PBA Spare Shots: Former MLB All-Star John Burkett Wins First PBA Title in Houston Regional Event

by Bill Vint  |  Friday, August 23, 8:50 AM

PBA Spare Shots: Former MLB All-Star John Burkett Wins First PBA Title in Houston Regional Event

Former Major League Baseball All-Star pitcher John Burkett of Southlake, Texas, shot 247 in his final position round match Sunday to win his first PBA Regional title and become the first former Major Leaguer to win a PBA title at any level.

burkett.John_2019 Houston Challenge_w sponsor Mike Austin_Malott.Jordan_host Don Ellis Jr.

(Photo caption: From left, Houston Challenge tournament sponsor Mike Austin, winner John Burkett, Jordan Malott, host proprietor Don Ellis Jr.)

Burkett, 54, won the PBA Houston Emerald Bowl Southwest Challenge, presented by Bowling Dynamix, in Houston, Texas, where he out-dueled non-PBA member Tyler Wright of Gonzales, La., by 94 pins for the victory after swapping the lead with Wright throughout the match play finals.

PBA Challenge tournaments are open to players who have not previously won a PBA title. Burkett, a lifelong bowler dating back to his formative years in the Pittsburgh area, has bowled in PBA competition for several years, and has been a regular on the PBA50 Tour over the past five years. His best finish in a national tournament was fourth place in the 2015 PBA50 Northern California Classic.

During his 16-year MLB career, Burkett compiled 166 wins with 1,766 strikeouts and a 4.31 earned run average, pitching from 1987 to 2003 with the San Francisco Giants, Florida Marlins, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox. His best season came in 1993 when he went 22–7 with a 3.65 ERA for the Giants. Burkett was selected to the Major League All-Star game twice, in 1993 and 2001.

In the Houston tournament, Burkett held a 64-pin lead over Jordan Malott, the 15-year-old son of PBA star Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas. Burkett started the final game with four strikes as Malott managed early spares before opening in the third frame. Burkett then rolled to a 247-203 win while Wright regained second place with a 224-203 win over Kaden Rogillio of Deer Park, Texas. Burkett finished the tournament with 4,946 total pins for 21 games, including match play bonus pins, while Wright totaled 4,852, and Malott 4,808.

“The kid’s unbelievable,” Burkett said of the young Malott. “He looks just like (semi-retired PBA Tour titlist) Michael Fagan. He made it tough on me.

“My opponents averaged over 230 in match play, but I still won enough matches to win the event. I don’t care what it is; to win something with the PBA name on it makes me very proud,” he added.

“Maybe one of these days I’ll get a PBA50 Tour title. I’ve been close, but, man, when I get a good look on the lanes there are also a few PBA Hall of Famers who also have a good look. It’s very difficult, but this is something to build on. At least now I know I can do it.”

TIMELESS PBA HALL OF FAMER CARMEN SALVINO TO SET PARTICIPATION RECORD - AGAIN

When 85-year-old PBA Hall of Famer Carmen Salvino throws his first ball in the FloBowling PBA Summer Swing, presented by the Brands of Ebonite International, Monday at Parkside Lanes in Aurora, Illinois, he’ll set the PBA record as the oldest player ever to bowl in a PBA Tour event.

He’ll break his own record, set in 2018 when he competed in the PBA Tournament of Champions earlier in the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season. A founding member of the PBA in 1958, Salvino has bowled in 732 PBA Tour events since competing in the first PBA tournament ever held – the 1959 Empire State Open at Schade’s Academy in Albany, N.Y.

The Chicago native won 17 PBA Tour titles and two PBA50 Tour titles during his lengthy career. He will celebrate his 86th birthday on November 23.

MYKEL HOLLIMAN MAINTAINS GO BOWLING! PBA TOUR ROOKIES POINTS LEAD

Despite his 129th place finish in the PBA Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Classic over the weekend in Middletown, Del., Mykel Holliman of Collierville, Tenn., maintained his comfortable lead in the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s rookie competition points race.

Holliman, a 26-year-old left-hander, didn’t move from his 31st position on the overall 2019 PBA Points list. Among players on the 2019 Bowl4life PBA Rookie Watch list, Kenneth Ryan of Farmingdale, N.J., is second in 59th place followed by Wichita’s Patrick Hanrahan (62nd); Mike Coffey of Melbourne, Fla. (74th); Jake Rollins of Glen Rock, N.J. (76th) and Greg Young of Viera, Fla. (78th) on the overall 2019 PBA Tour points list. While competition points have no direct bearing on who will be selected as 2019 PBA Rookie of the Year, they will be a significant consideration when voting takes place at the end of the season.

The 2019 Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year will receive a $2,500 bonus from Chuck Gardner’s Bowl4Life Foundation and the foundation will donate an additional $2,500 to a youth bowler scholarship in the ROY’s name.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: TUHOLSKI, ALSTOTT WIN FIRST PBA REGIONAL TITLES

• Chris Tuholski of Gresham, Ore., posted a 7-5 match play record and a 20-game total of 4,491 pins Sunday to win his first PBA Regional title in the 40th annual PBA Dave Husted Northwest/West Open presented by Hammer at Husted’s Milwaukie Bowl in Milwaukie, Ore.

Tuholski, the son of nine-time PBA Northwest Region titlist Craig Tuholski, earned $2,000. He defeated Matt McGill of Grants Pass, Ore., by 93 pins for the win. McGill had a 7-4-1 match play record and 4,398 pins for his 20 games, including match play bonus pins, to earn $1,200.

The tournament, hosted by the Husted family, is the longest running regional event in the PBA’s Northwest/West Regions.

Gary Alstott of Washington, Ill. defeated Brad Sipes of Bloomington, Ill. by 144 pins Sunday to win the PBA Greater Jasper Central/Midwest Open at Eastown Recreation Center in Jasper, Ind.

Alstott finished with a 7-1 match play record and a total of 3,710 pins for 16 games, including match play bonus pins, for his first PBA Regional title. He also earned $1,400. Sipes finished with 3,566 pins.

The PBA’s schedule of Regional tournaments over the Aug. 23-25 weekend will be the PBA50 Sky Lanes Asheville South Open in Asheville, N.C., and the PBA50 Coldwater/Roto Grip Central/Midwest Open at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater, Ohio.

The PBA closes its August schedule of Regional activity with the PBA60 Kingsport Super Senior South Open presented by Storm at Warpath Lanes in Kingsport, Tenn., Aug. 26-28, followed by the PBA60 Wilson & Sons Pest Control Super Senior Open at Victory Lanes Family Entertainment Center in Mooresville, N.C., Aug. 29-31. The end-of-month weekend also includes the PBA50 Strike Zone Alleys Eastern Open presented by Hammer in Pottsville, Pa.; the PBA Illinois Valley Midwest Open at I.V. Super Bowl in Peru, Ill., and the PBA50 Mooresville South Open presented By Columbia 300 at Victory Lanes Family Entertainment Center in Mooresville, N.C.

● 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).

QUICK NOTES

Action resumes Thursday and Friday in the FloBowling PBA Summer Tour points competition when Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater, Ohio, hosts the PBA BowlerStore.com Classic presented by Moxy’s Xtra Pair. FloBowling’s live coverage of the eight-game qualifying rounds is set for 8 a.m., 1:30 and 7 p.m. (EDT) Thursday. Updated points standings will follow each Summer Tour event at this link: https://www.pba.com/SeasonStats/PointsList/132?list=10. The FloBowling PBA Summer Tour points competitions also will determine the USBC Cup points leaders, and the eight qualifiers for both the FloBowling PBA ATX Invite and the PBA China Tiger Cup Invitational.

Veteran bowling journalist and 2019 PBA Hall of Fame inductee Bob Johnson is paying forward his industry recognition. Instead of accepting a traditional PBA Hall of Fame ring upon his induction, Johnson asked that a donation-in-kind be made to his favorite charity, bowling’s BVL fund. The gesture turned into a contribution of $1,200 in support of the nation’s military veterans.