PBA TV episodes are entertaining despite lack of live shows

Today’s column has been two months in the making – at least it’s been stewing in the back of my mind for that long.

I wanted to comment on a couple of TV shows from the Pro Bowlers Tour back in early January, but all the good bowling that’s been going on in the area has gotten in the way.

Mind you, though, I’m happy for all of our local bowlers, and besides, it takes a lot of stress away from me knowing I have a ready-made topic every week.

With that said, I figured you wouldn’t just want to read about something that happened nearly two months ago. At least that’s when it was shown on TV.

Hopefully you’ve had a chance to catch the pros on ESPN at least once or twice on Sunday afternoons since they restarted – on my birthday! – back in December.

Most of the shows are taped, and yes, that is a bit of a turnoff, but it seems once you get into them, at least I tend to forget that part.

Last Sunday’s show was compelling – and live for once – as it was the U.S. Bowling Congress Masters in New Jersey.

Hometown PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III was the darling of the crowd, especially since he’s become the PBA ambassador of his generation like the late Dick Weber had been.

In fact, Bohn was part of my original column idea, since he won at age 49 in January for his first win in more than four years.

Last week, Bohn got breaks in his opening match before he was dethroned by another “missing in action” pro – Wes Malott – who dominated the tour four years ago.

Malott chalked up two match-play wins before Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte struck out in the 10th frame to beat Malott in the title match, 258-245.

Belmonte’s final-frame turkey forced Malott to do the same thing when he came up in the 10th to win by one pin, and while Malott got a fantastic break for the first strike, he went through the nose on try No. 2.

It’s just the kind of drama you’re looking for out of these guys.

Back in January, though, it was really stirring to first see Tom Daugherty and then Bohn pick up wins in back-to-back weeks.

Daugherty was the guy who bowled the worst televised game in PBA history – an even 100 – in 2011.

He showed a lot of grace at that time, but you had to know he was hurting. I can tell you that I know what it feels like to do that bad when everyone’s attention is on you, and I doubt I was described as “graceful” even though the number of people watching numbered about a dozen, not a million or more like it was for Daugherty.

First, it was great to see Daugherty make it back on TV, then when he won three matches for the title, well, I’m only slightly embarrassed to say I had goose bumps on the back of my neck seeing his elation.

A week later, Bohn had to start at the bottom and needed to beat four opponents. And he did it, beating the likes of Belmonte, Sean Rash and Rhino Page, all big guns on tour.

Right then, I thought, “I got to get that in my column this week,” and well, it’s finally happened.

By the way, the PBA is on at 3 p.m. Sunday, then takes two weeks off because of March Madness college basketball, and has three more Sundays before wrapping up coverage this season. The first telecast after the break is at 1 p.m. on March 24.

Now on to The Mining Journal Bowlers of the Week, two weeks worth in fact:

Two weeks ago was a battle of titans for the men’s honor, with Glenn Ayotte and his 835 in the Country Lanes Superior Iron Range Federal Credit Union League I featured a week ago putting him 187 over his 216 average, just beating out David Lancour’s plus-178 effort in the Tuesday Miller Genuine Draft Major, also at Country. With a 188 average, Lancour shot 742 with a 279 high.

In third was a nice 153 over his 182 average by Jared Kontio in the Country Friday Nite Mixed with 699 and 246 game.

For the women, Stacy Filizetti was 88 over her 141 average in the Friday Nite Mixed with 511 with 152, 192 and 167. Next was Pamela Skytta in the same league, 70 over her 120 mean with 430 and a 159.

Last week, Bradley Havel shot 160 over his 139 average in the MGD Major with 577 on 190, 197 and 190. Next was Ray Rivord at 107 over his 197 average in the Wednesday Industrial at Superior Lanes with 698, including 277.

For the ladies, Brenda Carlson zoomed past her 184 average by 119 pins with 671 on 224, 255 and 192 in the Friday Nite Mixed, and runner-up was Hope Virch at 104 over her 187 average with 665 and 228 in the Wednesday Industrial.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.