PBA Spare Shots
TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR ALL 2019 GO BOWLING! PBA TOUR EVENTS
If you’d like to get a jump-start on the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season – or maybe acquire a very special Christmas gift for the bowling fan(s) in your family – tickets for all 2019 “PBA on FOX” tournament finals are now on sale through the PBA Event Tickets landing page (https://www.pba.com/Tickets).
The page includes links to not only admission tickets to each Go Bowling! PBA Tour event, but also links to PBA merchandise, “meet the pros” opportunities and more. It’s the PBA fan’s one-stop shopping center to put together a personal – or a gift – package to experience the PBA like never before. The lone exception for tickets is the USBC Masters, which offers free admission.
The 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season begins with the PBA Hall of Fame Classic from the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas, and continues through the PBA League Elias Cup Finals at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, including stops in Shawnee, Okla.; Lubbock and Conroe, Texas; Fairlawn and Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Jonesboro, Ark.; Allen Park, Mich., and Las Vegas along the way. Every event will include at least one television event on FOX or FS1.
BOWLING SALUTES BOSTON RED SOX STAR MOOKIE BETTS’ HISTORIC YEAR
On Nov. 10, Anthony Means, a writer for Cut4 by MLB.com, noted that Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts was the first athlete to participate in both the PBA World Series of Bowling (where he earned a PBA 300 game ring) and the Major League Baseball World Series. That was just the beginning for one of the sports world’s most talented individuals.
On Thursday, Betts was named American League MVP, capping an unprecedented year in which he won a Golden Glove, was named American League Defensive Player of the Year, won a Silver Slugger award for his offensive prowess, won the American League batting title and helped the Red Sox win baseball’s world series. No player in MLB history had ever accomplished that sweep.
But maybe Bett’s proudest accomplishment arrived on Nov. 6 when he and fiancée Brianna welcomed the arrival of their first child, daughter Kinley.
NHRA DRAG RACING STAR AND PBA FAN JR TODD WINS FIRST FUNNY CAR TITLE
Accomplished bowler and NHRA funny car star JR Todd won his first career NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car World Championship title Sunday at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif.
Todd won the title by defeating Tommy Johnson in the finals with a 3.872 seconds elapsed time at 329.1 mph, notching his sixth win of the season in the process.
Todd and fellow NHRA drivers Shawn Langdon and Richie Crampton took time out from their busy schedules to bowl with 12-time PBA Tour champion Sean Rash at Parkside Lanes in Aurora, Ill., in June. Todd showed his prowess on the lanes by posting games of 217 and 220 during an informal match between the three drivers and Rash.
PBA will join NHRA as part of the FOX Sports family of beginning with the PBA Clash telecast on Dec. 23 leading into the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season in January.
PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: AJ JOHNSON WINS SIXTH REGIONAL TITLE IN IOWA
AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill., defeated 12-time PBA Tour titlist Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., 189-183, to win his sixth career regional title in the Plaza Bowl Midwest Open at Plaza Bowl in Clinton, Iowa, Sunday.
Johnson, the 2017 PBA Midwest Player of the Year, earned $2,000 along with his first title of 2018.
Rash defeated Tom Hess of Urbandale, Iowa, 193-182, in the semifinal contest to advance to the championship match after Hess eliminated PBA Rookie of the Year candidate Nick Pate of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 204-201, in the first match.
● Zac Tackett of Huntington, Ind. defeated Charlie Brown of Grandville, Mich., 10-8 in a one-ball roll-off after they tied at 224, to win the PBA La-Z-Boy Central Challenge at Monroe Sport Center in Monroe, Mich., Saturday.
Tackett, the 22-year-old younger brother of PBA star EJ Tackett, earned $1,400 and his first PBA title.
Tackett edged Nick Cooper of Flint, Mich., 223-222, while Brown downed Lonnie Jones of Ann Arbor, Mich., 220-204, to set up the championship match. The tournament field consisted of PBA members who had not won a PBA title or non-members who have never won a PBA event.
● Jeff Bellinger of Columbia, S.C., defeated Gary Shultis of Levittown, N.Y., 204-177 to win the PBA50 Gastonia Southern Open presented by Brunswick at George Pappas Liberty Lanes in Gastonia, N.C., Sunday.
Bellinger, who won $1,700 along with his 15th overall regional title, narrowly made it to the championship match after beating PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla., in the semifinal round, 10-9 in a one-ball roll-off after they tied at 258–258. Both recorded strikes on their first sudden-death roll-off shots before Williams left a solid 8 pin on his second shot.
Shultis, who had won at Liberty Lanes three times in the past, earned his shot at the title by defeating Pete Bryan of Laurel, Del., 234-211, in the other semifinal match.
● Jim Pratt of Avondale, Ariz., defeated Ray Lussier of San Jose, Calif., 235-151, to win the PBA Mesa East Bowl Western Open presented by Columbia 300 at Mesa East Bowl in Mesa, Ariz., Sunday.
Pratt defeated three bowlers to earn the $2,500 first prize and his fourth regional title. He defeated Michael Tang of San Francisco, 194-166, and non-PBA member Ed Smaglik of Flagstaff, Ariz., 220-168, to set up the title match.
● Heading into the Thanksgiving break, the only events on the Nov. 16-18 schedule are the Bowlers Discount Pro Shop East Open at Terrace Lanes in Frederick, Md., and the PBA50 Plygem Windows South Open at Rocky Mount Bowling Center in Rocky Mount, Va.
● Headlining the Thanksgiving weekend will be the Beaumont Southwest Open at Crossroads Bowling Center in Beaumont, Texas.
● The November PBA Regional calendar comes to a close over the Nov. 30-Dec. 2 weekend with the Knob Hill/MJK Pro Shop Challenge (a non-champions event) presented by Brunswick at Knob Hill Country Lanes in Manalapan, N.J.; the PBA50 Victory Lanes Midwest Open presented by Allstate in Kankakee, Ill.; and the re-scheduled Break Point Alley Member/Non-Member Doubles in Tavares, Fla.
● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple and Android device users using the PBA app).
● In an all-PBA final, Australia’s Sam Cooley defeated PBA Player of the Year candidate Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C., 244-163, to win the 54th Qubica AMF Bowling World Cup Saturday at Sam’s Town in Las Vegas. Troup defeated Colombia’s Andres Gomez, 264-216, and Cooley eliminated Finland’s Osku Palermaa, 240-203, to set up the title match. PBWA Player of the Year Shannon O’Keefe, a PBA Regional title winner, won the women’s World Cup with a 238-236 thriller over Malaysia’s Sin Li Jane.
● Three-time PBA Tour champion Bill Tucker of Gilbert, Ariz., has died at the age of 92. A USBC Hall of Famer, Tucker was the first bowler to roll two 300 games in ABC/USBC Open Championships history. Among his most impressive victories was in the 100-game BPAA All Star in 1961 when he out-distanced Dick Weber by 363 pins for the title. A U.S. Army veteran who served during WWII, Tucker worked in his Arizona pro shop until his retirement at the age of 91.