Lucky Larsen Masters Begins in Sweden

"Lucky Larsen" may just be a nickname for Martin Larsen but this summer it took on new meaning for this Team Storm player.

In August, Larsen traveled to the United States to compete in the PBA Chesapeake Open. He and fellow Team Storm player, Fran Louw went to get some dinner and see some sights when he was struck by a vehicle in the middle of an intersection. Martin spent a few nights in the hospital and received 59 stitches in his left arm while being treated for a broken left wrist, a broken rib, and various other injuries.

Through everything he truly felt lucky to be alive and that his injuries weren't worse.

It’s been about a month since the accident and Martin has been busy recovering and helping the tournament team prepare for the Storm Lucky Larsen Masters event in Sweden.

The cast on his wrist will be removed this week, the injuries on his arm are healing quickly and the stitches are completely gone. His focus now is ensuring his broken rib and soreness in his back continue to improve. He says those are feeling better with every day that passes. Larsen truly feels lucky that it wasn’t worse.

Though healing his injuries has been his main priority, he’s also been focused on helping the tournament officials prepare for the Storm Lucky Larsen Masters in Sweden. The idea for the Lucky Larsen Masters event was created by two bowling center proprietors, Daniel Rönnbäck and Hampus Torstensson who wanted to help promote bowling in Sweden with a great tournament. At the time, two Sweden bowlers, Martin and Jenny Wegner were having a great year on the lanes. Wegner had won the World Cup and Larsen was leading the World Bowling Tour (WBT) Rankings.

Rönnbäck and Torstensson reached out to Larsen to share their idea to create a new bowling event.

“I was very happy about it until they said they like to name it after me… then I had to think about it for a while,” Larsen said. “It felt strange but they convinced me that it would be a big thing. So I told them if I can be the one to look over the sport part of it and they the other organization…then let’s do it!!”

After two successful events in Malmö the 2019 event is moving to Helsingborg. Moving the event around allows bowlers to explore more of Sweden and share bowling news with more of the European bowling community.

In 2019, the event is excited to add a Swedish League Match between Team Pergamon and a World Team to promote bowling and raise money for #bowlarebrysig (Bowlers Care). They’ve sold over 200 tickets and are raising money to support the fight against cancer. The all-star team is fielded by 8 players from all around the world and they will face Team Pergamon, a well-known team in Europe. Fans will cheer on their favorite players and raise money throughout the entire event.

Storm Lucky Larsen Masters will host around 330 bowlers over the course of the event. Each qualifying round is a 6-game block and players have the opportunity to re-enter. 52 athletes will advance to the cashers round. Scoring will be posted online throughout the entirety of the tournament at luckylarsenmasters.com and there will also be a livestream where fans can follow their favorite players all week long.

Storm Products is proud to be a sponsor of this great event and we're honored that Martin has chooses to be a member of the Storm Team. We're looking forward to seeing who will take home the title at the Storm Lucky Larsen Masters event.

To learn more visit luckylarsenmasters.com.

 

 

 


Rookie Julia Bond Shines On PWBA Tour

Don’t let the term Rookie fool you. Julia Bond has proven that she’s a fierce competitor in her first season on the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour.

In her first full season on tour, Bond has picked up two PWBA Regional Titles, earned a spot in the PWBA Elite Field (top 24 in season points) based on her performance on the PWBA Tour, and won the PWBA Regional Showdown which aired on CBS Sports August 24.

Photo Credit: PWBA Tour

Our PWBA Tour Manager, Mike DeVaney, and all those who work with our Team Storm players have been impressed by Bond’s thirst for knowledge and dedication to the sport. Bond had a very strong youth bowling career earning titles at local, state, and national levels. She represented Junior Team USA from 2014-2017 and Team USA from 2017-2019 earning several medals and competed collegiately at the University of Nebraska where she was a member of the 2015 National Championship team. She was also named the 2015 NCAA Bowling Championship Most Outstanding Bowler.

“Julia continues to prove that she will be a force on the PWBA in the upcoming seasons,” DeVaney said. “Some early marks of her success- earning Elite status, winning multiple regional events including the regional showdown, and multiple top 10 finishes all point to this. As Julia continues to build her foundation, her trajectory is high. I fully expect her to be in the winner’s circle on the PWBA tour sooner than later and I am excited to support her in that quest!”

The ladies of Team Storm and Roto Grip were represented well on the 2019 PWBA Regional Circuit. Each one-day PWBA Regional tournament was paired with a national PWBA Tour event where bowlers competed in eight games of qualifying before cutting the field to four for the stepladder finals. The champions of the first four events qualified for the Go Bowling! PWBA Regional Showdown.

“The PWBA Regionals simply provide another avenue of competition for women bowlers,” said PWBA Director of Operations Tennelle Milligan in the PWBA Press Release regarding the Regional Program. “With a lower cost, bowlers can see what it takes to compete on challenging conditions and get a glimpse of the PWBA experience.”

At the first event of the season, Elise Bolton of Florida earned the PWBA Greater Cleveland Regional title. Julia Bond of Illinois picked up the next two titles at the PWBA Sonoma County Regional and PWBA Lincoln Regional. Gazmine Mason of Rhode Island picked up the title at the PWBA East Hartford Regional. The final regional title of the season went to KT Simpson at the PWBA Orlando Regional.

Photo Credit: PWBA Tour

Bolton, Bond, and Mason all qualified for the PWBA Regional Showdown based on their performances in the first four PWBA Regional Events of the season. Kayla Bandy of Maryland earned the fourth position based on her accumulated prize winnings in PWBA regional competition.

In the first match, Mason faced Bolton. Bolton stayed clean through the early parts of the match while Mason had two opens. Mason threw the final six strikes to defeat Bolton 217-214.

The second match paired Bond against Kayla Bandy in a close match. Bandy could have defeated Bond by 1 pin had she struck out in the 10th frame. Delivering a strike on her first shot, she was stopped by a 10 pin. Bond defeated Bandy 214-204.

The title match was a two-game total pinfall competition between former collegiate teammates, Bond and Mason. Bond defeated Mason 441-420 to take home the PWBA Regional Showdown Title.

 

Though her rookie season is wrapping up, we caught up with Julia to discuss her first year on tour and what she’s looking forward to in the future.

Photo Credit: PWBA Tour

Tell us a little about your first full season on the PWBA Tour. What were your goals going into the season?

Overall, I’m proud of my first season. I made a few cuts and got to participate in some of the regionals. Going into this season my goals were to learn and absorb as much information as possible. I wanted to make sure I internalized my experiences so I could use that information for the rest of my career.

Tell us about how it felt to be bowling on TV for the Regional Showdown?

Naturally I felt nervous. This event meant a lot to me and I wanted to perform well. However, through the nerves I was excited. I was happy to be there and happy to have the opportunity to show what I got.

What balls did you use on the show?

On the show I used the !Q Emerald and the Halo Pearl.

You competed at several PWBA Regionals this season. What do you feel is the difference between these events and a main PWBA Tour event?

For me personally I tried to treat them as similar as possible. Everyone is there to win and I’ve learned to never underestimate people.

What advice do you have for women who might not be ready to bowl the PWBA Tour stops but want to compete in the regionals?

My advice would be to just go for it. It’s a wonderful opportunity. I know it can be intimidating but I think that’s what’s great about it. It helps give you that nudge out of your comfort zone. I think every athlete can benefit from being pushed outside their comfort zone.

What advice do you have for college players who are ready to make the jump to the PWBA Tour?

My advice for college players who are ready to take the plunge would be to take your experience you learned from college and be prepared to expand them. Things that worked in college may not work out here, and that’s ok. That’s the learning process. Also, learn to be your own #1 fan. It’s awesome having a team behind you but you’re all you got out here. Learn how to push yourself.

What has been the hardest part about competing on the PWBA Tour?

The hardest part for me have been the weeks where I felt like I did everything right and made the best shots I could, and they still weren’t enough. It was tough to process but it was something I had to face. I think the emotional/mental lessons are the hardest, but I believe they’ll make me stronger.

What is your goal for the rest of the season?

My goal for the rest of the season is to give it my all. I want to end on a positive note. I want people to be excited about my next season as much as I am.

What are your plans for after the PWBA Tour wraps up?

After the tour wraps up, I plan on working on my game in the off season. After I graduated college I jumped right into the tour and there’s some things I want to clean up. I’m already making plans for next year!

 

Bond's determination to improve and commitment to her game is something that can't be taught. It's something that a player feels in their heart and believes in their soul. We're proud that Bond chooses to be a member of Team Storm and can't wait to see all that she will accomplish in her career. 

 

UP NEXT ON THE PWBA TOUR, THE LADIES TRAVEL TO BUFFALOE LANES NORTH IN RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA FOR THE QUBICAAMF PWBA PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP SEPTEMBER 3-8.


Burkett Wins First PBA Regional Title

Team Storm Staff Member, John Burkett, won his first Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Regional Title at the PBA Houston Emerald Bowl Southwest Challenge. According to the PBA he is also the first former Major League Baseball player to win a PBA title at any level.


Burkett said he used his HALO Vision for most of the event. When the lanes started to get tight down lane during match play he made a ball change to the Storm AstroPhysiX to win the title. Burkett finished the tournament with 4,946 total pins for 21 games, including match play bonus pins. Tyler Wright and Jordan Malott

“I don’t care what it is; to win something with the PBA name on it makes me very proud,” Burkett said in the PBA Release.

According to PBA.com, during his 16-year MLB career, Burkett compiled 166 wins with 1,766 strikeouts and a 4.31 earned run average, pitching from 1987 to 2003 with the San Francisco Giants, Florida Marlins, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox. His best season came in 1993 when he went 22–7 with a 3.65 ERA for the Giants. Burkett was selected to the Major League All-Star game twice, in 1993 and 2001.

We know this is just the beginning of success on the lanes for Burkett! He hopes to add more titles including a PBA50 Title to his resume.

Keep throwing those strikes, Mr. Burkett! Thank you for choosing to throw Storm and Roto Grip Products.


Youth Spotlight: Katelyn Abigania

Name: Katelyn Abigania

Age: 12

Hometown: San Diego, California

Home Bowling Center: Sea & Air Lanes in Naval Air Station Coronado, San Diego

Favorite Storm Bowling Ball(s): Currently: Storm PhysiX All-Time Fav: Storm !Q Tour Nano

Sometimes you meet young athletes who just strike you as wise beyond their years. Miss Katelyn Abigania, age 12, is one of those young bowlers who we’ve watched compete in events across the United States and handles herself like a little pro on and off the lanes.

After taking home the U12 Girls Junior Gold title in 2018, Katelyn didn’t stop working hard. We witnessed Katelyn’s determination at the 2019 Storm Youth Championships in Las Vegas where she battled a wrist injury from an accident while competing in the event. She finished 194 pins ahead of the rest of the girls in the U12 field to capture the title and earn a spot on the Storm All-American Team. She has also won several JBT (The Junior Bowlers Tour) titles and was named 2018-19 Girls Scratch All-Conference Bowler of the Year. In addition, she earned the California State Pepsi Championship title in her division.

In June, Katelyn was invited to be a guest for “Little Champions Week” on Live with Kelly and Ryan. She was flown to New York City where she got to explore the city for the first time, give Kelly and Ryan some lessons live on air, and show off her skills on the lanes that they built for the TV show. Katelyn said this experience was truly a once in a lifetime experience for her and she was honored to be chosen to represent youth bowlers on the show.

“I hope to inspire all the bowling fans and their families for the future of bowling.” Katelyn said.

This summer, Katelyn and her family traveled to Detroit to defend her U12 Girls Junior Gold title. Katelyn said this title felt harder to capture and she felt her abilities were put to the extreme. She led qualifying after Day 1 of qualifying and never dropped below second through the cut to match play. In match play, Katelyn was sent to the elimination bracket after her second match and battled back to earn the #3 seed for the U12 Girls TV Finals which aired on CBS Sports.  Katelyn bowled a 196 game in the championship match to win back-to-back U12 Girls titles and earn the scholarship.

In addition, Katelyn also competed in the USA Bowling competition. Katelyn teamed up with her friends and fellow SYC Champions, Sebastian Huffman, Avery Domaguin and Elias O’Hollaren to create the “SDLV Strikers” team. These youth bowlers bowled lots of baker matches throughout the week and qualified for the U12 TV finals which aired on CBS Sports on August 20 where they faced DKJ Pro Shop. The Strikers battled and earned the team victory. Katelyn says this is one of her favorite parts of her summer!

In the future, Katelyn hopes to bowl as a collegiate bowler, represent Team USA and bowl on the PWBA Tour someday. She'll be bowling in the U15 Girls Division in the upcoming Storm Youth Championships taking place the last weekend of August in Wichita. The event will be livestreamed on the Storm Bowling Facebook channel.

 

We think that Katelyn is well on her way to chase her dreams.

 


Katelyn Simpson Wins PWBA Orlando Regional

Katelyn “KT” Simpson’s favorite city on the PWBA Tour is without a question, Orlando!

It was an exciting week for Simpson that started with the PTQ at the PWBA Orlando Open. After eight games, eight players would earn spots into the Elite Field of the PWBA Orlando Open. Katelyn qualified in the 7th position averaging 207. She bowled 22 more games averaging 214 to earn the fourth seed for her first TV PWBA Stepladder Final on CBS Sports.

Though she lost her match, she quickly had to push it out of her mind and stay focused. Simpson was on the roster for the PWBA Orlando Regional the very next day. She added eight more games of qualifying to her week averaging 211 to qualify as the fourth seed of the stepladder finals which aired on BowlTV.

 

She climbed the ladder and won her first PWBA Regional Title defeating Kayla Bandy 222 to 203 in the finals.

After the 43 games were complete, Simpson could finally catch her breath and think about her exciting week in the Sunshine State!

When the PWBA Tour kicked off in April, Simpson, was among the star studded 2019 Rookie Class hitting the lanes for the first time as full-time PWBA Touring Players. Simpson was an All-American while competing at the University of Pikeville and was a member of Junior Team USA in 2015. After completing her undergrad, she served as a graduate assistant for two years sharing some of her knowledge on the lanes with younger athletes as she worked towards her MBA. She completed her MBA, talked to her family and decided to head out on the PWBA Tour. Her family was in full support of her decision and decided to make it a summer adventure!

Her parents, Terri & Wayne, who own KT Lanes in Emmett, Idaho and the famous Bowling Doodles, Blake and Adam, jumped into their RV and spent the summer on the road traveling from stop-to-stop. They tried to fit in as many pit stops and family memories as they could.

Blake and Adam who learned how to bowl at their home lanes as puppies were fan favorites at all the Pro-Ams and Fan Fests! They signed paw-o-graphs and took tons of photos while KT worked hard on the lanes learning more and more each week.

We chatted with Simpson about her exciting week on the lanes in this exclusive interview.   

Tell us a little about your first full season on the PWBA Tour:

My first year has been full of learning. I’m just trying to embrace the learning curve as best as I can. It’s been full of ups and downs and I’m doing my best to learn from both but especially the downs. I was really frustrated after the Connecticut PTQ. I didn’t have a good start, but I threw it great down the stretch and the pins didn’t fall my way. I sat down with our Tour Managers, Mike DeVaney and Steve Jacobs and we had a really good conversation about what I need to do better and how I can improve out here. I really just bought in to what they were saying and executed as much as possible these last couple events. I only want to keep getting better and I’m trying to learn as much as possible in this first year!

What were your goals going into the season?

My goals going into this season were to make as many cuts as possible and give myself a chance at Rookie of the Year. I didn’t really have many expectations because I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect! These ladies are good so to just be competing against them is a privilege.

The Orlando Open was a great week for you from start to finish! Walk us a little bit through the week from your perspective:

Yes, this week was a really good week for me. I executed pretty well, made most of my spares, had a few hiccups here and there, but I just tried to take what the lanes gave me and make adjustments as needed and of course Mike and Steve were a huge part of my success this week. I like when there is friction, so I was able to play my A game and stay aggressive!

What was your favorite part of bowling on you first PWBA telecast? 

The atmosphere was amazing. Intimidating a little bit at first because all eyes are on you at all times. I really was trying not to have the stone look on my face that I always get made fun of for! You could just feel the energy and the people rooting for you and that was so cool!

The cut was really tight between a few players going into the last game of the PWBA Regional ....tell us about those final games.

I had a rocky start. I made good shots but all 10 pins just didn’t want to fall for me all at the same time in a consecutive fashion so once I found the right ball that went through the pins the right way I just took advantage and put some good games together to give myself a shot at making cut. I knew what the girl close to me had shot the last game, so I knew I needed to at least beat that. I just told myself to make really good shots. Execute them and whatever happens, happens. I had a carry struggle. Four 10 pins and an 8 pin that last game so I knew I just needed to get as many pins as possible in those last couple frames!

Tell us about the final frame of that title match at the PWBA Regional. What was going through your mind?

Honestly, I sound kind of repetitive but just to execute a good shot. I tried not to think about anything else. Just focus, breathe and execute. See the shape first that I wanted and then to execute. Kayla did the right thing, she made me finish on the hard lane, it was a lot tighter, so it required a little more focus.

What balls did you use this week?

In the Orlando Open I used a Hy-Road X, a little bit of the PhysiX and AstroPhysiX and actually on the show when I switched to the Idol PRO that was the first time I had thrown it all week! In the regional, I used a little bit of a HALO Vision but mostly the Idol PRO!

What has been the hardest part about competing on the PWBA Tour?

These ladies are soooooo good! You have to be on top of your game all the time. They are sharp and if you are not on top of it, they will run you over. We also bowl a lot of games, so I’ve had a few issues with my hand over the course of the tour. I actually changed my fit in between the US Open and the second half of the tour. We may still have some tweaking to do. I had a couple skin patches on, on the show.

Though Simpson wanted to thank everyone at Storm for all they do, we want to thank her for choosing to throw Storm and Roto Grip on the lanes every day. We’re proud that she’s part of our team.

 

The PWBA Tour travels to Buffaloe Lanes North in Raleigh, North Carolina next for the QubicaAMF PWBA Players Championship September 3-8.


Youth Spotlight: Caroline Thesier

Name: Caroline Thesier

Age: 17

Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina

Home Bowling Center: Victory Lanes

Favorite Pro Bowler: Kelly Kulick

One of the brightest and hardest working young athletes we have seen in a long time, Miss Caroline Thesier is truly having a memorable 2019. In January, she was selected to Junior Team USA from her performance at the Team USA Trials in Las Vegas. In March, she won her second Storm Youth Championship (SYC) title in Rohnert Park, California. At home in North Carolina, she won three Tough Shot Tour titles and was named Bowler of the Year in May. She traveled to Smyrna, TN for Memorial Day weekend and finished second overall in the U20 Division at the Music City SYC. After that she traveled to Junior Team USA camp in Texas where she said she got to know her other teammates and built a special bond with them.

Caroline went straight from Junior Camp to Florida for Teen Masters where she had another impressive runner-up finish. As soon as she finished in Florida, Caroline, her brother Nate and her dad Jack drove home to North Carolina to pick up her mom and then continued their summer travels to Detroit for Junior Gold.

Caroline’s week in Detroit was solid from start to finish and she was never lower than 18th place and qualified 3rd for the U17 TV show which aired on CBS Sports. In the title match, Caroline bowled 265 to take home the title and a $4000 scholarship.

When asked what the highlight of her action packed summer was, Caroline said,

“The highlight of my summer had to be either Team USA Camp or winning Junior Gold. Both of them were so amazing, I can’t decide!”

After a celebratory family trip to Disney World, she came home and won the first Tough Shots Tour event of their season in Durham, NC. Caroline is entered in the last two SYCs this year in Wichita and Myrtle Beach so we can assume more titles might be added to her growing resume.

 

It appears that there’s no stopping Caroline this year!


Nick Pate Earns Gold Medal at PAN AM Games

Many of our Team Storm players spend much of their year traveling to compete across the United States and several even fly around the world for their next event.

In January, Nick Pate joined Team Storm and started the year off by rolling 300 on Day 3 of Team Trials to earn a spot on Team USA.

Since that first event of the year, he has continued to excel on the lanes and recently traveled to represent the United States with Team USA at the PAN AM Games in Lima, Peru. Though Pate had a slow start to the week, he kept his mental game sharp and continued to work hard on the lanes throughout the competition.

“The grind was in full effect all week,” Pate said. “Each day I told myself that I need to be mentally stronger than the next and do whatever it takes. I found success by doing something breathing exercises and I’m glad it worked.”

His mental determination paid off when Pate rolled 300 during the singles event using the new PRO-Motion. Pate, as do most of the players who have thrown the PRO-Motion see it as a benchmark ball in their bag. When the lanes are transitioning, or you need something predictable this seems to be the ball that our Team Storm players rely on.

“The PRO-Motion is incredible,” Pate said. “I tried the IDOL in practice, but it wasn’t coming off the spot the way I needed to. PRO-Motion gave me a little bit more down lane reaction. It gave me the bigger symmetric ball roll in the front but didn’t burn up off the spot and continued through the deck beautifully.”

For Pate, the lanes continued to get tougher and he kept his mental game sharp as he battled to earn the gold medal. The final match was between Pate and Marcelo Suartz of Brazil came down to the final frames. In the end, Pate was victorious 190-189.

“Winning the gold medal means the absolute world to me,” Pate said. “The Pan Am Games is the closest thing that bowling has to Olympics and to win the gold medal is just incredible.”

Pate, who had a successful collegiate career competing for Midland University. In 2015, his team finished second at the Intercollegiate Team Championships and he was awarded the Most Valuable Player Award. In 2017, he took home the title at the Intercollegiate Singles Championships. After graduation, Pate has moved on to compete on the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour full-time. Since joining Team Storm, he has qualified for match play seven times and continues to grow as an athlete.

“My favorite part of the year is the constant learning,” Pate said. “I’m learning more and more what balls fit my game. Most importantly, I’m learning how to become better with my mental game.”

We’re proud that Pate chooses to throw Storm and Roto Grip products and we’re looking forward to all that he will accomplish in the sport of bowling.


What is a Benchmark Ball?

ANY SEASONED PLAYER...

Will define a benchmark ball as the first ball out of their bag. It gives them the best mental picture of what’s happening on the lane – especially when the pattern and topography of the conditions are unknown. It gives them a smooth, predictable motion that’s controllable, repeatable, and consistent no matter where they may be bowling. The vast majority of other sports display their obstacles. In tennis, the net is clearly presented directly in front of you. In golf, you can see the tree you need to miss, or the sand bunker you have to avoid. In football, you can watch the linebacker on a beeline right for you as you’re carrying the ball.

But in the world of sport bowling, the obstacles we have to face are invisible.

The most famous bowlers throughout history have all been deadly accurate, but the best players that have ever lived are the ones who were able to figure out the conditions first. Rest assured, they all had their own benchmark ball.

Having been on both sides of the fence - from competing every weekend to now building bowling balls - I believe that a benchmark ball is more than just a predictable shape. It’s a ball whose motion is unlike others. It’s unique, and difficult to replicate. It produces a reaction that you can’t find anywhere else.

To create this kind of ball, we have to step back and look at the product line as a whole. When we do this at Storm, we take every core, every coverstock, and every surface preparation into account. If the ball hits on every note, it can stick around for quite some time:

Hy-Road™ – November 18, 2008

!Q™ Tour – July 10, 2012

Hy-Road™ Pearl – July 16, 2013

Pitch Black™ – May 27, 2014

Phaze™ II – October 4, 2016

Between these five balls, there’s 32 years’ worth of shelf life, and that’s not without merit. Every one of these core/cover combinations resonates with the majority of players at some level. High speed/high revs, low speed/low revs – there’s something for everybody. Not only that, they are incredibly easy to drill. What does that even mean, though? If you put your favorite layout on an !Q Tour, you basically know what you are going to get. Furthermore, if you wanted to drill a second !Q Tour but decided to bring the pin 2” closer to your PAP or maybe even drop the pin to below your fingers from your previous pin up version, you still know what you’re going to get. And adjusting between the two couldn’t be easier. The weight block is simplistic in its design, yet dynamic by nature. When you introduce a hole to it, you aren't greatly affecting its mass distribution. Consistency in drilling and performance, I've come to find out, go hand in hand.

Each one of the above benchmark balls contributes something unique to the Storm line that are often imitated, but never duplicated. And as always, before any ball earns the right to be inscribed with the Storm insignia, it has to pass through a rigid on-lane performance test. This has been the case since the first Storm ball was poured nearly three decades ago. The process has been refined since, of course, to a level of commitment that’s worthy of your passion and devotion. It’s a lengthy process that involves an experienced group of people and first-rate technology but most importantly, it begins and ends with the bowler.


Bowlers Join Forces To Raise Funds In Houston

The PBA-PWBA Xtra Frame Luci Bonneau Memorial Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles Tournament, sponsored by Storm kicks off this weekend. The “Luci”, as the touring players refer to it, is the world’s largest and most popular Mixed Doubles Tournament in the world.

A sold-out field of 160 doubles teams from all around the world will travel to Houston, Texas to compete in the 20th annual event.

2018 Champions, Liz Johnson and EJ Tackett

The brain child of newly inducted PWBA Hall of Famer, Donna Conners, the event represents the power of coming together in fellowship for a cause. Conners and Luci Bonneau met through bowling and became travel partners on the LPBT. In 1999, Bonneau was battling breast cancer and Conners never left her side. They dreamed of creating a bowling tournament to raise funds for breast cancer research when her treatment was complete. When Bonneau passed away, Conners knew she had to build the event they dreamed about.

"Upon starting the tournament, I had a plan and then worked the plan," Conners said. "My five year plan was met in three years, so every three years I made a five year plan."

Although the players are competing for a title and a $20,000 top prize they all know that this event means more than just that. 

All of the funds raised are donated to The Rose, a Houston-based organization that helps women who can’t afford breast care treatment or mammograms, and the Huntsman Group, a cancer research facility based in Utah.

"Taking care of the players was the main objective of the event but I've found that the players have taken care of me,"  Conners said.

"Together, hand and hand, we have grown this event. I have a theory that without the players, we don’t have a pro-am. Without the pro-am, we don’t raise money for the charity. With the the added support of all the sponsors and volunteers the event continues to reach new heights every year. I am so honored and forever grateful to all."

Storm Products have been proud sponsors of the event since 2002

We're proud to support the event in every way possible. In 2019, Storm joined forces with recent Donna Conners, to initiate our 2019 Paint the Lanes Pink™ campaign by offering 300 Limited-Edition !Q Tour 20™  bowling balls.

An exclusive club of 300 supporters have added one of these Limited-Edition !Q Tour 20 bowling balls to their collection. The Chrismans also elected to donate all the manufacturing costs to ensure the full $90,000 raised will go towards helping someone in the future.

"I'm truly speechless," Conners said. "It was an opportunity to raise money for the foundation that even I could not have planned for. I'm so thankful to Storm."

The tournament will be part of the FloBowling PBA Summer Tour and will stream live on FloBowling.

Teams will be split into four squads and bowl one 7-game round on Friday and Saturday. The top 40 teams will bowl another 5-game qualifying round Sunday. The field will be cut to the top eight teams who will advance to an 8-game round-robin match play final round.

For a complete roster of teams entered, click here. To learn more about FloBowling subscription prices and to watch live all weekend visit FloBowling.com.


Storm Products Names European Sales Manager

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah – Storm Products announced today that Tim Mack has been named as European Sales Manager and Peter Somoff will continue his duties as the International Business Development Agent. Mack and Somoff will work in unison to maintain relationships and foster the growth of the brand in the European community.

“With a combination of more than 50 years of extensive worldwide experience in the bowling industry, Mack and Somoff will greatly support the European Sales Team and increase sales coverage in this growing market,” said Dave Symes, President of Storm Bowling.

Mack has won more than 70 titles around the world. In 1995, Mack joined Team Storm as a full-time member of the National Professional Staff competing in international tournaments throughout the year becoming one of the first global ambassadors for the sport of bowling. He also represented the United States as a member of Team USA in 2003. The United States Olympic Committee recognized him as the Male Athlete of the Year for his performance at the 2003 World Bowling Men’s Championships. In 2018, he was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame.

“I’m thankful to Storm for this amazing opportunity,” Mack said. “I am looking forward to working closely with Peter, in addition to all of our wonderful European partners and customers. The goal has always been to provide the customer with the best experience. We look forward to continue to support bowling around the world.”

In addition to his sales responsibilities, Mack will continue to collaborate with the Storm Tour Team to assist Storm’s professional players competing on the PBA and PWBA Tour with their bowling equipment during competition, analyzing their physical games, and assisting with their travel to international events. He will also represent Storm at events throughout the year.

Somoff has represented Storm for more than 25 years on the European International Sales Team traveling internationally to educate bowlers, business owners and pro shop professionals about the sport of bowling. In his new role, he will work closely with Mack to instruct international retailers about best practices, teach new drilling techniques, and discuss technical advances in our new products.

“Tim and I have been very close for years and his contacts throughout the world are amazing,” said Somoff. “I look forward to working together with Tim as well as the rest of our Storm family to support the growth of Europe’s market. Together our focus is to service all bowlers, pro shops and distributors in Europe further supporting the growth of the sport.”

As an IBPSIA Certified Master Instructor, USBC Gold Certified Coach, and European Tenpin Bowling Federation Level III Certified Coach Somoff has educated countless bowlers and individuals in the industry on and off the lanes. In addition to his coaching credentials, Somoff has competed at the highest level. He was a PBA Member from 1982-2003 and earned two PBA Regional Titles as well as three NWBA titles. In addition to his new responsibilities in Europe, Somoff will continue to educate bowlers around the world regarding advances in the sport of bowling.

About Storm Products, Inc.
Storm Products Inc. is a leading manufacturer and marketer of high performance bowling equipment featuring the Storm, Roto Grip and Master Brands. For everything thing Storm and Roto Grip visit stormbowling.com and rotogrip.com