Saturday, September 21, 2019

Bill O’Neill Sweeps Jason Sterner to Win First FloBowling PBA ATX Invite
O’Neill wins 257-176 and 237-215 in best-of-three title match to win $25,000 first prize

 No. 6 seed Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pennsylvania swept No. 4 seed Jason Sterner of Rochester, New York, 2-0, in a best-of-three-game championship match to win the first FloBowling PBA ATX Invite and a $25,000 first prize Saturday at Dart Bowl.

Streamed live by PBA’s online streaming partner FloBowling, O’Neill, an 11-time Go Bowling! PBA Tour titlist, was among eight PBA Tour stars in the non-title elimination event who earned berths by finishing in the top eight in USBC Cup points during the nine-tournament FloBowling PBA Summer Tour.

O’Neill took the first game of the title match with a dominating 257-176 win and was able to continue the momentum heading into the second game beating Sterner 237-215 for the victory.

“I was able to stay with my game plan and didn’t have to deviate much from it,” said the 37-year-old O’Neill, “I was able to keep adjustments simple with footwork and keeping my angles tight to the pocket. When you can keep the adjustments simple and manageable, you’re better able to keep your focus and stay in a rhythm.”

O’Neill’s Summer Tour was highlighted by a win in the PBA Harry O’Neale Chesapeake Open for his second title of the season.

“I think overall from top to bottom this is probably one of the best seasons of my career,” O’Neill said. “I haven’t won a major yet but I’m probably as confident as I’ve ever been with my game and the way I’m throwing the ball. I’ve had a lot of success learning from my mistakes and putting myself in the best position to succeed.  After that, it’s all about executing to the best of my ability.”

Sterner’s Summer Tour was highlighted by winning the PBA Illinois Open, which concluded the FloBowling PBA Summer Swing presented by the Brands of Ebonite International, for his third career tour title.

Competition on the 45-foot PBA Dick Weber lane condition started with four one-game quarterfinal matches with the winners advancing to the one-game semifinal matches.

In the opening round O’Neill beat No. 3 seed two-hander Anthony Simonsen of Little Elm, Texas, 248-207 and Sterner beat No. 5 seed AJ Johnson of Oswego, Illinois, 267-254, to advance to the semifinal round.

In the semifinal O’Neill beat No. 7 seed Kyle Sherman of O’Fallon, Missouri, 280-212, while Sterner defeated No. 1 seed Sean Rash of Montgomery, Illinois, 236-225, to advance to the title match.

Sherman advanced to the semifinal after beating No. 2 seed EJ Tackett of Bluffton, Indiana in the second one-ball roll-off 10-9 after tying 212-212 in the quarterfinal. Rash advance to the semifinal with a 228-216 win over No. 8 seed Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, South Carolina.

To catch PBA action on FloBowling visit for subscription and schedule information.

Dart Bowl, Austin, Texas, Saturday

Opening round (one-game matches; losers eliminated earn $3,750)
Match 1 – No. 1 Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill. def. No. 8 Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 228-216.
Match 2 – No. 4 Jason Sterner, Rochester, N.Y. def. No. 5 AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 267-254.
Match 3 – No. 7 Kyle Sherman, O’Fallon, Mo. def. No. 2 EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 212-212 (Sherman def. Tackett 10-9 in second one-ball roll-off).
Match 4 – No. 6 Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa. def. No. 3 Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 248-207.

Semifinals (one-game matches; losers eliminated earn $7,000)
Semifinal Match 1: Sterner def. Rash, 236-225.           
Semifinal Match 2: O’Neill def. Sherman, 280-212.                  

Finals (best-of-three-game format)
O’Neill ($25,000) def.  Sterner ($13,000), 2-0.
Game One – O’Neill def. Sterner, 257-176.   
Game Two – O’Neill def. Sterner, 237-215.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Four-time PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte hopped into NASCAR champion Aric Almirola’s No. 10 Go Bowling! Ford Mustang and delivered the “fastest strike” in bowling history, barreling down the straightaway at Charlotte Motor Speedway at 140 miles per hour and throwing a bowling ball out the window to knock down 10 pins.

Want to see how the Chris Paul PBA Celebrity Invitational doubles partners accomplished the unique feat? Check it out at this link:

The eighth annual PBA International-World Bowling Tour Thailand Open is next up for the PBA Tour’s international competitors. The tournament at Blu-O Paragon in Bangkok gets underway Sunday and concludes Saturday, Sept. 28. First prize will be roughly $32,250.

Fans can follow the competition on the Asian Bowling Federation’s official website. Use this link to track qualifying results: McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., defeated England’s Stuart Williams to win the 2018 Thailand title, but women who enter this year’s event won’t receive the eight handicap pins per game previous female competitors received. A PBA Tour title will be awarded to the winner if he/she is a PBA member.

Following the Thailand Open, two tournaments remain on the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour and World Bowling Tour schedule: the U.S. Open, Oct. 23-30 at Victory Lanes Family Entertainment Center in Mooresville, N.C., and the Kuwait Open at Kuwait Bowling Center in Kuwait City, Oct. 31-Nov. 6.

Shawn Maldonado from Houston, Texas, built a 248-pin lead and then held off Canada’s Francois Lavoie in the final frames to claim his 11th PBA Regional title in the third annual PBA Liberal Kansas Southwest Open Sunday at Ayr Lanes in Liberal, Kan.

Maldonado started the eight-game match play finals in the lead before losing matches six and seven while Lavoie closed in with wins behind 257 and 229 games to set up the deciding position round match. Maldonado still held a 64-pin lead, meaning Lavoie had to win the match by 35 pins and collect the 30 bonus pins to win the title. While Maldonado was filling frame through the middle of the match, Lavoie countered with two doubles to briefly take the lead. When Lavoie failed to convert two splits late in the game, Maldonado escaped with a 192-174 loss, but still maintained the overall pinfall lead, 4,610-4,594.

In addition to his title, the win was worth $4,000 to Maldonado.

• Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C. defeated Trevor Roberts of Crystal River, Fla., 257-234, to win the $2,500 first prize and his 12th PBA Regional title in the 16th annual PBA Fayetteville South Open at Lafayette Lanes in Fayetteville, N.C., Sunday.

Roberts qualified in the third position for the four-man stepladder finals, one pin ahead of defending champion Brandon Curtis of Manson, N.C., and then eliminated Curtis in the opening match, 208-192. Roberts then defeated Ryan Ciminelli of Lancaster, S.C., 257-234, to advance to the championship match.

In the title match, Troup threw eight strikes in his first eight frames to grab a healthy lead. Roberts didn’t strike until the seventh frame and by then it was too late.

● Darren Tang of Las Vegas posted an 8-4 match play record and a 20-game total of 4,366 pins to win the Fourth Annual PBA West/Northwest Capital City Open at Bowlero North Sacramento Sunday while Tony Rodriguez Jr. of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., won the PBA50 portion of the doubleheader weekend.

Tang won his sixth PBA Regional title and the $2,000 first prize by 56 pins over non-member Sam Cantrell of Citrus Heights, Calif., who had an 9-3 record and 4,310 pins, including match play bonus pins.

Rodriguez went 8-4 in the 12-game PBA50 match play finals and knocked down 4,250 total pins for his 20 games to top Noel Vazquez of Sacramento by 78 pins.

 Rick Graham of Lancaster, Pa., the reigning East Region PBA50 Player of the Year, compiled a 3-5 match play record and a 15-game total of 3,524 pins to win the PBA50 King Pin Lanes Open at King Pin Lanes in Rome, N.Y., Saturday.

While Graham only managed to win three of his eight matches, his 228 average helped propel him to a 101-pin victory over Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y. For Graham, the trip to King Pin Lanes brought back fond memories because King Pin Lanes was the site of his first PBA regional win, in 2010. Saturday’s win was Graham’s fifth in PBA Regional competition and earned him $1,500.

● Justin Knowles of Okemos, Mich. defeated Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio by 30 pins to win the PBA Sturgis/Storm Central/Midwest Open at Sturgis Bowl Sunday. Knowles finished with a 5-3 match play record and a total of 4,738 pins for 21 games, including match play bonus pins, to win his first PBA title and the $2,600 first prize.

• PBA Regional activity scheduled for the Sept. 20-22 weekend include the PBA/PBA50 Over/Under Doubles at Millsboro Lanes in Millsboro, Del.; the EZ Bowl Central Open in Bluffton, Ind.; the Odessa Southwest Super Regional at Diamond Lanes in Odessa, Texas, and a tripleheader including the PBA Paradise Lanes Northwest/West Open, PBA50 Paradise Lanes Gary Mage Northwest/West Senior Open (both presented by 900 Global) plus the Jeanne Naccarato Women’s Open in Tacoma, Wash. On Saturday, Sept. 21, Ten Pin Alley in Fitchburg, Wis., also will host the Ten Pin Alley Midwest Open.

 September’s busy calendar of PBA Regional events will conclude over the Sept. 27-29 weekend with the Bowlers Discount Pro Shop East Open presented by Radical at Terrace Lanes in Frederick, Md.; the PBA50 Mel Westrich Memorial Central/Midwest Open at Delphos Recreation in Delphos, Ohio; the PBA50 J&L Sports South Open at Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C.; the back-to-back PBA50 Junction City Bowl Southwest/Midwest Open I and II one-day events in Junction City, Kan.; and the 17th annual Double Decker Lanes West/Northwest Open presented by Roto Grip in Rohnert Park, Calif.

• Want to know more about the PBA’s acquisition by Bowlero Corp.? PBA Commissioner Tom Clark shares his insights into the blockbuster deal in a sit-down interview now available for viewing on FloBowling:

● Former Xtra Frame producer and Xtra Frame/ESPN play-by-play announcer Mike Jakubowski will return to the microphone to call the action for FloBowling Saturday at the FloBowling PBA ATX Invite at Dart Bowl in Austin, Texas. Adding color to the livestream will be England’s two-time PBA Tour titlist Stuart Williams.

• REMINDER: General admission and VIP tickets are now on sale for the 2019 PBA Clash that will take place on Monday, Oct. 21, at Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Fla. The Clash will include the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s top eight money-winners in a special elimination-format telecast that will air on FOX on Sunday, Nov. 3. VIP ticket packages are available for $50. General admission tickets are $20. Tickets can be ordered online at:

Keystone Mid Summer Classic coming to NEPA
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders unveil 2020 Triple-A All-Star festivities at PNC Field

MOOSIC, PA. (September 20, 2019) – The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders have announced details for the Keystone Mid Summer Classic, set for July 2020 at PNC Field, featuring the Triple-A All-Star Game presented by the Lackawanna County Visitor’s Bureau on July 15.

“This week will be a tremendous showcase for Northeast Pennsylvania and Minor League Baseball,” stated David Abrams, the Co-Managing Owner of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. “The Keystone Mid Summer Classic covers all the aspects of this great schedule. We will bring the brightest stars to PNC Field that will be sure to attract new fans to the area.”

In addition to the game itself, the Keystone Mid Summer Classic now includes a Welcome Gala on July 13, the All-Star Autograph Session presented by Zebra Pens, the Youth Baseball Challenge, Celebrity Softball Game and  PNC Bank Triple-A Home Run Derby on July 14.

Much like the 2017 Triple-A National Championship Game held at PNC Field, the RailRiders have tasked themselves and the community to raise funds for Stand Up to Cancer; one of the nation’s leading organizations for cancer research, through the SWB Pinstripes Foundation.

“When you have a platform like this,” Abrams said, “you have to use it to its fullest potential. We will raise one million dollars through the SWB Pinstripes Foundation for Stand Up To Cancer. We will need help, but it is imperative we reach our goal and do our part for cancer research.”

Events of this magnitude are not easily put together and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders proud to have the support of the community along with local and national businesses and organizations.

“The RailRiders could not do this without our partners,” said Katie Beekman, the RailRiders new General Manager. “We are thrilled to work with great teammates like the Lackawanna County Visitors Bureau, PNC Bank, Zebra Pens, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport and Novel-T’s to help highlight our region. Even with a great schedule like this, we aren’t done. More events will be added and more partners will be announced to make sure that this is the premier event in Minor League Baseball that is talked about for years to come.”

Keystone Mid Summer Classic Tentative Schedule of Events

Monday, July 13         Welcome Gala

Tuesday, July 14         All-Star Autograph Session presented by Zebra Pens
                                    Youth Baseball Challenge
                                    Celebrity Softball Game
                                    Triple-A Home Run Derby presented by PNC Bank
                                    Fireworks after the final home run

Wednesday, July 15    7:05 p.m.         2020 Triple-A All-Star Game presented by the Lackawanna County Visitor’s Bureau
                                                            Post Game Fireworks

Ticket bundles for the Keystone Mid Summer Classic are available now online at, over the phone by calling (570) 969-2255 or by visiting the E-Auto Box Office at PNC Field.

ARLINGTON, Texas – Jason Belmonte, the world’s No. 1 bowler and four-time Professional Bowlers Association Player of the Year known for his powerful two-handed style, teamed with NASCAR star Aric Almirola to unleash the fastest strike in the sport of bowling.
With Almirola driving Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 10 Go Bowling! Ford Mustang, Belmonte took aim at the 10 pins that were set on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s start/finish line and delivered what can only be described as a thunderous strike.
“That was easily one of the most fantastic strikes I have delivered in my bowling career,” said Belmonte, who used a specially designed Storm bowling ball to blast the pins. “I’ve had the chance to ride with Aric before and I put my total trust in his ability to get me perfectly lined up for the shot.”
Almirola said delivering a strike while going 140 miles per hour is not exactly easy without the right equipment.
“If you need a strike, it helps to have one of the all-time great bowlers in the seat next to you,” Almirola said. “I know Jason is a two-hander, but I think the No. 10 Go Bowling! Ford probably generates a little more power. It was a great challenge, and I can’t tell you how much fun it was to team up for that strike.”
Almirola is in his second year with Stewart-Haas Racing and eighth year competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He met Belmonte at the Go Bowling! at The Glen race at Watkins Glen International in 2018. Belmonte served as the PBA ambassador at the race.
The two met again in early 2019, joining forces for the CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational presented by Go Bowling! in January. At the celebrity tournament, Belmonte brought up the idea of attempting the world’s fastest strike.
With, Smithfield, the primary sponsor of the No. 10 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Hass Racing, and Storm Bowling, the bowling ball company that sponsors Belmonte, the wheels were put in motion.
Stewart-Haas Racing provided the specially wrapped and outfitted No. 10 Go Bowling! Ford Mustang to safely accommodate Belmonte for the attempt.

Storm produced 12 “Pro Motion” rock-solid bowling balls to withstand the 140-mph launch from the racecar and Go Bowling! provided the branded pins for the attempt on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval Course, which will host the Sept. 29 Bank of America ROVAL 400 on Sept. 29.
“ was excited to team with Aric, Jason, Stewart-Haas Racing and Storm Bowling on this amazing feat,” said John Harbuck, president of Strike Ten Entertainment, the marketing arm of the bowling industry. “Our partnerships in the racing world have been very effective as we seek to put bowling in front of consumers. I’m certain the video of the world’s fastest strike will give us even further reach.”
The parties met Sept. 4 at Charlotte Motor Speedway to attempt at the world’s fastest strike.
The pins were set up at the start/finish line and the No. 10 Go Bowling! Ford Mustang started its run halfway around the road course to get enough speed for the attempt.
While the first few attempts were a little off-target, Belmonte showed he can read any lane condition – even a road course lane – and struck on the fifth attempt from his passenger seat.
The nationwide premiere of the Go Bowling! World’s Fastest Strike video is set for Thursday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. (Eastern). Go to to watch the video. is the ultimate source for consumers as fans can find local bowling centers, take advantage of promotional offers, watch bowling video tips, and more.
About is the destination for bowling fans and enthusiasts seeking news and information about one of America’s favorite pastimes and the nation’s number one participatory sport. With more than 67 million people taking to the lanes every year, is a one-stop location where people of all ages can go to satisfy their love of bowling. Consumers turn to every day to find bowling fun – discovering new bowling centers and tips to use on the lanes, event news and great deals at more than 1,700+ family-friendly bowling centers across the country.

Thursday, September 19, 2019


Just What The Doctor Ordered

  As a Grammy and Dove nominated Christian artist the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, Pa. was packed to the rafters August 31 and Sept. 1 to welcome nationally sought after storyteller and Christian Gospel musician Tim Lovelace.
  Tim was part of the Pennsylvania Gospel Music Festival held Labor Day weekend featuring such greats as Greater Vision, Triumphant , the Guardians, Poet Voices and the Booth Brothers.
  The American Music Theatre is the only theatre of it's kind in the country that features concerts and original shows. The 1,600 seat theatre hosts more than 300 live performances a year.
  When I say it was a blessed doesn't tell half the story.
  Tim is an award-winning songwriter and musician and is one of the funniest people I've ever met. His brand of humor launched for him an international ministry of music and comedy which Tim told me is "humor with a purpose."
  Tim's ultimate goal is to utilize humor with a purpose to encourage people to real joy and inspire them to passionately pursue their own dreams.
  His musical talents on piano, guitar and harmonica along with great singing shows why Tim's chart-topping comedy songs are continuously aired on Sirius/XM Satelite radio. His latest hit album is "Living In A Coffee World."
  And what a treat was in store for those attending this festival as Tim preached at the Sunday morning chapel service. How beautiful it is to see someone use humor to motivate and inspire by uniquely delivering life lessons.
  We enjoyed our conversation with Tim and if a merry heart doeth good like a medicine then Tim Lovelace is just what the doctor ordered. 

  Sullivan County Democrat columnist Ed Townsend, right, shares discussion with award winning Christian musician and comedian Tim Lovelace who is displaying a t-shirt featuring his new  comedy DVD "Living In A Coffee World"
at the Lancaster, Pa. Labor Day Pennsylvania Gospel Music Festival. 


Bowling Is A Different Business Today

  "It's a different business then when just the bowing alley was here," Christopher Collins, general manager of Lake George Lanes & Games center told us while we were vacationing in the Lake George area of New York State in mid August. 
  In their heyday's bowling alleys were just that and that alone......they were all popular places to gather and throw bowling balls and on weekends wait time for a lane might be one to three hours.
  One by one America's once-grand bowling alleys are either shutting down or coming into the new age of entertainment offering not only bowling lanes but sit down dining, a round bar, ping pong tables, arcade games, golf and game simulators, shuffleboard, darts, horseshoe pits, pool tables and even reaching into the popular growing sport of cornhole.....all of which offer leagues for all the above mentioned sports. 
  The decline in the old alleys has brought about new entertainment centers.
  We walked into the Lake George Lanes & Games where general manager Collins told us that new owners took over the center five years ago, kept the 24 lanes and added new furniture and television screens above the lanes and put synthetic lanes 20 feet down the lanes and kept the wooden lanes from there on down.
  They added a new restaurant and bar, the latest state-of-the-art facility, Galactic Bowling with music and a light show, Adirondack Fort Multi-Level lazer tag, a deluxe indoor playground, bar and grill serving lunch,dinner and drinks, a Redemption arcade, electronic simulators for golf, soccer, football, baseball, rugby, cricket, basketball, hockey and dodge-ball...all offering leagues in each sport. 
  This is the new-style  entertainment bowling centers that are replacing the once-grand old bowling alleys. 
  This concept is working and bowling will stay alive but in an entirely different atmosphere.

Ed's Outlook

  Both Kiamesha Lanes and the Villa Roma 8-lane center have started the 2019-2020 bowling league season.
  Leagues at Kiamesha Lanes include the Monday Men's, Tuesday Mixed Firemen, Thursday Ladies and Friday Mixed.
  The Villa has the Monday Ladies and Wednesday Fun (Mixed) league. 
  Joining us this year will be the Port Jervis Thursday Ladies league and the Hancock Fox Bowling Center leagues.
  League secretaries are reminded to get their individual league scores into us by Friday of each week and they should be sent to 

Bowling Tip
By Mike Luongo

  Bowlers: This week's tip is for any bowler who ends up out of balance at the foul line when delivering a bowling ball.
  If you find yourself unable to finish your delivery in a strong balanced position, it may be a result of your follow through.
 It is important that when you follow through on you delivery, you do not reach OUT with your arm, but UP with your follow through.
  The reason?
  If you reach out, the weight of the ball will pull your upper body forward and may cause you to lose your balance. If you reach up, you can stay planted in a strong, solid position to deliver your bowling ball with accuracy and leverage.
  Mike Luongo is a certified IBPSIA Pro Shop Operator, Master Instructor, USBC Silver Level Coach and an Advisor-Special Events assistant with the Storm and Roto Grip Bowling Ball Company. Have a question, email at 

Local Scores

Beechwood Lanes

Villa Roma Monday Ladies
  Barbara Cady 163, Rebecca Rhodes 184, Darlene Mantzouratos 157, Tracy Puerschner 166, 170.

Port Jervis Bowl

Thursday Women's

  Erin McDonagh 202, 569, Josephine Zych 192, 470, Carol Flynn 190, 533, Kim DeGarmo 171, 489, Darlene Amarilla 163, 460.

Fox Bowling Center

Wednesday Independent

  Papa John Brienza 222, Tim Smith 223, 224, 204, 651, Bob Sobas 236, Roger Widmann 214, Shane Dirig 214. 

Thursday Night 3

  Rick Mills 208, 212, 266, 686, Gino Jones 233, 234, 200, 667, Dan Wormuth 206, 236, 624, Ray Cornwell 235, 203, 612, Dan Keesler 210, 572. 

Friday Couples

  Jay Wormuth 245, 222, 655, Jeremy Wormuth 232, Howard Couse Sr. 256, 218, 643, Jeremy Barnes 211, 223, 604, Janet Martin 181. 

Kiamesha Lanes

Monday Mens

  Pedro Agapito 280, 244, 236, 760, Jon Wilhelm Sr. 244, 245, 246, 735, Jaryl Scott 225, 268, 246, 739, Eddie Lake 245, 247, 234, 726, Kevin Stackhouse 257, Larry Whipple 257. 

Tuesday Mixed Firefighter

  Eddie Lake 277, 684, Kyle Giordano 247, 228, 687, Jon Wilhelm 257, 667, Larry Whipple 242, 643, Shane Cunningham 227, 638, Cara Nicholson 192, 190, 556, Mary Lee Williams 503. 

Friday Mixed

  Pedro Agapito 246, 258, 257, 761, Charlie Tuttle 234, 279, 732, Bill VanAken 273, 259, 741, Jason Rogers 260, 226, 688, Loretta VanAken 195, 529, Julie Chen 183, 507. 

  Ed Townsend is a Public Relations Consultant to the sport of bowling and brings over 60 plus years of sports journalism experience in writing and compiling the information for this column. If you have league or tournament information, bowl a 300 or an 800 series, let Ed know at 845-439-8177, email to or fax to 845-205-4474. Visit this column and Ed's photos at We are also on Facebook and Twitter

Attracting bowlers to bowling centers today is the new modern comfortable seating and television coverage on all lanes as seen here at the Lake George Lanes & Games center.

Very popular in the winter at the Lake George Lanes & Games Center are the Simulators offering golf, soccer, football, baseball and many other sports and the modern bowling center is saying they have winter leagues in these sports which have saved their bowling centers from going out of business. 

 Shannon O’Keefe of Shiloh, Illinois, put the finishing touches on a dream season by winning her second career Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour Championship on Wednesday.

O’Keefe rolled eight consecutive strikes on her way to a 268-179 win over Ukraine’s Dasha Kovalova in the title match to claim the $20,000 top prize and her third major championship.

The 2019 PWBA Tour Championship was held inside the Old Dominion Building at Richmond Raceway, and Wednesday’s knockout-style championship round was broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.

The 40-year-old right-hander won her fifth title of 2019, after securing her second consecutive PWBA Player of the Year award earlier in September. She made seven championship-round appearances in 13 events and finished the season with an 11-2 record in those appearances.

“This is beyond any of my wildest dreams,” said O’Keefe, who won the 2017 Tour Championship. “To have a season like this – to win five titles, come back to Richmond Raceway, where I won my first major, and be able to win again, to be player of the year – it’s mind boggling to me, and I’m so humbled and grateful.”

After delivering in a must-strike situation to defeat Stefanie Johnson of McKinney, Texas, in her semifinal match, 234-223, O’Keefe elected to make a ball change heading into the title tilt against Kovalova.

O’Keefe’s first shot against Kovalova crept high on the head pin, leaving a 4-7 combination, which resulted in a spare. Her adjustment from the first frame helped her quickly distance herself from Kovalova, who opened twice in her first seven frames.

“Going off the first match, Dasha’s ball motion was really good and her ball was hitting like a ton of bricks,” said O’Keefe, who now owns 13 career PWBA Tour titles. “We felt like I could shoot 220 with the ball I used in the semifinals, but it was starting to get lazy downlane. We thought the other ball, with a little surface, would still retain through the front part of the lane and still come off it. The first shot was really good, so I made a one-and-one move on both lanes, and it was such a good choice.”

Wednesday’s victory also was amplified for O’Keefe as she celebrated the win with her husband, Bryan, on their 15th wedding anniversary.

“He’s been in the fire with me, and it’s so awesome to be able to share moments like this with him,” O’Keefe said. “I wouldn’t be the player I am today without him, and to win this on our anniversary is very special.”

Kovalova was dominant in her semifinal win against Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York, delivering 11 strikes to record a 279-230 victory.

Kovalova started the game with four consecutive strikes, but she found herself trailing as McEwan began with six consecutive strikes. Kovalova took the lead after back-to-back spares from McEwan in the seventh and eighth frames and found herself in the driver’s seat after McEwan was unable to convert the 1-2-4-6-10 in the ninth frame.

Kovalova had a breakout year on the PWBA Tour in 2019, winning her first career title at the United States Bowling Congress Queens to earn her first trip to the Tour Championship. She followed the major victory with a perfect game in the championship match of the Pepsi PWBA Louisville Open to claim her second title of the season.

“No, I didn’t expect this,” Kovalova said. “I wanted to make one show this season. I made four and won two of them.

“In the title match, I knew I needed to make a ball change, but I was just stubborn. It’s OK. I’m going to take a little break and heal some of the aches and pains and come back stronger next year.”

O’Keefe and McEwan were automatically seeded into the semifinals based on their ranking on the season-long points list, which determined seeding for this week’s bracket.

Kovalova and Johnson each had to make their way through best-of-five matches to advance to Wednesday’s championship round. The Tour Championship is a single-elimination event.

The 16-player field at the Tour Championship included all of this year’s eligible PWBA Tour champions, and the final spots in the bracket were filled in using the 2019 PWBA points list.

Four lanes once again were specially installed inside the Old Dominion Building by QubicaAMF, the official supplier of bowling equipment for the 2019 PWBA Tour Championship.

All rounds leading up to the championship round were broadcast live on

Go to for more information about the PWBA Tour.

About the PWBA
The Professional Women's Bowling Association (PWBA) originally was formed in 1960. The PWBA Tour has events throughout the country, offering high-level competition and top prize money for women bowlers. The PWBA is supported by the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA) and the United States Bowling Congress (USBC).

At Old Dominion Building, Richmond Raceway
Richmond, Va.

Wednesday’s results

(Losers eliminated, earn $6,000)

Dasha Kovalova, Ukraine, def. Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 279-230
Shannon O’Keefe, Shiloh, Ill., def. Stefanie Johnson, McKinney, Texas, 234-223

(Winner earns $20,000; Loser earns $10,000)

O’Keefe def. Kovalova, 268-179