Pro bowlers hit Lihu‘e lanes tomorrow

Pro bowlers will make their appearance at the Lihu‘e Bowling Center starting Sunday afternoon.

Darryl Izumo of the LBC said the first day of the PBA West/Northwest Regions Rice Shopping Center Open starts the region’s schedule for the professional bowlers.

Izumo said Sunday will have all the qualifying bowlers meet for practice between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. with the event’s Pro Am starting at 5 p.m. The evening will end with a luau at the bowling alley.

Monday is the first day of competition starting at 10 a.m. with a stepladder finals closing the event on Tuesday.

“This stepladder finals is a first for our event,” Izumo said. “Previously, by the time the Top 16 was finished, the leaders were so far ahead, it was boring and people didn’t stick around.”

In the stepladder finals, it’s almost like an elimination round among the top 16 bowlers, Izumo said.

“In order to win, the leaders still must win one more game,” he said. “This will definitely give the finals more excitement.”

Izumo is one of five qualifiers from Kaua‘i who will be rolling on the first day of competition. He joins Kevin Tennberg, another Kaua‘i bowler, who will be making his third appearance at the RSC Open this year.

“In my first year, I was second-to-last,” Tennberg, who only started learning to bowl after getting a job at the LBC. “Last year, I improved to about 20th from the bottom.”

Two of Tennberg’s favorite pro bowlers — Corey Husted and Tony Reyes, are registered in the 51-bowler field.

“It’s always a challenge to go up against the pros,” Tennberg said. “But it’s always fun.”

Izumo said within the field, there are three exempt bowlers — Robert Smith, Reyes and Marv Sargent, and three previous RSC Open champions — Dave Arnold, Veo Floria and Dave Wodka.

Reyes has been a perennial crowd favorite during his previous appearances at the RSC Open and Izumo said this year he’ll be more exciting because since his last appearance, Reyes won his first national title.

Additionally, Reyes has been on television his last three matches, a feat that is rare among pro bowlers, Izumo said.

For more information, visit the PBA Web site and follow the link to the West Region at www.pba.com.

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