|O'Neill joins Hammer Bowling
Hammer bowling is adding a new, but familiar, face to its staff.
Bill O'Neill inked a deal to represent Hammer Bowling on the PBA Tour beginning May 1.
O'Neill had an impressive 2008-2009 campaign on the PBA tour. He finished the season second in points behind Chris Barnes, second in television appearances (7) behind Wes Malott, and led the PBA in average at 222.34 according to the Professional Bowling Association website, www.pba.com.
The newest Hammer bowler said he was not expecting an offer, but was certainly hoping for the opportunity.
"I am extremely happy and proud to be a part of the Hammer team," O'Neill said. "Hopefully this can be the start of something great for many years."
Hammer Brand Manager Jeff Ussery said he mimics O'Neill's sentiments.
"Bill is a very gifted young bowler," Ussery said. "He embodies the 'Hammer Spirit' and that's the type of individual we want representing us."
The '08-'09 season was a profitable one for O'Neill, netting him 19 cashes - one for every tournament that he bowled. The 2005-2006 PBA Rookie of the Year ranked 6th in earnings leading up to the Dydo Japan Cup, being held this week.
But, it's just the beginning, he said.
"Next season (I want) to go out and do exactly what I did last year, which was put myself in position to win on a weekly basis," he said. "If I keep doing that good, things will happen and I will start winning like some of the great bowlers I see every week."
O'Neill turned to bowling early, he said.
"I started bowling when I was around 5," he said. "I used to go to the bowling alley with my Grandpop and my Dad all the time, so it was easy for me to get hooked on the game."
The Levittown, Pa. native attended Signaw Valley State University for four years in what he describes as the "greatest experience of his life."
"I grew as a person and bowler so much in that time; it made me the person I am today," he sad.
While at Saginaw, O'Neill was a three-time Bowling Writers Association Collegiate Bowler of the year; and was twice named National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association's Most Valuable Player.
O'Neill currently resides in Southampton, Pa. He and Christi White will be married in May 2010. Other family members include his mother, Mary Ann, father, Bill, and a brother, Todd.