PBA Spare Shots: Fagan, Kulick Give U.S. its First World Games Bowling Gold Medal

by Bill Vint August 8, 2013 03:42


Thanks to PBA Tour champions Mike Fagan of Fort Worth, Texas, and Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., the United States has ended its 22-year World Games gold medal drought after teaming up to win the World Games mixed doubles title in Cali, Colombia, on Thursday, Aug. 1.

In the two-game gold-medal match, the Team USA representatives defeated Canada’s Dan MacLelland and Lynne Gauthier, 905-871, before a near capacity crowd at Cali Bowling Coliseum. Since the involvement of bowling in the World Games in 1981, the U.S. had never before won a gold medal.

Kulick and Fagan both struck out in the final frame to lock up the title. Kulick had games of 200 and 226, while Fagan shot 200 and 279 in the winning effort. Kulick and Fagan knocked off Mexico in the one-game semifinal match, 510-413. Fagan shot 268, while Kulick added 242 while Mexico's Alejandro Cruz shot 244 and Sandra Gongora had a 169 game.

On Sunday, Finland's Osku Palermaa and the Ukraine's Daria Kovalova claimed the World Games singles gold medals. Palermaa, a two-time PBA Tour champion, defeated Norway's Mads Sandbaekken, 537-441, in the two-game men’s title match, while Kovalova narrowly beat Kulick, 428-425. Sandbaekken and Kulick earned silver medals.

Kovalova defeated Venezuela's Karen Marcano, 257-225, while Palermaa eliminated Korea's Dongjun Hwang, 267-182, in the respective semifinal matches. Marcano and Hwang won bronze medals.


Robert Harvey of Boise, Idaho, who had never won a PBA50 regional title in seven years of trying, won his second PBA50 Midwest/Central title in eight days Sunday when he defeated Mike Shequin of Debary, Fla., 201-168, to win the Mark Havlic Allstate Midwest/Central Open at Beverly Lanes in Arlington Heights, Ill. Harvey, who won his only PBA50 Tour title in the 2008 Ladies and Legends event in Rockford, Ill., earned $1,700 along with his title.

Ronnie Russell of Marion, Ind., fresh off his victory in the IGRIND Autism Awareness Midwest/Central Super Regional in Tinley Park, Ill., on July 20, defeated Patrick Dombrowski of Parma, Ohio by 30 pins to win the PBA Boss Snow Plows/Track Central/Midwest Open at PinHeads in Fishers, Ind., on Saturday, Aug. 3.

Russell finished the one-day tournament with a 7-3 match play record and a total of 4,311 pins for 18 games, including match play bonus pins, for his seventh career PBA Regional title and a $2,000 payday.

Bill O’Neill earned another PBA Regional title when he teamed with former PBA Women’s Series competitor Shannon O’Keefe to win the 14th annual Luci Bonneau Memorial Striking Against Breast Cancer Tournament in Houston Sunday. O’Neill and O’Keefe shared an $8,000 first prize with their 54-pin victory over Xeno Garcia and Brenda Padilla. While not an official PBA Southwest Region tournament, the PBA assists with the annual fund-raiser by granting a regional title to the winner(s) if he/she/they are PBA members. The Luci Bonneau event has raised more than $500,000 in support of breast cancer research since its inception.

● PBA Regional players will have ample opportunities to compete throughout August. Next up over the Aug. 10-11 weekend will be the PBA Bowlers Supply/Storm Eastern Open at Colony Park Lanes North in York, Pa.; the PBA and PBA50 Fog City West Opens at Classic Bowling Center in Daly City, Calif., and the Killeen (Texas) Southwest Open at Hallmark Lanes.

The Aug. 16-18 PBA Regional schedule includes the Dave Husted Northwest Open presented by Motiv at Husted’s Milwaukie (Ore.) Bowl; the PBA Cap Card Eastern Open presented by Track at Cedar Lanes in Lebanon, Pa.; the PBA Emerald Bowl Southwest Challenge (for non-PBA champions) presented by Bowling Dynamix in Houston, Texas; and the PBA Lefeld Implement Central Classic at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater, Ohio.

PBA Regional competition scheduled for the Aug. 23-25 weekend includes the PBA Bowlerama Lanes Midwest Open in Des Moines, Iowa; the PBA Mil-Ray Foods Eastern Open presented by Ebonite at Brunswick Zone-Deptford, N.J.; the PBA Greenville (Texas) Southwest Open at Shenanaganz; the PBA Fayetteville (N.C.) South Open presented by Storm at LaFayette Lanes, and a pair of one-day “reduced entry fee” PBA50 Midwest/Central Regionals at Pro Bowl West in Ft. Wayne, Ind. – the Shark Open presented by bowlinggift.com and the Shark Open #2.

The Labor Day holiday weekend includes the Midwest Regional Players Invitational, the second of six PBA RPIs, at Illinois Valley Super Bowl in Peru, Ill.; the 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.


IGRIND Bowling, a new PBA Registered Product company, is conducting a raffle to raise money to help the Josh Blanchard family with medical and funeral expenses associated with the recent death of their infant daughter. The raffle, for $10 a ticket, will include an expenses-paid trip for two to attend the PBA World Series of Bowling V finals at South Point Casino, Hotel and Bowling Center Nov. 1-3. To purchase raffle tickets, visit igrindbowling.com.


Parker Bohn III’s 13th annual scholarship tournament is set 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.


Walter Ray Williams Jr. made his traditional summer stop at the Red Rock & Ringers World Horseshoe Tournament in St. George, Utah, last week, where he finished fifth with a 10-5 match record, and a 66.89 percent ringer rate. When you consider that horseshoe pitching superstar Alan Francis has now won the world title 17 times, you also realize it has been a few years since Williams won a world championship in his “other” favorite sport.

But with 47 PBA Tour titles and more than $4.3 million in career earnings as a PBA competitor, Williams doesn’t feel too bad about while career path he chose.

“I had a good arm swing, and it carried over into bowling,” he told a spectrum.com writer about his early experiences in horseshoe pitching. “Unfortunately, I seem to have lost it in my horseshoe game,” he noted, admitting his horseshoe game no longer matches up to the reigning champ.

“I’m lucky Alan Francis didn’t take up bowling,” Williams joked, adding, “I used to be good, but Alan is just unbelievable. The average person has no idea. They talk about Tiger (Woods) shooting 61, but what Alan does is probably better than that. The difference is no one really knows about this sport, and that’s a shame.”

● If you missed it, the inaugural PBA League Elias Cup finals from Indianapolis will re-air on ESPN Classic on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2, at 11 p.m. ET.

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