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Young PBA League fan’s birthday wish comes true


The PBA League program at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, has become a legend in its own time, thanks in part to its rabid fan base in Portland and around the world. They come in all sizes and ages, as evident by the story of Chicago’s Pierce Klein.

When Pierce’s mother, Jaime, asked him what he’d like to do to celebrate his third birthday, Pierce said, “To meet EJ Tackett at Bayside Bowl and give him a hug.”

So that’s what Jaime, husband Marc and siblings Liv and Miles did. They loaded up the car and drove to Portland where Pierce got his hug and met several other players including Marshall Kent and AJ Johnson from Oswego, Ill.

“We are all so obsessed (with bowling) that we even have a bowling alley in our basement,” Jaime said. “It’s generational and we love it. Coming here is better than Disney.”

PBA’s “60 Most Memorable Moments” unveiling continues: 21 thru 25

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” 21 through 25 were unveiled. Here are those five moments as the countdown continues:

21) In 1997, the PBA St. Clair Classic was the last Pro Bowlers Tour event televised by ABC Sports, ending a 36-year run. The title match between Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Pete Weber was won by Williams, 206-195, and included an emotional farewell video tribute to ABC announcers Nelson “Bo” Burton Jr. and Chris Schenkel who broke down in tears at the end of the telecast.

22) By winning a PBA Senior Regional event in Taylorville, Ill. in 2002, Dick Weber became the first player to win PBA titles at any level in six consecutive decades. Weber won his first PBA title in the 1959 Paramus Eastern Open, the second PBA event ever held. It was the first of 23 consecutive top 24 finishes extending into 1962 – a record that has never been broken.

23) In the 1994 PBA National Championship at Ducat’s Imperial Lanes in Toledo, Ohio, Johnny Petraglia threw the seventh televised 300 game in PBA history, defeating Walter Ray Williams Jr. in the second match and earning a $100,000 bonus.

24) In the last Firestone-sponsored PBA Tournament of Champions, George Branham III became the first African-American to win a PBA Tour major championship, defeating Parker Bohn III, 227-214, at Riviera Lanes in 1993.

25) With a 266-224 win over Ryan Shafer, Jason Couch became the only bowler in PBA Tour history to win three consecutive PBA Tournament of Champions and joined Mike Durbin as the second player to win the event three times. Couch’s wins came in 1999, 2000 and 2002 (event was not held in 2001) and they took place in three different centers – Incred-A-Bowl in Overland Park, Kan.; Brunswick Zone-Deer Park in Lake Zurich, Ill., and Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., respectively.

PBA Regional Update: Russ Oviatt wins first PBA title in doubles event

Russ Oviatt (above) of Chandler, Ariz. and non-member partner Eric Hatchett teamed up to win Sunday’s South Point Member/Non-Member Doubles title at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas after non-member Kevin Jenkins of Anthem, Ariz., won the South Point West Challenge portion of the PBA West Region doubleheader on Friday.

In the preliminary singles event, Jenkins defeated fellow non-member Antonio Palangio of Pittsburg, Pa., 247-168, to earn the $1,500 first prize. PBA Challenge events are open to non-champions only. Because he is not a PBA member, Jenkins doesn’t get credit for a PBA title.

In Sunday’s title match, Hatchett, from Henderson, Nev., and Oviatt defeated non-member Riely Chin of Fresno, Calif., and Canadian Ray Lussier, now living in San Jose, 454-426, to claim the $4,000 first prize. With the win, Oviatt earned his first PBA Regional title.

Michael Haugen Jr. (left) of Phoenix showed the field why he earned the 2017 PBA50 Rookie of the Year title defeating PBA Hall of Famer Ron Mohr of Las Vegas, 268-183, to win the fifth annual PBA50 Sarasota Southern Open at Sarasota Lanes in Sarasota, Fla., on April 20.

Haugen, who picked up his 25th overall PBA Regional title, won easily after starting with the front six strikes while Mohr had two open frames in the first half of the game. Haugen earned $2,000.

In the semifinal round, Haugen eliminated Lee Brosius of Ashburn, Va., 259-235, while Mohr took out Eddie Graham of Centerville, Ohio, 245-192.

Kyle Cook (left, with Host Joe Nunan) of Centerville, Ohio defeated Chandler Stevens of Archbold, Ohio by 37 pins Sunday to win the PBA Debbie & Leo Nunan Memorial Central Open presented by Track at AMF Stardust Lanes in Grove City, Ohio.

Cook finished with a 9-3 match play record and a total of 4,705 pins for 20 games, including match play bonus pins, for his first PBA Central Region title. He also earned $2,500.

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.

Quick Notes

PBA Tour champion Ray Orf, a St. Louis pro shop operator who won the 1962 All-American Classic in Dallas and six PBA Regional titles, died on April 20 in St. Louis. He was 76. Orf, a member of the Missouri and St. Louis Bowling Halls of Fame, had his finest year in PBA Tour competition in 1962 when he cashed in nine of 18 events. His family asked that donations to the charity of your choice be made in his name.

Turbo 2-n-1 Grips founder and owner Dave Bernhardt (left) was on his way home to Detroit Thursday, six days after suffering a heart attack during the PBA50 Lucas|Magazine Open in Port St. Lucie, Fla., according to a Facebook post by his daughter, Turbo President Lori Mraz. Mraz noted Bernhardt, 71, underwent successful surgery to correct a pair of coronary blockages and is already thinking about rejoining the PBA50 Tour later in the summer.

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Herbert Bickel

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