2011 IBMA/BWAA Bowlers of the Month
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BELMONTE GOES BACK-TO-BACK AS BWAA BOWLER OF THE MONTH

ARLINGTON, Texas - Jason Belmonte of Orange, New South Wales, Australia, has been named the December 2011 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the Bowling Writers Association of America.

Belmonte captured the men’s 47th QubicaAMF World Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa, defeating top-seeded Tommy Jones, United States, in the best-of-three final, 2-1 (259-279, 247-216, 259-236). The number 2 seed Australian upended third-seed Mykhaylo Kalika, Ukraine, 2-1 (237-203, 248-266, 266-185) to reach the championship match.   

Perhaps the most well-known of the two-handed bowlers in the world, his lengthy list of worldwide tournament wins did not include the QubicaAMF World Cup. Belmonte led most of qualifying at the 2004 event in Singapore and lost in the 2007 finals in St. Petersburg, Russia, to American Bill Hoffman.  Belmonte also set a new three-game series mark in the championship round with 765. The prior mark was a 764 series rolled by Petter Hansen, Norway in 2004.

In very close voting this month, also capturing votes were Aumi Guerra, Dominican Republic, winner of the women’s 47th QubicaAMF World Cup; Osku Palermaa, Finland, winner of Swedish Super Six Tour Malmo tournament; and Jazreel Tan, Wichita State University, women's third place, Glenn Carlson Las Vegas Invitational, winner, women's individual, Collegiate Shoot-Out.    

 

BELMONTE REIGNS AS BWAA BOWLER OF THE MONTH

 ARLINGTON, Texas - Jason Belmonte of New South Wales, Australia, has been named the November 2011 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the Bowling Writers Association of America.

Belmonte won a record three titles in the Professional Bowlers Association’s World Series of Bowling (WSOB) in Las Vegas. The first crown for Belmonte came in the WSOB Chameleon Open, defeating Sean Rash, Montgomery, Illinois, 268-191. Next was the GEICO Shark Open when he downed Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 243-213. The third win was the Pepsi PBA Elite Players Championship, with Belmo outlasting Mike DeVaney, San Diego, California, 255-238.

A third place finish in the Carmen Salvino Classic and a fourth place standing in the PBA World Championship rounded out the best performance by any bowler in the three-year history of the WSOB. In the span of 16 days, the 2011 Bowling ESPY award winner captured his second, third, and fourth PBA titles.

Also capturing votes in balloting this month were Osku Palermaa, Finland, winner of the PBA World Championship, Dominic Barrett, England, winner of the European Bowling Tour’s (EBT) Qatar Bowling Open and the PBA WSOB Scorpion Open, and Sean Rash, with runner-up finishes in the PBA WSOB Chameleon and Scorpion Opens, and third place finished in the PBA World Championship, WSOB Bayer Viper Open, GEICO Shark Open and the EBT Qatar Bowling Open.    

 

JOHNSON TWICE GOLDEN AS BWAA BOWLER OF THE MONTH

 

ARLINGTON, Texas - Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, New York, has been named the October 2011 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the Bowling Writers Association of America.

Johnson captured the women’s singles and women’s doubles gold medals in the 16th Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.  Team USA teammate Kelly Kulick and Johnson averaged just over 219 in a 328-pin victory over silver medalists Sandra Gongora and Miriam Zetter of Team Mexico. Johnson then grabbed her second gold medal of the games by downing silver medalist Jennifer Park, Team Canada, 2-0 (232-186, 235-190) in a best-of-three final match.   The Pan American Games are the second-largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games, which are also held every four years. Nearly 6,000 athletes in 36 different sports competed in the American Zone.

Others capturing votes in a very close vote this month were Jason Belmonte, Australia, winner of the PTT Thailand Tournament, Osku Palermaa, Finland, winner of the Columbia 300 Vienna Open, and Wu Siu Hong, men’s division winner, AMF Australian Masters.

PLUHOWSKY PULLS IN BWAA SEPTEMBER BOWLER OF THE MONTH

 ARLINGTON, Texas - Shannon Pluhowsky, of Kettering, Ohio, has been named the September 2011 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the Bowling Writers Association of America.

Pluhowsky became the first bowler in the World Tenpin Bowling Association (WTBA) Women’s World Championships to win four gold medals in the same tournament.

At this year’s event in Hong Kong, the first gold medal was in the doubles division with fellow Team USA member Liz Johnson, as they downed New Hui Fen and Jazreel Tan, Team Singapore, 453-392 in the one-game final. Teaming up with Stefanie Nation and Shannon O’Keefe in the trios division, they defeated Natsuki Sasaki, Haruka Matsuda, and Kanako Ishimine, Team Japan, 631-605.The 11-year Team USA member, along with Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Shannon O’Keefe, Kelly Kulick, and Liz Johnson, secured the gold in a high scoring 1240-1140 win over Team Singapore. The victory ended a 24-year long drought between team gold medals for Team USA.  The fourth gold medal was perhaps the most dramatic. In the best-of-five Masters division final, Pluhowsky defeated Daphne Tan, Team Singapore, 3-1, with games of 300-226, 219-238, 299-234, and 223-191. A 10-pin denied her an unprecedented second perfect game of the match.

Others receiving votes were Tommy Jones, winner of the 13th DSD Samho Korea Cup International Open, Liz Johnson, two-time gold medalist at the WTBA Women’s World Championships, and Mai Ginge Jensen, Denmark, winner of three bronze medals and all-events leader at the WTBA Women’s World Championships.

TRABER MASTERS BWAA AUGUST BOWLER OF THE MONTH

ARLINGTON, Texas - Dale Traber of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, has been named the August 2011 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the Bowling Writers Association of America.

Traber won the USBC Senior Masters defeating Walter Ray Williams, Jr., Ocala, Florida,   707-695 in the three-game total pins championship match, earning the $14,000 first place prize. Traber was undefeated in the winners bracket of double-elimination match play.

The win marks Traber’s sixth USBC crown. Besides USBC Senior Masters wins in 2009 and 2011, his USBC Open Championship wins came in the 1999 Doubles, 2000 Team All-Events, and 2009 Team and Team All-Events divisions.
In a very close vote, Traber edged out Zach Hattori, Las Vegas, Nevada, winner of the 14th Annual Teen Masters youth tournament, earning a $64,000 college scholarship

Others receiving votes were Harry Sullins, winner of the PBA Senior Lake County Open, Ron Mohr, winner of the PBA Senior Jackson Open, and Brenda Padilla, winner of five gold medals at the 49th Annual Lee Evans Tournament of the Americas.

                               

MACPHERSON NAMED BWAA JULY BOWLER OF THE MONTH

ARLINGTON, Texas - Wendy Macpherson of Henderson, Nevada, has been named the July 2011 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the Bowling Writers Association of America.

Macpherson continued her success on the Japan Professional Bowlers Association (JPBA) Tour with back-to-back wins in July, her ninth and tenth JPBA titles. This pair of victories gives her 30 professional titles overall, in addition to her 20 PWBA titles won through 2003.

The 2009 USBC Hall of Famer's first win of July was a successful defense of the JFE Cup Women's Chiba Open, defeating Hiromi Matsuwaga, 217-199. The following week, she downed top seeded Yuko Nakatani, 203-191, for the Bigbox Higashi-Yamato Cup.

Others receiving votes were Dick Allen, winner of a pair of PBA Regional tournaments, Melanie Hannon, Girls Division winner of the North Pointe Insurance High School Singles Championships, and Gary Faulkner, winner of the USBC Boys Junior Gold Championships



HULSENBERG HAULS IN BWAA JUNE BOWLER OF THE MONTH

 Leanne Hulsenberg, Roseville, California, has been named the June 2011 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the Bowling Writers Association of America. Hulsenberg defeated top-seeded Kelly Kulick, Union, New Jersey, 218-183, for Bowling‘s U.S. Women‘s Open, the only women’s major title she had not yet claimed. 

The 2008 USBC Hall of Famer began the TV finals as the number two seed, defeating Lynda Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 247-246. Barnes easily won the first two matches, 268-166 over Shannon O’Keefe, Arlington, Texas, and over Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, New York, 259-225.

The ESPN2 televised finals inside Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas was the second- most attended in U.S. bowling history with over 6,000 fans. The 1995 Men’s U.S. Open at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit is at the top of the list with 7,212 fans. This year’s Bowling’s Women’s U.S. Open now moves ahead of the 2004 USBC Masters finals at Milwaukee’s Miller Park with 4,300 in attendance.

Finishing a close second in this month’s voting is Ron Mohr, winner of the PBA Senior U.S. Open and PBA Senior Northern California Classic. The two June wins are his second and third on the 2011 PBA Senior Tour. Also receiving votes were Kelly Kulick, winner of the 44th Singapore International Open, Women’s Open Masters Division, and Ronnie Russell, winner of the Brunswick Italia Challenge.

For additional information, contact Ron DeRoxtra, bwaa@bowlingwriters.com., Bowling Writers Association of America, 621 Six Flags Dr., Arlington, TX 76011  Telephone: 1-800-343-1329.

                             

 O'NEILL SELECTED MAY BOWLER OF THE MONTH

 Bill O’Neill of Southampton, Pennsylvania has been named the May 2011 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the Bowling Writers Association of America.

In the 2011 Pan American Bowling Confederation (PABCON) Men‘s Championships, O’Neill successfully defended his individual gold medals in the trios and all events categories while helping Team USA defend its gold medal from the 2009 PABCON tournament.  O’Neill teamed with Michael Fagan and Chris Barnes for the trios gold medal over fellow Team USA members Patrick Allen, Walter Ray Williams, Jr., and Wes Malott. O’Neill averaged over 233 in 24 games for the all-events gold medal.

This marks the fifth time in the last two years the three-time BWAA Collegiate Bowler of the Year with Saginaw Valley State University has been named Kegel BWAA Bowler of the Month.  Finishing a very close second in the voting was Ron Mohr. He won the PBA Senior Miller High Life Classic and finished second to Walter Ray Williams, Jr. in the PBA Senior Mark Roth Allentown Open. 

Others receiving votes were fellow Team USA member Walter Ray Williams, Jr., PABCON Masters winner Dan McClelland, Brittni Hamilton, Vanderbilt University, winner of the Women’s USBC Collegiate Singles, and Kyle Barnes, Middle Tennessee State University, winner of the Men’s USBC Collegiate Singles.

For additional information, contact Ron DeRoxtra, bwaa@bowlingwriters.com., Bowling Writers Association of America, 621 Six Flags Dr., Arlington, TX 76011  Telephone: 1-800-343-1329.

 

ALLEN ASCENDS AS APRIL BOWLER OF THE MONTH

Dick Allen of Columbia, South Carolina, has been named the April 2011 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the Bowling Writers Association of America.

Allen won the inaugural PBA Dick Weber Playoffs, defeating Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, in a two-game match for the title, 237-218 and 220-194. Allen and Barnes advanced after defeating fellow Columbia, South Carolinian Randy Weiss, 245-209-200 with the low score eliminated. This is Allen’s third PBA title following victories in 2006 and 2002.

The PBA Dick Weber Playoffs featured a unique format combining 72 tour players off the 2010-2011 season point list and 108 PBA Regional players, based off each region’s point list from October 2009 to November 2010.  Allen lead qualifying as well as three of five Elimination Rounds in the Central Region group. His 289 game won the Central Region final, ending Walter Ray Williams, Jr’s. 17-year streak of winning at least one PBA title.  Reflecting his recent fatherhood, he changed his first name from Ritchie to Dick. He and wife Sarah became the proud parents of daughter Piper.

Finishing a close second in the voting was the 2011 USBC Queens Champion Missy Parkin.  Others receiving votes were Osku Palermaa, winner of the 2nd Track European Bowling Tour Dream-Bowl Palace Open in Munich, Germany and Mika Koivuniemi, winner of the 4th EBT Masters and 5th EBT QubicaAMF Open, both held in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

For additional information, contact Ron DeRoxtra, bwaa@bowlingwriters.com., Bowling Writers Association of America, 621 Six Flags Dr., Arlington, TX 76011   Telephone: 1-800-343-1329.

 
COUCH CLAIMS MARCH BOWLER OF THE MONTH

 ARLINGTON, Texas - Jason Couch, Clermont, Florida, has been named the March 2011 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the Bowling Writers Association of America.

Couch captured the PBA Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship, defeating Parker Bohn III, Jackson, New Jersey, in the title match 219-175.  The win is his 16th career PBA title and first since January 2007. After the 2006-07 season, the three-time Tournament of Champions winner faced knee surgery knocking him out of the 2007-08 season. “It's a big monkey off my back to win. I'm very happy to see that my hard work has paid off and that my body is keeping up with me,” Couch said after clutching the trophy.
The 1992 PBA Rookie of the Year took the lead after the 14-game qualifying round and stayed in the top 4 through the remainder of the tournament. He qualified as the top seed in the four-man stepladder TV finals.

Others receiving votes were Chris Loschetter, winner of the 8th Kuwait International Open, Randy Weiss, top 3 finalist in the PBA Dick Weber playoffs, Dick Allen, also a top 3 finalist in the PBA Dick Weber Playoffs and Clara Guerrero, winner of the European Bowling Tour’s Brunswick Euro Challenge.

DUKE NAMED BWAA FEBRUARY BOWLER OF THE MONTH

 Norm Duke, Clermont, Florida, has been chosen as the February 2011 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the Bowling Writers Association of America.  Duke won the 68th PBA Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open in a heart-stopping finish over Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Michigan, 225-216. Needing 18 pins to fill the tenth frame, Koivuniemi missed a single 10-pin on the spare attempt, handing the victory to the top-seeded Duke. His seventh major title also gives him 34 titles, tying him with Mark Roth for fourth on the all-time PBA win list. Duke now trails only Pete Weber, Earl Anthony, and Walter Ray Williams, Jr.

Two weeks earlier, the PBA and USBC Hall of Famer qualified for the match play portion of the Bayer USBC Masters before bowing out after a second loss in the double-elimination round.  This marks Duke’s first Kegel BWAA Bowler of the Month award since claiming February, March, and October honors in 2008.

Others receiving votes were Tom Hess, winner of the Bayer USBC Masters, Mika Koivuniemi with his Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open runner up finish and third place USBC Masters finish, and Robert Smith, winner of the 8th Euro-Med Storm International Masters Challenge. For additional information, contact Ron DeRoxtra, bwaa@bowlingwriters.com., Bowling Writers Association of America, 621 Six Flags Dr., Arlington, TX 76011   Telephone: 1-800-343-1329.

                               

MAJOR MIKA COMMANDS BWAA JANUARY BOWLER OF THE MONTH

 Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Michigan has been named the January 2011 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the Bowling Writers Association of America.  Koivuniemi captured two major events in two continents in the month. The first was the 41st  European Bowling Tour’s Brunswick Ballmaster Open in his native Finland, defeating top seed Sean Rash, Montgomery, Illinois, 236-191, earning him 12.000 Euro (approx US$16,320). Koivuniemi became only the fourth bowler to win three Ballmasters Open titles, considered by many as Europe’s most prestigious tournament.  Two weeks later, he became the first international player to win the PBA Tournament of Champions, defeating Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Michigan, 269-217, for a record $250,000 first place prize. The 299-100 semifinal win over Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Florida featured not only the highest win margin in PBA television history, but was only the second 299 game in a Tournament of Champions television round match. The historic Don Johnson 299-268 win over Dick Ritger in the 1970 Tournament of Champions final was the other.

His ‘Major Mika,’ nickname began after his first two PBA wins were majors, the 2000 USBC Masters and the 2001 U.S. Open. Koivuniemi now owns nine PBA titles.

Others receiving votes were Chris Barnes, winner of the PBA World Championship, Ryan Ciminelli, winner of the PBA Earl Anthony One A Day Classic, and Shannon Pluhowsky, women’s winner of the 2011 Team USA Trials.  For additional information, contact Ron DeRoxtra, bwaa@bowlingwriters.com.,   Bowling Writers Association of America, 621 Six Flags Dr., Arlington, TX 76011   Telephone: 1-800-343-1329.

 

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