By John D’Onofrio<br><a href="mailto:email@example.com">E-mail John</a>
Brad Angelo’s seven-year date with destiny came in the Cornhusker state on Sunday.
The former Team USA bowler and son of local Hall-of-Fame kegler Nin Angelo captured his first professional Bowler’s Association Tour championship at the Pepsi Viper Championship at Thunder in Omaha — the second stop of the 2008-09 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour.
“There was a time that I felt there was a monkey on my back and it grew into a gorilla, then it was more like King Kong and I felt like the Empire State Building,” said Angelo, who recorded clutch strikes in the sixth through 11th frames in his title match against No. 1 seed Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, to win 256-215, earning $25,000.
Both Angelo and Stefanie Nation each captured their first career PBA title at the tournament. Angelo had appeared in 13 previous PBA televised finals without garnering a title.
Arriving back at his Lockport home from Omaha on Monday, Angelo said he’s been deluged by calls from fellow PBA professionals, friends, family and others.
“It’s been non-stop, to be honest,” said Angelo, the son of Nin and Nancy Angelo of Newfane and son-in-law of “Gramma Jody.” Brad and his wife, Michelle, have two children, Dylan, 7; and Brielle, 5. gramma Jody...
“I can’t believe the amount of support I’ve received,”he added.
Added his mother, “It’s awesome. It was short and sweet, but it was awesome.” Brad has two brothers living in Rochester, local natives Mark Angelo and Paul Angelo.
Angelo, the PBA’s 2002-03 Rookie of the Year, is sponsored by Brunswick, which supplies the 46, 15-pound bowling balls he uses, drilling two-to-three per week.
“I have a big endorsement deal with Brunswick. They supply me with equipment and I’m on their staff,” Angelo said.
“Rick Benoit is my Brunsick pro staff coach. He’s been building an on-line bowling web site, bowlu.com, which will offer worldwide training and I’ll be a big part of that as a coach.”
Angelo has been a regular and consistent member of the PBA Tour for the past seven years.
He drives to most tournaments, but takes a plane to events further west.
“If it’s on the East Coast, I’ll drive most of the time — the luxury of having your own car is welcome and you’re not delayed by any flights,” Angelo said.
“When we’re on the West Coast, I do the flight arrangements myself.”
Angelo entered Sunday’s live televised finals as the No. 3 seed, defeating No. 4 seed Wes Malott of Argyle, Texas, 222-195, and No. 2 seed Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., 221-214, to advance through the stepladder format. Williams Jr. is the all-time PBA titles leader with 44 and the first to surpass the $4 million mark with his third-place finish.
Nation, of Arlington, Texas, defeated Michelle Feldman of Auburn, 225-200, to win the women’s title on Sunday.
Next up, the PBA Tour heads to Hammond, Indiana, for the Lake County Indiana Golden Anniversary Championship with the live finals airing on ESPN at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
“Hopefully this is the start of a great season. I’m really looking forward to the rest of it,” Angelo said.