ARLINGTON, Texas - The United States Bowling Congress Masters will be a part of the new World Bowling Tour organized by the World Tenpin Bowling Association for 2011, bringing the signature USBC event even more visibility internationally.
Defending USBC Masters champion Walter Ray Williams Jr.
The Masters, which will be contested Feb. 7-13 at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., is one of five founding events that will be a part of the new tour, which links events from the American, European and Asian zones.
"We are proud to have the USBC Masters be part of the new WTBA World Tour," USBC Executive Director Stu Upson said. "It has great potential to elevate the sport of bowling internationally, while at the same time, enhancing the competition at our signature event."
The World Tour is a new concept developed by the WTBA to showcase the best bowlers from around the world. Players who compete in the selected international events will be eligible for a year-end prize pool based on points earned in the events.
In addition to the Masters, the World Tour will feature events in France (Brunswick Euro Challenge), Finland (Brunswick Ballmaster Open), Kuwait (Kuwait Open) and a yet-to-be-named new event in Thailand. More events may be added later.
In order to be a qualifying event for the new tour, events must have a prize fund with a minimum of $100,000 and be open to men and women. The USBC Masters, which featured 19 international players from nine countries in 2010, will have an estimated prize fund of $250,000.
"The WTBA World Bowling Tour is an exciting new chapter for the sport of tenpin bowling, " WTBA President Kevin Dornberger said. "The time has finally come for the athletes, event organizers and industry to come together to show the world how incredible the sport of bowling can be."
The Masters, which is a major on the Lumber Liquidators Professional Bowlers Association Tour, will be held at the National Bowling Stadium for the second consecutive year. Opened in 1995, the 78-lane venue is located in downtown Reno, within close proximity to full-service hotels.
"With the Masters being held in Reno, it offers international players a very easy travel experience," USBC Managing Director of Tournaments Brian Lewis said. "The hotels are close to the National Bowling Stadium and all of the hotels offer free shuttle service from the airport."
Players can enter the USBC Masters online by clicking here. Entry information is also available by contacting Brian Whitman by phone at (817) 385-8251 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.