Houston, Texas, (Aug. 20, 2019) –
Former Major League Baseball All-Star 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, 54, won the PBA Houston Emerald Bowl Southwest Challenge, presented by Bowling Dynamix, 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 Tour and PBA Regional 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.
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 the lead heading into the final match, 64 pins ahead of 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 coasted to a 247-203 win while Wright regained second place with a 224-203 win over non-member 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.
Next on the PBA Southwest Region schedule will be the PBA Grand Casino/Hotel/Resort Southwest Invitational on September 6 at FireLake Lanes in Shawnee, Okla. Also on tap, a $4,000 first place prize will be offered at Ayres Lanes in Liberal, Kan., at Ayres’ Lanes, September 13-15, followed by an event at Diamond Lanes in Odessa, Texas, that will offer a projected $5,000 winners check September 20-22.
PBA HOUSTON EMERALD BOWL SOUTHWEST CHALLENGE, presented by Bowling Dynamix
Emerald Bowl, Houston, Texas, Sunday
Final Standings (after 21 games, including match play bonus pins):
1, John Burkett, Southlake, Texas, 4-3-1, 4,946, $2,000. 2, n-Tyler Wright, Gonzales, La., 6-2, 4,852, $1,200. 3, n-Jordan Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 5-2-1, 4,808, $900 (SMART). 4, n-Corey Bottos, Houston, 6-2, 4,762, $750. 5, n- Kaden Rogillio, Deer Park, Texas, 6-2, 4,746, $700. 6, n-Jacob Dupre, Baton Rouge, La., 5-3, 4,694, $675. 7, Skylar Glanovsky, Fort Smith, Ark., 4-4, 4,678, $650. 8, Bryan Pogor, Round Rock, Texas, 3-4-1, 4,647, $625.
9, n-Humberto Vazquez, Mexico, 2-6, 4,627, $600. 10, David Tullos, Spring, Texas, 6-2, 4,614, $580. 11, n-Jacob Heger, Spring, Texas, 4-4, 4,582, $560. 12, n-Branden Powell, Groves, Texas, 4-4, 4,536, $540. 13, s-n-Donald Robinson, Missouri City, Texas, 0-7-1, 4,527, $530. 14, n-Philip Wong, Houston, Texas, 2-6, 4,483, $520. 15, Gabriel Yanes, Shertz, Texas, 2-6, 4,431, $510. 16, n-William Titus, Houston, Texas, 3-5, 4,420, $500.
300 games: Pogor (2)
n-denotes non-PBA member.
Pictured: Mike Austin, John Burkett, Don Ellis Jr.