Winning fuels Jones heading into Men's World Championships

    08/14/08

    United States

    12-time PBA winner captured three medals at 1996 World Youth Championships

    2006PBA06TommyJones2.jpg When Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., goes into battle with Team USA at the upcoming World Tenpin Bowling Association Men's World Championships, scheduled for Aug. 22-30 in Bangkok, Thailand, he knows one thing for sure.

    "None of us like to lose," said Jones, who is one of five professional bowlers representing Team USA. "Anytime we bowl anything, we want to win ... especially when you put those colors on. There will be a lot of people gunning for us. We just have to go over there, do our part and feed off each other. It will happen."

    Professionals are now eligible to compete with Team USA in international competition, thanks to a change in WTBA legislation last August.

    2007PBAChrisBarnes_small.jpg 2007PBAWalterRayWilliams_small.jpg This event marks the much anticipated first appearance of professionals at the World Championships. Joining Jones in Thailand on the six-player Team USA squad are fellow Denny's Professional Bowlers Association Tour stars Walter Ray Williams Jr. (left) of Ocala, Fla., Chris Barnes (right) of Double Oak, Texas, Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla., and Rhino Page of Topeka, Kan., along with amateur Bill Hoffman of Columbus, Ohio.

    Even though this is his first year on Team USA, Jones is no stranger to representing his country on the world stage. At age 17, he earned all-events and Masters silver medals plus a team bronze at the 1996 WTBA World Youth Championships in Hong Kong, where he also rolled a 300 game in the singles event.

    Like Barnes and Hoffman, Jones has represented the United States in recent years at the Weber Cup, an event similar to golf's Ryder Cup pitting the U.S. against a European team in a series of different match-ups.

    "I love the team atmosphere. Your teammates can pick you up and you can pick them up," said Jones, a 12-time winner on the PBA Tour - including two majors. "When you put that shirt on and bowl for your country, it's a completely different mentality."

    All of Jones' PBA Tour titles have come in the last four seasons, including four titles in 2004-05 followed by four in the 2005-06 season in which he earned the PBA Player of the Year Award.

    Even though they have a combined 77 PBA titles between them, Jones see him and his teammates learning plenty in Thailand.

    "That's one of the beautiful things about bowling. You can never master it," said Jones, who won two titles in the 2007-08 season. "I'm going to learn something from Chris. He'll probably learn something from me. Patrick is going to learn something from Rhino. Walter might even teach us something. It's going to be a learning experience for all of us and it will better us for the future."

    At the 2006 World Championships, Page and Hoffman helped the United States win the team gold medal for the first time since 1971, highlighted by Hoffman's 300 in the second-to-last game. Page also won singles and all-events silver and masters bronze in 2006.

    The Men's World Championships, which will be held at SF Strike Bowl Ngamwonwan, will feature more than 300 athletes from 56 countries competing in six disciplines - doubles, trios, team, singles, all-events and masters.