I guess I still have my favorites who I enjoy watching on the PBA Tour, but unfortunately or fortunately for them, they are taking full advantage of being able to bowl on the PBA50 Tour.
Like the PGA Tour’s senior division, there are lots of stars who are still competing in the swings that dominate the summer schedule. Like the PGA Tour’s change of name from Senior Tour to the Champions, the PBA has gone through a name change to the PBA50 tour.
But unlike golf, more PBA50 bowlers have been more able to compete on the big tour with success, and we will see several of the big stars this fall at the World Series of Bowling. What you won’t see on the senior tour of bowling is live over-the-air TV. It’s primarily web-based, and it’s hard to say whether that is good or bad, but it’s the present and the future of sports.
The PBA put down a good chunk of money to make the online Xtra Frame available as a very good, quality product. It costs money, but I’m beginning to think what doesn’t these days. But as people around the Southeastern Conference are going to find out, the computer online broadcast is the wave of the future for your favorite sporting events.
Walter Ray Williams, Jr., won the final stop on the tour this summer, but it was Norm Duke who won Player of the Year honors for the PBA50 tour. Ironically, WRW helped Duke win the point race for POY by beating Tom Baker in the championship match. Baker, a four-time POY, was mathematically alive to win the top honor if he had won the tournament title.
Some of the top senior players will take part in the World Series of Bowling in October in Las Vegas and among the eight who qualified through competition points were Williams, Baker, Duke, Parker Bohn III, Amleto Monacelli, Harry Sullins and Ron Mohr. Two of those eight will bowl on television during the World Series of Bowling.
Speaking of the WSOB, they are going to do like the World Series of Poker does with its November nine and bring back this year the finalists for the World Championships to Vegas in January 2015 for a live ESPN telecast. There will be two months off between the qualifying and the TV taping but it does give the PBA a chance for publicity buildup. But while the cards may be hot before the break, can the hot bowlers keep their skill level and shot making up to the qualifying level when they come back for a one-shot TV broadcast. It will be interesting.
It’s been done once before, but if I remember correctly, the TV show was taped outside Las Vegas. At least they will return to the same city. The TV finals will showcase the new South Point Bowling Stadium which the USBC Women’s and Open Championship will bowl in several times.
More good SASBA news
At Pasadena, Texas, this past weekend, Baton Rouge bowler Randy Summers continued his good bowling with a third-place finish in the Senior All-Star Bowling Association singles event, cashing for $700. Local Gordon Stuntz also made a good final showing, taking 10th and $310.
SASBA will make a rare South Louisiana appearance at Tangi Lanes in Hammond on Sept. 13-14 for a Member/Guest doubles.
Capital City Shootout
The third Capital City Shootout is set for All Star Lanes, Aug. 30-31, and it should be another good one. The guaranteed scholarship prize for first place is $500 and with some of the movement to adult leagues we may see some new stars emerging on this weekend in youth play. The event will bowl on three of the 2013 junior gold patterns.
Two of them have been announced — the short pattern will be the 35-foot Beijing pattern and the medium pattern the 39-foot Seoul. The long pattern will be announced as it gets closer to the tournament, but obviously it will have to be a decent distance over 40 feet and after my experience at the USBC Open, that distance gets my knees to shaking.
Qualifying is Saturday at 10 a.m. and after bowling on all three patterns, Aug. 30 it goes to a double elimination final on Aug. 31 at 10 a.m. on a pattern announced during qualifying.
Honor Roll scores
Tyler Wright had a good week rolling 806 with a 279 high game at All-Star and an 802 with a 300 game at Circle. Diane Domingue had the best women’s score of 669 (245) at All-Star. Justin Bui had 691 (256) to lead the youth leagues and Ronald LeGleux (696, 265) and Cheryl Albarez (647) were the tops in the senior leagues.
Congrats to Kerry Landry and Chris Curry with 300 games, while Mark Saale had 11 strikes in a row in a 290. Ann Law came in with an all-spare game.
Finally, congratulations to Marc Pater from the Malco Bowling Centers, who was married over the weekend to Sharon Knight Gautreau.
But also condolences to Mike LaCroix at All-Star on the passing of his mother and to the family and friends of long-time Louisiana Women’s USBC official Wilmae Gaspard of Lafayette.
Back with you on Sept. 2. See you at All Star for the Capital City Shootout. Until then, good luck and good bowling.