Bill Vint | PBA Media Relations

Professional Bowlers Association | 55 E. Jackson Blvd., Suite 401 | Chicago, IL 60604

bill.vint@pba.com |


The winners of the 2019 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year, Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year, Steve Nagy Sportsmanship and Tony Reyes PBA Community Service Awards will be announced live on FloBowling on Wednesday, December 11, from FloSports studios in Austin, Texas.

The annual awards announcements by PBA CEO Colie Edison and PBA Commissioner Tom Clark will be livestreamed by FloBowling at a time to be announced later.

The PBA Player and Rookie of the Year winners will be selected by a panel of veteran bowling writers and the entire PBA membership. The Nagy Sportsmanship Award winner is selected by PBA Tour players who have bowled in at last half of the current season’s tournaments. The Tony Reyes award winner is selected by a special executive panel.

Last year’s winners of the PBA’s four prestigious awards were Andrew Anderson, Player of the Year; Kamron Doyle, Rookie of the Year; Tom Smallwood, Nagy Sportsmanship Award, and Chris Barnes, Tony Reyes Community Service Award.


Former PBA Rookie and Player of the Year EJ Tackett has been forced to cancel plans to compete in next week’s PBA China Tiger Cup in suburban Shanghai, China, because of a delay in obtaining a visa in time to make the trip.

Tackett was scheduled to be part of an eight-player PBA contingent competing in the PBA’s first-ever competition in mainland China. The invitational China Cup field, based on competition points earned during the FloBowling PBA Summer Tour, will include Sean Rash, Jason Sterner, AJ Johnson, Bill O’Neill, Kyle Sherman, newly-elected PBA Hall of Famer Tommy Jones and Kyle Troup, who will replace Anthony Simonsen. Simonsen declined his invitation due to a prior commitment, but Tackett’s spot in the field won’t be filled due to time constraints.

The tournament will now include seven PBA Tour players who have earned expenses-paid trips to China. The PBA qualifiers will join a contingent of bowlers from China, Korean, Japan and other Asian countries in a singles tournament with a $20,000 first prize. A special USA vs. China team event will conclude the event.


The widely anticipated arrival of Wesley Low Jr. to the PBA ranks will begin in January when the highly decorated two-handed left-hander begins his quest for 2020 PBA Rookie of the Year honors.

Low, now 22 and a graduate of the famous Wichita State University collegiate program, was the youngest bowler ever to win a PBA Regional tournament when he won a PBA West Region “challenge” event for non-title winners in Las Vegas in 2013 at the age of 15 years, 336 days. He didn’t get credit for an official title because he was not a PBA member at the time.

He also was the second-youngest player ever to “cash” in a PBA Regional when he finished third in the same non-champions event in Las Vegas the previous year at age 14. The youngest casher record is held by 2018 PBA Rookie of the Year Kamron Doyle who was 12 when he “cashed” in a PBA Regional in Canton, Ga., in 2010. In both cases, Low and Doyle competed as youth bowlers and accepted prize money in the form of contributions to their SMART scholarship funds.

Low, who has achieved success at virtually every level of youth and collegiate bowling leading up to his PBA debut, announced he will begin chasing his PBA dreams in an interview with FloBowling Senior Editor Lucas Wiseman (https://www.flobowling.com/video/6598050-wesley-low-talks-about-chasing-his-pba-dreams).

The Palmdale, Calif., resident said, “I’m nervous but excited. I’ll probably be humbled for a bit. I’d like to go on to great success, but there’s no guarantee.”


The newest PBA Player’s Perspective interview with PBA title winners reflecting on their victories continues on Tuesday, Nov. 19, when Sean Rash reflects on his 2019 Wolf Open title. To view all of the PBA Player’s Perspective episodes, visit the PBA’s YouTube page and click on the PBA Player’s Perspective play list.

The weekly series includes a new perspective released every Tuesday on to the PBA’s YouTube channel. The following players will provide personal play-by-play reflections in the weeks ahead:

Nov. 26 – EJ Tackett reflects on winning the 2019 PBA Tour Finals.

Dec. 3 – Bill O’Neill talks about his 2019 Harry O’Neale Chesapeake Open triumph.

Dec. 10 – Jason Belmonte provides insights about capturing his record-breaking 11th major title in the 2019 PBA World Championship during PBA World Series of Bowling X in Allen Park, Mich.

Player’s Perspectives currently in the archives on YouTube include:

• Norm Duke’s stunning 2011 U.S. Open win (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQ0cGzRfnBk).

• Kris Prather’s historic PBA Playoffs victory (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hISjw3KmGCk).

• Anthony Simonsen’s win in the 2019 Bear Open (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt2k25WKNzQ).


A quarter of a century later, Joe Firpo of Tucker, Ga., defeated Gary Shultis of Levittown, N.Y., 258-214, to win a PBA Regional tournament when he won the PBA50 Gastonia Southern Open presented by Brunswick at George Pappas Liberty Lanes in Gastonia, N.C., Sunday.

Firpo, a 54-year-old former PBA member, won $2,000 in his first PBA Regional win since a tournament in Tallahassee, Fla., in 1994. But because he dropped his PBA membership 15 years ago, he doesn’t get credit for a fourth PBA title. Firpo won his only PBA Tour title with partner Del Warren in winning the 1987 Showboat PBA Doubles Classic in Las Vegas,

In the semifinal round Firpo easily disposed of Ken Shealy of Myrtle Beach, S.C., 227-190, while Shultis made it to the championship match for a third consecutive year by defeating Bill Vannoy of Lexington, S.C., 275-248. Shultis, who had won at Liberty Lanes three times in the past, pocketed 1,000 as the runner-up.

• Tom Hess of Granger, Iowa defeated Dakota Vostry of Chicago, 225-193, to win the PBA Plaza Bowl Midwest Open presented by Roto Grip in Clinton, Iowa, Sunday for his 11th PBA Regional title and the $2,000 first prize.

In the first match of the three-player stepladder finals, Vostry defeated Kenny Calkins III of Des Moines, Iowa, 222-215, to advance to the title match to face Hess, the top qualifier. The tournament was the final PBA Midwest Region event of the 2019 season.

• Brendon Miller of Urban, Ohio defeated Michael Adams of Fresno, Mich., 208-166, to win the PBA La-Z-Boy Central Challenge at Monroe Sport Center in Monroe, Mich., Saturday for a $1,500 first prize and his first PBA title.

The tournament field consisted of PBA members who had not won a PBA title and non-members who have never won a PBA event (non-members are not eligible to win PBA titles).

Miller blanked David Harold II of Columbus, Ohio, 2-0, while Adams downed Corey Miller of Waterford, Mich., 2-1, in a best-of-three-game semifinal round to set up the championship match.

On this weekend’s PBA Regional schedule are the PBA50 Bryan’s Bowling Center Eastern Open presented by 900 Global in Laurel, Del.; the PBA50 PLYGEM Windows South Open at Rocky Mount Bowling Center in Rocky Mount, Va., and the Japan Region’s High Sports Cup Chameleon Open at Kashima Bowl in Kashima, Japan.

On the pre-Thanksgiving Day weekend schedule, Nov. 22-24, is the PBA50 Allstate Central Match Classic at Westland Bowl in Westland, Mich.; the Break Point Alley Member/Non-Member Doubles in Tavares, Fla., and the PBA and PBA50 Epicenter Northwest-West Open tournaments in Klamath Falls, Ore.

The only PBA Regional tournament over the Nov. 29-Dec. 1 Thanksgiving weekend will be the PBA50 Beaumont Southwest Open at Crossroads Bowling Center in Beaumont, Texas.

The PBA Regional schedule over the Dec. 6-8 weekend includes the Knob Hill East Challenge at Knob Hill Country Lanes in Manalapan, N.J., and the Warren Harley-Davidson Central Challenge at Freeway Lanes of Warren, Ohio. Both “challenge” tournaments are open exclusively to non-title winners.

The PBA Regional program concludes its 2019 season with PBA/PBA50 Houston Emerald Bowl Doubles Dec. 20-22 in Houston, Texas. The Southwest Region event is projected to pay a projected $7,000 first place.

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).


• Jason Belmonte’s newest off-the-lanes venture is serving as a “mentor” to help novice inventors improve their pitches to judges on the upcoming series “Everyday Edison” that will begin livestreaming on Amazon Prime in February. You can view Belmonte’s preview of his role in the show on his Facebook page.

• Last Call: Nominations are being accepted through Nov. 22 for the 2019 PBA Tony Reyes Community Service award. To be eligible, the nominee must be a PBA member in good standing. To nominate an individual, use the nomination form available at this link: (https://www.pba.com/Content/files/awards/TonyReyes_App_2019.pdf).

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About Me

Brian grew up in New York before moving to Phoenix, AZ in 1991. He has been involved in writing for his own bowling publication called “Striking Spotlight.” He has been published in the Desert Bowler Newspaper, Windy City News Newspaper and the Bowlers Journal. Hirsch is a Youth Director in the Kenosha USBC and a former Director for the Metro Phoenix USBC. As a Level 1 and RVP USBC coach, he can be found coaching his wife Amber and their son Masen each Saturday morning. Hirsch currently has (6) 300’s and (4) 800’s and is a member of the International Gay Bowling Organization where he is a five-time IGBO Champion and a six-time Arizona State Grand Canyon State Games Medalist. The Hirsch’s moved to Wisconsin to be closer to family and assist the Freedom Farm for Vets. Hirsch’s home bowling center is Sheridan Lanes, located in Kenosha, WI.


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