Bowling: Olympia Lanes in line for another PBA stop
By Anthony Nasella Post-Tribune correspondent August 14, 2012 11:10PM
Walter Ray Williams, Jr. of Ocala, FL celebrates after nailing a strike in the 6th frame during the PBA Senior Tour at Olympia Lanes in Hammond, IN on Wednesday August 8, 2012. | Jim Karczewski~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 16, 2012 6:20AM
With the success of the recent PBA Senior South Shore Open at Olympia Lanes, which was the 14th senior event hosted by the Hammond center since 1990, manager Mike Kozy said Olympia would be delighted to host a future national tour stop should the PBA extend such an opportunity.
“The PBA is likely going to add some more stops (to the upcoming schedule), and there’s a summer swing being potentially planned for May or June,” Kozy said. “We’re not sure who’s going to get those stops, but we would gladly welcome the national tour back to the Olympia Lanes.”
If it happened, it would be another feather in the cap for Kozy and the staff of Olympia, which first hosted a national stop in 2008 — the Lake County Golden Anniversary Championship — and has proven its worth as a reputable center for the PBA to draw pro-am and fan interest.
If the tournament stop was secured for May or June, Kozy couldn’t say for sure if it would pose a problem for the center to host the yearly senior tour stop — just renamed the PBA50 Tour this week by the PBA — which has fallen on the second week of August for many years. Olympia did host a separate senior event in 2008 in August when it hosted the Lake County event later that fall.
“I couldn’t say for sure because our sponsors may not want to sponsor two tournaments in such a short time,” Kozy said, “But if the PBA decided they wanted a national stop here, we would certainly entertain the offer and do all that we could do to host the tournament.”
If hosting a national stop for 2013 doesn’t materialize, there’s another potential option for a tournament that Olympia has not been given an invitation by the PBA yet — a chance to host a senior major event, such as the Senior World Championship.
The last time the senior tour held the World Championship was 2009, when Mark Williams won the event in Allen Park, Mich.
“Only the PBA decides if they want to hold an additional major and what center they’re interested in hosting the event,” Kozy said. “When the PBA held the Senior Masters in Columbus (in 2011), I think it had a lot to do with Wayne Webb owning the center. The PBA would have to come to us with such an opportunity.
“We usually have one of bigger fields on the PBA Senior schedule each year, but hosting a senior major could draw a bigger field for us. We would have to do some research and see if that’s true or not. It would obviously be a more prestigious event.”