Brunswick Players Dominate 2011/2012 Bowling Season with Top Achievements
WRW Sr POY
PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. captured his first PBA Senior Player of the Year crown in the final tournament of the 2012 season. Despite being eliminated in the match play Round of 16, Williams earned his first Senior Player of the Year title to go along with his record seven on the PBA Tour.
The PBA Tour’s all-time career titles leader with 47 wins will now turn his attention to the 2012-13 PBA Tour season which starts with the PBA World Series of Bowling in Las Vegas in November.
“I’m looking forward to the World Series and probably am going to give it another year on the PBA Tour and evaluate it after that,” Williams said. “It’s a little different bowling out here on the Senior Tour than the regular Tour but I’m encouraged by the season I had on the Senior Tour.”
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Johnny Petraglia Wins PBA Titles in Six Decades
PBA Hall of Famer Johnny Petraglia became the first player in PBA history to win a national tour or senior tour title in six decades by winning the PBA Senior Dayton Classic earlier this year.
Petraglia, who won his eighth career Senior Tour title, also ended a three-year drought without a win by defeating reigning Senior Player of the Year Ron Mohr of Eagle River, Alaska, 220-204, in the title match.
Overall, Petraglia and fellow PBA legend Dick Weber both have PBA titles in six decades, however, Weber’s longevity mark includes a PBA regional title. Petraglia also owns 14 PBA Tour titles, winning his first at a national tour stop in Ft. Smith, Ark., in 1966 at the age of 19.
“I guess it shows how old I am,” Petraglia said jokingly after achieving the milestone. “But this is very special to me because it’s part of history and makes it all worth it.
“You know at my age, I was wondering if it was going to happen,” he said. “There are so many great Senior Tour players and there are more great bowlers from the regular Tour who are becoming eligible so it doesn’t get any easier. Another thing that makes it special is that there are some guys that might be able to tie this record in the coming years but probably not going to break it.”
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Tournament of Champions
Sean Rash Wins TOC; Ciminelli Runner-up
Brunswick Bowling had an astounding win at the PBA Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas, Nevada. Brunswick Bowler, 29-year-old Sean Rash of Montgomery, Illinois, battled through this prestigious series of matches to be titled Champion.
Rash won the championship with a 239-205 victory over fellow Brunswick Bowler, Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y. “This one (tournament) ranks right up there with the most important titles I’ve ever won,” Rash said. “Your first title is always special, and so is your first major, but this tournament is special because everyone who bowls in it is a champion. The other guys in the finals are all great young players.”
“Sean and Ryan are both dedicated players and it is exciting to see the Brunswick Pro Staff having great success with our new bowling balls. Brunswick has devoted a tremendous amount of effort into our ball technologies over the past year or so, and all that hard work is showing up in outstanding ball performance that provides the winning edge for all levels of bowlers,” says Brian Graham, Director of Sales and Marketing for Brunswick.
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Later in the season Rash was named 2011-12 Professional Bowlers Association Chris Schenkel Player of the Year, concluding one of the most competitive Player of the Year contests in years.
Rash, who made a record five-consecutive television finals during the 2011 PBA World Series of Bowling and concluded his season with a victory in the PBA Tournament of Champions, was elected over a field of 11 eligible candidates in balloting conducted among his fellow PBA Tour competitors and veteran members of the bowling news media.
In the end, Rash received 29.04 percent of the Player of the Year votes, Australia’s Jason Belmonte 26.61 percent and Mike Fagan of Dallas 18.32 percent in the closest voting contest in years. Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., received 11.89 percent and Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., 10.23 percent to round out the top five vote-getters.
“We all had great seasons, but I think winning the TOC put a stamp on it,” Rash said. “I’m a stats guy. When I voted in the past, I voted by the numbers. They don’t lie. If one of those guys had won the TOC, he would have got my vote.
Sean Rash Wins 2012 ESPY for Best Bowler
Sean Rash followed up his 2011-12 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year crown by receiving the 2012 “Best Bowler” ESPY Award during the 20th Annual ESPY Awards ceremony in Los Angeles in July.
Rash became the fans’ choice in the bowling category thanks to a Tour season in which he won the season-ending PBA Tournament of Champions for his only title, but had six championship round finishes, including third place in the PBA World Championship. Qualifying for a record five consecutive TV finals during the World Series of Bowling helped the Alaska native dominate PBA Tour stats where he finished first in average, points and earnings. His Tournament of Champions win was the fifth Tour title of his career.
“This is very special because it’s an award voted on by the fans—bowling fans and sports fans,” said Rash, who now makes his home in the Chicago suburb of Montgomery, Ill. “The fans are why we do what we do—they’re why I get up in the morning.
“Winning the Tournament of Champions, Player of the Year, getting married (to Sara) and winning the ESPY has made it just an unbelievable year,” Rash added. “Even though I had a frustrating start to the season, I had a lot of support from my family, fans, friends and Brunswick and without them I couldn’t have done it.”
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