ALL AMERICAN IDOLS: US Bowler All Americans Named
With a pair of Professional Bowlers Association Tour titles, the Qubica/AMF World Cup crown and Thailand Open title to his credit in 2011, Australia’s Jason Belmonte was the runaway top vote-getter for the US Bowler All-America team.
Mika Koivuniemi, Chris Barnes, Sean Rash and Bill O’Neill joined Belmonte on the All-America team, which was based on players’ statistics for the 2011 calendar year. Belmonte, the two-handed international star, broke through in a big way in 2011. He won the PBA Chameleon Open and GEICO Shark Open for his second and third career PBA titles, and finished fourth in the 2011-2012 PBA World Championships. Belmonte advanced to the World Championship finals after winning the Mike Aulby Division, in which he rolled a televised 300 in the division title match against Brian Kretzer. It was only the 21st televised 300 game in PBA Tour history. The 28-year-old globetrotter also bowled a 300 game in the final of the Thailand Open, besting fellow PBA star Mike Fagan, 300-205. Representing Australia in the World Cup, Belmonte defeated American star Tommy Jones, 2-1, in the championship match.
For the second consecutive year, Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., was the top vote-getter for the women’s All-America team. Kulick earned four medals for Team USA in international competition in 2011. Kulick also finished second at the U.S. Women’s Open, losing in the title match to Leanne Hulsenberg at Cowboys Stadium, and posted a 13th place finish at the 2011 USBC Queens. Hulsenberg was also voted to the 2011 All-America team, along with Queens winner Missy Parkin, Liz Johnson and Shannon Pluhowsky, who earned a record four gold medals at the 2011 World Tenpin Bowling Association World Women’s Championships in Hong Kong.
On the strength of four Senior PBA Tour titles in 2011, Ron Mohr topped the ballots for the senior All-America squad. The Eagle River, Alaska, resident also posted five top-five finishes during the year. Mohr was joined by Walter Ray Williams, Jr., Tom Baker, Harry Sullins and Dale Eagle.
US Bowler is the official membership publication of the USBC. All-Americans were selected in voting by a national panel of bowling journalists, USBC Hall of Famers and the USBC association leaders.