Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour rookie Josh Blanchard and 2003 United States Bowling Congress Masters champion Bryon Smith teamed up
to win the PBA Regional Players Doubles Championship presented by Hammer Saturday at The Orleans Bowling Center. With the win, both bowlers earn an Elite Round berth in the PBA Tournament of Champions April 8-15 at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas. Blanchard, of Gilbert, AZ, and Smith of Roseburg, OR, had a 4-4 match play record and combined for a 5,629 16-game overall pinfall total which included match play bonus pins. Finishing second 115 pins behind were Andrew Loose of Chicago and Michael Steil of Wheeling, IL. with 5,514. Blanchard has been on the comeback trail after taking a hard fall during a delivery in a PBA World Championship Mike Aulby Division final match. But not long after that misfortune, he finished third in the PBA Cheetah Open presented by Ebonite in Orange County, CA, in January. “It feels good to be back on a positive note,” said Blanchard. “I knew the fall at the World Championship was just something I was going to have to shake off. I never felt it was going to be something that I couldn’t come back from.” Both players were looking for a partner to compete in the RPC doubles when their paths crossed at the World Series of Bowling in November. “Whenever you’re in a team or doubles format you want a player who matches up with your game,” Smith said. “Josh and I are very compatible because we play similar angles and throw the ball with a similar roll. It made it very easy for us to read the lanes and make the adjustments we needed to make.” Competition included an eight-game qualifying round after which the top eight teams advanced to an eight-game Baker format doubles match play round. PBA REGIONAL PLAYERS DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY HAMMER The Orleans Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Saturday FINAL RESULTS (After 16 games. Match play record, total pins with bonus and prize money.) 1, Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz./Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore., 4-4, 5,629, $8,000. 2, Andrew Loose, Chicago/Michael Steil, Wheeling, Ill., 5-3, 5,514, $4,500. 3, Stuart Williams, England/Dave Wodka, Henderson, Nev., 4-4, 5,478, $3,000. 4, Jeff Frankos, Daly City, Calif./PJ Haggerty, Roseville, Calif., 1-6-1, 5,468, $2,500. 5, Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga./ Eddie VanDaniker Jr., Essex, Md., 4-4, 5,441, $2,300. 6, John Szczerbinski, North Tonawanda, N.Y./Jesse Buss, Wichita, Kan., 4-4, 5,421, $2,100. 7, Gregory Thompson Jr., Dublin, Calif./Ben Laughlin, Phoenix, 6-2, 5,395, $2,050. 8, Alan Grobmeier, Gilbert, Ariz./Carey Lee Hofmann, Phoenix, 3-4-1, 5,284, $2,000. QUALIFYING RESULTS (Combined totals for eight games. Top eight teams advance to match play.) 1, Jeff Frankos, Daly City, Calif. /PJ Haggerty, Roseville, Calif., 3,674. 2, Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz./Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore., 3,660. 3, John Szczerbinski, North Tonawanda, N.Y./ Jesse Buss, Wichita, Kan., 3,629. 4, Stuart Williams, England/Dave Wodka, Henderson, Nev., 3,555. 5, Andrew Loose, Chicago/ Michael Steil, Wheeling, Ill., 3,512. 6, Gregory Thompson Jr./Ben Laughlin, Phoenix, 3,510. 7, Alan Grobmeier, Gilbert, Ariz./Carey Lee Hofmann, Phoenix, 3,504. 8, Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga./Eddie VanDaniker Jr., Essex, Md. , 3,460. 9, Craig Tuholski, Washougal, Wash. /Mike Danielson, Portland, Ore., 3,460. 10, Jason Weaver, Denver, Pa./Rick Graham, Lancaster, Pa., 3,454. 11, Kris Koeltzow, Wheat Ridge, Colo./Mike Keily, Golden, Colo., 3,425. 12, Thomas Ault Jr., Portland, Ore./Blaine Weninger, Aurora, Ore., 3,413. 13, Floyd Raymond, Gaylord, Mich./Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 3,388. 14, David Haynes, Las Vegas/Eric Forkel, Las Vegas, 3,385. 15, Ray Cobb, Highland, Calif./Tony Rodriguez Jr., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., 3,361. 16, Chad Maas, Waukesha, Wis./David Beres, Waukesha, Wis., 3,351. 17, Brad Bufkin, Citrus Heights, Calif./Noel Vazquez, Sacramento, Calif., 3,350 18, Jim Tomek Jr., Camp Hill, Pa./Tommy Gollick, Oberlin, Pa. 3,341 19, Lennie Boresch Jr., Kenosha, Wis./Dale Traber, Cedarburg, Wis., 3,341. 20, Mason Sherman, Moorpark, Calif./ Jake Peters, Decatur, Ill., 3,322. 21, Kevin Gallagher, Torrance, Calif./Andre Eubanks, Los Angeles, 3,316. 22, Don Moser, Murrieta, Calif./Robert Piroozshad, Ranch Santa Margarita, Calif., 3,293. 23, Doug Becker, Clermont, Fla./Ronnie Horton, Christiansburg, Va., 3,288. 24, Randy Shewmaker, Fort Worth, Texas/Paul McCordic, Sugarland, Texas, 3,237. 25, Jim Roubidoux, Shawnee, Okla./Kevin Washington, Moore, Okla., 3,229. 26, Scott Newell, Deland, Fla./Neil Croinex, Port Orange, Fla., 3,203. 27, Kurt Gengelbach, Carrollton, Texas/Danny Neill, Allen, Texas, 3,192. 28, Tim Arnold, Las Vegas/Joshua Williams, Henderson, Nev., 3,123. 29, Chris Groom, Lancaster, Calif./Katz Tochin, Lancaster, Calif., 3,058. 30, Scott Hansel, Stockton, Calif./Bill Nichols, Roseville, Calif., 3,043. 31, Lyndon Harrison, Citrus Heights, Calif./Steve Cook, Granite Bay, Calif., 3,004.