The Professional Bowlers Association doesn’t keep official records on such things, but Bob Learn Jr. of Erie, Pa., may have bowled the “longest” 300 game in PBA history Monday during the PBA50 Miller High Life Classic at George Pappas’ Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C.
After throwing the first four strikes in his third qualifying game Monday, the power went out at Victory Lanes. Ironically, fellow competitor Joe Scarborough of nearby Charlotte – the same guy who recorded the first 900 series in PBA history two weeks earlier in The Villages, Fla. – helped get things back on track. Scarborough, an independent electrical contractor by trade, and Ken Shealy of Myrtle Beach. S.C., another electrician bowling in the tournament, helped restore power.
After a 90-minute “delay of game,” Learn threw the final eight strikes to complete a 300 game that took nearly two hours from start to finish. It was helpful because Learn claimed the first round lead in the tournament, averaging 248 for eight games to finish with 1,984 pins and a 42-pin lead over Ron Mohr of Eagle River, Alaska.
JULY 15 IS QUALIFYING DEADLINE FOR REGIONAL PLAYERS INVITATIONALS
The July 15 qualifying deadline for the new PBA Regional Players Invitational series for the 2012-13 season is only two months away.
The new RPI program gives all PBA members an opportunity to qualify for a prestigious new regional championship event closer to home. The tournament series will include events in the PBA’s East, South, Central, Midwest, Southwest and joint West-Northwest Regions, and each will include live online coverage on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame.
Each of the six RPIs also will offer prize funds in excess of $25,000, including $6,000 to each winner and a 1:2 payout ratio, and the winner of each will win a paid entry into the 2013 PBA World Series of Bowling, Nov. 1-10 at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas.
In order to qualify for their home area RPI, players will be required to qualify among the top 48 in competition points within their own regions during a season-long points race that concludes on July 15. Within the five standard regions, PBA members who reside within the region and finish 1-15 in the seasonal competition points standings will receive an invitation and free entry into the end-of-season RPI for their home region. Players who finish 16-32 on the points list are invited, but must pay a $220 entry fee. The next 16 spots will go to players on the points list who have participated in a minimum of 50 percent of the region’s tournaments during the year. If any spots remain open, invitations will be extended based upon players’ rankings on their home region’s points list. Special rules will apply to the joint West-Northwest RPI, and for international players.
The new RPI program is open to all PBA members: touring players, PBA50 members, regional members, PBA24 members and PBA International members. Players will only be eligible to participate in one RPI. RPI points qualifying began on Sept. 1, 2012, and will end on July 15.
PBA members and fans can check on the current regional competition points rankings on pba.com. Under the “Schedule” tab, click on “Regional Tour” and then click on the appropriate region. Regional Point Leaders are listed on each region’s landing page.
2013 PBA REGIONAL PLAYERS INVITATIONAL SCHEDULE
Aug. 2-4 – PBA South Regional Players Invitational, Break Point Alley, Tavares, Fla.
Aug. 31-Sept. 2 – PBA Midwest Players Invitational, Super Bowl, Peru, Ill.
Sept. 6-8 – PBA Southwest Regional Players Invitational, Firelake Bowling Center, Shawnee, Okla.
Sept. 13-15 – PBA Central Regional Players Invitational, Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich.
Sept. 20-22 – PBA East Regional Players Invitational, Maple City Bowl, Hornell, N.Y.
Oct. 18-20 - PBA West/Northwest Regional Players Invitational, National Bowling Stadium, Reno, Nev.
BALLARDS PREPARE FOR “BALLARD VS. THE BIG C” PART II IN SEPTEMBER
PBA Hall of Famer Del Ballard Jr., and his wife, former PBA Women’s Series champion Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, are not taking Del’s battle with tonsil cancer lying down. The Ballards organized the inaugural “Ballard vs. The Big C: Striking Back to Spare More Lives” fund-raiser last fall, raising more than $30,000 in support of the fight against cancer.
The Ballards will host their second annual “Striking Back” fund-raiser on Saturday, Sept. 14, at AMF Showplace Lanes in Euless, Texas, starting at 1 p.m. The event will feature four-player teams – any gender combination – with special awards for those who bring in the most donations.
“This event was developed during my journey with tonsil cancer and I am proud to be partnering with Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center and Cancer Care Services,” Del Ballard said. “It’s a brand new state-of-the-art center which opened in March of 2011 and treats 6.6 percent of the cancer cases in Texas.
“With tonsil cancer, I had to have a feeding tube put in place to allow me to have the nutrients necessary during treatment and post treatment,” Ballard added. “Without these nutrients, it is harder for the body to heal and gain strength. Cancer Care is an organization that helps patients that cannot afford the nutritional supplements during and after treatment.”
For more information about the September event, visit Ballard Vs. The Big “C” on Facebook, BallardsVsBigC on Twitter, or call Tina and Terry Taylor at 817-996-4544.
WELU SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS DUE JUNE 15
Reminder: Applications are due June 15 for the PBA’s Billy Welu Scholarship, awarded annually to a male or female college student who competes in the sport of bowling and exhibits exemplary qualities as a student and citizen. The winner receives a $1,000 scholarship award.
To be eligible, candidates must be amateur bowlers who are currently in college (preceding the application deadline) and maintain at least a 2.5/4.0 GPA or equivalent. To access the Welu Scholarship application form, use this link: http://pba.com/Corporate/Scholarships/
PBA REGIONAL ROUNDUP:
● Nathan Bohr from Wichita, Kan., defeated Erik Gulbrandson of Superior, Wis., 256-233, to win the sixth annual joint PBA Junction City Bowl Southwest/Midwest Open presented by MOTIV in Junction City, Kan., Sunday. Bohr, who also won the Junction City event in 2010, claimed his 17th PBA Regional title and a $2,500 first prize.
● David Haynes of Las Vegas defeated Michael Haugen Jr. of Carefree, Ariz., 276-219, to win the PBA Battle at Black Oak Casino West Open Sunday at Black Oak Lanes in Tuolumne, Calif., for a $2,500 first prize and his fourth PBA West Region title.
● PBA Regional players are continuing to compile qualifying points for their respective Regional Players Championships, which begin in August, during a busy schedule in May.
Between the current PBA50 Tour stop in Mooresville, N.C., and the PBA Dayton Classic presented by Roto-Grip, May 13-16 at Capri Lanes in Dayton, Ohio, the PBA’s 50-and-older players will have a chance to visit Riverside Lanes in Danville, Va., for the PBA50 Danville South Open May 9-11.
Two “reduced entry fee” tournaments are scheduled for May 11 (PBA50 Columbus (Ohio) Central Open at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl) and May 11-12 (PBA Midcontinent Communications Midwest Open at Empire Bowl in Sioux Falls, S.D.).
The May 17-19 schedule includes the PBA Fort Sill Southwest Open at Twin Oak Lanes in Fort Sill, Okla.; the PBA U.S. Foods Northwest Open presented by Boger Construction and the PBA50 Daffodil Bowl Northwest Open presented by Sunset Chevrolet at Daffodil Bowl in Puyallup, Wash., and the PBA and PBA50 Baldo Campana Central Opens benefitting the Lorain County Kids Fund at Rebman Recreation in Lorain, Ohio.
The May 24-25 schedule includes two one-day joint PBA50 regionals for Midwest and Central Region players, sponsored by Allstate Insurance, at Poplar Creek Bowl in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Closing out the month will be a pair of mid-week PBA50 West Regional events: the fourth annual PBA50 Long King Saguaro West Open at Johnson Lanes in Sun City West, Ariz., May 27-29, followed by the PBA50 Miller High Life West Open at Starlite Lanes in Flagstaff, Ariz., May 29-31.
For complete PBA regional schedule and entry information, visit pba.com and click on “Regional Tours” under the Schedules tab.