Tonight, five men lace up the shoes and roll the bags into the alley. This time for a major championship, The United States Open.
The opening match of the step ladder is five seed Norm Duke and fourth seed Graham Fach. Duke is looking to secure his third U.S Open win and major win number eight in addition to title number 39 for his career. Fach has one once on tour, but it was the 2016 Barbasol PBA players championship, a major title.
The winner gets three seed Wes Malott. Malot is a 10-time winner, including winning this event before. He looks to become the 12th multi-winner of this event all time.
Sitting in the two seed is Rhino Page. Page used a win over Fach in the position round to jump into second position. He is looking for his first major title and sixth overall.
The top competitor for the Tournament is Jakob Butturff. He led qualifying with 13,101 total pins after match play bonus were included after 56 games. This was 617 pins better than Page. He is looking for his first major title win as well.
The step ladder looks wide open. While Duke, Malott and Page haven’t been as competitive as they used to be they are major threats. Duke and Malott both know what it is like to win majors, especially the U.S Open. It should be a confidence builder. Fach does have a major to build on as well.
Page and Butturff are both going to come out hungry for that first major title. Though hopefully they can control the excitement and not make mistakes that would cost them. I could see this being a problem with Butturff, as he is a younger player with no major title wins. Though he isn’t a total stranger to TV with two standard titles won.
I would say that Butturff is coming in hot though. He easily led this tournament by a large margin. He only has to win one match to take it all. Should inspire some confidence in him.
I think he takes it all. He faces off against Norm Duke in the finals and beats him is my prediction.
See it tonight at 7:30.
The PBA has tabulated the votes and the results are in for the new members of the hall of fame.
Three players entered the vote and all three will become hall of famers.
The first of which is Chris Barnes. Barnes has been on tour for 18 seasons and won 18 titles.He has won the triple crown of US Open, Tournament of Champions and PBA World Championship.
All this and more in achieving over a million dollars in career earnings. He is a picture of consistency on the tour and always near the top of the standings. He was rated in my top five favorite bowlers . This a well-deserved spot.
Ron Mohr is a roller on the PBA50 Tour. This is his ninth season on tour. Mohr has nine victories on tour including three during the 2009 season. He was named player of the year that year and went on to win that award in 2011 as well.
Mitchell is a bit of a unique story. He wasn’t actually a professional bowler, but a bowling center chain owner. Many of the PBA’s signature events have been held at Woodland bowl in Indianapolis, a center in Mitchell’s chain. He was a passionate promotor of the PBA and for that earned his spot in the hall of fame. He is the first bowling center proprietor to earn this honor. This is after he passed away in 2012 from cancer.
Three well deserved births in the hall of fame. Congrats to the PBA class of 2017/20018.
Despite not being the most popular sport anymore bowling is achiving a big milestone. The PBA tour has lasted 60 seasons in 2017-2018. To mark this occasion a bit of change is in order. Namely the oil patterns.
16 patterns will be used during the events of the 2017-2018 season. Eight of them are designated as animal patterns, seven has legends and one more for the Chris Paul tournament. Three of the legends are for major tournament play. Two of these are brand new patterns, while some have been readjusted.
The Chris Paul is named after the NBA player and Bowling ambassador. It is said to play like a typical house shot you would see during league, or open play. It should make for some high scoring numbers.
The dragon is the newest animal pattern. It sits at 45 feet in length and is designed to be on the harder side to play and score well.
The Cheetah at 33 feet, chameleon at 39, Scorpion 42, Shark 45, Earl Anthony 42, Don Johnson 40 pattern, Carmen Salvino 44, Dick Weber 45, Mark Roth 42 Wolf 33, Viper 36, Bear 39 and Johnny Petraglia 36 patterns join up to finish the set of oil patterns. The badger at 52 feet is out of the rotation and has an unknown status.
I like how the PBA is changing it up. It makes it more challenging to have new patterns. Rearranging the patterns can also make it harder and more competitive as players try to adjust to the changes. All the patterns can be seen here.
By S. Samek
Other than baseball, I would say the other sport I have a great passion for is bowling. Especially during my high school years. It became an obsession to watch the PBA on TV, or go bowling. Similarly, I have my favorite teams and my favorite bowlers. Today I do present my top five favorite bowlers.
5. Jason Belmonte.
I really like watching the two-hander work. He is one of the most dominate players on tour at the moment. I also like how he revolutionized the sport with his unique two- handed style.
4. Mika Koivuniemi.
This was a player that I liked more for his style of play. It was very similar to mine, but excecuted a lot better. The passion for the game was there as well. Most famous for the biggest margin of victory in a TV match with a 299 -100 win.
3. Chris Barnes.
Barnes is just another good player that I tried to emulate. Even though he threw the ball harder than I did. He was just a good guy, who loved the game and a positive ambassador for the sport. Also know for awesome trick shots.
2. Norm Duke.
I always liked Norm. He has a very similar style to my own, so he was a role model to emulate. Filled with competitive fire and also just a love of the game was the biggest takeaways I learned from Duke. This is no better demonstrated then during the 2010 Cheetah championship final match.
1. Pete Weber.
Bowling’s bad boy and an all-time great. I just love how competitive he is and winning attitude. Sure, he gets a temper every now and again, but it’s because he loves the game. Plus, as a proven winner of major titles how could you not like him. O and this memorable moment.
Eventful weekend in pro bowling.
By S. Samek
What a recent wave of PBA competition. Lots of trophies being awarded to players on tour.
First off is the PBA Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Classic. In the four-man stepladder it was Joe Baily, Jason Sterner, Chris Via and Rhino Page. Baily lost the opening match to Sterner, who then faced off against Page.
Page was victorious and Met up with tournament leader Via. Via was looking for his first title, while Page was looking for his first in a while. In a low scoring tough conditions match, it wasn’t decided till the tenth frame. Page struck in the tenth, while only needing seven to win the match. The win gave him his fifth career title.
Page is having a bit of a resurgence. He was rookie of the year and a rising star before an injury. Good to see him come back and win.
EJ Tackett continues to win as well. The current player of the year was named the Storm Cup winner during the same event.
The Storm Cup was a seven-event swing that gave points for performance in the tournaments, with a cash prize going to the best overall player at the end. Tackett led by nine points going in and earned two more for his 19th place finish. No one else close to him earned enough points to best him. Giving Tackett the win and $20,000.
Tackett is the man on tour right now. He has such a bright future ahead of him, that should be hall of fame worthy. He just needs to keep winning.
Then we have two handed wonder Jason Belmonte. Belmonte picked up his third title of the season and number 15 overall with a win at the PBA-WBT Storm Lucky Larsen Masters in Sweden. He defeated Cameron Weir a former college star to win it all.
Hard to believe it’s only title 15 for Belmonte. Guy just dominates the tour.
PBA should have a lot more to come stay tuned.
PBA star gets milestone win.
by S. Samek
Sunday, I did something I haven’t done in a while, watch bowling. The PBA Oklahoma City Open was being contested. I tuned in just in time to see Chris Barnes beat Jesper Sevenson in match one. Afterward Barnes took on Rhino Page and won to set up a match against Jason Belmonte. Barnes took out Belmonte too, earning the right to face Marshall Kent in the finals.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Barnes on the show. He was one of my favorites when I bowled in high school. Though it seemed like he hadn’t been relevant on the tour sense then. Barnes has won 18 titles during his time on tour.
Kent is part of the new young talent wave on the PBA Tour. Though entering the match, he was 0-7 on TV, despite winning three titles. https://www.pba.com/bowlers/bowler/41121. Could Kent finally breakthrough for a win on Tv.
In dramatic fashion, the match came down to the 10th frame. Kent strung together four strikes to win 194-188 over Barnes. Giving Kent his first win on television and his fourth title. Good to see the kid earn a win on TV. Having Barnes win would have been great too. As it’s always nice to see a win after a long drought of winning.
By S. Samek
This afternoon the nominees for the ESPY awards came out. Amongst the category is one that may seem odd: Best bowler. Yes, bowling gets its own category up with best team and best male and female athletes. You Can vote here for all the categories.
The nominees for best of the lane are Jason Belmonte, Francois Lavoie and E.J Tackett. Belmonte and Tackett are due to square off on the lanes before that in fact as they compete at the Main Event PBA tour Finals Title match next Tuesday.
Belmonte is the Australian Two-handed bowler that has taken the tour by force sense his 2008 debut. He has won 14 career titles, including eight major tournament victories. His latest major victories are the 2017 Barbasol PBA Players Championship and USBC Masters.
E.J Tackett is a rising young star. He joined the tour in 2012. Tackett won the 2012-2013 rookie of the year. He owns seven titles on tour, five standard and two majors. Tackett was your 2017 PBA Tournament of Champions winner. He has two titles for the 2017 season.
Lavoie is very similar to Tackett in the fact that he’s new on tour. It’s only Lavoie’s second season in the PBA. Lavoie hasn’t wasted any time as he has three titles including the U.S open win in 2016 for his first major title. Lavoie was voted the 2016 rookie of the year in the PBA and the PBA’s south region. Lavoie won a singular title this season so far.
This race is very close for the award. All of them have won one, or two titles. Tackett and Belmonte each own a major win this season. With both majors counting the same it really is too close to call. I do think that if I were voting I would select the person that wins head to head in next week’s match. Especially with this tournament being the best eight tour players in total money earned. Making it a tough out to win this tournament, with no slackers entering. The best way to be the best is too beat the best and the cliché rings true here. Belmonte/Tackett win gets the ESPY.