Bowlers Journal International magazine has selected Australia’s Jason Belmonte as its Male Bowler of the Decade for the 2010s and new PBA CEO Colie Edison as its 2019 Person of the Year.
In what was arguably the most dominant decade by a bowler in PBA history, Belmonte set a number of records, including winning 11 major championships including four USBC Masters titles (three of those in a row). He won 21 of his 22 career titles in the 2010s, earned PBA Player of the Year honors five times and joined the PBA “Millionaire’s Club” in a record-shattering 131 tournaments.
But maybe Belmonte’s most impressive feat was establishing the two-handed delivery as a dominant technique that has been mimicked by thousands of young bowlers in the wake of his success.
Edison rose to prominence in the bowling world when Bowlero Corp purchased the PBA in September, and the Bowlero Chief Customer Officer was named PBA CEO. Within two months of becoming the first woman to hold the PBA’s top executive position, Edison won the favor of PBA players and fans by announcing the 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour would receive a nearly $500,000 boost in prize money, including $100,000 first prize checks for winners of the 2020 PBA Tournament of Champions, PBA World Championship and PBA Playoffs.
TOMMY JONES WINS BOWLERO ELITE SERIES FOR $100,000 PAYDAY
Nineteen-time PBA Tour champion Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., who will be inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in Arlington, Texas, on Jan. 18, defeated Bowlero league bowler Garrett Shovan of Denver, Colo., 266-200, to win the $100,000 first prize in the final Bowlero Elite Series tournament of 2019 at Bowlero Jupiter in Florida to conclude the season.
Jones, 41, defeated 2019 PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte, 279-216, to win the professional side of the pro-am bracket and advance to the championship match where he equaled the largest payday of his career, matching the $100,000 he collected for winning the 2006 U.S. Open.
Shovan, a pro shop operator and former Saginaw Valley State collegiate bowler, won the right to bowl against Jones by winning the league bowler side of the 16-player invitational field. He defeated Chicago’s Luis Gonzalez, 236-202, in the amateur bracket final match. Shovan won $25,000 as runner-up.
The third event in the Bowlero Elite Series aired Sunday on NBC. Other PBA stars who were invited to participate in the special event were Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash.; Anthony Simonsen of Little Elm, Texas; Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C.; and Kyle Sherman of O’Fallon, Mo. You can watch the competition on PBA’s YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/1OV3B0-nij0.
PBA PLAYER’S PERSPECTIVE RETURNS WITH KRIS PRATHER INTERVIEW ON JAN. 7
The PBA Player’s Perspective interview series, featuring PBA title winners reflecting on their victories, will return to YouTube when Kris Prather discusses winning his first PBA Tour title in the 2019 PBA Scorpion Championship during World Series of Bowling X. The Prather perspective will debut on Tuesday, Jan. 7.
To view all of the PBA Player’s Perspective episodes, visit the PBA’s YouTube channel and click on the PBA Player’s Perspective play list. The weekly series includes a new perspective released every Tuesday on the PBA’s YouTube channel. The following players will provide personal play-by-play reflections in the weeks ahead:
• Jan. 14 – Bill O’Neill talks about his victory in the 2019 PBA Hall of Fame Classic, a win that made him title-eligible for PBA Hall of Fame consideration in the future.
• Jan. 21 – Jakob Butturff made the PBA Oklahoma Open a part of his “career year.” He’ll share insights about his 2019 win in Shawnee, Okla.
• Jan. 28 – Sean Rash will take a look into his past, revealing what he experienced in winning the 2012 PBA Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas.
Player’s Perspectives currently in the archives on YouTube include:
• Norm Duke’s stunning 2011 U.S. Open win (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQ0cGzRfnBk).
• Kris Prather’s historic PBA Playoffs victory (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hISjw3KmGCk).
• Anthony Simonsen’s win in the 2019 Bear Open (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt2k25WKNzQ).
• Sean Rash’s 2019 Wolf Open title (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GNxO2WdaZo).
• EJ Tackett’s Barbasol PBA Tour Finals victory (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVuLOuU8btQ).
• Bill O’Neill’s 2019 Harry O’Neale Chesapeake Open win (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSwE3YYFjso).
• Jason Belmonte’s historic 11th major title victory in the 2019 PBA World Championship (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4QqbkRPirM).
• Jakob Butturff’s 2019 USBC Masters win (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cuYcXxfXXs).
• EJ Tackett’s 2017 DHC PBA Japan Invitational victory (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91yoFd7nd8g).
Fans can follow all of the latest video clips and more by enrolling as a subscriber to PBA’s YouTube channel. It’s easy and it’s free. Visit YouTube.com/PBABowling and click on the “subscribe” button.
PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: 2020 SEASON BEGINS WITH TWO EVENTS JAN. 17-19
The 2020 PBA Regional season gets underway over the Jan. 17-19 weekend with tournaments in North Carolina and California for PBA50 competitors. Westview Lanes in Wilson, N.C., will host the PBA50 Richie’s Automotive South Open and Tracy Bowl in Tracy, Calif., will host the PBA50 Patton Amusement West Regional.
• Scheduled for Jan. 29-30 .is the PBA Japan Region’s Ikyo Cup Wolf Open at Ikyo Bowl Inzai in Inzai, Japan.
• The PBA Central Region kicks off its 2020 schedule over the Jan. 31-Feb. 2 weekend with the PBA/PBA50 Don Vay Memorial Doubles Classic at Legend Lanes in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
• For complete PBA Regional schedules including rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area. Whether you are a competitor or a fan, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple and Android device users using the PBA app).
• The PBA has learned of the unexpected death Sunday of Jim Welch, Bowlero Corp Director of Competitive Bowling and tournament director of the PBA-PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles tournament since 2003. Welch also served as tournament manager for Chicago’s famous Petersen Classic under Bowlero’s ownership. A celebration of life will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 11 a.m. at Interfaith Peace Chapel at the Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road, in Dallas, Texas.
• Jason Belmonte has announced he will donate $50 for every strike he throws on television in 2019 – $100 for strikes in championship matches – to Red Cross in Australia in the wake of the catastrophic wildfires affecting his home country. “I intend to strike a lot,” Belmonte noted.