Rookie Josh Blanchard’s hard fall in last week’s PBA World Championship Mike Aulby Division Final seen on ESPN has attracted a lot of national media attention. He has been featured on ESPN SportsCenter, ESPN Around the Horn, ESPN Pardon the Interruption, ESPNews, LIVE with Kelly Ripa, the Howard Stern Show and numerous other local sportscasts. His misfortune has also become a YouTube hit, among other internet blog sites, with hundreds of thousands of views.
PTI’s Tony Kornheiser accepted a challenge from Blanchard and as a result plans are in the works to schedule a match at Tony’s hometown lanes Strike Bethesda (Md.) sometime in the future.
“I would have never dreamed in a million years that it would have gotten this much attention,” said the former Wichita State bowler. “Everything happens for a reason and I’m actually having a lot of fun with it. I’m looking at it as an opportunity to turn it into a positive for the sport.”
“Josh is a future star of the sport and we know one day soon he will be able to turn his rough debut on TV into a great story of perseverance,” added PBA Commissioner Tom Clark.
Jason Belmonte won the Mike Aulby final with a 300 game during the show. He will be featured with Osku Palermaa, Sean Rash and Ryan Shafer in the PBA World Championship final Sunday on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET.
SEAN RASH TO FULFILL “WISH” FOR YOUNG CANCER VICTIM
Sean Rash will fulfill the “wish” of 16-year-old Benjamin Doyle of Casper, Wyo., providing the young cancer victim with a personal visit and a bowling lesson during the Alka-Seltzer Plus Liquid Gels USBC Masters.
Rash will meet with Doyle, who is suffering from brain cancer, at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, at Strike Zone inside Sunset Station Hotel/Casino in Henderson, Nev., in response to a request from the Make A Wish Foundation. Doyle and his family also will be invited to attend the live ESPN coverage of the USBC Masters finals on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. PT as guests of the PBA and USBC.
REGIONAL UPDATE: Thanks to an 8-0 match play record, Dale Traber of Cedarburg, Wis., won the T-Byrd Lanes Senior Open regional in Rochelle, Ill., Jan. 8 for his ninth Senior regional title to go along with his 38 regular regional titles.
In the title match, he defeated Robert Flaws of Chicago Ridge, Ill., 226-179 to take home the $1,500 first prize
PBA Regional activity continues for Midwest and Central senior players with the Lynwood Bowl Senior Open in Lynwood, Ill., Jan. 20-22, and the Sparetime Lanes Senior Open, Feb. 3-5, in Decatur, Ill. Both events are sponsored by Allstate Insurance.
The PBA Central Region also will conduct the Legend Lanes Regular/Senior Doubles Classic in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Jan. 27-29.
February’s highlight for non-senior players include the new Regional Players Doubles Championship presented by Hammer Feb. 10-12 at The Orleans in Las Vegas. For complete Regional tournament schedules and entry information, visit pba.com and click on “Regional Tour” under the “Schedules” drop-down tab.