PBA Spare Shots: Koivuniemi Closes in on World Bowling Tour Points Lead

by Bill Vint January 15, 2014 06:13

With his victory Sunday in the 44th Brunswick Ballmaster Open in Helsinki, Finland’s Mika Koivuniemi closed to within five points of World Bowling Tour points leader Sean Rash, who didn’t bowl the event. Fellow American PBA stars Mike Fagan and Tommy Jones remain third and fourth on the two-year rolling points list, while England’s Dom Barrett, who finished second in Helsinki, advanced to seventh place.

Rash, who won the 2013 WBT Men’s Finals during PBA World Series of Bowling V, leads the points list with 657 points while Koivuniemi, who picked up 50 points with his record fourth Ballmaster Open title, now has 652 points. The women’s points list remains unchanged with American PBA members Kelly Kulick, Missy Parkin, Liz Johnson and Diandra Asbaty holding the top four spots.

The World Bowling Tour is an international series of tournaments organized by World Bowling (formerly World Tenpin Bowling Association) in cooperation with the PBA. The next event on the WBT schedule is a double points “major,” the USBC Masters, Feb. 17-23, at Brunswick Zone Carolier in North Brunswick, N.J.

CHRIS PAUL HIGHLIGHTS, “PBA SUPER CLASH” TO FILL FEBRUARY 2 ESPN TELECAST SLOT

A special two-hour telecast featuring highlights of past Chris Paul PBA Celebrity Invitational events and a new “PBA Super Clash” will fill the 4 p.m. ET Super Bowl Sunday ESPN time slot originally scheduled for the Chris Paul PBA League All-Stars, which was postponed due to the Los Angeles Clippers star’s recent shoulder injury.

The PBA Super Clash will be conducted during the weekend of the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions and PBA League telecasts at Thunderbowl in Allen Park, Mich., Jan. 25-27. Two head-to-head PBA League matches will be taped for delayed airing on ESPN on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 5 and 8 p.m. ET. The live Tournament of Champions telecast airs Sunday at noon, followed by the PBA Super Clash at 4:30 p.m. and a third round of PBA League competition at 7:30 p.m. Three more PBA League telecasts will be taped Monday at 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for all television sessions in Detroit are available on pba.com, and will be available at the door in Detroit.

RASH HOSTS 19TH YOUTH SCHOLARSHIP EVENT IN ALASKA

Mason Yamada, a 16-year-old high school sophomore from Kenai, Alaska, was the winner of the 19th annual Sean Rash "Stars of the Future" Scholarship Tournament Jan. 3 at Jewel Lake Bowl in Anchorage.

The annual event, which has awarded more than $30,000 in scholarships since its inception, drew a field of 26 youth bowlers this year. Rash, now 32, started the event at age 13 at Jewel Lake Bowl, his home center as a youth bowler.

PBA REGIONAL ROUNDUP: RENO EVENTS PRODUCE THREE NEW PBA TITLE WINNERS

Dan Long of Bakersfield, Calif.; Craig Miller of Tracy, Calif., and Darryl Okamoto of Honolulu all captured their first PBA titles in a Sands Regency West/Northwest Region weekend tripleheader at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno.

On Sunday, Long defeated Tetsuya Kobayashi of Japan, 257-190, to win the PBA Sands Regency West/Northwest Winter Classic presented by Motiv for his first PBA title and a $2,000 prize.

In the companion PBA50 Classic, Miller defeated Kevin Foley of Reno, 249-172, for his first win and a $1,500 prize.

On Friday, Okamoto defeated Andy Zumwalt of Albuquerque, N.M., 224-209, to win the Sands Regency West/NW Winter Challenge presented by Motiv. Challenge events are open exclusively to players who have never won a PBA event. Okamoto also earned $1,200.

● Rounding out the January schedule will be the PBA Legend Lanes Regular/Senior Central Doubles Classic in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, over the Jan. 24-26 weekend.

For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area.

QUICK NOTES

● Brian Kretzer has been named to replace Ryan Shafer on the Motown Muscle roster for the upcoming PBA League competition at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich.

PBA Hall of Famer Nelson Burton Jr., at age 71, set a Jensen Beach Bowl three-game series record in Florida last week, firing games of 300, 288 and 290 for an 878 series in the Friday Morning Match Play League.

● EFX is no longer members of the PBA Product Registered program as of Jan. 1, 2014. Products that are not part of the program are not eligible for use in PBA competition. Contrary to previously-published information, IGRIND remains a PBA Product Registered company and its products continue to be eligible for PBA competition.

● Pro-am entries and television tickets for the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions, PBA League quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, and the new PBA Super Clash at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich., Jan. 25-27, are available on pba.com. Click on the “tickets” link for complete details.

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