA Experience Win-A-Spot promotion. Members of the winning teams in PBA Experience leagues will earn a paid entry into a PBA regional event. The offer is valid for PBA Experience leagues that started after Jan. 1, 2013, and end by Dec. 31, 2013.
For proprietors and center managers, the PBA Experience Win-A-Spot promotion allows them to provide their bowlers a valuable award at no cost simply by starting a PBA Experience league. To be eligible, the PBA Experience league must have a minimum of eight teams and must bowl for a minimum of 12 weeks, following all Sport Bowling guidelines and all bowlers must be USBC Sport Bowling members.
Winners will be able to choose the PBA regional in which they want to participate, excluding Regional Players Invitational events and some selected PBA regional events. A maximum of three spots will be available for PBA Experience league winners at each approved PBA regional.
● Entries are being accepted on a first-come basis for the GEICO PBA Summer Swing, set for May 20-June 2 in Milwaukee. The entry fee package for all four tournaments will be $600 for PBA members and $750 for non-members. The tournament field will be limited to 176 entrants. The Badger, Wolf and Bear Opens – three new “animal pattern” events – each will offer a $50,000 prize fund. The Milwaukee Open will pay $100,000 in prize money. All four tournaments also will award berths in the 2014 PBA Tournament of Champions.
Players also will be allowed to enter the first three tournaments individually ($225 for members and $285 for non-members for the Badger, Wolf and Bear Opens), but only those who have bowled all three events will be eligible for the Milwaukee Open. The GEICO Summer King of the Swing special event that will conclude the summer swing will not award a title, but will offer additional prize money. The top five players in competition points for the four summer tournaments will compete in the King of the Swing stepladder finals.
● 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.
● ESPN Classic will air a number of past PBA Tour telecasts in an April 1 marathon, followed by a re-air of the 2009 PBA King of Bowling finals on Monday, April 8, at 11 p.m. ET. The April 1 marathon will include the 2010 PBA GEICO Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship at 11 a.m., 2012 PBA Tournament of Champions at noon, 2004 Medford Open at 1 p.m., 2004 U.S. Open at 2 p.m., 2006 Etonic Championship at 3 p.m., 2007 U.S. Open at 4 p.m., 2010 Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open at 5 p.m., 2012 U.S. Open at 6 p.m., and the 2007 Pepsi Championship at 11 p.m. All times are Eastern.