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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bill Vint | PBA Media Relations
Professional Bowlers Association | 719 Second Avenue, Suite 701 | Seattle, WA 98104
PBA to Host WTBA World Bowling Tour Finals During 2011 World Series
Bayer USBC Masters, Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open will be part of new international bowling series
SEATTLE, Wash. (Feb. 8, 2011) – The Professional Bowlers Association will host the inaugural World Bowling Tour Finals as part of the 2011 PBA World Series of Bowling in a cooperative venture with the World Tenpin Bowling Association, PBA Commissioner and CEO Fred Schreyer has announced.
The new WTBA World Bowling Tour is an international series of tournaments for men and women, with competition points determining the top three men and top three women who will qualify for the World Bowling Tour finals. The Bayer United States Bowling Congress Masters and 68th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open will be two of the events included on the WTBA World Bowling Tour schedule.
"The PBA is proud to present the World Bowling Tour Finals as the culminating event for the top male and female points earners on the WBT" said Tom Clark, PBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer. "The PBA is a strong supporter of the growth of international bowling and hosted one of the greatest collections of international talent at the PBA World Series of Bowling earlier in our 2010-11 season. It’s a great sign of unity among the world’s leading bowling organizations that the WTBA World Bowling Tour Finals presented by the PBA will be an ESPN telecast emanating from next season's PBA World Series of Bowling."
The World Bowling Tour Finals will be a one-hour event with a $40,000 prize fund, taped for broadcast during the PBA's World Series of Bowling next fall.
"Holding this special season-ending event adds even more value to those tournaments that are on board with the Tour," WTBA President Kevin Dornberger said. "It also presents incentive to all of the world's top bowlers to compete in all of the World Bowling Tour events for a chance to qualify for this special event."
“The addition of the Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open to the World Bowling Tour schedule should encourage several of the world’s premier players to participate in the most prestigious open field tournament in the sport,” Schreyer said. “American bowling fans got a pretty good look at some of the great international players during our World Series. We’re hoping the attraction of a U.S. Open title, a tremendous prize fund and the new WTBA points competition will encourage the international community to join us in New Jersey.”
The first event in the series was the Brunswick Ballmaster Open in Helsinki, Finland, in early January. Finnish native Mika Koivuniemi won that event, defeating fellow Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour star Sean Rash in the title match, 236-191. Finland’s Krista Pollanen was the top woman finisher in the event.
The preliminary WBT schedule also includes events in France, Kuwait, Thailand, and Australia.
“Having seven events in our inaugural year is very encouraging,” Dornberger said. “It’s my hope that we will add more events before the year is over.”
The WTBA, recognized as the world tenpin governing body by the International Olympic Committee, is made up of more than 100 bowling federations.
For more information about the WTBA’s World Bowling Tour, lists of points leaders, rules and more, visit the World Tenpin Bowling Association website.
The Bayer USBC Masters got underway Tuesday at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., and concludes Sunday with a four-player stepladder final live on ESPN at 3 p.m. Eastern/noon Pacific. The tournament will be covered live online by Xtra Frame video streaming service. First prize will be $50,000.
2011 WTBA WORLD BOWLING TOUR SCHEDULE
Jan. 1-9 – Brunswick Ballmasters Open, Helsinki, Finland (winner: Mika Koivuniemi)
Feb. 7-13 – USBC Masters, National Bowling Stadium, Reno, Nev.
Feb. 21-27 – Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open, Brunswick Zone-Carolier, North Brunswick, N.J.
March 4-13 – Brunswick Euro Challenge, Saint Maximin, France
March 18-22 – Kuwait Open, Kuwait City, Kuwait
Sept. 24-30 – World Bowling Tour Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand
Oct. 10-22 – AMF Australian Open, Sydney, Australia
tba – World Bowling Tour Finals presented by the PBA, to be announced
About the PBA
The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) is an organization of more than 3,800 of the best bowlers from 13 countries who compete in Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour, Regional and Senior Tour events. Nearly one million ESPN viewers watch PBA Tour on Sundays during the tour season and thousands watch PBA activities online by using PBA’s video streaming service, Xtra Frame. PBA sponsors include Bayer, Brunswick, Budweiser, GEICO, Golden Corral, Go RVing, Lumber Liquidators, One A Day Men’s 50+ Multivitamin, Pepsi-Cola, Storm Products and the United States Bowling Congress, among others. For more information, log on to the PBA website.
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