Trey Ford III, a 17-year-old two-handed bowler from Bartlesville, Okla., threw three strikes in the 10th frame of the championship match to defeat David (Boog) Krol of Nixa, Mo., 245-229, in the seventh annual PBA FireLake/Grand Casino Resort Southwest Open presented by Hammer at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., Sunday, winning his first PBA Regional title and becoming the youngest player ever to win a PBA Regional title.
Ford, who began bowling PBA events with parental consent as a 13-year-old amateur, became PBA’s youngest member ever when he joined the organization at age 15 years, 157 days in 2016. He previously had a second-place finish in a PBA Southwest Region event at FireLake last September, and won Sunday’s $2,700 first prize at the age of 17 years, 226 days.
After leading the 13 games of qualifying and receiving byes into the Round of 8, Ford eliminated two Wichita State collegiate players to advance to the finals. Thomas McNeal Jr. of Puyallup, Wash., was Ford’s first victim, losing 2-0 in the best-of-three-game Round of 8. Jacob Kersten, originally from Clarkston, Mich., came up short in the one game semifinal round, 236-222.
Krol, also a two-handed player, qualified in second place and had a similar road to the final. In his opening match, he defeatedScott McCleery of Lubbock, Texas, 2-0, and then put away another Wichita State Shocker, Cortez Schenck of Scottsdale, Ariz., 192-191.
The pro-am portion of the event on Friday included a fundraiser for the Shawnee area Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter. FireLake General Manager Chris Skillings announced more than $10,000 was raised for that cause.