PBA Spare Shots: IGRIND Joins Roster of PBA Product-Registered Accessories Companies

by Bill Vint July 3, 2013 06:50

IGRIND Bowling, a new company with a stated mission of “revolutionizing the sport of bowling,” has joined the PBA as its newest product-registered accessories company. IGRIND offers a line of custom bowling jerseys, bowling bags, hats, compressive sleeves, shoes and more. Gradie Merritt-Foster is IGRIND’s president; Brian Gunn of Chicago is CEO.

“IGRIND Bowling is committed to revolutionizing the sport of bowling,” Merritt-Foster said. “Our goals are to improve and reignite the passion and love for professional bowling, to allow those individuals that love the sport of bowling be able to make a living doing what they love, and revolutionize the sport of bowling with more fun and exciting tournaments.”

IGRIND has already made an impression, sponsoring one of the most lucrative events in PBA Midwest Region history July 18-20: the IGRIND Autism Awareness Midwest/Central Classic at Tinley Bowl in Tinley Park, Ill. The tournament – a prelude to the U.S. Open which begins on July 21 in Columbus, Ohio – will pay a $15,000 guaranteed first prize with a $500 low-to-cash prize.

The tournament will begin with a practice session, non-member meeting (mandatory for non-members) and pro-am squads on Thursday, July 18. Eight-game qualifying squads are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Friday, with the top 16 advancing to round-robin match play Saturday at 10 a.m. The tournament will conclude with a four-player stepladder final. Entry fee is $325 for members and $375 for non-members.

Bowling’s U.S. Open, with separate men’s, women’s and women’s senior divisions, is scheduled for July 21-27 at three different Columbus, Ohio bowling centers: Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl, Columbus Western Bowl, and Holiday Lanes, Columbus, Ohio. The finals will air live on ESPN on July 27.


The United States will be strongly represented by PBA Tour stars when Team USA’s men’s and women’s teams compete in the 2013 World Tenpin Bowling Association World Championships Aug. 16-30 at Strike Zone Bowling Center in Henderson, Nev.
The Team USA men's roster includes PBA Tour titlists Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas; Mike Fagan of Fort Worth, Texas; Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C.; Bill O'Neill of Langhorne, Pa., and non-titlist John Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda, N.Y. The sixth player on the men’s roster is amateur John Janawicz of Winter Haven, Fla.
The Team USA women's squad consists of past and present PBA members Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J.; Stefanie Nation of Grand Prairie, Texas; Shannon O'Keefe of Arlington, Texas; Missy Parkin of Laguna Hills, Calif., and Shannon Pluhowsky of Kettering, Ohio.
Five of the six women were on the team that won the WTBA World team title in 2011 in Hong Kong, Team USA's first team gold in that event since 1987. Parkin, who is on Team USA for the first time since 2008, is the new addition.
Barnes, Jones and O'Neill were members of Team USA’s 2010 gold medal team in Munich, Germany, the Americans’ third consecutive world team victory.

The WTBA World Championships will be a combined men's and women's event for the first time since 2003. The World Championships will award medals in singles, doubles, trios, team, all-events and Masters.


PBA Tour competition resumes July 7-13 with the It’s Daejeon International Open at the Daejeon World Cup Bowling Stadium in Daejeon, South Korea. The Korea Professional Bowling Association event is part of the PBA-World Tenpin Bowling Association International Tour, and it’s a men’s and women’s points event in World Bowling Tour qualifying. Men’s division first prize will be an estimated $40,000.

The WBT Men’s and Women’s Finals, presented by the PBA, will be contested as part of PBA World Series of Bowling V at South Point in Las Vegas in early November. The top three points on the two-year WTBA-WBT points list will qualify for the final events.

Heading into the Korean event, Finnish-American PBA star Mika Koivuniemi – the 2011 Daejeon International Open winner – leads the men’s points list with 476 points. Sean Rash is second with 464 points followed by Mike Fagan at 448, Australia’s Jason Belmonte at 418, Tommy Jones at 391, Chris Barnes at 390, Finland’s Osku Palermaa at 248, Canadian Dan MacLelland at 234, Parker Bohn III at 203 and Bill O’Neill at 201.

The women’s top 10 include Missy Parkin with 506 points, Kelly Kulick at 484, Liz Johnson at 373, Shannon Pluhowsky at 305, Diandra Asbaty at 297, Sweden’s Sandra Andersson at 240, Singapore’s Jazreel Tan at 225, Germany’s Birgit Poppler at 158, Malaysia’s Zandra Aziela at 142 and Singapore’s Shayna Ng at 140.

The remaining WBT points events prior to the finals include the men’s and women’s U.S. Opens, July 21-27 in Columbus, Ohio; the WTBA World Championships for men and women, Aug. 17-31 at Strike Zone Bowling Center in Henderson, Nev.; the USBC Queens (women only), Aug. 31-Sept. 4 at Strike Zone in Henderson, Nev.; the 11th Columbia 300 Vienna Open, Sept. 30-Oct. 6 in Vienna, Austria; and the WBT Thailand, Oct. 14-21 in Bangkok, Thailand.


Sean Swanson of Springfield, Mo., defeated Jason Sterner of McDonough, Ga., by nine pins to win the PBA University of Phoenix Central/South Open at Hooper Bowling Center in Fort Campbell, Ky., Sunday. Swanson finished with a 6-5 match play record and a total of 4,450 pins for 20 games, including match play bonus pins, for his first Central Region title of the year and the 19th Regional title of his career. He also earned $2,400.

Steve Pavlinko of Sewell, N.J. went 6-6 in match play and finished with a 20-game total of 5,026 pins to record a 96-pin victory over Mike Tryniski of Fulton, N.Y. in the PBA50 Glassboro Eastern Open presented by Columbia 300 at Glassboro Bowl and Recreation Sunday in Glassboro, N.J.

Pavlinko averaged 245.5 to lead qualifying and was never overtaken in the round-robin finals. The win was Pavlinko’s fifth in PBA Regional competition, but his first as a PBA50 competitor. He also earned $1,500.

Steve Lickliter of Beckley, W.Va., defeated Tim Kauble of Marion, Ohio, 178-245, 211-204, 212-184 in the best-of-three-game title match to win his 16th PBA Regional title in the PBA50 High Point Bank Southern Open at Northside Lanes in Winston Salem, N.C., on Sunday.

● Former PBA member Matt Cabanski of Cibolo, Texas, defeated Roger Petrin of Bel Air, Kan., 220-190, to win the second annual PBA San Antonio Southwest Challenge at Astro Super Bowl Sunday. PBA Southwest Challenge tournaments are open only to players who have never won a PBA event. Because he is a non-member, Cabanski won’t receive credit for a PBA Regional title.

Travis Anderson of Washington, Ill., defeated Kevin Kullman of Tinley Park, Ill., 192-187, to win the $2,000 top prize and his first PBA Regional title in the “reduced entry fee” PBA Allstate Midwest Open at Landmark Lanes in Peoria, Ill., on Sunday.

● Two weekends of activity remain prior to the July 15 qualifying deadline to earn points for the PBA’s new Regional Players Invitational program.

Over the extended Fourth of July weekend, the PBA Midwest and Central Regional players will participate in the Laraway Lanes Midwest/Central Open in New Lenox, Ill.; the PBA South Region will host the Gastonia South Open at George Pappas Liberty Lanes in Gastonia, N.C.; and the PBA West Region will conduct the Vanessa Brown Homes West Open presented by Columbia 300 at Yosemite Lanes in Modesto, Calif.

The final weekend of RPI qualifying (July 12-14) will include the PBA East Region’s most lucrative event, the Appletree Eastern Classic, at Mid-County Lanes in Middletown, Del., with a projected $12,500 first prize; the PBA South Region will host the Thunder Bay Builders Spring Hill South Open at Spring Hill (Fla.) Lanes, and the PBA Southwest Region will host the Lubbock Southwest Super Regional presented by Track, with a projected $7,500 first prize, at South Plains Lanes in Lubbock, Texas.

On the July 19-21 calendar is the PBA Midwest Region’s richest event, the IGRIND Autism Awareness Midwest/Central Classic at Tinley Bowl in Tinley Park, Ill., with a guaranteed $15,000 first prize; the PBA Southwest Region will conduct the PBA50 Horseshoe Casino Shreveport (La.) Southwest Open at All-Star Lanes; the PBA West and Northwest Regions will combine for the PBA and PBA50 Sands Regency West/Northwest Doubles events presented by Track at High Sierra Lanes in Reno; the PBA Central Region will host a “reduced entry fee” Don Kondas Memorial Central Open at Legend Lanes in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; and the PBA South Region will offer the PBA Wilson & Sons Termite Pest Control Super Senior South Open (for players ages 60 and older) at George Pappas Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C.

Over the July 26-28 weekend, the PBA Central Region will host the Angola Central/Midwest Open at Angola Bowl in Angola, Ind.; the PBA Midwest will host a joint PBA50 St. Charles Lanes Midwest/Central Region Open in St. Charles, Mo.; the PBA East Region will offer the PBA50 Mil-Ray Roods Eastern Open presented by Roto Grip at Playdrome Cherry Hill (N.J.); and the PBA South will conduct the PBA50 Yorktown (Va.) South Open at AMF York Lanes.

Closing the month, the PBA Central Region will host the joint PBA50 Progressive/Gerdeman Insurance/Al Smith Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep Central/Midwest Classic at Al-Mar Lanes in Bowling Green, Ohio.

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


● PBA Tour champion Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., will throw out the ceremonial first pitch during the annual “Bowler’s Day with the White Sox,” July 20 at Cellular Field in Chicago, when the White Sox host the Atlanta Braves in an interleague baseball game.

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