Monday, November 30, 2009
All four will arrive in Wichita with high hopes of winning their first PBA major title. Reigning PBA Player of the Year Wes Malott, former PBA Rookie of the Year Rhino Page, newly-crowned PBA Chameleon Champion Bill O’Neill and promising newcomer Thomas Smallwood earned their places in the PBA World Championship finals in late August in suburban Detroit during the PBA World Series of Bowling, and they will settle the matter at 1 p.m. Eastern on Dec. 13 in Wichita.
On the line is a $50,000 first prize, a two-year exemption to bowl on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour and the prestige of winning a major title for the first time. Smallwood, a Saginaw, MI, resident who is bowling full-time only because he was laid off from his job at General Motors earlier in the year, will meet O’Neill, Southampton, PA, in the first semifinal round match.
O’Neill, the PBA’s 2005-06 Rookie of the Year, finally shed his “can’t miss” label during the World Series of Bowling when he won his first PBA Tour title, defeating fellow non-titlist Ronnie Russell of Indianapolis, 205-192, to win the PBA Chameleon Championship.
“I’ve been thinking about it a little bit – what it would be like to win,” O’Neill admitted, “but the show is still a ways away. I’m doing other things to keep my mind off of it. But I’ll definitely be confident. I’m always confident, but not having that title issue in the back of my mind will make things easier, too.
“Winning the World Championship would obviously be special,” he added. “Any time you have a chance to win a major is special, and it would put me in a good place in the Player of the Year race. Winning Player of the Year is every player’s dream.”
Smallwood said he has been too busy to think much about the World Championship finals. “I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad, but I had lots of things to do,” he said. “We moved into a new house. I went to Asia for a month and I spent some time in the woods hunting. I’m just getting ready to get back to practicing.”
Smallwood is the television novice in the group. He made his only prior television appearance in the PBA Scorpion Championship during the World Series of Bowling. It was an educational experience he’ll never forget, for all of the wrong reasons. “I hope it helps,” he said of his 222-175 loss to Australia’s Jason Belmonte in his ESPN debut.
“I bowled terrible. I started bad and by the sixth frame, it was pretty much over. The matches go so fast…there’s so much chaos going on around you, it’s just a flash. I never got lined up. The match was over and I wondered what happened. Even now, I’m not sure what I’d go back and change."
“I just hope I can keep myself in check, keep my nerves down and focus on what I’m doing.” Smallwood said he wasn’t personally disappointed in his Scorpion showing. “I felt worse for my family and my friends who came to watch than I did for myself. I felt like I disappointed them.”
Bowling against O’Neill isn’t a concern, any more than if he had drawn Malott or Page as an opponent. “There is no good draw on tour,” Smallwood said. “In a one-game match, some guy off the street can beat you. You never know what’s going to happen. Yes, it would be nice to win. It would be a big deal. I just hope I can keep myself in check, keep my nerves down and focus on what I’m doing. I probably have 10 people coming to Wichita to watch, so I hope there’s a little reprieve from my first show.”
In the other semifinal, Page will have moral support of a special friend when he tries to get past six-time PBA Tour champion Malott. Page, the 2007-08 PBA Rookie of the Year, comes into the match riding a wave of confidence after winning his third career title in the PBA Viper Championship in Detroit in August.
Malott, who resides in Pflugerville, TX, is coming off a three-title campaign in 2008-09 in which he also made six other TV shows. “I’ve spent a little more time recently thinking about it because it’s giving me incentive to practice,” Page said. “I’ve got the Viper title under my belt and I’m on the show for the World Championship, which are good things.
My goal is to be Player of the Year, so I’m going to keep working hard. “Wes is always tough,” the Wesley Chapel, FL, resident added. “I’m going to have to bowl a nearly flawless game to beat him, but I feel good about my chances. Any time you can beat Wes, it’s like, wow, I can beat anyone.” Page is also excited because a new-found friend, Tyler Cacioppo, and Cacioppo’s family are flying in from Queens, NY, for the finals.
Cacioppo, 10, has Crohn’s disease, a chronic digestive tract disorder. Page befriended Cacioppo a year ago in New York, and recently hosted a fundraiser in Mineola, NY, where he helped the Cacipoppo family raise more than $10,000 to benefit the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.
“It’s a totally cool thing that Tyler and his family are coming to Wichita,” Page said. “It’s something that means a great deal to me. We’ve not only become great friends, but for them to come all the way to Wichita to watch me bowl is pretty special. It’ll definitely give me some added motivation.”
Malott is gearing up for the World Championship finals after a busy schedule of clinics, special appearances and launching a new pro shop business during the break. “I know it’s coming up and I should be pretty much back to 100% for the TV show,” Malott said. “I’m going to bowl a regional in Beaumont (Texas) and the Super Regional before the Red, White and Blue Open.
“I want to be sharp for the show,” he added. “The next thing I want on my resume is a major, and I don’t want to disappoint myself by not being ready. All I can do is put myself in position to win.”
Malott is expecting a battle. He and Page have been frequent opponents over the past year. “I think out of the 10 TV shows Rhino had made, we’ve bowled each other five times,” Malott said. “You don’t run into the same guy on TV that often, especially with me being a righty and Rhino being a lefty. We’ve had some interesting matches and I don’t expect anything different coming up.
“I lost to Rhino in the Shark Championship last year, and he beat me in the Tournament of Champions. We also met on TV in the King of Bowling. He started hot but I re-grouped and struck out to beat him by a pin. “And before the World Championship in Detroit, we bowled to make the show in the Shark Championship. That match went seven games, too (Malott won). So I expect another great match.”
The PBA World Championship will be the first live ESPN telecast of the 2009-10 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season. Following the World Championship finals, the finals of the Pepsi Red, White and Blue Open presented by BOWL.COM will be taped at Northrock Lanes for delayed broadcast on ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 10, at 1 p.m. Eastern.
Friday, November 27, 2009
In the Women’s Scorpion Championship that also aired Sunday on ESPN, Shannon Pluhowsky of Phoenix defeated Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., 192-177, for back-to-back PBA Women’s Series presented by BOWL.COM victories.
DeVaney, a 36-year-old journeyman, won his second career PBA Tour title in a contest that saved him and his family from possible financial ruin. Strikes in the eighth and ninth frames, followed by a spare and strike in the 10th, rallied DeVaney to victory over Australia’s two-handed bowling sensation. Along with a $25,000 first prize, DeVaney also locked up an exemption to bowl on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour for the 2010-11 season and he earned a spot in the end-of-season PBA Experience Showdown presented by BOWL.COM.
“I came in (to the PBA World Series of Bowling) with all the pressure in the world,” DeVaney confessed after his win. “I’m looking at going back home and living on the streets if I don’t make any money here. “Bowling for a living is a difficult thing to do. To be honest, I lived in my car for two weeks before the World Series started to save enough money to be able to afford to get here,” he added.
“My wife and two-year-old son stayed with her parents in a retirement community where only one guest is allowed, so I lived in my truck so we could afford to get here. “I never had much money as a kid, and what money I have made, I’ve spent stupidly. Sometimes you have to make a lot of mistakes in your life before you wake up. This is a real blessing for me. I’m extremely fortunate to win this tournament and get back on my feet.”
DeVaney’s revelation was surprising based upon his composure under intense pressure during a difficult, low-scoring 182-162 victory over Sean Rash of Wichita, Kan., in the semifinal round before an equally demanding title match.
But the difficult scoring conditions, he said, actually played into his plans. “Younger bowlers like Sean and Jason aren’t used to bowling at a 190 pace,” DeVaney said. “They’re always looking for 230s. They’re not used to bowling low games. I was happy shooting a 190, and if they beat me, they beat me. I knew from the first ball I threw that my scores weren’t going to be very good, so I just wanted to throw 10 good shots and leave it out there.
“I’m not bowling the other guys. I’m bowling the lanes and the pins for a score. If I get caught up in dancing around and all that stuff, then what I’m trying to do isn’t going to work. The mental ability to not allow your opponents to affect what you’re doing is monumental at this level.
“I knew I was going to have to grind it out. I think I can play that game pretty well. Today the result was awesome,” DeVaney said. “To have things go my way today was a surprise.”
DeVaney trailed Rash by 35 pins after six frames, but Rash opened his final four frames while DeVaney threw four strikes and converted a pair of seven-count spares to complete his comeback victory. The title match was similar. Belmonte had a 16-pin lead after six frames, but opened in the eighth and 10th frames while DeVaney filled his final four frames. Belmonte won his berth in the title match with a 222-175 win over newcomer Thomas Smallwood of Saginaw, MI, in the semifinal round. Belmonte opened in the first frame, but then threw six strikes in a row to ruin Smallwood’s television debut.
In the Women’s Scorpion Championship, Pluhowsky built a 39-pin lead after seven frames and survived open frames of her own in the ninth and 10th frames to become the first PBA Women’s Series presented by BOWL.COM competitor to win three career titles. She also joined Michelle Feldman of Auburn, NY, as the second to win back-to-back titles, a feat Feldman accomplished during the 2008-09 season.
“I’m glad there weren’t many more frames. I’m not sure what would have happened,” Pluhowsky said. “It was a bad ending for the great time I had at the World Series. I was fortunate to win. “I figured Liz would find a way to win because that’s what great players do. Fortunately, she didn’t.”
Johnson, with a strike in the ninth frame, could have won with a double in the 10th frame, but she left the 3-6 on her first attempt in the final frame. Because Pluhowsky, Johnson and Kelly Kulick had previously won titles to qualify for the end-of-season PBA Women’s Series Showdown presented by BOWL.COM, Feldman earned the Women’s Scorpion Championship berth based upon her fourth-place finish.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) has announced the 63-player field for the 2010 PBA
Tournament of Champions (TOC), set for Jan. 19-24 at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas. The
stepladder finals will be telecast live by ESPN at 1 p.m. Eastern on Jan. 24.
Kelly Kulick, who made PBA history in 2006 as the first woman to earn a full-season exemption to
bowl on the PBA Tour, will make history again as the first woman to compete in the prestigious PBA
event. She won the inaugural PBA Women’s World Championship in August during the PBA World
Series of Bowling.
Another trend-setter in the field is Jason Belmonte of Australia who will be the first two-handed
player to compete in the event after winning last season’s Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic
in West Babylon, NY.
At age 50, Walter Ray Williams Jr., the Tour’s all-time win leader with 46 titles, will again try for his
first Tournament of Champions title. The TOC is the last jewel Williams needs to complete the
PBA’s Triple Crown, Grand Slam and Super Slam.
The PBA Tournament of Champions, the second major championship on the 2009-10 Lumber
Liquidators PBA Tour schedule, is open exclusively to PBA Tour exempt-player champions; the
winners of the most recent PBA Regional Championship and Regional Players Invitational; the
United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Masters winner; the USBC Senior Masters, PBA Senior
U.S. Open and PBA Senior World Championship winners; all Tournament of Champions past
winners, PBA Hall of Famers, and the PBA Women’s World Championship titlist.
Fifty-nine players have been assured spots in the tournament with the Regional Players Invitational
(RPI) representative to be determined at the RPI Championship Dec. 15-17 in Reno, NV. If there
are new PBA Tour champions in the events leading up to the TOC, the players “on the bubble” who
would be eliminated in order are Bob Learn Jr., Kurt Pilon and Dave Arnold.
If any spots in the field are vacant, PBA Tour champions not currently on the exempt Tour list will be
eligible in order of the most recent title winners.
In all, 13 past TOC winners, 16 PBA Hall of Famers and 19 members of the PBA 50 greatest players
of all-time list are scheduled to compete.
The first Tournament of Champions was conducted in 1962 in Indianapolis. The event was not
conducted in 1963 and ’64 but moved to Akron, Ohio, in 1965 where it was conducted until 1994.
Since then, it has been conducted in various locations.
2010 PBA Tournament of Champions Roster
1. Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, NY
2. Mike DeVaney, San Diego, CA
3. Bill O'Neill, Southampton, PA
4. Rhino Page, Wesley Chapel, FL
5. Norm Duke, Clermont, FL
6. Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, FL
7. Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, FL
8. Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, TX
9. Jason Belmonte, Australia
10. Chris Barnes, Double Oak, TX
11. Wes Malott, Pflugerville, TX
12. Jeff Carter, Springfield, IL
13. John Nolen, Grand Blanc, MI
14. Parker Bohn III, Jackson, NJ
15. Mike Wolfe, New Albany, IN
16. Michael Machuga, Erie, PA
17. Brad Angelo, Lockport, NY
18. Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, SC
19. Michael Haugen Jr., Carefree, AZ
20. Michael Fagan, Patchogue, NY
21. Robert Smith, Columbus, OH
22. Sean Rash, Wichita, KS
23. Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, MI
24. Doug Kent, Newark, NY
25. Pete Weber, St. Ann, MO
26. Jason Couch, Clermont, FL
27. Brian Voss, Alpharetta, GA
28. Ritchie Allen, Columbia, SC
29. Steve Jaros, Yorkville, IL
30. Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, NY
31. Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, KS
32. Eugene McCune, Munster, IN
33. Mike Edwards, Tulsa, OK
34. Dale Traber, Cedarburg, WI
35. Wayne Webb, Sacramento, CA
36. Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, NY
37. Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., MI
38. Kelly Kulick, Union, NJ
39. RPI CHAMPION (To be determined)
40. Del Ballard Jr., Keller, TX
41. Dave D'Entremont, Middleburg Heights, OH
42. Bryan Goebel, Shawnee, KS
43. John Petraglia, Jackson, NJ
44. Mark Williams, Beaumont, TX
45. Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela
46. Dave Soutar, Bradenton, FL
47. Carmen Salvino, Schaumburg, IL
48. Dave Husted, Milwaukie, OR
49. Tom Baker, King, NC
50. Don McCune, Las Vegas, NV
51. Ernie Schlegel, Vancouver, WA
52. Roy Buckley, Westerville, OH
53. Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, MD
54. Mike Mineman, St. Louis, MO
55. Tony Reyes, San Bruno, CA
56. Chris Collins, Savannah, GA
57. Brian Himmler, Cincinnati, OH
58. Rick Lawrence, Waxahachie, TX
59. Bryon Smith, Roseburg, OR
60. Randy Pedersen, Clermont, FL
61. Dave Arnold, Dublin, CA
62. Kurt Pilon, Warren, MI
63. Bob Learn Jr., Erie, PA.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
This Sunday on ESPN: PBA Scorpion and Women’s Series Scorpion
Championships 1 P.M. EASTERN
PBA Women’s Series Scorpion Championship presented by BOWL.COM
Championship: Shannon Pluhowsky, Phoenix, AZ vs. Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga,
NY, Prize Money: 1, $10,000; 2, $6,000
First round leader (after 7 games): Liz Johnson, 1,573
Second round leader (after 14 games): Kelly Kulick, 2,974
Best-of-seven-game match play summary: Pluhowsky def. Shannon O’Keefe, 4-1,
and Kelly Kulick, 4-2. Johnson def. Jodi Woessner, 4-1, and Michelle Feldman,
PBA Scorpion Championship
Semifinal Match One: Sean Rash, Wichita, KS vs. Mike DeVaney, San Diego, CA
Semifinal Match Two: Thomas Smallwood, Saginaw, MI vs. Jason Belmonte,
Championship Match: Winners of Match one and Match two
Prize Money: 1, $25,000; 2, $13,000; 3-4, $7,000
First round leader (after 7 games): Chris Barnes, 1,650
Second round leader (after 14 games): Pete Weber, 3,158
Round of 28
Rash def. Andrew Cain, 4-1
DeVaney def. Chris Loschetter, 4-2
Smallwood def. Martin Larsen, 4-1
Belmonte def. Walter Ray Williams Jr., 4-1
Round of 16
DeVaney def. Rhino Page, 4-1
Rash def. Weber, 4-3
Smallwood def. Barnes, 4-3
Belmonte def. Lonnie Waliczek, 4-3
Round of 8
Belmonte def. Steve Jaros, 4-2
Smallwood def. Norm Duke, 4-3
Rash def. Wes Malott, 4-2
DeVaney def. Jack Jurek, 4-2
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thanks in large part to the voluntary organizing efforts of Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour champion and Wichita resident Sean Rash, one of the largest PBA “Super Regionals” ever held will serve as the opening act to the Pepsi Red, White and Blue Open presented by the United States Bowling Congress, and the live ESPN finals of the PBA World Championship.
The curtain goes up Dec. 4 at Thunderbird Lanes when the PBA teams up with the Kansas Chapter of Make-A-Wish Foundation for a Friday night PBA “Bowling for Wishes” Celebrity Charity Pro-Am, hosted by Rash. The fundraiser will feature four Chicago Cubs baseball players (catcher Koyie Hill, pitchers Randy Wells and Ryan Dempster, and shortstop Mike Fontenot), New York Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey, PGA golf tour champion Woody Austin, Grammy award-winning country music artist Tracy Byrd, Wichita Wingnuts manager Kevin Hooper, local media celebrities and PBA Tour champions Chris Barnes, Pete Weber, Wes Malott, Lonnie Waliczek, Justin Hromek, Rick Steelsmith and Rash.
Bowling for Wishes Pro-am participants will be eligible for prizes including a 42-inch plasma flat-screen TV, passes to Wichita area golf courses, Kansas City Royals baseball tickets, restaurant passes, Brunswick bowling balls and more.
Make-A-Wish will receive $10 from each pro-am entry as well as proceeds from a special silent auction that will accompany the event.
For national and regional PBA members, and any amateur bowlers who care to participate, competitive bowling takes the stage Saturday and Sunday when the unique “Super Regional” will require all players to bowl six-game qualifying rounds at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at two different Wichita bowling centers - Northrock Lanes and Thunderbird Lanes.
The top one-third of the field will advance to a five-game semifinal round Sunday at 9 a.m. at Northrock Lanes to trim the field to 16 for the single-elimination match play finals starting at 1 p.m. The Round of 16 and Round of 8 will be best-of-five-game rounds. The semifinal and championship rounds concluding the event will be best of three games.
Entry fees for the Super Regional are $250 for PBA members and $325 for amateurs.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity for some good bowling prior to the start of the Pepsi Red, White and Blue Open,” Rash said. “It’ll give the guys a great tune-up for the national event, and first prize is going to be $5,000, so that will make them happy, too. If the field fills up (to a maximum of 160 players), the prize fund will be better than advertised.”
Capping the weekend will be a special “sponsor’s dinner,” also hosted by Rash, where corporate sponsors for the events will go to dinner at a premium Wichita restaurant with a PBA Tour star as their dinner partner.
“It’s been a lot of work,” said Rash, who also made two-week trips to Asia and Europe on behalf of Brunswick during the so-called break. “But it’ll all be worth it. Any time you can involve charities and professional athletes for a good cause, it’s going to be a great event.”
Immediately following the Bowling for Wishes Super Regional weekend, the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour resumes action in the Pepsi Red, White and Blue Open presented by the United States Bowling Congress at Northrock Lanes.
This event, which is open to amateurs as well as PBA members, will showcase three new lane conditioning patterns developed by the USBC for grassroots league bowling competition starting in the fall of 2010. All players will bowl eight games on the Red and White patterns – each in advancing degrees of difficulty – and the top one-third of the field will advance to an eight-game cashers’ round Thursday morning on the Blue pattern.
The top 24 qualifiers then advance to match play where they’ll bowl another three eight-game rounds on the USBC patterns. The top six after 48 games will advance to a modified match play final which will be conducted immediately following the live finals of the PBA World Championship and taped for airing on ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 10, at 1 p.m. Eastern.
The PBA World Championship, which will air at 1 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, Dec. 13, will feature matches between Bill O’Neill of Southampton, PA, vs. Thomas Smallwood of Saginaw, MI, and reigning PBA Player of the Year Wes Malott of Pflugerville, TX, vs. Rhino Page of Wesley Chapel, FL. The winners of the two matches will meet for the first major title of the 2009-10 season.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Black Widow Nasty takes the Widow series to a place she’s never been, with a new "High RG Widow Core Shape" that pushes the Widow to extreme lengths. The last Widow in the series said Hammer Brand Manger Jeff Ussery, features a new core shape and red sparkle elements in the cover.
"New "Violent Wheel Reactive" coverstock (4000 Grit Abralon) creates a strong down lane movement that gets through the pins with some serious angle" commented Ussery. This ball is Black/Purple/Red Sparkle in color (with the sparkles only featured in the red segments of the ball).
A new addition to the Hammer line is the new core feature called Cover-Puck technology. "To enhance the down lane movement, we’ve drilled away part of the outer core and filled that void with Violent Wheel Coverstock material. This offset of coverstock material creates extra hooking power down the lane, and brings the Nasty back from nearly anywhere on the lane" explained Usserry! Core numbers in 15# Radius of Gyration (RG) - 2.56, RG Differential - .057
Black Widow Nasty has a Worldwide Release Date of December 15, 2009.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
This Sunday on ESPN 1 P.M. EASTERN: PBA Chameleon and Women’s Series
PBA Chameleon Championship
Semifinal Match One: Sean Rash, Wichita, KS vs. Ronnie Russell, Camby, IN
Semifinal Match Two: Bill O’Neill, Southampton, PA vs. Amleto Monacelli,
Championship Match: Winners of Match one and Match two
Prize Money: 1, $25,000; 2, $13,000; 3-4, $7,000
Hall of Famer Monacelli tries for his 20th Tour title, Rash his fifth, and O’Neill
and Russell their first
Fourth event of 2009-10 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season
Winner earns berth in PBA Experience Showdown presented by BOWL.COM
Event conducted on PBA Chameleon lane condition
First round leader (after 7 games): Andres Gomez, 1,654
Second round leader (after 14 games): Sean Rash, 3,112
Third Round - Match Play (28 games)
Rash earned a bye in this round by virtue of qualifying in the top four
Russell def.Steve Harman, 4-2, O’Neill def. Mike Machuga, 4-1, Monacelli def.
Jason Sterner, 4-0
Round of 16
Russell def. Chris Barnes, 4-2
Rash def. Jeff Carter, 4-1
O’Neill def. Steve Jaros, 4-3
Monacelli def. Mike DeVaney, 4-3
Round of 8
Monacelli def. Andres Gomez, 4-3
O’Neill def. Walter Ray Williams Jr., 4-3
Rash def. Chad Kloss, 4-2
Russell def. Brian Kretzer, 4-0
PBA Women’s Series Chameleon Championship presented by BOWL.COM
Championship: Shannon Pluhowsky, Phoenix vs. Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Keller, TX
Prize Money: 1, $10,000; 2, $6,000
Pluhowsky is trying for her second and
Dorin-Ballard her third Women’s Series title
Third Women’s Series event of 2009-10 season
Winner earns berth in PBA Women’s Showdown presented by BOWL.COM
Event conducted on PBA Chameleon lane condition
First round leader (after 7 games): Kelly Kulick, 1,571
Second round leader (after 14 games): Kelly Kulick, 3,033
Best-of-seven-game match play summary: Dorin-Ballard def. Diandra Asbaty, 4-1,
and Jodi Woessner, 4-3 Pluhowsky def. Tammy Boomershine, 4-3, and Liz Johnson,
“When I saw this one coming down the line I knew we had a winner. It’s an awesome color and it compliments the line a great deal in terms of something on the performance side we really don’t have,” said Brand Manager Chad Murphy. 15# RG 2.560, 15# Diff.040 Worldwide release Dec. 15, 2009.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sporting a shaved head in support of a friend undergoing cancer treatment, and playing a style of
game outside his normal comfort zone, Rhino Page of Wesley Chapel, FL, out-struck Ryan Ciminelli
of Buffalo, NY, to win the Professional Bowlers Association’s Viper Championship at
As part of the PBA World Series of Bowling finals that aired Sunday on ESPN, Liz Johnson of
Cheektowaga, NY, won her first PBA Women’s Series presented by BOWL.COM singles title,
defeating Lynda Barnes of Double Oak, TX, 211-196, for the women’s Viper Championship.
Page, the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour’s 2007-08 Rookie of the Year, defeated Ciminelli, 268-
246, for his third career title, a $25,000 prize and a berth in the end-of-season PBA Experience
Showdown presented by BOWL.COM.
“It feels great to be able to get off to a great start in the World Series, and to make a show in my
third event,” Page said. “To get my third title this early in the season feels amazing.”
Page said he turned the corner in the Viper Championship early in the event when he was
struggling with his equipment and decided to switch from “reactive” bowling balls to more stable
urethane equipment. Ciminelli, a non-exempt player who advanced out of the Tour Qualifying Round
(TQR) to earn a spot in the 72-man tournament field, was bowling next to Page – and made the same
equipment move with similar results. Ironically, the two left-handers eventually met for the title.
“I threw the ball much differently than the way I usually bowl,” Page said. “I was literally trying to
loft the ball over the dots and as I was doing so, I was hitting it as hard as I could with as many
revolutions as I could to try to get that urethane ball to do the right thing. In a sense, I was trying
to make it behave like a reactive (ball), but a controlled reactive. For Ciminelli, that’s his A game. His
rotation and revs match up perfectly. For me, lacking the revolutions, I had to do something.”
Page's technique worked. Ciminelli struck on seven of his first eight shots before leaving three
consecutive 7 pins that ultimately made the difference because Page struck on nine of his first 10
While Page’s modified bowling style wasn’t readily apparent to most bowling fans, his hair style
“One of my best friends is going through cancer treatment and he’s lost all of his hair,” Page said in
reference to his shaved head. “I told him when he started treatment that I’d do this for him. I wanted
to show him my support, even though I’m not there with him.”
With an early title in hand, Page said he is “stoked” for the rest of the 2009-10 Lumber Liquidators
PBA Tour season.
“My ultimate goal is Player of the Year,” he said. “I’ve got a title under my belt. I had a really good
World Series, and I qualified for the TV final coming up in the PBA World Championship (on Dec.
13 in Wichita, KS). I’m really happy. I think I’m in the position I want to be in.”
Page advanced to the Viper title match with a 221-180 victory over Steve Jaros of Yorkville, IL, in
the semifinal round while Ciminelli threw two strikes in the 10th frame to nip Michael Haugen Jr. of
Carefree, AZ, 238-236, in the other semifinal contest.
In the women’s title match, Johnson followed an open frame with three strikes and added a late
double to hold off Barnes, who was plagued by single-pin leaves. Barnes left three 10 pins, two 7
pins and a pair of 4 pins in bowling an otherwise error-free game without a double.
“It’s been an amazing year,” said Johnson, who won the United States Bowling Congress (USBC)
Queens title earlier in the year after earning a PBA Women’s Series exemption for 2009-10 by
teaming with Norm Duke to win the Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles title in January.
Regardless of her success in 2009, which included top-four finishes in all PBA World Series of
Bowling events for women, Johnson has maintained an almost shy demeanor. Her humility, in part, is
due to the fact that her dream of a full-time career as a professional woman bowler almost ended in
2003 when the Professional Women’s Bowling Association ceased operation. The creation of the
PBA Women’s Series, in cooperation with the USBC, has given women bowlers renewed hope.
“It makes no sense to get a big ego after winning a title,” she explained. “You do the best you can.
You’re thankful for your life, your family, your parents. You’re thankful for having the Women’s Series
after the women’s tour folded (in 2003). You kinda feel like you took things for granted, having the
opportunity to bowl 10-20 events a year, and then the tour’s gone. I would never do that again. I’m
very thankful for the opportunities I still have to bowl.”
Johnson has had significant success bowling against the PBA’s male stars as well, and plans to
continue to bowl in selected PBA Tour events. “I’m going to bowl in the (Pepsi) Red, White and
Blue Open (presented by the USBC) in Wichita (Dec. 7-13) and in the Dick Weber Open in
Fountain Valley (Calif., Jan. 26-31). And hopefully in the U.S. Open (Feb. 22-28 in Indianapolis),”
Johnson said. “I plan to bowl as much as I can.”
In addition to her $10,000 first prize, Johnson earned a berth in the PBA Women’s Showdown
presented by BOWL.COM which will take place in April at the new International Training Center in
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 1 p.m. Eastern
Semifinal Match One: Steve Jaros, Yorkville, IL. vs. Rhino Page, Wesley Chapel, FL.
Semifinal Match Two: Ryan Ciminelli, Buffalo, NY vs. Mike Haugen Jr., Carefree, AZ
Woman's Championship: Lynda Barnes, Double Oak, TX vs. Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, NY
The Lumber Liquidator's Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour’s scheduled tournament in
Medford, Ore., Jan. 4-10, has become a casualty of the national economic slump.
“The Professional Bowlers Association regrets to announce Lava Lanes in Medford will be unable
to host the Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles event in 2010,” said PBA Commissioner and CEO
Fred Schreyer. “It’s an unavoidable situation, and it’s too late in the planning process to find a host
center to replace Medford.”
Schreyer said the Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles will be moved to Brunswick Zone-Wheat
Ridge in Wheat Ridge, Colo., Feb. 15-21, where it will replace the previously-announced Gemini
The cancellation also will mean a minor re-scheduling of the PBA Tour’s 2009-10 ESPN television
schedule. The tape-delayed finals of the Pepsi Red, White and Blue Open presented by the
United States Bowling Congress will be moved from Jan. 3 to Medford’s Jan. 10 date. Schreyer
said a decision on the Jan. 3 air date will be made after discussions with ESPN.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Norm Duke added another milestone to his Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Hall of
Fame career by capturing the PBA Cheetah Championship at Thunderbowl Lanes for his 33rd
Duke, who now ranks fifth on the list of PBA all-time title winners behind Walter Ray Williams Jr.
(46), Earl Anthony (43) and Mark Roth and Pete Weber (34 each), ended an incredible run by
challenger Ryan Ciminelli of Buffalo, N.Y., to win their best-of-seven-game championship match,
The finals of the PBA World Series of Bowling event, presented in a unique documentary-style
format narrated by ESPN’s Kenny Mayne, gave viewers an inside look at a PBA match play event.
The third event in the PBA World Series of Bowling aired Sunday on ESPN.
The 23-year-old Ciminelli, a non-exempt player who is seeking his first Lumber Liquidators PBA
Tour title, led the Cheetah Championship Tour Qualifying Round (TQR) to get into the 72
-man tournament field. He then led both rounds of qualifying and won best-of-seven-game matches
against Hall of Famer Brian Voss, four-time Tour champion Ryan Shafer and PBA Tour rookie Derek
Sapp to advance to the title match.
Against the 45-year-old Duke, Ciminelli won the first game, 226-212, but the Clermont, FL, veteran
then took control, winning the next four matches, 236-228, 257-213, 236-193, and 258-205.
“If Ryan would have gotten a 2-0 edge on me, I don’t know if I could have come back,” Duke said.
“The lanes were changing and you really had to keep up with it. Being down by 42 (pins) at one
point in that second game, I didn’t know if I could have turned it around if I had lost.”
After a first-round bye on his side of the single-elimination match play bracket, Duke defeated
Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Chris Barnes to earn his berth in the championship match.
“For me it’s like tennis. You have to attack every opponent differently,” Duke said. “With Ryan being
left-handed I had a fresh condition on the right side of the lane which was an advantage for me.”
Ciminelli, who had little trouble carrying corner pins on pocket hits throughout the tournament,
ran into a pair where he had trouble kicking out the 7 pin.
“I had trouble carrying on this pair of lanes in a side tournament before this tournament started,”
Ciminelli said “but I thought it might have been just a unique situation.
“I was pretty calm going into the championship match and started out making good shots, but
after a while I couldn’t carry,” he added. “I tried everything I could to get rid of the 7 pin, but
Duke earned $25,000 for his victory. As the first so-called “animal pattern” winner of the season,
Duke also earned a berth in the end-of-season PBA Experience Showdown presented by
BOWL.COM which will be held at the new USBC International Training and Research Center in
Arlington, Texas, in April. Ciminelli earned $13,000 and his best Tour finish since finishing seventh in
last season’s CLR Carmen Salvino Scorpion Championship in Vernon Hills, Ill.
The Cheetah Championship was a landmark event for several reasons. It was the first Lumber
Liquidators PBA Tour event ever to incorporate a best-of-seven-game title match; it was the
Tour’s first highlight-style telecast, and it was the first PBA Tour event held in Thunderbowl’s
historic Arena Bay in more than a decade.
LUMBER LIQUIDATORS PBA TOUR CHEETAH CHAMPIONSHIP
Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, MI
Championship (best of seven games)
Norm Duke, Clermont, FL ($25,000) def. Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, NY ($13,000),
212-226, 236-228, 257-213, 236-193, 258-205.
Semifinal Round (best of seven games)
Ciminelli def. Derek Sapp, Keokuk, Iowa ($7,000),
269-263, 258-238, 213-287, 255-190, 209-206.
Duke def. Stevie Weber, Chalmette, LA ($7,000),
247-234, 269-223, 226-236, 217-204, 237-215.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
The CSI episode is centered around a professional bowling event taking place in Las Vegas. The tournament abruptly comes to a halt at a key moment in the match when a grisly murder is discovered. During the episode, the CSI team attempts to solve the mystery of who committed the murder.
Jason Thomas, a writer and production contributor to pba.com and its Xtra Frame online television channel, was asked to serve as a “bowling consultant” for the episode, where he taught several cast members and guest stars how to bowl. Thomas also acted as a “stunt” double to provide realistic professional bowling shots.
“Working on the show was a dream come true for me,” said Thomas, “I was incredibly impressed with how much care the cast and crew took to ensure the bowling elements were as true to the sport as possible.”
CSI is one of television’s most popular shows, and is watched by an average of more than 20 million viewers each week. It has spawned two spinoffs, CSI: New
York and CSI Miami, and is also currently in syndication on the Spike network
and TV Land.
The show’s cast includes popular actors Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger,
Jorja Fox, Paul Guilfoyle and a host of others.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The manufacturer’s intent for the 920A was to be more Angular on medium-heavy oil lane patterns. Built with a modified "LEGGO" core platform, the engineers raised the RG to 2.57 on a 15 pound ball and modified the horse power (Intermediate Differential) to .020, thus gaining extra length while still having plenty of hitting power.
“The 920A will have a much more dramatic overall hook than the previous ‘A’ series balls,” said Ebonite International Inc. ball engineer Jason Kosby.
In the Track ball naming system, the name of the product tells its performance: 9 Series bowling balls are the high performance products. The last two numbers in the name of the ball stand for its intermediate differential, which tells how much lane the ball will cover before it begins to move. The letter at the end of the numerals — A, C, or T — tells if a ball is Angular, Controlled or has a lot of Traction. The Series ball line debuted in May as a reformation for the Track brand. Instead of classifying balls in the high-, upper-mid and mid-performance category, Brand Manager Paul Figliomeni shunned the traditional ball naming system for a more no-holds-bar approach.
The 920A has the "HP Gen 3 Reactive™" coverstock with a Performance Pearl additive finished off with 4000 grit Abralon sanded.
“The pearl in the cover keeps the ball from gaining too much traction,” Kosby said.
The 920A will be available Dec. 1, 2009, in 12 to 16 pounds. Each new Track ball now comes with a microfiber cleaning pouch along with instructions on ball cleaning and maintenance so customers can get the most out of the product.
Both the Bounty Hunter and Bounty Hunter Pearl can be used to qualify for part of the $50,000 Bounty prize pool. The $50,000 program runs through the end of April 2010, so bowlers and Pro Shops have the entire league season to collect their share. 15# R.G. - 2.5030. Diff. - 0490. Flare Potential 5 - 6" Available November 16th.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
In the wake of the news that Jeri Edwards would not be continuing as head coach
of Team USA, it now has been announced that USBC Chief Operating Officer Kevin Dornberger will be stepping down from his position. His last official day will be Nov. 20.
In the case of Edwards, the parting of the ways with USBC involved, at least
initially, her reluctance to relocate to Arlington, TX. Later, when it was decided to merge the Team USA coach job with coaching activities at the new International Training Center in Arlington, the expanded position was not offered to Edwards.
(See the November issue of Bowlers Journal International for more on what Edwards described as her “termination.”)
For Dornberger, his departure from USBC comes after he and his family relocated
from the Milwaukee area, the former long-time home of USBC, to Arlington.
“I am very proud of what we accomplished in moving the organization to Arlington,” Dornberger said in a USBC news release.
“Now I feel like it is time for me to move on and pursue other career challenges.”
Dornberger was named Interim Chief Operating Officer in July 2007 after the retirement of Roger Dalkin, and had the “Interim” tag removed in 2008.
Prior to his appointment as Interim COO, he had been USBC Vice President
for National Governing Body since 2005. He also oversaw the organization’s
legal affairs as General Counsel from 2005 to 2007.
Dornberger also has been a leading force in attempting to get bowling more recognition as an international sport. Before joining the full time USBC staff, Dornberger had been a member of the American Bowling Congress (ABC) Board of Directors since 1985 and was elected a vice president in 1995.
When the USBC was formed in 2005, he held the title of ABC Executive Vice
President. During his 20 years on the board, he also served as USA Bowling president and administrative director.
Active as a youth bowling volunteer for years, he was a youth coach and later became president of the Sioux Falls, S.D., Young American Bowling Alliance (YABA) local association in 1989.
But as often happens when new management is hired, there seemingly was
no place for Dornberger in the “new” USBC. “Kevin has been a central figure and key leader in the sport of bowling for many years,” said Stu Upson, USBC’s new Executive Director.
“He has helped build a solid foundation for the organization’s future success. I wish Kevin all the best in his future endeavors.” At the time USBC issued
the press release regarding his departure, Dornberger had not obtained new employment.
However, he continues to serve as president of the World Tenpin Bowling Assn.
Whether his departure from USBC will impact that position remains to be seen.
Traditionally, U.S. representatives on the WTBA board have had ties with America’s governing body for bowling.
eBowler has learned that there have been other staff changes in Arlington, as
well as reorganization of various departments. We’ll have more on the comings -and-goings at the International Bowling Campus in the December issue of BJI.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
A new Ebonite high performance ball is being introduced as the Magic Action.
Ebonite suggests “The Magic Action is the perfect complement to the Magic and Magic Touch, designed with more length in mind.” The Navy/Red/Gold “Flexol Super Plus ™” Reactive coverstock is combined with the “Magic Symmetric Mass Bias” Core. #15lb. RG - 2.52, Differential - .051. Available December 1st.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Walter Ray Williams Jr. has already ventured into territory no bowler in history
has seen, but when he rallied to defeat Chris Barnes, 238-230, and win the
Professional Bowlers Association (PBA)’s Motor City Open at Thunderbowl
Lanes, he broke new ground even for himself.
Williams, who turned 50 on Oct. 6, won a record 46th title in a PBA Tour career
that began in 1983, and he extended his PBA record for winning at least one
title to 17 consecutive seasons. The Ocala, FL resident, who is now eligible
to bowl on the PBA Senior Tour as well as the so-called “Junior Tour,” threw
seven strikes and converted four single-pin spares in the Motor City Open finals
that aired Sunday on ESPN. But his nearly flawless performance almost wasn’t
Barnes, with strikes on seven of his first eight shots, left the 3-6-9-10 in the
ninth frame and failed to convert the spare, giving Williams the lead for the
first time in the title match. Then, needing a double and eight pins in the 10th
frame to overtake Williams, Barnes left a 7 pin on his first shot.
“I left a lot of nine counts,” Williams said. “In the first frame, I threw a
great shot and left a ringing 10 pin. The one I left in the third frame (a 6
pin), I pinched the shot a little left, but I’ll throw the ball the same way
every time after leaving ringing 10s. Sometimes you’ll strike, sometimes not.
Fortunately today I didn’t get too many taps.”
The title match was a strike-fest compared to the earlier matches, when
conditions were challenging. Bill O’Neill of Southampton, PA, needed a late
strike surge to escape Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, SC, 201-169, in the
O’Neill then got lined up and blew past Pete Weber of St. Ann, MO, 257-224. But
as the lane conditions changed, the transition caught up to O’Neill in the
semifinal match, when Barnes out-lasted him, 183-169, to set up a title match
between the top two qualifiers in the event.
Barnes made a critical adjustment to find the pocket in the championship game,
but Williams had an even better answer.
“At one time in my career, I was 0-9 on TV,” Williams said, “but things turned
around. For a long time, I couldn’t do anything right. Since things turned around,
TV has been going good for me.”
Even as he approaches his debut on the PBA Senior Tour at the end of the 2009
-10 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season, Williams isn’t showing any signs of
“As long as I feel good and stay competitive, I’ll keep on bowling,” he said. “I
don’t want to be out here if I’m not competitive; I’d be too frustrated. When I
can’t compete, when it’s isn’t fun, I’ll retire. I have no issue with that. But
I feel like I’m still doing pretty well.”
He also has set no goals or aspirations for whatever happens before he retires
his bowling shoes.
“I keep saying one more (title), and now it’s 46,” he laughed. “Winning a
tournament is the best thing in the world, but you never know when it’s going to
be the last one.”
LUMBER LIQUIDATORS PBA TOUR MOTOR CITY OPEN
Thunderbowl, Allen Park, Michigan
1, Walter Ray Williams, Jr., Ocala, FL, $25,000
2, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, TX, $13,000
3, Bill O’Neill, Southampton, PA, $9,000
4, Pete Weber, St. Ann, MO, $7,000
5, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, SC, $6,000