PBA Spare Shots: Veteran Woman Star Yuka Tsuchiya Sweeps Inaugural PBA Japan Region Cheetah Titles

by Bill Vint July 9, 2014 07:35

Yuka Tsuchiya, a 35-year-old right-hander from Kanagawa and an accomplished veteran of Japanese professional competition, got the PBA Japan Regional program off to an historic start over the July 5-6 weekend, sweeping the PBA Japan Women’s Cheetah Open and Cheetah Open titles at Tokyo Port Bowl. The women’s and open events were the first of eight events scheduled for 2014 in the new regional alliance between the Professional Bowlers Association and Japan Bowling Promotions.

On Saturday, Tsuchiya, a PBA member, defeated Shima Washizuka of Tokyo, 223-206, to win the Women’s Cheetah Open. On Sunday, she defeated Shyogo Wada of Wakayama, 211-189, to win the Cheetah Open. The inaugural women’s regional event drew a field of 39 players; the Cheetah Open drew a field of 101 men and women.

The eight-tournament series continues Saturday, July 12, with the PBA Japan Women’s Chameleon Open and Sunday, July 13, with the Chameleon Open, both at Sound Bowl in Ushiku, Japan.

PBA Commissioner Tom Clark and Deputy Commissioner Kirk Von Krueger will attend the Chameleon events as part of a celebration of PBA’s first international regional tournament venture.

IT’LL BE FLORIDA VS. NEW YORK IN 2014 TEEN MASTERS GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP

The Teen Masters Grand Championship match that will be part of the PBA’s Champion’s Challenge ESPN telecast from the PBA World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas will be a one-game match between two recent high school graduates who dominated their divisions in the 17th Teen Masters finals in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last weekend.

Michael Coffey, 19, of Melbourne, Fla., averaged 220.29 for his 42 games and defeated runner-up John Gallagher of Stuart, Fla., by 553 pins for the boys’ title. Kelly Skalacki, 17, who just graduated from Newfield High School near her home in Coram, N.Y., averaged 195.81 in topping Ashley Dunn of Palmdale, Calif., by 337 pins to win the girls’ division. Dunn was the reigning girls’ division champion and a two-time past U14 Girls winner.

Coffey said the secret to his success on the PBA-caliber lane conditions, using only two limited-performance PBA Skills bowling balls, was preparation.

“I practiced with the two (PBA) balls all year long,” the future Lindenwood University student said. “I worked on my grip, throwing at any speed I needed, different hand positions, different angles on the lane. I knew I could do basically anything I wanted. I just had to stay calm and make good shots.”

Skalacki, who bowled in the Teen Masters for the first time, said, “I wasn’t expecting to do this well. It was a matter of making my spares, taking it one shot at a time. I threw the ball with the same speed on both the long and short conditions, and I just moved my feet and moved my eyes.”

The future Webber International University student said she’s eager to face Coffey in the one-game ESPN match to determine the 2014 Teen Masters Grand Champion.

“I’m extremely excited,” she said. “It’s such a great opportunity. I’m hoping to beat him. It’s going to be tough, but I’ll put in the effort.”

“I can’t wait (to bowl Skalacki on ESPN),” Coffey said. “It’ll be a good match.”

The PBA Champion’s Challenge telecast also will feature the PBA50 Tour Finals match, the PBA Women’s Regional Finals title match and the PBA Regional Tour Finals match. The special telecast will be recorded during the first weekend in November at South Point Casino, Hotel and Bowling Center in Las Vegas. The air date for the special ESPN telecast will be announced later.

MONGOOSE PRODUCTS BECOMES PBA REGISTERED PRODUCT COMPANY

Mongoose Products, a manufacturer of premium bowling wrist devices for 33 years, has become a PBA Product Registered Company. Mongoose products are available at quality pro shops across the nation and globally.

SOUTH REGION CHANGES WOMEN’S REGIONAL TO MYRTLE BEACH ON AUG. 8-10

Due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict, the PBA South Region has changed the women’s regional event originally scheduled for Gloucester, Va., to Waccamaw Lanes in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Aug. 8-10.

PBA REGIONAL SUMMARY: JULY SCHEDULE HEATS UP THIS WEEKEND

After a quiet Fourth of July weekend, PBA’s regional program heats up this weekend with the Lubbock Southwest Super Regional in Texas, the second weekend of international regional competition in Japan, and the Proprietors Cup III in Ohio.

The July 11-13 schedule features the Lubbock Southwest Super Regional at South Plains Lanes in Lubbock, Texas, with a projected $10,000 first prize; the Spring Hill (Fla.) Crystal Automotive South Open presented by Track at Spring Hill Lanes; the PBA West/Northwest Wine Country Open presented by Hammer at Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park, Calif.; the PBA50 Cecil Raymond Memorial presented by Track at Playdrome Cherry Hill in Cherry Hill, N.J., and the PBA Japan Women’s Chameleon and Chameleon Open at Sound Bowl, Ushiku, Japan. Also on the July 11-13 schedule is the Proprietors Cup III at Beaver-Vu Lanes in Beavercreek, Ohio. While not an official PBA event, it is supported by the PBA East, Central and Midwest Regions and will pay an estimated $15,000 first prize.

On tap for the July 18-20 weekend are the Boss Snow Plows/Brunswick Central Open at PinHeads Bowling Center in Fishers, Ind. (a PBA Women’s Regional event); the Homefield Eastern Open presented by Motiv at Homefield Bowl in Yonkers, N.Y.; the St. Charles Lanes Midwest Open presented by Storm (a PBA Women’s Regional event), and the PBA/PBA50 Sands Regency West/Northwest Doubles at High Sierra Lanes in Reno, Nev.

The July schedule concludes over the July 25-27 weekend with the PBA50 Sparetimes Hampton Southern Open at Sparetimes Bowling Center in Hampton, Va.; the Pure-It Pro Shop East Open presented by DV8 at Cedar Lanes in Lebanon, Pa.; the Farmer’s State Bank/Roto Grip Central Re-Entry Open at Angola Bowl in Angola, Ind.; the PBA50 Progressive/Gerdeman Insurance Agency/Al Smith Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep Central/Midwest Classic at Al-Mar Lanes in Bowling Green, Ohio; the Fort Sill Southwest Open presented by Columbia 300 at Twin Oaks Bowling Center in Fort Sill, Okla.; the Plamor Lanes Midwest Challenge (for non-winners) presented by Track in Muscatine, Iowa, and the PBA and PBA50 Boise Northwest/West Opens at 20th Century Lanes in Boise, Idaho.

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:

● Don’t forget: HotelPlanner.com, the official travel partner of the PBA, is running a sweepstakes that will award $250 lodging gift certificates to lucky winners in both July and August. All you have to do is book a hotel room through any link on pba.com, or by using this link: http://pba.hotelplanner.com/, before Aug. 31. For each reservation you make, you’ll receive an additional free entry into the sweepstakes. Drawings will take place on July 31 and August 31.

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