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Chicago To Host The GEICO PBA Team Shootout This Summer

A unique showcase of the highest level of bowling blending in with the hottest trends in the sport will take place over Memorial Day weekend when 20 of the world’s greatest bowlers return to downtown Chicago for the first time in 47 years for a unique team competition at upscale 10pin bowling lounge in the landmark Marina City complex.

The GEICO PBA Team Shootout, the fifth annual PBA Summer Series special event, will result in more than 15 hours of national television on ESPN and ESPN2 over the summer months.

“The return of team bowling to the heart of the city where many of the greatest names in bowling history built their careers will present the sport in an entirely new light,” said Professional Bowlers Association Deputy Commissioner Tom Clark.

The GEICO PBA Team Shootout, with the PBA Manufacturers Cup as its ultimate prize, will be conducted in a “boutique” bowling facility that includes the House of Blues as its next-door-neighbor and includes a Who’s Who list of Chicago celebrities among its clients. 10pin bowling lounge has hosted hundreds of special events, including high-profile fundraisers conducted by Chicago Cubs pitching star Kerry Wood, Chicago Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook and Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, a Chicago native, among others.

The GEICO PBA Team Shootout will feature four teams of five PBA stars who will compete in a variety of singles, doubles and team matches, earning points toward the PBA Manufacturers Cup for their respective sponsoring companies. The Shootout will get underway with a special celebrity pro-am event on Sunday, May 29, with squads at 2 and 6 p.m. Team Shootout matches will be conducted Tuesday, May 31, from 1-10 p.m. and Wednesday, June 1, from 1-9 p.m.,

The Team Shootout event will be the first PBA Tour event held in the city of Chicago since the 1963 Chicago Coca-Cola Open was held at the former Bowlium when the PBA Tour was only five years old.

Inaugural PBA Manufacturers Cup winner Storm Products will defend its title against teams representing bowling ball manufacturing rivals Brunswick, Ebonite International and 900 Global. Among the PBA stars who will compete in Chicago are PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J. (Brunswick); newly-named PBA Player of the Year Mika Kovuniemi of Hartland, Mich., and PBA Triple Crown winner Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas (Ebonite International); newly-crowned USBC Queens champion Missy Parkin of Lake Forest, Calif. (the only woman in the competition) and PBA Hall of Famer Brian Voss of Marietta, Ga. (900 Global); and PBA Hall of Famers Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., and Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo. (Storm).

Chicagoland will be represented by four-time PBA Tour champion Sean Rash of Montgomery (Brunswick) and seven-time Tour winner Steve Jaros of Yorkville (900 Global).

The special PBA Summer Series event will get underway with an upscale pro-am program on May 29 when Chicagoland league bowlers will be invited to bowl with PBA stars and Chicago sports celebrities for fun and prizes in a 9-pin no-tap event. Entry fees are $99 for the 2 p.m. squad and $125 for the special 6 p.m. “dinner” squad. Entry fees include free parking. All pro-am bowlers will compete for cash and merchandise prizes. For complete entry details, visit pba.com for a direct-entry link through e-Tix or call 206-654-6003.

The GEICO Team Shootout will feature a series of matches between the company teams on Tuesday and Wednesday to earn seeding positions for the Baker team finale. In Baker team competition, all five players on teach team will bowl two frames each to complete a full game. The winning team will claim the Manufacturers Cup.

Admission to all Team Shootout matches will be free. Shows will begin on the hour both days, beginning at 1 p.m. A series of 15 30-minute telecasts will air on ESPN beginning on June 25, with re-broadcasts airing on ESPN2 beginning on July 9.

GEICO PBA TEAM SHOOTOUT FACTS
10pin bowling lounge, 330 N. State St., Chicago, May 29, 31-June 1


GEICO PBA TEAM SHOOTOUT MANUFACTURERS CUP ROSTERS


Team Brunswick
Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J. (PBA Hall of Famer and 32-time title winner)
Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio (eight-time TV finalist)
Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill. (four-time PBA title winner including 2007 USBC Masters)
Ronnie Russell, Indianapolis (three-time runner-up)
Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich. (2009 PBA World Champion)

Team Ebonite International
Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas (PBA Triple Crown winner, 2011 PBA World Champion and 13-time titlist)
Mike Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y. (two-time titlist)
Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C. (13-time winner, and former PBA Player and Rookie of the Year)
Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich. (native of Finland; reigning PBA Player of the Year and 2011 PBA Tournament of Champions winner)
Bill O’Neill, Southampton, Pa. (2010 U.S. Open champion and three-time title winner)

Team 900 Global
Michael Haugen Jr., Carefree, Ariz. (2008 PBA Tournament of Champions winner and two-time titlist)
Missy Parkin, Lake Forest, Calif. (first woman to join PBA and 2011 USBC Queens champion)
Steve Jaros, Yorkville, Ill. (2005 PBA Tournament of Champions winner and seven-time titlist)
Robert Smith, Hong Kong (2000 U.S. Open champion and seven-time titlist)
Brian Voss, Alpharetta, Ga. (PBA Hall of Famer and 25-time title winner)

Team Storm Products
Jason Belmonte, Australia (2009 PBA Rookie of the Year and first two-handed player to win PBA title)
Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla. (PBA Hall of Famer, Grand Slam winner and 34-time titlist)
Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas (2008-09 PBA Player of the Year and six-time title winner)
Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y. (four-time titlist)
Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo. (PBA Hall of Famer, Triple Crown winner and 35-time champion)

ESPN TELECAST SCHEDULE (all times ET; all shows will re-air on ESPN2)

Saturday, June 25, noon – Four half-hour shows (ESPN)
Sunday, June 26, 4 p.m. – Four half-hour shows (ESPN)
Saturday, July 2, 4 p.m. – Four half-hour shows (ESPN)
Sunday, July 3, 2:30 p.m. – Four half-hour shows (ESPN)

by Bill Vint
pba.com