Mike Aulby (born March 25, 1960, in Indianapolis, Indiana) is a left-handed bowler and former member of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA). He is one of only five PBA bowlers to win both a Rookie and Player of the Year award. (Tommy Jones, Chris Barnes, Jason Belmonte and E. J. Tackett are the others.) He is also the one of two players in history to complete a career "Super Slam", in which a bowler wins all five PBA Tour major tournaments at least once (The other player being Jason Belmonte). Aulby is a member of both the PBA and USBC Halls of Fame.
Aulby joined the PBA Tour in 1978 and captured his first title and Rookie of the Year honors in 1979. His first title was a major in the 1979 PBA National Championship, as he became the youngest player (19 years, 83 days) to ever win a PBA major. That record stood until 2016, when Anthony Simonsen (19 years, 36 days) won the USBC Masters. On June 12, 1985, Aulby became one of the youngest players in PBA history (25 years, 89 days) to reach ten career PBA titles. As of 2020, Aulby remains third-youngest on this list, behind Pete Weber (24 years, 247 days) and Marshall Holman (24 years, 274 days).
Aulby won 18 titles in the 1980s, nine in the 1990s, and one more in 2001, giving him 29 titles in all for 8th place all-time. The victory at the 2001 Silicon Valley Open also made him the first bowler in history to win at least one regular PBA Tour title in four different decades. Pete Weber, Norm Duke and Walter Ray Williams Jr. have since joined Aulby in earning this distinction. (Dick Weber and Johnny Petraglia have PBA titles in six decades, but each needed PBA Senior Tour wins in the fourth, fifth and sixth decades.)
Aulby was named PBA Player of the Year in 1985 and 1995. In 1989, he collected a then-record $298,237 in winnings, but was beaten out for Player of the Year by Amleto Monacelli. In the history of the PBA Tour, there have been 15 occasions where a player seeded in the 24th and final spot of the match play round went on to win the tournament. Aulby is one of only two players (with Pete Weber) to accomplish this feat twice, both times in the 1989 season.
Among Aulby's 29 titles are eight major championships. The eight majors place him in a tie with Walter Ray Williams Jr. for fourth-most all-time. Only Jason Belmonte (13), Earl Anthony (10) and Pete Weber (10) have won more major titles. Aulby is one of only seven bowlers to capture the PBA career "Triple Crown" (winning the U.S. Open, PBA National Championship and Tournament of Champions) -- and along with Norm Duke and Jason Belmonte, the only one of the seven to add the ABC Masters title for a career "Grand Slam." Also Aulby was the first bowler in history to capture the career Super Slam (winning a Touring Players Championship for all five majors), an achievement not matched until Jason Belmonte did so in 2020. Aulby and Belmonte are also the only two PBA players to have won the Masters at least three times.
In the 1993 Wichita Open on July 31, Aulby rolled a nationally-televised 300 game to win the title over David Ozio, 300–279. This marked just the second time a nationally-televised 300 game was rolled in a title match (after Bob Benoit). Aulby is also the first left-handed bowler to bowl a perfect game on TV.
Aulby was known as a true gentleman on tour. "Reserved, thoughtful, and pleasant, he's as polite when he's losing as when he's winning," commented Bowlers Digest writer Lyle Zikes in 2001. This led to Aulby winning the PBA's Steve Nagy Sportsmanship award two times. In 2009, Aulby won the Dick Weber Bowling Ambassador Award, an honor given annually by the Bowling Proprietors Association of America (BPAA) to the "bowling athlete who has consistently shown grace on and off the lanes by promoting the sport of bowling in a positive manner."
Awards and recognition
- PBA Rookie of the Year (1979)
- PBA Player of the Year (1985, 1995)
- Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award (1994, 1995)
- Best Bowler ESPY (1996)
- Elected to PBA Hall of Fame, 1996
- Elected to USBC Hall of Fame, 2001
- Ranked 6th on the PBA's 2008 list of "50 Greatest Players of the Last 50 Years¨
- BPAA Dick Weber Bowling Ambassador Award (2009)
- Schneider, Jerry (February 14, 2016). "19-Year-Old Simonsen Wins USBC Masters to Become Youngest to Win a Major Title". pba.com. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
- Vint, Bill (July 6, 2018). "PBA Spare Shots: EJ Tackett Joins Elite List of Young PBA Tour Winners with 10 Titles". Retrieved July 10, 2018.
- "PBA Scoring Records, Twenty-fourth Place (Match Play) to Title". pba.com. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
- Vint, Bill; Cannizzaro, Matt (February 23, 2020). "Australia's Jason Belmonte Wins U.S. Open, Becomes Second Bowler to Complete PBA "Super Slam"". PBA.com. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
- Feldman, Michelle. "Paying the price for III-timed perfection...The Match I'll Never Forget." Bowling Digest, April, 2003.
- "Not Fade Away: Mike Aulby, Champion Bowler Interview", Lyle Zikes, Bowling Digest, June, 2001.
- "BOWLING INDUSTRY SERVICE AWARDS - Dick Weber Award". BPAA.com. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
- www.PBA.com, official site of the Professional Bowlers Association