Arizona’s Jakob Butturff Completes Business, Wins Third Title in Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic

INDIANAPOLIS ( – After leading the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic almost from the beginning, Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., finished his business at Woodland Bowl Sunday with a 244-154 victory over Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., to claim his third PBA Tour title.

Butturff, a 23-year-old left-hander, cruised to the $30,000 first prize behind an opening string of three strikes and another string of four late in the game after Kent ran into big trouble early in the game when he left three splits and failed to convert any of them.

It was an especially rewarding win for Butturff after leading the 2017 U.S. Open by a stunning 617 pins, only to lose the title to Rhino Page in the title match.

Photos from the PBA Players Draft at Woodland Bowl in 
Indianapolis, IN.  Sunday, Feb. 18 2018. (Photo Alan Petersime)“This title means the world to me,” Butturff said. “The thought of the U.S. Open was in my mind before practice, but I told myself I was not going to get my nerves get to me this time. When Marshall struggled early in the match, I just put my foot to the metal.

“Redemption was on my mind, but I just wanted to make a better showing than I did in the U.S. Open.”

Kent advanced to the championship match with a 218-210 win over two-handed lefty Keven Williams of Springfield, Mo., who had never finished higher than 34th place in his limited three-year PBA career. Kent jumped into an early lead with four strikes, but left the 2-8-10 split and a five-count “washout,” failing to convert either one to let Williams back into the match. After a strike nine-count in the 10th to give Williams a chance, the 25-year-old two-hander struck on his first shot in the 10th, but then left a 3 pin on his second shot to end his upset bid.

Japan’s Shota Kawazoe, in his debut on American television, rallied to defeat Indianapolis’ Matt Sanders in the opening match, 183-160. After starting with back-to-back splits and open frames, Kawazoe struck on four of his next five shots while Sanders, the 24-year-old 2017 PBA Rookie of the Year, was unable to strike until the seventh frame. A pair of splits and opens in the final two frames sealed his fate.

In the second match, Williams started his television debut with four strikes, but Kawazoe again came from behind, throwing four strikes in a row to take the lead into the 10th frame. Needing to convert the 10 pin in the 10th frame, the 16-time Japan PBA champion missed, handing Williams a 229-225 win and a berth in the semifinal match.

The Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic was the third event of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season and was part celebratory week that included the PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration dinner and hall of fame induction ceremonies Saturday. The PBA now heads to Columbus, Ohio, where Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl will host the season’s second major championship, the Barbasol PBA Players Championship, and the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship.

All preliminary rounds of the Players Championship and Roth-Holman Doubles Tuesday through Friday will be live streamed on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. To sign up, visit xtraframe.tv. The Players Championship finals will air live on ESPN next Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The Roth-Holman Doubles finals will be live streamed on ESPN3 at 5 p.m. and taped for delayed broadcast on ESPN on Sunday, March 25, at 2 p.m. All times are Eastern.

GO BOWLING! PBA 60TH ANNIVERSARY CLASSIC
Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, Feb. 18

Final Standings
1, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., $30,000.
2, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., $15,000.
3, Keven Williams, Springfield, Mo., $13,000.
4, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, $11,000.
5, Matt Sanders, Indianapolis, $10,000.

Stepladder Results
Match One – Kawazoe def. Sanders, 183-160.
Match Two – Williams def. Kawazoe, 229-225.
Semifinal Match – Kent def. Williams, 218-210.
Championship – Butturff def. Kent, 244-154.

New Hall of Famers, 2017 Award Winners Honored During PBA’s 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner

INDIANAPOLIS – On the eve of the finals of the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic finals at Woodland Bowl, a crowd of more than 300 PBA fans, industry leaders and members of the bowling news media gathered at the Marriott North for the PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner to recognize the PBA’s three newest Hall of Famers – Chris Barnes, Ron Mohr and the late Don Mitchell; its 2017 award winners and to officially begin a year-long celebration of 60 years of professional bowling at its finest.

Photos from the PBA Players Draft at Woodland Bowl in 
Indianapolis, IN.  Saturday, Feb. 17 2018. (Photo Alan Petersime)

Above from left, Jason Belmonte, Matt Sanders, Chris Loschetter, Del Ballard Jr.

Kicking off the evening, PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark introduced PBA’s four individual award winners. The entire celebration dinner was live streamed on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame.

PBA Hall of Famer Del Ballard Jr. of Keller, Texas, who converted his own battle with tonsil cancer into a successful, ongoing “Ballard Vs. the Big C” fund-raising program, was selected as the recipient of PBA’s Tony Reyes Memorial Community Service Award.

“This is such an honor because Tony Reyes was close to me as his tour rep when he won his PBA title. This award is very humbling,” Ballard said. “All I did to earn it was supply the cancer. My wife and friends did the rest.”

Ballard’s life changed in May 2010 when he was diagnosed with tonsil cancer. One evening after a treatment, the 13-time PBA Tour titlist, wife Carolyn and a handful of friends got together at Ballard’s house and laid the groundwork for what would become “Ballard Vs. The Big C” – or BVBC for short. As of 2017, BVBC has raised in excess of $300,000 to carry out research on cancer treatments focused on the head, neck and throat.

Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, was selected by his fellow competitors as the Steve Nagy PBA Sportsmanship Award winner.

“I bet 10 years ago a lot of didn’t think I’d win this award, but I’ve calmed down,” Loschetter said. “I’m in awe of how talented you guys are. Many of you should win this award, and I’m sure some of you will.

It’s been an amazing journey and I’m grateful you guys think I’m deserving. I’ll try to keep behaving myself on the lanes.”

Loschetter, a 37-year-old two-time PBA Tour champion, completed a nine-year quest for his first PBA Tour title in the 2012 Wolf Open in Milwaukee and won his second with the Merica Rooster Illusion team that won the 2016 PBA Team Challenge title while still in recovery from his own battle with cancer. Loschetter has been a member of the PBA League’s Philadelphia Hitmen since the program’s inception in 2013.

Matt Sanders, an Evansville, Ind., native now living in Indianapolis, was recognized as the 2017 Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year after winning two titles and leading a strong class of PBA rookies in both earnings and average.

“Just coming out here and living my dream is something special,” Sanders said. “I was lucky to have an awesome year and I loved every minute of it. Hopefully I can keep doing it.”

Sanders, a former two-time NAIA All-American with Marion University-Indiana, was the only rookie to win a PBA Tour title in 2017 (in the PBA Xtra Frame Billy Hardwick Memorial Open) and he concluded his first season with a fifth-place finish in the PBA World Championship.

For the fourth time in the past five seasons, Australia’s Jason Belmonte was recognized as the GEICO Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year.

“In my opinion this is the second greatest award a player can win behind being inducted into the hall of fame,” Belmonte said. “It isn’t something I take for granted; it inspires me to be better.”

Belmonte, after becoming the first player in PBA history to win three major championships among his four titles in 2017 and setting a PBA average record (229.39) in the process, was a landslide winner in Player of the Year voting. At age 34 he joined Mark Roth as a four-time winner of the award, trailing only Walter Ray Williams Jr.’s seven POY Awards, and the late Earl Anthony with six.

Mitchell, the first hall of fame inductee, succumbed to cancer in 2012 at age 80. He went from managing a small bowling center in Indianapolis to developing the Royal Pin Leisure Centers chain, which has hosted dozens of showcase events at all levels of bowling. Its centerpiece – Woodland Lanes on Indianapolis’ north side – has hosted every major championship the PBA has offered, which made it a natural choice to host the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic.

Mitchell’s bowling center empire grew from one center in 1974 to multiple centers with more than 300 lanes and five pro shops. He was a vocal advocate for the PBA as the sport’s most prominent promotional vehicle, and he put his money behind his passions. He was equally enthusiastic as a bowler, competing in 50 USBC Open Championships. He is the first bowling proprietor elected to the PBA Hall of Fame exclusively based on his role as a bowling center owner.

Following a video tribute from a number of players who were benefactors of Mitchell’s hospitality and dedicated, son David said, “I know Dad is looking down on us and smiling. We’re very appreciative of this award. Dad would probably say he was very proud to receive the award, but didn’t do much to earn it.

“Don Mitchell had bowling running through his blood,” David Mitchell continued. “He brought first-class bowling experiences to the bowlers of Indianapolis. If you asked bowlers on tour about their favorite bowling center, many of them would say Woodland Bowl. I know the recognition he’s receiving tonight would make him burst at the seams. It’s a great honor.”

Mohr was a late starter. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native moved to Alaska at age 23 and got a job in a bowling center in Anchorage. He began dating a girl whose father worked for the FAA at the time President Ronald Reagan fired all of the striking air traffic controllers who refused his order to return to work. Mohr wound up working as an air traffic controller in Alaska for 25 years.

He also had a chance to develop bowling skills and in 1988 earned a berth on Team USA, where he got his first taste of elite level competition. When he retired from his air traffic controller position in 2008, he decided to try the PBA50 Tour. In his breakout season in 2009, Mohr won three of his nine career PBA50 Tour titles en route to his first POY award (he won again in 2011). In nine full seasons as a “senior” bowler, he has finished in the top 10 in earnings and averages each year, and has never had a season averaging below 220. He currently is the two-time defending PBA60 Player of the Year.

In presenting Mohr, his friend and fellow PBA50 competitor Mike Dias said, “Ron’s workout regime is legendary. He does 45 consecutive minutes of sit ups every day. I get so tired watching, I have to get a drink. But Ron bowls like he works out. He puts everything he has into every shot.”

“Wow. What an incredible journey. Induction into the PBA Hall of Fame is an individual honor, but it doesn’t happen by yourself,” Mohr said, recognizing the many friends and industry associates who played a role in his career. He also thanked PBA Hall of Famer Marshall Holman, “my role model who showed me that intensity and passion can make great things happen.” Of Walter Ray Williams Jr. Mohr said, “he showed me the desire to win doesn’t diminish with age.” And of Parker Bohn III: “he shows us all the world would be a better place if we all had a little bit of Parker Bohn in us.”

Barnes, an 18-time PBA Tour title winner, was a consensus selection. He was a late-comer to PBA competition an All-America career at Wichita State University, a starring role with Team USA and a prolific nine-year career as a “professional amateur,” finally joining the PBA just before his 28th birthday.

The Kansas native, now living in Double Oak, Texas, is one of five players to win both PBA Rookie and Player of the Year honors, and one of six players to complete the PBA Triple Crown (2005 U.S. Open, 2006 PBA Tournament of Champions and 2011 PBA World Championship). Now 47, and he ranked among the top 10 in PBA earnings for 16 consecutive seasons, surpassing the $1 million milestone in career earnings in a then-record 170 events.

“When Chris called me to present him into the PBA Hall of Fame, I began to wonder what you had to do to get in,” said former PBA star and Barnes’ personal coach, Mark Baker. “There are a number of boxes to check off, and Chris checked them all.”

Baker said the first time he worked with Barnes, he asked Baker for help and Baker answered, “No thanks, I’m good.” Barnes asked, “What do you mean?” Baker responded, “You’re the best player in the world, I don’t want to screw you up.”

“It’s great to think my name will be among the greatest our sport has known, but nothing happens on its own,” Barnes said. “Looking back, I never thought of myself as a great player, but I kept driving myself to find out what was wrong and how I could fix it.

“I’ve probably received more help from coaches than anyone else in this room, mostly because I needed it,” he added.

“It’s been a life-long goal to stand up here tonight, to be able to stand atop the mountain, so thank you very, very much.”

The Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic weekend concludes Sunday with live ESPN coverage of the stepladder finals at Woodland Bowl at 1 p.m. EST. Finalists include No. 5 Shota Kawazoe of Japan; No. 4 Matt Sanders of Indianapolis; No. 3 Keven Williams of Springfield, Mo.; No. 2 Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., and No. 1 Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz.

TOC Champion Matt O’Grady First Pick as PBA League Managers Complete 2018 Team Rosters

INDIANAPOLIS ­– Matt O’Grady of Rahway, N.J., fresh off his first PBA Tour victory in last week’s PBA Tournament of Champions, was the first of 16 PBA members drafted Saturday at Woodland Bowl as the eight PBA League teams filled out their rosters for the 2018 PBA League Elias Cup competition April 20-22 at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

The PBA League Draft, held in Woodland Bowl’s Beer Thirty Lounge, began with OceanView at Falmouth Brooklyn Styles’ manager Johnny Petraglia, selecting O’Grady, a 31-year-old former Junior Team USA member, from a list of 49 eligible players.

“Matt has really dedicated himself the last six months,” Petraglia said. “He’s really stepped it up, worked hard to get himself into shape, and he’s a great competitor. He’s in a really good place and he’ll be a great addition to our team.”

“I’m elated,” O’Grady said. “I’ve never been selected (for PBA League competition) before and I know the atmosphere is something I’ll thrive in. I’m over the moon.”

O’Grady, who tends to exhibit his excitement in competition, will feel at home in the Bayside Bowl environment which traditionally features a full house of boisterous, exuberant fans.

Following O’Grady, Barbasol Motown Muscle manager Del Ballard Jr. picked Japan PBA star Shota Kawazoe, the No. 5 qualifier for Sunday’s Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic finals and another PBA League rookie. Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen manager Jason Couch also picked a PBAL first-timer, 2017 PBA Rookie of the Year Matt Sanders of Indianapolis.

PBA League veterans selected in the first round of picks included BJ Moore of Greensburg, Pa., by GEICO NYC WTT KingPins manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard; Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic top qualifier Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., by bowlingball.com L.A. X manager Andrew Cain; Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C., by Go Bowling! Silver Lake Atom Splitters manager Mark Baker; DJ Archer of Friendswood, Texas, by Port Properties Portland manager Tim Mack, and, with the final pick of the first round, Rhino Page of Orlando, Fla., by two-time defending champion Shipyard Brewing Dallas Strikers player-manager Norm Duke.

The final round of selections saw more members of the PBA’s youth movement getting a chance to experience PBA League competition for the first time: Anthony Pepe of Elmhurst, N.Y., with the KingPins; AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill., with the Atom Splitters; Thailand’s Yannaphon Larpapharat with the hometown Portland Lumberjacks, and, with the final pick of the draft, Kyle Sherman of O’Fallon, Mo., with the Strikers.

Photos from the PBA Players Draft at Woodland Bowl in 
Indianapolis, IN.  Saturday, Feb. 17 2018. (Photo Alan Petersime)“The PBA League has become so popular, and there are so many talented players who deserve to bowl in the league, you can’t help but be disappointed if you don’t get picked,” said PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark. “The only thing we can do at this point is encourage our players to keep trying. Remember that seven first-time players were selected this year.”

The draft order was in reverse order of how teams finished last year, beginning with the No. 8 OceanView Brooklyn Styles, followed by Barbasol Motown Muscle, GEICO NYC WTT KingPins, bowlingball.com L.A. X, Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen, Go Bowling! Silver Lake Atom-Splitters, Port Property Portland Lumberjacks and the two-time defending champion Shipyard Brewery Dallas Strikers.

The complete rosters for 2018, beginning with the three players each manager had earlier protected from his/her 2017 roster and followed by players drafted Saturday, includes the following:

● OceanView at Falmouth Brooklyn Styles (manager Johnny Petraglia): Parker Bohn III, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Sean Rash, Matt O’Grady, Jason Sterner.

● Barbasol Motown Muscle (manager Del Ballard Jr.): EJ Tackett, Francois Lavoie, Anthony Simonsen, Shota Kawazoe, Josh Blanchard.

● GEICO NYC WTT KingPins (manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard): Pete Weber, Marshall Kent, Sam Cooley, BJ Moore, Anthony Pepe.

● bowlingball.com L.A. X (manager Andrew Cain): Jason Belmonte, Stuart Williams, Martin Larsen, Jakob Butturff, Osku Palermaa.

● Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen (manager Jason Couch): Dom Barrett, Tom Smallwood, Ronnie Russell, Matt Sanders, Chris Loschetter.

● Go Bowling! Silver Lake Atom Splitters (manager Mark Baker): Chris Barnes, Jesper Svensson, Tom Daugherty, Dick Allen, AJ Johnson.

● Port Property Portland Lumberjacks (manager Tim Mack): Ryan Ciminelli, Wes Malott, Kyle Troup, DJ Archer, Yannaphon Larpapharat.

● Shipyard Dallas Strikers: player-manager Norm Duke, Tommy Jones, Bill O’Neill, Rhino Page, Kyle Sherman.

The PBA returns to Portland in April. After the PBA Xtra Frame Maine Shootout April 17-18 (a PBA Tour title event), all PBAL teams will bowl an eight-game Baker format “seeding tournament” on April 20. The PBAL quarterfinals will take place on April 21 with the No. 1 seeded team vs. No. 8 and No. 4 vs. No. 5 on the first ESPN show that airs on April 22, followed by team No. 2 vs. No. 7, and No. 3 vs. No. 6 in the show that will air on April 29. Semifinal and Elias Cup final matches will be contested on April 22 to air on ESPN on May 6 and 13, respectively.

TOC Champion Matt O’Grady First Pick as PBA League Managers Complete 2018 Team Rosters

INDIANAPOLIS ­– Matt O’Grady of Rahway, N.J., fresh off his first PBA Tour victory in last week’s PBA Tournament of Champions, was the first of 16 PBA members drafted Saturday at Woodland Bowl as the eight PBA League teams filled out their rosters for the 2018 PBA League Elias Cup competition April 20-22 at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

The PBA League Draft, held in Woodland Bowl’s Beer Thirty Lounge, began with OceanView at Falmouth Brooklyn Styles’ manager Johnny Petraglia, selecting O’Grady, a 31-year-old former Junior Team USA member, from a list of 49 eligible players.

“Matt has really dedicated himself the last six months,” Petraglia said. “He’s really stepped it up, worked hard to get himself into shape, and he’s a great competitor. He’s in a really good place and he’ll be a great addition to our team.”

“I’m elated,” O’Grady said. “I’ve never been selected (for PBA League competition) before and I know the atmosphere is something I’ll thrive in. I’m over the moon.”

O’Grady, who tends to exhibit his excitement in competition, will feel at home in the Bayside Bowl environment which traditionally features a full house of boisterous, exuberant fans.

Following O’Grady, Barbasol Motown Muscle manager Del Ballard Jr. picked Japan PBA star Shota Kawazoe, the No. 5 qualifier for Sunday’s Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic finals and another PBA League rookie. Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen manager Jason Couch also picked a PBAL first-timer, 2017 PBA Rookie of the Year Matt Sanders of Indianapolis.

PBA League veterans selected in the first round of picks included BJ Moore of Greensburg, Pa., by GEICO NYC WTT KingPins manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard; Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic top qualifier Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., by bowlingball.com L.A. X manager Andrew Cain; Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C., by Go Bowling! Silver Lake Atom Splitters manager Mark Baker; DJ Archer of Friendswood, Texas, by Port Properties Portland manager Tim Mack, and, with the final pick of the first round, Rhino Page of Orlando, Fla., by two-time defending champion Shipyard Brewing Dallas Strikers player-manager Norm Duke.

The final round of selections saw more members of the PBA’s youth movement getting a chance to experience PBA League competition for the first time: Anthony Pepe of Elmhurst, N.Y., with the KingPins; AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill., with the Atom Splitters; Thailand’s Yannaphon Larpapharat with the hometown Portland Lumberjacks, and, with the final pick of the draft, Kyle Sherman of O’Fallon, Mo., with the Strikers.

Photos from the PBA Players Draft at Woodland Bowl in 
Indianapolis, IN.  Saturday, Feb. 17 2018. (Photo Alan Petersime)“The PBA League has become so popular, and there are so many talented players who deserve to bowl in the league, you can’t help but be disappointed if you don’t get picked,” said PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark. “The only thing we can do at this point is encourage our players to keep trying. Remember that seven first-time players were selected this year.”

The draft order was in reverse order of how teams finished last year, beginning with the No. 8 OceanView Brooklyn Styles, followed by Barbasol Motown Muscle, GEICO NYC WTT KingPins, bowlingball.com L.A. X, Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen, Go Bowling! Silver Lake Atom-Splitters, Port Property Portland Lumberjacks and the two-time defending champion Shipyard Brewery Dallas Strikers.

The complete rosters for 2018, beginning with the three players each manager had earlier protected from his/her 2017 roster and followed by players drafted Saturday, includes the following:

● OceanView at Falmouth Brooklyn Styles (manager Johnny Petraglia): Parker Bohn III, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Sean Rash, Matt O’Grady, Jason Sterner.

● Barbasol Motown Muscle (manager Del Ballard Jr.): EJ Tackett, Francois Lavoie, Anthony Simonsen, Shota Kawazoe, Josh Blanchard.

● GEICO NYC WTT KingPins (manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard): Pete Weber, Marshall Kent, Sam Cooley, BJ Moore, Anthony Pepe.

● bowlingball.com L.A. X (manager Andrew Cain): Jason Belmonte, Stuart Williams, Martin Larsen, Jakob Butturff, Osku Palermaa.

● Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen (manager Jason Couch): Dom Barrett, Tom Smallwood, Ronnie Russell, Matt Sanders, Chris Loschetter.

● Go Bowling! Silver Lake Atom Splitters (manager Mark Baker): Chris Barnes, Jesper Svensson, Tom Daugherty, Dick Allen, AJ Johnson.

● Port Property Portland Lumberjacks (manager Tim Mack): Ryan Ciminelli, Wes Malott, Kyle Troup, DJ Archer, Yannaphon Larpapharat.

● Shipyard Dallas Strikers: player-manager Norm Duke, Tommy Jones, Bill O’Neill, Rhino Page, Kyle Sherman.

The PBA returns to Portland in April. After the PBA Xtra Frame Maine Shootout April 17-18 (a PBA Tour title event), all PBAL teams will bowl an eight-game Baker format “seeding tournament” on April 20. The PBAL quarterfinals will take place on April 21 with the No. 1 seeded team vs. No. 8 and No. 4 vs. No. 5 on the first ESPN show that airs on April 22, followed by team No. 2 vs. No. 7, and No. 3 vs. No. 6 in the show that will air on April 29. Semifinal and Elias Cup final matches will be contested on April 22 to air on ESPN on May 6 and 13, respectively.

Battle for Five Berths in ESPN Finals Set for Tonight in Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic

INDIANAPOLIS – Frontrunners Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., and Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., are relatively comfortable heading into the final round of match play in the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic at Woodland Bowl, but there will be an intense battle for the remaining three berths in Sunday’s ESPN finals during the pivotal eight-game round tonight.

The final match play round begins at 6 p.m. EST today. After 48 games, the top five players will advance to Sunday’s live ESPN stepladder finals at 1 p.m. EST.

Butturff, a 23-year-old left-hander who has hovered in or near the lead throughout the tournament, will be tournament leader after posting a 10-6 match play record and compiling 9,800 pins through the first 40 games. Kent, a 25-year-old right-hander, is second, 170 pins behind Butturff, with an 8-8 match play record and 9,630 total pins.

The chase for the final three five berths in Sunday’s finals will involve five players who are within less than 100 pins of making the show, and two longer-shots who are within a 200-pin range.

Keven Williams, a third-year PBA member who has never finished higher than 34th place, entered Friday night’s round in third place; 2017 PBA Rookie of the Year Matt Sanders of Indianapolis, was fourth; Japanese star Shota Kawazoe was fifth. Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich., trailed Kawazoe by 60 pins and Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., was seventh, 88 pins out of fifth. A bit further off the pace were Kris Prather of Plainfield, Ill., and Ronnie Russell of Marion, Ind., who were 133 and 168 pins out of fifth place, respectively.

The Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic is the second PBA Tour event of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season and is part of a series of celebratory events including the PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration dinner and hall of fame induction ceremonies Saturday.

All preliminary rounds, plus the annual PBA League Draft on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and the PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner Saturday at 6:30 p.m., will be live streamed on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. To sign up, visit xtraframe.tv.

GO BOWLING! PBA 60TH ANNIVERSARY CLASSIC

Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, Feb. 16

ROUND FIVE STANDINGS (after 40 games including match play bonus pins; top five after 48 games advance to ESPN stepladder finals Sunday at 1 p.m. EST)

1, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 10-6, 9,800.
2, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 8-8, 9,630.
3, Keven Williams, Springfield, Mo., 9-6-1, 9,579.
4, Matt Sanders, Indianapolis, 8-8, 9,449.
5, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 10-6, 9,443.
6, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 7-9, 9,383.
7, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 11-5, 9,355.
8, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 10-6, 9,310.
9, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 9-7, 9,275.
10, Richie Teece, England, 8-6-2, 9,218.
11, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 7-9, 9,212.
12, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 9-7, 9,192.
13, Dom Barrett, England, 9-6-1, 9,185.
14, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 8-7-1, 9,184.
15, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 6-9-1, 9,097.
16, AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 6-10, 9,095.
17, Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 8-8, 9,086.
18, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 8-8, 9,059.
19, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 7-9, 8,985.
20, Graham Fach, Canada, 7-9, 8,976.
21, Arturo Quintero, Mexico, 6-10, 8,872.
22, Charlie Brown Jr, Grandville, Mich., 8-8, 8,847.
23, Richard McCormick, Cincinnati, Ohio, 7-9, 8,703.
24, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 3-13, 8,646.

300 Games: none.

300 Game Helps Jakob Butturff Take Lead as Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic Enters Match Play

INDIANAPOLIS – Helped by the only perfect game of the round, 23-year-old Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., took the lead at the end of the cashers round in the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic Thursday at Woodland Bowl.

Butturff, an unorthodox double-jointed left-hander, entered the cashers round in a tie for second place, four pins out of the lead, but quickly overtook second-round leader Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., behind games of 268, 258, 290, 217, 185, 237, 300 and 209 for a 24-game average of 243.79 and a total of 5,851 pins – 98 pins ahead of Kent. Butturff is a two-time PBA Tour titlist, winning both titles during the 2016 season.

Following the cashers round, the field of 37 was trimmed to the top 24 for the start of round robin match play Thursday at 6 p.m. The finals two match play rounds are set for Friday at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST. After 48 games, the top five players will advance to Sunday’s stepladder finals.

Heading into the opening round of match play, Indianapolis’ Matt Sanders was in third place with 5,622 pins followed by two-hander Keven Williams of Springfield, Mo., with a 5,593 total and Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich., at 5,533 pins. Ronnie Russell of nearby Marion, Ind., was the other Hoosier to keep his title hopes alive, advancing in 13th place.

The Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic, dedicated to the organization’s 60th year of competition, is part of a season-long celebration will be the unveiling of the PBA’s 60 Most Memorable Moments, the PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration dinner and hall of fame induction ceremonies Saturday, and Sunday’s live 1 p.m. ESPN finals of the 60th Anniversary Classic. The Indianapolis tournament is part of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule.

All preliminary rounds, plus the annual PBA League Draft on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and the PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner Saturday at 6:30 p.m., will be live streamed on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. To sign up, visit xtraframe.tv.

GO BOWLING! PBA 60TH ANNIVERSARY CLASSIC

Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, Feb. 14

CASHERS ROUND STANDINGS (after 24 games, top 24 advance to round robin match play)

1, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 5,851.
2, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 5,753.
3, Matt Sanders, Indianapolis, 5,622.
4, Keven Williams, Springfield, Mo.,, 5,593.
5, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 5,533.
6, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 5,512.
7, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 5,495.
8, AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 5,480.
9, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 5,459.
10, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 5,428.
11, Graham Fach, Canada, 5,417.
12, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 5,400.
13, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 5,394.
14, Dom Barrett, England, 5,388.
15, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 5,374.
16, Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 5,363.
17, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 5,356.
18, Charlie Brown Jr, Grandville, Mich., 5,355.
18, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 5,355.
20, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 5,354.
21, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 5,345.
22, Richie Teece, England, 5,319.
23, Richard McCormick, Cincinnati, Ohio, 5,309.
24, Arturo Quintero, Mexico, 5,304.

Failed to advance

25, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 5,296, $2,000.
26, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 5,286, $1,950.
27, Patrick Girard, Canada, 5,274, $1,900.
28, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 5,262, $1,850.
29 (tie), Brad Miller, Maryland Heights, Mo., and Andres Gomez, Colombia, 5,260, $1,775.
31, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 5,248, $1,700.
32, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 5,241, $1,650.
33, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 5,240, $1,600.
34, Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 5,219, $1,550.
35, Darren Tang, San Francisco, 5,216, $1,500.
36, Gabriel Garcia, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 5,210, $1,450.
37, Tannya Roumimper, Indonesia, 5,117, $1,400.

300 Games: Jakob Butturff.

PBA Spare Shots: PBA to Reveal First of 60 Most Memorable Moments During Sunday’s ESPN Finals

For the past six months, the PBA has engaged in an extensive research project to try to identify “The 60 Most Memorable Moments in PBA History” with the help of past players, veteran bowling writers, industry representatives, etc.

The list that began with twice as many contending memories has been culled down to the 60 most memorable moments, and the top 10 will be revealed to the viewing public during Sunday’s live ESPN coverage of the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic…and Xtra Frame viewers will get a sneak peak at the top 10 during coverage of Saturday night’s PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration dinner.

The remaining 50 moments will be revealed systematically in the weeks ahead, as part of the PBA’s year-long celebration of its first 60 years.

“It isn’t a list of the best moments, or the most historic,” said PBA Vice President of Marketing Janay Haggerty, who coordinated the project. “It boils down to the moments that made for the greatest memories, and as any PBA fan knows, there are hundreds of great memories to choose from. It’ll be fun to hear the reaction of fans as we reveal the moments our panel of experts selected.”

The 60 Most Memorable Moments in PBA History will be revealed on all of the PBA Network’s media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, pba.com, etc. in the weeks ahead. To make sure you don’t miss out, follow the PBA on Facebook ((www.facebook.com/ProfessionalBowlersAssociation) or Instagram (pbatour), subscribe to the PBA channel on YouTube (PBABowling) and tweet along on Twitter (@pbatour).

FIELD OF ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES SET FOR SATURDAY’S PBA LEAGUE DRAFT

The list of eligible players for the 2018 PBA League Draft that takes place Saturday in Indianapolis has been confirmed. Each of the eight PBA League managers will select two players from the eligibility list beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET at Woodland Bowl. The draft will be lived streamed on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel.

The eligibility list consists of PBA members who are in the top 75 PBA on the National Tour/WBT earnings list for 2017 plus 2018 events through the just-completed PBA Tournament of Champions. No new names were added based on TOC results, but two players – Bryon Smith and Chris Warren – voluntarily withdrew their names from consideration.

The draft order will be reverse order of finish from last year, beginning with No. 8 Brooklyn followed by Motown, NYC, LA, Philadelphia, Silver Lake, Portland and Dallas.

The complete list of players who are already on team rosters includes the following:

● Shipyard Dallas Strikers: Player-manager Norm Duke, Tommy Jones, Bill O’Neill;
● Port Property Portland Lumberjacks: Ryan Ciminelli, Wes Malott, Kyle Troup;
● Go Bowling! Silver Lake Atom Splitters: Chris Barnes, Jesper Svensson, Tom Daugherty;
● Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen: Dom Barrett, Tom Smallwood, Ronnie Russell;
● bowlingball.com L.A. X: Jason Belmonte, Stuart Williams, Martin Larsen;
● GEICO NYC WTT KingPins: Pete Weber, Marshall Kent, Sam Cooley;
● Barbasol Motown Muscle: EJ Tackett, Francois Lavoie, Anthony Simonsen;
● Brooklyn Styles: Parker Bohn III, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Sean Rash.

Only 16 of the eligible players listed below (in alphabetical order) will be drafted, so it’s a certainty that a number of deserving players will have to wait another year:

Dick Allen
Andrew Anderson
Pontus Andersson
Brad Angelo
DJ Archer
Zeke Bayt
Josh Blanchard
Kim Bolleby
Charlie Brown
Jakob Butturff
AJ Chapman
Jeff Evans
Graham Fach
Trey Ford
Daniel Fransson
Andres Gomez
Rafiq Ismail
Liz Johnson
AJ Johnson
Shota Kawazoe
Nick Kruml
Yannaphon Larpapharat
Thomas Larsen
Brian LeClair
Chris Loschetter
Francois Louw
Shawn Maldonado
Danielle McEwan
Matthew McNiel
Brad Miller
BJ Moore
Brandon Novak
Matthew O’Grady
Greg Ostrander
Rhino Page
Osku Palermaa
Anthony Pepe
Connor Pickford
Kristopher Prather
Matthew Sanders
Kyle Sherman
Jason Sterner
John Szczerbinski
Darren Tang
Richie Teece
Chris Via
Cameron Weier
Zacharay Wilkins
Dave Wodka

The PBA League will return to Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, in April. After the PBA Xtra Frame Maine Shootout April 17-18 (a PBA Tour title event), all PBAL teams will bowl an eight-game Baker “seeding tournament” on April 20. The PBAL quarterfinals will take place on April 21 with the No. 1 seeded team vs. No. 8 and No. 4 vs. No. 5 on the first ESPN show that airs on April 22, followed by team No. 2 vs. No. 7, and No. 3 vs. No. 6 in the show that will air on April 29. Semifinal and Elias Cup final matches will be contested on April 22 to air on ESPN on May 6 and 13, respectively.

EVEN AT 84, CARMEN SALVINO ISN’T PLEASED WITH LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE

At 9 a.m. on Tuesday, PBA Hall of Famer Carmen Salvino made history again, throwing a ball in Professional Bowlers Association competition at age 84 to become the oldest player ever to compete in a PBA Tour event. He got nine pins on his first shot, converted his spare and completed game one with a respectable 204.

The only person in the field who also bowled in the first PBA tournament ever held (1959, Albany, N.Y.), Salvino had a mixed day. He followed his 204 with games of 146, 135, 152, 169, and just when you might think he was tired or ready to throw in the towel, he had a 205 followed by a 258 before closing with a 131. For his 16 qualifying games, he averaged a modest 178, disappointing by personal standards he set in a 17-title career spanning all 60 years of the PBA’s existence, but he partly blamed himself.

The biggest issue, he noted, was his recent lack of bowling in a competitive environment to get ready for the tournament.

“You can’t practice for PBA Tour lane conditions at home. When you get out here, moving from one pair of lanes to the next, things change so much it’s like bowling one game in this center and the next game in a completely different center,” he said, offering sound advice for any would-be PBA competitor. “You can’t practice for this level of competition by bowling in league play back home.”

Salvino concluded his tournament by bowling his final qualifying round Wednesday evening, but he wouldn’t concede this was his final PBA Tour event. “I bowled in the 50th anniversary event. I bowled in the 60th anniversary event and I’ll probably bowl in the 70th anniversary tournament,” he said. “I just hope the news media is still around to cover it when I do.”

Visit “In the News” on pba.com later in the week for links to newspaper and television features about Salvino’s historic appearance in Indianapolis.

TELECAST TIMES CHANGE FOR BARBASOL PBA PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP, DOUBLES FINALS

The live ESPN finals of the Barbasol PBA Players Championship from Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl next Sunday has been changed from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST, the PBA has learned. In addition, the finals of the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship, also being held in Columbus, Ohio, will be delayed by 30 minutes, which means live streaming coverage on ESPN3 will begin at 5 p.m. The taped finals will air on ESPN as scheduled on Sunday, March 25, at 2 p.m. EST.

ESPN also has advised it will re-air the Players Championship finals on ESPN2 on Saturday, March 3, at 9 a.m. EST.

CONCRETE SOFTWARE’S “BEAT THE 60TH ANNIVERSARY CLASSIC” CHAMPION CHALLENGE BEGINS MONDAY

In honor of Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s 60th Anniversary season, the PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game is offering players a PBA 60th Anniversary tournament inside the new Anniversary venue. To enter, download PBA Bowling Challenge and start bowling on Monday, Feb. 19 at noon. Beat the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic winner’s score, and you’ll be eligible to win the sweepstakes.

The Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic finals air Sunday at 1 p.m. EST on ESPN. Each tournament score that beats the winner’s score will count as an entry. One entry will be randomly selected as the winner and will receive a bowling pin signed by the winner plus 5,000 Gold Pins! Players can enter scores as often as they wish between 1 p.m. EST on Feb. 19 and 12:59 a.m. EST on Feb. 26. Here is a link to the official rules http://bit.ly/PBA60th_OfficialRules.

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

MARSHALL KENT PROVIDES HIS “PERSPECTIVE” ON 2017 OKLAHOMA OPEN VICTORY

Marshall Kent reveals personal insights into his 2017 victory over Chris Barnes to win the Oklahoma Open in Shawnee, Okla., in the newest edition of PBA Player’s Perspective on Xtra Frame. The feature debuts today.

The Xtra Frame Player’s Perspective series presents a new inside look at PBA competition every Thursday, followed a week later by availability of the exclusive interview on PBA’s YouTube channel. Recent Perspective’s include Pete Weber (2012 U.S. Open). Rhino Page (2017 PBA Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Group Classic); Chris Barnes (2015 DHC PBA Japan Invitational) Tom Daugherty (2016 Wolf Open) and EJ Tackett/Tommy Jones (2017 FireLake Tournament of Champions). Additional perspectives will be announced in the coming weeks.

Xtra Frame subscription packages are offered for three days, a full month or a 12-month Xtra Frame Season Ticket. Visit xtraframe.com for details on how to subscribe.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: AMATEURS WIN IN “CHALLENGE” DOUBLEHEADER

Amateurs Justin Mandell of Orlando, Fla., and Hector Valenzuela of Whitsett, N.C., were victorious in Sunday’s PBA and PBA50 BreakPoint Alley Challenge events in Tavares, Fla. Both tournaments, presented by DV8, were open to bowlers who had not previously won a PBA title.

Mandell defeated Anthony Coats of Pflugerville, Texas, 203-191, to win the standard challenge event and $1,600. Valenzuela defeated Craig Auerbach of Sunrise, Fla., 186-171, in the PBA50 event for a $1,500 payday. Neither player earned credit for a PBA title because they were not PBA members at the time they won.

● The PBA South Region’s second weekend of competition includes the PBA50 Dave Edwards Toyota Spartanburg South Open at Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C., over the Feb. 16-18 weekend.

● 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).

Indiana Native Matt Sanders Takes Early Second Round Lead in Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana native Matt Sanders, the 2017 Professional Bowlers Association Rookie of the Year, was feeling under the weather, but didn’t bowl like it in rolling into the early second round lead in the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic Wednesday at Woodland Bowl.

The 24-year-old left-hander rolled games of 204, 222, 258, 278, 237, 279, 278 and 216 for 1,977 pins for the round and a 16-game total of 3,887 pins to pace the 73 players on B Squad, who completed their qualifying round Wednesday afternoon. The 75 players on A Squad bowled their final eight-game qualifying round at 4 p.m. EST.

Sanders, a former NAIA All-American with Marian University, was scoring at a 242.94 pace in build a 89-pin lead over Kris Prather of Plainfield, Ill., after 16 games. Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich., was third among the early finishers with 3,751 pins.

“I got off to a slow start, but once I got going, I bowled pretty well,” said Sanders, an Evansville native who recently relocated to Indianapolis. “It would really mean a lot to win a title in my home state, but I have to make it to the stepladder finals first.”

Sanders won his first PBA Tour title in the Xtra Frame Billy Hardwick Memorial Open in Memphis last June. He also finished fifth in the 2017 PBA World Championship and finished sixth in last week’s PBA Tournament of Champions, missing the ESPN finals by 10 pins.

In addition to Sanders, fellow Hoosiers Ronnie Russell of Marion (fifth place) and EJ Tackett of Huntington (17th) were in solid position to remain in contention for the 60th Anniversary Classic title.

The Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic is special tournament at the heart of a week dedicated to the organization’s birth in 1958 and 60 years of competition. Included in the season-long celebration will be the unveiling of the PBA’s 60 Most Memorable Moments, the PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration dinner and hall of fame induction ceremonies Saturday, and Sunday’s live 1 p.m. ESPN finals of the 60th Anniversary Classic.

Based on 16-game qualifying totals, the top 37 players now advance to an eight-game cashers round Thursday at 9 a.m. After 24 qualifying games, the top 24 will bowl eight-game head-to-head match play rounds Thursday at 6 p.m. and Friday at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. All preliminary rounds, plus the annual PBA League Draft on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and the PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner Saturday at 6:30 p.m., will be live streamed on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. To sign up, visit xtraframe.tv.

GO BOWLING! PBA 60TH ANNIVERSARY CLASSIC

Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, Feb. 14

EARLY SECOND ROUND STANDINGS (Squad B leaders after 16 games; Squad A bowled its final 8 games at 4 p.m. Wednesday)

1, Matthew Sanders, Evansville, Ind., 3,887.
2, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 3,798.
3, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 3,751.
4, Keven Williams, Springfield, Mo., 3,722.
5, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 3,697.
6, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 3,684.
7, Richie Teece, England, 3,665.
8, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 3,654.
9, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 3,636.
10, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 3,634.
11, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 3,615.
12, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 3,607.
13, Arturo Quintero, Mexico, 3,598.
14, Charlie Brown Jr, Grandville, Mich., 3,597.
15, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 3,596.
16, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 3,594.
17, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 3,584.
18, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 3,568.
19, Tannya Roumimper, Indonesia, 3,567.
20, Richard McCormick, Cincinnati, Ohio, 3,560.
21, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 3,552.
22, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 3,544.
23, Jason Sterner, Rockledge, Fla., 3,539.
24, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 3,525.
25, Yannaphon Larpapharat, Thailand, 3,524.

300 Games: Russ Oviatt, Richard McCormick.

Anthony Pepe Averages 252 to Take Early First Round Lead in Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic

INDIANAPOLIS – Anthony Pepe, a 29-year-old left-hander from Elmhurst, N.Y., averaged 252 for his first eight games in the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic Tuesday to take the early first round lead at Woodland Bowl by 20 pins fellow lefty Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz.

Pepe, who is trying for his second Professional Bowlers Association Tour title, had a dazzling round, rolling games of 254, 266, 258, 257, 279, 202, 256 and 245 for a 2,017 total to pace the 75 players on A Squad. B squad, the other half of the tournament field, bowled its opening round at 4 p.m. EST.

Pepe, who came into the 2018 season off a solid performance in the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX in Reno, Nev., in late November, said he had a game plan for playing the lanes at Woodland Bowl based on previous experiences in the center.

“The biggest thing was I had an arsenal of bowling balls in wanted to use, and I was able to make the ball choices quickly,” Pepe said. “I also came into the season with a lot of confidence after the World Series. After Matt O’Grady won the PBA Tournament of Champions last week, he said it was proof of what hard work can do, and I couldn’t agree more.”

The Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic is a one-time special event on the PBA schedule, commemorating the organization’s birth in 1958 and 60 years of memorable competition. Over the course of the next few weeks, the PBA will unveil its 60 Most Memorable Moments. This week’s tournament began with 84-year-old PBA Hall of Famer Carmen Salvino of Chicago (at left), who bowled in the first PBA tournament held in 1959, becoming the oldest bowler ever to participate in a PBA Tour event, and it will include the PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration dinner and hall of fame induction ceremonies Saturday, leading into Sunday’s live 1 p.m. ESPN finals of the 60th Anniversary Classic.

Qualifying continues Wednesday with B and A squads bowling another eight games at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., respectively. After 16 games, the top 37 players will advance to an eight-game cashers round Thursday at 9 a.m. After 24 qualifying games, the top 24 will bowl eight-game head-to-head match play rounds Thursday at 6 p.m. and Friday at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. All preliminary rounds, plus the annual PBA League Draft on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and the 60th Anniversary Celebration dinner at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, will be live streamed on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. To sign up, visit xtraframe.tv.

GO BOWLING! PBA 60TH ANNIVERSARY CLASSIC

Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, Feb. 13

EARLY FIRST ROUND STANDINGS (Squad A top 60 after 8 games; Squad B bowled its 8 games at 4 p.m.)

1, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 2,017.
2, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 1,997.
3, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 1,945.
4, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 1,924.
5, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 1,869.
6, Darren Tang, San Francisco, 1,868.
7, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 1,855.
7, Aaron Lorincz, Center Line, Mich., 1,855.
9, Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 1,853.
10, Gabriel Garcia, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 1,832.
11, Dom Barrett, England, 1,821.
12, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 1,814.
13, Ryan Ciminelli, Clarence, N.Y., 1,797.
14, Stuart Williams, England, 1,796.
15, Pontus Andersson, Sweden, 1,794.
16, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 1,791.
17, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 1,788.
18, AJ Chapman, Wichita, Kan., 1,782.
19, Tim Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., 1,781.
20, Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 1,775.
21, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 1,770.
22, Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., 1,759.
23, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 1,756.
24, Zacharay Wilkins, Canada, 1,755.
24, Kristian Sieradzki, Seminole, Fla., 1,755.
26, Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 1,754.
27, Dwight Adams, Greensboro, N.C., 1,752.
28, Brad Miller, Maryland Heights, Mo., 1,750.
29, Matthew O’Grady, Rahway, N.J., 1,744.
30, Trey Ford III, Bartlesville, Okla., 1,743.
30, Mitch Beasley, Clarksville, Tenn., 1,743.
32, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 1,742.
33, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 1,736.
34, Jean Perez, Puerto Rico, 1,734.
35, Kyle Sherman, O’Fallon, Mo., 1,727.
36, Andrew Klingler, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1,725.
37, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 1,723.
38, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 1,719.
39, Patrick Girard, Canada, 1,717.
40, Michael Tang, San Francisco, Calif., 1,716.
40, Graham Fach, Canada, 1,716.
42, Christopher Sloan, Ireland, 1,715.
43, Marco Moretti, Costa Rica, 1,709.
44, Jeff Evans, Supply, N.C., 1,705.
45, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 1,703.
46, Cameron Weier, Tacoma, Wash., 1,695.
47, Kim Bolleby, Thailand, 1,689.
48, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 1,688.
48, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 1,688.
50, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 1,685.
51, Steven Arehart, Chesapeake, Va., 1,672.
52, Kyle Bigelow, Troy, Ohio, 1,668.
53, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 1,662.
54, Rhino Page, Orlando, 1,659.
55, John Furey, Freehold, N.J., 1,654.
55, Daniel Fransson, Sweden, 1,654.
57, JR Raymond, Clinton Twp., Mich., 1,631.
58, Chris Arcaro, Carolina Beach, N.C., 1,626.
59, Mitch Hupe, Towanda, Kan., 1,621.
59, Markus Jansson, Sweden, 1,621.

300 Games: Gary Faulkner Jr., Marshall Kent.

Matt O’Grady Defeats Jesper Svensson to Win 53rd PBA Tournament of Champions

FAIRLAWN, Ohio  – Advancing from a pre-tournament qualifier earlier in the week all the way to the title match, four-time Professional Bowlers Association regional tournament winner Matt O’Grady of Rahway, N.J., won the 53rd PBA Tournament of Champions Sunday for his first PBA Tour title.

O’Grady, whose best previous PBA Tour finish was fourth, won three stepladder finals matches at AMF Riviera Lanes before beating top qualifier and 2016 Tournament of Champions winner Jesper Svensson, 207-193, in the title match of the first major of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season.

O’Grady held a three-pin lead over Svensson in the eighth frame but was able to pull away when he struck in the ninth frame and the first shot in the 10th frame. Except for strikes in the second and third frames, Svensson was not able to put another string of strikes together for the rest of the match.

_F6Q6226“I feel like I’m sleepwalking—it’s a dream come true,” said the 31-year-old O’Grady, who won PBA’s signature event which requires a player to be a PBA champion to be eligible to enter. “It just shows you what hard work can do. I’ve been working hard the past year to be able to compete at this level.

“I admit that in the past I haven’t been as disciplined as I should be to be competitive out here on tour,” O’Grady added. “I just had to commit to putting my head down, grit my teeth, and do the hard work you have to do.”

For Svensson, it was his second consecutive runner-up finish in a major after finishing second in the PBA World Championship, the final major of the 2017 season.

O’Grady, who became the first player since Dave D’Entremont in the 1996 Tournament of Champions to win four stepladder matches for the title, started the championship round with a 219-174 victory over PBA regional winner BJ Moore of Greensburg, Pa., who finished fifth.

In the second match, O’Grady met four-time and reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte of Australia, who was trying for a record-tying 10th major and third Tournament of Champions title. Needing a double in the 10th frame to pull out the win, Belmonte struck on the first ball but left a 10 pin on a pocket hit on the second shot giving O’Grady the 229-225 win.

Belmonte, who was the No. 3 qualifier, made a dramatic run to the finals just barely advancing to match play in the 24th and final position. Had he won, he would have been only the fourth player to win a major from that position.

“That was like climbing the mountain to win that match,” O’Grady said. “Obviously, I still had a lot of work to do but there was a lot of relief after beating Jason, especially with everything he was bowling for.”

Belmonte, who finished fourth, will have another opportunity to win a 10th major when the Barbasol PBA Players Championship is held Feb. 19-25 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in Columbus, Ohio.

In the semi-final match, O’Grady beat Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich., a second-year tour player who owns one regional title as a PBA member, 194-185.

Anderson and Moore also had to qualify through the tournament’s pre-tournament qualifier which was for non-tour winners who owned a title in one of PBA’s other divisions.

The 2018 Tournament of Champions marked the return of PBA’s signature tournament to historic AMF Riviera Lanes where it had been conducted from 1966 to 1994.

The PBA Tour moves to Indianapolis for the Go Bowling! 60th Anniversary Classic at Woodland Bowl which begins Tuesday and will conclude with the stepladder finals next Sunday (Feb. 18) at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.

PBA TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
AMF Riviera Lanes, Fairlawn, Ohio, Sunday

Final Standings
1, Matt O’Grady, Rahway, N.J., $50,000.
2, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, $25,000.
3, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich. $13,000.
4, Jason Belmonte, Australia, $11,000.
5, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., $10,000.

Stepladder Results:
Match One – O’Grady def. Moore, 219-174
Match Two – O’Grady def. Belmonte, 229-225.
Semifinal Match – O’Grady def. Anderson, 194-185.
Championship – O’Grady def. Svensson, 207-193.

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