Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Queens Finals on ESPN2


Not long ago, Elysia Current was a dominant collegiate bowler.

Now, she's the top seed at the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Queens, and one win away from officially proving herself against the best bowlers in the world.

The 26-year-old right-hander averaged 228 on the way to a 6-0 match-play record at the Oncenter Convention Center in Syracuse, NY, including a 626-584 win Tuesday against former Team USA member Missy Parkin in the battle for the No. 1 seed for tonight’s ESPN2 telecast.

Parkin (formerly Bellinder) earned the No. 2 seed for the show and is looking to avenge a heart-breaking loss to eventual champion Kelly Kulick in the second match of last year's stepladder, when she needed a mark to advance, but left a 7-10 split and finished fourth.

The two will be joined by No. 3 seed Kim Terrell-Kearney, No. 4 Cathy Dorin-Lizzi and No. 5 Wendy Macpherson, who is looking to win a record fourth Queens title. Terrell-Kearney and Macpherson are USBC Hall of Famers.

"I'm just taking everything in as it happens and trying to enjoy being out here and competing," said Current, who was the 2003-04 Collegiate Player and Rookie of the Year at Fairleigh Dickinson University. "When I'm not in a bowling center, I try not to think about bowling or talk about bowling. Tonight (Tuesday), I'm going to relax and enjoy the moment and just wait for the lights to go on (Wednesday)."

After two successful seasons at Fairleigh Dickinson, Current transferred to bowling powerhouse Wichita State University and enjoyed some time under the TV lights while helping the Shockers to a win at the 2007 USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships.

That same year, the two-time Junior Team USA member also took home the women's title at the USBC Intercollegiate Singles Championships, which earned her a spot on “Bowling's Clash of Champions” in 2008.

"I know they all have more experience, but I've been on TV twice before, and that's in the back of my mind right now," Current said. "I just love competing, and I'm excited about the opportunity to prove myself as a competitor at this level."

The championship round of the Queens was televised live on ESPN2 earlier Wednesday evening at 7 Eastern.

Koivuniemi, Barnes and O'Neill Top PBA Statistics

Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, MI, has officially won the 2010-11 Lumber
Liquidators PBA Tour earnings title and George Young High Average award,
while Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, and Bill O’Neill of Southampton, PA, topped
the other key PBA statistical charts.

Thanks to his PBA-record $250,000 first prize in the PBA Tournament of 
Champions, Koivuniemi dominated the Tour in earnings with $333,040, the 
third-highest single-season total on record behind Walter Ray Williams Jr.’s 
$419,700 during the 2002-03 season and Patrick Allen’s $350,740 in 2004-05. 
Koivuniemi also led the PBA Tour in earnings during the 2003-04 season when he 
won PBA Player of the Year honors.

Koivuniemi also won his second George Young High Average Award, bowling at a 
222.50 pace for 292 games. He won his previous high average award during his 
Player of the Year season, averaging 222.73.

Despite the fact that Koivuniemi became the first player in PBA history to reach 
the nationally-televised finals in all four PBA majors (PBA World Championship, 
Tournament of Champions, Bayer USBC Masters and U.S. Open), Barnes was nearly as 
dominant. His PBA World Championship title along with his consistency throughout 
the season was the key factor in topping both O’Neill and Koivuniemi to win his 
third career Harry Smith Point Leader Award.

O’Neill also had an excellent season, topping the Tour with 12 cashes and 10 
match play finals in 12 events. He also tied Koivuniemi for the most 
championship round appearances with five.

For complete listings of all statistics for the 2010-11 Lumber Liquidators PBA 
Tour season, click on the “statistics” tab on the pba.com home page.

Sullins Defeats Williams in PBA Senior Sun Bowl in The Villages Event

Harry Sullins of Chesterfield Township, MI, defeated PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray 
Williams Jr. of Ocala, FL, 248-239 in the title match Tuesday to win the Professional
Bowlers Association (PBA) Senior Sun Bowl In the Villages at Spanish Springs Lanes. 
 
Sullins, who won the 2009 PBA Senior World Championship for his first Senior 
Tour title, put together seven consecutive strikes after an open and spare in the 
first two frames of the title match to help seal the win. 
 
“I thought I would have a good read with the ball I was throwing in the semifinal 
match but that wasn’t the case,” said Sullins, who also owns five PBA Tour titles. 
 
“I had to go to another ball, adjust my hand position and release and was able to
put seven strikes together.” The win brought back some memories for the 53-year-
old Sullins who won his first title on the PBA Tour by defeating Williams in the 
championship match of the True Value Open in 1986. 
 
“It brought back some memories bowling in that match,” Sullins said. “Anytime you
bowl Walter Ray you’re in for a tough match. There’s a saying out here on tour—if 
you want to win you have to beat Walter Ray.” 
 
Sullins had to win four matches Tuesday to get to the title match including a 253-
175 win in the semifinal against Mike Hastings of Millsboro, DE. 
 
“All the matches were tough today,” Sullins said. “I had a pretty good handle on 
the semifinal but I really felt I had to earn this one.” In the other semifinal match,
Williams, the 2010 Senior Rookie of the Year, defeated 2009 Senior Player of 
the Year Ron Mohr of Eagle River, Alaska, 270-199, to advance to the final match.
 
The next stop for the PBA Senior Tour is George Pappas Victory Lanes in 
Mooresville, N.C., for the PBA Senior Miller High Life Classic May 1-4. 
 
PBA SENIOR SUN BOWL IN THE VILLAGES Spanish Springs Lanes, The Villages, FL. 
 
Final Results Championship Match Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Township, MI. ($7,500) 
def. Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, FL. ($4,000), 248-239. 
 
Semifinal Round (one-game matches, losers earn $2,500) 
W.R. Williams def. Ron Mohr, Eagle River, Alaska, 270-199. 
Sullins def. Mike Hastings, Millsboro, Del., 253-175. 
 
Round of 8 (best-of-three games, losers eliminated, $1,700 each) 
Mohr def. Brian Brazeau, Ocala, Fla., 2-1. 
W.R. Williams def. Mark Williams, Beaumont, Texas, 2-0. 
Hastings def. Ron Jacobson, Jupiter, Fla., 2-0. 
Sullins def. Vince Honeycutt, Buford, Ga., 2-0. 
 
Round of 16 (best-of-five games, losers eliminated, $1,300 each) 
Mohr def. Dave Patchen, Oregon, Ohio, 3-0. 
Brazeau def. Henry Gonzalez, Colorado Springs, Colo., 3-1. 
W.R. Williams def. Kerry Painter, Henderson, Nev., 3-0. 
M. Williams def. Mike Dias, Lafayette, Colo., 3-2. 
Jacobson def. Marc Lineberry, Camanche, Iowa, 3-2. 
Hastings def. Gary Shultis, Levittown, N.Y., 3-0. 
Honeycutt def. Tom Baker, King, N.C., 3-0. 
Sullins def. Don Sylvia, Reno, Nev., 3-1. 
 
Round of 24 (best-of-five games, losers eliminated, $1,100 each) 
Patchen def. Keith Glasgow, St. Petersburg, Fla., 3-1. 
Brazeau def. Frank Gallo, Jr., Newport News, Va., 3-2. 
W.R. Williams def. Steve Ferraro, Kingston, N.Y., 3-2. 
Dias def. Don Blatchford, Santa Monica, Calif., 3-1. 
Jacobson def. Pete Couture, Titusville, Fla., 3-1. 
Hastings def. Tom Howison, Chillicothe, Ohio, 3-0. 
Honeycutt def. Bob Handley, Winter Garden, Fla., 3-2. 
Sullins def. Warren Blankenship, Ardmore, Okla., 3-2. 
 
Round of 32 (best-of-five games, losers eliminated, $1,000 each) 
Patchen def. Peter Knopp, Germany, 3-1. 
Brazeau def. Dave Bernhardt, Romeo, Mich., 3-1. 
Ferraro def. Kenny Parks, Hammond, Ind., 3-1. 
Dias def. Ken May, Titusville, Fla., 3-0. 
Couture def. Tom Milton, St. Petersburg, Fla., 3-2. 
Howison def. Emilio Mora Sr., Defiance, Ohio, 3-0. 
Honeycutt def. George Lord, Lakeland, Fla., 3-0. 
Blankenship def. Roger Kossert, Lithia, Fla., 3-2.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Intercollegiate Team Tourney Begins Thursday

The Wichita State University men will look for a record fourth consecutive national title, while second-year program Webber International will try to defend its women's championship when the USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships kicks off Thursday in Columbus, Ga.
The defending champions in each division are among the 16 men's and 16 women's teams that advanced to the nationals, which will be conducted at AMF Peach Lanes.
 Wichita State is coming off victories in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Intercollegiate Team Championships, which tied the record for the most consecutive wins. The Shockers also accomplished the feat in 1993, 1994 and 1995.

This time around, Wichita State enters the event as the No. 3-ranked team in the Team Ranking System and will face challenges from No. 1 Webber International and No. 2 Robert Morris (Illinois) in its quest for a fourth consecutive title.


On the women's side, Webber International won the title last year in the program's first season and enters the 2011 Intercollegiate Team Championships as the No. 7-ranked team.


Standing in the Warriors’ way of repeating as champions is No. 1 Wichita State, which is looking for its 10th national title. The Shockers have won the national title every other year since 2005 and will look to continue that trend.


The 32 teams that advanced to this year's national finals did so by surviving the largest regular-season field in the history of college bowling. The USBC Collegiate program grew at a rate of nearly 10 percent during the 2010-11 season. In all, 192 schools with 3,390 student-athletes competed this season, up from 177 schools and 3,112 student-athletes last season.


Competition in Columbus begins with all teams bowling two 16-game sessions of Baker-style play to establish match-play seeds. At the end of those 32 games, teams in both divisions (men's and women's) will be seeded by total pinfall into double-elimination brackets.


Best-of-seven match play will progress until only two teams remain in each division. Those teams will advance to the best-of-three championship round, which will be taped for airing on Sunday, May 15 at 2 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.


Bowling fans will be able to watch live streaming coverage of qualifying all the way through the semifinals the morning of Saturday, April 23 on Bowl.com. Coverage will begin at 8 a.m. Eastern each day of the event.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Koivuniemi Continues Torrid Season With Back-To-Back Wins In Europe

After completing his brilliant 2010-11 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour campaign, 2011 PBA Tournament of Champions winner Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, MI, has returned to Europe where he continues his dominant season.


The native Finlander defeated fellow Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour exempt player Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, 279-225, in the title match of the QubicaAMF Open at Gladiator Arena in Ljubljana, Slovenia, for a €6,000 payday on April 10. Finland’s two-handed star, Osku Palermaa, finished third and Mike Fagan of Patchogue, NY, was fifth.


Two days later in the same center in Slovenia, Koivuniemi capped his winning 25-game European Bowling Tour Masters performance with a 300 game to win another €4,000. Sweden’s Martin Larsen finished second followed by Parker Bohn III in third place and Fagan in fifth.

Heath Ends 21-Year Title Dry Spell With Back-To-Back Wins In Hawaii


Sean Heath of Spokane, WA, defeated J.T. Jackson of Tarzana, CA, 222-193, to win the PBA West/Northwest Region Hickam Air Force Base Open at Hickam Lanes in Hawaii Sunday for his second regional title in four days and third overall, ending a 21-year dry spell between titles.


Heath, who earned $2,000 for Sunday’s title, also earned $2,000 on Thursday when he won the West/Northwest Region’s Hawaii Open at Pali Lanes in Kailua. In that event, he defeated Vayle Floria of Cerritos, CA, 248-225, in the title match.


In the weekend’s only other PBA Regional event, Rick Graham of Lancaster, PA, defeated Charles Anderson of Sloatsburg, NY, 214-189, to win the PBA East Region Rockaway Lanes Open at Rockaway Lanes in Rockaway, NJ, Sunday. It was Graham’s second career regional title and netted him a $2,700 prize.


Easter weekend’s limited schedule includes only a PBA West Region non-champions tournament Friday at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas followed by a PBA West member/non-member doubles event Friday through Sunday, also at South Point.


Four regional events are on the calendar for the April 29-May 1 weekend: the South Region Rocky Mountain Open at The Bowling Center in Rocky Mountain, NC; the East Region King Pin Lanes Open in Rome, NY; a joint Southwest/Midwest Region Junction City Bowl Open in Junction City, KS, and the Northwest Lithia C-J-D of Tri Cities Open Doubles event at Go Bowl in Pasco, WA. For complete tournament entry and schedule information, visit pba.com and click on the “Regional Tour” link on the “Schedules” drop down menu.

PBA CONCLUDES FIRST SEASON IN HISTORY WITHOUT MULTIPLE CHAMPIONS

Dick Allen’s victory in the Dick Weber PBA Playoffs Sunday at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis marked the end of the first full season in PBA history without a multiple champion, dating back to the inaugural three-event 1959 season when Weber himself won two of the three events.


During the 2010-11 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season, 12 different champions were crowned in 12 different events: Eugene McCune (Brunswick Pro Bowling Cheetah Championship), Bill O’Neill (Pepsi Viper Championship), Scott Norton (Chameleon Championship), Yong-Jin Gu (Scorpion Championship), Osku Palermaa (GEICO Shark Championship), Chris Barnes (PBA World Championship), Mika Koivuniemi (PBA Tournament of Champions), Ryan Ciminelli (One A Day Earl Anthony Memorial), Tom Hess (Bayer USBC Masters), Norm Duke (Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open), Jason Couch (Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship) and Dick Allen (Dick Weber PBA Playoffs).

Among the 12, Norton, Palermaa, Ciminelli and Hess won their first PBA Tour titles. Gu is not credited with a PBA title because he was not a PBA member.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Professional Bowlers Association Wrap Up

The Dick Weber Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) 
Playoffs, an expanded PBA Tournament of Champions 
field, a sold-out World Series of Bowling and other open 
events including the PBA World Championship, U.S. Open 
and Bayer USBC Masters have provided the most  
opportunities for PBA’s regional players to compete at the 
sport’s highest level during the  2010-11 Lumber 
Liquidators PBA Tour season than they have had in nearly 
two decades. 
With a PBA Tour schedule that visits a reduced number of cities, PBA fans are 
still able to see many of PBA’s talented players through its regional program 
which last season conducted 170 tournaments in seven regions across the U.S.

Some of the PBA’s talented players who compete largely at the regional level 
have converted their success to opportunities in prestigious high-profile PBA 
Tour events.

One of those players with a predominately regional background is former PBA Tour 
exempt player Randy Weiss of Columbia, SC, who will make his first PBA Tour 
television appearance and first serious run at a PBA Tour title in the Lumber 
Liquidators Championship Round of the Dick Weber Playoffs which will conclude 
the 2010-11 Tour season live on ESPN Sunday at 1 p.m. ET from Woodland Bowl.

“I wish I had been at this level earlier in my career, but it is what it is,” 
said the 37-year-old Weiss who competes in about 18-20 regionals a year. “You 
never know when it’s going to be your time and I hope I make the most of this 
opportunity. This is what I’ve dreamed about since I was five years old.”

Weiss, an eight-time regional titlist whose previous best Tour finish was ninth, 
will battle 13-time Tour winner Chris Barnes and two-time titlist Dick Allen for 
the Playoffs title.  It will be a finals that could be considered reflective of 
PBA’s membership—Barnes, who has established himself as one of PBA’s 
contemporary superstars; Allen, who could probably be best described as a 
journeyman Tour player, and Weiss who has for the most part made his name at the 
regional level.

“I go into every tournament I bowl expecting to win and bowling the best I can 
but I really didn’t know what to expect in the Playoffs,” Weiss said.  “Because 
of the format there is probably no better example of a tournament where you need 
to stay in the moment and approach it one tournament round at a time.”

Another player who made his name on the regional Tour is Lennie Boresch Jr. of 
Kenosha, WI, who also made his first Tour television appearance in the 
Playoffs but was eliminated in the regional round. Boresch, a 24-time regional 
tour winner earned his first Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour exemption in the 
2010-11 season by finishing fourth in the 2010 PBA Regional Players Invitational 
last December in Reno.

The PBA playoffs format featured six independent regional groups bowling 
elimination rounds within their respective regions (North, South, East, 
Southeast, Southwest, Midwest and West/Northwest).  A total of 156 players that 
included regional as well as Tour players competed in the event.

“It’s a great format and it was a lot of fun,” Boresch said of the PBA Playoffs. 
“With the elimination format your odds were better to make the TV show because 
you just had to make sure you bowled well enough within your division and not be 
one of the bottom few players to be eliminated. It’s not like a normal Tour 
event where you have to be in the top five out of however many are entered in 
the entire tournament to make the TV show.”

Boresch and Weiss aren’t  the only regional players who have experienced 
personal career highs during the 2010-11 season. South Region veteran Tom 
Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, FL, made his television debut – one he’ll never 
forget – in the $1 million PBA Tournament of Champions. Midwest Region 
competitor Tom Hess of Urbandale, Iowa, converted his first TV appearance into 
an emotional victory in the Bayer USBC Masters.

PBA Dick Weber Playoffs Finals Sunday


Monday, April 11, 2011

Ebonite's New Cyclones

 Ebonite has revealed what core shape they will be using for the new Cyclone series bowling balls.  

Cyclone's new "Torque" core is wrapped in the "proven and dominant "GB 10.7" coverstock" reported a spokesperson. As specific numbers become available, they will be posted.   
 
The complete Tornado line has been discontinued and replaced by the new Cyclone series, as well as changes to their Maxim line. 
 

New inventory will be available May 2nd, 2011


Friday, April 8, 2011

Four New Balls from Storm in May

Storm announces the release of a brand new series.  
The Tropical Breeze™ will feature the current Tropical  (Reactor) coverstock finished to 1500 and polished and be an attractive addition for bowlers of all levels.  The new Breeze colors will be Black/Teal (solid), Pink/Purple (pearl) and Kona Blue/Silver (pearl). Featuring the “Camber” core (an inverted lightbulb) with high Radius of Gyration (RG -2.57) and low differential (.009), the Tropical Breeze redefines the Tropical™ line with a clear separation of price and performance.  With the release of the Tropical Breeze series, the original Tropical™ line will be discontinued.The Breeze fragrances of Horizon, Birthday Cake and Electrify will add a little more to talk about. 
Storm Products also will introduce a polished solid cover (1500/polished Reactor) in the Tropical Heat™ series.  The new indigo/violet color (with a fragrance of Adrenaline) will replace the red/blue Tropical Heat™. The release date on these new balls is May 11, 2011.
 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

FELLOW FINN SPOILS KOIVUNIEMI’S HALL OF FAME CELEBRATION IN GERMANY

Leading Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour Player of the Year candidate Mika Koivuniemi was inducted into the World Bowling Writers Hall of Fame as part of the second annual Track Dream Bowl Palace Open in Munich, Germany, but a fellow Finn ruined his party. 

Koivuniemi was knocked out of the tournament in the quarterfinal round by Sweden’s Johan Hellden, 524-496, in a two-game match, and Finland’s two-handed star, Osku Palermaa, stepped into the spotlight as the tournament winner, defeating Hellden in the title match, 516-459. 

Palermaa, who won his first PBA Tour title in the 2010 GEICO Shark Championship in Las Vegas, will compete as a PBA Tour exempt player during the 2011-12 season. First prize in Munich was €10,000. Parker Bohn III also advanced to the quarterfinal round in Munich, but was ousted by England’s Paul Moor, 504-481. 


JAPAN CUP POSTPONED UNTIL 2012

In the wake of the devastation caused by earthquakes and a tsunami in recent weeks, the Japan Cup – one of the most anticipated international competitions of the year for PBA Tour players over the past 25 years – has been postponed until 2012, the PBA has announced. 


PBA Dick Weber Playoffs “Pre-game Show” On XTRA FRAME

The “pre-game show” leading into Sunday’s telecast of the Dick Weber PBA Playoffs Conference Championships round is currently airing on pba.com’s Xtra Frame, the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour’s exclusive online video streaming service. 

Sunday’s lineup features the East Conference Championship (East Region winner Steve Jaros vs. South Region winner Randy Weiss), the Midwest Conference Championship (Central Region winner Dick Allen vs. Midwest Region winner Jack Jurek), and the West Region finale (Southwest Region winner Jason Belmonte vs. West/Northwest winner Chris Barnes) on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET. The three match winners advance to the Lumber Liquidators Dick Weber PBA Playoffs championship round which will air live from Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis on Sunday, April 17, at 1 p.m. ET.

Professional Bowlers Association Regional Action

After the first full weekend of Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) regional competition for the new 2011-12 season officially got underway on April 1, three first-time champions qualified to make their debuts in the 2012 PBA Tournament of Champions.
It was a double-header in Lakewood, WA, on April 3 where Blaine Weninger of Aurora, OR, defeated Curtis Messer of Aberdeen, WA, 232-212, to win his first PBA Northwest Region standard title in the PBA Northwest Tacoma Dodge Open at Bowlero Lanes while Noel Vazquez of Sacramento, CA, defeated Kevin Croucher of Grants Pass, OR, 209-193, to win the companion Senior Tacoma Dodge Open for his first PBA victory.


Across the nation, Shane Baker of Anderson, SC, defeated Matt Taylor of Knightsdale, NC, 264-259, to win the PBA Marion Non-Champions Open at Lightning Lanes in Marion, NC, Sunday. Baker topped a field of 96 non-champions to claim his first South Region title and a $2,000 prize.


Dino Castillo of Carrollton, Texas, won his second PBA Southwest Region title when he stopped Josh Maxson of Killeen, Texas, 216-188, to win the 2011 Marble Falls Open at Lake Country Lanes in Marble Falls, Texas, on Sunday. Castillo, who rolled a pair of 300 games during the tournament, took home $2,250.


As the PBA Senior Tour ramps up for its season-opener in the PBA Senior Don Carter Open at Carter Family Bowl in Winter Garden, FL, April 17-21, PBA Senior Tour players had a couple of warmup opportunities. Jeff Zaffino of Warren, PA, topped Mike Hastings of Millsboro, DE, 200-198, to win his 16th regional title in the Rossi Lanes Senior Open presented by Storm Products in Elmira, NY. And, in the Central Region, Kenny Parks of Hammond, IN, defeated Curt Aemisegger of Wauconda, IL, 277-220, to win the PBA Central Region’s third annual Victory Lanes Senior Open in Galion, Ohio. The win was Parks’ fifth in senior regional competition.


This weekend’s PBA Regional lineup includes the joint Central/Midwest Lafayette Community Bank Classic at Star Lanes in Lafayette, IN; the South Region Wild Magnolia Senior Open at Sport Lanes in Martinsville, VA, and the East Region Roto Grip Open at Hoe Bowl Catskill in Catskill, NY. For tournament entry information, visit pba.com and click on “Regional Tour” under the “schedule” dropdown tab.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Jurek, Belmonte and Barnes Advance to PBA Dick Weber Playoffs Semi-Finals on Sunday

Two-time Lumber Liquidators Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour champion Jack Jurek; 2008-09 PBA Rookie of the Year Jason Belmonte and Chris Barnes, the newest member of the PBA Triple Crown club, advanced to the Conference Championships in the Dick Weber PBA Playoffs after victories in the Lucas Oil Regional Championships Round at Woodland Bowl. 

The Lucas Oil Regional Championships Round, which aired Sunday on ESPN, featured three three-player championship matches with the winner of each advancing to the Conference Championship Round while the two lowest scores in each match were eliminated. 

The Conference Championships will air Sunday, April 10, at 1 p.m. Eastern on ESPN. Jurek, who finished second in the Bayer USBC Masters in February, used a string of four strikes and an otherwise clean game to top Wes Malott, 221-206, to win the Midwest Region championship. Bill O’Neill started with a pair of open frames and never got on track in finishing third with a 178. 

Jurek dismissed the notion that his victory helped make up for his loss in the USBC Masters title match. “I did have one guy come up and say that what he saw in the Masters (when Jurek helped calm a noticeably emotional Tom Hess in the 10th frame) was one of the nicest things he’d seen, so maybe good karma comes around,” Jurek said. 

“It was a little tense, but when you get to TV and the lights affect the lanes a bit, and everyone is trying to get to that final spot, that all plays into keeping the scores down a bit and the excitement level up. That keeps the matches tight. 

“I was pretty relaxed,” he added. “That’s my goal now when I get to TV – just relax and bowl, and let whatever happens happen. Too many times I’ve just been too uptight on TV and haven’t performed well. I don’t mind getting beat if a guy beats me, as long as I give myself a chance to perform. That’s all I’m looking to do now.” 

Belmonte, seeking his second career title, had a pair of turkeys to overcome a pair of open frames in topping Brad Angelo, 211-202, in the Southwest Region finale. Dino Castillo’s bid for his first PBA Tour title was derailed by three missed spares in a 160 game for third place. 

“I had a really good look,” Belmonte said. “The three bad shots I made were really bad. I got a little rushed and a little ahead of myself. I wanted to close out the match and I should have been a little more patient. I’m a little eager to win, but I think everyone else is as well. I just have to realize that I can’t think too far ahead of myself. I have to focus on what my job is, and that’s frame by frame, as clich├ęd as that may sound.” 

There was a point in the match when Angelo was distracted by a noise Belmonte apparently made with his water bottle, causing a moment of tension. But Belmonte dismissed the issue after talking with Angelo. “There’s no issue,” Belmonte said. “(Brad) said good luck for the next match. We discussed it and we’re good. He and I are going for a drink later on; there are no hard feelings.” 

Barnes topped former Wichita State University teammate Lonnie Waliczek, 217-201, with a clean game and a pair of doubles in the West/Northwest championship game. Waliczek’s hopes for a third PBA Tour title, and his first since 2003, ended when he followed a double with a pocket 7-10 in the ninth frame. 

Veteran PBA Midwest Region competitor Lennie Boresch Jr., making his PBA Tour television debut, threw only two strikes in finishing third with a 177 game. 

“The pair was pretty choppy,” Barnes said. “The right lane had a hook spot in the front of the lane and once you got past that, it didn’t hook much at all. The left lane was better, but it was tighter down lane. I tried to make small moves because in practice, every time I had a bigger move I missed the headpin or left a split. When Lonnie got lined up, I thought I might be in trouble, but he was having some issues, too. But that 7-10 in the ninth was just a terrible break."

“I’ve always believed that good things happen to guys who work hard,” Barnes added. “He’s one of those guys, so I’m not surprised that Lonnie made the show. I’m disappointed for him, but if he had to lose to someone, I’m glad it was me.” 

On Sunday, April 10, the Conference Championships telecast at 1 p.m. Eastern will include East Region winner Steve Jaros against South winner Randy Weiss, Central champion Dick Allen vs. Midwest winner Jurek, and Southwest champ Belmonte vs. West/Northwest winner Barnes. The winners of those three matches will return to Woodland Bowl on Sunday, April 17, for the live ESPN finals at 1 p.m. Eastern. First prize in the inaugural Dick Weber PBA Playoffs is $50,000. 

LUMBER LIQUIDATORS PBA TOUR DICK WEBER PBA PLAYOFFS 
Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, 

Sunday  
LUCAS OIL REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS ROUND 
Midwest Region Championship (winner advances to Conference Championships to meet Central Region winner Dick Allen on ESPN on Sunday, April 10, at 1 p.m. Eastern): 
1, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 221. 
2, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 206, $6,000. 
3, Bill O’Neill, Southampton, Pa., 178, $5,000. 

Southwest Region Championship (winner advances to Conference Championships to meet West/Northwest Region winner Chris Barnes on ESPN on Sunday, April 10, at 1 p.m. Eastern): 
1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 211. 
2, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 202, $6,000. 
3, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 160, $5,000. 

West/Northwest Region Championship (winner advances to Conference Championships to meet Southwest Region winner Jason Belmonte on ESPN on Sunday, April 10, at 1 p.m. Eastern): 
1, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 217. 
2, Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 201, $6,000. 
3, Lennie Boresch Jr., Kenosha, Wis., 177, $5,000.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Couch Bowler of the Month

Jason Couch, Clermont, Florida, has been named the March 2011 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the Bowling Writers Association of America (BWAA).

Couch captured the PBA Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship,  defeating Parker Bohn III, Jackson, New Jersey, in the title match 219-175.  The win is his 16th career PBA title and first since January 2007. After the 2006-07 season, the three-time Tournament of Champions winner faced knee surgery knocking him out of the 2007-08 season.

"It's a big monkey off my back to win. I'm very happy to see that my hard work has paid off and that my body is keeping up with me," Couch said after clutching the trophy.
 
The 1992 PBA Rookie of the Year took the lead after the 14-game qualifying round and stayed in the top 4 through the remainder of the tournament. He qualified as the top seed in the four-man stepladder TV finals.

Others receiving votes were Chris Loschetter, winner of the 8th Kuwait International Open, Randy Weiss, top 3 finalist in the PBA Dick Weber playoffs, Dick Allen, also a top 3 finalist in the PBA Dick Weber Playoffs and Clara Guerrero, winner of the European Bowling Tour's Brunswick Euro Challenge.