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2012/03/31

Field of 40 Advance in Dick Weber PBA Playoffs; Six PBA Tour Points Leaders Join the Fray Sunday Morning

Parker Bohn III

Parker Bohn III

A field of 40 PBA Tour, PBA Regional and PBA Senior Tour players survived two rounds of eliminations Saturday in the Dick Weber PBA Playoffs presented by Hammer at Woodland Bowl and will be joined in Sunday morning’s third round by the six hottest players on the PBA Tour.

The PBA playoffs feature six regional groups of players bowling a series of elimination rounds. Saturday’s second-round survivors advanced to a five-game third round Sunday at 9 a.m. ET where the top six players on the 2011-12 PBA Tour competition points list – Jason Belmonte of Australia; Mike Fagan of Dallas; Sean Rash of Wichita, Kan.; Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo.; Osku Palermaa of Finland and Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas – will be seeded into the regional groups after receiving byes for Saturday’s preliminary rounds.

All rounds of the final Xtra Frame Tour event of the season are being webcast live on the PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. For subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame logo.

Among the players who advanced out of Saturday’s rounds was PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.Y., who rolled the second 300 game of the tournament to lead the top seven players who advanced out of the 11-player East Region group. Bohn led his group with a five-game total of 1,211 pins. Reigning PBA Player of the Year Mika Koivuniemi also advanced in the East Region.

PBA Hall of Famer and Senior Tour star Tom Baker of King, N.C., led the seven players who advanced out of the 11-player South Region group with 1,186 pins. Defending champion Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C., advanced to Sunday’s third round by finishing fifth in the South Region.

PBA Tour veteran Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y., paced the 12-man Central Region group with a 1,218 pinfall total for five games. Angelo won his only PBA Tour title in the 2008 Pepsi Viper Open.

Kurt Pilon of Warren, Mich., who won his only PBA Tour title in the 2001 Peoria Open, averaged 250 for his five-game round, leading the seven Midwest Region players who advanced. Pilon finished with a 1,253 total.

Thirteen-time PBA Tour winner Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla., led the Southwest Region with 1,177 pins. Seven of 11 players advanced to the third round. Among the players eliminated was 2012 PBA Senior Player of the Year Ron Mohr of Eagle River, Alaska, who finished eighth, 26 pins behind hometown favorite Ronnie Russell of suburban Indianapolis who grabbed the last spot in his group.

England’s Stuart Williams, who won his first PBA Tour title in the Bayer Viper Open earlier in the season, led the five players who advanced out of the nine-player West/Northwest Region group with 1,204 pins. Colombia’s Andres Gomez, who rolled a 300 game in the first elimination round, advanced in second place in the West/Northwest.

After two elimination rounds at 9 a.m. and noon Sunday, the two survivors in each region will advance to the three-game Regional Championships round at 3:30. The six winners advance to the Conference Championships at 5 p.m. The semifinal and championship rounds begin at 6:30 and 8 p.m., respectively.


 

2012/03/27

 【PBA】 News

Koivuniemi, Dorin-Ballard Lead Men's, Women's WBT Point Lists

American Carolyn Dorin-Ballard surged back to the top of the World Tenpin Bowling Association World Bowling Tour rankings after earning the maximum ranking points at the Brunswick Euro Challenge, which concluded Sunday. Finland's Mika Koivuniemi continues to lead the men's rankings.

Dorin-Ballard finished first among the women at the Euro Challenge in Saint Maximin, France, to pick up 50 points, which moved her back into the top spot with 236 points. Previous leader Liz Johnson of the United States picked up 30 points and is now second at 220.

Americans Missy Parkin earned 14 points at the Euro Challenge to jump into third place with 209 points, while Kelly Kulick of the United States is fourth with 207.

In the men's rankings, both Koivuniemi and Mike Fagan of the United States made the stepladder finals at the Euro Challenge, with Fagan winning the title. However, Koivuniemi still holds onto the lead with 358 points.

Fagan earned 50 points at the Euro Challenge and is second with 327 points, just 31 behind the leader. American Chris Barnes is third with 248, while fellow Team USA member Sean Rash is fourth with 223.

The World Bowling Tour is made up of various events around the world and players earn points based on how they finish in each event. The top three men and top three women will be invited to compete in the World Bowling Tour Finals presented by the Professional Bowlers Association at the end of 2012.

The World Bowling Tour Finals will feature a total prize fund of $70,000. The top three men and top three women will bowl a stepladder finals format in their respective divisions. The prize money for each division is the same, with the winner taking $20,000, second place earning $10,000 and third place winning $5,000.

The next event on the World Bowling Tour schedule is a women's only event. The United States Bowling Congress Queens will take place April 19-24 in Euless, Texas.

The World Tenpin Bowling Association, which is made up of 115 bowling federations, governs the sport throughout the world. For more information on WTBA and the World Bowling Tour, visit WorldTenpinBowling.com.


 

2012/03/26

Mike Fagan Nearly Perfect in Winning Brunswick Euro Challenge in Suburban Paris

Mike Fagan

Mike Fagan

Mike Fagan of Dallas continued his career-year Sunday, winning his second Professional Bowlers Association Tour title of the 2011-12 season when he cruised past Finland’s Joonas Jehkinen, 279-213, to win the Brunswick Euro Challenge at Plaza Bowl in suburban Paris.

The 31-year-old 10-year PBA Tour veteran started the title match with nine strikes before losing his bid for a perfect game when he left a 10 pin on his first shot in the 10th frame.

The title was the second of seven PBA Tour titles that will be awarded at international events under a new alliance with the World Tenpin Bowling Association. The Brunswick Euro Challenge included a field of 399 competitors – 318 men and 81 women – from 35 countries.

Fagan, who won the Alka-Seltzer Plus Liquid Gels United States Bowling Congress Masters in January and finished second in the U.S. Open in February, earned 15,000 Euros (US$19,998) along with his fourth career PBA Tour title. Fagan also earned a European Bowling Tour title. He previously had qualified for the PBA Tournament of Champions Round of 36 based on his USBC Masters victory.

Fagan advanced to the title match by eliminating Finnish native Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, Mich., 222-199, in the semifinal match.

With his victory, Fagan joins Australia’s Jason Belmonte, Finland’s Osku Palermaa and Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., as the fourth PBA Tour two-time winners for the 2011-12 season. There are four titles yet to be decided in the 2011-12 PBA Player of the Year race, including the end-of-season PBA Tournament of Champions.

PBA Tour competition resumes in the United States Saturday and Sunday with the Xtra Frame Tour Dick Weber PBA Playoffs presented by Hammer at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis. All qualifying and elimination rounds in the PBA Playoffs will be webcast live, exclusively on the PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. For subscription information, visit pba.com.


 

2012/03/25

Duke Wins 36th Title, Malott Ends Three-Year Slump with Roth-Holman PBA Doubles Championship Victory

Norm Duke & Wes Malott

Norm Duke & Wes Malott

Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer Norm Duke won his 36th career PBA Tour title and former PBA Player of the Year Wes Malott ended a three-year title drought when they combined to defeat top qualifiers Ronnie Russell and Sean Rash, 193-167, to capture the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship at South Point Casino.

The victory by the American players, televised on ESPN Sunday, ended a streak of five consecutive PBA World Series of Bowling titles won by international players.

For Duke, his second title of the 2011-12 season also tied him for third place on the all-time PBA Tour titles list with close friend and long-time rival Pete Weber who won a record fifth U.S. Open title in February for his 36th. Both are now one title ahead of Roth, the PBA legend who witnessed the finals along with Holman. Walter Ray Williams Jr. and the late Earl Anthony are one-two on the PBA Tour titles list with 47 and 43 wins, respectively.

Duke and Malott got help in the title match when Russell and Rash opened in three of the first four frames, handing the challengers a 45-pin lead after five frames. Duke and Malott only committed one error – Malott’s open in the eighth frame – on their way to victory.

“Talk about a dream day to have Marshall and Mark standing on the approach with you,” Duke said after the trophy presentation. “Those two were my absolute idols. I was able to pass them in titles won, but that doesn’t mean I’m better than they were. Mark Roth changed the world of bowling, much like (two-handed players) Jason (Belmonte) and Osku (Palermaa) may in the future. I’m a lucky man today, and I don’t take it lightly.”

“I’ve had my ups and downs,” Malott said after winning his seventh career title and first since the 2009 Etonic Marathon Open capped his 2008-09 PBA Player of the Year performance. “I’ve been able to get to TV, but I haven’t been able to win, so hopefully this is a new beginning. I’ve re-grouped. I’ve re-set my goals. To put it all together against the level of talent that’s out here is pretty substantial for me. It means a lot to me.”

Duke shrugged off speculating on whether Weber or he would be the first to reach 37 titles.

“I’m sure as soon as I win another one, Pete will win again, too,” said Duke, who bowled his first PBA Tour event in 1982 – three years after Weber got started. “That’s something we both know. He’s a great champion. I guess every tournament I’ve ever entered, he’s been in. We’re great friends. We’ve been on this (PBA) journey together and we’ll stay on it until we both croak. It’ll be a fight to the finish.”

The Roth-Holman PBA Doubles Championship involved eight teams put together from the field of 16 players who led the PBA Elite Players Championship qualifying. A special draft was conducted with the qualifying leaders, in order, selecting partners from among the group of 16. Russell was the qualifying leader and picked Rash, who had advanced to a record five consecutive World Series of Bowling ESPN finals. Malott was next and picked Duke.

“To have the option to pick Norm was a no-brainer,” Malott said. “There was obviously a lot of talent available but (Norm) was my smartest decision. The thing is, no matter what the ball reaction was, Norm was going to give you his all and nothing was going to bother him. He has that unique ability, no matter what, to calm himself down, re-group and make quality shots, and that’s exactly what he did, proving once again why he’s one of the greatest.”

The doubles finals got underway with three non-televised matches. Newly-elected PBA Hall of Famer Jason Couch and partner Mike DeVaney cruised to a 268-205 victory over Dick Allen and Mike Scroggins in the first match. Australian two-handed star Jason Belmonte and five-time U.S. Open champion Pete Weber then eliminated Couch and DeVaney, 242-224, and Canadian Dan MacLelland and Ryan Ciminelli, 245-219, to claim the fifth spot in the ESPN stepladder finals.

Belmonte and Weber met their match in the first ESPN contest, losing a sudden-death roll-off against Bill O’Neill and Mike Fagan after the teams tied at 185-185. O’Neil threw a strike in the one-ball roll-off and Belmonte left the 3-10 to end his team’s title bid. O’Neill and Fagan then made sure an American team would end the international domination in the World Series, eliminating Colombia’s Andres Gomez and Sweden’s Martin Larsen, 194-173.

In the semifinal match, Duke and Malott were almost perfect in a 260-245 victory over O’Neill and Fagan.

PBA World Series of Bowling competition continues on ESPN on Sunday, April 1, at 1 p.m. ET with the Carmen Salvino Classic finals. Finalists are Gomez, Malott, Russell and Belmonte.
A Salvino Classic finals preview will be webcast free on Xtra Frame starting Wednesday afternoon, and a post-finals show will air immediately following the telecast. To subscribe to the PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame logo.


 

2012/03/20

コシダカ・スポルト杯第31回全日本ミックスダブルス
優勝は近藤文美&酒井武雄チーム!

花束を手に感涙と笑顔

関東に舞台を移して復活したボウリングの祭典、全日本ミックスダブルス。通常のトーナメントとは異なる男女ペアによるチーム戦は、いつもとはまた違った見どころが満載で春のお祭りのような華やかな盛り上がりを見せました。

大会最終日の本日は、3日間の長い予選を勝ち抜いた75チームによる準決勝からスタート。4Gを投げて予選からのトータル16G上位32チームがファイナル進出を決めます。

決勝トーナメントでは、産休からの復帰戦となった竹内昭子&三冠王・川添奨太チームが初回敗退する大番狂わせや、前回優勝の姫路麗&和田秀和チームと4位の松永裕美&柴田英徳チームが激突するなど、展開の読めない激戦に観客も手に汗を握ります。

そしてTVファイナルとなる決勝トーナメント・準決勝に勝ち上がって来たのは、近藤文美&酒井武雄チームと、強豪チームを次々と破った平野志帆&小倉賢士チーム。さらに大ベテランの原田率いる桑原澄江&原田招雄チーム、二人ともに初優勝がかかった阿部聖水&石橋孝チーム。

まずは近藤&酒井チームVS平野&小倉チームによる準決勝第1試合が行われ、近藤&酒井チームが互いにカバーしあってノーミスを守る一方、平野&小倉チームはスプリットが連続。結果、ほぼダブルスコアで近藤&酒井チームが圧倒的勝利を収めます。

続く第2試合は桑原&原田チームと阿部&石橋チームの対戦。こちらも阿部&石橋がノーミスを守り、50ピン以上の差を付けて桑原&原田チームを下します。

総勢252チームの頂点を決する最後の戦いは、豊富な優勝経験のあるチームと未勝利ながら実力は折り紙付きのチームという好カード。さらに両チームとも準決勝は大量リードで勝ち上がったとあって、場内の興奮が高まります。

そして始まった優勝決定戦、両チームともストライクで滑り出しますが、阿部&石橋チームは2フレーム目からストライクを持ってくる事が出来ず、間にオープンフレームを挟みながらもストライクを重ねる近藤&酒井チームが中盤をリード。6フレーム目に近藤がビッグファイブのスプリットを出したところで阿部&石橋チームがようやく追いつくかと思われましたが、二人あわせて48勝を誇る近藤と酒井の経験値が物を言い、7フレーム目からオールウェーを決めて再度突き放します。

投げ間違いからリズムを狂わせてしまった阿部と石橋は勝負どころの9フレーム目もストライクを決められず、再び差を詰めることが出来ないまま終了。近藤&酒井チームが大差をつけて勝利を掴み取りました。

ミックスダブルス初優勝の近藤は嬉し涙、それぞれ別のパートナーで4度目の優勝を果たした酒井は満面の笑顔で、この記念すべき大会の最後を飾りました!

 

 【JPBA】 コシダカ・スポルト杯 全日本ミックスダブルスオープンボウリング 【準決勝】

 

座間美子

岡部直治



 

2012/03/19

Finland’s Osku Palermaa Upsets Smallwood to Win Historic PBA Tour International Title in Kuwait Open

Osku Palermaa

Osku Palermaa

Finland’s Osku Palermaa upset top qualifier Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., 267-232 and 268-226, in their best-of-three-game title match Monday to win the 9th Kuwait International Open and the first Professional Bowlers Association Tour title awarded internationally under a new alliance between the PBA and the World Tenpin Bowling Association.

Along with his third career PBA Tour title, and second of the 2011-12 season, the Finnish two-handed star collected a $25,000 first prize.

The Kuwait International Open was the sixth event on the 2012 WTBA World Bowling Tour schedule, a series that will culminate with the top three men and top three women in points bowling in the WBT Finals presented by the PBA during the 2012 PBA World Series of Bowling in Las Vegas in November. But it was the first of seven WBT events that will also award PBA Tour titles during the balance of the 2012 season.

Palermaa, who became the first international player to win the PBA World Championship earlier in the season, qualified third for the Kuwait Open finals. After Ronnie Russell of Marion, Ind., defeated Martin Larsen of Sweden in the opening stepladder match, 250-226, Palermaa edged Russell, 234-230, and routed Hong Kong’s Wu Siu Hong, 278-237, to advance to the title match.
Also among the match play finalists were PBA Tour regulars Dominic Barrett, England, sixth for $3,500; Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., seventh for $3,250; defending Kuwait Open champ Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, eighth for $3,000; rookie Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz., 11th for $2,700, and Venezuela’s Ildemaro Ruiz, 12th for $2,650.

Other PBA Tour exempt players who compete included Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas; Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa; Dan MacLelland, Canada; Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., and Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich.

Jazreel Tan won the women’s title, 257-206, over Shayna Ng in an all-Singapore final. Ng defeated Putty Armein of Indonesia in the women’s opening match.

Following the Kuwait Open, many of the top PBA and international players traveled to Paris for the Brunswick Euro Challenge at Plaza Saint Maximin where the second PBA Tour title in the series will be awarded Sunday.

Also included in the Brunswick Euro Challenge will be the stepladder finals of the inaugural WTBA International Open featuring top qualifier Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., No. 2 qualifier Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, and No. 3 Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., which will be conducted on Wednesday The WTBA International Open is not a PBA Tour title event. Qualifying was conducted in Las Vegas following the USBC Masters.

 

 

板倉奈智美

ジョン・テハ



 

2012/03/18

 

松永裕美

柴田英徳



 

2012/03/17

 

板倉奈智美

ジョン・テハ



 

2012/03/11

Norm Duke Wins PBA Detroit Open Presented by Track for 35th Career Tour Title

Norm Duke

Norm Duke

Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer Norm Duke won the PBA Detroit Open presented by Track Sunday for his first win of the 2011-12 season and the 35th of his career.

Duke, of Clermont, Fla., defeated reigning PBA Player of the Year and No. 1 seed Finland native Mika Koivuniemi, 266-217, in the championship match at Thunderbowl Lanes to win the $10,000 first prize pushing his career earnings over the $3 million mark.  Koivuniemi, who now makes his home in Hartland, Mich. was trying for his 10th career title.

Duke joins fellow Hall of Famers Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Pete Weber as the only players to earn more than $3 million and his 35 wins also moved him into fourth on the all-time career list for titles won.

Williams is PBA’s all-time career titles leader with 47 followed by Earl Anthony with 43 and Weber with 36. Williams also holds the all-time career earnings mark with $4.35 million followed by Weber with $3.52 million.

“At this point in my career I feel just blessed to be able to compete,” said the 47-year-old Duke. “It’s just so hard to win out here that at this point in my career I’m just blessed — that’s all I can say. I’m jealous of what the young guys can do so it makes it all the more special.”

Duke, the No. 2 seed, soundly defeated 2009 PBA World Championship winner Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., in the semifinal match, 288-178, to advance to the championship match. Duke attributed his success to reducing the amount of practice he took before each match.

“Usually, everyone wants as much practice as they can get but for me that’s not always the case,” Duke said. “Sometimes you need the practice but other times you have to know when to get out of there.

“The guys with the big rev rates will just burn up the lane and I didn’t want to add to that. Fortunately, I was able to play outside on the lane where I like to play. I had to make a one-board adjustment in the first game but even in the championship match I had to make a three and a half board adjustment.”

In the opening stepladder match, Smallwood, who was trying for his second career title, defeated three-time Tour titlist Bill O’Neill of Southampton, Pa., 245-214, to advance to the semifinal against Duke.

The Detroit Open was the third PBA Tour event streamed live exclusively on pba.com’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel. The next stop for the PBA Tour will be the Dick Weber Playoffs from Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis March 30-April 1 which will also be streamed live on Xtra Frame.


 

2012/03/10

Georgia’s Jason Sterner Leads PBA Detroit Open Qualifying

Jason Sterner

Jason Sterner

Hoping to win his first title after six seasons of Professional Bowlers Association Tour competition, Jason Sterner of McDonough, Ga., averaged 243.77 to lead qualifying Saturday in the PBA Detroit Open presented by Track at Thunderbowl Lanes.

Sterner had a 2,194 nine-game pinfall with games of 214, 276, 259, 238, 258, 167, 269, 223 and 290 to lead the 24 players who advanced to Sunday’s head-to-head match play. Finishing second after qualifying was one-time Tour titlist Dave Wodka of Henderson, Nev., with a 2,183 pinfall, followed by rookie Josh Blanchard of Gilbert, Ariz., in third with 2,171.

Sterner’s best finish since competing on Tour in 2006 was seventh in the 2009 United States Bowling Congress Masters. His best finish this season was 12th in the Viper Open.

“My goal is to try and figure out what it takes to get to the next level,” said Sterner. “I’ve really been committed to making changes to my game, practicing five hours a day, five days a week.
“It’s just been a lot of concentration on my mechanics, specifically my arm swing and trying to free it up so that I can repeat shot after shot. Hopefully it’s starting to pay off.”

Leading Michigan bowlers were 2009 PBA World Championship winner Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, in a tie for fourth with Brian Himmler of Cincinnati with 2,143. Troy Stus, a two-time PBA Regional winner of South Lyon, is in sixth with 2,138.

Other players from Michigan making the top 24 were Jeffrey Roche of Dearborn, who rolled a 300 in his last game of qualifying to jump from 35th to 11th. Reigning PBA Player of the Year and Finland native Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, finished qualifying in a tie for 14th with three-time Tour winner Rhino Page of Dade City, Fla.; Justin O’Hara of Westland finished 16th, and Corey Miller of Grand Blanc tied for 17th with three-time Tour titlist Bill O’Neill of Southampton, Pa.

Detroit bowling fans showed their support of the event as evidenced by overflow crowds at Thunderbowl Lanes. The PBA Tour is making its first appearance here since the World Series of Bowling was conducted at Thunderbowl Lanes in the fall of 2009.

Sunday’s match play round begins at 9 a.m. ET and will determine the top four players who will advance to the stepladder finals which will get underway at 6 p.m. Sunday’s match play and stepladder finals will be streamed live on pba.com’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame.


 

2012/03/05

 

2012/03/04

 【PBA】 GEICO Shark Open 【Finals】

Barnes Bowls 300 One Game Too Early; Belmonte Wins GEICO Shark Open for Second World Series Title

Jason Belmonte

Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, rolled the 22nd nationally-televised 300 game in Professional Bowlers Association history during the GEICO Shark Open finals, but he bowled it one game too soon.

After his perfect effort in the semifinal round, Barnes lost in the GEICO Shark Open title to Australia’s Jason Belmonte, 244-213, in a match that extended the international dominance in the PBA World Series of Bowling to five consecutive titles. The finals, conducted at South Point Casino and Hotel, aired Sunday on ESPN.

The title was Belmonte’s second in the World Series and the third of his PBA career.

The GEICO Shark Open, the fourth and final PBA “animal pattern” championships contested during the third annual PBA World Series of Bowling, almost got the best of Belmonte, who had struggled in the opening game of three previous elimination-format finals.

In the opening game of the “low man out” Shark finals, Barnes, who led the Shark field in qualifying, posted a 234. Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., making his fifth straight final, was next with a 205. Belmonte, with a double in the ninth and 10th frames, finished with a 190 to advance when Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, Mich., failed to double on his first shot in the 10th, leaving a 2-10 split which he failed to convert for a 172 game.

In game two, Barnes was untouchable on his way to winning a $10,000 perfect game bonus. Belmonte continued to search for strikes, but Rash left splits in the first, third, fifth and seventh frames. Despite converting three of the four, he couldn’t throw two strikes in a row and Belmonte survived their battle for the second berth in the title match, 215-182.

In the title match, Belmonte almost turned the tables on Barnes, finding his line to the pocket and running off a string of seven strikes to start the game. Barnes started with three strikes, but he then lost his carry. Barnes’ 7-10 split on a soft pocket hit in the seventh frame gave the two-handed Australian power player a 51-pin lead. Despite an open frame by Belmonte in his seventh, Barnes was too far behind to make up the difference.

“I would have liked to have thrown the 300 one game later, but I’ll still take it,” Barnes said. “I can’t blame the last game on a bad start. I got out of the gate okay. But Belmo made a ball change, and moved farther inside. My ball started (hooking) a little quicker.

“The killer shot for me was in the seventh frame. I made the hand position change I thought I needed to make, but all of a sudden my ball was hitting flat like everyone else who has bowled against Belmo, and I left that 7-10. I was pretty much dead at that point. He forced the action, which is what great bowlers do. That’s what happens in one-game matches.”

“When someone has just shot 300, you know the next game isn’t going to be low,” Belmonte said. “It probably won’t be 300, but you know it’s going to be good. As long as guys don’t shoot 300 at me in the title match and there’s still a way for me to get the win, they can bowl as many 300s as they want.”

Belmonte, who ended a three-year title drought by winning the Chameleon Open earlier in the World Series, said confidence was the key to getting back into the winner’s circle.

“My physical game is as sharp as it’s ever been,” he said. “If I do everything correct, the ball does the work for me. In the past, I was worried about what the ball was going to do rather than just making the shot and letting the ball do the work.

“When I’m bowling in normal competition, I’m always confident and I’m always ready to bowl strikes. But when you put me into the TV arena, my psyche changes and I can feel myself bowling differently,” he continued. “Today I felt like me. I felt great. I knew exactly where the ball was going. That’s how I was able to get out of that nervous frame of mind.”

Belmonte was at a loss to explain why the United States’ top stars had not yet won a World Series title, although he wasn’t totally surprised.

“In my opinion, the U.S. has by far the best bowlers in the world, but the world is catching up and I think the World Series of Bowling is proving it,” he said. “Stu Williams (England), Dom Barrett (England), Osku (Palermaa, Finland), Martin Larsen (Sweden), Andres Gomez (Colombia), Ildemaro Ruiz (Venezuela)…there are so many international players who have now gone past the amateur level.

“It has taken us time for us to learn the tricks of the trade, and to understand the lifestyle (on the PBA Tour) and how to deal with it. But we’re at the point where we can come out here and be successful.

“In the past, (the international players) haven’t really come to the U.S. a lot and the Americans haven’t come to us, but now the PBA Tour and the World Bowling Tour are causing that to happen. It’s a cool thing.”

PBA World Series of Bowling competition continues on ESPN on Sunday, March 25, at 2:30 p.m. ET with the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship. Teams in the finals will include Belmonte bowling with PBA Hall of Famer and newly-crowned U.S. Open champion Pete Weber of St. Anne, Mo.; Bill O’Neill of Southampton, Pa., with 2012 USBC Masters winner Mike Fagan of Dallas; international teammates Gomez and Larsen; PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., with Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, and top qualifiers Ronnie Russell of Marion, Ind., with Rash.

In the interim, PBA players will head to Detroit for the third Xtra Frame Tour event, the Detroit Open presented by Track, March 9-11 at Thunderbowl Lanes in suburban Allen Park. First prize will be $10,000 and a berth in the Round of 36 for the season-ending PBA Tournament of Champions. All qualifying and match play rounds of the Detroit Open Saturday and Sunday will be webcast live, exclusively on the PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. To subscribe, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame logo.


 

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