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Main Event PBA Tour finals feature blue oil with a twist


The inaugural Main Event PBA Tour Finals, hosted by Main Event Entertainment in Orlando, Fla., will introduce CBS Sports Network viewers to blue oil with a twist when the new event begins its five-week run on Tuesday, May 30, at 9:30 p.m. EDT.

Not only will fans be able to see the 42-foot “PBA Tour Finals” oiling pattern because of a blue dye added to the conditioner, but the pattern is more easily seen because the synthetic lanes at Main Event Orlando are white, with black striping to indicate the “boards” across each lane.

PBA introduced the blue-dyed oil during the 2014 PBA World Series of Bowling in Las Vegas as a way to illustrate the differences in the applications of oil for the PBA’s animal patterns, and the visual aid has been used in a wide variety of televised PBA events ever since.

The colored oil – which has no effect on the oil itself – not only allows fans to see how the oil is applied to the lanes, but also makes it much easier to see how oil is moved around and depleted during competition.

The depletion and movement of oil is what creates the transitions on the playing surface, requiring bowlers to make adjustments based upon how their bowling balls react to the constantly changing lane conditions.

The question of the day was, did the white lane surface in combination with the blue oil have any impact on the PBA Tour Finals competitors?<

“Nah,” said Sean Rash (left) of Montgomery, Ill. “You learn to do what your ball tells you to do.”

“It didn’t bother me at all,” said Sweden’s Jesper Svensson. “You get used to it. Besides, it’s the same for everyone.”

“The white surface is a little brighter than a wood surface,” said EJ Tackett (right), “but the blue oil kind of mutes the brightness, so it isn’t much different.”

For Jon Van Hees, one out of three ain’t bad…

As the classic Meatloaf lyrics noted, “two out of three ain’t bad.” But for Rhode Island’s Jon Van Hees (left), one out of three worked out pretty well in the PBA Romeo Chevrolet/Buick/GMC East Open presented by Ebonite at Patel’s Kingston Lanes in Kingston, N.Y., Sunday.

Van Hees started the final round of match play bowling his way to a 234-234 tie with non-member William Donahue of Accord, N.Y. He then nipped Rick Graham of Lancaster, Pa., 235-234, before bowling a perfect tie in his third match – 300-300 – vs. Ryan Galli of Binghamton, N.Y.

Perfect-game ties in match play are rare in PBA competition, but they have been done before. In Van Hees’ case, he had to share the 30 bonus pins for match play ties with Donahue and Galli, but he got all 30 in his win against Graham which helped him qualify second for the stepladder finals where he lost to eventual tournament winner Greg Ostrander of Freehold, N.J., 258-225.

Major Championships highlight Xtra Frame Schedule

The PBA50 Tour returns to action in its annual western swing, the PWBA Tour resumes its normal schedule in the wake of the USBC Queens, and the PBA Tour returns to Xtra Frame with three consecutive Xtra Frame Storm Cup series events in the weeks ahead.

The PBA50 Tour resumes competition on Xtra Frame in the Northern California Classic from Harvest Park Bowl in Brentwood, Calif., May 29-31, followed by a pair of USBC events on Bowl.tv (USBC’s Super Senior Classic, June 1-3, and the USBC Senior Masters, June 4-10, both at Sam’s Town Bowling Center).

Xtra Frame will then cover the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open presented by Storm, June 12-16, from Suncoast Bowling Center in Las Vegas.

PBA Tour competition returns to Xtra Frame with the PBA Xtra Frame Wilmington Open from Ten Pin Alley Family Fun Center in Wilmington, N.C., May 27-29; the PBA Xtra Frame Jonesboro Open from Jonesboro Bowling Center in Jonesboro, Ark., June 3-4, and the PBA Xtra Frame Lubbock Sports Open presented by Ebonite from South Plains Lanes in Lubbock, Texas, June 9-11.

All three are PBA Xtra Frame Storm Cup events and each will be covered live, exclusively on Xtra Frame, from first ball to last.

Upcoming PWBA Tour coverage includes qualifying and match play rounds of the Wichita Open from Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan., June 2-3; the Pepsi Lincoln Open from Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln, Neb., June 9-10; the Greater Detroit Open from Super Bowl in Canton, Mich., June 16-17, and the Go Bowling PWBA Players Championship from The Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley in Green Bay, Wis., June 22-24.

For Xtra Frame subscription and schedule information click here.

This Week: “Pick the 900 Global Ball” for PBA Bowling Challenge Game

Concrete Software’s “pick the ball” survey for PBA Bowling Challenge mobile game continues this week with players invited to select a new 900 Global 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” 900 Global will be available for play on June 9.

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: Greg Ostrander defends Kingston title

Greg Ostrander (from left: Ostrander with sponsor Len Romeo, event coordinator Tim Beaver, GM Francine Kaiser, proprietor A.C. Patel and assistent manager Rosanne Lyons) of Freehold, N.J. defeated amateur Zach Doty of Nassau, N.Y., 227-192, to successfully defend his title in the PBA Romeo Chevrolet/Buick/GMC East Open presented by Ebonite at Patel’s Kingston Lanes in Kingston, N.Y., Sunday.

Prior his victory, Ostrander’s only other PBA title came in the same event in 2016.

Ostrander took advantage of an early open frame by Doty, a recent college graduate who rolled perfect games in both the qualifying and match play portions of the event, to build his winning margin. Ostrander earned $3,000 for the win.

Brian Robinson (left) of Morgantown, W. Va. defeated Matt White of Warren, Pa., 234-212, to win the PBA Baldo Campana Memorial/Ohio Lottery Central Open, presented by DV8, at Rebman Recreation in Loraine, Ohio, Saturday, and Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, won the PBA50 half of the Campana Memorial doubleheader on Sunday, edging Dean Billings of Rootstown, Ohio, by six pins.

In Saturday’s event, Robinson won his first PBA Regional title and $2,000 after bowling a perfect game to eliminate Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich., 300-243, in the semifinal round while White edged Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, 256-251, to also advance to the championship match. White earned $1,000 for second place. Anderson and Loschetter each earned $750 as semifinal round losers.

On Sunday, Kretzer (right) finished with an 8-4 match play record and a total of 4,838 pins for 20 games, including match play bonus pins, to win the $1,400 first prize and his fifth PBA50 Regional title.

Gary Morgan of Atlanta, Ga., defeated Jeff Bellinger of Columbia, S.C., 234-215 and 214-178, in the best-of-three-game title match Sunday to win his 15th PBA Regional title in the PBA50 SpareTimes Hampton South Open presented by Ebonite at SpareTimes Lanes in Hampton, Va.

Morgan considered his win a milestone after overcoming a bout with cancer in 2016. He earned $1,600.

In the best-of-three semifinal round matches, Morgan eliminated Sam Maccarone of Blackwood, N.J., 268-213, 258-172, while Bellinger defeated Lee Brosius of Ashburn, Va., 244-206, 210-228, 233-222.

Kris Prather (left) of Milton, Fla., defeated AJ Chapman of Wichita, Kan., 259-235, to win the PBA Family Insurance Midwest Open presented by Hometown Chevrolet at Oak Forest Bowl in Oak Forest, Ill., Sunday for his first PBA Midwest title and a $2,400 first prize.

Prather defeated AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill., 279-224, in the semifinal game to advance to the championship match after Johnson eliminated Matt Kuba of Chicago Ridge, Ill., 279-210, in the first match.

PBA Regional events over Memorial Day weekend include the Colony Lanes Eastern Challenge, a reduced entry fee event, in York, Pa., and the Celeste Walker Midwest Challenge at Strike N Spare II in Lockport, Ill. – two events for players who have not won a PBA title.

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

Quick Notes

Newly-inducted PBA Hall of Famer and former PBA Commissioner Mark Gerberich (pictured right, with PBA Deputy Commissioner Kirk van Krueger) will become the new president and CEO of the International Soap Box Derby Inc. June 12. Gerberich succeeds Joe Mazur, who resigned in March to become president of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The ESPN telecast of the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Oklahoma Open semifinals, which will air live on Saturday, July 1 at 1 p.m. EDT, also will re-air on Sunday, July 2, at 11 a.m. on ESPN2. The re-air precedes the live finals of the event which will air on ESPN at 1 p.m. that same day.

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Herbert Bickel

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