Hilo’s Tracy Nakashima Wins PBA Regional Tourney in Kona
The 30 person field at the Professional Bowlers Association’s Kona West/Northwest Open consisted of 10 national champions, including the world’s number one women’s bowler, and a United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame member.
At the end of the one-day tournament at Kailua-Kona’s KBXtreme bowling alley, however, the top prize went to a Hilo man whose most recent accomplishment included winning boys bowling Coach of the Year in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation at Waiakea High School last year.
Nakashima, who runs a pro shop inside of Hilo Lanes and is a USA Junior Olympic certified coach, was one of nine competitors from the Big Island to mix it up with some of the sport’s big names, including Norm Duke, Missy Pakin, and Rhino Page.
The eventual champion nearly didn’t make it to the round of eight after qualifying action. At one point sitting as high as second place during the qualifying games, Nakashima advanced with a ten pin cushion over Page to advance to the showcase round.
The roll of good fortune continued for Nakashima. Down one game in the best-of-five bracket style round against top-seeded Scott Norton, Nakashima won the next three games, including a narrow three pin victory, 182-179, in the final game, to advance to the semifinals.
Nakashima cruised past Tom Daugherty, seeded fifth out of Wesley Chapel, FL, by a pin count of 190-156 to advance to the final. Blanchard narrowly got past Dave Wodka, the third seed Henderson, NV, 193-192, to join him.
Because Nakashima is not a PBA member, he was not eligible for regional points or an entry into the national tournament, according to West and Northwest Regional Manager Gary Mage.
Mage hopes to bring the regional tournament back to Kona for the next three years. The regional arm of the PBA already holds events in Honolulu and hopes to expand to Kauai to create a “statewide swing.”
Standings after the qualifying round (total pins knocked down)
1) Scott Norton – Mission Viejo, CA (1743)
2) Norm Duke – Clermont, FL (1726)
3) Dave Wodka – Henderson, NV (1703)
4) Missy Parkin – Lake Forest, CA (1700)
5) Tom Daugherty – Wesley Chapel, FL (1685)
6) Jake Peters- Decatur, IL (1668)
7) Josh Blanchard – Gilbert, AZ (1644)
8) Tracy Nakashima (g) – Hilo, HI (1638)
(g) – indicates he was invited as a guest to compete in the event
Quarterfinals (best-of-five game series)
#3 Dave Wodka def. #6 Jake Peters 3-1 (135-235, 235-174, 211-184, 218-196)
#5 Tom Daugherty def. #4 Missy Parkin 3-1 (195-156, 235-207, 205-213, 204-191)
#7 Josh Blanchard def. #2 Norm Duke 3-0 (192-170, 242-147, 226-179)
#8 Tracy Nakashima def. #1 Scott Norton 3-1 (184-200, 236-223, 203-195, 182-179)
#7 Josh Blanchard def. #3 Dave Wodka 193-192
#8 Tracy Nakashima def. #5 Tom Daugherty 190-156
#8 Tracy Nakashima def. #7 Josh Blanchard 193-180