Walter Ray Williams Jr. fulfills wish for 14-year-old Iowa bowler


    2015 PBA Spare Shots #8

    Kulick's historic victory tops "Top Toc Television Moments" poll; "Atom Splitters" PBA League bowling ball debuts this week; Why Sean Rash is the first player in PBA history to bowl two nationally-televised 300 games; PBA Regional activity heats up this weekend

    2015MattBrauckmanWalterRayWilliams.jpg It isn't often that an aspiring youth bowler has a chance to bowl one of the world's greatest bowlers and then beats him in a match. But that's exactly what 14-year-old Matt Brauckman (pictured left) of Carroll, Iowa did.

    Brauckman, who has Hodgkin's lymphoma, had the opportunity to bowl Walter Ray Williams Jr. (right) at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis, the site of the 50th Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions, as a result of a Make-A-Wish Foundation grant.

    After some practice and a few tips from Williams, Brauckman beat the PBA's all-time titles leader (47) in a one-game match, 213-206.

    "He's the best ever in my opinion," said Brauckman, who carries a 176 average. "I've always admired his game and how he throws the ball. Just to be able to bowl with him was great, but to beat him was something I didn't expect."

    Prior to the match, Brauckman had a brand new Brunswick ball drilled with some help from Williams and then it was off to the lanes to try it out.

    "When he said he was a 176 average, I didn't believe it," Williams said. "He's got everything you want at his age – great fundamentals, ball control, timing. Like all of us, he probably needs to make sure not to forget to work on the spares, but I was pretty surprised at how well he threw the ball."

    The spare advice was well-taken as Matt missed a 10 pin in the 10th frame, even though he still won the match.

    Brauckman bowls in a youth league and is an avid tournament bowler in Iowa. Last year he finished ninth in his division in the Iowa State Youth BA singles. Brauckman was accompanied to Indianapolis by his mother Karen, father Douglas and teammate Tyler Mohr.


    Kulick's historic victory tops "Top Toc Television Moments" poll

    200910PBA10KellyKulick.jpgKelly Kulick's historic victory in the 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions (pictured left) was an easy winner in fan voting to determine the "top moment in Tournament of Champions television history."

    The results of the special online poll conducted as part of the 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA TOC celebration were announced during the live ESPN telecast Sunday.

    Kulick, who became the first woman to win a PBA Tour title in that event at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas, received 27 percent of the votes cast to beat Pete Weber's second TOC victory, at age 50, in the 2013 finals at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis.

    Weber received 16 percent of the votes. Third was Mika Koivuniemi's 299-100 win over Tom Daugherty in 2011, followed by his championship match victory over Tom Smallwood to claim the record $250,000 first prize (13 percent).

    Don Johnson's memorable 299 game in 1970 and Jason Couch's "three-peat" victory in 2002 finished in a tie for fourth (8 percent).


    "Atom Splitters" PBA League bowling ball debuts this week

    2014PBALSilverLakeAtomSplitters.jpgAs part of a continuing series, Concrete Software will debut the Silver Lake Atom Splitters PBA League team ball into the PBA Bowling Challenge game this week.

    The Dallas Strikers ball was introduced on Feb. 4 and the GEICO New York WTT KingPins ball was unveiled on Feb. 12. The remaining five PBA League balls will be added, one a week, leading up to the PBA League Elias Cup competition March 28-29 at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

    PBA League logoed balls will be available for use by the more than 12 million people who play PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game on a regular basis. The PBA Bowling Challenge by Concrete Software app is available on Google Play, Apple iOS, Amazon App Store and Nook.


    For the sake of clarification

    2014PBASeanRash2.jpgSean Rash (pictured left) became the first player in PBA history to bowl two nationally-televised 300 games in recognized PBA Tour events when he bowled his perfect game during the 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions finals Sunday.

    He was the third player to bowl two nationally-televised 300s, but the other two cases involved PBA special events and therefore were not recognized as part of official PBA records.

    Wes Malott was the first to bowl two 300s on national television when he performed the feat during the "made-for-television" King of Bowling Powered by Amp Energy series in 2009.

    Ryan Shafer was the second with two televised 300s. He bowled his first one in the 2007 Pepsi Championship at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis, but his second came during a made-for-television special event, the 2011 Lumber Liquidators PBA Summer Series at 10pin bowling lounge in Chicago.

    Because Malott's 300s and Shafer's second 300 did not occur during PBA Tour competition, they were not eligible for PBA Tour records consideration.


    PBA Regional Update: Activity heats up this weekend

    PBA Regional activity heats up again over the Feb. 20-22 weekend in a schedule that includes the PBA50 Dave Edwards Toyota South Open presented by Ebonite in Spartanburg, S.C.; the Lakewood Colorado Southwest Open at Holiday Bowling and Billiards; the Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort West Championship at Gold Country Lanes in Sutter Creek, Calif., and the Lynwood Midwest Challenge presented by Roto Grip, a non-titlists event, at Lynwood Bowl in Lynwood, Ill.

    A busy March schedule of regional activity begins Feb. 27-March 1 with the PBA50 Pensacola (Fla.) South Open at New Liberty Lanes.

    The March 6-8 regional calendar includes the PBA50 Victory Lanes Central Open presented by 900 Global in Galion, Ohio; the Sunday-only PBA50 Thunderbowl Midwest Open presented by Hammer in Council Bluffs, Iowa; and the PBA West/Northwest Sands Regency Winter Challenge, Winter Classic and PBA50 Winter Classic at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno.

    The March 13-15 PBA Regional schedule includes only one event – the joint PBA50 Showtime Lanes Midwest/Central Open presented by Track in Virden, Ill.

    A heavy slate of PBA Regional action is on tap over the March 20-22 weekend, including the PBA50 Fayetteville (N.C.) Open at Lafayette Lanes; the PBA50 Rossi Lanes Open in Elmira, N.Y.; the joint PBA Trumbull County Tourism Bureau Central/East Open presented by DV8 at Bell-Wick Bowl in Hubbard, Ohio; the PBA Odessa (Texas) Southwest Open at Astro Bowl; the PBA50 Boys & Girls Club Midwest/Central Open presented by MOTIV at Liberty Lanes in Carpentersville, Ill., and the PBA Caveman Bowl Northwest/West Open in Grants Pass, Ore.

    Wrapping up the March PBA Regional schedule over the 27-28 weekend will be the PBA50 Tony Grigat Allstate Midwest/Central Open presented by DV8 at Willowbrook Lanes in Willowbrook, Ill.

    For complete Regional tournament schedules and entry information, click here.


    Quick Notes

    For a preview video for Sunday's PBA Players Championship finals on ESPN, click here. The PBA Players Championship telecast at 1 p.m. Sunday on ESPN will include top qualifier Parker Bohn III, Ronnie Russell, Jason Belmonte, Tom Daugherty and Norm Duke.


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