PBA Returns to CBS Sports Network in with PBA Tour Finals from Historic Thunderbowl Lanes in Detroit

CHICAGO – Eight elite Professional Bowlers Association stars who have dominated PBA’s earnings chart over a span of more than two years will compete in the historic Thunderbowl Lanes arena in Allen Park, Mich., May 5-6, in the second edition of the PBA Tour Finals.

The special event marks PBA’s return to CBS Sports Network for a series of five two-hour prime-time telecasts as part of the 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule.

As the 2017 PBA Tour season comes to a close, leading the list of qualifiers for the 2018 event, based on total PBA Tour earnings for 2016 and 2017 as of Nov. 1, are defending champion EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., followed by Australia’s Jason Belmonte; Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas; Jesper Svensson, Sweden; Dom Barrett, England; Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C.; Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., and Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill.

In 2017, Tackett won the inaugural PBA Tour Finals in Orlando, Fla., with a 666-628 victory over Belmonte.

The 2018 PBA Tour Finals field will be based on total earnings for 2016, 2017 and early 2018, concluding with the PBA Xtra Frame Maine Shootout April 17-18 at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine. Other events from late 2017 and early 2018 that will impact the earnings list include all GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX events, the DHC PBA Japan Invitational, PBA Tournament of Champions, Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic, Barbasol PBA Players Championship, Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship presented by BowlerX, USBC Masters and PBA League Elias Cup Championship.

Details regarding the PBA Tour Finals format will be announced. At stake will be a $30,000 first prize and a PBA Tour title

The Finals will be taped for television by CBS Sports Network. Telecast dates and times will be announced later. The 10 hours of nationally-televised coverage will conclude the Go Bowling! PBA Tour series which began with the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Resorts Reno Properties, in December.

PRELIMINARY 2018 PBA TOUR FINALS QUALIFIERS’ LIST
(Top 20 in composite PBA Tour earnings for 2016 and 2017, as of Nov. 1, 2017)
1, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., $342,808 .
2, Jason Belmonte, Australia, $241,757 .
3, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, $210,374.
4, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, $202,696. 
5, Dom Barrett, England, $187,360.
6, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., $159,622. 
7, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., $157,675. 
8, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., $132,772. 
9, Francois Lavoie, Canada, $109,255. 
10, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., $102,790. 
11, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, $99,283. 
12, Martin Larsen, Sweden, $99,265. 
13, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., $96,880. 
14, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., $92,575. 
15, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., $85,800. 
16, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., $85,057. 
17, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, $84,237. 
18, Mitch Beasley, Clarksville, Tenn., $77,735. 
19, Jason Sterner, Cocoa Beach, Fla., $70,195. 
20, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., $70,065.

U.S. Stars Defeat International Standouts to Successfully Defend USA vs. The World Team Title at WSOB IX

RENO, Nev. The five leading American qualifiers in PBA World Championship pinfall during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX presented by Eldorado Resorts Reno Properties combined for 20 clean frames and 18 strikes in 24 attempts to sweep the best-of-two-game USA vs. The World team competition, kicking off ESPN’s coverage of the 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule Sunday.

The USA team, captained by PBA Hall of Famer and 22-time PBA Tour champion Marshall Holman, included PBA Tour champions Kyle Troup, Bill O’Neill, Ryan Ciminelli, Tom Smallwood and PBA regional winner Matt McNiel. Making up The World team, captained by England’s Stuart Williams, were PBA Tour winners Jason Belmonte of Australia, Jesper Svensson of Sweden, Dom Barrett of England, Thomas Larsen of Denmark and 20-year-old newcomer Rafiq Ismail of Malaysia.

In what could be considered the all-star event of WSOB IX, players earned their spots on their respective teams based on their finishing positions after 40 games of qualifying in the PBA Chameleon Championship presented by Reno Tahoe, Shark Championship presented by Xtra Frame, Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Challenge Mobile Game and Pepsi Scorpion Championship presented by GoBowling.com. 

In the first Baker format match contested at the National Bowling Stadium, where each player bowls two frames to combine for one score, the U.S. team took control with a 226-213 win when the World team couldn’t catch up after a missed 1-2-4-6-10 washout in the fifth frame by Barrett.

USA vs. The WorldThe USA completely dominated game two, combining for a 279 while The World managed only 191. Troup, O’Neill, McNiel and Ciminelli struck in the first four frames. Smallwood then converted a 10-pin spare in the fifth frame before the team closed out the victory with a string of seven consecutive strikes.

“We may have been the underdogs on paper but all these guys had the qualities you need to contribute to a great team effort,” said Holman. “I had a good idea of what lineup would work and went with my first instinct, but in reality I could have put any lineup out there and we would have been in good shape.”

The USA vs. The World event was conducted on the 42-foot PBA Earl Anthony lane condition which was a neutral condition the players had not competed on in WSOB IX.

“In Baker team competition, especially on a new lane condition, communication is key,” said O’Neill, an eight-time PBA Tour winner. “With everyone’s break point being so different it can be difficult to get the reads so it was important that we were on the same page.

“Marshall put together a good lineup and then it was up to us to take it from there,” O’Neill added. “I think there was only one frame where we didn’t hit the pocket and we had a high strike percentage so the rest took care of itself.”

In 2016, the USA (Mitch Beasley, BJ Moore, Matt O’Grady, Dick Allen, EJ Tackett) beat The World (Sam Cooley, Barrett, Arturo Quintero, Francois Lavoie, Martin Larsen) in a one-frame roll-off after each team won one game.

WSOB IX action continues on ESPN Sunday, Dec. 17 with the Chameleon Championship at 1 p.m. ET followed immediately by the Shark Championship at 2 p.m.

USA vs. THE WORLD TEAM CHALLENGE

National Bowling Stadium Reno, Nev. (televised Sunday on ESPN)

(Best-of-two-game Baker format match)

Match One: USA (Kyle Troup, Bill O’Neill, Ryan Ciminelli, Matt NcNiel, Tom Smallwood) def. The World (Jason Belmonte, Jesper Svensson, Dom Barrett, Thomas Larsen, Rafiq Ismail), 226-213.

Match Two: USA def. The World, 279-191.

# # #

PBA Spare Shots: DHC Adds Four PBA Stars to 2018 DHC PBA Japan Invitational Field

Title sponsor DHC, a major Japanese skin care product company, has invited four additional PBA stars – including 2016 PBA Rookie of the Year Francois Lavoie (featured photo), PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III and incoming PBA Hall of Famer Chris Barnes, and PBA women’s pioneer Liz Johnson – to the field for the 2018 DHC PBA Japan Invitational that will be held Jan. 26-28 at Tokyo Port Bowl.

The tournament, which will be covered in its entirety by PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, also will include defending champion EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind.; Jason Belmonte, Australia; Jesper Svensson, Sweden; Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash.; Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla.; Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas; Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill.; Yannaphon Larpapharat, Thailand; Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., Dom Barrett, England, and a Korea PBA member to be announced.

First prize in the event will be $45,000 and a PBA Tour title, if the winner is a PBA member.

CONCRETE SOFTWARE ISSUES “BEAT THE CHEETAH CHAMPION” CHALLENGE

How good are your virtual bowling skills? In a renewal of a competition introduced in 2016, Concrete Software, creator of the PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game, has issued a “Cheetah Challenge” in conjunction with the PBA Cheetah Championship finals, presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game.

The rules are simple: if you haven’t already done so, download the free PBA Bowling Challenge app at Google Play or the Apple App store. Then select the “Limited Tournament” button on the landing page of the app to enter the tournament. “Bowl” one virtual game and if your game score beats the actual PBA Cheetah Championship winner’s score, you will be automatically entered into a drawing to win 5,000 Gold Pins (in-game currency) and a pin signed by the Cheetah champion. Multiple entries are allowed.

The sweepstakes will begin at 1 a.m. EST on Dec. 24 and end at 12:59 p.m. on Jan. 2.

Here is a link the official rules: http://bit.ly/PBA_OfficialRules.

Speaking of Concrete Software’s PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game, this week marked the addition of a new element to capture the excitement of the PBA League program. The PBA Bowling Challenge game is adding a new PBA League venue on a weekly schedule, beginning today with the debut of the Dallas Strikers venue.

Everyone with a mobile device is invited to join the fun. The PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game app is a free download at Google Play and Apple App stores. Use these links: Google Play: http://bit.ly/PBABowlingChallengeAnd or Apple App Store: http://bit.ly/PBABowlingChallengeiOS

PBA 60TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION/HALL OF FAME DINNER TICKETS ON SALE

Tickets are now on sale for PBA’s 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner, including PBA’s 2017 Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, on Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Marriott North in Indianapolis. Tickets, which include a cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres and open bar, are available for $125 (plus service fee) through the “Tickets” link on pba.com (https://www.pba.com/Tickets).

In addition to a special PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration and the inductions of Chris Barnes, Ron Mohr and the late Indianapolis proprietor Don Mitchell into the PBA Hall of Fame, the PBA will recognize the 2017 GEICO PBA Chris Schenkel Player of the Year, Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year, Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award winner and the Tony Reyes Memorial Community Service Award winner. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail hour and “red carpet” reception followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited.

Advance tickets also are available at the same website address for the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic ESPN finals at Woodland Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 1 p.m. ET. General admission tickets for other rounds of the event will be available at the door.

Reservations for the tournament pro-am at Woodland Bowl are being accepted by the host center. The pro-am, for adults and youth bowlers, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 17, at noon and 2:30 p.m. Participating bowlers will have the option of a standard or “upgrade” to include a Brunswick Vintage Inferno bowling ball. For more information, call Woodland Bowl at 317-844-4099.

PBA STARS WIN WORLD BOWLING TEAM GOLD MEDAL FOR U.S.; LAVOIE TOPS MASTERS

PBA stars, domestically and internationally, earned gold medals as the World Bowling Men’s World Championships wrapped up at South Point Bowling Plaza Tuesday, including a gold medal performance in the five-man team event by Chris Barnes, Jakob Butturff, Marshall Kent, Tommy Jones, Chris Via and AJ Johnson who defeated Chinese Taipei in the best-of-three-game finale, 210-189 and 200-180.

Earlier in the event, Barnes and Jones teamed up to win men’s doubles for Team USA.

Francois Lavoie, PBA’s 2016 Rookie of the Year, won the men’s Masters title to close the multi-event championships, defeating Taipei’s Zu Zhe-Jia, 247-206, 216-199, in the gold medal match.

In the World Bowling Women’s World Championships, current and/or former PBA members Shannon O’Keefe, Kelly Kulick and Danielle McEwan won the women’s trios gold medal, Shalin Zulkifli helped Malaysia win the women’s team title, and McEwan won the women’s all-events gold medal. For complete World Bowling Championships results, visit worldbowling.org.

XTRA FRAME HOLIDAY SALE: SAVE $10 ON “XF SEASON TICKET”

For the bowler in your family who has everything, a perfect Christmas gift might be a full-year of PBA Xtra Frame access, available exclusive Dec. 15-31 for the holiday discount price of only $54.99.

That’s just over $1 a week for 12 months of live streaming of PBA Tour action, access to a great library of past PBA Tour events and telecasts plus player interviews, bowling instruction, and more.

All you have to do is visit xtraframe.tv between 8 a.m. EST on Dec. 15 and 11:59 p.m. EST on Dec. 31 and enter “PBAHOLIDAY17” in the promo code box to secure the $10 discount price.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: LOSCHETTER, KRETZER TEAM UP FOR DOUBLES TITLE

Ohio teammates Chris Loschetter of Avon and Brian Kretzer of Dayton defeated Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C., and Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla., 258-230, to win the PBA/PBA50 Decker Appraisal Services Baker Doubles title presented by Hammer Sunday at Valley Lanes in Harrisonburg, Va.

Loschetter and Kretzer qualified fourth for the stepladder finals and defeated Virginia’s Chris Bolosan of Hampton and Troy McKinney of Yorktown, 256-137, to start the four-team stepladder finals. They then eliminated fellow Ohioans Joe Hostetler of Louisville and Dick Gran of Hartville, 247-236, to advance to the title match.

The win marked Loschetter’s 15th in PBA Regional competition and Kretzer’s 23rd in standard and PBA50 regionals. The Loschetter/Kretzer team earned $3,600.

Daniel Dunleavy of Staten Island, N.Y., defeated Andrew Suscreba of Clifton, N.J., 246-233, to win the PBA MJK Pro Shop/Knob Hill Eastern Challenge presented by Brunswick on Saturday in Manalapan, N.J. PBA Challenge events are open to any member or non-member who has never won a PBA event.

Dunleavy, a 36-year-old non-member who has bowled frequently for several seasons, rolled a strike in the 10th frame to earn the win. Suscreba, who had missed a single pin spare early in the championship match, had struck out in his half of the 10th frame to force Dunleavy to strike. Dunleavy earned $1,700 for the win, but does not receive credit for a PBA Regional title because he is a non-member.

In the semifinal matches, Dunleavy edged Terry Thompson Jr. of Copiague, N.Y., 225-224, when Thompson threw a seven-count with his the fill ball. Suscreba defeated rookie Brent Tishuk of Belvidere, N.J., 248-184, in the other semifinal match.

● The Dec. 8-10 PBA Regional calendar includes the Petro TA South Open at Beltline Lanes in Columbia, S.C.. and the McKinley Lanes Central/East Challenge for non-championships in Niles, Ohio.

● Closing out the PBA’s pre-holiday regional season schedule will be the PBA/PBA50 Houston Southwest Open Doubles presented by Bowling Dynamix at Emerald Bowl in Houston, Texas.

● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple device users using the new PBA app).

QUICK NOTES:

● Shawn Switzer of Canyon Country, Calif., will receive a new Brunswick ball, Stacey Finnigan of Jordan, N.Y., has won a new high-performance ball from DV8, and Mark Wilks of Greenwell Springs, La., a new high-performance MOTIV ball as November sweepstakes prizes for subscribing to Xtra Frame. The monthly sweepstakes is sponsored by the respective PBA Product Registered partners. Monthly winners are selected from among new Xtra Frame subscribers, who are automatically entered when they enroll as a monthly or Xtra Frame Season Ticket (full year) subscriber.

Francois Lavoie shares his views about his historic 300 game in the 2016 U.S. Open finals in a PBA Player’s Perspective now available on PBA’s YouTube channel. To stay current with all of the latest additions to PBA’s YouTube channel, be sure to “subscribe” when you visit YouTube.

GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX’s ESPN Coverage Kicks Off Sunday with USA vs. The World Team Challenge

RENO, Nev. – The five leading American players and the five top international players in PBA World Championship qualifying during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX presented by Eldorado Resorts Reno Properties will face off in the second USA vs. The World team competition on ESPN Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, kicking off ESPN’s coverage of the 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour.

The USA team, captained by PBA Hall of Famer and 22-time Tour champion Marshall Holman, includes PBA Tour champions Kyle Troup, Bill O’Neill, Ryan Ciminelli, Tom Smallwood and PBA regional winner Matt McNiel. Making up The World team, captained by England’s Stuart Williams, are PBA Tour international standouts Jason Belmonte of Australia, Jesper Svensson of Sweden, Dom Barrett of England, Thomas Larsen of Denmark and newcomer Rafiq Ismail of Malaysia.

In what could be considered the all-star event of WSOB IX, players earned their spots on their respective teams based on their finishing positions after a combined 40 games of qualifying in the PBA Chameleon Championship presented by Reno Tahoe, Pepsi PBA Shark Championship presented by Xtra Frame, PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Challenge Mobile Game and PBA Scorpion Championship presented by GoBowling.com.

For in-depth event stats click on https://www.pba.com/content/files/downloads/2017%20USA%20vs%20World%20TV%20Notes.pdf

The teams will compete in a best-of-two-game Baker format final with a sudden-death roll-off should the teams tie after two games.

The U.S. team will try to defend its title from WSOB VIII when the USA (Mitch Beasley, BJ Moore, Matt O’Grady, Dick Allen, EJ Tackett) beat The World (Sam Cooley, Barrett, Arturo Quintero, Francois Lavoie, Martin Larsen) in a one-frame roll-off after each team won one game.

WSOB IX continues with back-to-back telecasts on ESPN of the Chameleon Championship and Shark Championship Sunday, Dec. 17 beginning at 1 p.m. ET, followed by the Cheetah Championship and Scorpion Championship Dec. 24 at 1 p.m., PBA World Championship Dec. 31 at 1 p.m. and wrapping up with World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s finals presented by PBA Jan. 7 at 1 p.m.

PBA Spare Shots: Jason Belmonte Leads Qualifiers for 2018 DHC PBA Japan Invitational

The PBA Tour’s top 10 players in 2017 earnings based upon events open to all players have been finalized, and those players – plus defending champion EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind. – have been invited to participate in the 2018 DHC PBA Japan Invitational Jan. 26-28 at Tokyo Port Bowl.

Earning invitations are: Jason Belmonte, Australia; Jesper Svensson, Sweden; Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash.; Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla.; Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas; Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill.; Yannaphon Larpapharat, Thailand; Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., and Dom Barrett, England.

If any of the invitees is unable to attend, the “alternate” list is headed by Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., and Francois Lavoie, Canada.

In addition to the 11 players from the earnings list, the international field also will include three PBA members, one woman and one Korean PBA player invited by tournament sponsor DHC. Those players will be announced as soon as they have confirmed their intent to participate.

The tournament itself will feature a new format, beginning with the invited field and 32 Japanese players (a starting field of 48) bowling two six-game qualifying rounds on Saturday, Jan. 27 to cut the field to the top 16 for 16 games of head-to-head match play on Sunday. The top five after 28 games will advance to the stepladder finals on Sunday beginning at 5 p.m. Japan Standard Time (3 a.m. EST).

The entire DHC PBA Japan Invitational, which will pay the winner US$45,000, will be live streamed on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel (visit xtraframe.tv for subscription information).

PBA BOWLING CHALLENGE MOBILE GAME TO UNVEIL NEW “PBA LEAGUE VENUES”

Concrete Software’s wildly-popular PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game, which has been downloaded to more than 19 million mobile devices since its introduction, is adding another new element to capture the excitement of the PBA League program that has taken on a life of its own at its new “home” at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

The PBA Bowling Challenge game has offered a variety of unique venues for users, but the new addition is a series of venues tied to PBA League teams. Along with the new PBA League venues, which will debut on a weekly schedule beginning on Thursday, Dec. 7, the game will offer a special PBA 60th Anniversary venue. The new PBA League venue schedule will include the Dallas Strikers venue on Dec. 7; Silver Lake Atom Splitters, Dec. 14; L.A. X, Dec. 21; Portland Lumberjacks, Dec. 28; Motown Muscle, Jan. 4; Philadelphia Hitmen, Jan. 11; Brooklyn Styles, Jan. 18; New York WTT KingPins, Jan.. 25, and the Elias Cup Finals venue on Feb. 1.

Everyone with a mobile device is invited to join the fun. The PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game app is a free download at Google Play and Apple App stores. Use these links: Google Play: http://bit.ly/PBABowlingChallengeAnd or Apple App Store: http://bit.ly/PBABowlingChallengeiOS

PBA STARS CHRIS BARNES, TOMMY JONES WIN WORLD BOWLING DOUBLES GOLD MEDAL

Long-time PBA competitors and friends Tommy Jones and Chris Barnes, who have combined for 25 appearances as members of Team USA, bowled as doubles partners for the first time in the World Bowling Men’s Championships Tuesday at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, and captured the World Bowling men’s doubles gold medal with a 420-409 victory over Hong Kong’s Lau Kwun Ho and Eric Tseng.

Barnes and Jones, who were members of the gold medal U.S. teams at the World Championships in 2008 and 2010, are competing in the multi-event World Bowling Men’s Championships along with fellow PBA members Marshall Kent, Jakob Butturff, AJ Johnson and Chris Via. The team did not medal in singles earlier this week.

“Obviously, anytime you get to win for Team USA, it means a lot, and being able to win with one of my best friends makes it even more special,” Jones said. “It’s also really nice to get this gold medal early in the tournament to show the younger guys what it’s all about and what it means to us and hopefully spark something for later in the week. We’re here for one key thing, which is to win the team event, and it’s nice to have that momentum.”

Tuesday’s doubles win was the sixth World Championships gold medal for Barnes, who will be inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in Indianapolis in February. Barnes won World Bowling Masters gold medal in 2010 and all-events in 2013 to complement two team titles and a previous doubles victory.

LANETALK’S WSOB IX SUMMARY ILLUSTRATES SKILL LEVEL

The overall skill level of the 195 PBA members who competed in GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Resorts Properties, was illustrated in an end-of-event statistical summary by LaneTalk, PBA’s stats partner for the event:

● Overall, tournament players bowled 9,041 games and knocked down 1,951,511 pins.

● For all four animal pattern events and the PBA World Championship, the entire field averaged 215.85.

● The full field threw strikes on 57.37% of all first shots, hitting the pocket 73.46% of the time.

● Players threw consecutive strikes 59.01% of the time.

● Of the non-strike shots, the field left “makeable spares” (non-splits) 33.03% of the time, and converted those leaves 86.97% of the time.

● As a group, the players left single pins 23.24% of the time. Within that stat were 6,366 10 pins which were converted 91.4% of the time and 2,810 7 pins which were converted 91.1% of the time.

XTRA FRAME AVAILABLE AT NO COST TO BPAA-MEMBER CENTERS

BPAA-member bowling centers are reminded that as part of the new 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour umbrella sponsorship package, they are eligible for complimentary Xtra Frame subscriptions, allowing them to make PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel available to their customers at no cost.

It’s easy: all a BPAA-member center has to do is contact PBA’s Dave Schroeder (email: dave.schroeder@pba.com) and after confirming membership, Schroeder will provide the participating center with its promotional code and activation instructions in time for dozens of hours of coverage of WSOB IX events.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: SEAN LAVERY-SPAHR WINS DECISIVE GAME FOR TITLE

Sean Lavery-Spahr from Pasadena, Texas, defeated former PBA Southwest Region Player of the Year Shawn Maldonado of Houston, 221-211 in their decisive position round match, to win the 16th annual PBA Beaumont Southwest Open at Crossroads Bowling Center in Beaumont, Texas, Sunday. The victory was Lavery-Spahr’s fourth career PBA Regional title.

Lavery-Spahr led the tournament after qualifying and through most of the match play finals, before Maldonado grabbed a 13-pin lead entering the final game. With the 30 bonus pins awarded for winning the match, the title was in doubt until the final frame when Lavery-Spahr left a 7-10 split, seemingly handing Maldonado the victory. However, Maldonado failed to convert the 2-4-5-8 spare in his 10th frame and Lavery-Spahr claimed the $3,000 first place check.

Nathan Bohr of Austin, Texas, moved into second place when he defeated Anthony Lavery-Spahr (Sean’s twin brother), 255-207, in their position round match to pass Maldonado. Sean Lavery-Spahr finished the event with 4,986 total pins, including the match play bonus pins. Bohr followed with a 4,791 pinfall total, 12 pins ahead of Maldonado.

● PBA Regional action in December gets underway this weekend with the PBA MJK Pro Shop/Knob Hill Lanes Challenge presented by Brunswick, an event for non-title winners, in Manalapan, N.J.; the PBA/PBA50 Decker Appraisal Services Baker Doubles at Valley Lanes in Harrisonburg, Va., and the DHC/DHC Women’s Scorpion Open tournaments in Ryugasaki, Japan.

● The Dec. 8-10 PBA Regional calendar includes the Petro TA South Open at Beltline Lanes in Columbia, S.C.. and the McKinley Lanes Central/East Challenge for non-championships in Niles, Ohio.

● Closing out the PBA’s pre-holiday regional season schedule will be the PBA/PBA50 Houston Southwest Open Doubles presented by Bowling Dynamix at Emerald Bowl in Houston, Texas.

● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple device users using the new PBA app).

QUICK NOTES:

Josh and Aimee Blanchard welcomed baby girl Piper on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at 11:08 a.m. Piper arrived at 8 pounds and 21 inches long.

PBA Spare Shots: Jason Belmonte Leads Qualifiers for 2018 DHC PBA Japan Invitational

The PBA Tour’s top 10 players in 2017 earnings based upon events open to all players have been finalized, and those players – plus defending champion EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind. – have been invited to participate in the 2018 DHC PBA Japan Invitational Jan. 26-28 at Tokyo Port Bowl.

Earning invitations are: Jason Belmonte, Australia; Jesper Svensson, Sweden; Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash.; Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla.; Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas; Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill.; Yannaphon Larpapharat, Thailand; Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., and Dom Barrett, England.

If any of the invitees is unable to attend, the “alternate” list is headed by Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., and Francois Lavoie, Canada.

In addition to the 11 players from the earnings list, the international field also will include three PBA members, one woman and one Korean PBA player invited by tournament sponsor DHC. Those players will be announced as soon as they have confirmed their intent to participate.

The tournament itself will feature a new format, beginning with the invited field and 32 Japanese players (a starting field of 48) bowling two six-game qualifying rounds on Saturday, Jan. 27 to cut the field to the top 16 for 16 games of head-to-head match play on Sunday. The top five after 28 games will advance to the stepladder finals on Sunday beginning at 5 p.m. Japan Standard Time (3 a.m. EST).

The entire DHC PBA Japan Invitational, which will pay the winner US$45,000, will be live streamed on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel (visit xtraframe.tv for subscription information).

PBA BOWLING CHALLENGE MOBILE GAME TO UNVEIL NEW “PBA LEAGUE VENUES”

Concrete Software’s wildly-popular PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game, which has been downloaded to more than 19 million mobile devices since its introduction, is adding another new element to capture the excitement of the PBA League program that has taken on a life of its own at its new “home” at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

The PBA Bowling Challenge game has offered a variety of unique venues for users, but the new addition is a series of venues tied to PBA League teams. Along with the new PBA League venues, which will debut on a weekly schedule beginning on Thursday, Dec. 7, the game will offer a special PBA 60th Anniversary venue. The new PBA League venue schedule will include the Dallas Strikers venue on Dec. 7; Silver Lake Atom Splitters, Dec. 14; L.A. X, Dec. 21; Portland Lumberjacks, Dec. 28; Motown Muscle, Jan. 4; Philadelphia Hitmen, Jan. 11; Brooklyn Styles, Jan. 18; New York WTT KingPins, Jan.. 25, and the Elias Cup Finals venue on Feb. 1.

Everyone with a mobile device is invited to join the fun. The PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game app is a free download at Google Play and Apple App stores. Use these links: Google Play: http://bit.ly/PBABowlingChallengeAnd or Apple App Store: http://bit.ly/PBABowlingChallengeiOS

PBA STARS CHRIS BARNES, TOMMY JONES WIN WORLD BOWLING DOUBLES GOLD MEDAL

Long-time PBA competitors and friends Tommy Jones and Chris Barnes, who have combined for 25 appearances as members of Team USA, bowled as doubles partners for the first time in the World Bowling Men’s Championships Tuesday at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, and captured the World Bowling men’s doubles gold medal with a 420-409 victory over Hong Kong’s Lau Kwun Ho and Eric Tseng.

Barnes and Jones, who were members of the gold medal U.S. teams at the World Championships in 2008 and 2010, are competing in the multi-event World Bowling Men’s Championships along with fellow PBA members Marshall Kent, Jakob Butturff, AJ Johnson and Chris Via. The team did not medal in singles earlier this week.

“Obviously, anytime you get to win for Team USA, it means a lot, and being able to win with one of my best friends makes it even more special,” Jones said. “It’s also really nice to get this gold medal early in the tournament to show the younger guys what it’s all about and what it means to us and hopefully spark something for later in the week. We’re here for one key thing, which is to win the team event, and it’s nice to have that momentum.”

Tuesday’s doubles win was the sixth World Championships gold medal for Barnes, who will be inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in Indianapolis in February. Barnes won World Bowling Masters gold medal in 2010 and all-events in 2013 to complement two team titles and a previous doubles victory.

LANETALK’S WSOB IX SUMMARY ILLUSTRATES SKILL LEVEL

The overall skill level of the 195 PBA members who competed in GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Resorts Properties, was illustrated in an end-of-event statistical summary by LaneTalk, PBA’s stats partner for the event:

● Overall, tournament players bowled 9,041 games and knocked down 1,951,511 pins.

● For all four animal pattern events and the PBA World Championship, the entire field averaged 215.85.

● The full field threw strikes on 57.37% of all first shots, hitting the pocket 73.46% of the time.

● Players threw consecutive strikes 59.01% of the time.

● Of the non-strike shots, the field left “makeable spares” (non-splits) 33.03% of the time, and converted those leaves 86.97% of the time.

● As a group, the players left single pins 23.24% of the time. Within that stat were 6,366 10 pins which were converted 91.4% of the time and 2,810 7 pins which were converted 91.1% of the time.

XTRA FRAME AVAILABLE AT NO COST TO BPAA-MEMBER CENTERS

BPAA-member bowling centers are reminded that as part of the new 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour umbrella sponsorship package, they are eligible for complimentary Xtra Frame subscriptions, allowing them to make PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel available to their customers at no cost.

It’s easy: all a BPAA-member center has to do is contact PBA’s Dave Schroeder (email: dave.schroeder@pba.com) and after confirming membership, Schroeder will provide the participating center with its promotional code and activation instructions in time for dozens of hours of coverage of WSOB IX events.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: SEAN LAVERY-SPAHR WINS DECISIVE GAME FOR TITLE

Sean Lavery-Spahr from Pasadena, Texas, defeated former PBA Southwest Region Player of the Year Shawn Maldonado of Houston, 221-211 in their decisive position round match, to win the 16th annual PBA Beaumont Southwest Open at Crossroads Bowling Center in Beaumont, Texas, Sunday. The victory was Lavery-Spahr’s fourth career PBA Regional title.

Lavery-Spahr led the tournament after qualifying and through most of the match play finals, before Maldonado grabbed a 13-pin lead entering the final game. With the 30 bonus pins awarded for winning the match, the title was in doubt until the final frame when Lavery-Spahr left a 7-10 split, seemingly handing Maldonado the victory. However, Maldonado failed to convert the 2-4-5-8 spare in his 10th frame and Lavery-Spahr claimed the $3,000 first place check.

Nathan Bohr of Austin, Texas, moved into second place when he defeated Anthony Lavery-Spahr (Sean’s twin brother), 255-207, in their position round match to pass Maldonado. Sean Lavery-Spahr finished the event with 4,986 total pins, including the match play bonus pins. Bohr followed with a 4,791 pinfall total, 12 pins ahead of Maldonado.

● PBA Regional action in December gets underway this weekend with the PBA MJK Pro Shop/Knob Hill Lanes Challenge presented by Brunswick, an event for non-title winners, in Manalapan, N.J.; the PBA/PBA50 Decker Appraisal Services Baker Doubles at Valley Lanes in Harrisonburg, Va., and the DHC/DHC Women’s Scorpion Open tournaments in Ryugasaki, Japan.

● The Dec. 8-10 PBA Regional calendar includes the Petro TA South Open at Beltline Lanes in Columbia, S.C.. and the McKinley Lanes Central/East Challenge for non-championships in Niles, Ohio.

● Closing out the PBA’s pre-holiday regional season schedule will be the PBA/PBA50 Houston Southwest Open Doubles presented by Bowling Dynamix at Emerald Bowl in Houston, Texas.

● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple device users using the new PBA app).

QUICK NOTES:

Josh and Aimee Blanchard welcomed baby girl Piper on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at 11:08 a.m. Piper arrived at 8 pounds and 21 inches long.

PBA Spare Shots: Jason Belmonte Leads Qualifiers for 2018 DHC PBA Japan Invitational

The PBA Tour’s top 10 players in 2017 earnings based upon events open to all players have been finalized, and those players – plus defending champion EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind. – have been invited to participate in the 2018 DHC PBA Japan Invitational Jan. 26-28 at Tokyo Port Bowl.

Earning invitations are: Jason Belmonte, Australia; Jesper Svensson, Sweden; Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash.; Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla.; Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas; Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill.; Yannaphon Larpapharat, Thailand; Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., and Dom Barrett, England.

If any of the invitees is unable to attend, the “alternate” list is headed by Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., and Francois Lavoie, Canada.

In addition to the 11 players from the earnings list, the international field also will include three PBA members, one woman and one Korean PBA player invited by tournament sponsor DHC. Those players will be announced as soon as they have confirmed their intent to participate.

The tournament itself will feature a new format, beginning with the invited field and 32 Japanese players (a starting field of 48) bowling two six-game qualifying rounds on Saturday, Jan. 27 to cut the field to the top 16 for 16 games of head-to-head match play on Sunday. The top five after 28 games will advance to the stepladder finals on Sunday beginning at 5 p.m. Japan Standard Time (3 a.m. EST).

The entire DHC PBA Japan Invitational, which will pay the winner US$45,000, will be live streamed on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel (visit xtraframe.tv for subscription information).

PBA BOWLING CHALLENGE MOBILE GAME TO UNVEIL NEW “PBA LEAGUE VENUES”

Concrete Software’s wildly-popular PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game, which has been downloaded to more than 19 million mobile devices since its introduction, is adding another new element to capture the excitement of the PBA League program that has taken on a life of its own at its new “home” at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

The PBA Bowling Challenge game has offered a variety of unique venues for users, but the new addition is a series of venues tied to PBA League teams. Along with the new PBA League venues, which will debut on a weekly schedule beginning on Thursday, Dec. 7, the game will offer a special PBA 60th Anniversary venue. The new PBA League venue schedule will include the Dallas Strikers venue on Dec. 7; Silver Lake Atom Splitters, Dec. 14; L.A. X, Dec. 21; Portland Lumberjacks, Dec. 28; Motown Muscle, Jan. 4; Philadelphia Hitmen, Jan. 11; Brooklyn Styles, Jan. 18; New York WTT KingPins, Jan.. 25, and the Elias Cup Finals venue on Feb. 1.

Everyone with a mobile device is invited to join the fun. The PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game app is a free download at Google Play and Apple App stores. Use these links: Google Play: http://bit.ly/PBABowlingChallengeAnd or Apple App Store: http://bit.ly/PBABowlingChallengeiOS

PBA STARS CHRIS BARNES, TOMMY JONES WIN WORLD BOWLING DOUBLES GOLD MEDAL

Long-time PBA competitors and friends Tommy Jones and Chris Barnes, who have combined for 25 appearances as members of Team USA, bowled as doubles partners for the first time in the World Bowling Men’s Championships Tuesday at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, and captured the World Bowling men’s doubles gold medal with a 420-409 victory over Hong Kong’s Lau Kwun Ho and Eric Tseng.

Barnes and Jones, who were members of the gold medal U.S. teams at the World Championships in 2008 and 2010, are competing in the multi-event World Bowling Men’s Championships along with fellow PBA members Marshall Kent, Jakob Butturff, AJ Johnson and Chris Via. The team did not medal in singles earlier this week.

“Obviously, anytime you get to win for Team USA, it means a lot, and being able to win with one of my best friends makes it even more special,” Jones said. “It’s also really nice to get this gold medal early in the tournament to show the younger guys what it’s all about and what it means to us and hopefully spark something for later in the week. We’re here for one key thing, which is to win the team event, and it’s nice to have that momentum.”

Tuesday’s doubles win was the sixth World Championships gold medal for Barnes, who will be inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in Indianapolis in February. Barnes won World Bowling Masters gold medal in 2010 and all-events in 2013 to complement two team titles and a previous doubles victory.

LANETALK’S WSOB IX SUMMARY ILLUSTRATES SKILL LEVEL

The overall skill level of the 195 PBA members who competed in GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Resorts Properties, was illustrated in an end-of-event statistical summary by LaneTalk, PBA’s stats partner for the event:

● Overall, tournament players bowled 9,041 games and knocked down 1,951,511 pins.

● For all four animal pattern events and the PBA World Championship, the entire field averaged 215.85.

● The full field threw strikes on 57.37% of all first shots, hitting the pocket 73.46% of the time.

● Players threw consecutive strikes 59.01% of the time.

● Of the non-strike shots, the field left “makeable spares” (non-splits) 33.03% of the time, and converted those leaves 86.97% of the time.

● As a group, the players left single pins 23.24% of the time. Within that stat were 6,366 10 pins which were converted 91.4% of the time and 2,810 7 pins which were converted 91.1% of the time.

XTRA FRAME AVAILABLE AT NO COST TO BPAA-MEMBER CENTERS

BPAA-member bowling centers are reminded that as part of the new 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour umbrella sponsorship package, they are eligible for complimentary Xtra Frame subscriptions, allowing them to make PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel available to their customers at no cost.

It’s easy: all a BPAA-member center has to do is contact PBA’s Dave Schroeder (email: dave.schroeder@pba.com) and after confirming membership, Schroeder will provide the participating center with its promotional code and activation instructions in time for dozens of hours of coverage of WSOB IX events.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: SEAN LAVERY-SPAHR WINS DECISIVE GAME FOR TITLE

Sean Lavery-Spahr from Pasadena, Texas, defeated former PBA Southwest Region Player of the Year Shawn Maldonado of Houston, 221-211 in their decisive position round match, to win the 16th annual PBA Beaumont Southwest Open at Crossroads Bowling Center in Beaumont, Texas, Sunday. The victory was Lavery-Spahr’s fourth career PBA Regional title.

Lavery-Spahr led the tournament after qualifying and through most of the match play finals, before Maldonado grabbed a 13-pin lead entering the final game. With the 30 bonus pins awarded for winning the match, the title was in doubt until the final frame when Lavery-Spahr left a 7-10 split, seemingly handing Maldonado the victory. However, Maldonado failed to convert the 2-4-5-8 spare in his 10th frame and Lavery-Spahr claimed the $3,000 first place check.

Nathan Bohr of Austin, Texas, moved into second place when he defeated Anthony Lavery-Spahr (Sean’s twin brother), 255-207, in their position round match to pass Maldonado. Sean Lavery-Spahr finished the event with 4,986 total pins, including the match play bonus pins. Bohr followed with a 4,791 pinfall total, 12 pins ahead of Maldonado.

● PBA Regional action in December gets underway this weekend with the PBA MJK Pro Shop/Knob Hill Lanes Challenge presented by Brunswick, an event for non-title winners, in Manalapan, N.J.; the PBA/PBA50 Decker Appraisal Services Baker Doubles at Valley Lanes in Harrisonburg, Va., and the DHC/DHC Women’s Scorpion Open tournaments in Ryugasaki, Japan.

● The Dec. 8-10 PBA Regional calendar includes the Petro TA South Open at Beltline Lanes in Columbia, S.C.. and the McKinley Lanes Central/East Challenge for non-championships in Niles, Ohio.

● Closing out the PBA’s pre-holiday regional season schedule will be the PBA/PBA50 Houston Southwest Open Doubles presented by Bowling Dynamix at Emerald Bowl in Houston, Texas.

● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple device users using the new PBA app).

QUICK NOTES:

Josh and Aimee Blanchard welcomed baby girl Piper on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at 11:08 a.m. Piper arrived at 8 pounds and 21 inches long.

Germany’s Tobias Börding Wins Inaugural PBA World Series of Bowling Award for Improved Performance

RENO, Nev. – Tobias Börding, a third-year Professional Bowlers Association member from Puccheim, Germany, has been named winner of the inaugural PBA Don Carano WSOB Award in recognition of his performance in the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Resorts Properties.

The new award, created by the PBA, honors the memory of the late Don Carano and his entire family for their long-time support of the PBA. The award is a tribute to Don Carano’s life-long pursuit of personal improvement, and specifically applies to Börding as the player who showed the most improvement in PBA World Championship qualifying from 2016 to 2017.

In 2016, Börding finished World Championship qualifying in 121st place. In 2017, he finished qualifying in 28th place, moving up 93 positions in the standings.

As the winner of the inaugural award, Börding will receive a premium bottle of wine from the Carano family winery, dinner for two at Carano’s La Strada Ristorante and complimentary lodging at one of the Carano family’s Eldorado Reno Resorts – Eldorado Resort Casino, Silver Legacy Resort Casino or Circus Circus Reno Hotel & Casino – for the 2018 PBA World Series of Bowling X.

The PBA Don Carano WSOB Award will be presented in future World Series of Bowling held in Reno to the player who shows the most improvement year over year in PBA World Championship qualifying.

Don Carano, patriarch of the Carano family that was integral in the building of the National Bowling Stadium and the development of Reno’s Tri-Properties, died on Oct. 3 at age 85.

Belmonte Advances to Pepsi PBA Scorpion Championship Finals for Second WSOB IX Animal Pattern Telecast Appearance

RENO, Nev. – Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte won his best-of-three Pepsi PBA Scorpion Championship presented by Go Bowling! Round-of-8 match at the National Bowling Stadium Thursday to make his second consecutive GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX animal pattern ESPN finals telecast.

Bowling on the 42-foot PBA Scorpion lane oil pattern, the three-time PBA Player of the Year also made his 18th career WSOB telecast by beating rookie Raymond Lussier of Canada, 2-0 (235-189, 276-237).

Belmonte, a 15-time Tour winner that includes eight majors, qualified for the Cheetah Championship finals earlier Thursday with a 2-1 Round-of-8 win over Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y.

Belmonte, who also qualified second for the PBA World Championship finals earlier in WSOB IX, added to his PBA major win total earlier this season with wins in the Barbasol PBA Players Championship and USBC Masters.

The Scorpion Championship finals will be taped Saturday by ESPN at 6 p.m. PT at the National Bowling Stadium and live streamed on ESPN3. The Finals will air on ESPN Dec. 24 at 2 p.m. ET.

In addition to being part of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Resorts Properties, the Scorpion Championship is also part of the 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule.

Defending PBA Player of the Year EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., made his first WSOB IX finals appearance by beating Arturo Quintero of Mexico 2-1 (220-157, 188-247, 205-176). Tackett, an eight-time Tour winner will be trying for his third win of the season.

Brandon Novak of Chillicothe, Ohio, made his second consecutive WSOB Scorpion Championship finals appearance by beating Matt McNiel of Minneapolis, Minn., 2-1 (199-205, 279-237, 223-196). In 2016 Novak finished fourth in the Scorpion Championship.

Rounding out the Scorpion Championship finals telecast will be Shawn Maldonado of Houston who swept England’s Dom Barrett 2-0 (234-232, 225-206).

All animal pattern championship ESPN finals telecasts (Chameleon, Shark, Cheetah and Scorpion) will use a format where the four finalists simultaneously bowl one game on the same pair of lanes with the top two scorers advancing to a head-to-head final match.

PEPSI PBA SCORPION CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY GO BOWLING!

National Bowling Stadium, Reno, Nev., Thursday

Round of 16 (best-of-five games, winners advance to round of 8. Losers earn $1,200)

Arturo Quintero, Mexico, def. Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 3-2 (228-219, 171-216, 219-214, 206-267, 236-223).
Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, def. Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., 3-2 (213-225, 213-193, 258-227, 208-236, 265-235).
Jason Belmonte, Australia, def. Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3-1 (247-223, 206-235, 248-230, 238-220).
Shawn Maldonado, Houston, def. BJ Moore III, Greensburg, Pa., 3-1 (289-224, 246-239, 187-248, 290-231).
Dom Barrett, England, def. Kyle Sherman, O’Fallon, Mo., 3-1 (246-247, 221-198, 247-214, 212-204).
Raymond Lussier, Canada, def. Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 3-1 (234-226, 225-224, 218-223, 257-190).
Matthew McNiel, Minneapolis, Minn., def. Brian LeClair, Albany, N.Y., 3-2 (234-174, 186-189, 200-211, 216-161, 247-201).
EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., def. Stuart Williams, England, 3-0 (247-237, 254-219, 235-211).

Round of 8 (best-of-three games, winners advance to ESPN-taped finals Saturday at 6 p.m. PT. ESPN telecast Dec. 24 at 2 p.m. ET. Losers earn $2,000)

Tackett def. Quintero, 2-1 (220-157, 188-247, 205-176).
Novak def. McNiel, 2-1 (199-205, 279-237, 223-196).
Belmonte def. Lussier, 2-0 (235-189, 276-237).
Maldonado def. Barrett, 2-0 (234-232, 225-206).

GEICO PBA WSOB IX Notebook IX: ‘Youngest PBA Tour Title Winner’ Record is Safe…for Now

Norm Duke’s record as the youngest player ever to win a PBA Tour title is safe…for now…after 17-year-old Trey Ford III of Bartlesville, Okla., lost his best-of-five-game, Round of 16 match to South Africa’s Francois Louw in Thursday’s PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game.

If Ford, bowling in his second PBA World Series of Bowling, had continued to advance and actually won the Cheetah Championship title on Saturday, he would have eclipsed Duke’s record more than full year. Duke was 18 years, 345 days old when he won the Cleveland Open back in 1983. Ford will be 17 years, 85 days old on Saturday.

Ford, a two-handed player, had his best previous finish as a PBA member in the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Oklahoma Open in July when he finished 11th. In his WSOB debut in 2015 at age 15, Ford averaged 196.36 and finished in 195th place. After skipping WSOB XIII in 2016, Ford returned to Reno at age 17 and averaged 225.05 for his 40 games on the four animal patterns, qualifying for the PBA World Championship cashers’ round in a tie for 42nd as well as qualifying No. 9 for the Cheetah Round of 16 .

Ultimately, Ford finished his PBA World Championship test in 43rd place with a composite 60-game average of 222.6 along with a top 16 finish in the Cheetah Championship. He will leave Reno with more than a year to chase Duke’s record…but he also may be watching in the rearview mirror, because he isn’t the only talented young teenager bowling in PBA competition these days.

Also making his PBA Tour debut in Reno this year was Pyry Puharinen, a 15-year-old two-hander from Finland. Puharinen finished the 40-game World Championship qualifying portion of WSOB IX in 107th place, averaging 215.05.

LANETALK STATS COMPARE TAKE A LOOK AT ANIMAL PATTERN FINALISTS

Lanetalk, PBA’s statistical analysis partner for WSOB IX, has been tracking performance data for all 195 players through 10 qualifying games on each animal pattern, followed by the 49 PBA World Championship cashers as they completed their final five-game rounds on each pattern, and finally data for the 16 match play finalists in each event. Much more detailed information is available on Lanetalk’s Facebook page, but here’s a glimpse of the comparisons for the 10-game Cheetah and Scorpion rounds, the five-game cashers’ rounds and Wednesday’s best-of-five and/or best-of-three-game match play rounds:

Chameleon 39 Championship comparisons:

— Composite averages: full field of 195 – 212.24 (10 games); 49 World Championship cashers composite average: 224.72 (5 games); match play composite average: 226.1.

— Strike percentage: full field – 55.66%; WC cashers strike rate 62.35%; match play strike rate 62.84%.

— First shot splits: full field – 8.24%; WC cashers split rate 7.14%; match play split rate 6.42%.

— First shot single-pin leaves: full field – 23.21%; WC cashers 21.72%; match play finalists 23.78%.

— Clean frame rate: full field – 88.16%; WC cashers 91.51%; match play finalists 93.6%.

— “Makeable spares” conversion rate: full field – 86.12%; WC cashers 91.34%, match play finalists 94.35%.

Shark 45 Championship comparisons:

— Composite averages: full field of 195 – 217.6 (10 games); 49 World Championship cashers composite average: 229.14 (5 games); match play composite average: 232.13.

— Strike percentage: full field – 58.01%; WC cashers strike rate 63.66%; match play strike rate 65.64%.

— First shot splits: full field – 7%; WC cashers split rate 6.45%; match play split rate 4.81%.

— First shot single-pin leaves: full field – 23.41%; WC cashers 22.75%; match play finalists 29.55%.

— Clean frame rate: full field – 89.93%; WC cashers 92.9%; match play finalists 93.97%.

— “Makeable spares” conversion rate: full field – 88%; WC cashers 93.7%, match play finalists 91.98%.

“LIVE ON XTRA FRAME” COVERAGE FROM WSOB IX WRAPS UP

Xtra Frame’s extensive live coverage of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Resorts Reno Properties, ended Thursday with coverage of the Rounds of 16 and 8 in the PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game followed by the Pepsi PBA Scorpion Championship presented by GoBowling.com.

From Tuesday, Nov. 7, through Friday – with the exception of one rest day – Xtra Frame subscribers were able to watch the PBA Regional and PBA50 Tour Challenge finals, start-to-finish qualifying rounds on the Chameleon 39, Shark 45, Cheetah 33 and Scorpion 42 animal patterns, all of which were stages leading into the PBA World Championship. Then came the World Championship cashers’ extended qualifying rounds on the four animal patterns, followed by the match play elimination rounds in each of the four animal pattern events.

All in all, Xtra Frame’s crew of Phil Brylow, Jef Goodger, Craig Elliott and Van McNeil, plus commentary by PBA Hall of Famer Marshall Holman, assorted players and bowling industry representatives, gave bowling fans a comprehensive view of the WSOB that would never have been possible in years past. Subscribers who missed the live action always have the opportunity to visit the Xtra Frame archives for previously recorded sessions, interviews and more.

With the preliminaries completed Friday, Xtra Frame’s crew headed home for the holidays, turning the final stages of WSOB IX over to ESPN and ESPN3. Xtra Frame will return to live coverage in January when the DHC PBA Japan Invitational kicks off the 2018 PBA Tour season.

What a great way to launch the new 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour partnership.

And what a great Christmas gift idea for the bowler in your family? Xtra Frame subscriptions are available in a variety of packages: three-day ($3.99), 30-day ($7.99) and Xtra Frame Season Ticket (a full-year’s coverage at an average cost of $1.25 per week) subscriptions are available by visiting “xtraframe.tv” and clicking on the “subscribe now” link.

Under the new Go Bowling! PBA Tour sponsorship, Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America centers are entitled to complimentary subscriptions, simply by contacting PBA’s Dave Schroeder at dave.schroeder@pba.com.

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