The legendary lefthander became the first player in PBA history to win a national tour or senior tour title in six different decades when he won the PBA Senior Dayton Classic at Capri Lanes in Kettering, Ohio, at the age of 65. He defeated then-reigning PBA50 Player of the Year Ron Mohr 220-204, in the title match in for his eighth career PBA50 Tour title.
Petraglia, who remains competitive on the PBA50 Tour in his 50th season of PBA competition, will compete in a tournament named in his honor when the PBA50 Johnny Petraglia BVL Open presented by Brunswick makes its first visit to Farmingdale Lanes in Farmingdale, N.Y., May 2-5.
“I guess it shows how old I am,” said the Brooklyn native jokingly after achieving the titles-in-six-decades milestone. “But it’s very special to me because it’s part of history and makes it all worth it.
“I was wondering if it was going to happen,” he said. “There are so many great Senior Tour players and there are more great bowlers from the regular tour who are becoming eligible, so it doesn’t get any easier. Another thing that makes it special is that there are some guys who might be able to tie that record in the coming years and decades, but they’ll probably not break it.”
Overall, Petraglia and fellow PBA legend, the late Dick Weber, both have won PBA titles in six decades, however, Weber’s longevity mark includes a PBA regional title. Petraglia also owns 14 PBA Tour titles, winning his first at a national tour stop in Ft. Smith, Ark., in 1966 at the age of 19.
Petraglia, who would like to become the oldest to win a PBA50 Tour tournament at 68, will be a force to contend with in the tournament bearing his name. The Petraglia BVL Open will feature approximately 100 players ages 50 and over and against that same group of players, Petraglia finished fifth in the UnitedHealthcare Sun Bowl In The Villages two weeks ago.
“I’m really looking forward to bowling in Farmingdale both as a participant and because of what it means to our veterans,” Petraglia said. “My physical game is very good but it’s going to be a busy week with all that will be happening. Really, the overall success of the tournament is what’s important and if I can do well, that will just be icing on the cake.
“And of course, raising a lot of money for the veterans is the main thing.”
In addition to his sterling record as a competitor, Petraglia has been active for decades off the lanes in BVL and other charitable programs in support of United States military veterans. Petraglia served a tour of duty with the U.S. armed forces during the Vietnam War.
BVL, which is funded exclusively by the bowling industry, provides recreational and therapeutic programs and services for America’s active duty and veteran service men and women.
Petraglia, one of six players ever to win the PBA Triple Crown, is a member of the PBA (1982) and United States Bowling Congress (2003) Halls of Fame. He also was the recipient of the 2010 BPAA Dick Weber Bowling Ambassador Award, and missed this season’s PBA50 Tour opening event in New Port Richey, Fla., to attend the Billiard and Bowling Institute of America’s annual meeting in Hilton Head, S.C., where he was awarded the BBIA Industry Service Award.
In addition to Petraglia, other PBA Hall of Famers who will compete in the Johnny Petraglia BVL Open include:
● Walter Ray Williams Jr., all-time PBA Tour win leader with 47 PBA Tour titles and nine PBA50 Tour wins
● Pete Weber, 37-time PBA Tour and three-time PBA50 Tour winner
● Parker Bohn III, 34-time PBA Tour and two-time PBA50 Tour winner
● Tom Baker, 10-time PBA Tour and 12-time PBA50 Tour winner
● Amleto Monacelli, 19-time PBA Tour and three-time PBA50 Tour winner
● Dale Eagle, three-time PBA Tour and 12-time PBA50 Tour winner
Four of those hall of famers will also participate in a unique “Clash of the Legends” which will help kick off the tournament Saturday at Farmingdale Lanes. Petraglia will host a special competition involving Bohn, Williams, Weber and Monacelli which will be video-streamed around the world on PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, at 7 p.m. ET. Xtra Frame will then provide live start-to-finish coverage of the entire tournament, Sunday through Tuesday. For subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.
For fans attending the event, general admission is $10 for practice session and pro-am squads, $20 for match play rounds, $30 for the stepladder finals, $50 for an “All Access Pass” for the entire event. Contact James Simone at (718) 591-0600 for more admission and pro-am information.
PBA50 Johnny Petraglia BVL Open Presented by Brunswick Schedule
Farmingdale Lanes, Farmingdale, N.Y. (All times Eastern)
Saturday, May 2
9 a.m. – noon - A & B Squads Practice Session
1, 4, 7 p.m. - Pro-Am Squads
7 p.m. - PBA Clash of the Legends (live on pba.com’s Xtra Frame)
Sunday, May 3
8 a.m. - A squad qualifying (8 games)
2:30 p.m. - B Squad qualifying (8 games)
Monday, May 4
8 a.m. - B Squad qualifying (8 games)
2:30 p.m. - A Squad qualifying (8 games)
Tuesday, May 5
10 a.m. - Cashers Round
1 p.m. – Modified Match Play Round One
4 p.m. – Modified Match Play Round Two
7 p.m. - Stepladder finals