Bowling fans around the world who are unable to attend the USBC Masters in person can follow the action live, as it happens, thanks to modern technology.
PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, will cover all qualifying and match play rounds as they happen, Tuesday through Saturday at Brunswick Zone Carolier in North Brunswick, N.J. To subscribe to the PBA’s official online bowling channel, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link. One-month ($7.99) and full-year ($64.99) subscriptions are available.
Fans also can follow the Masters via USBC’s live scoring that will allow you to see any scoreboard in the bowling center during qualifying and match play. Use this link: http://t.bowl.com/MastersScoring. In addition, during qualifying rounds, updated standings will be posted on pba.com after each game.
ESPN will air the five-player stepladder finals live on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m. ET.
The 63rd Masters promises to add its own chapter to the historic legacy of the event. Some of the stories to follow include:
● Defending champion and newly-named 2012-13 PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte will try to become the third player in USBC Masters history to win back-to-back titles. Belmonte, the Australian two-handed star, is automatically qualified for the double-elimination match play finals, and will bowl qualifying to determine his seeding position for match play. If he reaches the television finals, it will be his eighth television finals in the past nine PBA major championships.
If Belmonte wins the Masters, he’ll join Billy Welu (1964 and ’65) and Dick Hoover (1956 and ’57) as the third back-to-back Masters winner, and he’ll become the seventh PBA player to win back-to-back major titles, following his January victory in the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions. Norm Duke, who won a record three consecutive majors (2008 PBA World Championship, 2008 U.S. Open and 2009 PBA World Championship), is the last player to win consecutive majors.
● PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber and Chris Barnes need a Masters title to join fellow hall of famers Mike Aulby and Norm Duke as the third player to complete the PBA’s Grand Slam (which also includes titles in the PBA World Championship, U.S. Open and Tournament of Champions).
● A Masters title would give Pete Weber a record 11th PBA major title. He currently shares the record of 10 major titles with Earl Anthony.
● If Walter Ray Williams Jr. wins, he’ll join Mike Aulby as the third three-time Masters winner.
WALTER RAY WILLIAMS JR. MAKES ATHLON SPORTS’ LIST OF TOP TWO-SPORT ATHLETES
Athlon Sports has named all-time PBA Tour titles leader and former world horseshoe pitching champion Walter Ray Williams Jr. as its 25th-best two-sport athlete, right behind NFL all-pro defensive lineman/former North Carolina basketball player Julius Peppers, but ahead of NBA legend/Chicago White Sox baseball wannabe Michael Jordan, who was ranked 30th.
Athlon’s top five two-sports athletes are: Jim Thorpe (football and track), Jim Brown (football and lacrosse), Bob Hayes (track and football), Bo Jackson (football and baseball), and Charlie Ward (basketball and football).
Athlon Sports is the world’s largest-circulation sports magazine, publishing monthly and distributed to more than nine million readers as an insert in daily and weekly newspapers across America.
BARBASOL “STRIKE A POSE” CONTEST ENDS MARCH 26
Reminder: the deadline to enter the Barbasol-PBA “Strike a Pose” contest is March 26. Contestants are asked to submit their best “strike celebration pose” on the Barbasol Strike a Pose Facebook page, or post entries to Instagram and Twitter using #PBAstrikeapose.
Five winners will receive a year’s supply of Barbasol, and a grand-prize winner will receive a Barbasol PBA Prize pack, which includes a year’s supply of Barbasol, a Barbasol Motown Muscle bowling jersey and custom Barbasol bowling ball.
For 2014, Barbasol has expanded its partnership with the PBA to include jersey sponsor of the PBA League’s Motown Muscle. For more information on the “Strike a Pose” contest please visit pba.com and Barbasol.com.
PBA REGIONAL ROUNDUP: CHALLENGE, PBA50 EVENTS ON TAP
Dale Coleman of High Springs, Fla., defeated Mike Shequin of Debary, Fla. 222-217, to win the 2nd annual PBA Tavares South Challenge title at Breakpoint Alley in Tavares, Fla., on Sunday, Feb. 9. Coleman earned $2,300 along with his first PBA Regional title. PBA Challenge tournaments are open only to players who have never won a PBA title.
● Next up on the PBA Regional calendar is the PBA Jackson Rancheria West Open at Gold Country Lanes in Sutter Creek, Calif., Feb. 14-16, followed by the PBA50 Dave Edwards Toyota South Open presented by Dexter at Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C., Feb. 21-23.
The March 7-9 weekend includes the PBA Thunderbowl Over/Under 50 Midwest Doubles Classic in Council Bluffs, Iowa; the PBA50 Victory Lanes Central Open presented by Brunswick in Galion, Ohio, and the New Liberty Lanes South Open in Pensacola, Fla.
On the March 14-16 calendar are the PBA50 Franklin South Open at Franklin Bowling Center in Franklin, Va.; the Trumbull County Visitors Bureau Central/East Open presented by DV8 at Bell-Wick Bowl in Hubbard, Ohio, and the one-day (Saturday, March 15) PBA50 Allstate Insurance Midwest Open presented by Brunswick at Plamor Lanes in Muscatine, Iowa.
The March 21-23 PBA Regional calendar includes the San Angelo Southwest Open presented by Ebonite at Stadium Lanes in San Angelo, Texas; the PBA50 Rossi Lanes Eastern Open in Elmira, N.Y.; the PBA50 Fayetteville Lanes South Open in Fayetteville, N.C.; the Caveman Bowl Northwest/West Open presented by DV8 in Grants Pass, Ore., and the PBA50 Showtime Lanes Midwest/Central Open presented by Motiv in Virden, Ill.
Closing out the March schedule will be the PBA50 Boys and Girls Club Midwest/Central Open presented by Columbia 300 at Liberty Lanes in Carpentersville, Ill., and the Bowlers Discount Eastern Open at Brunswick Zone Normandy in Ellicott City, Md.
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.
● Looking for a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift for the PBA fan in your life? Visit pba.com and click on the “store” link to shop for the PBA’s exclusive “Love the Lanes” line of merchandise.
● Five-time PBA Tour champion and second-year PBA50 Tour competitor Bob Learn Jr. has been promoted to Turbo Tech Director of Coaching, working out of the Turbo Tech Training Center at Turbo headquarters in Chesterfield, Michigan. Learn also represents Turbo as its Eastern Region Sales Manager.