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Pro bowlers rolling through JBSA-Lackland

By Jose T. Garza III | JBSA-Lackland Public Affairs | Aug. 27, 2012

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas — The Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Skylark Bowling Center held a bowling exhibition and clinic last year with Pro Bowlers Association hall of famers Norm Duke and Randy Pedersen.

This year, JBSA-Lackland Airmen and civilians and family members can anticipate twice the fun when four PBA champions roll through the Skylark Saturday for a Pro Am exhibition and bowling clinic. Attendance is free for the event.

Brian Voss, the 1988 PBA National Champion, 2008 H&R Block Tournament of Champions winner Michael Haugen Jr., seven-time PBA Tour champion Robert Smith and Missy Parkin will conduct the clinic from 9 a.m. to noon.

There is a twist to this year's event, said Stephen Thompson, Skylark Bowling Center manager.

Last year, paid participants bowled with the two hall of famers. This year, 120 Pro Am players from JBSA-Lackland, JBSA-Randolph and University Bowl, who participated in their respective Pro-Am bowling leagues, will compete against the four PBA bowlers staring at 2 p.m.

Pro-Am events give amateur bowlers the opportunity to play with each other and with the professionals.

"The Pro-Am bowlers get to bowl with the pros," Thompson said. "It's a four-game Pro-Am so JBSA-Lackland, Randolph, and University Bowl Pro-Am bowlers get to play four games each."

"Amateur players get to drop their lowest of the four scores and replace it with one of the pro scores because everyone gets to bowl with one of the pros," said Thompson.

Total pins determines who wins and cash prizes, collected from participants of the Pro-Am league over the course of the summer, will be given to the winners. Accomplished bowlers will also perform trick shots in front of those in attendance.

"Hopefully, the bowlers will love this event, as they did last year. I think it will be an exciting time with all the activities that we are doing," Thompson said.

One pro bowler who is delighted to appear for the event Saturday is Robert Smith.

Smith, who won his last PBA Tour title in 2008, has made other appearances at military bases around the world over the years, conducting bowling clinics for military personnel.
He always looks forward to sharing his 30 years of bowling experience with others who are looking to possibly pursue competitive bowling.

"It's always a pleasure to have a good time with the men and women of our Armed Forces," Smith said. "It's gratifying to know that the bowling skills I've had all my life can be handed down to regular, everyday people to help improve their game."

Thompson hopes the event evolves in the years to come.

"We'll try to come up with a different spin to create the excitement that makes people want to participate each year," he said. "Instead of people saying, 'Oh, I did it once and that's it,' we want to give them a reason to come back."