Leading the list of PBA greats will be the tournament namesake, bowling legend and Brooklyn native Johnny Petraglia (pictured above) of nearby Jackson, N.J., the only player to win PBA national titles in six different decades; the four living leaders in PBA Tour titles won (Walter Ray Williams Jr. (left), 47; Norm Duke (right), 38; Pete Weber, 37, and Parker Bohn III, 35), and fellow PBA Hall of Famers Amleto Monacelli (20 titles); Tom Baker (10 PBA Tour and 12 PBA50 Tour titles in addition to being a four-time PBA50 Player of the Year), and Dale Eagle (12 PBA50 Tour titles).
Petraglia, 69, is still competing on the PBA50 Tour for players 50 and over – more than a half-century after making his debut on the regular tour in 1965. The veteran lefthander has won 14 PBA Tour titles in addition to eight PBA50 Tour titles; is one of six PBA Triple Crown winners; ranks 31st on the all-time PBA earnings list with more than $1.3 million and is a member of the PBA (1982) and USBC (2003) Halls of Fame. He also was the recipient of the 2010 BPAA Dick Weber Bowling Ambassador Award.
It’s a career made all the more remarkable considering Petraglia doesn’t fly anywhere. He drives, and he’s also is trying to write another chapter in his legendary career by becoming the oldest player to win a PBA50 or PBA Tour title. He came close with a fifth-place finish in last season’s PBA50 UnitedHealthcare Sun Bowl In The Villages and another fifth-place finish in the 2016 season-opening PBA50 Pasco County Florida Open.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes in the sport over the years, but the essence of the game is still there,” Petraglia said. “After all these years, I still get a lot of joy competing. Maybe as much as I ever did, but even though I’ve had some good tournaments lately, I’m not kidding myself that all of the stars are going to have to lineup if I’m going to win again.
“I don’t have a lot of grand expectations because it’s tough enough to keep up with the caliber of players out here today,” he continued. “You can’t spot guys 15 years and expect to be at the top on a regular basis. On the other hand, I’m a strong believer that anything can happen.”
In addition to his unique record as a competitor, Petraglia, a Vietnam War veteran who served in 1967 and ’68, has been active for decades off the lanes in support of BVL.
“Bowlers to Veterans Link,” which provides recreational and therapeutic programs and services for America’s active duty and veteran service men and women, is supported exclusively by the bowling industry.
Petraglia – along with fellow Jackson resident Bohn – also works with the American Legion, Knights of Columbus and VFW, conducting clinics and assisting with their fund-raising events. In recognition of his efforts, the Billiard and Bowling Institute of America presented Petraglia with its 2015 Industry Service Award.
“Because of the benevolence of (host proprietor) John LaSpina, we were able to contribute about $50,000 to BVL last year,” Petraglia added. “I’m just proud of the opportunity we have to put together an event like this that benefits veterans. Everyone did a great job last year. We’re looking forward to another great event this year.”
In last year’s Johnny Petraglia BVL Open, 2015 PBA50 Rookie of the Year Mike Scroggins defeated Pete Weber, 247-195, to win the second of his three titles in his first year as a “senior” competitor.
Players will arrive in Farmingdale for practice and pro-ams on Saturday. As part of Saturday’s program, a special four-person, low-ball-out “Clash of the Legends II” at 6:45 p.m. will feature Hall of Famers Williams, Monacelli, Weber and Bohn.
Immediately after the clash, a “Clash of Military Heroes” Baker team event will be held to benefit BVL featuring Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard veterans teaming up with the four “clash” players and Petraglia. Both special events will be streamed live on Xtra Frame.
Competition begins Sunday with the first eight games of qualifying. Qualifying continues on Monday to determine the players who will advance to Tuesday’s cashers round followed by match play. Once match play is completed, the top five players will advance to the stepladder finals at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
Admission for May 7, 8 and 9 is $10. Admission for match play rounds on May 10 is $20. Reserved seating for the stepladder finals is $30. For additional admission and pro-am information contact Farmingdale Lanes at (516) 249-4300 or click here.
All competition rounds of the Petraglia BVL Open will be covered live, exclusively by PBA’s online video-streaming service, Xtra Frame.
Farmingdale Lanes in Farmingdale, N.Y., USA (May 7-10, 2016)
All times Eastern
Saturday, May 7, 2016
8 a.m. – A & B Squads Practice Session
Noon, 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. – Pro-Am Squads
6:45 p.m. – Clash of PBA Legends II
7 p.m. – Clash of Military Heroes Baker team special event
Sunday, May 8, 2016
8 a.m. – A squad qualifying (8 games)
2 p.m. – B Squad qualifying (8 games)
Monday, May 9, 2016
8 a.m. – B Squad qualifying (8 games)
2 p.m. – A Squad qualifying (8 games)
Top 32 advance to match play
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
8:30 a.m. – Cashers Round
Noon – Match Play Round One
3 p.m. – Match Play Round Two
Top five advance to stepladder finals
7 p.m. – Top five stepladder finals
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