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Walsh: Women bowlers converge on Las Vegas for championship

Mar. 29, 2009 @ 12:40 AM

A lot of money is coming into the Nevada economy thanks to bowling.

The USBC Championships began Feb. 21 in Las Vegas and continues daily through July 23.

The USBC Women's Championship started Saturday afternoon at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno and continues daily until July 5. This marks the sixth time the women have competed in Reno.

This year, 8,330 five-woman teams (41,650 bowlers) are scheduled to bowl in five average-based divisions. They also will bowl singles and doubles, and their nine-game scores will be combined to determine all-events titles. From a convention and tourism perspective, the influx of approximately 600 bowlers plus family and friends each day is expected to provide an estimated economic boost of approximately $40 million to the Reno area.

During the USBC Women's Championships, the world's best bowlers also will showcase their talents in the USBC Queens and the USBC Senior Queens. Dates for the two events are April 25-29. Prize fund for the Queens is $200,000 with $30,000 going to the winner.

ELKS NATIONAL: Three weekends are complete in the 89th Elks National Bowling Tournament. No action was scheduled this weekend. Business picks back up next weekend at Colonial Lanes and Ceredo Lanes. Lodges represented will be Toledo, Bellevue, Ohio, Kane, Pa.; Lewisburg, W.Va.; Mendota, Ill.; Flat Rock, Mich.; Ferndale, Mich.; Xenia, Ohio; Lorain, Ohio; Troy, Ohio; and Pontiac-Waterford, Mich.

PBA TOUR: Michael Fagan, who is seeking his first PBA Tour title, is No. 1 seed for today's stepladder finals in he Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic. ESPN's telecast starts at 2 p.m.

As a result of earning the No. 2 qualifying position, Australian two-handed sensation Jason Belmonte will make his PBA Tour television debut. Belmonte, who has won several major international titles, has garnered much media attention this season. He made an appearance on Saturday morning on Fox & Friends, the top-rated cable morning show on the Fox News Network.

Rounding out the field are No. 3 Bill O'Neill, No. 4 Ritchie Allen and No. 5 Robert Smith.

BARNES WINS: Chris Barnes beat Walter Ray Williams Jr. 722-693 in the three-game final in the Go RVing Match Play Championship last Sunday for his second straight tour title.

Williams started the first game with nine straight strikes, but opened in the 10th when he left a 7-pin and missed it. Barnes shot 241. In game two, Barnes opened with the first nine, but left a 4-10 split in the 10th and shot 266. Williams won the third game, 234-215, but Barnes had the edge in overall count.

David Walsh covers bowling for The Herald-Dispatch. Call him at 526-2730. His e-mail is dwalsh@heralddispatch.com.