Thursday, April 1, 2021

2021 United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Masters Tournament Update

Two legends just retired from regular competition on the National PBA Tour, Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Pete Weber didn't bowl this event. I guess Norm Duke just wanted to remind everybody, he's BOWLING. Last game done for Norm today, he's +216 and leading. A and B block still to bowl.  

With the last block of 5 games happening for A and B Squads, the next hours will determine if C block bowlers that have completed their qualifying will benefit from players that are within the cut (around 28 under shown as -28), or bowlers outside the cut (more then 29 under) can create some magic.  

Bowlers within the cut might get too conservative, play too much to not lose, roll a qualifier killer score, even a 150 game, and drop out of the top 64. The players not yet within the cut line (currently –28), must make up for their under 200 games, with 200 plus games to expunge the red ink.  

A surprize just under the cut number. C block bowlers including Jason Belmonte, (Australia) and Jakob Buttruff (Tempe, AZ) tied at –30.  The World Number One, Belmonte waits for the field to shift around above and below him, hoping the cut drops a few pins to include him. Buttruff, as the last USBC Masters Champion is seeded into the top 64, so he is in.  


Other top players including: Osku Palermaa, (Finland) -33, AJ Chapman (Lewisville, TX) -46, Michael Tang (Pickerington, OH) -49, the Legends with double digit titles, Chris Barnes (Double Oak, TX), -51, and Tommy Jones (Simpsonville, SC) -56 even Chicago area member Gerald (Gerry) Marrs –62, right behind the Legends, will have an opportunity to move up in their last 5 games.  


Chicago area bowlers: Nick Kruml (Downer Grove), +129 in 7th, AJ Johnson  (Oswego) +116 in 11th, former Sandburg High School now Ambrose College bowler and amateur Cameron Crowe (Orland Park) +79 in 17th.  will most likely survive the round. 


A Pro that now lives in the area, Kris Prather (Romeoville) +84 is 15th and likely to move on also. Sean Rash (Montgomery) rolled his first block, but illness and an abundance of caution, to protect himself and the other competitors, withdrew with yet undetermined buy hopefully not COVID symptoms. 


A couple other Chicago area bowlers I recognized bubbling around 150th: Joe Lichner an amateur from Warrenville at 147th and –211 was a customer, as a high schooler, of my Revolutions-Wheaton store, inside the now defunct Wheaton Bowl. Matt Kuba (Tinley Park) is 151st and –216, I worked with the current pro early in his bowling career at Revolutions-Tinley Park, inside Centennial Lanes. 


Congratulations to all the bowlers testing themselves in one of the most challenging bowling events on the planet.  

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Pete Weber Retired Today from PBA National Tour


Tampa, Fla.—Pete Weber and Walter Ray Williams Jr., two of the greatest players in PBA Tour history, announced their respective retirements today, following PBA Scorpion Championship best-of-five match play from the World Series of Bowling XII at AMF University Lanes.

Weber, a 37-time PBA Tour champion,
owns 10 major titles, tying him with Earl Anthony for second most in the history of the PBA. Weber, the 1980 PBA Rookie of the Year, is the only player to win the U.S. Open five times as well as the only player ever to win the Triple Crown (PBA World Championship, Tournament of Champions and U.S. Open) twice.

“It’s hard to grasp that I’m done on the National Tour,” said Weber, addressing his fellow competitors after he was eliminated. “In 41 years out here, it’s been awesome. I can still hit the pocket with you guys, but I can’t strike like you guys. It’s been an honor and a privilege to bowl each and every one of you out here.”

Williams holds the all-time record with 47 PBA Tour titles, eight majors among them. He’s been named the PBA Player of the Year a record seven times, the first in 1986 and the last in 2010, when he was 50 years old. Williams won at least one PBA Tour title in 17 consecutive seasons from 1993 to 2010.

“It was nice to have a good tournament at the end,” said Williams. “These young guys are very, very good. I gave it my all today, but I just happened to bowl somebody who bowled really well. Thanks, everybody, for all your support.”

Williams and Weber spent four decades competing against each other on the PBA Tour and rank first and fourth, respectively, in PBA Tour titles.

In their final event, both players qualified in the top 16 to advance to match play in the PBA Scorpion Championship. Both were eliminated, three games to two, by 2021 PBA World Champion Tom Daugherty, with Weber going out in the Round of 16 and Williams in the Round of 8.

Both Weber, 58, and Williams, 61, plan to continue competing on the PBA50 Tour and PBA Regional Tour.

Monday, March 15, 2021

LOCATION DETERMINED FOR 2021 INTERCOLLEGIATE TEAM AND SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIPS

ARLINGTON, Texas – The pinnacle events of the United States Bowling Congress Collegiate season, the Intercollegiate Team Championships and Intercollegiate Singles Championships, will be heading to the Spectrum Entertainment Complex in Wyoming, Michigan, in 2021.

The 2021 ITC and ISC will be held May 3-8 at the 40-lane venue, with the finals to be aired on CBS Sports Network. The dates and times of the broadcasts will be released at a later time.

BowlTV.com will provide livestream coverage of all qualifying and match-play rounds of the 2021 events.

Spectrum Entertainment Complex was scheduled to host the 2020 ITC and ISC before the events were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are thrilled to be looking ahead to the ITC and ISC and excited to work alongside Spectrum Entertainment Complex and the West Michigan Sports Commission to bring these events back to the Grand Rapids area,” IBC Youth Development Managing Director Gary Brown said. “Collegiate bowling programs across the country are competing every weekend, and we’re looking forward to being able to recognize the top student-athletes and crown national champions once again.”

The ITC also was held at the Spectrum Entertainment Complex in 2001, with Western Illinois and Nebraska winning the men’s and women’s titles, respectively. Spectrum Entertainment Complex worked in conjunction with the West Michigan Sports Commission to bring the event back to the Grand Rapids area.

“We are extremely excited to welcome back USBC and the Intercollegiate Team and Singles Championships to Greater Grand Rapids,” West Michigan Sports Commission President Mike Guswiler said. “It is a sign that we are getting past the challenges of this global pandemic by hosting these important sporting events safely. Our region remains a top bowling destination, which can be witnessed in the significant investments that have gone into our host venue, Spectrum Entertainment Complex. On behalf of the West Michigan Sports Commission and Spectrum Entertainment Complex, we welcome these collegiate bowlers and are certain they will enjoy their championship experience.”

The 2022 ITC and ISC will be held at Stardust Bowl in Addison, Illinois, from April 18-23. The 84-lane center originally was supposed to host the 2021 events but now will welcome the top collegiate bowlers prior to the start of the 2022 USBC Women’s Championships.

The 2022 Women’s Championships is scheduled to take place at Stardust Bowl from April 24-July 11.

Sectional assignments for the 2020-2021 USBC Collegiate season will be announced March 31 live on BowlTV.com. The ITC sectional qualifiers will take place April 16-18.

The 2020-2021 USBC Collegiate season was postponed until January 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The regular season will conclude March 28.

For more information on USBC Collegiate, visit BOWL.com/Collegiate.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Two-time PBA Tour champion Tom Daugherty will have an opportunity to win his first career major title after earning the top seed for the Guaranteed Rate PBA World Championship stepladder finals. Daugherty will face EJ Tackett, Jakob Butturff, Chris Via or Kyle Troup in the championship match airing Saturday, Mar. 13 at 2 p.m. ET on FOX Broadcast Channel.




Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Julia Bond Wins 2021 PWBA Hall Of Fame Classic

ARLINGTON, Texas - Julia Bond of Aurora, Illinois, has enjoyed success at every level of her bowling career, and she raised the bar again Tuesday as she claimed her first Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour title at the 2021 PWBA Hall of Fame Classic.

Just two days shy of her 25th birthday, Bond rebounded from a ninth-frame split with a title-clinching double, defeating top seed Lindsay Boomershine of Perry, Utah, 222-210.

The Hall of Fame Classic was the final event of the PWBA Kickoff Classic Series, which included three national tour stops and one regional event during its seven-day run at the International Training and Research Center, the home of Team USA.

The victory, broadcast live on BowlTV, earned Bond a $10,000 top prize.

The right-hander already was a three-time PWBA regional winner, in addition to a victory at the made-for-TV Go Bowling! PWBA Regional Showdown in 2019, but the cancellation of the 2020 season due to the pandemic delayed her opportunity to build on the things she learned during her rookie campaign in 2019.

"I'm extremely proud of myself and how far I've come," said Bond, who had sixth-place finishes at the 2019 PWBA Lincoln Open and 2017 U.S. Women's Open. "There's naturally going to be some doubt when you go to the next level, but being able to push through in such a pressure situation and come away with my first title feels amazing."

The five-time Team USA member and former standout at the University of Nebraska entered Tuesday's championship round at the ITRC as the No. 4 seed and rolled through the stepladder with 28 strikes in her four matches.

As she did throughout the four games, Bond was able to strike early in the title match and put pressure on Boomershine, who was looking for the first championship-round win of her PWBA career.

Consecutive strikes from Boomershine in the sixth, seventh and eighth frames allowed her to cut into a deficit of more than 40 pins, and a 4-6-7-10 split from Bond in the ninth frame gave Boomershine the chance to lock up her first title with two more strikes and a nine-count.

Boomershine, a 35-year-old right-hander, struck in the ninth frame but left a 4 pin on the first offering of her final frame. After the conversion, she left the 3-6-9-10 combination to let some of the pressure off Bond. Had Boomershine gotten nine on the fill ball, she would've forced Bond to throw a double. Instead, Bond only needed to fill 19 pins.

In five previous stepladder appearances, Boomershine averaged just 165. Her best finish on the PWBA Tour was a second-place effort at the 2016 PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open.

To help move on from her past struggles, Boomershine has worked hard on her mental game. Her focus on keeping matches closes and finishing strong allowed her to compile a 19-5 record on the way to the top of the standings in the all-match-play Hall of Fame Classic.

While the hard work and preparation didn't translate to her first PWBA Tour win, Boomershine collected three top-10 finishes at the Kickoff Classic Series. She was sixth in the Bowlers Journal Classic and seventh in the ITRC Classic.

"It didn't turn out the way I wanted, but I didn't miss a spare, and I shot over 200, so we're making moves, and I bowled the best game I could," said Boomershine, who was slowed by a 7-10 split in the fourth frame against Bond. "(This week) shows me I'm getting better. My spare shooting was good, I stuck to the game plan and I had a bad break. I wish the 7 or the 10 would've fallen. I only missed the pocket, I think, on the fill shot. I didn't really want to give away the head pin. I didn't want six, but it is what it is at this point.

"It has been a great week, I'm happy with my performance and I'm looking forward to the rest of the year. I'm up there in the points, so hopefully it's not devastating this time. I have a great support system, and I just hope I made everyone proud."

On the way to the title, Bond was able to showcase many of her strengths as the 41-foot oil pattern broke down, and the display of versatility included keeping her angles tight when the pattern was fresh, staying patient and using her ball speed to combat the transition.

A ball change heading into her semifinal meeting with 16-year-old Jillian Martin of Stow, Ohio, provided the firepower Bond needed to win the high-scoring matchup, 245-211.

Bond started the game with four consecutive strikes, and eight strikes in her first nine frames, while Martin kept the pressure on with five consecutive strikes after a first-frame spare. Back-to-back single pins and a 2-4-8-10 split from Martin ended her bid to become the youngest bowler in history to win a PWBA Tour event.

Martin had two opportunities this week to replace United States Bowling Congress and PWBA Hall of Famer Wendy Macpherson in the record book as the tour's youngest winner. Macpherson won the U.S. Women's Open in 1986 at the age of 18.

Martin's week also included a runner-up finish to Bryanna Cot‚ of Tucson, Arizona, in the ITRC Classic and an eighth-place performance in the season-opening Bowlers Journal Classic, won by two-time reigning PWBA Player of the Year Shannon O'Keefe of Shiloh, Illinois, for her 14th PWBA Tour title.

In each of the first two stepladder matches Tuesday, Bond was able to pile on the strikes out of the gate to pull ahead early.

Against Erin McCarthy of Omaha, Nebraska, a PWBA Tour champion in 2018, Bond struck five times in her first six frames to set the pace. A late ball change and double from McCarthy, coupled with an open frame from Bond, gave McCarthy a chance to add some pressure, but a 10 pin on the first shot of her final frame ended her run. Bond advanced to the semifinal by a score of 213-191.

Bond opened the night with a 213-157 victory over two-time PWBA Tour champion Dasha Kovalova of Ukraine. Bond struck three times in the first four frames to build a sizable lead, while three open frames never allowed Kovalova to gain any momentum.

"I had a good rookie season, but I felt in my heart I could've done better," Bond said. "I used the time off to work on some things, including my speed control, opening up my angles and making smarter, quicker choices, and to be able to test that progress on the biggest stage for women's bowling and find success means so much."

The field for the Series-ending tournament featured the week's top 24 performers, based on their combined qualifying totals from the Bowlers Journal Classic and ITRC Classic. The 18-game pinfall totals then were dropped, and the contenders battled over 24 head-to-head matches, with 30 bonus pins awarded for each victory, to determine the five players for Tuesday's championship round.

Boomershine, Martin and O'Keefe were the only three players from the week's 36-bowler field to make the match-play portion of all three national tournaments.

Three competitors - Martin, McCarthy and Kovalova - each made two championship-round appearances during the Kickoff Classic Series.

All of the qualifying and match-play rounds at the Kickoff Classic Series were broadcast live at BowlTV.com and will remain in the BowlTV archives for fans who want to revisit the action.

The 2021 PWBA Kickoff Classic Series marked the first national PWBA competition since September 2019. The 2020 PWBA Tour season was canceled due to COVID-19.

The prize fund for each of the three national tour stops is $65,000, with $10,000 going to each champion.

The 2021 PWBA Tour season will resume April 22 for the PWBA Twin Cities Open in Eagan, Minnesota.

In all, the 2021 PWBA Tour schedule will feature 20 events, highlighted by the introduction of the Classic Series events and an increase in the season's overall prize fund by nearly $400,000.

To learn more about the PWBA Tour, visit PWBA.com.


2021 PWBA Hall of Fame Classic

At the International Training and Research Center
Arlington, Texas

Tuesday's results

FINAL STANDINGS
1, Julia Bond, Aurora, Ill., 893 (four games), $10,000
2, Lindsay Boomershine, Perry, Utah, 210 (one game), $5,000
3, n-Jillian Martin, Stow, Ohio, 211 (one game), $3,500
4, Erin McCarthy, Omaha, Neb., 191 (one game), $3,000
5, Dasha Kovalova, Ukraine, 157 (one game), $2,500

STEPLADDER RESULTS
Match No. 1 - Bond def. Kovalova, 213-157
Match No. 2 - Bond def. McCarthy, 213-191
Semifinal - Bond def. Martin, 245-211
Championship - Bond def. Boomershine, 222-210

MATCH PLAY
(24 games, 30 bonus pins for a win, 15 bonus pins for a tie)

      1, Lindsay Boomershine, Perry, Utah, 19-5-0, 5,710. 2, Jillian Martin (n), Stow, Ohio, 18-6-0, 5,677. 3, Erin McCarthy, Omaha, Neb., 16-8-0, 5,628. 4, Julia Bond, Aurora, Ill., 14-10-0, 5,587. 5, Dasha Kovalova, Ukraine, 14-10-0, 5,528.

DID NOT ADVANCE

      6, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 13-11-0, 5,473, $2,150. 7, Maria Jos‚ Rodriguez, Colombia, 16-8-0, 5,416, $2,125. 8, Stefanie Johnson, McKinney, Texas, 12-12-0, 5,375, $2,075. 9, Jordan Richard, Tipton, Mich., 12-12-0, 5,366, $2,000. 10, Liz Johnson, Niagara Falls, N.Y., 13-11-0, 5,359, $1,900. 11, Rocio Restrepo, Uniontown, Ohio, 13-10-1, 5,331, $1,850. 12, Bryanna Cot‚, Tucson, Ariz., 15-9-0, 5,297, $1,800.
      13, Sandra Gongora, Mexico, 13-11-0, 5,277, $1,500. 14, Shannon O'Keefe, Shiloh, Ill., 11-13-0, 5,260, $1,500. 15, Caitlyn Johnson, Beaumont, Texas, 11-13-0, 5,218, $1,450. 16, Maria Bulanova, Russia, 9-14-1, 5,194, $1,450. 17, Clara Guerrero, Colombia, 10-14-0, 5,192, $1,400. 18, Valerie Bercier, Spring Lake, Mich., 10-14-0, 5,169, $1,400.
      19, Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif., 9-15-0, 4,972, $1,400. 20, Kristie Leong (n), Daly City, Calif., 9-15-0, 4,946, $1,400. 21, Ashly Galante, Palm Harbor, Fla., 11-13-0, 4,881, $1,350. 22, Lilia Robles, Mexico, 6-18-0, 4,822, $1,350. 23, Taylor Bulthuis, Coral Springs, Fla., 8-16-0, 4,755, $1,350. 24, Anggie Ramirez-Perea, Austin, Texas, 6-18-0, 4,740, $1,350.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Bryanna Cote Wins 2021 PWBA ITRC Classic

ARLINGTON, Texas – After almost five years, three heartbreaking runner-up finishes and a global pandemic, Bryanna Coté of Tucson, Arizona, found her way back to the winner’s circle on the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour.

Everything about the 34-year-old right-hander’s journey to the trophy this week at the 2021 PWBA ITRC Classic was different than her breakthrough performance in 2016, except for the flood of emotions that came once the championship match concluded.

In a way, the teary-eyed Coté who stood at the microphone following her 244-238 win over Jillian Martin of Stow, Ohio, was the same young lady who had dreams of success on bowling’s biggest stages. At the same time, the words she spoke came from an experienced veteran who had learned from every bit of adversity and disappointment since her last win.

The victory, broadcast live on BowlTV, was the second of Coté’s career and earned her a $10,000 top prize. Her performance also denied Martin, a 16-year-old right-hander, the opportunity to become the youngest bowler in history to win a PWBA Tour event.

“Because it had been so long, it felt like the first time all over again,” Coté said. “I was really nervous for that match, no matter who I was going to bowl, because everyone had bowled well, and the pattern (43 feet) was really high-scoring. I just wanted to stay slow and bowl my own game.”

Three quick strikes helped the six-time Team USA member to an early advantage at the International Training and Research Center, while converting the challenging 2-4-5-8 combination in the fourth frame gave her a six-pin lead halfway through the game. Both players struck three consecutive times to set up a dramatic conclusion.

Though Martin failed to strike again in the ninth frame, she closed with three strikes to put Coté in a familiar position, one she had thought about when she strategically chose to finish on the right lane, a benefit of being the higher seed going into the match.

In her own final frame, Coté calmly delivered the mark and five pins she needed to clinch the title. She would have preferred to seal it with a strike, but the 10 pin on her first offering had other plans.

“I really was trying not to pay too much attention to the scores, but I knew I needed a mark,” Coté said. “Of course, everyone wants to strike there, and I thought it was a decent shot, but maybe not as good as the few before it. I was glad to leave something makeable. I took some extra time to slow my process, and I visualized myself making it. Then, I did.”

Being in that position, even being on that particular lane in that moment, were the result of her having matured as a player. She succeeded because she previously had failed.

At the 2019 PWBA Fountain Valley Open, her most recent bid for a second career title, a devastating 8 pin in a must-strike situation allowed Sweden’s Sandra Andersson to escape with a one-pin victory. Coté lost in that moment, but it helped her win Saturday at the ITRC.

“At Fountain Valley, I learned about my shot-making ability under pressure, and throwing a shot like that went a long way toward eliminating any self-doubt,” said Coté, who was the runner-up to Danielle McEwan in Fountain Valley in 2018 and again to eventual PWBA Player of the Year Shannon O’Keefe at the 2018 United States Bowling Congress Queens. “I’ve gained so much trust in my ability, and while that’s just one example, it all helped with how I handled the situation tonight.”

Coté’s first title came at the 2016 PWBA Lexington Open, where she was the less-experienced player making her first TV appearance, so she was able to relate to what Martin likely was feeling on the lanes Saturday. On the way to that win, Coté defeated O’Keefe and USBC Hall of Famer Kelly Kulick.

Though Martin’s first title match didn’t end the same way, she said the experience was unforgettable. A win would've added her name to the record book just above hall of famer Wendy Macpherson, who won the U.S. Women's Open in 1986 at age 18.

“It was surreal,” Martin said. “I probably won’t process it for a while. It’s so crazy. I put everything out there. In the end, I didn’t come out with the win, but I’m very happy with my performance. I can’t believe how far I made it.”

To earn the meeting with Coté, Martin had to defeat two of the PWBA Tour’s top competitors.

Martin kicked off the stepladder with her second win of the day against USBC Hall of Famer Liz Johnson of Niagara Falls, New York, this time sneaking by the 24-time PWBA Tour champion, 238-235.

Martin was able to build a lead with five consecutive strikes, starting in the fifth frame, and she stepped up in the 10th frame with a chance to shut out Johnson. Martin left a 10 pin on her first offering, spared it and knocked down nine pins to seal the win.

Earlier in the day during match play, Martin defeated Johnson 289-220. Martin also owns the highest game rolled this week at the ITRC, a 299 performance that came in match play during the season-opening Bowlers Journal Classic. A 4 pin ended her quest for the first perfect game of her career.

Martin’s semifinal victory over two-time PWBA Tour champion Dasha Kovalova of Ukraine was a little less eventful. Two splits and a missed single pin were the undoing for Kovalova, while Martin struck six times on the way to a 227-185 victory.

“Just bowling against all the ladies was a crazy experience because they’re people I’ve looked up to,” Martin said. “It was definitely nerve-wracking, but to come out here and bowl against them has been amazing.”

The ITRC Classic was the second event of the PWBA Kickoff Classic Series, which will feature three national tour stops and one regional event during its seven-day run at the ITRC, the home of Team USA.

This week’s Kickoff Classic Series marks the first PWBA Tour competition since September 2019. The 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19.

Competition at the ITRC resumes Sunday with the PWBA Arlington Regional. The eight-game qualifying round will begin at 3 p.m. Eastern, and the four-player stepladder finals will take place at 9 p.m. EST. All of the action will be shown live at BowlTV.com.

The final event of the Kickoff Classic Series, the PWBA Hall of Fame Classic, will get underway Monday at 11 a.m. Eastern. The unique format will include 24 head-to-head matches over two days, with total pinfall, plus bonus pins for each win, determining the five players for the championship round.

Competitors qualified for the Hall of Fame Classic based on their combined qualifying totals from the Bowlers Journal Classic and ITRC Classic (18 games), but all pins have been dropped heading into the final tournament.

All of the qualifying and match-play rounds at the Kickoff Classic Series are being broadcast live at BowlTV.com, free of charge to visitors who create a login for the site. The four events include formal stepladder finals, with a BowlTV subscription required for those who want to watch live.

Each event at the PWBA Kickoff Classic Series is being contested on a different lane condition.

The prize fund for each of the three national tour stops is $65,000, with $10,000 going to each champion.

The 2021 PWBA Tour season will feature 20 events, highlighted by the introduction of the Classic Series events and an increase in the season’s overall prize fund by nearly $400,000.