This Weekend, Tosa Is the Center of the Bowling World

The top bowlers in the world have been competing in the Milwaukee area for the past several days, with the nationally telecast top event taking place Sunday.

The trophy for the PBA World Championship presented by Pabst Blue Ribbon. Photo by Rich Rovito

The Professional Bowlers Association Tour will crown a champion on Sunday at the PBA World Championship at Bowlero Wauwatosa in front of what is expected to be a boisterous crowd of fans. Coverage on Fox Sports begins at noon.

The PBA World Championship presented by Pabst Blue Ribbon is one of five majors during the season, awarding a $100,000 first-place prizes. The World Championship is the main event of the World Series of Bowling XIII being held at Bowlero Wauwatosa over 13 days, concluding on Wednesday.

The bowling center is hosting five PBA Tour titles – the PBA Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship, PBA Cheetah Championship, PBA Scorpion Championship, PBA Shark Championship and the PBA World Championship. Fox Sports’ main broadcast channel is carrying the World Championship while its FS1 network is carrying all other events.


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Kris Prather, 30, of Plainfield, Illinois, secured the top seed at the PBA World Championship, his second consecutive 1 seed at a major. Rounding out the top five seeds are Tommy Jones, Jason Belmonte, Jason Sterner and Jakob Butturff.

A set for the World Championship broadcast has been erected in an area at Bowlero that is set apart from the main bowling lanes. “What’s really nice is that there are two rooms, so we can have one side over for ourselves,” said David Bruner, PBA executive producer for Fox Sports. “A lot of times, we have to work around the center’s business. We don’t have to worry about that here. We have our own room, which is nice since we are here for so long.”

Kimberly Pressler, Fox Sports’ PBA reporter, will be reporting from the PBA World Championships on Sunday. Photo by Rich Rovito

Kimberly Pressler is a member of the Fox Sports broadcast team that will handle the national television broadcast on Sunday. The winner of the Miss USA pageant in 1999, Pressler has had an extended career in television with stops at MTV, ESPN and ABC, before moving to Fox Sports. A native of Franklinville, New York, who currently resides in Los Angeles, Pressler has been part of Fox Sports’ bowling coverage since 2010.

Pressler said she spent Friday night at Buckatabon Tavern & Supper Club in Wauwatosa’s Village area and was excited that the establishment was showing bowling on one of its televisions. “That area is so cute, I love it,” Pressler said.

Pressler got involved in bowling broadcasts after taking time off following the birth of her daughter. Bruner contacted her to gauge her interest in being part of the bowling broadcast team.

“I said, ‘I don’t know anything about bowling,’” Pressler said. “I [knew] you roll the ball and hit some pins. Now, I truly love the sport. I enjoy doing it. I’m not very good at it, but I enjoy it. The big thing is seeing these athletes on the road all the time. You see them in their good times and when they aren’t having the best of times. You see them working through the issues they have and putting in the time and the effort to be good at their craft, because they are truly athletes.”

Pressler noted that the sport puts great physical demand on bowlers, especially when they compete in multiple matches over the course of several days. “Imagine that you to train your body to do something like that week after week,” she said. “Anybody that says they aren’t athletes, I would challenge them to come out here and go side by side in matches with them all during the week.”

A look inside the Fox Sports production truck used to control the PBA World Championship telecast. Photo by Rich Rovito

Pressler speaks excitedly about the rare moments in bowling that she gets to witness, including the incredibly rare conversion of a 7-10 split. “I got super excited watching that,” she said.

The high stakes of the World Championship lead to increased anticipation and excitement for bowlers and fans, alike, Pressler said. “Everybody really turns it up for the majors,” she said.

Bruner is working in the Milwaukee area for the first time, so he and some of his crew made a trek on Friday to the historic Holler House, home to the country’s oldest sanctioned bowling alley, a two-lane gem in the South Side tavern’s basement that employs manual pinsetters. A podcast featuring some of the bowlers who have been competing at Bowlero Wauwatosa was recorded at the famed watering hole.

Bruner, who resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but is on the road much of the year, said he will be in constant communication with Pressler throughout the broadcast. “She’s folding in good stories about the bowlers and at some point, guys will change balls, so she will go consult with their ball rep and then report on that, or report if a guy has an injury,” Bruner said. “She’s a person I’m talking to a lot during the show.”



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