For the first time in recent memory, perhaps in the history of the Pro Bowlers Tour, there is no longer a regular competitor listed from Western New York.
The last was Ryan Ciminelli, whose residence is now listed as Lancaster, S.C., in the greater Charlotte, N.C., area. He is from Clarence.
Liz Johnson, of course, relocated to Palatine, Ill., a few years ago. Johnson is originally from Niagara Falls.
Ciminelli and Johnson have been in the bowling news in recent months.
First, Ciminelli was suspended by the PBA for two August tournaments. No, he didn't bash an opponent over the head with a bowling ball. He was disciplined because of his criticism on a podcast of lane oiling conditions on the summer tour. He also was involved in another controversy when he ended his relationship with bowling ball manufacturer, MOTIV, after two years. "We just couldn’t make great things happen as a partnership, so we have decided it is time to part ways,” he said in a Facebook post in July.
Ciminelli finished a 62nd in the U.S. Open last month in Mooresville, N.C. He bowled two eight-game qualifying rounds with an average of 198.25 and high games of 230, 247 and 252 each round. The former Erie Community College standout did not make it to the 36-bowler fourth round of qualifying, the cashers' round.
The only other bowler with WNY ties in the Open was senior Tom Baker of King, N.C., who was 112th with a 187.33 tournament average. Baker is a Buffalo native.
The season was not a total loss for Ciminelli, however. First, Ciminelli was a member of the Portland Lumberjacks, the winner of the 2019 PBA League last spring.
In August, he came back from his suspension to win Gene Carter's Pro Shop Classic in Middletown, Del., for his eighth career title on the Tour and first since 2016. The 31-year-old left-hander defeated Tom Daugherty, 217-209, in the final.
In September, Ciminelli finished third in the World Bowling Tour Thailand Open in Bangkok. After winning a three-way match over JoJoe Dyannaphon of Thailand and Cheah Ray Han of Singapore, he defeated Dom Barrett of Great Britain, 206-184, before dropping a 209-208 match to Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., in the semifinal. Rash lost to Jesper Svensson of Sweden, 211-181, in the championship match.
More recently, Rash had another loss in the final of the U.S. Open to Francois Lavoie of Canada. Lavoie defeated Rash, 221-172. Rash was the top qualifier. The Open championship, Lavoie's second, was worth $30,000. He started the final with five strikes, taking command early. Rash opened with a strike but did not have another until the ninth frame.
Johnson finished seventh in Thailand, reaching the stepladder where she and Wes Malott lost in a three-way match to Dyannaphon. Then Johnson, the defending champion, lost to Maria Jose Rodriguez of Colombia, 252-234, in the final match of the World Bowling Tour Women's championship held in conjunction with the Kuwait Open.
The Western New York collegiate bowling scene is active these days.
The Erie Community College men's team won the Fulton-Montgomery Community College Baker Tournament last weekend at Perry Lanes in Johnstown.
Most of the activity so far as been in women's bowling. Two tournaments have been held at Brad Angelo Lanes in Lockport, and Medaille held its invitational at Classic Lanes in the Town of Tonawanda.
Daemen and Medaille have been the most active. Starting in early October, Medaille has bowled in the Columbia 300 Penguin Classic at Youngstown State; the Mount Shootout at Mount St. Mary's (Md.); its own Invitational; and last week's Redhawk Rally, hosted by Roberts Wesleyan at Brad Angelo.
Daemen bowled in the Grapevine Classic in Erie, Pa.; the Mount Shootout; the Medaille tournament; and the Redhawk.
Freshman Paige Bartosz (Orchard Park) has stood out for Daemen. She averaged 175.8 for five traditional matches at the Medaille Invitational and 191.60 as the top individual scorer in the Redhawk Classic.
Carla Hansen of Medaille was runner-up with a 187.00 average at the Redhawk.
Daemen and Medaille are entered in this weekend's Wildcat Invitational in New Castle, Del.
Villa Maria, coached by Jack Jurek, won the Georgian Canadian Maple Classic at Brad Angelo and finished with a 4-5 record in the Redhawk Rally last weekend. Maddie Jensen (Orchard Park) led the Vikings with a 177.80 average for seventh place in the Redhawk.
Villa won traditional matches over D'Youville and Daemen and Baker matches over Penn State-Behrend and Hilbert in the Redhawk.
- Robert Rudnick Jr. of won the 65-69 age group singles with an 804 with handicap at the recent New York State Senior Championships in Schenectady. He also won the Six-Game combine with 1,461, making him eligible to compete in the 2020 USBC Senior Championships in Louisville, Ky., next summer. Rudnick's scratch of 777 in singles included a 300 game. Tom LaPenna and Gary Kinyon won the 70-74 doubles with a 1,381. Robert Lyon Sr. of Jamestown was second in 70-75 singles with 741.
- Mary Gorski (70 and over), Mary Ellen Rosati (60-69), and Lynn Zagorski (50-59) were the class winners in the Greater Buffalo USBC Association Women's Senior Singles Championship at AMF Airport Lanes. Gorski shot 751; Rosati 730; and Zagorski 767.
- Reservations will close Dec. 6 for the GBUSBC Association's 33rd Annual Youth Team Championship Dec. 14-15 at AMF Lancaster Lanes. Walk-ins and re-entries will be allowed. There will be a scratch division and two handicap divisions (100 percent of 210). Scholarship opportunities will be available.