PBA Spare Shots: Brad Miller Wins PBA World Series “Don Carano Award” as Most Improved Player
by Bill Vint | Friday, March 29, 8:59 AM
Miller, a 29-year-old seven-year PBA member, finished 41st in the 135-player field at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich., moving up 99 places compared to 2017. He won the honor by a single place in the standings over Brian Robinson of Morgantown, W.Va., who finished 43rd on the overall standings after the Cheetah, Chameleon and Scorpion Championship qualifying rounds, 98 places better than his 141st place in 2017. Coincidentally, Miller and Robinson were the only two players in the 2019 field who posted higher averages than they did in the 2017 qualifying rounds. Miller averaged 209.63 for his three animal pattern events in 2019 – up 1.36 pins over 2017 – while Robinson averaged 209.33 this year compared to 208.25 – a 1.08-pin improvement over 2017.
"A lot of great things are happening this year and this just solidifies it,” Miller said, referring in part to his second-place finish in the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship earlier in the season with partner Kyle Sherman. “From year to year I worked on my balance. Before, I didn't have a lot of leverage, so I got lower to ground and got my hand under the ball, and it's changed everything."
(As a side note, Miller and Sherman have created a popular YouTube channel they are using to chronicle their PBA Tour life this year. It already has nearly 25,000 subscribers. To check it out their inside look at life on the PBA Tour, click here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=brad+and+kyle.)
As the winner of the second Carano award, Miller will receive a premium bottle of Ferrari Carano wine from the Carano family winery, dinner for two at Carano’s La Strada Ristorante and complimentary luxury accommodations at Eldorado or Silver Legacy Resort Casino.
Germany’s Tobias Börding won the inaugural PBA Don Carano Award in 2017, honoring the patriarch of the Carano family that was integral in the building of the National Bowling Stadium and the development of Reno’s Tri-Properties. Carano died on Oct. 3, 2017, at age 85.
TROUP, RASH, BARNES RECEIVE DHC PBA JAPAN INVITATIONS
The PBA field for the 2019 DHC PBA Japan Invitational is set with the additions of Kyle Troup, Sean Rash and Chris Barnes as team captain as invitees by the tournament sponsor. Also joining the international field of 16 will be PBA Japan Region champion Yuka Tsuchiya and a Korea PBA player to be named later.
PBA members who had previously qualified for invitations based on competition points are 2018 PBA Player of the Year Andrew Anderson, Anthony Simonsen, EJ Tackett, Kris Prather, Stuart Williams, Jason Belmonte, Marshall Kent, Bill O’Neill and Jakob Butturff. Defending DHC Japan champion Dom Barrett also will return when the 2019 event is held April 27-29 at Tokyo Port Bowl.
The international players will be joined by 16 Japanese bowlers who will qualify during a pre-tournament qualifier a week ahead of the main event. The tournament offers an estimated $35,000 first prize plus a PBA Tour title. PBA’s official live streaming partner, FloBowling, will cover the event in its entirety.
Matt O’Grady of Rahway, N.J. defeated Patrick Dombrowski of Parma, Ohio, 215-209, to win the PBA Hubbard Central Open presented by Brunswick at Bell-Wick Bowl in Hubbard, Ohio, on Sunday for the fourth consecutive year.
O’ Grady, who won his first and only PBA Tour title in the 2018 PBA Tournament of Champions, earned his sixth career PBA Regional title and the $2,500 first prize.
Dombrowski defeated Chris Via of Springfield, Ohio, 202-187, to advance to the championship match after downing Graham Fach of Urbana, Ohio, 235-222, in the first stepladder match.
• Ray Edwards of Middle Island, N.Y., defeated Mike Hastings of Millsboro, Del., 237-216, to win $3,200 and his 22nd overall PBA Regional title in the PBA50 Rossi Lanes Eastern Open at Rossi Lanes in Elmira, N.Y., Sunday.
Edwards, a three-time East Region Player of the Year and a two-time East Region Senior Player of the Year, qualified fifth, earning a bye for the first round of Sunday’s finals. He defeated 2013 champion John Conroy of Mahopac, N.Y., 2-0, in the best-of-three-game Round of 12 and Don Herrington of Ballston Lake, N.Y. 2-0 before eliminating 2016 winner Brian Boghosian of Springfield, Mass., 225-212, in the semifinal round.
Hastings, who also had a one round bye, defeated Larry Woomer of State College, Pa., 2-0 in the Round of 12; Sammy Ventura of Norwich, N.Y. 2-0 in the Round of 8, and two-time Rossi Lanes champ Jeff Zaffino of Warren, Pa., 206-178, in his semifinal round match.
• Jeff Bellinger of Columbia, S.C., defeated Brett Caramagno of Goose Creek, S.C., 252-206, to win $2,000 and his 15th overall PBA Regional title in the PBA50 UltraStar at Harrahs Cherokee Resort South Open at UltraStar Lanes in Cherokee, N.C., Sunday.
Bellinger started of the championship match with a four bagger and never looked back as Caramagno had some early opens. It was Caramagno’s second event as a senior.
In the semifinal round, Bellinger defeated Aaron White of Cleveland, Tenn., 198-183, while Caramagno disposed of PBA50 rookie Mitch Beasley of Clarksville, Tenn., 243-231.
• John Marsala of St. Louis defeated Harry Sullins of Chesterfield, Township, Mich. by 149 pins to win the PBA50 Monte Skeels Allstate Midwest/Central Open presented by Ebonite at Liberty Lanes in Carpentersville, Ill., Saturday.
Marsala, who won a national title in the 2018 PBA50 Dave Small’s Championship Lanes Classic in Anderson, Ind., finished with a 5-3 match play record and a total of 3,914 pins for 15 games, including match play bonus pins, to win his first PBA50 Regional title. He also earned $1,500. The one day-reduced entry fee event drew 57 entries.
• Dean Richards of Tacoma, Wash., defeated non-PBA member Robert Harmon of Jackson, Calif., 251-230, to win his fifth PBA Regional title and $2,000 in the DV8 Northwest/West Open at Caveman Bowl in Grants Pass, Ore., Sunday.
Harmon defeated Bob Rosenau of Redding, Calif., 215-204, in the semifinal match, after Warren Crawford of McKinleyville defeated Mark Mazzulla of Brentwood, Calif., in the opening match of the stepladder finals, 209-203. Harmon then eliminated Crawford, 257-233.
• April arrives with a full schedule of PBA Regional activity beginning over the April 5-7 weekend with the Grand Casino Resort Southwest Open presented by Brunswick at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla.
• Headlining the April 12-14 PBA Regional schedule will be the Bowlers Discount Pro Shop Open presented by DV8 at AMF Towson Lanes in Towson, Md.; the Debbie and Leo Nunan Memorial Central Open presented by Track at AMF Stardust Lanes in Grove City, Ohio; the Jac’s Lanes Valdosta South Open presented by DV8 in Valdosta, Ga., and the PBA and PBA50 Earl Anthony West/Northwest Memorial doubleheader at Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl in Dublin, Calif.
• The only event heading into the Easter weekend is the PBA50 Sarasota Ford South Open April 18-20 at Sarasota Lanes in Florida.
• Closing the April PBA Regional calendar over the April 26-28 weekend will be the Houston Copperfield Southwest Challenge for non-title winners, presented by Global 900; the Brighton Construction Myrtle Beach South Open at Myrtle Beach Bowl in South Carolina; the Oklahoma City Southwest Open presented by Roto Grip at Planet Bowl in Oklahoma; the PBA/PBA50 Tumwater Lanes Doubles event presented by MOTIV in Tumwater, Wash., and the Greater Richmond Central Open at Richmond 40 Bowl in Richmond, Ind.
● For complete PBA Regional schedules, 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…and remember, 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 BJI Cyber Report notes the iconic National Bowling Stadium in Reno, a long-time host to many prestigious PBA events on national and regional levels, turns 25 next year. To celebrate the facility’s 25th anniversary, an expansive remodeling job is underway that will result in expanded room, revamped bleachers, a completely new air conditioning system and more. Listen to BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione’s podcast with USBC Open Championships tournament director Duane Hagen to learn more about the changes: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/podcast-duane-hagen-on-the-national-bowling-stadiums-25th-anniversary/
• Jason Belmonte’s record 11th PBA major title, won in the PBA World Championship during PBA WSOB X at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich., on March 21, will earn him recognition in the 2020 edition of the Guinness Book of Records.