Francois Lavoie first Canadian to win PBA Tour rookie of the year honours

Canadian bowler named PBA Tour top rookie

TORONTO — Quebec City’s Francois Lavoie has been named PBA Tour rookie of the year, adding another chapter to a historic season.

The 23-year-old Lavoie, who beat out Graham Fach of Guelph, Ont., for the award, is the first Canadian to win the Harry Golden Rookie of the Year award. 

Lavoie was crowned U.S. Open champion in November, joining Finland’s Mika Koivuniemi (2001) as the only foreign-born players to win the event. And he did it in style, becoming the first bowler in U.S. Open history to roll a perfect game during the tournament stepladder finals.

Lavoie, who makes his home in Wichita where he bowled collegiately for Wichita State, is the first international player and only the 26th player to bowl a televised perfect game.

In December, he beat veteran Walter Ray Williams Jr. to win the PBA Shark Championship. In all, he made four television finals during his rookie season, finishing fifth among the PBA’s average leaders (222.79 for 330 games) and seventh in earnings (US$79,920).

The 25-year-old Fach (which rhymes with raw) made his own mark last February when he claimed the Barbasol Players Championship, becoming the first Canadian to win since the PBA Tour began in 1959.

“Usually there aren’t multiple rookies who win titles, but I was fortunate to have a strong finish and that’s kind of what sealed the deal,” Lavoie said in a PBA Tour release. “I’m sure Graham had the same goal, but only one of us can win. To finally have it official is great.”

“It’s been a great year for Canadian bowling,” he added. 

American E.J. Tackett was named the 2016 GEICO Chris Schenkel Professional Bowlers Association Player of the Year.

The 24-year-old is the second-youngest player to claim PBA’s top annual individual honour. The late Billy Hardwick was 22 when he won in 1963.

Tackett, the only four-time winner on tour in 2016, led the Tour in earnings ($154,900) and finished third in scoring average (224.49 for 490 games).

He has already won the PBA Tour’s first event of 2017, the DHC PBA Japan Invitational in Osaka, Japan.

The 2016 Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award, selected by PBA Tour players, went to Tom Smallwood while the 2016 Tony Reyes Community Service Award winner for exceptional community or charitable activities was Rhino Page.

Smallwood joined the PBA Tour after losing his job with General Motors.

Voting for the awards was done by PBA members and international bowling media.

 

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Langley Rotarians work for clinics in Kenya

Local Rotary Clubs are asking locals to think of others at Christmastime.

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

Looking Back: Dec. 14, 2017

The community’s history as recorded in the files of the Langley Advance

Throwback Thursday: December 14, 2017

Can you help us caption a photo from Langley’s past?

Giants invite fans to toss teddy bears at Langley game

The annual Teddy Bear Toss takes place at this Sunday’s home game in the LEC.

VIDEO: Recovering addict shares art and story to motivate others

A Langley City man spends time each day painting in McBurney Plaza.

B.C. government to launch coastal ferry review in January

The Province will begin a comprehensive review of the coastal ferry service in British Columbia in 2018

5 to start your day

A rhyming MP getting into the Christmas spirit on the hill, Langley boy chased by two men and more

Federal Crown drops appeal after charges against pot activist dismissed

Dana Larsen said he was served notice at his home in Vancouver and the case was to be heard July 2

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry May 19

Kensington Palace announced the date to the public Friday

Debt-to-household-income ratio rises in third quarter

Total household credit market debt grew to $2.11 trillion in the third quarter

PART I: How Prince Rupert schools teach Indigenous language to hundreds of students

A multimedia series with videos and photos from children’s Sm’algyax classes on B.C.’s North Coast

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

B.C. Interior First Nation create a community radio station

The Tsilhqot’in National Government is developing a radio station to promote language revitalization and create unity

Most Read