ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Brian Kretzer of Kettering, Ohio defeated Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., 215-200, Sunday to win the Professional Bowlers Association Central Regional Players Invitational title at Thunderbowl Lanes.
Kretzer, a 47-year-old one-time PBA Tour title winner, earned $6,000, a paid entry into the PBA World Series of Bowling V in Las Vegas in late October and a berth in a new PBA RPI Finals which will be televised on ESPN. The regional title was Kretzer’s 16th and his second this year.
After qualifying third and earning byes for the first two rounds of single-elimination match play, Kretzer eliminated Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, 3-0, in the best-of-five-game Round of 8 and then defeated reigning Central Region Rookie of the Year Brandon Novak of Chillicothe, Ohio, 223-194, in the semifinal round.
The PBA Central RPI was covered live, from start to finish, on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. The title match can be watched on YouTube.com.
The Central Region RPI was the fourth in a series of six PBA Regional championship events. Each RPI winner advances to the PBA RPI Finals that will be taped for delayed airing on ESPN as part of the World Series of Bowling V at South Point Casino, Hotel and Bowling Center, Oct. 26-Nov. 3. Tom Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla., won the South Region title in early August, Dave Beres of Waukesha, Wis., won the Midwest RPI title over Labor Day weekend and tour veteran Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas won the Southwest Region RPI title on Sept. 8.
The two remaining RPIs will be the East Region at Maple City Bowl, Hornell, N.Y., Sept. 20-22, and the combined West/Northwest RPI at the National Bowling Stadium, Reno, Nev., Oct. 18-20.
Each RPI is open to 48 players who have qualified through a season-long points competition in their respective regions.
PBA CENTRAL REGION PLAYERS INVITATIONAL
Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich., Sept. 15
Brain Kretzer, Kettering, Ohio ($6,000) def. Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich. ($3,500), 215-200.
Semifinal Round (Losers earned $1,600)
Smallwood def. Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 211-205.
Kretzer def. Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 223-194.
Round of 8 (Best of five games. Losers eliminated, earned $1,050)
Smallwood def. Mika Koivuniemi, Howell, Mich., 3-1.
Kretzer def. Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 3-0.
Novak def. Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich., 3-2.
Dombrowski def. Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 3-0.
Round of 12 (Best of five games. Losers eliminated, earned $850)
Novak def. Jeffrey Edwards, Sterling Heights, Mich., 3-1.
Koivuniemi def. Todd Book, Russells Point, Ohio, 3-1.
Dombrowski def. Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 3-1.
Loschetter def. Jeff Zaffino, Warren, Pa., 3-0.
Round of 16 (Best of five games. Losers eliminated, earned $750)
Book def. Matt White, Warren, Pa., 3-1.
Dombrowski def. Eddie Graham, Centerville, Ohio, 3-1.
Loschetter def. Mason Brantley, Detroit, 3-2.
Edwards def. E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 3-2.