The PBA has announced the 63-player field for the 2010 Tournament of Champions, set for Jan. 19-24 at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas. The stepladder finals of the tournament will be telecast live by ESPN at 1 p.m. Eastern on Jan. 24.
Kelly Kulick, who made PBA history in 2006 as the first woman to earn a full-season exemption to bowl on the PBA Tour, will make history again as the first woman to compete in the prestigious PBA event. She won the inaugural PBA Women’s World Championship in August during the PBA World Series of Bowling.
Another trend-setter in the field is Jason Belmonte of Australia who will be the first two-handed player to compete in the event after winning last season’s Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic in West Babylon, N.Y.
At age 50, Walter Ray Williams Jr., the Tour’s all-time win leader with 46 titles, will again try for his first Tournament of Champions title. The TOC is the last jewel Williams needs to complete the PBA’s Triple Crown, Grand Slam and Super Slam.
The PBA Tournament of Champions, the second major championship on the 2009-10 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour schedule, is open exclusively to PBA Tour exempt-player champions; the winners of the most recent PBA Regional Championship and Regional Players Invitational; the United States Bowling Congress Masters winner; the USBC Senior Masters, PBA Senior U.S. Open and PBA Senior World Championship winners; all Tournament of Champions past winners, PBA Hall of Famers, and the PBA Women’s World Championship titlist.
Fifty-nine players have been assured spots in the tournament with the Regional Players Invitational representative to be determined at the RPI Championship Dec. 15-17 in Reno, Nev. If there are new PBA Tour champions in the events leading up to the Tournament of Champions, the players “on the bubble” who would be eliminated in order are Bob Learn Jr., Kurt Pilon and Dave Arnold.
If any spots in the field are vacant, PBA Tour champions not currently on the exempt Tour list will be eligible in order of the most recent title winners.
In all, 13 past Tournament of Champions winners, 16 PBA Hall of Famers and 19 members of the PBA 50 greatest players of all-time list are scheduled to compete.
The first Tournament of Champions was conducted in 1962 in Indianapolis. The event was not conducted in 1963 and ’64 but moved to Akron, Ohio, in 1965 where it was conducted until 1994. Since then, it has been conducted in various locations.
PBA Tournament of Champions Roster
1. Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich.
2. Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J.
3. Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa.
4. Rhino Page, Wesley Chapel, Fla.
5. Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla.
6. Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla.
7. Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla.
8. Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas
9. Jason Belmonte, Australia
10. Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas
11. Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas
12. Jeff Carter, Springfield, Ill.
13. John Nolen, Grand Blanc, Mich.
14. Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J.
15. Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind.
16. Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa.
17. Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y.
18. Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C.
19. Michael Haugen Jr., Carefree, Ariz.
20. Michael Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y.
21. Robert Smith, Columbus, Ohio
22. Sean Rash, Wichita, Kan.
23. Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich.
24. Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y.
25. Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo.
26. Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla.
27. Brian Voss, Alpharetta, Ga.
28. Ritchie Allen, Columbia, S.C.
29. Steve Jaros, Yorkville, Ill.
30. Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y.
31. Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan.
32. Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind.
33. Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla.
34. Dale Traber, Cedarburg, Wis.
35. Wayne Webb, Sacramento, Calif.
36. Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y.
37. Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y.
38. Mike DeVaney, San Diego
39. RPI CHAMPION (To be determined)
40. Del Ballard Jr., Keller, Texas
41. Dave D'Entremont, Middleburg Heights, Ohio
42. Bryan Goebel, Shawnee, Kan.
43. John Petraglia, Jackson, N.J.
44. Mark Williams, Beaumont, Texas
45. Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela
46. Dave Soutar, Bradenton, Fla.
47. Carmen Salvino, Schaumburg,Ill.
48. Dave Husted, Milwaukie, Ore.
49. Tom Baker, King, N.C.
50. Don McCune, Las Vegas
51. Ernie Schlegel, Vancouver, Wash.
52. Roy Buckley, Westerville, Ohio
53. Danny Wiseman, Baltimore
54. Mike Mineman, St. Louis, Mo.
55. Tony Reyes, San Bruno, Calif.
56. Chris Collins, Savannah, Ga.
57. Brian Himmler, Cincinnati
58. Rick Lawrence, Waxahachie, Texas
59. Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore.
60. Randy Pedersen, Clermont, Fla.
61. Dave Arnold, Dublin, Calif.
62. Kurt Pilon, Warren, Mich.
63. Bob Learn Jr., Erie, Pa.