PBA Spare Shots: Belmonte, Koivuniemi Top Key PBA Statistical Categories

by Bill Vint April 17, 2013 06:43

Heading into the GEICO PBA Summer Swing in Milwaukee May 20-June 2, Australia’s Jason Belmonte and Finnish-American Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, Mich., top the three key PBA statistical categories – averages, earnings and competition points – as of the conclusion of the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions and the PBA League Elias Cup finals.

The 2012-13 PBA statistical races began with the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IV in Las Vegas in November and will continue through Dec. 31, 2013 – an extended 14-month “year” as the PBA Tour heads toward a return to a calendar-year schedule beginning Jan. 1, 2014. PBA statistics will play a critical role in the eventual selection of the 2012-13 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year.

Belmonte, who won his only title of the season in the USBC Masters, leads the race for the George Young Memorial Average Award with a 234.97 average for 216 games bowled in domestic PBA Tour events. Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, is second at 233.55 for 202 games and Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., is third at 232.58 for 239 games. Games bowled in the Round1 Japan Cup and PBA International Tour events are not included in the averages competition.

Belmonte also tops the Harry Smith Points Leader race with 133,476 competition points. Malott is second with 112,779 points and Rash is right behind at 111,549.

Koivuniemi, with two big international wins in the Round1 Japan Cup and the Qatar Open, tops the earnings list with $158,412. Rash, the reigning PBA Player of the Year, is second with $145,473 – boosted by a victory in the Kuwait Open – with Belmonte third with $131,586.

In other statistical categories:

● Rash and England’s Dom Barrett have cashed in 11 events while Belmonte, Scott Norton of Mission Viejo, Calif., and Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., have 10 cashes each.

● Rash and Belmonte are tied with five television appearances; four others have three TV finals.

● Rash and Norton each have qualified for match play eight times, one ahead of Belmonte.

● Koivuniemi and Norton are the only two-time PBA Tour title winners; 13 others have won one title.

● Malott, now with $997,179 in career earnings, is $2,821 shy of becoming the 41st member of the “PBA Millionaires Club.”

Complete PBA Tour statistics can be found under the “Statistics” tab on the pba.com home page.


● Mark Scroggins of Canyon, Texas, defeated amateur Cedric Gaines of Oklahoma City, 300-269, to win the PBA FireLake/Flintco Southwest Open presented by Brunswick at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., Sunday.

Mark Scroggins, the 1993 PBA Rookie of the Year and twin brother of eight-time PBA Tour titlist Mike Scroggins, earned $3,000 along with his 12th PBA Regional title.

Friday’s pro-am included a fundraiser for the Oklahoma City Big Brothers/Big Sisters chapter which generated more than $52,000 for the organization, according to FireLake general manager Chris Skillings.

Jeff Zaffino of Warren, Pa., defeated Darryl Bower of Middletown, Pa. by 158 pins to win the PBA50 Victory Lanes Central Open presented by Brunswick at Victory Lanes in Galion, Ohio, on Sunday. Zaffino finished with an 8-2 match play record and a total of 4,220 pins for 18 games, including match play bonus pins. The title was Zaffino’s first of the year and his 21st overall in PBA Regional competition. He also earned $1,500.

David Haynes of Las Vegas posted an 11-5 match play record and a 24-game total of 5,695 pins at Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl in Dublin, Calif., Sunday to win the PBA Earl Anthony West/Northwest Memorial for his third PBA Regional title.

Haynes, who earned $2,500, defeated Jim Pratt of Glendale, Ariz., by 51 pins for the win. Pratt had an 11-5 match play record and 5,644 pins for 24 games, including match play bonus pins.

In the companion PBA50 Anthony Memorial event, Kent Wagner of Palmetto, Fla., went 7-2-1 and knocked down 3,977 total pins for 18 games to top Sam Carter of Ben Lomond, Calif., for his first West Region PBA50 title and his 15th overall regional title, winning $1,500. Carter had 3,960 pins.

● The PBA West/Northwest Regions head to Hawaii April 18-23, starting with the John Gonsalves Memorial West/Northwest Open presented by Storm at Schofield Barracks on Thursday, followed by the Naval Station West/Northwest Open at Pearl Harbor over the weekend. The Hawaii tour wraps up with the Kona West/Northwest Open at KB Xtreme Lanes in Kailua April 22-23.

Also on the April 19-21 schedule are the Debbie and Leo Nunan Memorial Central Open presented by Track at AMF Stardust Lanes in Grove City, Ohio; the Rocky Mount South Open at The Bowling Center in Rocky Mount, N.C.; and a one-day “reduced entry fee” Midwest Region event at Bowl-A-Vard Lanes in Madison, Wis.

Closing out the month will be the PBA50 Cherokee Lanes South Open presented by Motiv in Canton, Ga., over the April 25-27 weekend along with the Rockaway Lanes Eastern Open presented by Storm in Rockaway, N.J., and the Country Club Lanes Central Open in Elkhart, Ind.

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


Ken Lee of San Jose, Calif., is the proud owner of Mika Koivuniemi’s colorful pink jersey, complete with Swedish flag, a unicorn, phonetic pronunciation of his name and more, courtesy of his friend and fellow competitor Chris Barnes. The jersey, created to fulfill a friendly wager and worn by Koivuniemi during the nationally-televised finals of the USBC Masters, sold in an online auction for $525, with all monies donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation on behalf of the Barnes family and their son, Troy, who is afflicted with the disease.

● In a battle of PBA Central Region members from Michigan, Craig Nidiffer of Trenton defeated Kurt Pilon of Warren, 424-413, in a two-game title match to win the Michigan State Masters at Royal Scot Lanes in Lansing Sunday.

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