Wednesday, April 28, 2010

USBC Queens and PBA Senior Columbus Open Yesterday Live on the Internet

Bowling may not be all that popular on television, but it seems to be attracting a growing audience on the Internet, thanks in no small part to PBA Xtra Frame and's live streaming of bowling events. These two services offered an embarrassment of bowling riches all day yesterday.

The day began on something of a sour note with local, Sacramento area favorite Leanne Barrette Hulsenberg losing two consecutive bracket matches to exit from the USBC Queens tournament after bowling spectacularly well the day before. But it was still great seeing her back in the thick of competition against the best of the best and doing as well as she did with what I suspect was a minimal amount of practice and preparation for the big event.

Still, there was some great bowling to be seen from the likes of Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Tennelle Milligan, Anne Marie Duggan, and a host of other ladies in the stellar field before the pin dust settled and the five finalists for tonight's televised stepladder finals (ESPN2, 8 PM EDT) were determined. Tonight's finalists will be 1. Tennelle Milligan, 2. Anne Marie Dugan, 3. Missy Bellinder, 4. Kelly Kulick, and 5. Michelle Feldman.

I wasn't familiar with Tennelle Milligan before watching her closely yesterday. But now I'm very impressed with her game. She has one of the best women's styles, she had a great ball reaction yesterday, even shooting 300 at one point, and I think she's going to be very tough to beat tonight. If you missed yesterday's action, you can catch it in the USTREAM archives.

But the USBC Queens was not the only bowling well worth watching yesterday. There was also Xtra Frame's live coverage of match play and final rounds of the PBA Senior Columbus Open. It was great hearing Mark Roth doing commentary with Charlie Tapp and Jeff Mark in the Xtra Frame booth and seeing Hall of Famers Dave Soutar and Wayne Webb bowl each other in one of the semifinal matches. Soutar is 70 years old, has been bowling regularly in PBA events for 50 years, and is still good enough to almost make it to the title match of a PBA senior event.

I remember when he came to San Mateo, California in the early 1970's to put on a bowling exhibition at 19th Avenue Bowl. I lived just a few blocks away and Soutar was my favorite bowler at the time. So I went to watch him and even got to bowl on the pair next to him with some friends of mine, which was a big thrill. It was an even bigger thrill watching my grandfather throw a straight ball off the corner to beat him with a 289 game in an exhibition match and to see Soutar follow up his defeat with a 300 the next game. However, as well as he bowled yesterday, he didn't shoot 300 and lost to Webb 212-258 in a semifinal match.

I was very happy to see Wayne Webb finish with seven in a row in an exciting final match against Mark Williams to win 264-253 and take his third senior title. Wayne is bowling really well right now on the senior tour, and he looks a whole lot happier than he did in A League of Ordinary Gentlemen. He successfully defended his Senior U.S. Open title this year and came in second to Steve Ferraro in a senior tour event last week. It's almost a pity he won't be able to bowl that much now that he's just bought a bowling center in Columbus, Ohio and will have to devote most of his time to it. But I wish him the very best with his bowling and his bowling center. And if you missed his semifinal and final matches yesterday, you can catch them here and here on PBA Xtra Frame.

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