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PBA Spare Shots: Smallwood Story Continues to Gain Media Attention for PBA
by Bill Vint January 19, 2010 09:09
Professional bowling continues to win attention from mainstream American news media, thanks to Tom Smallwood’s compelling story. The laid-off General Motors employee who defied the odds to win the 2009 PBA World Championship has been the subject of a steady stream of radio, television, newspaper, magazine and internet features.

Most recently, Smallwood’s story appeared on the inside back cover of the Jan. 18 issue of The National Inquirer along with a feature in the San Francisco Chronicle. And the PBA has learned additional coverage is in the works, including a story in an upcoming issue of Parade magazine which is distributed with millions of Sunday newspapers across the nation.

LACAZE JOINS ELITE CLUB, ADVANCING FROM "TQR" TO VICTORY
Anthony LaCaze of Melrose Park, Ill., joined an elite club when he emerged from the Earl Anthony Memorial Tour Qualifying Round to win his first career Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour title in Dublin, Calif. LaCaze joined Sean Rash (2006 West Virginia Championship), Mike Mineman (2007 Bayer Classic), Rhino Page (2008 Go RVing Classic) and Jason Belmonte (2009 Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic) as the fifth player to win a title after qualifying for the tournament field out of a TQR.

LaCaze, a former teammate of Bill O'Neill at Saginaw Valley State University, became the first amateur to advance from a TQR to a television final when he made it to the semifinal round of the 2008 Golden Anniversary Championship in Hammond, Ind., where - ironically - he lost to O'Neill.

Also, by winning the Anthony Memorial, LaCaze won a berth in this week's PBA Tournament of Champions - at the expense of Las Vegas resident Eric Forkel, who got bumped from the TOC field.

BELMONTES WELCOME A NEW ADDITION
Australia’s Jason Belmonte and his wife Kimberly welcomed their first-born child to usher in the new year. Aria Rose Belmonte arrived on Jan. 2, weighing in at nine pounds, 14.5 ounces. And, yes, the PBA has learned it was a two-handed delivery.

PBA STAR MARSHALL HOLMAN ELECTED TO USBC HALL OF FAME
Marshall Holman of Medford, Ore., has been elected to the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame along with PBA Senior Tour star John Handegard of Spring, Texas, a USBC Hall of Fame Veterans category selection. USBC’s 2010 Hall of Fame ceremonies also will include the inductions of women’s standout Kim Terrell-Kearney and, in the meritorious service category, Reno’s Betty Barnes.

Holman, a 22-time PBA champion, was ranked ninth on the list of the PBA’s 50 Greatest Players during the organization’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2009. Holman also was one of the bowlers honored in 2000 in Bowling Magazine’s list of the “20 Greatest Bowlers of the 20th Century.” Handegard, a 14-time Senior Tour winner and the oldest player ever to win a PBA Tour title (at age 57), was the first player inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame Senior Division in Las Vegas in 2009.

LUMBER LIQUIDATORS FRANCHISES GO BOWLING
Over the holiday season, 107 Lumber Liquidators franchise owners did the natural thing in support of their corporate sponsorship program: they held bowling parties for their employees. The headline event for the titled sponsor of the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour was a corporate bowling party in Virginia, where Parker Bohn III – who stars in Lumber Liquidators commercials with his wife Leslie – was a special guest.

INJURY FORCES MALAYSIA’S ZULKIFLI TO WITHDRAW FROM ANTHONY MEMORIAL
The Star in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has reported that Malaysia’s Shalin Zulkifli sustained a muscle tear in her right foot while practicing in preparation for the Earl Anthony Memorial PBA Women’s Series event in Dublin, Calif., forcing her to withdraw. Zulkifli, an exempt player for the PBA Women’s Series presented by BOWL.COM, may also miss the final women’s event of the season – the Bayer Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles in Wheat Ridge, Colo., Feb. 16-21.

Other exempt players who missed the Anthony Memorial were Norm Duke (minor ankle injury), Doug Kent, Tommy Delutz Jr. and PBA Women’s Series exempt player Michelle Feldman. Their spots in the Earl Anthony Memorial were added to their respective Tour Qualifying Rounds.

LONG-TIME DETROIT SPORTS DIRECTOR AND PBA FAN DIES
Dave Diles, long-time sports director for Detroit's WXYZ-TV, died recently from complications after suffering a stroke. He was 78. Diles, who covered all major sports for more than 25 years, was especially partial to the PBA. “Dave Diles was one of the best ambassadors bowling ever had,” said Detroit bowling legend Ed Lubanski.

PBA/UBSC YOUTH INSIDERS’ TOUR VISITS DUBLIN
The PBA/USBC Youth Insiders’ Tour, conducted in cooperation with the United States Bowling Congress, allows five randomly-selected USBC Youth bowlers in each tournament market a chance to visit Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour events where they are given a special “insiders” look at the PBA Tour. Included are seats to watch the ESPN television finals.

The lucky youth bowlers selected to attend the Earl Anthony Memorial at Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl in Dublin, Calif., were Shawn Carroll, 14; Payton Giambrone, 17; Amanda Timmons, 14; Joseph Stephen, 12, and Savannah Garrison, 15.

NATION COMPLETES FIELD FOR PBA WOMEN’S SERIES SHOWDOWN
With her victory in the Earl Anthony Memorial, Stefanie Nation clinched the final berth in the PBA Women’s Series Showdown presented by BOWL.COM which will be conducted in April at the new United States Bowling Congress International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas. Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J.; Shannon Pluhowsky, Kettering, Ohio; Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Keller, Texas, and Michelle Feldman, Auburn, N.Y., had previously qualified for the special event during the PBA World Series of Bowling.

2009-10 LUMBER LIQUIDATORS PBA TOUR STATS

EARNINGS Events Total
1, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich. 9 $70,700
2, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla. 9 $57,050
3, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa. 9 $54,400
4, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla. 9 $53,800
5, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas 9 $51,900
6, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas 9 $49,050
7, Mike DeVaney, San Diego 9 $44,300
8, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y. 9 $42,700
9, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas 9 $41,700
10, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla. 8 $39,675

AVERAGES Games Avg.
1, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla. 248 224.11
2, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y. 190 223.84
3, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas 240 222.13
4, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla. 171 221.30
5, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas 234 221.26
6, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas 202 221.23
7, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y. 196 219.92
8, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla. 217 219.81
9, Mike Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y. 210 219.61
10, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla. 150 219.29

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS Titles Points
1, Bill O’Neill, Southampton, Pa. 1 28
Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich. 1 28
3, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla. 1 20
4, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla. 1 18
5, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla. 1 16
Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y. 0 16
Mike DeVaney, San Diego 1 16
Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y. 1 16
Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas 1 16
Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill. 1 16

2009-10 PBA WOMEN’S SERIES PRESENTED BY BOWL.COM STATS

EARNINGS Events Total
1, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J. 6 $36,600
2, Shannon Pluhowsky, Kettering, Ohio 6 $34,300
3, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y. 6 $30,500
4, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Keller, Texas 5 $18,700
5, Stefanie Nation, Grand Prairie, Texas 6 $15,600
6, Jodi Woessner, Oregon, Ohio 6 $15,300
7, Shannon O'Keefe, Arlington, Texas 6 $14,600
8, Lynda Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 3 $14,500
9, Tammy Boomershine, N. Ogden, Utah 6 $12,700
10, Diandra Asbaty, Chicago 6 $12,000

AVERAGES Games Avg.
1, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y. 155 217.85
2, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J. 150 214.40
3, Shannon Pluhowsky, Kettering, Ohio 144 213.15
4, Lynda Barnes, Double Oak, Texas 70 211.37
5, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Keller, Texas 123 211.05
6, Tammy Boomershine, N. Ogden, Utah 123 210.02
7, Shannon O'Keefe, Arlington, Texas 135 207.06
8, Diandra Asbaty, Chicago 123 206.80
9, Wendy Macpherson, Henderson, Nev. 115 206.34
10, Lindsay Baker, Amherst, N.Y. 78 206.13
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