Title sponsor DHC, a major Japanese skin care product company, has invited four additional PBA stars – including 2016 PBA Rookie of the Year Francois Lavoie (featured photo), PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III and incoming PBA Hall of Famer Chris Barnes, and PBA women’s pioneer Liz Johnson – to the field for the 2018 DHC PBA Japan Invitational that will be held Jan. 26-28 at Tokyo Port Bowl.
The tournament, which will be covered in its entirety by PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, also will include defending champion EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind.; Jason Belmonte, Australia; Jesper Svensson, Sweden; Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash.; Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla.; Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas; Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill.; Yannaphon Larpapharat, Thailand; Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., Dom Barrett, England, and a Korea PBA member to be announced.
First prize in the event will be $45,000 and a PBA Tour title, if the winner is a PBA member.
CONCRETE SOFTWARE ISSUES “BEAT THE CHEETAH CHAMPION” CHALLENGE
How good are your virtual bowling skills? In a renewal of a competition introduced in 2016, Concrete Software, creator of the PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game, has issued a “Cheetah Challenge” in conjunction with the PBA Cheetah Championship finals, presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game.
The rules are simple: if you haven’t already done so, download the free PBA Bowling Challenge app at Google Play or the Apple App store. Then select the “Limited Tournament” button on the landing page of the app to enter the tournament. “Bowl” one virtual game and if your game score beats the actual PBA Cheetah Championship winner’s score, you will be automatically entered into a drawing to win 5,000 Gold Pins (in-game currency) and a pin signed by the Cheetah champion. Multiple entries are allowed.
The sweepstakes will begin at 1 a.m. EST on Dec. 24 and end at 12:59 p.m. on Jan. 2.
Here is a link the official rules: http://bit.ly/PBA_OfficialRules.
Speaking of Concrete Software’s PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game, this week marked the addition of a new element to capture the excitement of the PBA League program. The PBA Bowling Challenge game is adding a new PBA League venue on a weekly schedule, beginning today with the debut of the Dallas Strikers venue.
Everyone with a mobile device is invited to join the fun. The PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game app is a free download at Google Play and Apple App stores. Use these links: Google Play: http://bit.ly/PBABowlingChallengeAnd or Apple App Store: http://bit.ly/PBABowlingChallengeiOS
PBA 60TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION/HALL OF FAME DINNER TICKETS ON SALE
Tickets are now on sale for PBA’s 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner, including PBA’s 2017 Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, on Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Marriott North in Indianapolis. Tickets, which include a cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres and open bar, are available for $125 (plus service fee) through the “Tickets” link on pba.com (https://www.pba.com/Tickets).
In addition to a special PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration and the inductions of Chris Barnes, Ron Mohr and the late Indianapolis proprietor Don Mitchell into the PBA Hall of Fame, the PBA will recognize the 2017 GEICO PBA Chris Schenkel Player of the Year, Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year, Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award winner and the Tony Reyes Memorial Community Service Award winner. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail hour and “red carpet” reception followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited.
Advance tickets also are available at the same website address for the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic ESPN finals at Woodland Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 1 p.m. ET. General admission tickets for other rounds of the event will be available at the door.
Reservations for the tournament pro-am at Woodland Bowl are being accepted by the host center. The pro-am, for adults and youth bowlers, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 17, at noon and 2:30 p.m. Participating bowlers will have the option of a standard or “upgrade” to include a Brunswick Vintage Inferno bowling ball. For more information, call Woodland Bowl at 317-844-4099.
PBA STARS WIN WORLD BOWLING TEAM GOLD MEDAL FOR U.S.; LAVOIE TOPS MASTERS
PBA stars, domestically and internationally, earned gold medals as the World Bowling Men’s World Championships wrapped up at South Point Bowling Plaza Tuesday, including a gold medal performance in the five-man team event by Chris Barnes, Jakob Butturff, Marshall Kent, Tommy Jones, Chris Via and AJ Johnson who defeated Chinese Taipei in the best-of-three-game finale, 210-189 and 200-180.
Earlier in the event, Barnes and Jones teamed up to win men’s doubles for Team USA.
Francois Lavoie, PBA’s 2016 Rookie of the Year, won the men’s Masters title to close the multi-event championships, defeating Taipei’s Zu Zhe-Jia, 247-206, 216-199, in the gold medal match.
In the World Bowling Women’s World Championships, current and/or former PBA members Shannon O’Keefe, Kelly Kulick and Danielle McEwan won the women’s trios gold medal, Shalin Zulkifli helped Malaysia win the women’s team title, and McEwan won the women’s all-events gold medal. For complete World Bowling Championships results, visit worldbowling.org.
XTRA FRAME HOLIDAY SALE: SAVE $10 ON “XF SEASON TICKET”
For the bowler in your family who has everything, a perfect Christmas gift might be a full-year of PBA Xtra Frame access, available exclusive Dec. 15-31 for the holiday discount price of only $54.99.
That’s just over $1 a week for 12 months of live streaming of PBA Tour action, access to a great library of past PBA Tour events and telecasts plus player interviews, bowling instruction, and more.
All you have to do is visit xtraframe.tv between 8 a.m. EST on Dec. 15 and 11:59 p.m. EST on Dec. 31 and enter “PBAHOLIDAY17” in the promo code box to secure the $10 discount price.
PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: LOSCHETTER, KRETZER TEAM UP FOR DOUBLES TITLE
Ohio teammates Chris Loschetter of Avon and Brian Kretzer of Dayton defeated Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C., and Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla., 258-230, to win the PBA/PBA50 Decker Appraisal Services Baker Doubles title presented by Hammer Sunday at Valley Lanes in Harrisonburg, Va.
Loschetter and Kretzer qualified fourth for the stepladder finals and defeated Virginia’s Chris Bolosan of Hampton and Troy McKinney of Yorktown, 256-137, to start the four-team stepladder finals. They then eliminated fellow Ohioans Joe Hostetler of Louisville and Dick Gran of Hartville, 247-236, to advance to the title match.
The win marked Loschetter’s 15th in PBA Regional competition and Kretzer’s 23rd in standard and PBA50 regionals. The Loschetter/Kretzer team earned $3,600.
● Daniel Dunleavy of Staten Island, N.Y., defeated Andrew Suscreba of Clifton, N.J., 246-233, to win the PBA MJK Pro Shop/Knob Hill Eastern Challenge presented by Brunswick on Saturday in Manalapan, N.J. PBA Challenge events are open to any member or non-member who has never won a PBA event.
Dunleavy, a 36-year-old non-member who has bowled frequently for several seasons, rolled a strike in the 10th frame to earn the win. Suscreba, who had missed a single pin spare early in the championship match, had struck out in his half of the 10th frame to force Dunleavy to strike. Dunleavy earned $1,700 for the win, but does not receive credit for a PBA Regional title because he is a non-member.
In the semifinal matches, Dunleavy edged Terry Thompson Jr. of Copiague, N.Y., 225-224, when Thompson threw a seven-count with his the fill ball. Suscreba defeated rookie Brent Tishuk of Belvidere, N.J., 248-184, in the other semifinal match.
● The Dec. 8-10 PBA Regional calendar includes the Petro TA South Open at Beltline Lanes in Columbia, S.C.. and the McKinley Lanes Central/East Challenge for non-championships in Niles, Ohio.
● Closing out the PBA’s pre-holiday regional season schedule will be the PBA/PBA50 Houston Southwest Open Doubles presented by Bowling Dynamix at Emerald Bowl in Houston, Texas.
● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple device users using the new PBA app).
● Shawn Switzer of Canyon Country, Calif., will receive a new Brunswick ball, Stacey Finnigan of Jordan, N.Y., has won a new high-performance ball from DV8, and Mark Wilks of Greenwell Springs, La., a new high-performance MOTIV ball as November sweepstakes prizes for subscribing to Xtra Frame. The monthly sweepstakes is sponsored by the respective PBA Product Registered partners. Monthly winners are selected from among new Xtra Frame subscribers, who are automatically entered when they enroll as a monthly or Xtra Frame Season Ticket (full year) subscriber.
● Francois Lavoie shares his views about his historic 300 game in the 2016 U.S. Open finals in a PBA Player’s Perspective now available on PBA’s YouTube channel. To stay current with all of the latest additions to PBA’s YouTube channel, be sure to “subscribe” when you visit YouTube.