Jakob Butturff Continues to Shine; Canadian Players Impact 2018 PBA Regional Awards
by Bill Vint | Friday, February 01, 8:19 AM
CHICAGO - Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., continued to be the player to beat in the PBA Northwest Region, winning another title and finishing second in his other three Northwest Region tournaments to retain his Player of the Year title in 2018. But across the PBA’s seven regions, players with Canadian roots made a major impact in 2018, claiming three regional Player of the Year honors and a Rookie of the Year award.
While the 24-year-old Butturff only bowled in four PBA Northwest tournaments in 2018, he also won PBA Regional titles in the Central, Midwest and West Regions while running his career titles total to 19 by the end of the year.
Butturff’s accomplishments in 2018 were among the highlights of the PBA Regional Award winners, announced today by Director of the PBA Regional and PBA50 Tours John Weber, recognizing Players of the Year, Rookies of the Year, PBA50 Players of the Year and Pat Patterson Award winners, for contributions to the regional program, in each of its seven domestic regions.
Award winners were selected by the PBA’s regional managers: Russ Mills, East Region; Sam Zurich, South Region; Bobby Jakel, Central Region; recently-retired Rich Weber, Midwest Region; Pete McCordic, Southwest Region, and Gary Mage, West and Northwest Regions.
Here’s a summary of the 2018 PBA Regional Award winners:
EAST – At left (2012 file photo), Darren Andretta of Wantagh, N.Y., bowled in six events, winning two titles and finishing second in a third to earn Player of the Year. Rookie of the Year is Todd Sigeti of Lititz, Pa., after a seven-for-seven record as a casher and a 13th place best finish. Rick Graham of Lancaster, Pa., won Senior Player of the Year after recording six top-five finishes in eight tries, including one title. Steve Pavlinko Sr. of Sewell, N.J., was recipient of the East Region’s Pat Patterson Award.
SOUTH – At left, PBA Tour veteran Dick Allen of Lexington, S.C., won PBA South Region Player of the Year honors for the first time since the 2004-05 season, making match play in nine of 12 events, winning three titles and added three other top-five finishes. Former Teen Masters champion and two-time Junior Team USA member Mike Coffey of Melbourne, Fla., won Rookie of the Year honors after winning one title and recording two other top-five finishes in his first five tournaments. Veteran Stoney Baker of Canton, Ga., with three titles and six total top-five finishes in PBA50 events, was a dual honoree – winning Senior Player of the Year honors plus the South Region’s Pat Patterson Award.
CENTRAL – At left, Ontario native Graham Fach, the first Canadian to win a PBA Tour title (2016 PBA Players Championship), repeated as the Central Region Player of the Year after finishing in the top five in six of 13 tournaments, including winning one title. Kyle Cook of Centerville, Ohio, captured Rookie of the Year honors after posting three top-five finishes including his first title. Harry Sullins of Chesterfield Twp., Mich., ended Brian Kretzer’s two-year hold on Senior Player of the Year, claiming that honor for the third time himself after winning a pair of titles and finishing in the top five on two other occasions. Bill Wammes of Bowling Green, Ohio, won the region’s Pat Patterson Award.
MIDWEST – At left, PBA Tour player AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill., retained the PBA Midwest Region Player of the Year award after a first-, second- and third-place season. Chicago’s Dakota Vostry won Rookie of the Year honors, cashing in six of 11 events with a season-best fifth-place finish. Jeff Johnson of Freeport, Ill., won Senior Player of the Year honors after posting four top-five finishes, including one title, in eight events. Kevin Kullman of Lockport, Ill., repeated as the Midwest’s Pat Patterson Award recipient.
SOUTHWEST – Two of the PBA’s Tour Canadian stars, Francois Lavoie (at left) and Mitch Hupé, won the Southwest Region’s top honors. Lavoie repeated as Player of the Year after winning a pair of titles and posting two additional top-five finishes. Hupé, a Wichita State University alum like Lavoie, earned Rookie of the Year cashed in four of five events with a fifth-place finish. Beaumont, Texas proprietor and PBA Hall of Famer Mark Williams won the region’s Senior Player of the Year honors along with the Southwest Pat Patterson Award.
WEST – The fourth native Canadian to impact the PBA Regional program was Quebec’s Ray Lussier (at left), now living in San Jose, Calif., who won both Player and Rookie of the Year honors after winning his first PBA Regional title and posting two second-place finishes. Ron Mohr of Las Vegas won West Region Senior Player of the Year honors for the fourth time after second- and third-place finishes in a limited schedule of five events. Joe Goldstein Jr. of San Bruno, Calif., was awarded the Pat Patterson Award.
NORTHWEST – At left, in addition to Jakob Butturff’s third straight Northwest Player of the Year award, Tanner Spacey of Burian, Wash., recorded second- and five-place finishes in the four tournaments he entered to earn Rookie of the Year honors. PBA Tour and PBA50 Tour veteran Hugh Miller of Mercer Island, Wash., repeated as PBA50 Player of the Year after one win and two other top-five finishes in three events. Darron Stanley of Vancouver, Wash., was selected as the Pat Patterson Award recipient.
The PBA’s regional program, founded in 1970, provides bowlers with a proving ground to develop their skills in high-level competition against some of the sport’s established stars. The PBA Regional program annually conducts roughly 150 events across the nation and in its Japan Region.