The youth movement in PBA competition continued last weekend when 18-year-old Matt Gasn of Laurel, MD, won the PBA East Region Non-Champions Open at Faxon Lanes. Gasn’s win is the latest in a wave of outstanding showings by youth bowlers in PBA regional events.
Bowling as a non-PBA member, he had a 7-1 match play record, averaged 233 and defeated Michael Bohner of Allenwood, PA, 2-0 in the best-of-three championship match to win a $1,500 scholarship for his SMART account.
“I didn’t think it would happen this early,” Gasn said of his victory. “There were a lot of very good bowlers in the field and I just wanted to have a good finish.
“One of my goals in any tournament is to make the cut and if I can do that I feel I have as good a chance as anyone because I love match play. I feel that when you get to match play it’s anyone’s game.”
Gasn recently finished his freshman year at Saginaw Valley State where he was named to the all-tournament team at the USBC Intercollegiate Team Championship, but will transfer to Webber International this fall.
He bowled in first regional three years ago at age 15 finishing 12th and his previous best regional finish was fifth.
Eighteen-year-old Andrew Koff of Miami, FL, won a PBA South regional event in Jupiter, Fla., May 16, earning $2,500 which went directly to his SMART scholarship account, and a week before 12-year-old Kamron Doyle of Brentwood, TN, became the youngest bowler ever to cash in a PBA event, finishing 30th in a Canton, GA, regional earning $400 which also went into a SMART account.
Among Gasn’s other accomplishments in PBA competition include a seventh-place tie and 25th-place finishes in Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour TQRs in 2007 and 2008. In April 2009, Bowlers Journal International recognized him as one of seven bowlers to watch in future PBA Tour seasons, but for now school remains the priority.
“Right now I’m going to focus on school and bowl as much as I can,” Gasn said.
“We’ll see what happens as time goes on and I get more experience.”