The fifth edition of the PBA World Series of Bowling, set for Oct. 25-Nov. 3 at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas, has already set a record for international representation with 18 countries entered.
For the first time, one or more PBA members from Argentina, Bermuda, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Ireland and Puerto Rico will compete in a field along with representatives from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, England, Finland, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, Venezuela and the United States. Additional international players are expected as the premier showcase for professional bowlers continues to expand its world-wide appeal.
PBA World Series of Bowling V will award five PBA Tour titles: Cheetah, Chameleon, Scorpion and Viper Championships plus the PBA World Championship. The field is limited to 240 PBA members on a first-come basis. Fewer than 85 spots are still available (PBA members can enter through pba.com or by calling the PBA office: 206-654-6025).
“One of the most exciting sporting events I ever attended was the 2008 WTBA World Championships in Bangkok, Thailand,” PBA Commissioner Tom Clark said. “The final team match between the USA and Korea ended in a remarkable tie in regulation, forcing a pulsating roll-off. The pressure to perform – for teammates, for country – under difficult conditions was palpable. It’s what makes bowling an incredible sport. The USA, featuring for the first time a ‘Dream Team’ group of PBA pros, won that day, but bowling was the true victor.
“The PBA prides itself on featuring the greatest players in the world, and witnessing the talent on display that entire week in Thailand made it clear to me all of the best players in the world were not regular participants in the PBA,” he continued. “I needed to make a greater effort to bring these players from around the globe to compete on our stage. From discussions that week with young international players such as Jason Belmonte, Osku Palermaa, Dom Barrett, Martin Larsen and pioneers such as Mika Koivuniemi and Tim Mack, the PBA forged ahead with a plan to create an environment more conducive and inviting.
“The PBA World Series of Bowling was born. In the previous 50-year history of the PBA only three international players had won titles, but at the WSOB the past four years we have seen players from over 20 countries compete and new PBA champions emerge from Korea, Colombia, England, Australia and Finland. WSOB-V, featuring the PBA World Championship, returns this October in Las Vegas.
“The PBA also partnered with the WTBA's ambitious World Bowling Tour,” Clark added. “We work together to make a schedule for the world's best players, to refine rules and regulations, and to grow the talent pools, fan bases and prestige of great events. The WBT Finals, featuring WBT men’s and women’s points leaders has become a highlight of the WSOB, with huge ESPN television audiences watching.
“The PBA is better for embracing the global game. It is more colorful, diverse, with more talent than ever before. The respect for players from around the world has soared in the USA, and we are proud of our players traveling to international events, spreading the PBA’s message. I hope you watch the PBA on TV and if not available, go to pba.com and subscribe to XtraFrame.tv where all of our events are webcast.
“I want to thank the WTBA and its players for showing us the way and for your dedication to the sport,” he concluded. “We all know that bowling provides some of the most compelling, thrilling moments in all of athletics. I know the international players will add excitement to the World Series again in 2013, and I hope all of the players enjoy the competition in Las Vegas.”
PBA STARS WIN GOLD, SILVER FOR TEAM USA IN WTBA WORLD DOUBLES
PBA champion Chris Barnes and partner John Szczerbinski gave Team USA the gold medal in men’s doubles in the WTBA World Championships at Strike Zone Bowling Center inside Sunset Station in Henderson, Nev., on Wednesday, Aug. 21, when they defeated Finland’s Pasi Uotila and PBA titlist Osku Palermaa, 569-473, in the two-game title match.
Amateur John Janawicz and PBA titlist Mike Fagan claimed a bronze medal after losing in the semifinal round to Szczerbinski and Barnes, 472-458.
On Sunday, Aug. 25, PBA member Patrick Girard helped Team Canada claim its second WTBA World Championships gold medal ever in men’s trios when he teamed with Mark Buffa and Francois Lavoie for a 721-602 victory over Korea. The Canadians knocked out Team USA’s Barnes, Tommy Jones and singles gold medalist Bill O’Neill in the semifinal round, 601-579. Semifinal round losers earned bronze medals.
Team USA’s Stefanie Nation and Shannon O'Keefe, both former PBA Women’s Series competitors, defeated teammates and current PBA members Missy Parkin and Kelly Kulick, 482-438, in women’s doubles, giving the U.S. a gold-silver sweep in that event.
The World Tenpin Bowling Association Men’s and Women’s World Championships continue through Friday, Aug. 30, at Sunset Station.
PBA REGIONAL ROUNDUP: PBA MIDWEST REGIONAL PLAYERS INVITATIONAL IS NEXT
● The PBA Midwest Region’s top players will head to Peru, Ill., over Labor Day weekend for the PBA Midwest Regional Players Invitational at Super Bowl in Peru, Ill., Aug. 31-Sept. 2. The second of six PBA RPIs will be webcast live, from start to finish, Sunday and Monday on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel. To subscribe to Xtra Frame, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame logo for more information.
● In his fourth regional appearance since withdrawing from the PBA Tournament of Champions last March due to a painful plantar faciitis issue, eight-time PBA Tour winner Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, defeated Andy Patterson of Fort Worth, Texas, 178-172, to win his 39th PBA Regional title Sunday in the 8th annual PBA Greenville Southwest Open at Shananiganz in Greenville, Texas.
Scroggins said a change from 16-pound equipment to 15 pounds has made a huge difference in recovering from his foot injury. The 49-year-old lefthander led qualifying, earned two byes in the single-elimination match play finals, and then defeated Mike Bailey of Allen, Texas, 2-1, in their best-of-three-game Round of 8 match before eliminating David Anthony of Austin, Texas, 226-200, in the semifinal round.
● Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y., outscored Johnathan Bower of Middletown, Pa. by 104 pins over 17 games to win his third consecutive Professional Bowlers Association Mil-Ray Foods Eastern Open presented by Ebonite title at Brunswick Zone Deptford (N.J.) Sunday.
After leading the tournament field following Saturday’s qualifying round, Shafer remained atop the field as it was reduced following each round on Sunday. Saturday’s top 16 advanced to Sunday’s first round of four games. The field was then cut to eight based on 12-game pinfall totals. After three more games, the field was cut to the final four who bowled two additional games to determine the final standings.
● Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C., defeated Scott Newell of Deland, Fla., 236-203, to win the PBA Fayetteville (N.C.) Southern Open at Lafayette Lanes Sunday for a $2,500 payday and his fifth PBA Regional title.
● Dave Beres of Waukesha, Wis., defeated Brad Miller of St. Charles, Mo., 214-181, to win the PBA Bowlerama Lanes Midwest Open in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sunday. Along with his fifth career regional title, Beres took home $2,700.
● In a PBA50 doubleheader weekend at Pro Bowl West in Ft. Wayne, Ind., Harry Sullins of Chesterfield, Twp., Mich. defeated Kenny Parks of Hammond, Ind., 224-216, to win Saturday’s joint PBA50 Central/Midwest Shark Open presented by BowlingGift.com on Saturday and Tom Baker of King, N.C., defeated Jeff Richgels of Madison, Wis., 290-190, to win the Central/Midwest Chameleon Open on Sunday. The win for Baker was his 30th overall PBA Regional title and netted him a $1,400 first prize.
● Other Labor Day holiday weekend events round the country include the PBA West Region’s Tony Reyes Memorial Member/Non-Member Doubles presented by Brunswick at Fourth Street Bowl in San Jose, Calif.; the PBA50 Strike Zone Hammer Eastern Open in Pottsville, Pa., and the PBA and PBA50 Budweiser Victory Lanes South Opens in Mooresville, N.C.
For complete PBA regional schedule and entry information, visit pba.com and click on “Regional Tours” under the Schedules tab.
● Parker Bohn III’s 13th annual scholarship tournament is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 1, at Howell Lanes in Howell, N.J. There will be four average divisions. Entry fee is $50 if paid by Aug. 24, $55 thereafter. For an entry form and complete tournament rules, visit parkerbohn.com. Since its inception, the PBA Hall of Famer’s event has awarded more than $55,000 in scholarships.
● PBA charter member Carl Richard of Joplin, Mo., will turn 90 on Sept. 29 and will likely celebrate the same way he spends his other days – going to work at one of the three bowling centers operated by his sons. During his prime, Richard bowled with and again Dick Weber, Billy Welu and the other stars of that era. He was member of the Falstaff team during the golden age of “beer teams.”