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24th Malta Open Championships
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The 2018 PBA Clash, a special event involving the season’s top eight players in combined PBA Tour and World Bowling Tour earnings, is set for Monday, Dec. 10, at Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Fla., and also will serve as the kickoff event for the Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s inaugural season of television coverage on FOX and FS1 which begins with the PBA Hall of Fame Classic from the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday, Jan. 6.
The PBA Clash will air on FOX on Sunday, Dec. 23, at 2:30 or 4:30 p.m. Eastern, depending upon where the viewers live. General admission for the Clash will be $10, but a limited number of VIP tickets, sponsored by Central Florida Sports, will be available for $40 including early access at 3:30 p.m., an interactive Q&A session with PBA players at 4 p.m., dinner at 5 p.m. and a Kegel gift bag.
Tickets will be available at the door or they may be purchased online in advance through the PBA’s official website.
The players who have qualified for the PBA Clash are Australia’s Jason Belmonte, Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas; Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich.; EJ Tackett of Bluffton, Ind.; newly-crowned U.S. Open champion Dom Barrett of England; fellow Brit Stuart Williams who now lives in the Phoenix area; Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., and U.S. Open runner-up Jakob Butturff of Chandler, Ariz.
Based on competition points earned during the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season, the 10 players who have earned invitations to compete in the DHC PBA Japan Invitational (featured photo shows the top 5 in the 2018 event) that will take place April 25-28 at Tokyo Port Bowl in Tokyo are Anderson; Simonsen; Tackett; Williams; Kris Prather of Plainfield, Ill.; Belmonte; Kent; Butturff; Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., and Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich.
Barrett, as defending champion, also is invited. The field of 16 international players who will compete against 16 Japanese bowlers also will include three players invited by DHC, the tournament sponsor; one member of the Korean PBA, and one member of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association who will be announced later.
The final event of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour regular season also secured Jason Belmonte‘s (left) fourth PBA George Young High Average Award with a 221.38 average for 270 games in PBA Tour competition, topping runner-up Jakob Butturff‘s 220.79 average for 297 games. Belmonte, who set the PBA single-season scoring record in 2017 with a 229.39 average, also won the award in 2013 and ’14.
The other PBA award decided in the U.S. Open was the Harry Smith Competition Points Leader Award, which was re-instated after three years in hibernation. The winner is second-year player Andrew Anderson (right) of Holly, Mich., who won two titles including the USBC Masters in compiling 24,195 points – more than 3,000 ahead of runner-up Anthony Simonsen‘s 20,909 total.
Voting will begin soon for selection of the 2018 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year and Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year awards. The winners will be announced during the PBA Clash telecast airing on Sunday, Dec. 23, on FOX.
Another significant note from the U.S. Open is that England’s Dom Barrett (pictured with the Ragle trophy) became title-eligible for election into the PBA Hall of Fame in the future, recording his second major championship among his seven overall titles.
Barrett, who also won the 2013 World Championship, has a while to wait, however. The 33-year-old right-hander joined the PBA in 2010, which means he won’t become participation-eligible for the PBA Hall of Fame until 2030 – his 20th year of membership. In order to be placed on the HOF ballot, candidates must meet both title and participation eligibility requirements.
Deeronn Booker of Anaheim, Calif., and Toby Sambueno of nearby Hendersonville won their first PBA titles over the weekend at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas.
Booker and non-member partner Michael Villarreal of Lakewood, Calif. teamed up to win Sunday’s South Point Member/Non-Member Doubles title after Sambueno won the South Point West Challenge portion of the PBA West Region doubleheader on Friday.
In the singles event, Sambueno defeated Villarreal, 205-175, to earn the $1,500 first prize and his first PBA title. In the semifinal round, Sambueno defeated Tim Cagle II of Hercules, Calif., 244-235, while Villarreal eliminated non-member Michael Fitzgerald of Phoenix, 222-175, in the other semifinal match.
In Sunday’s doubles title match, Booker and Villarreal defeated non-members Clay Rees of Riverton, Utah, and Cameron Foster of South Jordan, Utah, 436-380, to claim the $4,000 first prize and Booker’s first PBA Regional title.
Booker and Villarreal advanced to the title match by eliminating non-members Chris Klerk of Chandler, Ariz., and Ed Smaglik of Flagstaff, Ariz., 428-387, while Rees and Foster ousted Derek Acuff and non-member partner Michael Fitzgerald, both of Phoenix, 502-418, in the other semifinal match.
Brent Hunter (pictured with proprietor Pete Bryan, right) of Glenville, Pa., won his first PBA Regional title in seven years Sunday when he defeated Rick Graham of Lancaster, Pa., 232-187, to win the PBA50 Bryan’s Bowling Center Open presented by the Hopkins Automotive Group and 900 Global at Bryan’s Bowling Center in Laurel, Del.
Hunter, who qualified in 10th place, started Sunday’s first round with 10 strikes against defending champion Darryl Bower of Middletown, Pa., eliminating Bower, 2-1. He then ousted no. 2 qualifier Terry Wiley of Vienna, Va., 2-1, in his second best-of-three-game match. In the semifinal round, Hunter defeated Gary Faulkner of Norfolk, Va., 216-209, before topping Graham to claim the $1,500 first prize.
Graham defeated Donny Carr of Laurel, Md., 2-0, and qualifying leader Troy McKinney of Yorktown, Va., 2-0, before eliminating PBA Hall of Famer Danny Wiseman of Baltimore, 244-201, in the semifinal round.
The PBA Regional program moves into the first weekend in November with a busy weekend of activity, including the PBA/PBA50 Decker Appraisal Services Baker Doubles honoring Guppy Troup at Valley Lanes in Harrisburg, Va.; the Ken and Kathy Fowler Auto Center PBA and PBA50 West/Northwest Open doubleheader at Yokayo Bowling Center in Ukiah, Calif., and the Greater Anderson Central/Midwest Open at David Small’s Championship Lanes in Anderson, Ind.
PBA Regional competition over the Nov. 9-10 weekend will include the La-Z-Boy Central Challenge at Monroe Sport Center in Monroe, Mich.; the Plaza Bowl Midwest Open in Clinton, Iowa; the PBA50 Gastonia South Open at George Pappas’ Liberty Lanes in Gastonia, N.C., and the Mesa East Bowl Western Open in Mesa, Ariz.
Heading into the Thanksgiving break, the only events on the Nov. 16-18 schedule are the Bowlers Discount Pro Shop East Open at Terrace Lanes in Frederick, Md., and the PBA50 Plygem Windows South Open at Rocky Mount Bowling Center in Rocky Mount, Va.
Headlining the Thanksgiving weekend will be the Beaumont Southwest Open at Crossroads Bowling Center in Beaumont, Texas.
The November PBA Regional calendar comes to a close over the Nov. 30-Dec. 2 weekend with the Knob Hill/MJK Pro Shop Challenge (a non-champions event) presented by Brunswick at Knob Hill Country Lanes in Manalapan, N.J.; the PBA50 Victory Lanes Midwest Open presented by Allstate in Kankakee, Ill.; and the re-scheduled Break Point Alley Member/Non-Member Doubles in Tavares, Fla.
For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, click here to find the event(s) in your area.
PBA Player of the Year candidate Kyle Troup and 2018 PWBA Player of the Year Shannon O’Keefe, both members of Team USA 2018, will represent the United States in the 54th Qubica AMF Bowling World Cup that will take place Monday through Saturday, Nov. 10 at Sam’s Town Bowling Center in Las Vegas.
Troup, a three-time PBA Tour title winner, and O’Keefe qualified for their World Cup berths during in the Team USA Trials held in Las Vegas in January.
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