IBMA Bowlers of the Month

IBMA Bowlers of the Month

The purpose of this award is to honor a bowler for outstanding accomplishments during a calendar month.


ARLINGTON, Texas - Osku Palermaa, Finland, has been chose asthe August 2014 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the International Bowling Media Association. Palermaa downed Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, New York, for the World Bowling Tour(WBT) 11th Thailand Open championship, 227-213, and 243-224. The win is also his fourth career Professional Bowlers Association(PBA) title.  The eight-man stepladder final started with #6 seed Don Barrett, England ousting #7 seed Jason Sterner, Covington, Georgia, and #8 seed Dechochai Tinjiratip, Thailand, 257-235-218. Fourth seed Suh Sang Cheon, Korea,defeated fellow Korean, fifth-seeded Kim Byoung Suk, and Barrett, 234-217-204. Palermaa then defeated Cheon, 224-206, then #2 seed Naif Oqab, United Arab Emirates, 234-191, setting up the final match. The Finnish PBA star needed to defeat Ciminelli in two straight games for the title, the final WBT tournament of the 2014 season. 

This is also Palermaa's second WBT/PBA International title,behind the 2012 Kuwait Open. His PBA U.S. titles are the 2010 PBA Geico Shark Championship and the 2011 PBA World Championship, the latter earning him his previous IBMA Kegel Bowler of the Month award.  Others receiving votes this month were Walter Ray Williams,Jr., winner of the PBA50 Treasure Island Resort & Casino Open presented by Hammer, Craig Nidiffer, winner of the 11th New Mexico Open, and Jack Jurek, winner of the PBA50 South Shore Open presented by DV8.  


ARLINGTON,Texas - Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, has been chose as the July 2014 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the International Bowling Media Association.  Pluhowsky defeated Diana Zavjavola, Latvia, 225-212, for the Bowling Proprietors Association of America (BPAA) Women's All Star tournament.  Zavjavola had a one-pin lead after eight frames until an open frame from not converting a 2-4-8-10 split, giving Pluhowsky a chance to close out the match and the title. The five-woman stepladder final began with Shannon O'Keefe, Arlington, Texas,downing Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 223-169. O'Keefe continued her hot streak besting Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y.,237-175.  Zavjalova outlasted O'Keefe in the semifinal, 236-207, setting up the title match with Pluhowsky. After placing third in the eighteen-game qualifying round, Pluhowsky posted a tournament-best 14-2 match play record to secure the top seed for the stepladder final.  From1941 to 1970, the Women's All Star was the predecessor of  Bowling's Women's U.S. Open, which will return in 2015.  

Others receiving votes this month were Dom Barrett, winner of the European Bowling Tour 10th San Marino Open, Craig Nidiffer, winner of the 2014 High Roller,Mika Koivuniemi, winner of the EBT 5th Track Dream-Bowl Palace Open by Erdinger, and Bill McCorkle, winner of the PBA50 Dick Weber Super Senior Classic presented by Storm.  


ARLINGTON,Texas - Walter Ray Williams, Jr. Ocala, Florida has been chosen as the June 2014 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the International Bowling Media Association.  Williams,Jr. defeated Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, New York, 240-219, for the 2014 USBC Senior Masters title, for his first PBA50 major title.  The 2013 PBA50 Player of the Year lead qualifying, averaging just over 237 for fifteen games. Winning five Winner's Bracket three-game double elimination matches ranging from 40 to 120 pins, Williams, Jr. then lost to Jurek 717-643 in the Winner's Bracket final, making Jurek tournament top seed and Williams,Jr. the second seed for the championship round.  The five-man stepladder final began with Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Oklahoma besting Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 254-184. Edwards ousted defending champion Pete Weber,St. Ann, Missouri, 237-209. Williams, Jr., defeated Edwards, 237-214, setting up the title match with Jurek.  Williams,Jr. also had top ten finishes in the other three PBA50 events in the month, a third place in the PBA50 Grants Pass Open, fifth in the Senior U.S. Open, and eighth in the PBA50 Northern California Classic.

Others receiving votes this month were Norm Duke, winner of the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open presented by Dexter, Artistic Expressions #1 of Oklahoma City,Oklahoma, the USBC team leader with the five-man team USBC Open Championships new all-time record score of 3720,  Diana Zavjalova, winner, All-Events and Masters divisions, 2014 European Women's Championships, and Tom Baker,winner of the PBA50 Northern California Classic. 


ARLINGTON,Texas - Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pennsylvania, has been chosen as the May 2014 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the International Bowling Media Association.   O'Neill won two events during the PBA Summer Swing, the PBA Badger Open, defeating Brian Valenta, Lockport, Illinois, 243-235. He then won the PBA Oklahoma's Grand Resort King of the Swing, downing Sean Rash, Montgomery, Illinois,245-181. The Badger Open stepladder final began with Valenta, in his first television stepladder finals, besting Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, 237-172. Marshall Kent, Yakima, Washington, was the next to fall, 236-165. Valenta won the semifinal 205-190, to set up the final match with O'Neill. In the Oklahoma's Grand Casino King of the Swing stepladder finals, Tommy Jones,Simpsonville, South Carolina, defeated Ronnie Russell, Marion, Indiana ,236-206. Sean Rash outlasted Jones, 257-212, and Jason Belmonte, Australia, 235-224 in the semifinal to set up the championship match. O'Neill added to his already impressive showing in the PBA Summer Swing finishing eighth in the PBA Wolf Open, fourth in the PBA Oklahoma Open, and third in the PBA Bear Open.  

Others receiving votes this month were Jason Belmonte, winner of the PBA Oklahoma Open; Sean Rash, winner of the PBA Wolf Open, including the 25th TV 300 in a PBA stepladder finals; Ronnie Russell, winner of the PBA Bear Open; Thomas Larsen, winner of the European Bowling Tour 9th Istanbul Bowling Open; and Jesper Svensson, winner of the EBT Kegel Aalborg International 2014 


ARLINGTON,Texas - Norm Duke, Clermont, Florida, has been chosen as the April 2014 Bowler Of the Month by the International Bowling Media Association.  Duke had a solid month on the PBA50 Tour, posting a win at the PBA50 United Healthcare Sun Bowl in the Villages, presented by Radical, and a runner-up finish in the season-opening event, the PBA50 Pasco County Open.  In his win, Duke defeated three fellow PBA Hall of Famers. He ousted Parker Bohn III in the quarterfinal, 255-238. Next was Pete Weber on the losing side of a 279-215 semifinal match, and then defeated Tom Baker, 256-228, for the title. The previous week saw Duke climb all the way to the championship match before falling to another PBA Hall of Famer, Amleto Monacelli, 259 -190.  In a quest for three straight title match appearances, Duke bowled his way into the Round of 16 in the PBA50 Miller High Life Classic, presented by Columbia 300, before falling to Gary Morgan in the best-of-five match, 3-2.   

Others receiving votes this month were Parker Bohn III, winner of the PBA50 Miller High Life Classic, presented by Columbia 300; Amleto Monacelli, winner of the PBA50 Pasco County Open; and Diana Zavjalova, women's division winner and  Francois Lavoie, men's division winners at the 2014 Xbowling Intercollegiate Singles Championships.


ARLINGTON,Texas – Thomas Larsen, Denmark, has been chosen as the March 2014 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the International Bowling Media Association.  Larsen defeated Dom Barrett, England, 208-205, to win the World Bowling Tour 11th Kuwait International Open. This marks Larsen's second WBT/PBA title.  The stepladder finals began with Stuart Williams, England, defeating two of the PBA's biggest stars. Sean Rash, Montgomery, Illinois, was the first to be dispatched, 256-200. Reigning PBA Player of the Year, Jason Belmonte, Australia, fell in the quarterfinal, 178-148. Barrett then downed Williams in the semifinal, 243-202, setting up the final match.  Tournament rules stated the top-seeded Larsen had to be defeated twice for Barrett claim the title. The Danish bowler qualified fifth, averaging over 235, then dropped to 11th in match play before rebounding to the top seed in the stepladder finals.  Larsen won his first WBT/PBA title, the WBT 1st Abu Dhabi Open in December 2013. His other top finishes were in the 2012 PBA World Series of Bowling, a 16th place finish in the Bowlers Journal PBA Scorpion Championship and a 24th place finish in the PBA World Championship.

Others obtaining votes this month were Marshall Kent, winner,WBT/EBT 11th Brunswick Euro Challenge; Shannon O'Keefe, winner, women's stepladder final, 11th Kuwait International Open; Mai Ginge Jensen and Pasi Uotila, winners of women's and men's divisions of the 7th European Bowling Tour Masters.


ARLINGTON,Texas - Jason Belmonte, Orange, New South Wales, Australia, has been unanimously chosen as the February 2014 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the International Bowling Media Association.  Belmonte defeated E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Indiana, 221-177, for the USBC Masters title, for his ninth career and third major PBA title. He is only the third bowler to repeat as Masters champion; the first almost nearly a half-century.  After leading qualifying, the Australian two-hander narrowly escaped the Contenders Bracket in the double-elimination match play, qualifying fifth for the five-man stepladder television finals. Starting from the number five position, he defeated Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, New York, 227-214, then Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Michigan, 202-173. In the closest match of the day, Belmonte defeated Michael Haugen, Jr., Phoenix, in the semifinal, 235-234, setting up the championship match against Tackett.  Belmonte joins USBC Hall of Famers Dick Hoover and Billy Welu as the only back-to-back winners of the USBC Masters. Hoover won in 1956 and 1957, Welu in 1964 and1965.

Others obtaining votes this month were Chris Barnes, winner ofthe H.H. Emir Cup; E. J. Tackett, runner up in the USBC Masters; and Kamilla Kjeldsen, winner of the European Bowling Tour 8th International Wroclaw Open.       


 ARLINGTON,Texas - Jason Belmonte, Orange, New South Wales, Australia, has been chosen as the January 2014 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the International Bowling Media Association.  Belmonte defeated Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 219-218 in the championship match, to win the PBA Barbasol Tournament of Champions for his eighth career and second major PBA title. The television stepladder finals started with Dan MacLelland, Saginaw, Michigan,defeating defending champion Pete Weber, St. Ann, Missouri, 259-211. Malott ousted MacLelland in the semifinal 243-199. The Texan then defeated Dom Barrett, Colchester, England, in the quarterfinal, 205-202, to set up the title match with the top-seeded Belmonte.  The two-handed Australian star began the week being named as 2012-13 PBA Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year. He becomes one of a handful of bowlers to hold two major crowns at the same time. Belmonte won the USBC Masters in February 2013.  Belmonte continues a winning streak of the IBMA Kegel Bowler of the Month honor by capturing the monthly award in each of the last four years. Previous wins in the streak have been November and December 2011, October 2012, and February 2013. 

Others obtaining votes this month were Mika Koivuniemi, winner of the World Bowling Tour/European Bowling Tour 44th Brunswick Ballmaster Open; Brittni Hamilton and Chris Barnes, the women's and men's winners of the 2014 Team USA Trials.

Past Winners


August - Osku Palermaa

July - Shannon Pluhowsky

June - Walter Ray Williams, Jr

May - Bill O'Neill

April - Norm Duke

March - Thomas Larsen

February - Jason Belmonte

January - Jason Belmonte


December - Dom Barrett

November - Dom Barrett

October - Mika Koivuniemi

September - Diana Zavjalova

August - Kerry Painter

July - Liz Johnson

June - Pete Weber

May - Lennie Boresch, Jr

April - Walter Ray Williams, Jr

March - Pete Weber

February - Jason Belmonte

January - Tommy Jones


December - Mika Koivuniemi

November - Parker Bohn  III

October - Jason Belmonte 

September - Marshall Kent

August - Greg Young

July - Marshall Kent

June - Kelly Kulick

May - 
John Petraglia

 - Sean Rash

March - Osku Palermaa

- Pete Weber

January -
 Mike Fagan


December - Jason Belmonte

November - 
Jason Belmonte

October - 
Liz Johnson

September - 
Shannon Pluhowsky

August - Dale Traber

July - 
Wendy Macpherson

June - 
Leanne Hulsenberg

- Bill O'Neill

April - Dick Allen

March - 
Jason Couch

February -
 Norm Duke

January - 
Mika Koivuniemi


December - Stuart Williams

November - 
Wendy Macpherson

October - Bill O'Neill

September - Liz Johnson

August - 
Bill O'Neill

July - Marshall Kent

June - 
Mark Williams

May - 
Kelly Kulick

April - 
Kelly Kulick

March - 
Brian Kretzer

February - 
Bill O'Neill

January - 
Kelly Kulick


December - Tom Smallwood

November - 
Pete Weber

October - (None Chosen)

September - Bill O'Neill

August - Tammy Boomershine

July - Stefanie Nation

June - Wayne Webb

May - Joe Ciccone

April - Mike Scroggins

March - Chris Barnes

February - John Nolen

January - Patrick Allen



December - Parker Bohn III

November - Michelle Feldman

October - Norm Duke

September - Josie Earnest

August - Kim Terrell

July - Nick Morgan

June - Wayne Webb

May - Lynda Barnes

April - Lynda Barnes

March - Norm Duke

February - Norm Duke

January - Michael Haugen, Jr



December - Parker Bohn III

November - Walter Ray Williams, Jr

October - Liz Johnson/Sean Rash

September - Mika Koivuniemi

August - Tom Baker

July - Tom Baker

June - Rick Minier

May - Kelly Kulick

April - Tommy Jones

March - Pete Weber

February - Mike Mineman

January - Jason Couch



December - Norm Duke

November - Tony Reyes

October - Doug Kent

September - Walter Ray Williams, Jr

August - Jimmy Young

July - Tom Baker

June - Kelly Kulick

May - Tom Baker

April - Chris Barnes

March - Walter Ray Williams, Jr

February - Tommy Jones

January - Ritchie Allen



December - Pete Weber 

November - Mike Scroggins

October - Tommy Jones

September - Tommy Jones

August - Liz Johnson

July - Stefanie Nation

June - Vince Mazzanti, Jr

May - Tom Baker

April - Patrick Allen

March - Tommy Jones

February - Chris Barnes

January - Patrick Allen




December - Brian Voss

November - Jason Hurd

October - Danny Wiseman

September - Tommy Jones

August - Shirley Levens

July - Rick Benard

June - Mike Edwards

May - David Ozio

April - (None Chosen)

March - Tom Baker

February - Pete Weber

January - Walter Ray Williams, Jr