Kyle Troup Extends Agreement with Storm

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah – Storm Products announced today that Kyle Troup has signed a contract extension.

Troup, a 3-Time PBA Champion, has become one of the most recognizable Team Storm players competing on the PBA Tour. In 2019, he finished 13th on the PBA Tour Points. He finished fourth in the PBA Scorpion Championship and third in PBA Players Championship. In addition, he helped the Portland Lumberjacks win the PBA League Elias Cup. Troup bowled successfully on the PBA Tour in the United States and also traveled around the world to compete in international competition.

“I am very excited and blessed with the opportunity to further my career with the Storm family.” Troup said. “Storm was the first company I signed a contract with back in 2016. They have treated me like family and been a huge part in my success. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Troup has grown up through the sport of bowling. As a child, he watched his father compete on the PBA Tour and developed a passion for competing. Though his father delivered the ball with one hand, Troup started at such a young age he needed both hands to carry the ball. He shattered youth records and was one of the youngest members of the North Carolina All Stars Team.  As he grew, his two-handed style remained, and his success continued. At 18, he bowled his firs PBA Regional and by 19 he had earned his first PBA Regional Tour Title.

Kyle is a wonderful ambassador for the sport of bowling on and off the lanes” Gary Hulsenberg, Vice President of Business Development said. “He competes fiercely and treats people with respect, two things we appreciate at Storm. We are excited to continue our relationship for years to come.

Troup is dedicated to his craft on the lanes but spends his time making appearances around the world representing Storm Products. In January, Troup was featured in Sports Illustrated as “The Only Professional Bowler You Need to Know.” He was the featured guest who spent the weekend at the NASCAR Go Bowling at the Glen Race where he spent the weekend meeting fans and teaching some of the racers some new tricks. He continued his travels as an ambassador for Storm through the summer greeting pro shops at Industry Trade Shows and also met with bowlers at the Underground Bowling Association (UBA) Battle Bowl. Additionally, Troup spent Memorial Day weekend at the Storm Youth Championships in Smyrna, Tennessee. He helped educate young bowlers through our Q&A and seminars. He also spent time with the families playing whiffle ball at a party for all the participants at the park. He helped make the experience more meaningful for all the families who were in attendance and parents agreed that he was a great ambassador for the sport.

Troup is one of the rising talents on the PBA Tour and it’s an honor that he has chosen to continue to represent Storm Products in his career.


Ronnie Russell Joins Team Storm

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah – Storm Products is excited to announce that Ronnie Russell has joined Team Storm.

Russell has been a member of the Professional Bowling Association since 2003 and has earned four career PBA Tour Titles.

"We're thrilled to bring a talented player with big goals and support him in his journey to achieve these aspirations," Gary Hulsenberg, Vice President of Business Development said.

Russell is a true professional with many talents. In addition to his dedication to the sport of bowling, he also is an accomplished golfer and skilled guitar player and songwriter. When not competing, Russell works as a Product Specialist supporting pro shops and spreading his passion for the sport of bowling throughout his territory of Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

"Joining Storm Bowling is the top of the mountain for me," Russell said. "I wish I could explain how excited I am for 2020 and the rest of my career! Watching Storm's winning ways on Tour has me feeling like I’m 20 years old again. I know I’ll be a part of it again."

Russell is often traveling but when he’s able to be home, he enjoys spending time with his wife Michelle, and children Cayden, Cameron, and Taylor. He spends time sharing his love for the sport with his son Cayden who rolled his second 300 game with Storm Products this season.

Russell currently resides in Marion, Indiana.

 


2020 Storm Youth Championship Season Announced

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah – Storm Products is proud to announce that the Storm Youth Championships will have a total of eight events scheduled for the 2020 Tour.

The Storm Youth Championships were created in 2017 and launched with two events. The vision for the SYC began as a way to give back to the bowling community, educate youth bowlers, and invite the whole family to participate.

“When the SYC was born, the goal was to celebrate the sport of bowling and create an event that families could enjoy together,” Gary Hulsenberg, Vice President of Business Development. “Through the support of all the families who have attended an SYC and their feedback, we’re excited to be able to expand the tour and visit four new bowling communities in 2020.”

As the SYC has grown, events have been added to the schedule each year. Two events were added in 2018, and the season was expanded to six events in 2019. Our events wouldn’t be possible without the support of the staff of each host bowling center and the families in each community that we visit.

In 2020, our schedule will expand to eight events.

2020 SYC Schedule:

February 15-16, 2020 – South Point Bowling Plaza, Las Vegas, NV

April 18-19, 2020 – Mermaid Lanes, Mounds View, MN 

May 23-24, 2020 – Smyrna Bowling Center, Smyrna, TN

June 13-14, 2020 – Western & Expo Bowl, Indianapolis, IN

August 15-16, 2020 – Bowlerama, New Castle, DE

September 12-13, 2020 – Northrock Lanes, Wichita, KS

October 3-4, 2020 – Planet Fun & Little River Lanes, The Carolinas 

November 7-8, 2020 – Boardwalk Bowl, Orlando, Florida

More information about each event will be provided on the Storm Bowling website as the tournament date approaches.

In 2020, the SYC events will continue to create a welcoming environment where youth bowlers and their families are invited to visit a new community, meet new bowlers, and learn by competing on challenging conditions developed by KEGEL. In addition to the tournament, each event includes a seminar filled with education led by one of our Team Storm members, a practice session on the patterns, as well as a SYC social where friendships are built. At each event, the top three bowlers in each gender and age-based division are awarded with bronze, silver and gold medals. At the conclusion of the tournament the overall champions receive a special SYC trophy, medal, and earn a banner that is showcased at every SYC event.

In addition, each season includes one “major” event where we award the top two overall youth bowlers in each division with a spot on the Storm All-American Team. In 2020, the Storm All-American Team will be named at the event in Indianapolis. These 12 kids earn a custom All-American jersey and jacket provided by the Official SYC Merchandiser, Logo Infusion. This event will be hosted at two bowling centers in Indianapolis and will have more than 400 entries available.

“Our owners, Bill and Barbara Chrisman, have given endlessly to bowling around the world and have always tried to inspire existing bowlers while developing new bowlers,” Hulsenberg said. “Their support of youth bowling always includes education mixed with fun to create lifelong bowling enthusiasts. No matter what age or skill level the youth player in your life is at, attending the SYC is sure to leave a positive impression on them. We welcome all and look forward to seeing you in 2020!”

We are very proud to award scholarships to our top finishers in each event. In 2019, we awarded $98,670 in scholarship to our athletes through the SMART Fund. Since 2017, we have awarded $203,065 in SMART awards to SYC bowlers. We look forward to continuing to reward bowlers and help them achieve their future educational goals.

Charity is a very special part of the SYC. Each event supports Ballard vs the Big “C” in numerous ways.  Every entry includes a $10 donation to BVBC. On-site at each SYC, Carolyn and Del Ballard bring silent auction items for the SYC families to bid on. Since 2017, we have raised more than $50,000 to help fight the war on cancer through the SYC.

SYC Champions continue to demonstrate their dedication to the sport of bowling after the event concludes. Past champions have continued to excel at the youth level earning national titles and representing the United States on Jr. Team USA. Some of the athletes have also used what they learn to compete collegiately and even on the PBA and PWBA Tours. Their dedication to the sport is evident but SYC athletes also learn to be dedicated to giving back and staying committed to their education. Through scholarship and the opportunities to learn about college bowling, athletes develop a desire to continue to learn at a higher level and discover their passions. The opportunities available to these bowlers through the sport of bowling are endless. The SYC builds connections for these families that can last a lifetime.

Entries for the first event in 2020 which will take place on Las Vegas will open on December 2 at 12 pm Mountain Time on stormbowling.com/SYC. 

This tournament would not be possible without the generous donation from all of our sponsors, Storm, Roto Grip, Logo Infusion, Kegel, 3G Shoes, Ballard’s Bowling Academy and Bowlers Journal International. In 2020, our scores will continue to be uploaded live through the official scoring system of the Storm Youth Championships, BowlMetrix.

If you are interested in becoming a supporting sponsor of the Storm Youth Championships or would like more information, please contact our SYC Team at syc@stormbowling.com.


Francois Lavoie Wins 2019 U.S. Open

Just 12 bowlers have been able to wear that coveted green jacket multiple times.

On Wednesday night, Francois Lavoie joined that class of champions by earning his second U.S. Open Title at Victory Lanes in Morresville, North Carolina.

In the final match, Lavoie defeated Sean Rash, 221-172 to win the title and $30,000 top prize. This is his fourth career PBA Tour title and second major.

“I realized a childhood dream when I won my first PBA major in 2016,” Lavoie said. “Since then, there have been some good times and some bad times. Earlier this year, times were tough. But I'm so glad we were able to turn things around and end the 2019 season with a huge win. A few years apart, different hairstyles, but still the same US Open green jacket. Feels surreal at the moment. My whole body is sore and I'm exhausted, but it's well worth it when this is the end result.”

After qualifying, Lavoie earned the #2 seed for the stepladder finals which were broadcast live on CBS Sports. In his first match, Lavoie faced Team Roto Grip athlete, Anthony Simonsen. The brutal lane conditions proved to be a challenge as both athletes tried to fill frames and stay consistent through the match. Lavoie stayed clean to defeat Simonsen 214-164 to advance to the title match.

In the final match, Lavoie started with five consecutive strikes adding a little extra pressure as his opponent snuggled to get comfortable.

"I had a hard time getting my hand to do what I wanted to get the right ball motion, but we stuck with it and stayed in it," Lavoie said in the official USBC Press Release. "Throwing the front five in the final game was huge, especially since our plan was just to try to hit the 1-3 every time. That pair was really hard."

Throughout the event he consistently filled frames on the demanding conditions which allowed him to rise to the top of the leaderboards and eventually win the title.

The U.S. Open was the final major of the 2019 PBA Tour season. The 2020 PBA Tour Season kicks off in January for the PBA Hall of Fame Classic in Arlington TX. To view the full schedule visit pba.com.

https://www.logoinfusion.com/storm-usa-collection-main/

In addition, Storm Products joined Logo Infusion to create the 2019 Storm USA Collection where fans at home can add an All-American themed jersey to their collection to honor the most challenging event of the PBA Tour season. To view the full collection, click here.

 

 


Team Storm at the 2019 US Open

It’s official! The field at the 2019 US Open has completed 56 games on four challenging conditions at Victory Lanes and three Storm and Roto Grip athletes have qualified for the stepladder finals.

The top five PBA bowlers who qualified will bowl live on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday at 8 pm Eastern.

Francois Lavoie earned the #2 seed after qualifying averaging 212 for the tournament. He used a combination of the Phaze II, Hy-Road, All-Road, and Roto Grip IDOL.

Photo Credit: USBC

“It’s a great feeling being back on TV,” Lavoie said. “’I’ve had some struggles earlier in the year, but I’ve worked through them and I feel much better physically and mentally at the moment. It’s a win in itself to put up such a good performance in such a demanding tournament. Now I have two games to go after another title.”

Jason Belmonte finished second the final round to earn the #3 seed. Belmonte, a 22-time PBA Tour champion will be bowling for his 12th major title and first US Open title. Earlier this season, Belmonte won the 2019 PBA World Championship to move past PBA Hall of Famers Earl Anthony and Pete Weber on the all-time major list. Belmonte used a combination of the Pitch Black, Hy-Road Nano, Hy-Road and Roto Grip IDOL Pearl.

Photo Credit: Jason Belmonte

“Making the US Open TV show is extremely rewarding,” Belmonte said. “It is a tournament that requires the best of you and I’m happy to have done enough to get this far. The job however is not done. Time to bowl the best games of my life for the title. It’s the ultimate test in bowling.”

Anthony Simonsen will join these two players to represent the brands of Storm and Roto Grip. He earned the #5 seed after qualifying and has the opportunity to become the youngest player to win three majors. He used a combination of the Phaze II, !Q Tour Emerald, Alpha Crux, and Roto Grip HALO to qualify for the show.

Photo Credit: PBA Tour

"In all my years, on Tour this was definitely the most demanding event I have ever worked," Jim Callahan, Storm PBA Tour Manager said. "The players that could repeat their speed control and launch angle definitely excelled. History can be made tonight. I'm looking forward to a great night!"

Team Storm and Roto Grip had several top finishers amongst the field of 144 players and we’re proud of how hard our athletes worked all week on the challenging conditions.

In addition, Storm Products joined Logo Infusion to create the 2019 Storm USA Collection where fans at home can add an All-American themed jersey to their collection to honor the most challenging event of the PBA Tour season. To view the full collection, click here.

The 2020 PBA Tour Season kicks off in January for the PBA Hall of Fame Classic in Arlington TX. To view the full schedule visit pba.com.

 

 


A Walk Down Memory Lane with Pete Weber

Some people might people remember Pete Weber’s historic win in 1991 because of this moment.

As Weber lifted that Eagle above his head, fans watched as it toppled to the ground unexpectedly. The video has been seen numerous times over the years.

However, Weber, who holds the most Men’s US Open titles (5) has a different memory about the road to that moment in 1991.

“I was really struggling during qualifying and his tour rep, John Jowdy, worked with my pushaway and got me to that final cash spot of qualifying.” Weber said.

The next day he woke up, packed up his car and checked out of his hotel room. He didn’t expect to make it to the next round.

“I was bowling well. John came by and watched me and said I was rolling it good. I just had to keep it going,” Weber said. “I ended up getting to 380 pins over and qualified in the last position to make it to the next round.”

Advancing to the next round, Weber then went back to his hotel to get a new room and unpack all his stuff. He got some rest and went back to the bowling center for match play. Each round he kept moving up a few spots and by the end of competition he had earned the last spot on the TV finals.

“The first game on TV was the hardest but I made it through and went on to win," Weber said.

“I went from the last cash spot to winning that year. That doesn’t happen a lot but it sure is a great feeling.”

Fast forward to 2019, and Weber says he’s feeling the best he has all year. He’s getting healthier and thinking clearer.

A pre-tournament qualifier will be held October 23, then 144 competitors including Pete Weber will take to the lanes on October 25. The finals will air live on CBS Sports Network October 30 at 8 pm Eastern.

“I’m feeling very good and I’m looking for good results,” Weber said. “I like Victory Lanes and I really I like the fans in that area. I can’t wait to bowl.”


US OPEN SPOTLIGHT | KYLE TROUP

Between the PBA Summer Swing and International events all around the globe there’s been lots of ways to watch bowling all summer long.

The action continues this fall and the most challenging event of the year, the US Open is a month away! The event kicks off October 23-30 at Victory Lanes in Mooresville, North Carolina and our Team Storm players have been hard at work preparing for the upcoming event. Over the course of the week the players who make it to the TV finals will bowl 56 games on challenging conditions.

If you’re in the area, plan a trip to the US Open and you’ll be able watch the greatest players in the world attack the most demanding event. Victory Lanes, in partnership with the Mooresville Convention & Visitors Bureau will also be hosting a Pro-Am where fans can bowl with some of their favorite players. There will be two squads and a exclusive Storm VIP Pro-Am on October 24. For more information visit this website. If you're interested in signing up, please contact Victory Lanes at 704-664-2695.

To celebrate the US Open we’ll have several announcements for Storm Fans leading up to the event. We also will be featuring Q&A segments with our Team Storm players, Team Storm Tour Managers, and local celebrities leading up to the event.

Our first spotlight is with Kyle Troup. Kyle grew up 40 minutes from Mooresville in Taylorsville, North Carolina. So far in 2019, he’s 13th in points on the Go Bowling! PBA Tour Point list and 9th on the PBA Summer Tour Point List. He picked up his 12th PBA Regional Title in Fayetteville this summer.

 

Kyle recently stopped by Storm Headquarters to practice between events and shared some fun facts with us.

Nickname:

AfroFish

What is your superstition?

The socks that I wear when I bowl

Please list your favorite song right now?

The Git Up by Blanco Brown

What are the Storm Bowling Balls you refuse to leave at home?

Phaze 2

Alpha Crux

Storm Ice

What's something people might not know about you?

I was a manager at Wendy’s for 7 years.

What are some of the things you are doing to prep for the upcoming US Open?

I’m staying competitive bowling in the WBT Thailand Open and the Storm SamHo Cup.

Also, can’t forget to stay relaxed and play some golf in my free time. Spend some time with my family after traveling during August-September.

Favorite Memory from a Pro-Am

My favorite memory was bowling in my first Pro-Am as a professional with my father Guppy bowling next to me. I grew up bowling Pro-Ams traveling with my father and enjoyed meeting so many professionals and all the fun memories made. To bowl the Pro-Am as the Pro beside my dad and help making fun memories for the kids is something I will never forget. I knew I was meant to do this and be a professional bowler and provide a fun experience for our fans.

 

Stay tuned to the Storm Blog and our Storm Social Media Channels for more features leading up to the 2019 US Open event!

 


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.


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.