PBA Spare Shots: PBA’s Mermaid Lanes Midwest Open Features a Bizarre Ending

by Bill Vint  |  Friday, June 14, 10:15 AM

PBA Spare Shots: PBA’s Mermaid Lanes Midwest Open Features a Bizarre Ending

Brady Stearns of Saint Augusta, Minn., won his first PBA Regional title Sunday in Mounds View, Minn., in what might have been the most bizarre ending in PBA Regional tournament history.

Stearns.Brady_2019 Mounds View MN w GM Greg HolemanIn Sunday’s PBA Mermaid Lanes Midwest Open presented by Columbia 300 in Mounds View, Stearns defeated Nick Pate of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 240-239, to win the title and $2,500 first prize after Pate, needing two pins on his fill ball after converting a 10 pin spare in the 10th frame, saw his final shot drift right into the gutter.

(At left, Brady Stearns with Mermaid Lanes general manager Greg Holeman)

Ironically, Stearns had opened the door for Pate in similar fashion just moments earlier. Working on a string of six strikes including the first two in his 10th frame, Stearns also threw his final shot into the gutter to give Pate an easier chance to win. Had Stearns struck on his fill ball, he would have forced Pate to also strike on his first shot in the 10th for the title, but his gutterball meant Pate only had to spare and get two pins.

Adding to the irony, the Mermaid Lanes Midwest Open was contested on the Del Ballard Jr. lane oiling pattern. The lane conditioning pattern was named in honor of the PBA Hall of Famer who infamously rolled a gutter ball on his final shot to lose the 1991 PBA Fair Lanes Open title to Pete Weber.

“It was the most bizarre finish I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been involved with the PBA since 1976 – 43 years. And I bowled a few years before that,” said veteran PBA East Region Manager Russ Mills, who served as tournament director for the event. “I thought Nick was going to throw it right down the middle, but he didn’t. I don’t think he was aware of the situation, but hopefully he’ll learn from it.”

You can watch the drama unfold on YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nNKGdgPOS4&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1SFYH7beVyQv4Luj8CxrrlfPnJqUjHtAOzsMyoTOms754dhuUf1p2CPBE

Prior to the climactic title match, Pate defeated Russ Oviatt of Chandler, Ariz., 279-236, to advance to the championship match after Pate downed Kiho Kyun of Plymouth, Minn., 257-219, in the first stepladder match.

In Saturday’s PBA River City Extreme Midwest Open presented by Hammer in Monticello, Minn., non-PBA member John Kreyer Jr. of Mounds View defeated Stearns, 213-202, to win in Monticello. Kreyer earned $2,500 but doesn’t get credited with a PBA regional title since he is a non-member.

Kreyer defeated Mike Fagan of Las Vegas, 209-179, to advance to the championship match after Kreyer edged Blake Demore of Springfield, Mo., 214-212, in the first stepladder match.


FloSports, the parent of PBA’s official livestreaming partner FloBowling, has announced the launch of its new app on Amazon Fire TV, and updated-and-improved apps on Roku and Apple TV.

The user experience streamlines the ability to explore live events and content across the entire FloSports network of more than 20 sports. Improvements have been made to navigation, stream switching capabilities, instant auto-play, content automation, and more.

The apps have many new features, highlighted by instant auto-play, which allows users who are watching long-form events to resume watching where they left off, and seamlessly switch between different live event streams, archives, and camera angles. Additionally, users are able to login and return to the sport vertical they last watched.

“We are excited to offer sports fans more ways to live stream their favorite events on the big screen,” FloSports CEO and Co-Founder Mark Floreani said. “With the launch of our new apps, fans now have multiple ways to watch from any device with a streamlined experience.  We have simplified the ability to search for videos and events, get breaking news, and watch event highlights and replays.”

To access live and on-demand coverage of events across the entire FloSports network become a monthly or annual PRO subscriber. Either subscription provides access to content to all of FloSports partners.

Streaming more than 10,000 live competitions per year, FloSports continues to emerge as the global leader in live, in-depth, and on-demand digital coverage for passionate sports fans.


Tickets to watch the 2019 Barbasol PBA Tour Finals, as well as special room rates at the host Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, are still available. For tickets for the two-day battle in July between the PBA’s elite eight players based upon composite competition points earned during the 2018 and 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour seasons, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/barbasol-pba-tour-finals-presented-by-red-rock-casino-resort-spa-tickets-57610119418.

For room reservations at Red Rock, visit:  https://reservations.redrockresort.com/cgi-bin/lansaweb?PROCFUN+RN+RESNET+RRS+funcparms+UP%28A2560%29:;PBARATE;;;;;;?/ Fans also may call the hotel reservation line (702-797-7625 or 866-767-7773) and use the code PBARATE to reserve within the block. All reservations need to be made prior to the June 26 cutoff date.

The field of eight for the Barbasol PBA Tour Finals will include top qualifier and defending champion Jason Belmonte, 2019 USBC Masters champion Jakob Butturff, Anthony Simonsen, EJ Tackett, Marshall Kent and PBA Tour Finals newcomers Bill O’Neill, 2018 PBA Player of the Year Andrew Anderson and newly-crowned PBA Playoffs champion Kris Prather.

The Barbasol PBA Tour Finals, presented by Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa, will take place at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas and will be televised live by CBS Sports Network over a span five shows (two on Saturday, July 20 and three on Sunday, July 21).


Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y. defeated JR Raymond of Clinton Twp., Mich., 195-167, to win the PBA Elkhart Central Open presented by 900 Global at Country Club Lanes in Elkhart, Ind., Sunday for his third PBA Regional title and a $2,000 first prize.

Angelo topped Greg Young of Viera, Fla., 227-199, while Raymond downed Tristan Butler of Ft. Wayne, Ind., 201-155, in the semifinal round to set up the championship match.

The June 14-16 weekend schedule of PBA Regional activity features the Homefield Bowl Eastern Open presented by MOTIV in Yonkers, N.Y., and the Timmy See Memorial Tavares South Open at Break Point Alley in Tavares, Fla.

PBA Regional tournaments on tap for the June 21-23 weekend include the PBA50 Ned Micelli Memorial presented by Ebonite at Herrill Lanes in New Hyde Park, N.Y.; the Pro Bowl West Central/Midwest Challenge presented by Ebonite for non-title winners in Fort Wayne, Ind.; the PBA50 Sand Hills South Open at Sand Hills Bowling Center in Aberdeen, N.C., and the PBA/PBA50 Epicenter Northwest/West Open doubleheader in Klamath Falls, Ore.

Closing out the June PBA Regional calendar will be the PBA-PBA50 John Kontos Memorial Midwest/Central Doubles Open at Town & Country Lanes in Joliet, Ill., and the Century Lanes Hampton South Open in Hampton, Va.

Heading into the 4th of July weekend, Bowl 10 Fairborn will host the PBA50 Fairborn Central Classic presented by Roto Grip Monday-Wednesday, July 1-3, in Fairborn, Ohio. Closing the extended holiday weekend July 5-7 will be the PBA50 Greater Freeport Midwest/Central Open at 4 Seasons Bowl in Freeport, Ill.; the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Southwest Doubles presented by DV8 at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., and the PBA/PBA50 Vanessa Brown Homes West Open doubleheader presented by Track at Yosemite Lanes in Modesto, Calif.

● 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).


• Last Call: Applications for the 2019 PBA Billy Welu Scholarship Award, recognizing exemplary qualities in male or female college students who excel in academics as well as in the sport of bowling, are being accepted through June 21. The winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship. To be eligible candidates must be amateur bowlers who are currently in college (preceding the application date) and maintaining at least a 2.5/4.0 GPA or equivalent. The two-part application can be retrieved by downloading the files from this link http://www.pba.com/Corporate/Scholarships.

Reminder: The 10th annual Rhino Page Lace Up to Strike Out Crohn’s and Colitis fundraiser is set for Saturday, June 15, at South Levittown Lanes in Levittown, N.Y. For more information about the event, visit: www.strikeoutcrohns.com.