California Bowling Writers

February 25, 2009

2009 PBA Tournament of Champions….Wow!
By Kathy Watson

LAS VEGAS -- Imagine yourself in the same room with 39 of the 50 all time great PBA bowlers. After pinching yourself to be sure that you are really there, out comes the pen and the “50 Greatest Players in PBA History” book for autographs.

But, there also was a bonus for all members of the BWAA Board -- an opportunity to attend the PBA's 50th Anniversary Gala dinner Jan. 24 at the Red Rock Resort and the next day to watch the live ESPN televised finals of the 2009 H&R Block Tournament of Champions.


Just to be there at the Red Rock during the historic weekend was the highlight of over 50 years of my involvement in the sport of bowling.

It seemed that my camera never was off. In addition to meeting and greeting the all-time great bowlers, there were the players competing in the 2009 H&R Block Tournament of Champions. The excitement of Parker Bohn III’s 300 game in the final round of match play was recorded as a permanent mental picture.

What a great honor to be invited by the PBA, specifically Fred Schreyer and Tom Clark, to take part in this spectacular event. My mother and father (Trudy and Wayne Todd) both of whom were well-known to many in the bowling world, were smiling down at me from above thinking how lucky I was to be counted among those who were in attendance.

The excitement of the TV finals capped off the week.

While the Tournament of Champions was a great success for champion Patrick Allen (No. 44 among the PBA’s 50 greatest list), it was not without some regret . It was his roommate Rhino Page’s four-pin count on his second strike attempt in the 10th frame that sent Allen to the PBA winner’s circle for the 12th time in only nine years on tour.

Congratulations to the PBA, it was a first-class affair from top to bottom!