PBA Spare Shots: Finnish Brewery Recognizes Mika Koivuniemi’s Election to PBA Hall of Fame

by Bill Vint  |  Friday, October 12, 11:18 AM

PBA Spare Shots: Finnish Brewery Recognizes Mika Koivuniemi’s Election to PBA Hall of Fame

Election to the PBA Hall of Fame is a big deal no matter who the individual or where he comes from, but it was an especially memorable honor for native Mika Koivuniemi who will become the first bowler from Finland inducted into the PBA Hall in January.

To celebrate Koivuniemi’s election, Finland’s Tornia Brewery created a “special edition” case of its Original Lapland Lager, Koivuniemi’s favorite, with a neck label recognizing his election.


As the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour heads down the home stretch, and attention turns to next week’s FloBowling PBA Fall Swing at The Lanes at Coffee Creek in suburban Tulsa, Okla., PBA fans are learning more and more about PBA players, tournaments, viewpoints and more through PBA’s new partnership with FloSports and its dedicated PBA network, FloBowling.

In addition to its exclusive live-streaming coverage of specific events on PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling, PBA’s new online partner has recently produced podcasts with PBA Tour champion Tom Daugherty, video tips with Bob Learn Jr., stories about the unconventional two-handed style of Tim Cagle II, a preview of the Fall Swing oil patterns with Josh Blanchard, a guest column by PBA CEO-Commissioner Tom Clark re: his phone calls to PBA’s newly-elected hall of famers, and, most recently, a pointed commentary by Australia’s Jason Belmonte who told his “two-handed haters” he could still beat most them bowling with one hand.

A growing library of articles and podcasts are available to PBA fans at no cost simply by visiting https://www.flobowling.com/, where all content is free unless it is designated as “PRO” content.

In addition to following the PBA Tour on pba.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, fans also can follow FloBowling on those same platforms (example: : https://www.facebook.com/FloBowling/)…and then they can round out a complete PBA package by subscribing to FloBowling, where they’ll be able to watch exclusive live coverage of the FloBowling PBA Fall Swing, including the Wolf, Bear and Tulsa Open events, Oct. 15-20.

The 2018 PBA Tour season then concludes with the U.S. Open at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan. The preliminary rounds of the U.S. Open also will be live-streamed by Xtra Frame on FloBowling, Oct. 26-30, before the finals air live on CBS Sports Network on Oct. 31.

At stake as the season winds down are eight berths in the PBA Clash which will air on Dec. 23 on FOX, kicking off the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season on FOX, and berths in the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by the PBA which will be contested at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas, for airing on FS1 on Sunday, March 10, at 10 p.m. EST.


Contributing editor Cliff Schrock, writing for Golf Digest, does an annual report on high-quality golfers among athletes who star in other sports, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, etc. This year’s list, released Tuesday on golfdigest.com, includes four PBA players who also excel on the links along with their unofficial golf handicaps. Schrock’s list includes:

● EJ Tackett: a 2 handicapper lists his home course as Orchard Ridge Country Club in Indiana.

Ronnie Russell: plays to a 3.2 handicap; calls Meshingomesia Golf Club in Indiana home.

Tommy Jones: the 2005-06 PBA Player of the Year is a 5 handicap golfer; his home course is Holly Tree Country Club in South Carolina.

Pete Weber: the 37-time PBA Tour titlist is a 9 handicap golfer; his home course is Bogey Hills Country Club in the St. Louis area.

Also worth noting are a couple of other well-known athletes with PBA ties:

● Boston Red Sox star Mookie Betts regularly shoots in the 80-85 range in posting a 12 handicap; he is known to frequent Talis Park G.C. in Florida and the Nashville Golf and Athletic Club near his Tennessee home.

● Houston Rockets star Chris Paul, host of the annual CP3 PBA Invitational, has improved from a 20 to a 13.7 handicap in golf over the past couple of years. He led an NBA team of eight stars in the State Farm Showdown last summer at Mohegan Sun Golf Club in Connecticut.


Michael Coffey of Melbourne, Fla. won his first PBA title Sunday, defeating 22-time PBA Regional titlist Stoney Baker of Canton, Ga., 221-213, to win the second annual PBA Albany Strikers South Open at Albany Strikers Lanes in Albany, Ga.

Coffey, a 23-year-old PBA rookie, qualified in the final position for the four-man stepladder finals with a 16-game total of 3,740 pins and disposed of two-time PBA Tour champion Tom Daugherty of Riverview, Fla., in his opening match, 300-268, and narrowly defeated 2015 PBA World Champion Gary Faulkner Jr. of Memphis, Tenn., 245-244, in the semifinal contest to advance to the championship match.

In the title match Coffey needed to double in the 10th frame to win and did just that. Coffey, the 2015 Teen Masters champion, 2016 collegiate bowler of the year with Lindenwood University and a two-time member of Junior Team USA, earned $2,400.

● Canadian Raymond Lussier, now living in San Jose, Calif., won nine of his 10 matches to post a winning 18-game total of 4,312 pins Sunday in the PBA Battle of Black Oak Casino West Open at Black Oak Lanes in Tuolumne, Calif., picking up his second PBA Regional title.

Lussier, who earned $2,500, defeated Chris Warren of Grants Pass, Ore., who had a 7-3 match play record and 4,115 pins to earn the $1,300 second prize. Warren is the all-time leader in standard PBA Regional titles with 47.

Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio defeated Jeff Zaffino of Warren, Pa., by 223 pins to win the PBA50 Mel Westrich Memorial Central/Midwest Open at Delphos Recreation Center in Delphos, Ohio, Sunday.

Kretzer finished the 20-game event with a 10-2 match play record and a total of 4,986 pins, including match play bonus pins, to earn his first PBA50 Central Region title of the year and his ninth overall PBA50 Regional title. The reining PBA50 Central Region Player of the Year also earned $1,500.

● PBA Hall of Famer Mark Williams from Beaumont, Texas, and Ricky Schissler of Brighton, Colo., won titles in a pair of joint PBA50 Southwest/Midwest Regional events over the weekend at Junction City Bowl in Junction City, Kan.

On Saturday, Williams defeated Team USA competitor and new PBA member Steve Badovinac of Parker Colo., 224-192, to win his 21st PBA Regional title. Badovinac started the championship match strong with four strikes, but two late open frames allowed a late charge by Williams to win the match and the $1,200 first place check.

On Sunday, Schissler, who won the same event in 2017 for his first PBA title, won six of his seven matches in the eight-game round robin match play finals to build a comfortable 122-pin lead over qualifying leader Keith Lesko from Prosper, Texas. Schissler’s 188-183 win over Lesko in the final position round match allowed Williams to advance to second. Schissler finished the 15-game event with 3,406 total pins, including match play bonus pins, while Williams ended with a 3,280 pinfall total, 31 ahead of Lesko.

● The PBA Regional schedule for the Oct. 12-14 weekend includes the PBA50-PBA60 Central Doubles Open presented by Columbia 300 at Park Centre Lanes in North Canton, Ohio; the PBA-PBA50 Station 300 Baker Doubles in Bluffton, S.C., and the PBA50 and PBA60 Dick’s Pro Shop Northwest/West doubleheader presented by Boulder Falls at Linn Lanes in Portland, Ore.

● The Oct. 19-21 PBA Regional calendar includes the PBA50 Waxahachie Southwest Open at Hilltop Lanes in Waxahachie, Texas, and the Jackson Central/Midwest Open at Dave Small’s Jax 60 in Jackson, Mich.

● The final PBA Regional events of October take place over the Oct. 26-28 weekend, including the PBA50 Bryan’s Bowling Center East Open presented by the Hopkins Automotive Group and 900 Global in Laurel, Del., and the South Point West Challenge and PBA Member-Nonmember Doubles, both presented by Radical, at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas

● 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 device users using the PBA app).


● PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke has withdrawn from the Flo Bowling PBA Fall Swing while nursing a recurring calf injury and a sore right elbow. Duke has noted, however, that he hopes to be well enough to compete in the U.S. Open, the season’s final major championship, Oct. 24-31 in Wichita, Kan.

● Speaking of the FloBowling PBA Fall Swing, 10 countries will be represented in the field of more than 100 players, including competitors from Australia, England, Mexico, Canada, Sweden, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Thailand and the U.S.

● PBA Hall of Famer Danny Wiseman recently conducted his annual scholarship tournament for youth bowlers in the Baltimore area. For results and photos, click here: www.facebook.com/pages/DANNY-WISEMAN-BOWLING-FAN-PAGE/107752155919763