Kris Prather Averages 239 to Lead Qualifying in PBA Xtra Frame Billy Hardwick Memorial Open

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Florida native Kris Prather, newly-relocated to Plainfield, Ill., averaged 239 for eight games Saturday to lead the top 24 qualifiers into Sunday’s final rounds in the Professional Bowlers Association’s Xtra Frame Billy Hardwick Memorial Open presented by Chris Hardwick at Billy Hardwick’s All Star Lanes.

Prather, a former Wichita State University collegiate star who is trying for his first title, fired games of 199, 289, 206, 244, 193 and 223 before closing his round with games of 168 and 290 for a 1,912 total and a 70-pin lead over 40-year-old PBA Tour veteran Mike Wolfe of New Albany, Ind. Wolfe is a five-time PBA Tour titlist; Prather, 25, is trying for his first title in his third year as a touring pro.

Australia’s Sam Cooley was third with 1,794 pins followed by Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C., at 1,792 and Cody Shoemaker of Hanover, Pa., with a 1,786 total.

The Hardwick Open is a “throwback” tournament named in honor of the late PBA Hall of Famer. It presents players with a one-of-a-kind challenge, requiring all bowlers to compete with only two polyester plastic bowling balls which lack the aggressive hooking power of contemporary high-tech balls.

The parity created by the plastic ball restriction was evident at the “cut” number where Johnathan Bower of Middletown, Pa., and amateur Mykel Holliman of Collierville, Tenn., tied for the last advancing spot for Sunday’s cashers round with 1,663 pins, a modest 207.8 average. Another 11 players were within 30 pins of the cut number.

The tournament is one of nine PBA Xtra Frame events in 2017 season that are being covered live in their entirety, exclusively by PBA’s Xtra Frame live streaming service, which is seen by bowling fans around the world. For Xtra Frame subscriptions, visit Subscription packages are available for three days ($2.99), 30 days ($7.99) and a full year (about $1.25 a week).

Sunday’s finals will begin with a four-game cashers round at 8 a.m. CDT, followed by the top 16 players advancing to three-game single-elimination match play rounds at 11 a.m. (qualifiers 9-16), 1:30 p.m. (winners plus qualifiers 5-8), and 4 p.m. (winners plus qualifiers 1-4). The four survivors will bowl a one-game match at 6:30 p.m., with the top two scores advancing to the one-game championship match at 7 p.m. All times are Central


presented by Chris Hardwick

Billy Hardwick’s All Star Lanes, Memphis, Tenn., Saturday

Final Qualifying Standings (after 8 games)

1, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., 1,912.
2, Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 1,842.
3, Sam Cooley, Australia, 1,794.
4, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 1,792.
5, Cody Shoemaker, Hanover, Pa., 1,786.
6, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 1,753.
7, Isaac Kim, Lebanon, Pa., 1,739.
8, n-Wesley Low Jr., Palmdale, Calif., 1,730.
9, Trevor Roberts, Crystal River, Fla., 1,729.
10, Jeff Evans, Supply, N.C., 1,727.
11, Zulmazran Zulkifli, Malaysia, 1,724.
12, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 1,723.
13, Brian LeClair, Delmar, N.Y., 1,720.
14, Francois Louw, South Africa, 1,719.
15, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 1,706.
16, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 1,705.
17 (tie), Matt Sanders, Evansville, Ind., and n-Tommy Berish III, Cordova, Tenn., 1,683.
19, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 1,674.
20, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 1,672.
21, Kim Bolleby, Thailand, 1,670.
22, AJ Chapman, Wichita, Kan., 1,668.
23 (tie), Johnathan Bower, Middletown, Pa., and n-Mykel Holliman, Collierville, Tenn., 1,663.

Failed to advance:

25, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 1,659.
26, Pontus Andersson, Sweden, 1,656.
27, Stoney Baker, Canton, Ga., 1,655.
28, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 1,653.
29, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 1,650.
30, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 1,648.
31, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 1,638.
32, n-Michael Brewer, Memphis, Tenn., 1,636.
33, Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 1,633.
34, Graham Fach, Canada, 1,625.
35, Kyle Sherman, O’Fallon, Mo., 1,623.
36, Matt Taylor, Youngsville, N.C., 1,615.
37, n-Vic Culbreth, Cordova, Tenn., 1,614.
38, Kristian Sieradzki, Seminole, Fla., 1,607.
39, Adam Monks, Conway, S.C., 1,606.
40, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 1,601.
41, CJ Kirchner, Herrin, Ill., 1,600.
42 (tie), David Krol, Nixa, Mo., and n-Kamron Doyle, Brentwood, Tenn., 1,579.
44, n-Jeff Atkins, Hot Springs Village, Ark., 1,563.
45 (tie), Dave Wodka, Beavercreek, Ohio, and Mark Smith, Memphis, Tenn., 1,562.
47, n-Christopher Forrester, Memphis, Tenn., 1,554.
48, Michael Houtz, Myerstown, Pa., 1,548.
49, Ramon Hilferink, Netherlands, 1,544.
50 (tie), Zachary Wright, Roseburg, Ore., and Thomas Berish Jr., Cordova, Tenn., 1,542.
52, n-Ross Jenner, Collierville, Tenn., 1,523.
53 (tie), n-Michael Brownlee, Memphis, Tenn., and Tommy Martin, Olive Branch, Miss., 1,522.
55, Christian Smith, Cordova, Tenn., 1,503.
56, n-David White, Collierville, Tenn., 1,500.
57, Wendell Barger, Dry Ridge, Ky., 1,499.
58, n-Rudy Kasimakis, Baldwyn, Miss., 1,491.
59, Christopher Sloan, Ireland, 1,482.
60, n-Richard Howell, Collierville, Tenn., 1,478.
61, Seth Hillis, Lebanon, Tenn., 1,476.
62, n-John Rutigliano, Cordova, Tenn, 1,467.
63, n-Tim Hartigan, Tupelo, Miss., 1,456.
64, n-Chucky Minter, Jackson, Tenn., 1,450.
65, n-Kenneth Corley, Memphis, Tenn., 1,428.
66, n-Josh Turberville, Tupelo, Miss., 1,402.
67, n-Chris Goodwin, Southaven, Miss., 1,396.
68, n-Danny Schubert, Byhalia, Miss., 1,392.
69, n-Matt Hartigan, Tupelo, Miss., 1,378.
70, n-Jimbo Martin, Covington, Tenn., 1,356.
71, n-Tim Parlow, Memphis, Tenn., 1,341.
72, Mark Payne Sr., Amarillo, Texas, 1,339.
73, n-Russ Wheeler, Memphis, Tenn., 1,336.

n-denotes non-member.

PBA Spare Shots: Will Tommy Jones Remove Wes Malott’s Crown in Pay-Per-View King of Bowling Duel?

The question of the week is, can Wes Malott retain his “King of Bowling” crown one more time against a sure-fire future PBA Hall of Famer, South Carolina’s Tommy Jones?

In an online vote, PBA fans selected Jones – an 18-time PBA Tour titlist, former Rookie and Player of the Year – as Malott’s opponent for the next chapter of PBA’s King of Bowling challenge series. The exclusive best-of-three-game Xtra Frame pay-per-view match will take place Monday at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., prior to the start of PBA’s Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Oklahoma Open.

The pay-per-view match will begin with a pre-game show at 7:40 p.m. EDT on Monday with the match starting at 8 p.m. It’s easy to sign up and costs only $2.99. All money generated from PPV fees will be awarded as prize money to the winning bowler. (Xtra Frame subscribers please note: this is a special event and is not included in your subscription package).

To sign up, click here:!liveevent?EV_pid=3794

Malott, nicknamed “Big Nasty” and “Sir Strikes-a-Lot,” has successfully defended his King of Bowling crown six consecutive times, dating back to the original series held at Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Fla., in 2009. Most recently he won the revival of the competition in April in Portland, Maine, where he rolled a 721 series to defeat reigning PBA Player of the Year EJ Tackett (664) and Australia’s Jason Belmonte, PBA Player of the Year the three previous years (640). Malott’s victims in Lake Wales included, in order: Chris Barnes, 268-214; Patrick Allen, 258-234; Walter Ray Williams Jr., 300-238; Rhino Page, 257-233, and Parker Bohn III, 300-223.

PBA Hall of Famer Randy Pedersen will man the Xtra Frame announce booth and Chris Barnes, the first player Malott dispatched to start his winning streak, will work the event as Xtra Frame’s “sideline reporter.” Barnes will be in the settee with the players asking them questions before, during and after the match.


Headlining Xtra Frame’s upcoming live streaming schedule will be the “throwback” PBA Xtra Frame Billy Hardwick Memorial Open presented by his son, Chris Hardwick, from Billy Hardwick’s All Star Lanes in Memphis, Tenn., Saturday and Sunday, followed by qualifying round coverage of the PBA Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Oklahoma Open from FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., June 27-30.

Two days of live ESPN coverage of the Oklahoma Open’s nine-player stepladder finals is set for Saturday and Sunday, July 1-2, at 1 p.m. EDT both days. Live ESPN coverage also will be available on ESPN and the WatchESPN app.

The Hardwick Memorial Open, which will limit all players to using two low-tech polyester plastic bowling balls for the duration of the tournament, is the sixth PBA Xtra Frame Tour event of the season, offering a $10,000 first prize and a PBA Tour title if the winner is a PBA member.

This week’s PWBA Tour coverage focuses on the qualifying and match play rounds of the Go Bowling PWBA Players Championship from The Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley in Green Bay, Wis. today and Saturday, leading to the live CBS Sports Network stepladder finals Sunday at 10 a.m. CDT. Coverage of PWBA’s Orlando Open will follow June 30-July 1.

Xtra Frame’s July schedule includes the Teen Masters from Richmond, Va., July 5-7; the PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open from Seminole, Fla., July 7-8; the Proprietors Cup from Beavercreek, Ohio, July 8-9; the Nationwide PWBA Rochester (N.Y.) Open, July 14-15; the PBA50 South Shore Open from Hammond, Ind., July 25-27; the XF Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles from Copperfield Bowl in Houston, Texas, July 28-30, which will award PBA and PWBA Tour titles; and the PBA50 Dave Small’s Championship Lanes Classic from Anderson, Ind., July 30-Aug. 1. For broadcast time and other details, check under the “schedules” tab on

Xtra Frame subscription packages are available for three days, 30 days and a full year. To sign up, visit for details.

PBA fans also can follow real-time results for PBA50, PBA Xtra Frame Tour and all PBA Regional events by visiting the “live scoring” feature on PWBA live scoring is available on


Due to the re-scheduling of World Bowling Men’s World Championships and end-of-year World Bowling Tour events in the Middle East, the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by the PBA have been added to the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX ESPN television schedule.

The WBT Finals, featuring the three men and three women who are leading PBA International-World Bowling Tour points lists at the end of the PBA World Championship in Reno, will be held following the PBA World Championship stepladder finals at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno on Sunday, Nov. 19.

WBT points events yet to be contested include the Sweden WBT in Malmo, Sweden, Aug. 14-28, and the Thailand WBT in Bangkok, Sept.30-Oct.

Construction of a new Kuwait Bowling Center in Kuwait City has been delayed, forcing World Bowling to move its Men’s World Championship to the South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, Nov. 24-Dec. 4, following PBA’s WSOB IX in Reno. The Kuwait construction issue also led to the cancellation of planned WBT events in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. World Bowling has awarded the 2021 World Championships to Kuwait.


Bob Hileman of Portage, Ind., a three-time PBA Midwest Region Pat Patterson Award winner, has been named recipient of the 2017 Jim Jaryszak Laneman Award by the United States Bowling Congress Equipment Specifications and Certifications team in recognition of his behind-the-scenes work as a laneman.

“It was a total surprise,” said Hileman, who competed in 205 PBA Regional events, winning his only title in Raytown, Mo., in 2002. “I’m deeply honored and humbled at the same time. Jim Jaryszak and I were very good friends, and I miss him dearly. To have my name associated with all the lanemen in the world – Lenny Nicholson, John Davis, everyone – I’m quite honored.”

Hileman has been the laneman at Stardust Bowl II in Merrillville, Ind., for more than 35 years. He was instrumental in running PBA national and regional events held at Stardust Bowl, including the PBA Tour Trials. He earned his Pat Patterson Awards for individual contributions toward the PBA Midwest Region program.

Past recipients include Sam Baca, the PBA’s first Director of Lane Maintenance; Kegel founder John Davis, and PBA Tour titlist John Forst, who died hours after receiving his award in 2016 of circumstances related to terminal brain cancer. Len Nicholson, also a former PBA director of lane maintenance and a member of the PBA Hall of Fame, was the first recipient of the award.


Darren Andretta of New Hyde Park, N.Y., defeated Matt O’Grady of Rahway, N.J., 258-230, to win the PBA Homefield Bowl Open presented by MOTIV at Homefield Bowl in Yonkers, N.Y., Sunday.

The win, his first in seven years of membership, proved a perfect Father’s Day gift to his father Bob. His father, also a PBA member, arrived during the match play finals along with the rest of the Andretta family.

Andretta, who earned $3,000, compiled a 10-2 match play record to qualify second. He defeated Jon Van Hees of Charlestown, R.I., 257-209, in the semifinal match to advance to the championship game. Van Hees eliminated defending champion Billy Asbury of Odenton, Md., 224-205, in the preliminary match.

Brian Menini from Brookfield, Mo., thwarted David Beres’ bid for his eighth PBA Regional title, 258-172, and won the second annual Glo Bowl Midwest Open, presented by Samuel Adams and Global 900, in Marengo, Ill.

The match turned in Menini’s favor when he converted the 3-4-6-7 split in the sixth frame. Beres was unable to string strikes and when he left a 7 pin in the ninth frame, Menini doubled in the 10th to claim his second PBA Regional title and the $2,300 winner’s check.

Menini, who finished qualifying in eighth place, defeated top qualifier AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill., 3-1, in the best-of-five-game Round of 8 and earned his way to the championship match by defeating Nathan Michalowski of Brookfield, Wis., 2-0, in the best-of-three semifinal round. Beres advanced by defeating Christopher Hill of Franklin, Wis., 3-1, in the Round of 8 and defending champion Tom Hess of Urbandale, Iowa, 2-0, in the semifinal round.

Greg Young of Viera, Fla., rallied to defeat Orlando’s Shawn Naumann, 195-247, 258-236, 234-177, in a best-of-three-game championship match between amateur players to win the PBA Timmy See Memorial South Open presented by MOTIV at Nassau Bowling Lanes in Yulee, Fla., Sunday.

Young, a former three-time Junior Team USA member, earned $2,500 for the win but he doesn’t get credit for a PBA title because he’s a non-member.

In the semifinal round, Young defeated Brandon Curtis of Manson, N.C., 2-1, while Naumann also rallied from a 1-0 deficit to defeat Jeff Evans of Supply, N.C., 2-1, in the semifinal round.

Craig Nidiffer of Trenton, Mich., defeated Matt Sanders of Evansville, Ind., 279-268, to win the PBA Greater Marion Central Open presented by MOTIV at BlueFusion Fun Center in Marion, Ohio, Sunday. Nidiffer claimed his fourth career PBA region title along with the $2,500 first prize.

Sanders defeated Kyle Cook of Centerville, Ohio, 289-247, to advance to the championship match. In the first stepladder match, Cook downed J.R. Raymond of Clinton Twp., Mich., 235-216.

● A busy schedule of PBA Regional events is on tap for the June 23-24 weekend, including the Pro Bowl West Central/Midwest Challenge presented by Roto Grip in Fort Wayne, Ind.; the PBA50 Ultimate Inserts Midwest Open presented by Hammer at Lakeside Lanes in Davis, Ill., and the PBA/PBA50 Sands Regency Doubles presented by MOTIV at High Sierra Lanes in Reno, Nev.

● The June PBA Regional calendar closes and July begins with the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Southwest Doubles at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., on June 30, preceding the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Oklahoma Open. Also scheduled for the June 30-July 2 weekend is the PBA and PBA50 Vanessa Brown Homes West Opens, both presented by Columbia 300 at Yosemite Lanes, in Modesto, Calif.

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

Bowling Proprietors, PBA Join Hands to Create Go Bowling! PBA Tour

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In a landmark partnership between bowling organizations, the Professional Bowlers Association and Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America have announced that will be the umbrella sponsor of the Go Bowling! PBA Tour between December 2017 and July 2018, with an option to renew for an additional year.

The partnership was announced by BPAA Executive Director Frank DeSocio, BPAA President Nancy Schenk and PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark during International Bowl Expo in Nashville, Tenn.

As part of the partnership agreement, The Go Bowling! PBA Tour will be showcased on 18 ESPN telecasts, beginning with programming from the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IV in Reno in December, and extending through July 2018 to include five CBS Sports Network telecasts. Additionally, The Go Bowling! PBA Tour will have a significant presence on at least eight PBA Xtra Frame Tour events in 2018, all of which will be live-streamed exclusively via PBA’s online bowling channel.

“This partnership gives a full-year marketing platform to talk to bowlers and non-bowlers through the PBA Tour,” DeSocio said.

“The more people who go bowling, the more we all benefit,” Schenk added. “That’s what we’re looking to achieve.”, created by BPAA as the go-to website for millions of Americans looking for a place to go bowling, has been recently revamped to provide an even stronger connection between bowlers young and old, novice or professional, worldwide, providing news, tips, videos, contests and promotional offers as well as the sport’s most comprehensive guide to help people find information about more than 1,800 BPAA-member bowling centers across America.

“Working together with, Strike Ten Entertainment and BPAA bowling centers to promote the PBA is great for the game and illustrates positive bowling industry unity,” Clark said.  “We appreciate BPAA Executive Director Frank DeSocio, BPAA President Nancy Schenk and the entire board’s shared vision that investing in the PBA and promoting the sport together will make for a spectacular year.

“The PBA is experiencing an electrifying surge of young talent while the greats of the game continue to contend from event to event, making for interesting events and historic accomplishments on the lanes, Clark added. “We can’t wait to get started.”

As part of the partnership, the Go Bowling! message will receive a wide variety of additional benefits, including:

● Commercial spots, billboards and signage during PBA telecasts and on all Xtra Frame events;

● Title sponsorship for two PBA Tour events to be determined, plus presenting sponsorship of the 2018 Chris Paul CP3 Celebrity Invitational;

● Sponsorship of a PBA League team;

● Logo identification on six top PBA Tour players;

● Introduction of a new Go Bowling! fan engagement segment during each telecast;

● Extensive exposure to mainstream news media and PBA’s global social media audience through all aspects of the PBA Network.

Another special benefit will be subscriptions to PBA’s Xtra Frame online video subscription service to any BPAA-member bowling center that requests a subscription, courtesy of Strike Ten Entertainment. The pre-paid subscriptions will allow participating bowling centers to provide their customers with hundreds of hours of exclusive programming, including preliminary rounds of all PBA and PWBA Tour events, start-to-finish coverage of the PBA50 Tour and PBA Xtra Frame Tour tournaments, and much more.

At BPAA’s option, the Go Bowling! PBA Tour program may be renewed for an additional year.

About is the destination for bowling fans and enthusiasts seeking news and information about one of America’s favorite pastimes and the nation’s number one participatory sport.  With more than 67 million people taking to the lanes every year, is a one-stop location where people of all ages can go to satisfy their love of bowling. Consumers turn to every day to find bowling fun – discovering new bowling centers, tips and tricks to use on the lanes, event news and great deals at more than 1,800+ family-friendly bowling centers across the country.

About BPAA
Founded in 1932, the mission of Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA) is to enhance the profitability of its members.  Headquartered in Arlington, Texas at the International Bowling Campus, the BPAA provides it’s over 3,500 member centers with group purchasing programs, business and educational seminars, legislative representation and proactively promotes the association and bowling industry.  For additional information please visit or call 1-800-343-1329.

About the PBA

The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) is an organization of more than 3,000 of the best bowlers from 27 countries who compete in PBA Tour, PBA International Tour, PBA Regional Tour, PBA Women’s Regional and PBA50 Tour events. The PBA is in its 58th consecutive year of nationally-televised competition, reaching bowling fans around the world who follow PBA activities through the PBA Network which includes Xtra Frame, the PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel, ESPN and CBS Sports Network, and the PBA on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. PBA sponsors include Barbasol, Brunswick, Ebonite International, GEICO,, Grand Casino Hotel and Resort,, Main Event Entertainment, MOTIV, 900 Global, PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game, Storm Products and the United States Bowling Congress, among others. For more information, log on to

Belmonte, Tackett and Lavoie Nominated for 2017 Best Bowler ESPY Award

Three of PBA’s standout performers over the past year – reigning GEICO Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year EJ Tackett, three-time Player of the Year Jason Belmonte, and 2016 Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year Francois Lavoie – have been nominated by ESPN for the 2017 Best Bowler ESPY Award.

The ESPYs honor excellence in sports performance and achievements in several categories over the past year, as decided in popular voting by fans. Voting is now open for bowling fans to choose their favorite by clicking on

Awards will be announced Wednesday, July 12 during the ESPYs telecast in Los Angeles beginning at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC. Voting will be open until the start of the ESPYs telecast.

Belmonte, Australia’s two-handed star, is hoping for his third consecutive ESPY Award and fourth overall. After a strong season without winning a title in 2016, Belmonte reasserted his dominance in PBA Tour major championships early in 2017, winning a record fourth USBC Masters title and the Barbasol PBA Players Championship to bring his total to eight career majors. His 2016 season included five top-five finishes in the second half of 2016 including a fourth-place finish in the PBA World Championship.

Tackett was the dominant player in the second half of 2016, highlighted by his first major in the PBA World Championship. He continued his hot streak into 2017, winning his second major title in the 2017 FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions after capturing the DHC Japan Invitational title.

In 2016 Lavoie became the first Canadian to earn Rookie of the Year honors and the second Canadian to win a PBA Tour title. The Quebec City native not only won Bowling’s U.S. Open, but became the first player in the tournament’s history to bowl a nationally-televised 300 on his way to the win. He captured his second title in the 2016 PBA Shark Open, and his third early in 2017 in the PBA Xtra Frame Greater Jonesboro Open.


2016 – Jason Belmonte

2015 – Jason Belmonte

2014 – Pete Weber

2013 – Pete Weber

2012 – Sean Rash

2011 – Jason Belmonte

2010 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.

2009 – Norm Duke

2008 – Norm Duke

2007 – Norm Duke

2006 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.

2005 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.

2004 – Pete Weber

2003 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.

2002 – Pete Weber

2001 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.

2000 – Parker Bohn III

1999 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.

1998 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.

1997 – Bob Learn Jr.

1996 – Mike Aulby

1995 – Norm Duke

Tackett, Belmonte to Meet in Main Event PBA Tour Finals Title Match

EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., dominated the Group Two finals match against Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., setting up a showdown with Australia’s Jason Belmonte to decide the title in the inaugural Main Event PBA Tour Finals at Main Event Entertainment.

The Group Two finals aired Tuesday on CBS Sports Network. The Main Event PBA Tour Finals will air next Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. EDT.

Tackett, PBA’s reigning Player of the Year and a seven-time PBA Tour title winner at age 24, soundly defeated Jones in a two-game, total pinfall match, 470-396, to advance to the championship match along with Belmonte, who eliminated Sweden’s 22-year-old Jesper Svensson, 482-479, in the Group One final match.

The Main Event PBA Tour Finals is a new event featuring the top eight PBA members in total earnings over the past 30 months, divided into two pods of four players for a combination of round-robin match play and stepladder matches. Belmonte earned his place in the elite field of eight by leading all PBA players in total earnings over the past two-and-a-half years with $352,967 while Tackett was second with $319,690.

While Belmonte had to dispatch three opponents, including Svensson, to win the Group One berth in the finals, Tackett only had to beat one player, but Jones appeared poised to pull off the same kind of upset Belmonte accomplished. After struggling through the four-game match play portion of the event, Jones came into the Group Two stepladder round as the no. 4 qualifier. In the opening match, Jones nipped no. 3 Dom Barrett of England, 214-212, when Barrett left the 4-7-10 split in the 10th frame for his only mistake in the match.

Fueled by his good fortune in match one, Jones was nearly perfect in the semifinal match against no. 2 qualifier Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y., winning, 290-248. Jones’ only flaw was leaving a 10 pin in the first frame, which he converted.

It looked like Jones was going to continue his torrid pace against Tackett in the two-game final match, striking on four of his first five shots to take a 31-pin lead after five frames. But then he missed a 10 pin in the sixth frame and failed to convert the 3-4-6-7 split in the sixth. Tackett missed a 4 pin in his fourth frame, but then threw six consecutive strikes to erase his deficit and take a 26-pin lead after game one, 236-210.

Tackett then blew the match open, starting game two with four strikes while Jones couldn’t solve the changing lane conditions. Two big splits resulted in open frames for Jones and Tackett rolled to a 234-186 win to lock up his berth in the Main Event PBA Tour Finals championship match, where he’ll face an adversary he has yet to beat in a nationally-televised title match.

“I bowled a good game against Ryan (Ciminelli) and then EJ broke the lanes down a little different,” Jones said. “His rev rate is so high and I moved right into his traffic, and from there I didn’t make very good choices.”

“We both had our struggles but I was able to figure it out a little better than Tommy. That’s the way it is sometimes,” Tackett said. “I wound up playing a little deeper than him – maybe just a board or two – but it was enough to make him start guessing a little bit. A couple of shots got a little high, but at that point it was just a matter of making better shots.”

Belmonte, a nine-year PBA Tour veteran at age 33, was PBA Player of the Year three straight years before Tackett ended his streak in 2016. The Australian two-handed star owns 14 PBA Tour titles including eight majors. One of the majors was the 2014 USBC Masters when he defeated the top-seeded Tackett in the title match. Belmonte also defeated Tackett, the no. 1 qualifier, in the 2014 Oklahoma Open title match.

Going into the Main Event title match, Belmonte and Tackett have each won two titles in 2017. In addition to a $30,000 first prize, one of the two will become the PBA Tour’s first three-title winner in 2017 and take an early edge in the PBA Player of the Year race heading into the second half of season.


Main Event, Orlando, Fla., (aired Tuesday on CBS Sports Network)

Group Two Stepladder Round:

Match One (loser earns $3,000): Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., def. Dom Barrett, England, 214-212.

Match Two (loser earns $3,000): Jones def. Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 290-248.

Group Two Final Match (two games, total pinfall): EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind. (236-234) def. Jones (210-186), 470-396. (Tackett advances to the championship match; Jones advances to the third- and fourth-place match).

Championship Finals Pairings (to air on CBS Sports Network on June 27 at 9:30 p.m. EDT)

Third-Fourth Place Match: Jesper Svensson vs. Tommy Jones.

Championship (three games, total pinfall): Jason Belmonte vs. EJ Tackett.

PBA Tour Returns to Shawnee to Kick Off Second Half of 2017 Season with Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Oklahoma Open

The Professional Bowlers Association returns to Shawnee, Okla., to kick off the second half of its 2017 season with a field of stars representing 16 countries competing in the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Oklahoma Open.

The Oklahoma Open will culminate with a unique nine-player, two-day live ESPN stepladder finals airing on July 1 and 2 conducted on specially-built lanes in the Grand Event Center inside the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort.

After qualifying rounds that will be contested June 27-30 at nearby FireLake Bowling Center, players qualifying fifth through ninth will begin the stepladder eliminations on Saturday, July 1 at noon CDT (1 p.m. EDT). The player who survives Saturday’s competition will advance to the five-player stepladder finals on Sunday, July 2 at noon CDT that will decide the championship.

Qualifying and match play rounds will be webcast live on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame. For subscription and schedule information visit

A capacity field of 96 PBA Tour players is expected to compete in the inaugural tournament which marks the 13th stop of the 2017 PBA Tour season. The Tour made its first appearance of the season in Shawnee in February for the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions which was won by reigning PBA Player of the Year EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind.

Countries represented, in addition to the U.S. are Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, Ecuador, England, Finland, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand and Venezuela.

The week will kick off on June 26 at 7 p.m. CDT (8 p.m. ET) with the Xtra Frame PBA King of Bowling Challenge (delete “Challenge”) special Pay-Per-View event which will pit reigning “King” and 10-time PBA Tour winner Wes Malott against 18-time Tour winner Tommy Jones. Both players, who are former Players of the Year, will compete in a best-of-three match to decide who will continue on as “King” in the series.  Xtra Frame coverage will begin with a pre-game show at 6:40 p.m. CDT (7:40 p.m. EDT). As a special Pay Per View event, the King of Bowling is $2.99 (including for those who already have an Xtra Frame subscription) with all subscription money going to the prize fund of the event.

Oklahoma Open competition will include eight-game qualifying rounds June 27, 28 and 29 on the PBA’s Wolf, Bear and Badger lane conditioning patterns at the FireLake Bowling Center. The top 33 players based on 24-game pinfall totals will advance to another eight-game qualifying round on the Oklahoma Open lane condition June 30 which will determine nine players who will compete in the July 1 and 2 finals. The leading qualifier will have the right to select which of the four lane conditions will be used for the stepladder finals.

In addition to the live ESPN telecasts, the finals will be available to bowling fans on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app as they happen.

Daily passes for qualifying and match play rounds at the FireLake Bowling Center June 27-30 are $10. Daily passes for both days of stepladder finals at the Grand Casino Event Center are $20. VIP weekend passes are $35 and will allow admittance 30 minutes earlier than day pass holders for priority seating. Additional admission and ticket information is available by visiting


FireLake Bowling Center/Grand Event Center, Shawnee, Okla. (all times are Central)

Monday, June 26

FireLake Bowling Center

2 p.m. – Practice session A

5 p.m. – Practice session B

7 p.m. – King of Bowling competition on Xtra Frame

Tuesday, June 27

FireLake Bowling Center

10 a.m. – A squad qualifying (8 games)

4 p.m. – B squad qualifying (8 games)

Wednesday, June 28

FireLake Bowling Center

10 a.m. – A squad qualifying (8 games)

4 p.m. – B squad qualifying (8 games)

Thursday, June 29

FireLake Bowling Center

10 a.m. – A squad qualifying (8 games)

4 p.m. – B squad qualifying (8 games)

Top 33 after 24 games advance to cashers round

Friday, June 30

FireLake Bowling Center

8:30 a.m. – Cashers qualifying round (8 games)

Top 9 players after 32 games advance to live ESPN stepladder finals

Saturday, July 1

Grand Event Center

Noon – Live ESPN stepladder finals (to determine places 6-9)

Sunday, July 2

Grand Event Center

Noon – Live ESPN stepladder finals (to determine places 1-5)

Tuesday on CBS Sports Network: Indiana’s EJ Tackett Leads Group Two Stepladder Field in Bid for Main Event PBA Tour Finals Championship Berth

Reigning PBA Player of the Year EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., led the Group Two round-robin match play qualifiers in the inaugural Main Event PBA Tour Finals, and is a two-game match away from a berth in the championship match of the Professional Bowlers Association’s newest showcase event.

The four-player Group Two stepladder round will air Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. EDT on CBS Sports Network, with no. 3 qualifier Dom Barrett of England facing no. 4 Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., in the opening match. The Barrett-Jones winner will then meet no. 2 qualifier Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y., in a one-game match for the right to bowl against Tackett in the two-game, total pinfall final match.

Tackett, one of five players in the PBA’s 58-year history to win both Rookie and Player of the Year awards, rolled through the round-robin match play portion of the PBA Tour Finals with a 3-1 record, rolling games of 237, 227, 299 and 231. Despite losing to Ciminelli’s 268 in the final match game, Tackett held onto the top qualifying position for the stepladder round by 33 pins.

The winner of the Group Two stepladder round will advance to the Main Event PBA Tour Finals championship match, a three-game, total pinfall contest against Australia’s Jason Belmonte who won the Group One stepladder round. The Group Two runner-up will bowl one game against Sweden’s Jesper Svensson to decide the third- and fourth-place finishers.

The championship round will air on CBS Sports Network on Tuesday, June 27, at 9:30 p.m. EDT. First prize in the new PBA Tour event is $30,000 plus a PBA Tour title.

Each of the CBS Sports Network telecasts will be re-broadcast. Check your local listings for times and dates.

PBA Returns to Memphis for “Throwback” Tournament Honoring the Late PBA Hall of Famer Billy Hardwick

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Professional Bowlers Association will make a unique appearance in Memphis June 23-25 for the inaugural PBA Xtra Frame Billy Hardwick Memorial Open presented by Chris Hardwick, a tournament that will honor the late PBA Hall of Famer by requiring the top bowlers in the world to compete in a limited technology event that will present them with a one-of-a-kind challenge.

Billy Hardwick’s All Star Lanes will host the event, which will be covered from first ball to last by PBA’s Xtra Frame, an online live streaming service that will reach a global bowling audience. It will be the first PBA Tour event in Memphis since 2002 when Brian Voss won the Memphis Open at Winchester Lanes.

One of the unique aspects of the tournament is that all players will be limited to using two bowling balls each, and those balls must be approved polyester plastic that were state-of-the-art more than 30 years ago. The restriction on the number of balls a player can use, and limitations on technology involved in the balls, will place a premium on shot-making, accuracy and the ability to make adjustments without simply changing to a different ball or a different ball drilling configuration.

The bowling ball restrictions, in combination with a low-volume application of oil on the lanes, is expected to create scoring conditions similar to those Hardwick faced when he became an 18-time champion, and PBA’s first Triple Crown winner, in the early years of organized professional bowling. Hardwick, who was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1977, died in 2013 at age 73. Hardwick was ranked No. 12 – right behind the legendary Don Carter – on the list of the 50 Greatest Players in PBA History during the organization’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2009.

The Billy Hardwick Memorial will be a revival of the PBA Plastic Ball Championship events held in 2008 (Jeff Carter), 2009 (amateur Brian Ziesig) and 2010 (Jason Couch). A full field of 80 bowlers is expected to compete for the $10,000 first prize. Among the early entries are bowlers from Sweden, Thailand, The Netherlands, Japan, Canada, Denmark, South Africa, Ireland, Australia and Malaysia.

PBA Tour title-winners among the early entries include Memphis’ Gary Faulkner Jr., the 2015 PBA World Champion; Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C.; Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas; Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y.; PBA Hall of Famer Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla.; Tom Daugherty of Riverview, Fla.; Graham Fach of Canada; Thomas Larsen of Denmark; Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio; Jake Peters of Henderson, Nev.; Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas; Jesper Svensson of Sweden; Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C.; Dave Wodka of Beavercreek, Ohio, and Mike Wolfe of New Albany, Ind.

All nine of the PBA’s Xtra Frame tournaments during the 2017 season will be covered live in their entirety, exclusively by PBA’s Xtra Frame live streaming service, which is seen by bowling fans around the world. For Xtra Frame subscriptions, visit Subscription packages are available for three days ($2.99), 30 days ($7.99) and a full year (about $1.25 a week).

Competition begins on Saturday, June 24, with eight-game qualifying beginning at 1 p.m. CDT. After qualifying, the top one-third of the field will advance to a four-game cashers round at 8 a.m. Sunday, followed by the top 16 players advancing to three-game single-elimination match play rounds at 11 a.m. (qualifiers 9-16), 1:30 p.m. (winners plus qualifiers 5-8), and 4 p.m. (winners plus qualifiers 1-4). The four survivors will bowl a one-game match at 6:30 p.m., with the top two scores advancing to the one-game championship match at 7 p.m. All times are Central

A practice session is scheduled for 3-5 p.m. on Friday, June 23, and a pro-am event where grassroots amateur bowlers can bowl with the pros will be conducted at 6 p.m. For tournament pro-am and admission information contact Billy Hardwick’s All Star Lanes at (901) 683-2695.

presented by Chris Hardwick
Billy Hardwick’s All Star Lanes, Memphis, Tenn. (All times Central)

Friday, June 23
3-5 p.m. – Practice Session
6 p.m. – Pro-am

Saturday, June 24
1 p.m. – Eight qualifying games
Top 1/3 advance to Cashers Round

Sunday, June 25
8 a.m. – Cashers Round (four games)
Top 16 advance
11 a.m. – Round One: Qualifiers 9-16, three-games total pinfall single-elimination matches
1:30 p.m. – Round Two: Qualifiers 5-8 plus Round One winners, three-games total pinfall single-elimination matches
4 p.m.  – Round Three: Qualifiers 1-4 plus Round Two winners, three-games total pinfall single-elimination matches
6:30 p.m. – Round Four: Round Three winners, one game, top two advance
7 p.m. – Championship: Round Four winners, one game

Michael Haugen Jr. Wins Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open For First PBA50 Tour Title

PBA50 Tour rookie Michael Haugen Jr. of Phoenix, a five-time winner on the PBA Tour, won the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open presented by Storm Friday for his first title on PBA’s tour for players 50 and over.

In a championship where both players could not find a consistent line to the pocket, Haugen defeated Brian LeClair of Delmar, N.Y., 173-158, in the championship match at the Suncoast Bowling Center in Las Vegas.

“It wasn’t pretty but winning ugly is part of the deal in this sport, too,” said Haugen, who was the top qualifier for the finals. “I didn’t do it the way I wanted but a win is a win.”

Both players opened in the first frame which was a sign of what was to come for the rest of the match. LeClair, who was trying for his third win of the season, handed the match to Haugen when he left the 3-6 in the eighth frame and missed both pins on his spare attempt.

SSS_1230 copy“While I was waiting for the title match I could see the lanes (conditions) were changing quickly and it was going to be a challenge,” Haugen said. “For the first part of the game I usually play the pins and then I start playing my opponent.

“When Brian missed that spare I had to make an educated guess and try to make something happen. Fortunately, I guessed right, got the strike in the ninth and finally felt comfortable about keeping the ball in play to finish the match.”

It was Haugen’s second major title on the national stage with his first coming in PBA’s signature tournament, the Tournament of Champions in 2008. In 2003, he finished second to PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. in the PBA Tour’s U.S. Open.

“When you’re bowling for a major title like this, strange things can happen,” Haugen added. “You just call on all the experience you have and hope it’s enough.”

Previously this season, Haugen had three championship round appearances with best finishes of third in the PBA50 Players Championship and Pasco County Florida Open. He also finished fifth in the Race City Open.

LeClair, the no. 4 qualifier got off to a strong start winning the opening stepladder match, 224-193, against Australian Andrew Frawley. He then went on to beat three-time PBA50 Tour winner Lennie Boresch Jr. of Kenosha, Wis., 220-191, before edging out Harry Sullins of Chesterfield Twp., Mich. in the semi-final, 185-183.

Sullins’ third-place finish was his fifth top-five in the Senior U.S. Open. In addition to a runner-up finish in 2016, he has another third-place finish, which came in 2011, fourth in 2009 and fifth in 2010. He was trying for his second PBA50 major title with his first coming in the 2009 PBA Senior World Championship.

Trying for his third consecutive Senior U.S. Open title, Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., faded in the final round of match play finishing 13th for the tournament.

The season’s other PBA50 major winners were Bryan Goebel of Shawnee, Kan., who won the PBA50 Players Championship, and Williams, who won last week’s USBC Senior Masters.

The PBA50 Tour takes a five-week break before resuming July 24-27 with the PBA50 South Shore Open presented by DV8 at Olympia Bowl in Hammond, Ind.


Presented by Storm

Suncoast Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Friday

Final Standings

1, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, $10,000.

2, Brian LeClair, Delmar, N.Y., $6,000.

3, Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., $4,500.

4, Lennie Boresch Jr., Kenosha, Wis., $4,000.

5, Andrew Frawley, Australia, $3,500.

Stepladder Results

Match One – LeClair def. Frawley, 224-193.

Match Two – LeClair def. Boresch, 220-191.

Semi-final Match – LeClair def. Sullins, 185-183.

Championship – Haugen def. LeClair, 173-158.

SEVENTH ROUND (after 42 games. Includes match play record and total pinfall including match win bonus pins. Top five advanced to stepladder finals)

1, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 18-6, 9,802.
2, Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., 15-8-1, 9,683.
3, Lennie Boresch Jr., Kenosha, Wis., 16-7-1, 9,659.
4, Brian LeClair, Delmar, N.Y., 13-10-1, 9,588.
5, Andrew Frawley, Australia, 14-9-1, 9,554.
6, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 11-12-1, 9,540, $3,000.
7, Bob Learn Jr., Erie, Pa., 13-10-1, 9,520, $2,700.
8, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 12-11-1, 9,517, $2,400.
9, Mika Koivuniemi, finland, 12-11-1, 9,510, $2,200.
10, Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 13-11, 9,501, $2,000.
11, Ted Staikoff, Black Hawk, S.D., 12-12, 9,469, $1,950.
12, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 14-10-0, 9,467, $1,900.
13, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 13-11, 9,435, $1,850.
14, Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 9-15, 9,420, $1,800.
15, Eddie Graham, Centerville, Ohio, 12-12, 9,341, $1,750.
16, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 14-10, 9,287, $1,700.
17, Ron Mohr, Las Vegas, 12-12, 9,255, $1,650.
18, Brian Voss, Centennial, Colo., 11-12-1, 9,247, $1,600.
19, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 11-12-1, 9,173, $1,550.
20, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 7-17, 8,954, $1,500.

SIXTH ROUND (after 36 games. All players advanced to seventh round)

1, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 13-5, 8,351.
2, Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., 13-5, 8,298.
3, Bob Learn Jr., Erie, Pa., 11-6-1, 8,242.
4, Brian LeClair, Delmar, N.Y., 10-7-1, 8,196.
5, Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 11-7, 8,175.
6, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 12-6, 8,170
7, Lennie Boresch Jr., Kenosha, Wis., 12-5-1, 8,161
8, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 8-9-1, 8,159.
9, Andrew Frawley, Australia, 11-6-1, 8,121.
10, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 10-8, 8,106.
11, Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, 9-9, 8,084.
12, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 8-9-1, 8,046.
13, Ted Staikoff, Black Hawk, S.D., 9-9, 8,012.
14, Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 6-12, 7,982.
15, Ron Mohr, Las Vegas, 9-9, 7,929.
16, Brian Voss, Centennial, Colo., 8-9-1, 7,915.
17, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 9-8-1, 7,876.
18, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 11-7, 7,838.
19, Eddie Graham, Centerville, Ohio, 7-11, 7,808.
20, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 6-12, 7,748.

Fans Choose Tommy Jones as Wes Malott’s Challenger For Next King of Bowling Xtra Frame Competition

The fans have spoken and 18-time PBA Tour winner Tommy Jones will be next in line to challenge Wes Malott for the title of “King of Bowling.”

PBA fans were invited to help decide “who’s got next”  in trying to remove Malott’s crown in the renewal of the PBA’s exclusive Xtra Frame pay-per-view competition that will take place on Monday, June 26, at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., preceding the start of PBA’s Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Oklahoma Open.

The results of the voting were as follows: Tommy Jones won with 26% of the vote followed by Chris Barnes (24%), Sean Rash (24%), Pete Weber (20%) and Walter Ray Williams Jr. (6%). All of the players on the ballot were former PBA Players of the Year in the last 10 years plus Weber, who is the reigning PBA50 Player of the Year.

The pay-per-view match will begin with a pre-game show at 7:40 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 26, with the match starting at 8 p.m. Fans can sign up next week to watch the match for $2.99 on All money generated from PPV fees will be awarded as prize money to the winning bowler.

Malott, a 10-time PBA Tour winner, who dominated the original King of Bowling series held at Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Fla., in 2009, successfully defended his throne – and kept his crown – when he won the revival of the competition on April 12 in Portland, Maine, defeating reigning PBA Player of the Year EJ Tackett and Australia’s Jason Belmonte, PBA Player of the Year the three previous years, with a 721 series. Tackett had a 664 series and Belmonte a 640 in the three-game, total pinfall contest.

Fans were asked to pick Malott’s next challenger through or PBA’s Twitter account voting which started on June 12.

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