Danielle McEwan Wins Nationwide PWBA Rochester Open

It all came down to the 10th frame at the 2017 Nationwide PWBA Rochester Open. In the end, Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York, defeated Shannon Pluhowsky 226-224 to win her third PWBA title. The win earned McEwan $10,000 and a spot in the Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship in Richmond, Virginia. We caught up with Danielle between her travels to ask her some questions about her most recent win.

It means a lot that I was not only able to compete but able to walk away with a title from an event in my own state.

CBS Sports aired the Nationwide PWBA Rochester Open where you earned your third PWBA title this week? What did it mean to you to take home that title for a tournament that was hosted in your home state?

It was awesome to have a PWBA stop in New York, my home state. Even though Rochester isn't very close to where I live, I grew up bowling high school and other state tournaments all over the state. Therefore, I found myself constantly bumping into people that started conversations with phrases such as "I haven't seen you since high school" at this tournament.

What were your favorite Storm Bowling Balls in your bag this summer?

All of them!! The patterns we bowled on this summer were so drastically different from weekend to weekend, having multiple options to choose from allowed me to be consistent each week. Some of my favorites that stand out are the Sure Lock, Phaze II and Code Red.

What have you been up to during the off-weeks of the PWBA Tour on the road to the PWBA Tour Championships?

They may have been off weeks for the PWBA tour, but they haven't been off weeks for me by any means. I just got home from traveling to Sweden for the World Bowling Tour event. I now will have 3 days to get back on this time zone, get some good quality practice days on the lanes and in the gym and then it's off to Richmond!

What do you plan to do on the off-season?

Over the last few years, I've competed on the PWBA tour, the PBA tour, the World Bowling Tour, as well as represent Team USA in multiple international competitions. Therefore, there is really no off season for me. As soon as the PWBA Tour Championship wraps up, I will be training with Team USA and will then go right into another World Bowling Tour event in Thailand. The rest of the year will then be spent competing against the guys!

Do you have advice for bowlers who might be thinking about going out to test their skills on the PBA Tour or PWBA tour?

The advice I always give people who ask how to get to this point is to plan out your stepping stone path. For me, my path started with high school bowling, which led to college bowling, which led to Jr. Team USA then Team USA, and then out to competing on tour. For others that might mean competing in local tournaments, to regional events, to national events.

If your goal is to compete on the highest level on either tour - set a game plan on how to get there and work hard every day for it.

What’s one thing about yourself that fans might not know about you?

I love flying and I love airports. It's just recently become a new obsession- 100% related to my travel schedule over the last few years. In addition to constantly booking flights, I find myself doing research and reading tons of articles and blogs on different planes, airports and everything that has to do with travel. If you ever have any questions about seats on different aircrafts, fare classes, upgrades, the best places to eat in any given airport or the best way to argue with airline representatives, I can definitely help you out!


Marvel Pearl Rookie Club

You spoke, we listened. We went into the vault and brought back something that was undeniably one of the greatest creations Storm has produced to date. There's been lots of buzz about the limited-release of the legendary Marvel Pearl. Fans of this bowling ball jumped for joy at the chance to throw it down the lanes again. #StormNation was buzzing with memories of achievements that came with this fan favorite. We've read your stories and shared your excitement as you threw your first shots down the lane with your new Marvel Pearl.

As we traveled to Bowl Expo, Junior Gold, trade shows, and tournaments over the summer we heard reviews on the Marvel Pearl from bowlers in every state. We also realized that there was a community of bowlers who were experiencing the magic of the Marvel Pearl for the first time. We loved hearing these stories and realized that there were probably more out there! That's when we created the #MPRookieClub. This "club" is for all those bowlers who didn't drill up a Marvel Pearl the first time it was in circulation but got their hands on one this time. These rookies have been sharing stories on social media for the last few weeks and we wanted to share a few of their reviews with #StormNation.

 Some bowlers just can't get over the ball motion.

"Love my new Marvel Pearl! Smooth roll right into the pocket. Great forgiveness. Does not disappoint. I can tell that I'll be rolling this one for a long time to come. Thanks Storm Bowling!" -Joyce K.

“I have a MARVEL PEARL and it is my most reliable ball for my game.” – Gord Emoff

Some bowlers are taking it to tournaments to try it out. 

Some bowlers just can't argue with the scores. 

Some bowlers are annoyed they waited so long.

“I just picked up this ball the other day from my pro shop and I'm blown away. I've never thrown a ball with so much control. This ball is so crazy smooth down lane it's a perfect fit in my bag for the medium patterns! I can't wait to use it competition! This ball feels like it was made for me, I wish I would've gotten an original. #MPRookieClub” - Noah G

Some bowlers just couldn't put it into words.

Are you drilling up a Marvel Pearl for the first time to start off your season? It's not too late to join the club and we want to hear from you! Post your a photo or video on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram describing your experience with the Marvel Pearl. Don't forget to post it with the #MPRookieClub so we can see it too!

One lucky fan will win a new Storm Spotlight Polo to wear on the lanes. Let's see those stories! Winner will be chosen September 8.

 


Boelter and Kelly Earn Title at USBC Women's Championships

Charly Boelter and Samantha Kelly have bowled with each other twice and have taken home 1st and 2nd place at the USBC Women’s Championship in the Diamond Doubles. In 2017, Charly rolled games of 258, 245 and 203 for a 706 series combined with Samantha’s games of 257, 217 and 224 for a 698 set to take over the lead. Their lead held until the end of the tournament. Both Charly and Samantha threw Storm and Roto Grip bowling balls to earn this title. We had a chance to catch up with the Diamond winners and ask them some questions about the event.

When did you start bowling?

Charly: I have been bowling for 31 years.

Samantha: I started bowling when I was 3 years old at Hoffman Lanes in Hoffman Estate, IL. My father was the GM of the bowling alley, and my mother was a bartender/ junior coordinator youth program.

How long have you been bowling together at the USBC Women’s Championships?

Charly: 2 years…last year by accident, really.  I’d rather call it a blessing.

Did you practice together prior to going out to compete?

Samantha: We did not practice together prior, just bowled some local tournament together.

Did you know the score you had to shoot prior to bowling?  

Charly: Yes, we looked at the score.  We both looked at it and said it was attainable, and let’s give it a shot.

Tell us about that day:

Charly: We had high aspirations on winning this tournament based on last year’s performance. The day started with our pre-tournament routines, which are somewhat similar…which makes it even easier to compete with her.  We took our time to get ready, prepared, focused, and revisit our plan of attack. We have an amazing relationship for two individuals that don’t know each other very well, and we just understand each other on the lanes, and are able to communicate with each other freely and constructively; like we’ve known each other, and our games for that matter, for years.  We came up with a plan and stuck to it the next afternoon.

Samantha: We both struggled in team, and stayed up late into the morning just talking about a game plan for the next day. That morning of the doubles and singles we got to the alley early, and both sanded a ball to 500 grit to create some hook right for us. It ended up working out in our favor. Yes we did know the score going into the tournament, but we also knew we were capable of shooting a good number just needed the pins to fall our way when we executed good shots.

What bowling ball(s) did you use during the event? 

Charly: Haywire then switched to the IQ tour (glad I drilled up some new stuff…lol)

Samantha: Phaze II and Code Red

What did you ladies do after you finished bowling to celebrate?

Samantha: Actually, we got on the road right after the tournament due to work obligations. We are planning to celebrate with our sponsor, Motion Plus Lanes in the upcoming weeks. It is an exciting moment we want to share with friends and family.

You set your scores pretty late in the tournament? What was the anticipation like waiting for the event to conclude?

Charly: I’m glad it was so late’ it was the longest week ever.  I kept my fingers crossed, hoping and praying it would hold

Do you have a favorite Storm bowling ball of all time? 

Charly: IQ tour

Samantha: Virtual Gravity

What advice would you give someone who’s going to bowl the Women’s Championships next year?

Samantha: Talk to the team, and have a game plan going into the tournament. Winning as a team everyone has to play as a team. I believe everyone needs to be on the same page as the breakpoint just may need to get to that breakpoint in many different angles.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Charly: Sam is the most amazing teammate anyone could ask for.  I am completely blessed to have fallen in her path. I would rather share the excitement (of a win) than have it myself.


 


Liz Johnson Wins the 2017 Women's U.S. Open

USBC Hall of Famer, Liz Johnson, started as the #5 seed at the 2017 Women's U.S. Open. To make history, she'd need to climb the ladder and defeat all of her opponents, for a second year in a row. That's exactly what she did! In the final match, she defeated Daria Pajak 188-176 to claim a record 10th major title. The two-time reigning PWBA Player of the Year, also won the 2017 PWBA Storm Sacramento Open and Go Bowling PWBA Players Championship this season.

We caught up with Liz after her victory as she was traveling home to Chicago.

Over the weekend, you were able to win your fourth consecutive and sixth total U.S. Open title. What did it mean to you to put that green jacket on again?

I am still in amazement of what happened Sunday Aug 6, 2017.  To be a part of history of winning my 4th consecutive Women's U.S. Open and my 6th overall is just an unbelievable experience and something I will continue to cherish forever.

 

Photo: PWBA Tour

As the 2016 reigning Player of the Year, what were your goals heading into this season?

After winning the POY the last 2 seasons, I was just hoping to just make some shows and hopefully come out with a win.  I never imagined I would have the 2017 I have had.

I am very humbled and honored to be able to still compete at this level.

There’s about a month before the Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship, what will you be working on to prepare for the final tournament of the season?

In the few weeks we are off I will probably take a break from throwing a ball for about a week.  I am going to Montreal for a trade show and heading to Storm Products in Utah for the first time so I am extremely excited about that.

What were your favorite Storm Bowling Balls in your bag this summer?

I have used my Sure Lock(s), Code Black(s), and Code Red(s) a lot but my go-to ball throughout the 2017 PWBA season has been my Storm IQ Tour.  It's been the most versatile ball, no matter what pattern we have been on.

What do you plan to do on the off season?

I recently sold my house in Cheektowaga, NY and bought a house in Palatine, IL with my fiancé Kasia so we will be getting ready for all the fun stuff that goes with that.  I also got invited to bowl the US Open in November in Syracuse, NY so I will be preparing for that.

What’s one thing about yourself that fans might not know about you?

I played softball from age 8 to 18.  I was a pretty good pitcher in high school and played on varsity from 8th grade until I graduated.

Do you have advice for bowlers who might be thinking about going out to test their skills on the PBA Tour or PWBA tour?

I would just say to try and bowl anything and everything you can.   Try and go to different centers .  If you have a "home" house have them put patterns out.  Spares are always a big factor in bowling tournaments so never press the reset button.

The best way to learn about the mental game or "being strong mentally" is going out and doing it! To me that's the best way to learn and get stronger.

 


Striking Against Breast Cancer Tournament

Striking Against Breast Cancer 2017

The PBA-PWBA Xtra Frame Luci Bonneau Memorial Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles Tournament, sponsored by Storm kicks off this weekend. In its 18th year the tournament will host the largest field in its history. More than 320 bowlers will be competing in the event.

The story of the tournament travels back several years. Donna Conners and Luci Bonneau met bowling together in Houston and became travel partners on the LPBT. In 1999,  Bonneau was battling breast cancer and Conners stayed by her side. They discussed creating a bowling tournament to raise money for breast cancer research when her treatment was complete. Bonneau passed away later that year and Conners knew she had to create the event.

“This event has been around for 18 years and it is still growing,” Conners said. "It’s about people coming together for a dreadful disease. When you think about it, breast cancer doesn’t ask any questions. It doesn’t care if you a mother, if you a father, or who you are. Breast cancer hits everybody.”

Conners starts preparing for the next event the day after the current year wraps up. The tournament fills up quickly. Entry blanks are posted live on the website on January 1 and she starts receiving entries on January 3. In 2016, the event raised $84,000 to help fund breast cancer research and Conners is excited to expand the field and continue growing the event this year. Although the players are competing for a title and a $16,000 top prize they all know that this event means more than just that.

“There’s nobody in that building that hasn’t come in contact with somebody that has cancer.” Conners said. “I am very grateful that the PBA & PWBA have come together and given me a title for the players because they deserve it. The players would come here anyway and I know that, but I needed that title to help these players and their careers. I’m very grateful to Tom Clark and Chad Murphy and all the people involved for allowing me to award a title. I’m also grateful that people can watch the players compete live on Xtra Frame.”

Players travel from across the nation and around the world to compete in the event. Conners has a team of volunteers that give their time and help the event run smoothly. She says each year the volunteers keep growing.

This year the team has put together, Pennies for Pins, a new initiative to get fans at home more involved at the event. Fans can choose their favorite bowler and either pledge a flat donation or a “Penny-A-Pin” based on how many pins the bowlers knock down. Individuals can go to this website to pledge a donation: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSctRolxMIKSDTbtgZU24ARCiSu_5OvF3I_AxE_JTHWohVhHdA/viewform?c=0&w=1

“I am very blessed.” Conners said. “I don’t even know how to put into words how much I appreciate everyone that has been such a part of it. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, I am the child and I have an entire village helping me pull this off.”

Storm Bowling has sponsored the event since 2002 and each year the whole company tries to participate in the event in every way.

“Storm has been a proud supporter of the Luci for 18 years,” Leanne Hulsenberg, Marketing Coordinator at Storm Products said. “Not only do we sponsor the event, all of our pro staff and Storm employees participate in the tournament. Donna Conners and her staff of volunteers do an incredible job all year to prepare for this weekend and we appreciate all of their efforts to make this special tournament happen each year.”

Knowing that Storm Bowling is 1000% behind her event means a lot to Conners.

“Having Storm Bowling Products behind me is like having wings that just lift me up and help me fly.” Conners said. “I feel safe. I know that they’ve got my back and they’re always there to help me. Without these sponsors that like Storm Bowling Products, High 5 Gear, and all the many, many sponsors who donate time and money to come bowl the pro-am, this event would not be possible.”

Conners and all of her volunteers try to make sure that the players who participate in the event know how grateful she is for their presence and support. They have stayed with her and helped the event grow year after year.

“I do everything that I possibly can to make the players feel like they are rock stars.” Conners said. “They are rock stars. They deserve everything I can possibly give them. If I can find a way to give them more then I’m going to find a way. I want them to remember that when they leave here that they are worth everything that I can possible give them. They deserve to be recognized as the greatest players in the world.”

The Luci hosts a pro-am where amateur bowlers bowl with PBA and PWBA stars and help raise money for the cause throughout the event. They host a silent auction as well as several raffles and giveaways for all of the participants. This year, Conners has added a giant Plinko board that participants will be able to use to win prizes. It’s an important piece of the weekend. Conners does everything in her power to make sure that there is “positive karma” throughout the entire event and good thoughts for all the spectators and participants.

She also tries to make the tournament environment as fair as possible right down to the lane condition. Kegel comes in to provide the tournament with a fair but challenging lane condition. Every once in a while a player will get caught up in the frustration of the tournament. It doesn’t take long for them to regain perspective.

“I had one player tell me one time that this (lane) condition is awful,” Conners said. “I said, you’re right now turn around. Do you see this lady standing behind you? She has breast cancer right now. When you are on these lanes you are fighting to win. That’s what she’s doing too. She is fighting for her life.”

To follow the tournament on Xtra Frame, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link. For those who would like to support the event but can’t attend visit http://www.strikingagainstbreastcancer.org/ make a tax deductible donation online.

“Hopefully every player and participant leaves with positive and good thoughts.” Conners said. “I hope they know that I’ve done everything possible to help them. Each year I add something in to make it better. So we’ll see what happens.”


Dinner With Pete Weber

Storm Bowling is celebrating Pete Weber’s 20th Anniversary as a member of the Storm family.

We challenged all the pro shops in the area to encourage their customers to enter to win the contest.

We’re honored that he has chosen to be part of our team for all these years. To celebrate this milestone and another successful year on the lanes, we hosted a contest for bowlers in the Las Vegas area to win a dinner with Pete Weber!

We randomly chose 3 lucky fans and a guest to enjoy a fun filled evening with one of the greatest bowlers to play the game. We also rewarded the pro shop operator who was able to encourage the most customers to participate in the contest and that shop and a guest also joined us. The winners were met at their home by a limo and taken to a special dinner at the Golden Steer Steak House.

 

Our winners were very excited as Weber stepped out of the limo to greet them. At dinner, all the bowling fans and their guests were able to take pictures with Weber throughout the night. They could also ask him questions about his accomplishments on the lanes. They asked Pete many questions and he entertained them with stories of his prolific career. It was a wonderful night for everyone involved!

We can’t thank Pete Weber enough for being part of our team and the support of all of our fans. Here’s to many more!


Check Out The Sure Lock

The Sure Lock is available now at a pro shop near you. This solid addition to the Lock family features a lot of continuation in a ball that is designed for heavier oil. The Sure Lock features the RAD-X Core and the GI-17 Solid Reactive Coverstock. It comes out of the box at 2000 grit factory finish.

“If you’re looking for a ball that will read the midlane but still give you the continuation through the backends, the Sure Lock is the ball for you,” said Steve Kloempken.

We’ve got a couple of ball reaction videos on our YouTube channel featuring Storm Staff Members, Darren Tang and Dan Higgins. Be sure to head to our Storm Bowling channel to check them all out.

Have you added the Sure Lock to your bag? Be sure to let us know what you think by reaching out to us on our social media channels or using the #StormNation. We can’t wait to hear what you think!

Click here to view the Sure Lock ball page


Cheers to 20 Years!

Cheers to 20 Years!

January 2017 marks Pete Weber's 20th Anniversary at Storm Bowling!

His career has been legendary. He has won 37 PBA National titles including 10 major titles and 6 PBA50 National Titles including 1 major title on the senior tour. He won back-to-back PBA50 Player of the Year titles in 2015 and 2016.

Pete Weber has already had some success on the 2017 PBA Tour. He finished 7th at the Barbasol PBA Players Championship, 5th at the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions, and finished 9th at the USBC Masters Tournament.  He’s preparing to head back out on the PBA50 Tour this summer where he’s defending his Player of the Year title.

We can’t thank Pete Weber enough for being part of our team and the support of all of our fans. Here’s to many more!

Learn more about Pete Weber.


Erica Cutler Loves the Lanes

 

Erica Cutler Loves the Lanes

Valentine’s Day has always been a special day on the lanes for Team Storm Staff Member, Erica Cutler, and 2017 was no different! Although, her success came a few days early this year. Cutler rolled a 279 triplicate for 837 on February 10 with the Storm Timeless in her Thursday night women’s league.

“The fact that the Timeless comes out on Valentine’s Day was kind of cool,” Cutler said. “I shot 864 on Valentine’s Day in 2011. My husband had got me a new pair of shoes. Last year, he got me a bowling ball and I shot 889 and broke the record for the highest woman series. He just gives me things and I break records.”

She held the national record for eight months. Cutler has been bowling since she was nine years old. She competed successfully at the high school and college level.

“My husband came to get our daughter and I told him I had 279 the first game. I left a 10 pin in the first game and I had left another 10 pin at that point. He said, ‘strike out and do it again,” Erica said.

That’s exactly what she did. Two more times to be exact. After her set was complete, Doug, and the whole league were excited about her accomplishment and congratulated her.

“I’m excited to throw that ball again!” Cutler said. “I love it. It works well for my game. I’m more of a ‘down and in’ player. I don’t throw a big hook. I really like to play the 10 board…I tell my husband, that’s my comfort zone.”

It’s a busy time on the lanes for Erica as she’s bowling the women’s city tournament in her area which is held on wood lanes. This hasn’t affected her ability to use the new Timeless. She’s ready to continue striking with it.

“I’m so proud and happy to be part of the Storm Family,” Erica said.

We’re expecting more great things from Erica in 2017! To learn more about the Timeless visit stormtimeless.com.

 

 

 

 


Life as a Tour Rep by Del Ballard Jr.

Life as a Tour Rep by Del Ballard Jr.

Life on the road as a tour representative is an incredible opportunity. I spent the whole summer on tour with the ladies on the PWBA Tour. We just wrapped up a whirlwind of a week at the 2016 U.S. Open.

The week at the U.S. Open were some of the longest days I have ever been a part of. This event included several new rules regarding equipment. You were only allowed to register 8 balls during qualifying, you could not change surfaces out on the lanes once practice started, and you could not have more than 8 balls in the locker room. Our day as a tour rep started at 7 am every morning discussing surfaces changes with each player because they were on a rotating squad schedule. A squad bowled first, followed by C squad, and then B squad. A was “fresh”, B was “burn”, and C was “double burn”. These rotate each day so that all participants see a different condition. (What is funny to me is when I bowled these events there were never these terms!).

The US Open is a tournament like no other. The mental and physical grind on the players is brutal. The mental and physical grind on the tour reps is pretty brutal too. During qualifying it’s all about keeping your angles in front of you, never losing the pocket, and making your spares. For the players we try to help them stay in the right zone on the lane and keep them in the right frame of mind. We also try to watch certain pairs that we know might be different than the others and communicate it to the players.

Marshall Kent lead the tournament by a lot and Francois Lavoie was second. Marshall put on a show through the week, playing outside the first arrow on A squad and lofting the left gutter on C squd. It was an awesome display of versatility! There was a crowd watching him on a lane that was hooking a ton. They were never easy. It’s the US Open after all! When match play rolled around, Marshall had a slight lead over Francois but Marshall started to strike…a lot. He shot 360 over and swept all 8 of his matches taking a 320 pin lead over Francois.

Match play continued the next morning and Marshall continued to bowl great opening up with a 450 pin lead. He was just incredible!! I had not seen that dominating of a display since Walter Ray lead the 1993 US Open by 530 pins over me. The next round though Francois put on his own show, bowling the highest block in match play. He cut Marshall’s lead down to 270 pins. It was awesome to watch.

Team Storm and Roto Grip had an unbelievable week on the lanes! Heading into the stepladder finals, Anthony Simonsen was third, Shawn Maldonado was fourth, and John Szczerbinski rounded out the top 5. On a side note, we had Martin Larsen in 6th, Andres Gomez was 7th, and Arturo Quintero was 8th. 11 out of 12 guys were throwing Storm/Roto Grip. I have never seen such a dominant display by our equipment. Great bowlers, great bowling balls.