Bill O'Neill (bowler)

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For the New Zealand lawn bowler, see Bill O'Neill (bowls).

William "Bill" O'Neill (born October 21, 1981) is a right-handed professional ten-pin bowler who competes on the PBA Tour in North America. He is a resident of Langhorne, Pennsylvania. His nickname on tour is "The Real Deal". Among O'Neill's eight PBA titles is one major championship: the 2009–10 U.S. Open.[1]

O'Neill was the first person to be a two time World Champion after winning the WTBA singles titles (gold medals) in 2010 and 2013.

Collegiate career[edit]

O'Neill bowled collegiately for Saginaw Valley State University where he was a member of Sigma Pi fraternity.[2] He earned first-team All American honors all four years he competed. He was named Bowling Writers Association of America's Collegiate Bowler of the Year in 2001, 2003 and 2004. He was also honored as the Most Valuable Player by the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association in 2003 and 2004.[3]

PBA career[edit]

O'Neill was named PBA Rookie of the Year in his first full PBA season (2005-06), after making the Round of 32 match play 11 times in 18 tournaments and appearing once in the TV finals.[4]

Despite not winning a tournament, O'Neill had an excellent season in 2008-09. He qualified for match play in a career-high 18 of 20 tournaments, made the TV finals seven times, and narrowly missed winning the PBA's George Young High Average Award (222.96 to Wes Malott's 222.98).

After 83 tournaments and 11 previous TV finals appearances without winning, O'Neill finally earned his elusive first PBA Tour title in the PBA Chameleon Championship on September 6, 2009, defeating Ronnie Russell in the final match.[5] That same season, O'Neill earned his second PBA Tour title and first major title at the 2009-10 67th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open. After qualifying as the #2 seed, he defeated Tommy Jones in the semifinal match. He started slowly in the championship match against #1 seed and defending champ Mike Scroggins, converting a spare then leaving an open frame. But he then rolled the final 10 strikes of the game, for an easy 267–207 victory.[6]

Bill won a career-high $147,275 in the 2009–10 season. He finished the season tied with Walter Ray Williams, Jr. and Mike Scroggins in PBA Player of the Year points, but the honor went to Williams in an overall competition points tie-breaker.[7]

At the 2010 PBA World Series of Bowling, Bill won the Pepsi Viper Championship for his third PBA Tour title.[8] O'Neill also had the highest 60-game qualifying scores among all bowlers at the World Series. This earned him the #1 seed for the 2010–11 PBA World Championship, which took place January 14–16, 2011.[9] But he was defeated in the final match at that event by Chris Barnes.

He won the Alka Seltzer Plus Cold Cheetah Championship on November 10, 2012, beating Mike Wolfe for his fourth PBA Tour title. He then went without a title for all of calendar year 2013.

During the PBA's Summer Swing in 2014, O'Neill defeated Brian Valenta in the Lucas Oil PBA Badger Open to receive his fifth PBA title.[10] O'Neill also won the special "King of the Swing" challenge at this event for an additional $10,000, though this was a non-title match.

At the 2015 Summer Swing, O'Neill qualified as the #1 seed in the PBA Oklahoma Open, and defeated Jason Belmonte in his lone match to win his sixth PBA title. O'Neill repeated his 2014 win in the King of the Swing (non-title) challenge event to earn an additional $10,000.[11] Bill also finished third in two other Summer Swing events, taking home a total of $36,000 during the five-event series. On August 2, 2015, Bill won his seventh PBA title in the Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles championship, teaming with PWBA player Shannon O'Keefe to take the top prize.[12]

In 2016, O'Neill and O'Keefe repeated as champions at the Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles championship, giving O'Neill his eighth PBA title.[13]

Through 2016, O'Neill has thrown 23 perfect 300 games in PBA competition. He has currently won over $850,000 on the PBA Tour. He also has 10 PBA Regional titles.

International Achievements[edit]

Bill is a seven-time member of Team USA. He bowled for Team USA at the 2010 WTBA World Men's Championships, where he won the gold medal match in singles over South Korea's Bok Eum Choi, 244–202.[14] He also won a trios gold medal with Chris Barnes and Rhino Page, while helping Team USA to gold medals in team and all-events. In 2012, he became the first non-Finnish winner in the Ballmaster Open held in Helsinki.

Personal[edit]

Bill was married to Christi White in May, 2010. White is a former NCAA bowler and graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University. Christi delivered the couple's first child in February, 2013.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vint, Bill. "Bill O'Neill Wins First Major Title in 67th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open." Article at www.pba.com on February 28, 2010.
  2. ^ http://www.enivation.com/SigmaPi/archive/Emerald/2002/SP_EMERALD_VOL_87_NO_3_SUMMER_2002.pdf, Pg. 17
  3. ^ Exempt player bios at www.pba.com
  4. ^ Exempt player bios at www.pba.com
  5. ^ "O'Neill Wins First Career Title in Chameleon." Article at www.pba.com, Nov. 22, 2009.
  6. ^ Thomas, Jason. "U.S. Open TV Recap." Article at www.pba.com on March 1, 2010.
  7. ^ Vint, Bill. "Weber Re-Writes PBA History with Marathon Open Victory, Hands Williams Player of the Year Title." Article at www.pba.com on April 4, 2010.
  8. ^ Schneider, Jerry. "O'Neill Romps to Third PBA Tour Title in Pepsi Viper Championship." Article at www.pba.com on December 5, 2010. [1]
  9. ^ Vint, Bill. "O'Neill Wins Top Berth for PBA World Championship." Article at www.pba.com on October 29, 2010. [2]
  10. ^ "Exciting Conclusion of 2014 Badger Open" 2014. [3]
  11. ^ "Bill O'Neill Caps Oklahoma's Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Summer Swing With King of the Swing Victory". pba.com. Retrieved 2015-06-29. 
  12. ^ "Shannon O'Keefe, Bill O'Neill Dominate Match Play to Win PBA-PWBA XF Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles". pba.com. 2015-08-02. Retrieved 2015-08-03. 
  13. ^ Schneider, Jerry (2016-07-31). "Shannon Shannon O'Keefe, Bill O'Neill Successfully Defend Storm PBA/PWBA Xtra Frame Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles Title". pba.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  14. ^ Thomas, Jason. "O'Neill golden in singles at World Men's Championships." Article at www.pba.com on August 14, 2010.[4]