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Trey Ford III becomes youngest PBA Regional titlist at age 17

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Trey Ford III, a 17-year-old two-handed bowler from Bartlesville, Okla., threw three strikes in the 10th frame of the championship match to defeat David (Boog) Krol of Nixa, Mo., 245-229, in the seventh annual PBA FireLake/Grand Casino Resort Southwest Open presented by Hammer at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., Sunday, winning his first PBA Regional title and becoming the youngest player ever to win a PBA Regional title.

Ford (pictured above with FireLake Manager of Bowling Operations Chelsea Peltier), who began bowling PBA events with parental consent as a 13-year-old amateur, became PBA’s youngest member ever when he joined the organization at age 15 years, 157 days in 2016. He previously had a second-place finish in a PBA Southwest Region event at FireLake last September, and won Sunday’s $2,700 first prize at the age of 17 years, 226 days.

After leading the 13 games of qualifying and receiving byes into the Round of 8, Ford eliminated two Wichita State collegiate players to advance to the finals. Thomas McNeal Jr. of Puyallup, Wash., was Ford’s first victim, losing 2-0 in the best-of-three-game Round of 8. Jacob Kersten, originally from Clarkston, Mich., came up short in the one game semifinal round, 236-222.

Krol, also a two-handed player, qualified in second place and had a similar road to the final. In his opening match, he defeated Scott McCleery of Lubbock, Texas, 2-0, and then put away another Wichita State Shocker, Cortez Schenck of Scottsdale, Ariz., 192-191.

The pro-am portion of the event on Friday included a fundraiser for the Shawnee area Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter. FireLake General Manager Chris Skillings announced more than $10,000 was raised for that cause.

Further review costs Pete Weber a Regional title

Research into Trey Ford’s first PBA Regional victory also uncovered a mistake dating back to 1979 when Pete Weber (left) won his first regional in early fall in St. Louis, also at age 17.

At the time, however, Weber was credited with a PBA Regional title although he didn’t become a PBA member until Nov. 30 of that year. So while he was the youngest player ever to win a PBA Regional at that time, he should not have been credited with a title because he wasn’t a member.

The correction means Weber now has 46 standard regional titles, one behind Chris Warren of Grants Pass, Ore., and Weber, who has won five PBA50 regional titles, has 51 overall – one behind Dale Traber of Cedarburg, Wis. (39 standard and 13 PBA50).

Next 10 days will be meaningful for Tom Smallwood & friends

The next 10 days will be especially meaningful to Tom Smallwood (right) of Saginaw, Mich., and, presumably, fellow PBA Tour competitors Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa.; Ryan Ciminelli of Clarence, N.Y.; Canada’s Francois Lavoie; two-hander Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C., and Texan Wes Malott as they pursue the eighth and final berth in the 2018 PBA Tour Finals which will take place May 4-5 at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich.

The PBA Tour Finals, which will be televised by CBS Sports Network as part of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule, will include the top eight players in combined PBA Tour/World Bowling Tour earnings from the start of the 2016 season through this week’s USBC Masters and the Port Property Management PBA Xtra Frame Maine Shootout April 17-18 at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

Heading into the Masters, the top eight players in combined earnings were EJ Tackett (left; $380,828), Jason Belmonte ($380,357), Jesper Svensson ($296,456), Dom Barrett ($254,490), Anthony Simonsen ($236,834), Marshall Kent ($223,745), Tommy Jones ($175,652) and, in the No. 8 position, Sean Rash ($154,472).

With a $30,000 first prize at stake in the Masters and $10,000 to the winner in Maine, Smallwood has the best chance to break into the elite eight-man field. Smallwood’s combined earnings are $153,057, just over $1,000 behind Rash. Longer shots, but still mathematically in contention, are O’Neill ($147,275), Ciminelli ($137,080), Lavoie ($128,055), Troup ($125,780) and Malott ($118,883).

The final results will be decided live on Xtra Frame during its exclusive coverage of the Maine Shootout on April 17-18. For subscription and schedule information click here.

PBA’s April Xtra Frame coverage includes PBA Tour, Seniors, Women

PBA’s Xtra Frame live coverage of the best in bowling in April will include all qualifying and three-game match play elimination rounds of the USBC Masters from Syracuse today through the final matches on Saturday leading into Sunday’s live ESPN telecast at 1 p.m. ET followed by the PBA Tour’s return to Portland, Maine, for the Port Property Management PBA Xtra Frame Maine Shootout and the OceanView at Falmouth PBA League Elias Cup finals.

Coverage in Portland begins with the “draw party” to determine the bracket positions for the 64 players entered in the Maine Shootout next Monday at 1 p.m. Three-game single-elimination matches will be live-streamed on Tuesday and Wednesday, including the semifinal and title matches beginning at 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 18. The XF Maine Shootout will be the final qualifying event to determine the eight players who will compete in the PBA Tour Finals May 4-5 in Allen Park, Mich.

Following the Maine Shootout, Xtra Frame will cover the PBA League “seeding” tournament on Friday, April 20, to determine the matchups for Saturday’s opening round of best-of-two-game Baker team matches. PBA League telecasts will air four consecutive Sundays at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN, beginning on April 22.

Next up will be the start of the 2018 PBA50 Tour season where Xtra Frame will provide live start-to-finish coverage of the PBA50 Florida Open from New Port Richey, Fla., April 21-23, followed by the PBA50 UnitedHealthcare National Championship presented by Spanish Springs Lanes and Radical – the senior tour’s first major of the year – from The Villages, April 24-28, and the PBA50 Mooresville Ford Open from Mooresville, N.C., April 29-May 2.

April also means the start of the 2018 PWBA season. Xtra Frame will cover preliminary rounds of the Las Vegas Open, April 27-28.

For subscription and schedule information click here.

PBA’s “60 Most Memorable Moments” unveiling continues: 31 thru 35

The countdown to unveil the complete list of the PBA”s “60 most memorable moments” in its 60-year history continues, one a day, Monday through Friday, on all PBA Network outlets. Last week, “memorable moments” 31 through 35 were unveiled. Here are those five moments as the countdown continues:

31) Mike Aulby won the 1996 Bayer/Brunswick Touring Players Championship to become the only player to win bowling’s “Super Slam” consisting of all five majors (U.S. Open, PBA National/World Championship, PBA Tournament of Champions, USBC Masters & PBA Touring Players Championship). Aulby also won Showboat Invitational and Brunswick Memorial World Open titles, and remains the only player to win every 56-game format tournament the PBA has offered. Aulby also was the first player to earn PBA Rookie (1979) and Player of the Year (1985) honors.

32) In 2017, Jason Belmonte became the only player to win the USBC Masters four times, defeating then-amateur Michael Tang, 279–212, in Las Vegas for his eighth PBA major title. By winning the 2015 Masters, Belmonte became the only player to win the event three consecutive time, defeating AJ Johnson in Green Bay, Wis.

33) In 1981, Bill Beach defeated Bill Lillard, 200-191, in the first “PBA Senior Tour” event, the PBA Senior Championship in New Orleans, La. The re-named PBA50 Tour has provided 50-and-older players with numerous memorable moments, including Mark Roth becoming the first player to earn both “PBA Senior” (2001) and PBA Player of the Year honors (1977-’79 and 1984), and where Joe Scarborough bowled the first certified 900 series in PBA history in his first three games of the 2013 PBA50 Sun Bowl at The Villages.

34) In 1975, Earl Anthony became the first player to earn $100,000 in a sin¬gle season with his victory in the Buzz Fazio Open in Battle Creek, Mich. Anthony’s seventh win of the year was worth $5,000 and put his season earnings at $100,890. Earlier that year, Anthony won a record third consecutive PBA National Championship in Toledo, Ohio…a feat he repeated in the same event in 1981, ’82 and ’83. In 2009, Anthony was selected as No. 1 on the PBA’s list of the 50 Greatest Players during its 50th Anniversary Gala in Las Vegas.

35) “Wrong Foot” Lou Campi of Dumont, N.J., won the PBA’s first event, the 1959 Empire State Open in Albany, N.Y., and collected a $2,500 first prize.

To check on releases of subsequent “moments” as they are revealed, check the PBA Network: PBA on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ProfessionalBowlersAssociation) or Instagram (pbatour); subscribe to the PBA channel on YouTube (PBABowling); tweet along on Twitter (@pbatour), and on the web: https://www.pba.com/PBANetwork/MostMemorableMoments.

PBA Regional Update: Butturff wins 14th regional title in Dublin

Jakob Butturff (featured photo) of Tempe, Ariz., posted a 14-2 match play record and a 24-game total of 5,967 pins Sunday to win the PBA Earl Anthony West/Northwest Memorial at Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl in Dublin, Calif., Sunday while amateur Dennis Acma of San Ramon, Calif., won the PBA50 Earl Anthony Memorial.

Butturff cruised to his 14th PBA Regional title and the $2,500 first prize by 299 pins over Canadian native Ray Lussier of San Jose, Calif., who had an 11-5 record and a 24-game total of 5,668 pins, including match play bonus pins.

Acma went 7-5 in the 12-game match play finals and knocked down 4,482 total pins for his 20 games to top Bob Rosenau of Redding Calif., by 35 pins. Acma collected $1,500, but doesn’t get credit for a PBA title because he isn’t a PBA member.

The only PBA Regional event on the April 13-15 calendar is the PBA Bowlers Discount Pro Shop East Open, presented by Hammer, at AMF Towson Lanes in Towson, Md.

As the PBA50 Tour season closes in, PBA50 players will have a final tuneup opportunity in the PBA50 Sarasota South Open at Sarasota Lanes in Sarasota, Fla., April 18-20.

The April 20-22 PBA Regional calendar includes the Debbie & Leo Nunan Memorial Central Open presented by Track at AMF Stardust Lanes in Grove City, Ohio; and PBA South Point West Challenge for non-champions plus the South Point Member/Non-Member Doubles, both presented by Brunswick, in Las Vegas.

Closing out the month over the April 27-29 weekend will be the PBA Rockaway Lanes East Open, presented by Storm, in Rockaway, N.J., and the PBA Brighton Construction Myrtle Beach South Open at Myrtle Beach Bowl in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

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

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Author: Herbert Bickel
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