PBA to grandfather Masters, BPAA All-Star Titles


    PBA News

    All USBC Masters, BPAA All-Stars since 1959 to count as Denny's PBA Tour titles

    PBA1958Logo_small.jpg In light of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour's upcoming 50th Anniversary season, the PBA has announced all United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Masters events and BPAA All-Stars since 1959 will count as official PBA Tour titles.

    Prior to this decision, the PBA only counted USBC Masters titles as official PBA Tour titles since 1998 as the event has only been part of the Denny's PBA Tour TV schedule since that year. Now, all PBA members who have won a USBC Masters title since 1959 – the first year of the PBA Tour – will be credited with a PBA Tour title and a Major title.

    Bowlers who won the USBC Masters prior to 1959 and amateurs who have won the event will not be credited with a PBA Tour title but will be credited with a Major title.

    The BPAA All-Star – the U.S. Open's predecessor – had also not previously counted as either a PBA Tour title or a Major title. The event became the U.S. Open in 1971, the same year it became an official title. Now, every PBA member who won a BPAA All-Star from 1959 on will be credited with a PBA Tour title and a Major while bowlers who won the event prior to 1959 will be awarded a Major title.

    2005PBAFredSchreyer.jpg "As we began to look forward to celebrating our 50th anniversary during the upcoming season, we believed the time was right to revisit the manner in which we recognize official titles," PBA Commissioner and CEO Fred Schreyer said.

    "With the USBC Masters a major part of our schedule for several years now and the BPAA All-Star being the predecessor to our most prestigious event in the U.S. Open, we felt the players deserved to reap the rewards of their efforts."

    The list of all-time PBA Tour titlists will adjust only slightly due to the change. Walter Ray Williams Jr. still sits atop the all-time titles list with 44 victories, but second-place Earl Anthony now receives credit for his two USBC Masters titles and now has 43.

    The next three bowlers – Mark Roth and Pete Weber with 34 victories and Parker Bohn III with 31 – remain unchanged but Dick Weber moved up to sixth by receiving four more titles. Weber, who won the BPAA All-Star four times (1962-63, 1965-66), is now credited with 30 titles.

    Other notable players who received additional titles include current Denny's PBA Tour exempt bowlers Norm Duke, Doug Kent and Chris Warren, who each won USBC Masters titles. The victory gives Duke 29 titles, Kent now has 10 while Warren has six. Duke and Mike Aulby, who moved from 27 to 29 titles with his 1989 and 1995 USBC Masters titles, are now tied for seventh behind Weber.

    The list of Major winners, meanwhile, changes dramatically. Instead of Earl Anthony and Pete Weber being tied atop the list with eight Majors each, Anthony now stands alone with 10 Major titles. Weber drops into a tie for second with Mike Aulby with eight Majors. Walter Ray Williams is fourth with seven Major titles and is followed by Don Carter with six and Norm Duke with five.

    Other statistics and records, including TV appearances, will also reflect these changes. Additionally, Jason Queen will receive credit for his televised 300 game in the finals of the 1997 USBC Masters.

    The 2008-09 Denny's PBA Tour marks the 50th season in PBA history. A celebration of the history of the PBA and its greatest players will take place leading up to and throughout the upcoming season, which kicks off in late October.

    Below is an updated list of all-time PBA Tour titlists and all-time Major winners along with a list of bowlers affected by the change.

    Denny's PBA Tour All-Time Titlists (Top 30)

    All-Time Major Winners (3 or more Majors)

    Bowlers awarded PBA Tour Title, Major Title

    Bowlers awarded Majors but not PBA Tour Titles

    Titles won prior to 1959 or title won as an amateur.