SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Enterprise Park Lanes will host the Professional Bowlers Association tour during the PBA Springfield Classic next month, a first for the city of Springfield.
It begins with a pro-am event at 6 p.m. Tuesday Feb. 7 and ends Saturday Feb. 11.
Local bowlers will find the opportunity to bowl with some of their favorite PBA circuit stars during the pro-am. To register, head over to the tournament website.
According to Sunshine Lanes Center Manager Kyndall Martin, who helped organize the event at Enterprise Park Lanes, Springfield has hosted PBA senior and regional matches but never a main event loaded with festivities. The event won’t be televised, but can be viewed with a BowlTV subscription or on Youtube.
Admission to the tournament is free.
On Wednesday evening of the tournament, the facility will host a PBA Cocktail Hour for those 21 or older, featuring some of today’s and yesterday’s biggest names in professional bowling. Cost for the event is $65 a person, with food and drinks included.
The pre-tournament qualifying round begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning. Friday’s match play will bring in 22 of the top bowlers to compete in six games, with the top 12 advancing. Saturday’s Round Robin match play will feature two rounds of six games, with the top four advancing to the stepladder finals at 6 p.m. that evening.
In all, 64 bowlers will compete for the 22 cash-prize slots. Last place will receive $3,000, while the PBA Springfield Classic champion will walk out the door with $25,000.
PBA bowler Keven Williams hails from Springfield, and joined the PBA in 2015. The left-hander will be active for the PBA Springfield Classic and hopes for a big win for the local crowd. Williams won his first major tournament in 2022 at the PBA Shark Championship in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.
Williams told The Heartlander becoming a registered PBA bowler is not an easy task, as participants must meet specific criteria and averages.
“It’s pretty cutthroat. It’s not like other sports, where if you are a professional golfer if you make it on the exempt tour, you make pretty good money,” Williams said. “You gotta earn it out here a little more than other sports. I’m fortunate enough to be on tour and doing my thing. It’s easier said than done.”
Those interested in becoming a PBA professional can find more information here.
Martin says the level of excitement for the PBA Springfield Classic has been fantastic at Enterprise Park Lanes and Sunshine Lanes.
“We’ve never had a PBA event here, so to bring that to our community is something I am personally excited for,” Martin told The Heartlander. “The excitement level is through the roof with the youth here in town. Even with the adults, they get to see some of the guys more their age, like Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones.”
Among other popular names at the tournament will be Packy Hanrahan, Kyle Troup, Anthony Simonsen, Jesper Svensson, Dom Barrett, EJ Tackett and Bill O’Neil.
“We are hoping to do this multiple years,” Martin said. “It ultimately comes down to the PBA; they dictate the stops. We are hoping to give them a well-run tournament. Hopefully they come back to us next year and the year after that.
“We hope to get a bigger televised event sometime. We’ve got some cool ideas in our heads. If we can do this for a year or two, hopefully we can promote and grow the Springfield stop to maybe a major, like the U.S. Open or something like that. We have some ambitions there.”.
Williams says the live experience will be completely different from watching it on television, and fans should do their best to come out and see the action.
“You get to see the full process of a full week on tour with us. You get to watch the practice sessions, us talking to our ball reps, match-play and qualifying. You get to see ups and downs, the rollercoaster ride of bowling for a title. It is way different seeing it live at a center where you might bowl in a league on Wednesday nights vs. watching it on a TV screen or your phone.”
For more information on the PBA Springfield Classic, click here.