PBA Bowling Tour: 2011–12 season

This is a recap of the 2011–12 season for the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour. It is the tour's 53rd season, and the third straight season in which all of the first half events were condensed into the PBA World Series of Bowling (WSOB). The season consisted of 15 title events. This is also the final season in which the PBA is using an "exempt" player list. The "exempt" status for touring players will not be carried into the 2012–13 season.

PBA Bowling Tour: 2011–12 Season
LeagueProfessional Bowlers Association
SportTen-pin bowling
DurationNovember 4, 2011 – April 15, 2012
PBA Tour
Season MVPSean Rash
PBA Tour seasons

Tournament schedule and recapsEdit

For the third season in a row, the PBA condensed the first half of the season into the PBA World Series of Bowling (WSOB). Preliminary rounds of the televised tournaments were November 5–16, with television tapings on November 17–20. All of the events were held at the South Point Casino's bowling center in Las Vegas, Nevada.[1]

There were five "open" events at the World Series, meaning they were open to all PBA and World Tenpin Bowling Association (WTBA) members around the world. (To earn a PBA title at an event, however, the winner must be a full-fledged PBA member by the time of the WSOB.) The open events included four stand-alone title tournaments (Viper Open, Chameleon Open, Scorpion Open and Shark Open), plus the PBA World Championship. Each stand-alone "animal pattern" event featured 8 games of qualifying in the morning of each day, with the top 16 returning that evening for a best-of-five elimination match play round to determine the top four for the TV finals. The bowlers with the top 53 pinfall totals from the 32 qualifying round games in the four stand-alone events were entered into the "cashers' round" for the PBA World Championship. These 53 players then rolled 8 more games to determine the final 16 bowlers for the televised match play round of the World Championship.[2]

There were three "exempt" events added to the 2011 WSOB. The Carmen Salvino Classic started with a field of up to 49 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour exempt players, plus at least 15 Tour Qualifying Round (TQR) participants. Two other events, the Pepsi PBA Elite Players Championship and PBA Exempt Players Baker Doubles Championship were for PBA exempt bowlers only. The combined totals from 12 games of Carmen Salvino Classic and 18 games of Elite Players Championship qualifying determined the 16-player match play semifinals participants for both the Elite singles and Exempt doubles events.

An additional TV taping took place at the WSOB: the WTBA World Bowling Tour Finals, presented by the PBA. Qualifying for this final round was based on multiple WTBA international events, and did not take place at the WSOB. The finals format was a three-man and three-woman stepladder.

In all, 14 TV programs were taped at the 2011 World Series of Bowling: four stand-alone "animal pattern" finals, Carmen Salvino Classic finals, Pepsi PBA Elite Players Championship finals, PBA Exempt Players Baker Doubles Championship finals, WTBA World Bowling Tour men's final, WTBA World Bowling Tour women's final, and five days of broadcasts for the PBA World Championship finals. The TV finals were contested on specially-built lanes placed inside the South Point Casino's Exhibition Center.

The second half of the PBA Tour season included the three remaining majors (USBC Masters, Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open and PBA Tournament of Champions), plus four more title events.[3]

World Series of Bowling (first-half) highlightsEdit

  • Sean Rash made history by qualifying for the TV finals in the first five World Series of Bowling events. He made the four-player TV field for all four "oil pattern" events (Bayer Viper Open, Chameleon Open, Scorpion Open and GEICO Shark Open), and also earned the #1 seed in the PBA World Championship.[4] However, he did not win any of these five tournaments.
  • Osku Palermaa won his second PBA title and first major in the PBA World Championship, becoming the first two-handed bowler to win a major title on the PBA Tour.[5]
  • Stuart Williams won his first PBA title in the Bayer Viper Open. In doing so, he became the first player from England to win a title on the standard PBA Tour in North America.[6] Shortly after, fellow Englishman Dom Barrett won the Scorpion Open at the same event.[7]
  • American players were completely shut out of singles titles at the WSOB. Only the doubles title by Norm Duke and Wes Malott prevented a complete sweep by international players.[8]

Second-half highlightsEdit

  • Mike Fagan defeated #1 seed Chris Barnes, 246–213, to win his first major title (and third overall) at the USBC Masters. Barnes, one of only six triple-crown winners in PBA history, was looking to add the Masters title to complete a career grand slam. It was the third time that Barnes qualified as the #1 seed in this tournament, but he has yet to win it.[9]
  • Fagan was the top seed for the third major of the season, the 69th U.S. Open, but he was knocked off by Pete Weber in the final match, 215–214. With the victory, Weber became the only player in PBA history to win five U.S. Open titles.[10] Also at the 2012 U.S. Open, 14-year-old Kamron Doyle became the youngest person to ever cash in a PBA major. Doyle qualified 54th, making the 98-player cashers' round, and finished 61st.[11]
  • After failing to win in six 2011–12 TV finals appearances, Sean Rash finally won the richest tournament of the season, when he captured the title at the season-ending PBA Tournament of Champions.[12] Rash also won the 2012 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year award in a close vote (Rash received 29% of the vote to Jason Belmonte's 26.6%).[13]
  • This was the first time since the 1962 season that no left-hander has won a national PBA title.

Tournament summaryEdit

Below is a summary of the 2011–12 season. Total career PBA Tour titles for winners are shown in parenthesis. All prize money is in US dollars ($), except where indicated.

Event Airdate City Preliminary rounds Final round Oil pattern Winner Notes
PBA BowlersDeals.com All-In Showdown Nov 4* Las Vegas, NV Nov 4 Live* Tommy Jones Optional $5,000 buy-in WSOB event.
Not a PBA title event. $45,000 top prize.
GEICO World Bowling Tour Men's Final Dec 4 Las Vegas, NV Multiple dates Nov 18 Mika Koivuniemi (Finland) WBT qualifiers only. Not a PBA title event.
GEICO World Bowling Tour Women's Final Dec 4 Las Vegas, NV Multiple dates Nov 18 Carolyn Dorin-Ballard (USA) WBT qualifiers only. Not a PBA title event.
PBA World Championship Dec 11, 18 and
Jan 1, 8, 15
Las Vegas, NV Nov 5–9 Nov 17–18 Top seed
chooses pattern
Osku Palermaa (2) Open event. $50,000 top prize.
WSOB Bayer Viper Open Jan 22 Las Vegas, NV Nov 5 Nov 18 Viper Stuart Williams (1) Open event. $15,000 top prize.
Cheetah Open Jan 22* Fountain Valley, CA Jan 20–21 Live* Cheetah Eugene McCune (3) Open event.
$10,000 top prize.
Alka-Seltzer Plus Liquid Gels USBC Masters Jan 29 Henderson, NV Jan 23–28 Live Custom Mike Fagan (3) Open to PBA and qualifying USBC members.
$50,000 top prize.
Chris Paul PBA-Celebrity Invitational Feb 5 Los Angeles, CA n/a Jan 12 Pete Weber, Blake Griffin
and Jerry Ferrara
Invitational charity event.
WSOB Chameleon Open Feb 12 Las Vegas, NV Nov 6 Nov 19 Chameleon Jason Belmonte (2) Open event. $15,000 top prize.
WSOB Scorpion Open Feb 19 Las Vegas, NV Nov 7 Nov 19 Scorpion Dom Barrett (1) Open event. $15,000 top prize.
Ricart Ford Open Feb 19* Columbus, OH Feb 17–18 Live* Scott Newell (1) Open event. $10,000 top prize.
69th U.S. Open Feb 26 North Brunswick, NJ Feb 20–25 Live U.S. Open
Pete Weber (36) Open event. $60,000 top prize and automatic berth in the
"Round of 36" at the PBA Tournament of Champions.
WSOB GEICO Shark Open Mar 4 Las Vegas, NV Nov 8 Nov 19 Shark Jason Belmonte (3) Open event. $15,000 top prize.
Detroit Open Mar 11* Allen Park, MI Mar 9–10 Live* Norm Duke (35) Open event. $10,000 top prize.
Brunswick Euro Challenge N/A Sainte-Maxime, France Mar 17–24 Mar 25 Mike Fagan (4) Open event. 15,000 top prize.
Lumber Liquidators Mark Roth-Marshall Holman
PBA Exempt Players Doubles Championship
Mar 25 Las Vegas, NV Nov 14–16 Nov 20 Norm Duke (36) and
Wes Malott (7)
Exempt event. $15,000 top prize.
Carmen Salvino Classic Apr 1 Las Vegas, NV Nov 14 Nov 20 Earl Andres Gomez (1) Exempt event with TQR. $15,000 top prize.
PBA Dick Weber Playoffs Apr 1* Indianapolis, IN Mar 30–31 Live* Dick Weber Norm Duke (37) PBA Tour and PBA Regional members only. $20,000 top prize.
Pepsi PBA Elite Players Championship Apr 8 Las Vegas, NV Nov 14–16 Nov 20 Jason Belmonte (4) Exempt event. $35,000 top prize and automatic berth in the
"Round of 36" at the PBA Tournament of Champions.
PBA Tournament of Champions Apr 15 Las Vegas, NV Apr 8–14 Live ToC (custom) Sean Rash (5) Past PBA Tour, PBA Regional and PBA Senior Tour
champions only. $80,000 top prize.

An asterisk (*) indicates a tournament that was broadcast start-to-finish (including finals) on the PBA Xtra Frame webcast service. All other broadcasts were on ESPN television.


  1. ^ Vint, Bill (July 8, 2011). "Revised PBA World Series of Bowling Broadens International Appeal; Finals Set for South Point Arena". PBA.
  2. ^ "2011 PBA World Series of Bowling". PBA. Archived from the original on 2011-09-24. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
  3. ^ "2011–12 Schedule". PBA.
  4. ^ Vint, Bill (November 10, 2011). "PBA Spare Shots PLUS WSOB Notebook: Rash Off to Unprecedented Start; International Players Shine". PBA.
  5. ^ Vint, Bill (January 15, 2012). "Finland's Osku Palermaa Becomes First International Player to Win PBA World Championship, First Two-Hander to Win PBA Major Title". PBA.
  6. ^ Vint, Bill (January 22, 2012). "Stuart Williams Wins Bayer Viper Open, Becomes First English Player to Win a PBA Tour Tite". PBA.
  7. ^ Schneider, Jerry (February 19, 2012). "England's Dom Barrett Wins First PBA Tour Title in Scorpion Open". PBA.
  8. ^ Vint, Bill (April 8, 2012). "Australia's Belmonte Wins Third 2011–12 Title in Pepsi PBA Elite Players Championship". PBA.
  9. ^ Vint, Bill (January 29, 2012). "Mike Fagan Tops Chris Barnes to Win First Major Title in Alka Seltzer Plus Liquid Gels USBC Masters". PBA.
  10. ^ Vint, Bill (February 26, 2012). "Pete Weber Wins Record Fifth U.S. Open to Surpass Father Dick Weber and Don Carter". PBA.
  11. ^ Vint, Bill (March 8, 2012). "PBA Spare Shots: Media Buzz Continues for Weber's U.S. Open Celebration, Barnes' 300, Doyle's Feat". PBA.
  12. ^ "ToC Tournament Results". PBA.
  13. ^ Vint, Bill (May 28, 2012). "Sean Rash Wins Closest PBA Player of the Year Contest in Years; Belmonte Second, Fagan Third". PBA.

External linksEdit