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PBA Fall Swing returns to Detroit’s historic Thunderbowl Lanes

Detroit’s Thunderbowl Lanes has seen enough bowling history to fill a half dozen books on bowling lore, and it isn’t finished making an impact of the sport’s history.

The next chapter will be written when Professional Bowlers Association players from around the world return to suburban Allen Park Sept. 4-11 for the multi-event PBA Fall Swing, featuring the Wolf, Bear, Badger and Detroit Opens plus a Fall King of the Swing special event.

All five events will conclude with stepladder finals televised by CBS Sports Network on five consecutive Wednesday nights beginning Sept. 21 at 9 p.m. ET.

There is a lot on the line for PBA Tour players during this event, including berths in the lucrative DHC PBA Japan Invitational next January in Tokyo and four PBA Tour titles that could have a significant impact on the 2016 PBA Player and Rookie of the Year races.

2016PBA02AmletoMonacelli4In addition to Wolf, Badger, Bear and Detroit Open titles, PBA members will be competing for invitations to participate in the 2017 Japan Invitational. The top 10 based on total earnings for the Fall Swing will be invited to participate in Japan along with defending champion Amleto Monacelli (right), one PWBA-PBA Women’s member, three players selected by tournament sponsor DHC, one Korea PBA member, and 16 Japan PBA representatives.

The 32-game head-to-head match play event in Japan will offer a $189,000 prize fund with $40,000 and a PBA Tour title to the winner (if he/she is a PBA member).

Thunderbowl Lanes was the birthplace of the multi-event PBA tournament concept, originating with the inaugural PBA World Series of Bowling in 2009. The PBA Fall Swing, previously called the PBA Summer Swing when it was held previously in Milwaukee (2013) and Shawnee, Okla. (2014 and ’15), is a modified version of the WSOB.

The Fall Swing will include competition on three diverse lane conditions – the 32-foot Wolf pattern, the shortest lane oiling pattern in PBA competition; the 52-foot Badger pattern, the longest application of oil in PBA competition, and the 40-foot, flat, U.S. Open-style Bear pattern, one of the most difficult lane conditions in the sport.

Cumulative qualifying pinfall totals for all three diverse animal pattern events will determine the 24 match play finalists for the Detroit Open.

2016PBA03JesperSvensson6The King of the Swing special event is unique to the Fall Swing, featuring a made-for-TV showdown including the winners of the four Fall Swing tournaments plus the player with the highest points total in the four events without a title.

2016PBA01AnthonySimonsen6Something else that will be new to Detroit bowling fans will be a showcase for the newest generation of high-rev young players, led by Sweden’s two-handed lefty, Jesper Svensson (left), PBA’s 2015 Rookie of the Year and the only player in PBA history to win five PBA Tour titles by the time he turned 21, and Texas two-handed teenager Anthony Simonsen, a two-time winner in 2016, including becoming the youngest player ever to win the USBC Masters.

2015PBA23GaryFaulkner2Detroit fans also will get a chance to watch Gary Faulkner Jr. (left), who became the second African-American to win a PBA Tour title when he won the PBA World Championship during the 2015 PBA World Series of Bowling VII in Reno.

2015PBA10BillONeill3These talented young players, plus several others, will do battle against a group of established PBA stars, including Hall of Famers Pete Weber, Norm Duke, Parker Bohn III, Amleto Monacelli, Walter Ray Williams Jr., and the most successful Summer/Fall Swing player, Bill O’Neill (right), who has made nine television appearances and won two titles plus two King of the Swing special events in the first three years of the “swing.”

2016PBA03JasonBelmonteThe Fall Swing also could play a significant role in Australian two-handed star Jason Belmonte‘s (left) bid to win a fourth consecutive PBA Player of the Year award. Belmonte has yet to win a title in 2016, trailing the new generation of two-handed players he helped influence, but he has an excellent record in Summer/Fall Swing competition, second only to O’Neill with seven TV finals and two titles in previous three events.

All preliminary rounds of the PBA Fall Swing will be covered live, exclusively by PBA’s online video-streaming service, Xtra Frame.

The five CBS Sports Network stepladder finals will be conducted on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10-11, in the famous Thunderbowl Arena. Admission tickets for the television shows are available on pba.com/tickets for $30 for a full-day pass, or $20 for each individual show. Admission for the preliminary qualifying and match play rounds will be $10 for individual squads and $15 for all-day passes.

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2016 PBA Tour Schedule & Champions

PBA Fall Swing Schedule

Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich., USA (Sept. 4-11, 2016)

Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016
11 a.m. – A Squad practice session
2:30 p.m. – B squad practice session
6 p.m. – Pro-am.

Monday, Sept. 5, 2016 – Wolf Open
8 a.m. – A Squad, 6 qualifying games
2 p.m. – B Squad, 6 qualifying games
Top 18 after 6 games advance
7:30 p.m. – Top 18 qualifiers, 6 qualifying games
Top 5 after 12 games advance to CBS Sports Network stepladder finals.

Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016 – Bear Open
8 a.m. – B Squad, 6 qualifying games
2 p.m. – A Squad, 6 qualifying games
Top 18 after 6 games advance
7:30 p.m. – Top 18 qualifiers, 6 qualifying games
Top 5 after 12 games advance to CBS Sports Network stepladder finals.

Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016 – Badger Open
8 a.m. – A Squad, 6 qualifying games
2 p.m. – B Squad, 6 qualifying games
Top 18 after 6 games advance
7:30 p.m. – Top 18 qualifiers, 6 qualifying games
Top 5 after 12 games advance to CBS Sports Network stepladder finals.
Top 18 based on 18-game qualifying totals for Wolf, Bear and Badger Opens advance to Detroit Open match play finals.

Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016 – Detroit Open
10 a.m. – 6 games round-robin match play, Wolf pattern
2 p.m. – 6 games round-robin match play, Bear pattern
6 p.m. – 6 games round-robin match play, Badger pattern
Top 5 after 36 games of qualifying and match play advance to CBS Sports Network stepladder finals.

Friday, Sept. 9, 2016
Television setup and PBA practice day.

Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 (Thunderbowl Arena)
10 a.m. – PBA Wolf Championship stepladder finals (CBS Sports Network, to air Wednesday, Sept. 21, 9 p.m. ET)
2 p.m. – PBA Bear Championship stepladder finals (CBS Sports Network, to air Wednesday, Sept. 28, 9 p.m. ET)
4:30 p.m. – PBA Badger Championship stepladder finals (CBS Sports Network, to air Wednesday, Oct. 5, 9 p.m. ET)

Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016 (Thunderbowl Arena)
11 a.m. – PBA Detroit Open stepladder finals (CBS Sports Network, to air Wednesday, Oct. 12, 9 p.m. ET)
1:30 p.m. – PBA Fall King of the Swing stepladder finals (CBS Sports Network, to air Wednesday, Oct. 19, 9 p.m. ET).

Author: Herbert Bickel
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