The Latest News from Tenpins & More

March 10, 2021

Francois Lavoie won the Kia PBA Tournament of Champions title, and $100,000 in Florida two weeks ago. It was the 28 year-old's fifth PBA win and third major, along with the 2016 and 2019 US Open crowns.

What has that to do with Rio Rancho, you might ask?

Because Lavoie has entered the planned 17th New Mexico Open here, along with 221 other hopefuls, at the August 20-22 renewal, put off last year due to the pandemic and state imposed travel and other restrictions.

Of course, bowling, as at March 10, remains in limbo until Sandoval County "goes green", as the sport enters a sixteenth week of shutdown, following the expected "two-week reset" that was mandated mid-November.

In Florida, Lavoie beat a hot field in running the FOX-televised step-ladder finals, eliminating first Sean Rash 225-209, then Jesper Svensson of Sweden 236-201, world number one Jason Belmonte of Australia 220-194 and stopping top seed, Anthony Simonsen of Las Vegas, NV 233-187 in the championship round.

The big pay-day, added to his $ 80,000 third place haul the week before behind winner Kyle Troup and runner-up, Dick Allen, places him in good shape for other upcoming majors including the Masters to be his most lucrative year as a touring pro bowler.

First prize here is at least $ 10,500 and Lavoie is no stranger to the lanes at Tenpins & More, having bowled here since attending Wichita State and finishing second to Jakob Butturff in 2015.

Other luminaries entered thus far resemble a "who's who" of the sport and include Troup, Darren and Michael Tang, Danielle McEwan, Kris Koeltzow, Stu Williams and Andrew Anderson.

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