Stakes are High for Competitors in PBA’s South Point Fall Classic Beginning Monday

by Gianmarc Manzione 0

DukeMalottDoubles
A diverse field of doubles teams will try to de-throne two-time defending champions Wes Malott and PBA Hall of Fame partner Norm Duke.

Bill Vint
Professional Bowlers Association

LAS VEGAS – The Professional Bowlers Association Fall Classic, an entirely new multi-event series for PBA competitors, gets underway Monday at the new South Point Bowling Plaza with ramifications on a variety of levels for its international field of players.

PBA fans in Las Vegas will be able to watch all of the action in the new South Point tournament facility at no cost and fans around the world will be able to catch every round of every event in the PBA Fall Classic live exclusively on Xtra Frame, the PBA’s on-line live streaming channel.

To get things started Monday afternoon, a diverse field of doubles teams – men and women, seniors and rookies, amateurs and professionals – will try to de-throne two-time defending champions Wes Malott and PBA Hall of Fame partner Norm Duke as qualifying begins in the 2016 Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship. The high-powered duo won the 2015 Roth/Holman Doubles title in Indianapolis when they defeated England’s Dom Barrett and Finland’s Osku Palermaa, 228-203, after winning their previous doubles title at South Point in 2011 when they defeated Ronnie Russell and Sean Rash in the title match.

Barrett and Palermaa will return to challenge for the title again, along with teams including leading PBA Player of the Year contender Jason Belmonte and partner Bill O’Neill; the left-handed tandems of PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn and partner Ryan Ciminelli as well as Anthony Pepe and rookie Matt McNiel; 2014 PBA Rookie of the Year Marshall Kent with 2015 ROY hopeful A.J. Johnson of Oswego, Ill.; mixed-doubles partners Ryan Shafer and newly-crowned Professional Women’s Bowling Association titlist Liz Kuhlkin along with Scott Norton and Missy Parkin, who grew up bowling together in California youth programs; and the team of Rash and PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann., Mo., who were rivals as recently as last Sunday when Rash defeated Weber to win the Xtra Frame PBA Iowa Midwest Open title in Omaha.

That’s just a sampling of the doubles roster, which can be found on pba.com under the Schedules tab: (http://www.pba.com/Content/files/Downloads/2015%20FALL%20CLASSIC%20(Doubles).pdf.

The Roth/Holman Doubles event in Las Vegas will include eight qualifying games on Monday, Oct. 19, followed by two six-game match play rounds on Tuesday. Based upon a combined total of 20 doubles (40 individual) games, the top five teams will advance to the ESPN-televised finals which will be conducted on Saturday, Dec. 19, at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno for delayed airing on Sunday, Jan. 17, and will be counted as a 2016 title on the official PBA stats.

The Fall Classic continues on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 21-22, with the PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open, a PBA Tour title event. More than 110 players will bowl two qualifying rounds Wednesday with the top 16 advancing to round-robin match play Thursday. After 32 games, the top five will meet in the stepladder finals Thursday at 5:30 p.m. PT (8:30 p.m. ET). All rounds of the Las Vegas Open will be covered live, exclusively on Xtra Frame (for subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link).

The South Point Las Vegas Open could play a role in the 2015 PBA Player and Rookie of the Year races. Heading into the Fall Classic, Australia’s Belmonte, his doubles partner O’Neill and Josh Blanchard of Mesa, Ariz., have each won two PBA Tour titles during the 2015 season. Belmonte’s are both majors (USBC Masters and Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions), so he’s the heavy favorite heading into the final two months of the season which will include the Bowlmor AMF U.S. Open (Nov. 3-8 in Garland, Texas) and the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VII at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno Dec. 7-19, which will include four standard PBA Tour titles plus the year’s final major, the PBA World Championship.

As of Oct. 15, Belmonte also holds the PBA earnings and averages leads. He has earned $168,861 so far in 2015 with a 228.54 average over 237 games bowled. Chris Barnes, who will miss the Fall Classic while recovering from recent back surgery, is second on the money list with $113,920 while O’Neill is second on the average list at 227.04 for 187 games. For complete current PBA Tour statistics: http://www.pba.com/SeasonStats/TotalWinnings/81

The Las Vegas Open field also includes a slew of PBA Hall of Famers, including 47-time champion Walter Ray Williams Jr., 38-time champion Norm Duke, 37-time champion Pete Weber and 34-time titlist Parker Bohn III along with many of the sport’s rising stars, several of whom are trying for their first PBA Tour title. The singles event – the first PBA Tour event ever held from start-to-finish in the South Point Bowling Plaza – also is the first qualifying leg for players hoping to earn automatic invitations to compete in the DHC PBA Japan Open in January. Qualifying pins from the Las Vegas Open and the Bowlmor AMF U.S. Open will determine the 10 players who will earn invitations to Japan. One PWBA member also will be invited based on qualifying pins from the U.S. Women’s Open and the South Point Las Vegas Open.

For a current singles roster, visit pba.com and look for PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open under “schedules/PBA Tour” or click here: http://www.pba.com/Rosters/Details/2095

Friday, Oct. 23, is set aside for the PBA South Point West Challenge, a PBA West Region event open to players who have never won a PBA title. Xtra Frame also will cover this event.

PBA’s newest venture, the PBA Team Challenge, takes center stage Saturday and Sunday. Seventeen five-player teams have already entered the one-of-a-kind PBA team battle. The Team Challenge will begin with a six-game qualifying round on Saturday, Oct. 24, with all five players bowling full games, followed by a 12-game Baker format round. Based on the combined 18-game team totals, the top eight teams will advance to eight games of Baker format round-robin match play Sunday morning followed by a Baker format stepladder finale at 3 p.m. local time. All rounds of the Team Challenge also will be covered live on Xtra Frame.

To check out the current PBA Team Challenge roster, visit pba.com and look for PBA Team Challenge under “schedules/PBA Tour” or click here: http://www.pba.com/Content/files/Downloads/2015%20FALL%20CLASSIC%20(Team).pdf

The Fall Classic will conclude on Monday, Oct. 26, with the PBA50 Western Open, a PBA West Region event for players ages 50 and older and another event covered by Xtra Frame.

PBA’s live coverage of the Fall Classic is available exclusively on Xtra Frame. Subscriptions for three days ($3.99), a full month ($7.99) or the 12-month Season Ticket ($64.99) are available. Visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link to enroll.

PBA SOUTH POINT BOWLING PLAZA FALL CLASSIC SCHEDULE

South Point Bowling Plaza, Las Vegas, Oct. 19-26

(All rounds of all events listed below will be covered live by Xtra Frame)

Monday, Oct. 19

1 p.m. – Fall Classic practice session

5 p.m. –Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship, 8 qualifying games (16 individual games)

Top 12 teams advance to round robin match play

Tuesday, Oct. 20

9 a.m. – Roth/Holman PBA Doubles, 6 games match play (12 individual games)

2 p.m. – Roth/Holman PBA Doubles, 6 games match play (12 individual games)

Top 5 teams after 20 doubles games (40 individual games) advance to ESPN stepladder finals onSaturday, Dec. 19 at National Bowling Stadium, Reno, Nev.

7 p.m. – PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open practice session

Wednesday, Oct. 21

9 a.m. – PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open, 8 qualifying games

4 p.m. - PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open, 8 qualifying games

Top 16 after 16 games advance to round robin match play

Thursday, Oct. 22

8:30 a.m. - PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open, 8 games round-robin match play

1 p.m. - PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open, 8 games round-robin match play

Top 5 after 32 games advance to stepladder finals

5:30 p.m. - PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open stepladder finals

Friday, Oct. 23

9 a.m. – PBA South Point West Challenge qualifying and match play (open to non-champions)

6 p.m. – PBA Team Challenge practice session

Saturday, Oct. 24

9 a.m. – PBA Team Challenge, 6 qualifying games (30 individual games)

5 p.m. – PBA Team Challenge, 12 Baker format qualifying games

Top 8 teams after 18 combined team games advance to round robin match play

Sunday, Oct. 25

9 a.m. – PBA Team Challenge, 8 games Baker format round robin match play

Top 4 teams after 26 combined team games advance to stepladder finals

3 p.m. – PBA Team Challenge Baker format stepladder finals

Monday, Oct. 26

9 a.m. – PBA50 Western Open qualifying and match play

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