PBA stars represent U.S. in Pan American Games bowling events


    2015 PBA Spare Shots #29

    BowlmorAMF offers PBA members special practice rate; Mika Koivuniemi accepts UAE coaching post; Memorial service planned for Friday for John Hricsina; Josh Conner wins first PBA Regional title

    2015PAGTommyJonesDevinBidwell.jpgPBA Tour star Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., along with PBA Women's Series winners Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., and Shannon Pluhowsky of Dayton, Ohio, plus amateur Devin Bidwell of Wichita, Kan., are representing the United States in the Pan American Games bowling competition this week at the Pan Am Bowling Center in Toronto. Several PBA international members also are bowling for their home countries in the Games.

    2015PAGLizJohnsonShannonPluhowsky.jpgJones (pictured left with Bidwell, right) , a 16-time PBA Tour winner and an eight-year member of Team USA with more than 20 medals earned in international competition, is bowling in the Pan Am Games for the first time.

    Johnson (pictured right with Pluhowsky, right) is the defending champion in women's singles and doubles, and also won women's all-events plus a team silver medal in 1995, in the first of her three Pan Am Games appearances. Pluhowsky, a 15-time Team USA member, won women's singles and a silver in doubles in the 2003 Pan Am Games.

    Bidwell is making his international debut for Team USA.


    BowlmorAMF offers PBA members special practice rate

    Bowlmor AMF, a PBA Product Registered partner, is making it much more affordable for PBA members to practice, offering a $1-per-game practice rate at all 340 of its domestic locations, including the recently-acquired Brunswick bowling centers.

    One of the long-standing benefits of PBA membership has been deeply-discounted practice rates at participating centers, and BowlmorAMF has joined the program with a set price at its properties across the country, subject only to the following conditions:

    • The special rate is for practice only; it does not apply for league, glow bowling, or tournament lineage.
    • The special rate is available only on a "lanes available" basis. PBA members must agree to give up the lane if the proprietor expects league, tournament, or heavy open play.
    • Discounts are available to the PBA card holder only.
    • PBA membership card and a picture ID must be presented when the lanes are assigned.


    Upcoming on Xtra Frame: PWBA, Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles

    PBA's exclusive online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, will close out its July schedule with live start-to-finish coverage of the PWBA Wichita Open from Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan., Friday and Saturday, followed by the PBA/PWBA Xtra Frame Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles from Palace Lanes in Houston, Texas, July 31-Aug. 2.


    Memorial service planned for Friday for John Hricsina

    PBA50JohnHricsina1937-2015.jpgA memorial service for former PBA50 star John Hricsina of Franklin, Pa., who died Monday of complications from injuries sustained in a fall, will be held Friday at 1 p.m. ET at First Church of the Nazarene in Franklin.

    Hricsina, a seven-time PBA50 Tour winner and former PBA50 Player of the Year, is survived by his wife Susan; sons Bill and John Jr.; daughters Sandy Hricsina and Valerie Hijar, and grandchildren Nick, Nathan, Jackie, Chandler and Jessica Hricsina, and Jordan and Brooke Hijar.

    At the family's request, memorial donations may be made to the Kirkland Cancer Foundation, PO Box 108, Franklin, PA 16323. To send condolences, cards, flowers or additional information, click here.

    Hricsina, a U.S. Navy veteran, worked as a rural postal carrier for the Polk County, Pa. post office before turning 50 and trying his luck on the PBA "senior tour." He also ran a pro shop out of his home and enjoyed bowling duckpins and singing Karaoke which he did frequently with his friends on tour.

    "He was a great bowler, but most of all he wanted to be remembered as a working man and a family man and he was definitely both of those," his grandson, Nick Hricsina, said.

    "He was just a wonderful person," said USBC Hall of Famer and Storm Products Global Ambassador Bob Hart. "We've been friends since our 20s and some of my greatest memories are of bowling with him and just being good friends.

    "He was a great bowler," Hart added. "The best way I could describe him as a competitor was that he was a bulldog on the lanes. He was fierce competitor and would bowl any place, any time."


    Mika Koivuniemi accepts UAE coaching post, plans to curtail PBA activities

    2014PBA08MikaKoivuniemi3.jpgFinland's Mika Koivuniemi, already one of the world's most successful amateur players when he decided to join the PBA in 1999 at age 32, has announced he has accepted the head coaching position for the United Arab Emirates national bowling team, and plans to limit his PBA Tour activities in the future, in part due to lingering back and knee injuries.

    The 14-time PBA Tour champion and two-time PBA Player of the Year (2003-04 and 2010-11) is now 48 and living in Hartland, Mich., with wife Leena and daughters Ida and Lidia. A 13-year member of Team Finland, Koivuniemi has bowled around the world since the 1980s, winning titles in 21 different countries and has bowled 300 games in as many countries, as well.

    In addition to his 14 PBA Tour titles – which include the 2000 USBC Masters, 2001 U.S. Open and record-setting 2011 PBA Tournament of Champions – Koivuniemi has bowled a nationally-televised 300 game and with more than $1.9 million in PBA earnings, he is poised to become the 10th player in PBA history to surpass $2 million in career earnings.

    In a post on his Facebook page from Munich, where he is competing in the Track Open, Koivuniemi noted, "I been battling with injuries (for a) long time with my back. But this year also my left knee has been pretty bad. I…didn't bowl any tournament without pain! So that made my decision much easier, especially when UAE will let me bowl tournaments when they (won't be at the) same time at (PBA events)."

    For the record, Koivuniemi will become age-eligible to compete on the PBA50 Tour on April 6, 2017.


    PBA Regional Update: Josh Conner wins first PBA Regional title in Indiana

    Josh Conner of Columbus, Ohio, defeated Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y., 250-173, to win $2,300 and his first PBA Regional title in the Boss Snow Plows/Ebonite Central/Midwest Open at PinHeads in Fishers, Ind., Sunday.

    Conner downed Kelly Jordon of Marion, Ohio, 417-399, and Angelo topped E.J. Tackett of Huntington, Ind., 520-508, in the two-game, total pinfall semifinal round to set up the championship match.

    2014PBA50LeeBrosius.jpgLee Brosius (right) of Pomona, N.Y., defeated Tracy Golding of Winston-Salem, N.C., 2-1 in the best-of-three-game final match at AMF Fredericksburg (Va.) Lanes Sunday to win the PBA50 AMF Fredericksburg South Open for his first PBA title in 32 years.

    Brosius was soundly defeated in the first game, 251-172; edged Golding in game two, 213-210, Brosius then got a mark in the final frame of game three to win, 207-180, ending his dry spell.

    The victory was Brosius' third, but his first since winning his previous titles in 1982 and 1983. He resigned from PBA membership in 1990 when he retired from the military, but reinstated his membership in the 2013, competing on the PBA50 Tour the past two seasons.

    201213PBAJoeFindling.jpgJoe Findling (left) from Greenville, Texas, edged Tyler Jensen of Fort Worth, Texas, 216-215, to win his sixth PBA Southwest Region title Sunday in the sixth annual PBA Fort Sill (Okla.) Southwest Open, presented by Ebonite, at Twin Oaks Bowling Center.

    After Jensen finished with five strikes, Findling spared the 2-8 in the 10th frame of the title match and struck on his final shot to squeak by Jensen and claim the $2,500 winner's check. After Findling qualified 14th and Jensen 16th, each won four elimination matches to reach the title match.

    Next up for the PBA Midwest Region is the PBA50 Treasure Island Resort & Casino Baker Doubles Classic in Welch, Minn., Thursday and Friday. The weekend schedule features the Pure-It Pro Shop East Open presented by DV8 at Cedar Lanes in Lebanon, Pa.; the Farmer's State Bank Central Open presented by Roto Grip at Angola Bowl in Angola, Ind.; the Poplar Creek Bowl Midwest Open at Hoffman Estates, Ill., and the PBA/PBA50 Sands Regency West/Northwest Doubles presented by MOTIV at High Sierra Lanes in Reno, Nev.

    Closing out the July schedule over the July 31-Aug. 2 weekend will be the PBA Xtra Frame Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles, a PBA Tour-PWBA Tour title event, at Palace Lanes in Houston, Texas; the Lakewood Bowl Midwest Open in Richton Park, Ill.; the PBA/PBA50 Northwest/West Open from 20th Century Lanes in Boise, Idaho, and the PBA Japan Region's first events of the year, the DHC Japan Cheetah and Women's Cheetah Opens at Nagoya Grandbowl in Aichi, Japan.

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


    Quick Notes

    "Let's Go Bowling Show," which debuted in 2006 in Clearwater, Fla., with host Ken Van Baber and PBA legend Mark Roth, celebrated its 500th broadcast in mid-July. Now available by audio and video streaming around the world, the weekly radio show has regularly featured PBA champions, industry leaders and other bowling news-makers. Tampa area pro shop operator and bowling instructor Bill Zuben is currently co-host. To watch current and archived programs, click here.

    Storm Products Global Ambassador Bob Hart, a former PBA Tour rep and member of the USBC Hall of Fame, will be inducted into the Georgia State Bowling Hall of Fame on August 8.


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