Dick Weber PBA Playoffs caps noteworthy season for PBA Regional players


    2010-11 PBA Tour #12

    Regional program is proving ground for PBA's major Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour events

    The Dick Weber PBA Playoffs, an expanded PBA Tournament of Champions field, a sold-out World Series of Bowling and other open events including the PBA World Championship, U.S. Open and Bayer USBC Masters have provided the most opportunities for PBA's regional players to compete at the sport's highest level during the 2010-11 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season than they have had in nearly two decades.

    With a PBA Tour schedule that visits a reduced number of cities, PBA fans are still able to see many of PBA's talented players through its regional program which last season conducted 170 tournaments in seven regions across the U.S.

    201011PBA12RandyWeiss2.jpgSome of the PBA's talented players who compete largely at the regional level have converted their success to opportunities in prestigious high-profile PBA Tour events.

    One of those players with a predominately regional background is former PBA Tour exempt player Randy Weiss (pictured left) of Columbia, S.C., who will make his first PBA Tour television appearance and first serious run at a PBA Tour title in the Lumber Liquidators Championship Round of the Dick Weber Playoffs which will conclude the 2010-11 Tour season live on ESPN Sunday at 1 p.m. ET from Woodland Bowl.

    "I wish I had been at this level earlier in my career, but it is what it is," said the 37-year-old Weiss who competes in about 18-20 regionals a year. "You never know when it's going to be your time and I hope I make the most of this opportunity. This is what I've dreamed about since I was five years old."

    Weiss, an eight-time regional titlist whose previous best Tour finish was ninth, will battle 13-time Tour winner Chris Barnes and two-time titlist Dick Allen for the Playoffs title.

    201011PBALennieBoresch.jpgIt will be a finals that could be considered reflective of PBA's membership—Barnes, who has established himself as one of PBA's contemporary superstars; Allen, who could probably be best described as a journeyman Tour player, and Weiss who has for the most part made his name at the regional level.

    "I go into every tournament I bowl expecting to win and bowling the best I can but I really didn't know what to expect in the Playoffs," Weiss said. "Because of the format there is probably no better example of a tournament where you need to stay in the moment and approach it one tournament round at a time."

    Another player who made his name on the regional Tour is Lennie Boresch Jr. (right) of Kenosha, Wis., who also made his first Tour television appearance in the Playoffs but was eliminated in the regional round. Boresch, a 24-time regional tour winner earned his first Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour exemption in the 2010-11 season by finishing fourth in the 2010 PBA Regional Players Invitational last December in Reno.

    The PBA playoffs format featured six independent regional groups bowling elimination rounds within their respective regions (North, South, East, Southeast, Southwest, Midwest and West/Northwest). A total of 156 players that included regional as well as Tour players competed in the event.

    201011PBA07TomDaugherty.jpg201011PBA09TomHess2.jpg"It's a great format and it was a lot of fun," Boresch said of the PBA Playoffs. "With the elimination format your odds were better to make the TV show because you just had to make sure you bowled well enough within your division and not be one of the bottom few players to be eliminated. It's not like a normal Tour event where you have to be in the top five out of however many are entered in the entire tournament to make the TV show."

    Boresch and Weiss aren't the only regional players who have experienced personal career highs during the 2010-11 season. South Region veteran Tom Daugherty (left) of Wesley Chapel, Fla., made his television debut – one he'll never forget – in the $1 million PBA Tournament of Champions. Midwest Region competitor Tom Hess (right) of Urbandale, Iowa, converted his first TV appearance into an emotional victory in the Bayer USBC Masters.


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