The 2015 Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award and Tony Reyes PBA Community Service Award winners also will be announced during the special live video-cast.
The 2015 PBA Player of the Year competition featured a close battle all the way to the end of the year between Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte (left), the two-time defending Player of the Year and winner of a pair of PBA major championships in 2015 (a record third consecutive USBC Masters title and a second straight Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions title), and left-hander Ryan Ciminelli (right) of Cheektowaga, N.Y., the PBA Tour’s only three-time winner in 2015, including the Bowlmor AMF U.S. Open and top five finishes in two other majors.
The Rookie of the Year contest involved the most talented class of young players the PBA has seen in years, led by Sweden’s two-handed star, Jesper Svensson (left), the only two-time titlist among the rookies; Texas two-handed teenager Anthony Simonsen (right) and Washington’s Cameron Weier, who each won his first PBA Tour title, and Minnesota’s Matt McNiel and Arizona’s Jakob Butturff.
Xtra Frame coverage resumes with three weeks’ worth of action from back-to-back-to back PBA major championships. In addition to live coverage of qualifying and match play rounds of the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions (Saturday, Jan. 30-Friday, Feb. 5 including the FireLake Southwest Regional and TOC qualifying event) from Shawnee, Okla.; USBC Masters (Tuesday, Feb. 9-Saturday, Feb. 13) and Barbasol PBA Players Championship (Tuesday, Feb. 16-Friday, Feb. 19).
Bonus coverage will include the live PBA Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and presentation of awards to 2015 PBA award winners on Monday, Feb. 1, beginning at 7 p.m. ET from the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Event Center in Shawnee, Okla.
The Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Southwest Winter Open, scheduled for Jan. 30-31 at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., will be a unique event offering the best of all worlds to bowlers who would like to compete with the world’s best in the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions.
The tournament, a traditional PBA Southwest Regional event on one level, will reward the winner with a PBA Regional title and a projected $2,500 first prize. Non-members are welcome to enter the event, but will not be eligible for a PBA title.
On a higher level, the top 35 players in the field who have won a PBA title (Regional, PBA50, PWBA-PBA Women’s Regional or PBA Women’s Series) will earn the right to enter the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions, which begins Tuesday, Feb. 2, at FireLake.
Players entering the regional must declare their intent to advance to the TOC prior to the start of competition, and those who advance will be required to pay a $500 TOC entry fee. PBA Tour title-holders also can enter the regional event, but they are automatically eligible to bowl in the TOC and do not need to qualify through the regional.
To enter the regional, contact Southwest Region manager Pete McCordic through pba.com or by email ([email protected]).
PBA history proves over and over how difficult it is to advance to a national television final, but what’s even more difficult is maintaining a winning record once you get there.
Compared against all PBA players throughout the Tour’s more than 50 years of television shows, only four active players rank among the top 20 in winning percentage for a minimum of 10 matches bowled on television.
Fifteen years after the fact, Ohio native Jim Pencak – who ran off a PBA-record streak of 16 consecutive match wins on television – remains the all-time leader in winning percentage with a record of 22 wins and 8 losses, a 73.33 percent success rate, in his 12 career TV finals.
A fairly distant second place is PBA Hall of Famer Dick Ritger who won 40 matches and lost 18 times in 33 appearances, a 68.96 success rate.
Among active players, Australia’s Jason Belmonte ranks sixth (37 wins, 19 losses, 66.07%) in 32 appearances and South Carolina’s Tommy Jones (left) ranks seventh (43 wins, 23 losses, 65.15%) in 37 appearances.
Semi-retired Mika Koivuniemi (right) has won 61.03% of his matches to rank 16th and Patrick Allen has won 60.31% of his matches for rank 19th.
The 20 most successful PBA players on television, based on at least 10 TV finals, are:
1, Jim Pencak, 22-8, 73.33%) in 12 appearances
2, Dick Ritger, 40-18, 68.96% in 33 appearances
3, Gary Skidmore, 23-12, 67.64% in 17 appearances
4 (tie), Paul Colwell, 16-8, 66.66% in 12 appearances,
and Steve Neff, 14-7, 66.66% in 10 appearances
6, Jason Belmonte, 37-19, 66.07% in 32 appearances
7, Tommy Jones, 43-23, 65.15% in 37 appearances
8, Steve Martin, 26-14, 65% in 20 appearances
9, Tom Crites, 12-7, 63.15% in 12 appearances
10, Randy Pedersen, 32-19, 62.74% in 31 appearances
11, Steve Hoskins, 37-22, 61.71% in 30 appearances
12, Johnny Guenther, 23-14, 61.16% in 20 appearances
13, Roger Bowker, 18-11, 62.06% in 16 appearances
14 (tie), Mike McGrath and George Branham III, 19-12,
61.29%, McGrath in 18 appearances; Branham in 17 appearances
16, Mika Koivuniemi, 47-30, 61.03% in 41 appearances
17 (tie), Pete Couture and Don McCune, 20-13, 60.60%, both in 17 appearances
19, Patrick Allen, 38-25, 60.31% in 38 appearances
20 (tie), Doug Kent, 39-26, 60% in 35 appearances, and Bryan Goebel, 30-20, 60% in 29 appearances
Rhino Page (pictured left) of Orlando defeated Jeremy Mooney of West Palm Beach, 238-224, to win his ninth PBA South Region title in the PBA Shore Lanes/Sill’s Pro Shops Merritt Island Southern Open presented by Storm Sunday at Shore Lanes in Merritt Island, Fla.
Completing the all-Florida championship match pairings, non-member Darin Hays (right) of Wesley Chapel defeated Chris Keane of Cape Coral, 214-173 for the win in the PBA50 portion of the Merritt Island doubleheader. Page earned $2,200 for his win, while Hays pocketed $2,000.
The PBA Central Region kicks off its 2016 season with the Don Vay Memorial PBA/PBA50 Central Doubles Classic presented by Ebonite at Legend Lanes in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Jan. 22-24.
In addition to the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Southwest Winter Open at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla. – which also will serve as a FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions qualifying event – the Jan. 29-31 weekend includes the Sands Regency West/Northwest Challenge (for non-champions), Sands Regency Winter Classic and PBA50 Sands Regency Winter Classic – all presented by Storm – at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno.
Also on the calendar is the PBA Midwest’s first event of 2016, the PBA50 Tony Grigat Allstate Midwest Open presented by 900 Global at Arlington Lanes in Arlington Heights, Ill.
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.
Reminder: All players and fans travelling to PBA Tour stops can get a special discount on United Airlines flights. When you book a flight, use the United code ZVYN122558 to obtain the discount. Click here and enter the code into the Promotions and Certificates part at the bottom of the page.
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