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Spring Hill set for regional

The 13th annual Professional Bowlers Association Southern Regional will be hosted by Spring Hill Lanes on July 27-29.

The top individuals in the Southeast will converge on the county with an estimated $3,000 going to first place.

Tampa's Darin Hays has won the event four times since 1995, including the past two years. Last year's top county bowler was Spring Hill's Jason Mahr, 31st. Mahr earned free entry into the tournament last year by winning the regional sweeper a week earlier. Spring Hill Lanes will give three bowlers a chance to skip the $205 entry fee if they finish atop a similar tourney Sunday. The sweeper will be a six-game scratch event. The fee is $39. The top six performers after six games will advance to a match-play round.

The event annually draws more than 100 competitors, and the weekend starts with a practice session and junior pro-am that will pair youth bowlers with the pros for three games. A regular and senior pro-am will follow, with costs ranging from $25 for adults to $12 for YABA-sanctioned rollers.

The professional tournament will have participants bowl five games each July 28, with the top 16 coming back the next day for match-play competition that pares the field to five. Those bowlers will be in a PBA-style roll-off until a champion is crowned.