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PBA Player of the Year race promises to be intense

As the PBA Fall Swing unfolds inside Detroit’s historic Thunderbowl Lanes, PBA fans are getting a close-up view of how the multi-event tournament program will impact the 2016 PBA Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year races as the PBA Tour enters its home stretch.

When the Fall Swing got underway on Monday at Thunderbowl Lanes in suburban Detroit, Australia’s Jason Belmonte (pictured above) renewed his bid to win a fourth consecutive PBA Player of the Year award – a feat never before accomplished in PBA competition.

But he was on the outside looking in as a pair of young two-handed players, influenced by his innovative technique – appeared ready to de-throne him.

To put the POY race into perspective, the PBA Fall Swing involves four PBA Tour title events. The winners will be revealed as the CBS Sports Network telecasts air Sept. 21, 28, Oct. 5, 12 and 19. The Fall King of the Swing special event that will conclude the series on Oct. 19 is not a PBA Tour title event.

In addition to the Fall Swing, there are three Xtra Frame PBA Tour events remaining on the 2016 calendar along with the PBA Team Challenge and the U.S. Open. Closing out the year will be the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VIII in Reno, Nov. 27-Dec. 11, which will include the PBA World Championship plus the Cheetah, Chameleon, Scorpion and Shark Championships.

2016WBTThailandJesperSvensson22016WBTThailandAnthonySimonsenHeading into Detroit, Sweden’s 21-year-old Jesper Svensson (left) was not only the Tour’s only three-time winner in 2016 (including the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions), but led the PBA in earnings ($111,93) and average (228.09 for 117 games).

He was followed in earnings by 19-year-old Texan Anthony Simonsen (right), the only other multiple winner in 2016 (including the USBC Masters), with $99,150.

Belmonte has not yet won a title in 2016. He ranks second in average, scoring at a 226.16 pace, but came into Detroit 20th in earnings, a key stat among POY voters. Simonsen was 13th in average (220.98).

2015PBAGrahamFach2015PBAFrancoisLavoiePrior to the Fall Swing, seven other players had won PBA Tour titles and there was plenty of room to shake up both the earnings and average standings, not to mention taking a shot at the PBA Player of the Year title. With three months of activity remaining in 2016, the Player of the Year race promises to be intense all the way to the end.

Also of interest is the 2016 Rookie of the Year race which is being dominated – for the first time in PBA history – by a pair of Canadians. Graham Fach (left) of Guelph, Ontario, established himself as an early favorite when he won the Barbasol PBA Players Championship in February in the second PBA Tour event he ever entered.

While Fach limited his activity since then, Quebec City native Francois Lavoie (right), a former collegiate All-American at Wichita State University, has yet to win a PBA Tour title, but he has become a regular contender including qualifying No. 1 for the PBA Wolf Open finals, No. 4 for the Badger Open finals and he was in the hunt for Detroit Open finals.

PBA champions to share CBS Sports Network TV booth for Fall Swing telecasts

2016PBAFallSwingLogoDuring each telecast of the PBA Fall Swing, PBA Tour champions will provide their insights about the various animal pattern events that compose the Fall Swing, along with other reflections about their experiences in PBA Tour competition, as guest analysts along with CBS Sports Network lead announcer Dave Ryan and veteran color analyst Randy Pedersen.

The players who will join the telecasts – not necessarily in the order of appearances – are 18-time PBA Tour titlist Chris Barnes, 2012 PBA World Champion Dom Barrett of England; three-time reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte of Australia, nine-time PBA Fall/Summer Swing TV finalist Bill O’Neill and 2008 PBA Rookie of the Year Rhino Page.

Next up on Xtra Frame: Detroit Open to wrap up XF’s Fall Swing coverage

2016XtraFrameLogo2With the PBA Wolf, Badger and Bear Open qualifying rounds wrapped up as of Wednesday, Xtra Frame’s attention turns to the Detroit Open Thursday when three six-game qualifying stages on the Wolf, Bear and Badger patterns will be covered live at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. ET.

The final 18 games, combined with 18 games on the three animal patterns earlier in the week, will determine the five Detroit Open stepladder finalists.

Xtra Frame’s next event will be the Xtra Frame PBA Parkside Lanes Open from Aurora, Ill., Oct. 1-2. For more information, click here.

Malott, Lawrence, Skillings to join PBA Southwest Region Hall of Fame

2015PBAWSOBWesMalott2009PBASouthwestRickLawrenceThe PBA Southwest Region has announced that Wes Malott (left), Rick Lawrence (right) and Chris Skillings will be inducted into the PBA Southwest Region Hall of Fame at the Grand Casino Hotel and Resort in Shawnee, Okla., on Saturday, Sept. 17.

Malott, from Pflugerville, Texas, is a 10-time PBA Tour winner (including the 2013 U.S. Open), 17-time PBA Regional champion and former PBA Player of the Year. Lawrence, from Waxahachie, Texas, has won two PBA Tour titles and 12 PBA Southwest Region events.

2014PBAChrisSkillingsSkillings (left), from Shawnee, Okla., has been a great friend of the PBA since hosting his first PBA event more than 30 years ago. Now the manager of FireLake Bowling Center, he is an integral reason why the Grand Casino Hotel and Resort is a major sponsor of the PBA Tour, the PBA Southwest Region and home of the Region’s Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony will be at the Grand Hotel on Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. For tickets, contact FireLake Bowling Center, or email [email protected] Tickets are $45.

The Southwest Region’s Hall of Fame dinner at the Grand Casino Hotel and Resort will be part of a weekend that will include the PBA Southwest Region Invitational for 32 of the top PBA Southwest Region players.

Deadlines extended for Women’s PBA-PWBA Regionals


Because of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association’s heavy schedule of events over the summer months, some PBA-PWBA Regional tournaments open exclusively to women bowlers (including PBA and PWBA members as well as non-members) have been extended beyond the previously-announced Sept. 30 points qualifying deadline for the PBA-PWBA Regional Challenge that will be held as part of GEICO World Series of Bowling VIII in Reno on Sunday, Nov. 27.

2015PWBATourDianaZavjalova2016PWBAAshlyGalantePBA-PWBA Regionals remaining include the Diamond Jo Midwest Open at Cherry Lanes inside Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque, Iowa, Sept. 18; the Maple City Dodge East Open powered by Ram at Maple City Bowl in Hornell, N.Y., on Oct. 1; the Parkin’s Bowling Supply West Open at Bowlium Lanes in Montclair, Calif., on Oct. 2, and the Northwest Lanes Central Open in Muskegon, Mich., on Oct. 8.

PBA-PWBA Regional winners already decided include non-member Lori Eskew of Hillsboro, Ore., in the Secoma Lanes Northwest Open in late June in Federal Way, Wash.; Latvia’s Diana Zavjalova (left) in the Houston Emerald Bowl Southwest Open in Houston, Texas, Aug. 20, and Ashly Galante (right) of Palm Harbor, Fla., in the Fayetteville South Open in Fayetteville, N.C., Aug. 28.

For entry information, women bowlers should click here

2016PBA50TrackCyborgOpenErnieSeguraSlider

QubicaAMF PBA Regional Update: Ernie Segura wins first title

Ernie Segura Jr. (pictured above with Strike Zone representative Sandy Fitzgerald) of Taylor, Mich. defeated Michael Klosin of Windham, N.H., 210-199, to win the PBA50 Track Cyborg Open at Strike Zone Alleys in Pottsville, Pa., Sunday for his first QubicaAMF PBA Regional title.

Segura, a five-year PBA member, had four career runner-up finishes prior to his win. He earned $1,500 and with his title, became eligible to enter the 2017 FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions. Klosin earned $950 for his runner-up finish.

Segura defeated Jay Boyle of Garnet Valley, Pa., 255-226, and Klosin defeated Patric Donaghue of Honeoye Falls, N.Y., 219-199, in the semifinal round.

With the Sept. 30 deadline looming for GEICO World Series of Bowling VIII Challenge event qualifying, the following events will be important to QubicaAMF PBA Regional players. Women bowlers should keep in mind that in all standard PBA Regional events, PBA-PWBA points are awarded to women according to how they finish against other women in the field.

On the QubicaAMF PBA Regional calendar for the Sept. 9-11 weekend is the Moon City Central Classic at Astro Lanes in Wapakoneta, Ohio. Also on tap is the PBA50 Howell Lanes Open presented by Radical in Howell, N.J.

The Sept. 16-18 QubicaAMF PBA Regional schedule features the Rex & Griffin Bigelow Memorial/Nance Construction/BW3 Central Open presented by MOTIV at Troy Bowl in Troy, Ohio; the Grand Hotel, Casino & Resort Southwest Invitational at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla.; the Sands Regency West/Northwest Fall Classic (plus a Fall Challenge for non-titlists and a PBA50 event for senior players), and the Diamond Jo Midwest Open and PBA-PWBA Diamond Jo Midwest Opens at Cherry Lanes in Dubuque, Iowa. Also on tap is the PBA/PBA50 Cordova Lanes Over/Under Doubles in Cordova, Tenn.

Sept. 23-25, the final weekend of qualifying for PBA Regional Challenge and PBA-PWBA Women’s Regional Challenge, will include the Florence Bowling Center Central Open in Florence, Ky.; the Thunderbowl Midwest Open (and PBA50 Midwest Open) in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and the TSI On-Site Express Northwest Open (and PBA50 TSI On-site Express Open) at Narrows Plaza Bowl in Tacoma, Wash. Also scheduled for the Sept. 23-25 weekend is the PBA/PBA50 Millsboro Lanes Eastern Doubles in Millsboro, Del.

For complete QubicaAMF PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, click here to find the event(s) in your area.

Quick Notes

Sudden illness sidelined PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber from competing in the PBA Fall Swing in Allen Park, Mich. Weber was on his way to Detroit when he became ill, and returned home.

Concrete Software’s PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile game is asking fans to vote on what new Product Registered balls they would like to see introduced into the game. This week fans can vote on the MOTIV ball they’d like to see added to the PBA Bowling Challenge. To take the survey, click here

Reminder: Tickets are on sale for all five PBA Fall Swing television finals which will be contested Sept. 10-11 in the historic Thunderbowl Lanes arena in Allen Park, Mich. To order tickets, visit pba.com/tickets. Tickets are $30 for each full day, or $20 for each individual event. CBS Sports Network telecasts of the PBA’s Fall Swing events will begin on Wed., Sept. 21, at 9 p.m. ET and continue over five consecutive Wednesdays, concluding on Oct. 19.

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Author: Herbert Bickel
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