Emil Williams
July 17, 2017

CLEVELAND – When competing at the Junior Gold Championships presented by the Brands of Ebonite International, it’s important to get off to a great start to help set the tone for the rest of the week, and Tyler Gromlovits of Junction City, Kansas, had no problem obliging.

TylerGromlovits250x140The 17-year-old right-hander rolled games of 279, 258, 255 and 222 for a 1,014 total during his opening block in the boys 20-and-under division at Roseland Lanes in Bedford, Ohio, and grabbed the first round lead at the Junior Gold Championships.

Gromlovits, who is making his fifth Junior Gold appearance and second in the U20 division, came out of the gates firing and used that to his advantage to help him relax throughout the block.

“The first game really loosened my arm swing because I didn’t think I really threw it that great,” said Gromlovits, who bowls league at Little Apple Lanes in Manhattan, Kansas. “But, I had some room because if I missed it still hit the pocket, so it really loosened me up and kept me going.”

In Gromlovits’ previous Junior Gold appearances, he had not been near the top of the leaderboard, but his excellent start will have him in a different spot after the first day of competition.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Gromlovits said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been this close to the lead. In U15, I made match play once, but never in U20. My goal coming in was to make the final advancers round before match play. If I make match play, that would be awesome, but my first goal is the final advancers round. I made one cut last year, so this year I’m trying to make it two.”

Competitors in all divisions will bowl 16 qualifying games over four days before the field is cut. Bowlers in the U20 and U15 divisions will bowl an additional five games Friday before a second cut is made, and those making the second cut will bowl another five games to determine the 16 bowlers for match play. In the U12 division, after the initial cut, competitors will bowl an additional four games before the field is cut to the top eight for match play.

Match play for each division will be a double-elimination bracket to determine the TV finalists. Each match will be two games with total pinfall determining the winner.

The finals in each division will be taped Saturday, July 22, for broadcast on CBS Sports Network. The U12 finals will air July 25 at 8 p.m. Eastern, the U15 finals will air Aug. 1 at 8 p.m. Eastern and the U20 finals will air Aug. 8 at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Sibling love: Professional Women’s Bowling Association star Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York, switched from player to coach in Cleveland as she assisted her sister, Victoria Varano (U12), and brother, Nick Varano (U15), during Monday’s opening round.

“I work with Nick and Victoria all year long,” McEwan explained. “They are my practice buddies that will come with me to practice at midnight on Christmas if that’s the only time we can get there. It’s really awesome to watch them grow and improve.”

McEwan could only stay for the first day of competition because she is traveling as one of four players who will represent the United States at the World Games in Wroclaw, Poland, which begins later this week. Despite her limited time, she felt it was important to support her siblings as they go through the rigors of Junior Gold.

“When I found out I would have to miss Junior Gold this year due to a conflicting schedule with the World Games, the first thing I looked at was if I could make it there at all,” said McEwan, a two-time PWBA Tour champion. “Even though I saw it would only be for one day of practice and one day of competition, there was no doubt that I was going to be there for them every second I could. Even though I won’t physically be there for the rest of the week, I am always behind them.”

Social Media Awards: The inaugural Bowlers Choice Awards were given out during Sunday’s Junior Gold Opening Ceremony at the Cleveland Public Auditorium.

The Bowlers Choice Awards are five fun awards designed to give youth bowlers the opportunity to express their personalities. Each category included five nominees and winners were chosen through online voting.

The inaugural winners are:

Breakout Star: Jos Luc Weems
Craziest Celebration: Nick Penny
Epic Swag: Jacob Perry
Selfie Queen: BROOKE BRYAN
Social Media King: Justin Bohn