Shannon O'Keefe, Bill O'Neill Successfully Defend PBA/PWBA Xtra Frame Luci Bonneau Striking Against Breast Cancer Doubles Title
HOUSTON - Shannon O'Keefe of O'Fallon, Ill. and Bill O'Neill of Langhorne, Pa. withstood a challenge from Jason Belmonte of Australia and Diandra Asbaty of Chicago, in the position round match to successfully defend their Storm PBA/PWBA Xtra Frame Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles title at Bowl on Bellaire. O'Keefe, a 12-time Team USA member, earned her fourth PWBA Tour title while O'Neill earned his eighth PBA Tour title and first of the season.
In the position round match, Belmonte, the three-time defending Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year, and Asbaty, a 15-time Team USA member and the winner of the 2012 USBC Queens, defeated O'Keefe/O'Neill 459-415 but it wasn't enough to overcome the 116-pin deficit. O'Keefe/ O'Neill won with an 8,902 pinfall total, including bonus pins, to Belmonte/Asbaty's second-place
It was O'Keefe's third win with O'Neill as a partner having also won in 2013. O'Keefe also won the event with husband Brian in 2012.
"It was going to be tough to beat Diandra that game so I just shifted my focus to keep up with her," O'Keefe said of the position round match. "I was able to put together some good frames at the end of the game so she wouldn't get too far ahead of me.
"Communication is always important when you're bowling doubles," O'Keefe added. "But the ability to bounce ideas off your teammate and change your game plan quickly, if necessary, is also important in a tournament like this."
O'Neill struggled in the final match but like O'Keefe bowled well enough to keep the team out front.
"I couldn't get a strike but fortunately I didn't have any splits and I made my spares," O'Neill said. "We had a pretty big lead heading into the last match and we were able to keep them from getting too far ahead of us."
O'Neill also credited the ability to communicate and the knowledge of each other's games for their success as doubles partners.
"We know each other's games so well both physically and mentally," O'Neill added. "We've kind of gone back and forth over the years where she bowled really well and I was kind of along for the ride and this year I was having a better tournament, but the point is we're good at being able to work through the grind that makes this tournament what it is." Proceeds from the tournament and accompanying pro-am raise funds are donated to The Rose, a Houston-based organization that helps women who can't afford breast care treatment or mammograms, and the Huntsman Group. Article was posted with permission from Stars & Strikes, America's Bowling Newsmagazine. www.starsandstrikesbowling.com