In a five-player team showdown involving top U.S. performers vs. a team of the best international performers during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VIII presented by Silver Legacy Resort and Casino, the American players claimed bragging rights by beating a talented international squad in the USA vs. The World
challenge match to conclude WSOB VIII at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.
The team finale aired Sunday, January 8, on ESPN. From left, Mitch Beasley, BJ Moore III, Matt O’Grady, Dick Allen, EJ Tackett and Tommy Jones.
In the non-title special event which concluded the eighth annual World Series, all 10 players earned their way onto their respective teams after a combined 32 games of qualifying in the four animal pattern championships (Cheetah, Chameleon, Scorpion and Shark) that led into the PBA World Championship.
The top five U.S. qualifiers represented the USA while the top five international players from the 169-player field earned berths on The World team.
Competing on the 41-foot PBA World Championship lane condition pattern in a best-of-two-game Baker format team match, the USA team of Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C.; Matt O’Grady (left), South Amboy, N.J.; 2016 Chameleon Championship winner Mitch Beasley, Clarksville, Tenn.; BJ Moore III, Greensburg, Pa., and 2016 PBA World Championship winner EJ Tackett (right) of Huntington, Ind., took the early lead by defeating The World team, 253-224, in game one.
Undaunted, The World team, with Australia’s Sam Cooley, England’s Dom Barrett, 2016 PBA Shark Championship winner Francois Lavoie (left) of Canada, Mexico’s Arturo Quintero (right) and Sweden’s Martin Larsen came back to win the second game, 223-210, which set up a one-ball sudden-death roll-off to decide the outcome.
The team managers, 18-time PBA champion Tommy Jones
(left) for the USA and five-time tour winner Osku Palermaa
(right) for the World team, were tasked with choosing the representatives for the roll-off, selecting Allen for the U.S. and Barrett for the World team to go first.
The U.S. ended the suspense quickly, however, when Allen (left) struck on the first ball and Barrett (right) countered with a seven-count, leaving the 3-6-10.
“This was basically a team that runs itself,” said Jones, the winner of the 2016 Scorpion Championship. “You have to consider yourself fortunate to have a group of guys like this who have the good chemistry right out of the box. You couldn’t really handpick a better team.”
As leadoff bowler bowling the first and sixth frames of each game in addition to the first sudden-death attempt, Allen struck in every frame he bowled.
“That’s the name of the game, right?” said Allen, a four-time PBA Tour champion. “I like the team concept because it’s up to you to make the best of every frame you’re called on to bowl in the Baker format. Fortunately, I made the right decisions with my equipment and that enabled me to maximize my contribution to the team effort.”
The USA team shared in a $40,000 first prize while the World team earned $20,000.
The USA team notched its first win in the series after losing to World teams in two previous contests in 2013 and 2011.
USA vs. The World Team Challenge
National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., USA (Dec. 11, 2016)
Best-of-two-game Baker Team format
USA (Dick Allen, Matt O’Grady, Mitch Beasley, BJ Moore III, EJ Tackett) def. The World (Sam Cooley, Dom Barrett, Francois Lavoie, Arturo Quintero, Martin Larsen), 253-224
The World def. USA, 223-210
One-Ball Sudden-Death Roll-Off:
Dick Allen (USA) def. Dom Barrett (The World), 10-7.