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Australia’s Jason Belmonte to join PBA “millionaire’s club”


Australia’s two-handed star, Jason Belmonte, will officially become the 47th member of the PBA “Millionaire’s Club” this week after qualifying for the match play finals of the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

And he’ll become the fastest player to reach that milestone in terms of the fewest number of events bowled to get to $1 million, thanks in no small part to his collection of 14 career titles including eight majors.

Less than $2,000 shy of the milestone after winning his unprecedented fourth USBC Masters title in February, Belmonte – who is bowling the Roth/Holman Doubles event with partner Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa. – is assured of winning more than the $2,000 he needs to exceed $1 million in official PBA Tour earnings.

At age 33 and bowling in his 131st PBA Tour event, he will shatter the record for reaching $1 million in the fewest number of events, previously held by Wes Malott who broke the million-dollar barrier when he won the 2013 U.S. Open in his 180th event.

The youngest player to reach $1 million in career earnings was Pete Weber who was 26 in 1989 when he reached the milestone in his 253rd Tour event.

Portland Charity Pro-Am raises $17,000-plus for “Full Plates”

The charity pro-am held at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, Sunday night to benefit Full Plates, Full Potential, raised more than $17,000 for the organization that is dedicated to providing disadvantaged Maine children with quality meals in order to help them realize their potential as they grow toward adulthood. The special event was organized by Bayside Bowl co-owner Justin Alfond.

The money raised thus far translates into connecting kids to 150,000 meals. PBA fans who were unable to attend the special event, held in conjunction with the MaineQuarterly.com Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship and the L.L. Bean PBA League, can still donate by clicking, here.

In addition to the pro-am, L.L. Bean Portland Lumberjacks team manager Tim Mack (right) threw out the first pitch at the Portland Sea Dogs game Tuesday night.

The Lumberjacks are part of the L.L. Bean PBA League competition that gets underway with a qualifying round at noon ET Thursday to determine the seeding positions for the ESPN-televised Elias Cup elimination rounds that will take place Saturday and Sunday at Bayside Bowl.

Thursday’s round will be live streamed on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel; the weekend shows will be recorded for delayed telecast on ESPN, but will also be live streamed on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.

Also on Wednesday, PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. (left) paid a surprise visit to cystic fibrosis patient and PBA super fan Aaron Thiboutot at Maine Med in Portland. Thiboutot, an avid bowler who has rolled nine 300 games, was unable to attend this weekend’s PBA League finals at Bayside Bowl.

Xtra Frame, ESPN3/WatchESPN live streaming options available this week

This week will be a busy week for PBA fans following activities in Portland, Maine, online. Thursday means live coverage of the L.L. Bean PBA League “seeding” round beginning at noon ET. All eight teams will bowl eight Baker format games to determine the seeding positions for the quarterfinal, semifinal and Elias Cup finals Saturday and Sunday at Bayside Bowl.

Saturday’s schedule includes PBA League quarterfinal round action which will be recorded for delayed telecast on ESPN – but both shows, beginning at noon and 3:30 p.m. – will be live streamed on ESPN/WatchESPN app for those who want to watch the events as they happen.

Sunday’s action begins with the live ESPN telecast of the MaineQuarterly.com Roth/Holman Doubles Championship at 1 p.m., followed by the PBA League semifinal round at 4:30 p.m. and the Elias Cup finals at 7 p.m. All three shows also will be live streamed on ESPN3/WatchESPN app.

The ESPN3 and WatchESPN apps can be downloaded at ESPN.com. For Xtra Frame subscription information, click here.

This week: “Pick the Brunswick ball” for PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game

Concrete Software’s “pick the ball” survey for PBA Bowling Challenge mobile game continues this week with players invited to select a new Brunswick ball from among three options provided weekly for each PBA-participating brand.

Based on fan voting which begins Thursday (click here to cast your vote), the “winning” Brunswick ball will be available for play on April 28.

A code to purchase the ball for 50% off (the code will be available on PBA’s and the specific companies’ social media pages) will be posted. Each company also will have a flashback weekend where all its previous balls will be available for that weekend only.

PBA Regional Update: Low, Mohr, Parkin win at Earl Anthony Memorial

Collegiate bowler Wesley Low Jr. (left) of Palmdale, Calif., posted a 13-3 match play record and a 24-game total of 5,834 pins Sunday to win the PBA Earl Anthony West/Northwest Memorial at Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl while Ron Mohr of Las Vegas won the PBA50 portion of the event and Missy Parkin of Laguna Hills, Calif., captured the PBA-PWBA segment of the tripleheader weekend.

Low, who turns 20 on April 27 (coincidentally the late Earl Anthony’s birthday), won his third Earl Anthony Memorial in a row but as an amateur, he does not receive credit for a title. His $2,500 first prize goes into his SMART scholarship account. The two-handed, left-handed player defeated Derek Acuff of Glendale, Ariz., by 172 pins for the win.

Mohr (right) went 6-4 in match play and knocked down 4,019 total pins for his 18 games to top amateur Dennis Acma of San Ramon, Calif., for his 19th PBA50 Regional title and $1,500.

Parkin, the first woman to join the PBA and the only woman to win three standard PBA Regional titles, won the PBA-PWBA Women’s Regional event for the third year in a row. She had a 6-2 match play record and knocked down 3,477 total pins for her 16 games to top non-member Karen Rosprim of Albany, Calif., for the $1,000 first prize.

PBA Hall Of Famer Tom Baker (right) of King, N.C., defeated Steve Jones of Berlin, Md., 2-0 in the best-of-three-game final match at AMF Fredericksburg Lanes Sunday to win the PBA50 AMF Fredericksburg (Va.) South Open presented by Radical for his 34th overall PBA regional title.

Baker, at age 62, made short work of Jones, defeating him, 277-268 and 279-214, for his 17th victory as a PBA50 player. He also has 17 standard PBA Regional titles.

Baker, who earned $2,200, defeated Todd Haney of Boiling Springs, S.C., 2-0, in the semifinal round while Jones defeated Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, 2-0. Haney and Kretzer each earned $900.

The April 14-16 PBA Regional calendar includes the Bowlers Discount Eastern Open presented by Columbia 300 at Brunswick Zone-Normandy in Ellicott City, Md., and the Copperfield Bowl Southwest Challenge presented by 900 Global for non-champions in Houston, Texas.

The April 21-23 PBA Regional schedule features the Debbie & Leo Nunan Memorial Central Open presented by Track at AMF Stardust Lanes in Grove City, Ohio, and the Jac’s Lanes Valdosta South Open in Valdosta, Ga. April 23 also kicks of the PBA West Region’s annual tripleheader in Hawaii, including the Hawaii West/Northwest Open presented by Ebonite at Schofield AFB (April 23), the Fort Shafter West/Northwest Hawaii Open in Honolulu (April 26) and the Hickam AFB West/Northwest Open presented by Ebonite (April 28-30).

April’s PBA Regional competition concludes with the PBA50 Cherokee Lanes South Open presented by Roto Grip in Canton, Ga., April 27-29, and the Al Jones Memorial presented by Storm at Rockaway Lanes in Rockaway, N.J., April 28-30.

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

Quick Notes

Monday, April 10 – the day the MaineQuarterly.com Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship got underway in Portland, Maine – was Mark Roth‘s 65th birthday. L-R Mark Roth, PBA Kimberley Pressler and Mashall Holman.

Former PBA Press Director and Tournament Director Johnny Campos, the long-time bowling columnist for the Peoria (Ill.) Journal-Star, has been named recipient of the International Bowling Media Association’s Luby Hall of Fame Award for his long-time contributions to bowling journalism. He will be recognized in Nashville, Tenn., during the International Bowl Expo Industry Awards Luncheon on June 20.

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Herbert Bickel

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