PBA Hall of Famer Jason Couch of Clermont, Fla., bowling in his first PBA competition in a year, defeated Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y., 234-190, to win the $15,000 first prize in the PBA Gene Carter Pro Shop Classic, a PBA East Region “super regional,” at Mid-County Lanes in Middletown, Del., Sunday. PBA’s Xtra Frame fans got to watch the entire tournament unfold live, start-to-finish, on PBA’s online bowling channel.
Couch, who was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 2012, had not competed in a PBA event since announcing his retirement from PBA Tour competition a year ago. After qualifying 14th, Couch posted a 12-4 match play record to become the tournament leader entering the stepladder finals. He broke open a title battle with Shafer when Shafer lost his footing in the final frame and opened.
In addition to his 26th career PBA Regional title, Couch took home a $15,000 prize, the largest payoff in PBA East Region history, surpassing the $12,500 prize earned last year by Danny Wiseman of Baltimore. The tournament drew a field of 171 participants from 18 states and two Canadian provinces.
XTRA FRAME HEADS TO MINNESOTA, IOWA
Xtra Frame, the PBA’s online bowling channel, will head to Minnesota and Iowa to wrap up a busy month of live Internet coverage of PBA50 Tour and PBA Regional competition. Next up is the PBA50 Tour’s season-ending Treasure Island Resort & Casino Open presented by Hammer at Island Xtreme Bowl in Welch, Minn., Aug. 10-13, followed by the PBA Bowlerama Lanes Midwest Region Open from Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 23-24. The Bowlerama event will include coverage of the first of three PBA Women’s Regional competitions in the Midwest Region.
Featured events on the September calendar will include the PBA Grand Hotel, Casino and Resort Southwest Regional Invitational from Shawnee, Okla., Sept. 5-7, and the Diamond Jo’s Casino Midwest Open at Cherry Lanes in Dubuque, Iowa, Sept. 13-14. The Dubuque event will be the second of three PBA Women’s Regional events in the Midwest Region.
Fans who haven’t experienced Xtra Frame can enroll under the monthly rate of $7.99, or sign up for a full year for $64.99. To sign up, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.
WBT THAILAND IS FINAL WORLD BOWLING TOUR QUALIFYING EVENT
The three berths in the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals, to be contested during PBA World Series of Bowling VI at South Point in Las Vegas over the Nov. 1-2 weekend, will be finalized at the conclusion of the WBT Thailand at Blu-O Paragon in Bangkok Aug. 18-25.
Heading into the Thailand event, Finnish-American star Mika Koivuniemi leads men’s points list in the two-year points cycle with 555 points, 17 points head of Australia’s two-handed star Jason Belmonte. Defending WBT Thailand and WBT Men’s Finals winner Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., is third with 534 points – four behind Belmonte and 27 points ahead of England’s Dom Barrett.
With 50 points awarded to the winner in Thailand, the race for the top three positions is wide open.
In the women’s points race, defending WBT Women’s Finals winner Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., has clinched the No. 1 berth with 683 points, more than 200 ahead of Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y. (459). Sweden’s Sandra Andersson is third with 396 points and could be overtaken by Singapore’s Jazreel Tan (351) or Missy Parkin of Laguna Hills, Calif. (346).
PBA REGIONAL SUMMARY: NORTON, PARKIN TEAM UP TO WIN BONNEAU MIXED DOUBLES
● Scott Norton of Mission Viejo, Calif., and Missy Parkin of Laguna Hills, Calif., teamed up to win the 15th annual Luci Bonneau Memorial Striking Against Breast Cancer Tournament in Houston, Texas, over the weekend. While the event was not an official PBA tournament, it is supported by the PBA, a number of PBA members support its mission and the PBA grants regional titles to the winner(s) if either/both are PBA members…so the victory gave Norton his seventh PBA Regional title and Parkin became the first woman to win three PBA Regional titles.
Norton and Parkin posted an 8,987 pinfall total to split an $8,000 first prize and a 66-pin margin of victory of Tom Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla., and his partner, Kristina Wendell of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Shannon Pluhowsky of Kettering, Ohio, and Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., finished third; the husband-and-wife team of Chris and Lynda Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, finished fourth and Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., and Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., finished fifth.
● Ron Mohr of Las Vegas picked up $1,700 and his 13th career PBA Regional title when he defeated traveling roommate Darren Peters of Temecula, Calif., 211-167, to win the PBA50 Beverly Lanes Midwest/Central Open in Arlington Heights, Ill., Sunday.
● First-year PBA member Chris Spoo of Boynton Beach, Florida, defeated Dave Shinn of West Columbia, S.C., 254-158, to win the PBA Pensacola South Open title at New Liberty Lanes in Pensacola, Fla., Sunday, earning $1,700 along with his first PBA Regional title.
The tournament featured an eliminator format that involved cutting the field in half after each one-game round. Spoo made it through the Round of 18 by qualifying in eighth place with a 202 game, second in the Round of 9 with a 245 and second in the Round of 4 with a 198 to advance to the title match.
The tournament also featured an experimental re-entry format, allowing players to bowl the qualifying round more than once if they elected to do so in order to qualify for the cashers’ round.
● On the Aug. 8-10 PBA Regional schedule is the Waccamaw Myrtle Beach South Classic (including a PBA Women’s Regional series points event) at Waccamaw Bowling Center in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; the Killeen Southwest Open (also a PBA Women’s Regional points event) at Hallmark Lanes in Killeen, Texas, and the Bowlers Supply/Storm East Open at Colony Park Lanes North in York, Pa.
The Aug. 15-17 weekend includes the Emerald Bowl Southwest Challenge presented by Bowling Dynamix, for non-champions, in Houston, Texas; the Dave Husted Northwest Open presented by Dexter at Husted’s Milwaukie Bowl in Milwaukie, Ore.; the Bethmann Russell Syracuse Eastern Open presented by Radical (a PBA Women’s Regional points event) at Flamingo Bowl in Liverpool, N.Y., and the Lefeld Implement Central Classic (a PBA Women’s Regional points event) at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater, Ohio.
The Aug. 22-24 regional schedule includes the Fayetteville South Open (a PBA Women’s Regional points event) at Lafayette Lanes in Fayetteville, N.C.; the Mil-Ray Foods East Open presented by Columbia 300 at Brunswick Zone in Deptford, N.J.; the PBA and PBA50 Steve Cook’s Fireside Lanes Capital City West/Northwest Opens presented by DV8 (a PBA Women’s West and Northwest Region points event) in Citrus Heights, Calif.; the Greenville Southwest Open presented by allbowling.com (a PBA Women’s Regional points event) at Shenaniganz in Greenville, Texas, and the Bowlerama Lanes Midwest Open presented by Radical (a live Xtra Frame event and a PBA Women’s Regional points event) in Des Moines, Iowa.
The extended Labor Day weekend includes another full schedule of events, including the PBA50 Wilson & Sons Termite Pest Control Super Senior Open (for players 60 and older) followed by the PBA50 Mooresville South Open at George Pappas’ Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C.; the Tony Reyes Memorial Member/Non-Member Doubles presented by Brunswick at Fourth Street Bowl in San Jose, Calif., and the BOWLSTRONG Midwest/Central Challenge (for non-winners) plus the BOWLSTRONG Midwest/Central Tournament of Champions (for PBA title winners) at King Pin Lanes in Springfield, Ill.
Kicking off the September schedule will be the PBA50 Kingsport Super Senior South Open for players 60 and older at Warpath Lanes in Kingsport, Tenn., Sept. 2-4, followed by Sept. 5-7 weekend events including the Moon City Central Classic presented by Roto Grip at Astro Lanes in Wapakoneta, Ohio; the Grand Hotel, Casino & Resort Southwest Invitational at Firelake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla. (featuring live Xtra Frame coverage); the PBA50 Howell Lanes East Open in Howell, N.J.; the Rufus West Open presented by Columbia 300 at FlipSide Lanes in Gilbert, Ariz., and a pair of one-day PBA50 events presented by Ebonite at Illinois Valley Super Bowl in Peru, Ill.
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.
● PBA Director of Events and Community Relations Janay Haggerty and husband P.J. are the proud parents of twins Sloan Elizabeth and Cooper J., born on Friday, Aug. 1 – just in time for National Twins Weekend (according to P.J.).
● Jason Tidwell of Odessa, Texas, a first-year PBA member who joined in April, is the July winner in the PBA’s HotelPlanner.com sweepstakes, receiving a $250 certificate for lodging booked through the PBA’s official travel partner. To enter, 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. A second drawings will take place on July 31 and August 31.