Birmingham, Ala. Has Memorable Place in PBA Tradition: PBA50 Tour Makes First Visit for Greater Birmingham Open

by Jerry Schneider April 26, 2013 08:03

For the first time in seven years the greater Birmingham, Ala. area will host a PBA tour event when Lightning Strikes in Trussville hosts the PBA50 Tour Greater Birmingham Open presented by Ebonite April 28 – May 1.

While the Birmingham area has hosted several PBA Tour events over the 55-year history of the organization, the PBA50 Greater Birmingham Open will mark the first time it will host a PBA50 Tour tournament for PBA’s 50-years-and-older professionals.

Lightning Strikes hosted the last PBA Tour event held in the Birmingham area during the 2005-06 season which was the Jack Hewitt Tax Service Open won by Hall of Famer Brian Voss.

Birmingham can take pride in being a foundation for PBA’s growth in the organization’s formative years in the early 1960s.

In 1965, PBA legend Carmen Salvino of Chicago won the Birmingham Open at Roebuck Lanes for his seventh career Tour title.

In 1964, another PBA legend Billy Hardwick, then of San Mateo, Calif., won the Coca Cola Open at Homewood Bowl in Birmingham, the first of his three titles that season. He defeated Salvino in the Championship match 196-187 on ABC television’s Pro Bowlers Tour telecast.

Jack Biondolillo of Houston won the 1963 Birmingham Open at Homewood Bowl and Andy Rogoznica of Chicago won the title in 1962 at Bowl-A-Mac Bowl.

Throughout PBA’s history, other Alabama cities – most notably Huntsville and Mobile -- have hosted PBA events as well.

Topping the list of PBA50 Tour players competing in the Greater Birmingham Open is reigning PBA50 Tour Player of the Year and Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla. Williams will be hoping to make it back-to-back titles this season having won last week’s Sun Bowl In The Villages for his fifth career PBA50 Tour title.

Other Hall of Famers entered include four-time PBA50 Player of the Year Tom Baker of King, N.C., 2012 PBA50 Rookie of the Year Amleto Monacelli, 2010 PBA50 Player of the Year Wayne Webb, Mark Williams and Dale Eagle.

Throughout the 2013 PBA50 Tour season, players will be competing for the opportunity to advance to the nationally-televised PBA50 Tour Finals which will be conducted as part of the World Series of Bowling V in Las Vegas in November. The top three players in points at the conclusion of the season will advance to the PBA50 Tour Finals.

Competition for the Greater Birmingham Open begins with qualifying rounds on Monday, April 29 and Tuesday, April 30 beginning at 9 a.m. (Central). Match play rounds begin on Wednesday May 1 with quarterfinal, semifinal and final matches beginning at 7 p.m.

PBA50 Greater Birmingham Open presented by Ebonite Schedule
Lightning Strikes, Trussville, Ala.
(All times Central)

Sunday, April 28
9 a.m. – Noon - Practice Session
2 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7 p.m. – Pro-Am squads
Monday, April 29
9 a.m. - 2 p.m. – 8-game A squad qualifying
3:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – 8-game B squad qualifying
Tuesday, April 30
9 a.m. - 2 p.m. – 8-game B squad qualifying
3:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. - 8-game A squad qualifying
Wednesday, May 1
8 a.m. – Cashers Round
9:30 a.m. – First of four match play rounds

7 p.m. - Top eight after five match play rounds compete in quarterfinals,
semifinal and final rounds immediately following

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