PBA national event coming to Coldwater

By Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist

The top 100 of the Professional Bowlers Association tour have been invited to compete in Coldwater in what is now officially a national stop.

Xtra Frame will air the event, named the Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Group Classic. Clearly the PBA has gotten positive feedback from the professional bowlers who have rolled at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater.

“We are really ready for the tournament to begin,” Pla-Mor owner Rick Hartings said. “While there have been some natural stressors in getting ready for the national stars that we will be hosting, it has also been a great deal of fun in preparing for the event. It all kicks off with the golf outing on Thursday of this week at Mercer County Elks.

“We continue to get a lot of support from our city and the area and we will need every bit of it. We will have so many national and even international stars in for the tournament. It is going to take the support of the community and the area.”

Coldwater has been up to the challenge in the past with top performers from the PBA in competition for the Lefeld Implement Regional that they have played host to for the last nine years. This year’s tournament being held Saturday and Sunday will be that event on steroids.

The top 100 of the PBA money list got the first chance to enter with a deadline of July 3. After that point individuals with a PBA card are permitted entry. The field of 96 is now complete and squad shifts will be available by Tuesday on the PBA website.

“Like I said it clearly is a grouping of national stars,” Hartings said. “We know favorites like Parker Bohn, EJ Tackett, Chris Loschetter, Kyle Troup, Rhino Page and Ronnie Russell will be in attendance. We will also have Marshall Kent, Chris Barnes, Walter Ray Williams, Sean Rash, the Tang brothers, Tom Smallwood. It will be a great field.”

Hartings did share that Pete Weber and Jason Belmonte did not enter and Ryan Ciminelli is on the wait list having missed the deadline. Three of the spots that were opened have been filled by area regional professionals Anthony Kennard and Chandler Stevens as well as guest Mike Davidson from Versailles.

“Xtra Frame is doing the telecast so we will have (former tour pro and current announcer) Randy Pederson present and that will certainly lead to a lot of fun,” Hartings said. “The reports that I am getting is with this being the final of the PBA Storm Cup round that we may also have Tom Clark, the Commissioner of the PBA in attendance as will as Dave Symes of Storm for the presentation of a pretty good size check for the winner of that competition. Tackett leads that battle right now with Marshall Kent in close pursuit.”

One thing that we do know is the annual hog roast that they have has gotten bigger and that Jerry Happy will be roasting a hog on site.

“We will have plenty of food. Our vendors have been very helpful in making sure that we will not run short. It will be wise for fans to bring their enthusiasm and their appetite.”

One of the things that has always amazed me about the professional events in Delphos, Coldwater or Wapak is the proximity and the availability of the bowlers. You cannot get any closer to a professional sports star in any venue. The key is the when … always remember to give them room and wait for that moment as it will come. I mean I have seen Rhino Page play Jenga with different groups and they all seem up to a game of cornhole. They also are not immune from sitting back and catching a ballgame or golf tourney with the fans.

Contact Rick or Linus Hartings at Pla-Mor (419-678-3113) to see if there may still be room for the golf outing Thursday or Pro-Am on Friday.

The qualifying rounds will be going on throughout the day Saturday with no admission fee. Head to pba.com or plamorlanes.net/ for more on the Classic.


By Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist