12 local bowlers compete in PBA event in Struthers
PBA event is under way at Holiday Bowl in Struthers
By Greg Gulas
The Third Taylor Auto PBA Open continues today with 12 local qualifiers among this year’s 90-player field at Holiday Bowl.
The A-squad kicks off action at 9 a.m., B-squad rolls at 3 p.m. and Dexter’s “Footwork of the Pros” workshop is set from 7:30-9:30 p.m.
The top 16 players will advance to Sunday’s round-robin 12-game, total pins final which gets under way at 10 a.m.
“This is the first time that the East and Central regions were combined for our regional,” Holiday Bowl’s Bob Eisenbraun said. “We’ve grown each year with this our biggest field yet.
“The players and pro-am participants all have a great time.”
Returning after a one-year lay-off is 2017 winner, J.R. Raymond of Chesterfield, Mich., who will team with New Jersey’s Matt O’Grady, winner of the recent Hubbard Open, to conduct tonight’s workshop.
Raymond also produces a podcast and has 20,000 YouTube subscribers where he provides lessons.
“I bowled in the recent Masters in Las Vegas but haven’t bowled much lately because my focus has shifted,” Raymond said. “I enjoy the lanes here at Holiday Bowl.”
O’Grady said the 39-foot chameleon pattern used this weekend is a familiar one.
“We’ll present two hours of hands-on critique for those that take part in the workshop,” O’Grady said. “Eastern Ohio has been good to me and I am glad to be back. We’re using a lane and oil pattern this weekend that we all bowl on and are quite familiar with on the PBA Tour.”
Ed Carter of Austintown is a local qualifier and has a regional win to his credit.
“It’s kind of weird in that I got in my car with less than 1/8th of a tank of gas and didn’t have to fill up to get here,” Carter said. “I bowled in this event back in 2017 but didn’t bowl last year.
“I turned 50 years-old, wanted to enter senior events so I am back as a work in progress.”
Kyle Bigelow of Troy says this weekend’s surface complement’s his game.
I like Holiday Bowl because it’s a hooking surface with a lot of friction,” Bigelow said. “Friction is what makes the ball hook.”
Boardman’s James Billock has been bowling since he was 5 and has been looking forward to his first pro-am event.
“I’m looking to go pro next year so every little bit helps,” Billock said. “I’ll be bowling with pro Shane Yesovich and we bowl together here every Wednesday night, but tonight was more for fun than anything.”
Owners Tom and Rose Eframedes enjoy when the PBA stops at their facility.
“An event like this brings the best bowlers out and it’s a time when those in the crowd can pick up tips for their game,” Tom Eframedes said.
His wife said, “The pros are our friends. Just give credit to our staff because they work tirelessly so that this event goes off without a hitch.”
The event opened Friday with 30 teams competing in a Pro-Am event.