FAIRBORN — Many of the nation’s top bowlers, including one considered among the best of all time, will compete July 18-20 at Bowl 10 Lanes in the inaugural 2017 PBA 50 Fairborn Central Classic professional bowling tournament.
The Professional Bowlers Association’s all-time leading money winner and a member of the PBA and United State Bowling Congress halls of fame, Walter Ray Williams Jr. will be among the entrants in the first-ever Fairborn Classic. Williams Jr., of Oxford, Fla., has won a record 47 PBA tournament titles so far in his career. He is the series’ seven-time Player of the Year, and has 100 perfect 300 games to his credit in PBA competition.
Bowl 10 manager David Flemming will also compete, along with PBA Hall of Famer Tom Baker, of Kings, N.C. and Miami Valley region pros Brian Kretzer, Ron Profitt, Bob Kelly, Curt Rasnic, Neil Kassel, Tim Hartley, Bill Peters Jr. and Brian Miller among others.
“The PBA has six regions in the country, and this will be a Central Region tournament,” Flemming explained. “PBA 50 is the senior professional tour for bowling. You have to be at least 50 years of age to participate.”
Tournament contestants will have a 4 p.m. Tuesday July 18 practice session, then a Pro Am tournament, open to men, women and youth bowlers, will be held at 6:30 p.m. Entry fee is $35 for adults, $25 for youth. Bowlers will be paired with a different PBA 50 tournament pro for each of three games, and there will be five bowling categories inwhich to compete.
Prior to the Pro-Am event, Fairborn resident and former PBA Tour competitor Bob Kwolek will be honored. The day will be proclaimed Bob Kwolek Day.
Flemming said things will get more intense on Wednesday, July 19.
“That’s when it’s qualifying time for the pros,” he said. “They’ll bowl eight games each and, depending on the total number of entries, so many of those bowlers will move forward to the Fairborn Classic tournament on Thursday. That’s when they’ll do head-to-head matches until we have a winner.”
The tournament is set to begin at 11 a.m. Thursday.
Local tournament sponsors are Fayette Drywall, and S.A.R Manufacturing, both of Dayton; Schwartz Jewelry of Fairborn; and Cherp Home Inspections, also of Fairborn.
The brainchild of Flemming and Kretzer, this is the first time Fairborn has played host to a PBA-sanctioned pro bowling tournament.
“We hope that we can make this grow into where it would become a national tournament, at which time it would probably have to be moved to a larger facility. But we’re hoping to build this into a regular event, at least at the regional tournament level, for years to come,” Flemming said.
Bowler can sign up to compete in the Pro Am by calling Bowl 10 at 937-878-9521. Bowl 10 is located at 1425 N. Broad St. in Fairborn.
Proceeds from the Pro Am tournament will benefit the Fairborn High School bowling team. Flemming hopes that, with more local sponsorship, the tournament will be able to help support Greenon and other area high school bowling programs in the future.
“It’s the fastest growing high school sport in the country, and we’d love to be able to support our area high school bowling teams and watch them grow,” he added.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.