It's a bit of a comedown from the years when at least five Western New Yorkers were regulars and often in contention on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour with tournaments almost weekly from October to April.
However, bowlers with area ties are still playing a role in the pro picture.
Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga scored a 12th-place finish last week in the U.S. Open at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan. The Open was won by England's Dom Barrett, who edged Jakob Butturff, 207-206, in the final match, preventing the Chandler, Ariz., bowler from repeating his title win of 2017. The stepladder finals were televised live on the CBS Sports Network on Wednesday.
It was the final event of the PBA Tour season. The 2019 season gets underway in January. The PBA World Series of Bowling X, formerly held in the fall, will take place in March instead in Allen Park, Mich.
Western New York native Liz Johnson, who now resides in Palatine, Ill., did not dominate the Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour as she has become accustomed to doing.
Johnson led the PWBA Tour in official earnings and competition points for the first four years of its existence. She was fourth on the earnings list for 2018, but did not make the top five in any of the other major statistical categories.
A 28th-place finish in the PWBA Players Championship, one of the four major events on the tour, played a part in Johnson's lower-than-normal finish, although she did win the PWBA Columbus Open and the Mixed Doubles with E.J. Tackett.
Former Rochester bowler Shannon O'Keefe succeeded Liz as PWBA Player of the Year. Two New York State bowlers, Liz Kuhlkin of Schenectady and Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, had strong finishes.
An 'Eagle' for the Krywcuns
Winning a coveted eagle for a championship in the United States Bowling Congress Championships is a singular honor, considering the competition involves thousands of bowlers from across the nation.
Twin brothers Michael and Jeffery Krywcun of Buffalo joined the ranks of WNY champions in the tournament when they shared the Standard Doubles championship in the Open in Syracuse. They posted a 1,203 tying a team from Tennessee. Standard Doubles competitors are pairs with combined averages entering a tournament of 361 to 418.
The last WNY winner in the Open was Brad Angelo of Lockport, who took the Standard All-Events title in 2017 with a 2,176 total.
Busy weekend slate
There is a strong WNY entry at the second annual New York State Senior Masters at Cort Lanes in Cortland.
Pat Brick of Buffalo, George Szczublewski of West Seneca, John Masiello of Kenmore, Mike Faliero of West Seneca, Gary Kinyon of Lockport, Larry Case Jr. of Jamestown, Bill Thompson of Jamestown, Carl Kinyon of Lockport, Mike Firzak of Amherst and Matt Zachowicz of Cheektowaga are among the entrants.
Brick, Masiello, and Faliero are former George A. Obenauer Masters champions and the Kinyons each were runners-up in the Obie.
It's a busy weekend on the local bowling scene.
The "Beat The Champ" show was set to be taped Saturday at Byllye Lanes in Bradford, Pa. Four episodes will be taped for airing on WBBA-TV Nov. 10,17, 24 and Dec. 1. The show airs at 4 p.m. on Saturdays with encore showing each Sunday at 11 p.m.
Two Greater Buffalo USBC Association events are happening. The Senior Women's Singles championship began Saturday and continues Sunday at the Kerns Avenue Bowling Center in Buffalo and the Family Tournament is Saturday and Sunday at the Broadway Sports center in Cheektowaga.
Of course, a major event on the calendar is the GBUSBC Hall of Fame Induction Dinner on Nov. 24 at Samuel's Grand Manor. Brad Angelo, Ray Bellet, Mary F. Chase, Cindy Kosanovich, Holly L. Parrish, the late James J. Wangler, Jr., Dave Williamson, Mary Grace Williamson and Ruth L. Wooliver are the inductees.
- Brian Borowski, proprietor of Allie Brandt Lanes in Lockport and Classic Lanes in the Town of Tonawanda was elected to a two-year term as president of the New York State Bowling Proprietors Association. The organization's membership includes nearly 200 commercial bowling centers in the state.
- Classic Lanes hosted the Medaille College Tournament last weekend won by the host team. Sarah Gerken of Roberts Wesleyan was the individual winner, averaging 229.8 for five games, including a 296. Alexandra Syrotynski of Daemen was second, Rachael Steele of Daemen was third and Morgan Walsh of Medaille was fourth.
- Brad Angelo Lanes in Lockport hosted the Maple Syrup Classic for men's varsity teams. Rochester Tech won followed by Georgian College of canada, Castleton from Vermont, Canisius and St. Bonaventure. Top WNY finisher was Kurt Stitzel of the Bonnies.