tampabay.com

Locals get a taste of pro patterns

By ERIC MUSKATEVC
Published February 18, 2007


The PBA Experience is here.

This past Monday at Seminole, the Elite Bowlers League became the first local league to use the new PBA-sanctioned PBA Experience format.

The lane condition used at Seminole was the Viper pattern, a more demanding pattern with a composite average of 182 per game for the league, compared the PBA's average of 211.

For Tom Milton it was a trip down memory lane. The former five-time tour titlist showed he still has what it takes with a three-game average of 233.

The Elite bowls Monday nights at 8 p.m.

PAN-AM SANS GALANTE: The battle to see who will represent the United States at this year's Pan-American Games will conclude with the U.S. Pan-American Team Trials in Milwaukee this weekend. The United States will be represented by two men and two women from Team USA at the Games July 19-28 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Six women from Team USA 2007 are scheduled to compete at the Team Trials, but that does not include newly appointed team member Ashly Galante, a senior at Tarpon Springs who made Team USA last month and has not earned nearly as many points toward competing as some other long-time team members like reigning U.S. Amateur women's champion Lynda Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, and Queens champion Shannon Pluhowsky of Phoenix.

JR. GOLD'S SOLDOUT: With a new format that allows for the largest field in the history of the event, the USBC Junior Gold Championships has reached capacity. All 1,728 spots have been sold for the event, which will be held July 7-13 in Buffalo, N.Y. It is the second straight year the event has sold out and the third time in the past four years. Competitors will battle for spots on USBC Junior Team USA as well as a record $100,000 in scholarship money.

PBA: If Chris Barnes could bowl all his events in the Dallas area, he could shed all those "can't win on TV" labels and perhaps be right up there among the most successful bowlers of all time. Last week, Barnes won his second career Denny's PBA Tour title in the Dallas Metroplex, knocking off John May 235-216 in the title match to win the GEICO Classic at AMF Irving Lanes. With the $25,000 he won last Sunday, Barnes has earned a combined $465,000 for his four wins in Dallas.

The Tour returns to Council Bluffs, Iowa, this weekend for the Go RVing Classic. This week's event features a round-robin match play format. The live ESPN televised finals are today at 2:30 p.m. The PBA also announced the Skills Challenge will air as two half-hour shows Sunday following the PBA event, which ends around 4 p.m.

UPCOMING: Countryside will have its annual Teen Masters qualifier March 4 at 11 am. This is a premier tournament for high school bowlers. Cost is $55 before and $65 the day of tournament. See killerbpromotions.com.

CHATTER: Joe Knaebel turned 90 on Thursday, but the Evansville, Ind., native has plenty ticks in the clock and flicks down the lane. Starting the swing in 1957 and moving to St. Petersburg in 1965, Knaebel has bowled in leagues for 49 of the past 50 years. On Mondays he is with the Suncoast Seniors and Wednesdays with 55 & Alive crowd both at Seminole. Currently carrying a 170 average, Knaebel topped out with a 242/591 series so far this season. His highest game ever, a 279, came last summer.

For the week, Seminole's Stacey Coats topped all houses with a sweet 300 for a an 831 series alongside David Gabory's 300 for a 748. At Countryside, Lou Alessi capped a nice week of bowling with a perfect game as well for an 826.

Bowling next with the burden of higher averages were busters Joan Krauss (158 avg., 242/583), Jay Bezanson (178 avg., 279/701), Richard Mosley (168 avg., 250/653), Tri Pham (170 avg., 254/683), Joe Waterkeyn (169 avg., 639), Mary Raisch (133 avg., 212), Tom Cooney (160 avg., 228/581).