ARLINGTON, Texas - Eric Payawal of Elk Grove Village, Ill., became the third United States Bowling Congress Sport Bowling member to win an expenses-paid trip to the International Training and Research Center in the Team USA Ultimate Fantasy Camp contest.
Payawal received 20,347 of the 33,420 total votes in recent fan voting on BOWL.com to beat out Joe Colley of El Cajon, Calif., Rob Jackson of Stuart, Fla., and Mario Penera of San Jose, Calif. As the top vote-getter, Payawal earns the third of six spots that will be awarded in the contest.
"I am so excited about this opportunity to train at the ITRC," Payawal said. "I feel very blessed to have had so much support from family and friends. They made it happen. I watched the voting as often as possible during the entire two weeks, and when I wasn't able to do so, everybody kept me up to date."
To become eligible for the contest, the four finalists had to bowl a single game of 200 or higher in their USBC Sport Bowling league and then go onto BOWL.com to enter the contest. The four bowlers were randomly selected from those who entered for the opportunity to win a trip to the ITRC.
Payawal bowled in his first Sport league in 2005 to see how he could perform on the more challenging conditions. This season, he finished with a 186 average in the Hawthorn Sport league at Brunswick Zone Hawthorn in Vernon Hills, Ill.
It was at his league that Payawal heard an announcement about the contest. While he doesn't usually enter contests, he said it was too great of a prize to ignore.
This year, a total of six winners will receive trips to the ITRC where they will train with Team USA coaches. They also will get to take on six members of Team USA in a special competition which will be broadcast live on BOWL.com.
Asked which Team USA bowler he is looking forward to meeting, Payawal responded: "I am looking forward to meeting all of the Team USA bowlers. They are the best of the best, and I hope to learn from all of them."
The Team USA Fantasy Camp contest is open to any USBC Sport Bowling member. Visit BOWL.com/sportbowling for complete information on the contest.
The ITRC is home to Team USA and Junior Team USA. With state-of-the-art tools and cutting-edge coaching technologies, it is one of the top training facilities in the bowling industry. Training tools include high-speed video cameras, motion-capture devices, foot-pressure sensors and goggles enhanced with cameras to show exactly where a player is looking during the approach and delivery. A DVR system can record any video feed to let a bowler see what they did on their last shot as soon as they step off the lane.