By Chris Chaney
Some of the best bowlers in the world will be in Clermont County this weekend as Storm Bowling Products Junior and Adult Pro-Ams are scheduled to take place on Friday, Aug. 22 with a tournament taking place over the weekend.
“This will be our 18th year. It’s a regional professional event that amateurs can also bowl in on Saturday and Sunday,” local professional bowler and tournament director Brian Himmler said. “On Friday, we have a pro-am where any caliber bowler can enter. Each person bowls three games with a different professional each game.”
The Pro-Ams are available in two different varieties, junior and adult. Both will run concurrently beginning at 7 p.m. at Cherry Grove Lanes and are subject to a first-come, first- served basis.
The junior pro-am costs $40 to enter and includes three games of bowling in a 3-6-9 format, which gives participants a free strike in the third, sixth and ninth frames and a Storm bowling towel. Participants can opt to enter for $160, which entitles each to a Storm Roto Grip Totally Defiant Bowling Ball, the 2013 Bowler’s Journal Ball of the Year.
For the adult pro-am, entries are $60 without a ball and $180 with it. The adult pro-am will also have cash prizes given out on a 1 out of 8 ratio. Men and women will compete in the same division.
“We’ll have a 190-and-over average division and a 189-and-under division,” Himmler explained. “It’s a really a fun event to kick off the pro tournament.”
The format of the adult pro-am will be up to eight amateurs and one professional for each pair of lanes. The professionals will move after each game so that each amateur will have three different professional partners.
Each amateur will bowl three games, receiving a bonus strike in the third, sixth and ninth frames of each game. That three-game total, plus handicap, plus combined scratch score of three pros will determine position standing.
First place is guaranteed $575 in each division. 90 percent of 215 handicap will be used and bowlers are to use their 2013-14 season-ending average of at least 21 games. If competitors don’t have a 2013-14 average, they will use the 2012-13 book average. If still none exists, they will bowl scratch.
Among the professionals that are expected to be in attendance are Robert Smith, Mike Machuga, Ronnie Russell, Chris Loschetter and Himmler himself.
For the tournament on the weekend, Himmler said there will be three qualifying squads on Saturday with the top-32 advancing to the Sunday morning final where first place is guaranteed $3,000.
“This is the only tournament (of its kind) in the Cincinnati area all year,” Himmler explained.
For more information about the event, call Cherry Grove Lanes at (513) 528-7888 or Himmler’s pro shop, located in the bowling center at (513) 528-2258.