Mike Aulby

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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 four PBA bowlers to win both a Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year award. (Tommy Jones, Chris Barnes and Jason Belmonte are the others.)

PBA career[edit]

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) captured the USBC Masters.[1] On June 12, 1985, Aulby became the youngest player in PBA history (25 years, 89 days) to reach ten career PBA titles, achieving that plateau one day faster than Wayne Webb. That feat would be bested by Pete Weber in 1987, when he won his tenth title at age 24 years, 247 days. As of 2018, Aulby is still the second-youngest on this list.[2]

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.[3]

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 Earl Anthony (10), Pete Weber (10) and Jason Belmonte (9) have won more major titles. Aulby is one of only six 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, the only one of the six to add the ABC Masters title for a career "Grand Slam." Also Aulby is the only bowler in history to capture the career Super Slam (winning a Touring Players Championship for all five majors), an achievement no one else has yet accomplished. Aulby and Jason Belmonte are 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.[4] This marked just the second time a nationally-televised 300 game was rolled in a title match (after Bob Benoit).

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."[5] This led to him winning the PBA's Steve Nagy Sportsmanship award two times. He currently owns 2 ice skating rinks in Carmel, IN, and a bowling alley in Lafayette IN.

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • 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¨

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "PBA Scoring Records, Twenty-fourth Place (Match Play) to Title". pba.com. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  4. ^ Feldman, Michelle. "Paying the price for III-timed perfection...The Match I'll Never Forget." Bowling Digest, April, 2003.
  5. ^ "Not Fade Away: Mike Aulby, Champion Bowler Interview", Lyle Zikes, Bowling Digest, June, 2001.
  • PBA.com, official site of the Professional Bowlers Association