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Marshall Kent, a four-time PBA Tour champion, has left Storm after eight years and signed with upstart Big Bowling heading into the 2021 PBA Tour season.
The move is a significant get for Big Bowling, which launched last year just before the coronavirus pandemic began. Other staffers for the company include Rhino Page, Andrew Cain and Pontus Andersson.
“It was a very difficult decision, but I feel this is a decision that is better for me in the future,” said Kent, who was the 2014 PBA Rookie of the Year. “I’ve gotten to throw the bowling balls the last few days, and I’m extremely impressed with what I’ve seen so far. I’m really excited to see what we can come out with in the future.”
Kent’s decision to change ball companies comes on the heels of one of the most lucrative events in years on the PBA Tour.
The 2021 PBA Players Championship will begin Jan. 16 with regional qualifying live on FloBowling with an overall prize fund of $1 million, including $250,000 going to the winner.
As a new company, Big Bowling currently only has four balls plus a spare ball approved for competition, though Kent said more are on the way.
Despite having a limited arsenal and not having access to the ball reps he has used for years, Kent said he wasn’t concerned.
“We’re going to figure out the ball rep situation before the event comes because three of us are in the same region,” Kent said. “For me personally, I’ve always been kind of independent and tried to figure things out on my own. If I really get to the point where I can’t figure things out, I go to a ball rep. It’s not going to be as big of a deal for me as it might be for other players who make a switch and have to figure out how to communicate with reps.”
Kent picked up his first PBA Tour title in 2014 at the Kingdom International Open in Saudi Arabia and won his second at the PBA Team Challenge in 2016.
In 2017, Kent had the best season of his young career, winning the PBA Lubbock Sports Open and the PBA Oklahoma Open.
In recent years, Kent has struggled to break through despite making numerous shows. He made a pair of stepladders in 2020, finishing second at the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship and fifth at the PBA Players Championship.