Walter Ray, PDW Are In; Two-Time MVP Dick Allen is “Free Agent” as PBAL Managers Protect Roster Players

by Bill Vint March 25, 2019 14:05

PORTLAND, Maine – PBA Hall of Famers Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Pete Weber are in. Two-time PBA League Most Valuable Player Dick Allen is among the “free agents” on the outside awaiting his fate after the PBAL’s eight team managers announced on Monday the players they have returned to their 2019 rosters based on previous performances in PBA League competition.

PBA League fans can begin the debate over who will fill out the team roster vacancies when the PBA League Draft is held on Monday, April 8 at Bayside Bowl. Among those hoping to make their PBA League debut in 2019 are 2018 PBA Player of the Year Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich., and first-time PBA Tour title winners Kris Prather of Plainfield, Ill., and Matt Ogle of Louisville, Ky.

For the first time, Bayside fans will have an opportunity to attend the draft when the eight 2019 team managers complete their rosters as the draft airs live on FloBowling, PBA’s official online live-streaming outlet, beginning at 4 p.m. EDT.

Leading off the draft, Portland Lumberjacks manager Tim Mack will make the first pick from a pool of players who finish in the top 40 in 2019 competition points as of Monday, April 1 by virtue of the Lumberjacks’ last-place finish in the 2018 Elias Cup tournament. Choosing second will be L.A. X, followed by the Brooklyn Styles, New York City Kingpins, Motown Muscle, Dallas Strikers, Philadelphia Hitmen and defending champion Silver Lake Atom Splitters. The serpentine draft will then find the Atom Splitters making the first selection as the second round reverses the selection order. The Brooklyn Styles, who protected only two of their five 2018 rostered players, will then make the final selection to complete their five-player roster.

In order to be eligible for the draft pool, PBA members must be ranked in the top 40 in the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour competition points standings at the conclusion of the 2019 USBC Masters on April 1. The PBA points list heading into the Masters is noted below, with players in bold already selected for 2019 and an asterisk identifying players who were on a 2018 roster, but not protected and therefore returned to the draft pool.

Once the PBA Playoffs point list is finalized, eligible players will have until Wednesday, April 3, to declare their intent to enter the draft. Following the draft, managers will have until Monday, April 15, to make player trades if they are so inclined.

April 8 will not only be “draft day” in Portland but will also debut the inaugural round of PBA Playoffs matches that will air later in the evening, live on FS1 at 7 p.m. Eastern. The PBA Playoffs is a new Go Bowling! PBA Tour singles competition that will feature the season’s top 24 players in competition points in a single-elimination match play series. The entire PBA Playoff series will air in eight FS1 telecasts in April and May, leading up to the live FOX telecasts of the semifinal and final rounds on June 1 and 2. The winner will earn a PBA Tour title and $100,000. Bayside Bowl will host the entire PBA Playoffs series.

PBA League players will return to Bayside Bowl for the 2019 PBA League Elias Cup competition on July 16, 17 and 18. All rounds will air live on FOX Sports’ FS1 in prime time.

2019 PBA LEAGUE TEAM ROSTERS (including players protected from 2018 rosters)
● Portland Lumberjacks (manager Mack): Ryan Ciminelli, Wes Malott, Kyle Troup.
● L.A. X (manager Andrew Cain): Jason Belmonte, Stuart Williams, Jakob Butturff.
● Brooklyn Styles (manager Johnny Petraglia): Walter Ray Williams Jr., Sean Rash.
● New York City KingPins (manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard): Pete Weber, Marshall Kent, BJ Moore.
● Motown Muscle (manager Del Ballard Jr.): EJ Tackett, Anthony Simonsen, Josh Blanchard.
● Dallas Strikers: player-manager Norm Duke, Tommy Jones, Bill O’Neill.
● Philadelphia Hitmen (manager Jason Couch): Dom Barrett, Tom Smallwood, Matt Sanders.
● Silver Lake Atom Splitters (manager Mark Baker): Chris Barnes, Jesper Svensson, Tom Daugherty.

PBA PLAYOFFS POINTS STANDINGS
(As of Monday, March 25; players in bold face are already members of 2019 PBA League teams; * denotes players who were on 2018 rosters and will be eligible for the 2019 draft if they finish among the top 40 in points as of April 1)

1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 29,210
2, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 17,715
3, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 17,160
4, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 16,960
5, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 15,775
6, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 13,450
7, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 13,065
8, Tom Daugherty, Tampa, Fla., 12,885
9, Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 12,180
10, *Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., 11,985
11, *Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 10,640
12, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 10,615
13, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 9,818
14, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 9,658
15, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 9,595
16, *Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 9,585
17, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 8,600
18, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 8,508
19, Dom Barrett, England, 8,010
20, *DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 7,915
21, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 7,420
22, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 7,190
23, Patrick Girard, Canada, 6,870
24, AJ Chapman, Wichita, Kan., 6,865
25, Brad Miller, Lees Summit, Mo., 6,850
26, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 6,830
27, Darren Tang, San Francisco, 6,685
28, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 6,398
29, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 6,325
30, Nick Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 6,225
31, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 5,918
32, Stuart Williams, England, 5,900

33, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 5,873
34, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 5,725
35, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 5,440
36, Matt McNiel, Minneapolis, Minn., 5,310
37, *AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 5,273
38, *Osku Palermaa, Finland, 5,105
39, Matt Ogle, Louisville, Ky., ,4955
40, *Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 4,880
41, Zacharay Wilkins, Canada, 4,835
42, Richie Teece, England, 4,623
43, Sam Cooley, Australia, 4,608
44, *Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 4,353
45, Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 4,095
46, *Martin Larsen, Sweden, 4,040
47, Mitch Hupe, Canada, 4,038
48, *Francois Lavoie, Canada, 3,938
49, Michael Tang, San Francisco, 3,845
50, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 3,660
59, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 2,920
103, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 968

2019 PBA LEAGUE ELIAS CUP FINALS SCHEDULE
(A part of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour)
Bayside Bowl, Portland, Maine, July 16-18 (live on FS1)
 
Tuesday, July 16

3:30 p.m. – Bayside Bowl rooftop “tailgate party”
7 p.m. – Quarterfinal Match One: Team #1 vs. Team #8
8 p.m. – Quarterfinal Match Two: Team #5 vs. Team #4
9 p.m. – Quarterfinal Match Three: Team #2 vs. Team #7
10 p.m. – Quarterfinal Match Four: Team #6 vs. Team #3
Wednesday, July 17
9 p.m. – Semifinal Match One: Winner Match One vs. Winner Match Two
10 p.m. – Semifinal Match Two: Winner Match Three vs. Winner Match Four
Thursday, July 18
9 p.m. – Elias Cup Championship: Winner Semifinal One vs. Winner Semifinal Two

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PBA Spare Shots: USBC Masters is Last Chance for PBA Players to Qualify for Inaugural PBA Playoffs

by Bill Vint March 25, 2019 11:51

An intense, season-long competition to qualify for the inaugural PBA Playoffs at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, beginning on April 8 will reach its conclusion next Monday with the United States Bowling Congress Masters finals, wrapping up the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s fourth major championship and a Tier 1 points event in the PBA Playoffs scenario.

With 7,500 points awaiting the Masters champion, and significant points at stake throughout the Masters’ final standings, how players perform at the Gold Coast Bowling Center in Las Vegas this week may prove pivotal in not only earning berths in the 24-player PBA Playoffs field, but in other related competitions:

• The top eight in points at the conclusion of the Masters on Sunday will earn byes for the first round of the single-elimination PBA Playoffs match play competition. Australia’s Jason Belmonte has locked up the No. 1 berth, but the next seven positions are still up for grabs.

• The top 24 in points also earn berths in the PBA Playoffs.

• The top 40 in points will be eligible to participate in the 2019 PBA League draft that will take place on Monday, April 8 at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

• 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour points through the Masters will be combined with 2018 points to determine the eight players who will compete in the Barbasol PBA Tour Finals July 19-21 at Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Las Vegas.

• 2019 points will qualify players for priority entries into future PBA Tour events.

• Points status will be an important factor in consideration for 2019 PBA Player and Rookie of the Year voting at the end of the year.

Heading into the Masters, the top 40 in PBA competition points are listed below. A number of additional players could advance based upon how they finish in the Masters. For the complete 2019 points standings, click here: https://www.pba.com/SeasonStats/PointsList/132?list=1.

The USBC Masters will conclude with a live two-hour telecast on FS1 on Monday, April 1, at 9 p.m. Eastern.

PBA PLAYOFFS POINTS STANDINGS
(As of Monday, March 25)
1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 29,210
2, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 17,715
3, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 17,160
4, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 16,960
5, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 15,775
6, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 13,450
7, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 13,065
8, Tom Daugherty, Tampa, Fla., 12,885
9, Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 12,180
10, Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., 11,985
11, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 10,640
12, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 10,615
13, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 9,818
14, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 9,658
15, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 9,595
16, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 9,585
17, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 8,600
18, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 8,508
19, Dom Barrett, England, 8,010
20, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 7,915
21, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 7,420
22, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 7,190
23, Patrick Girard, Canada, 6,870
24, AJ Chapman, Wichita, Kan., 6,865
25, Brad Miller, Lees Summit, Mo., 6,850
26, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 6,830
27, Darren Tang, San Francisco, 6,685
28, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 6,398
29, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 6,325
30, Nick Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 6,225
31, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 5,918
32, Stuart Williams, England, 5,900
33, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 5,873
34, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 5,725
35, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 5,440
36, Matthew McNiel, Minneapolis, Minn., 5,310
37, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 5,273
38, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 5,105
39, Matt Ogle, Louisville, Ky., ,4955
40, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 4,880
41, Zacharay Wilkins, Canada, 4,835
42, Richie Teece, England, 4,623
43, Sam Cooley, Australia, 4,608
44, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 4,353
45, Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 4,095
46, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 4,040
47, Mitch Hupe, Canada, 4,038
48, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 3,938
49, Michael Tang, San Francisco, 3,845
50, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 3,660

BAYSIDE BOWL, PORTLAND ARE GETTING READY FOR A BIG YEAR

Bayside Bowl and its rabid fans in Portland, Maine, are getting ready for the biggest year in bowling Maine has ever seen, and the Portland business community is solidly behind the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s invasion.

PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark made a special pre-World Series of Bowling trip to Portland for a special kickoff event for 2019 that include the participation of a host of participating sponsors, including: Maine Beer Company, Port Property Management, bowlingball.com, Dexter, Revision Energy, Hyatt Place, Residence Inn, Local Economy Payroll & Tax, Bernstein Shur, Maine Health, Clark Insurance, State 23 Media, Spectrum, Portland Downtown, City of Portland, Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, Visit Portland and Buy Local.

Bayside Bowl will be host to the inaugural PBA Playoffs elimination rounds, April 8-10; the PBA League Draft, April 8; the live PBA Playoffs semifinal and final rounds, live on FOX, June 1-2, and the complete PBA League Elias Cup competition, live on FS1, July 16-18.

PBA BOWLING CHALLENGE’S PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SPECIAL EVENT IS UNDERWAY

Competition in the special Concrete Software PBA Bowling Challenge mobile game PBA World Series of Bowling 10th anniversary special event is now underway. Millions of mobile devise users are invited to try to bowl a game higher than PBA World Champion Jason Belmonte’s winning 236 effort that aired live on FS1 on Thursday night.

The special PBA Bowling Challenge “tournament” began Friday and will end on Thursday, March 28. It features a custom WSOB X venue, and the introduction of a special ball that can be used in the competition. Players can enter as often as they wish. All scores that beat Belmonte’s 236 will be entered into a sweepstakes pool with one lucky winner to be selected to win a bowling pin signed by the PBA World Champion plus 5,000 Gold Pins.

To review the official rules, visit: http://bit.ly/PBA_OfficialRules. If you have not already done so, the PBA Bowling Challenge game can be downloaded to your mobile device at no cost. Visit https://concretesoftware.com/games/pba-bowling-challenge/ for details.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: BORESCH WINS PBA50 EVENT IN ILLINOIS

Lennie Boresch, Jr. of Kenosha, Wis., defeated Brian Menini of Brookfield, Mo., 258-199, to win the PBA50 Showtime Lanes Midwest/Central Open presented by Radical at Showtime Lanes in Virden, Ill., Sunday.

The title was Boresch’s sixth PBA50 Regional title. He earned $1,500 along with his title.

Boresch defeated Gary Alstott of Washington, Ill., 247-176, and Menini topped Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, 259-232, in the semifinal round to set up the championship match.

A busy schedule of PBA Regional activity resumes over the March 22-24 weekend with the PBA50 Rossi Lanes East Open in Elmira, N.Y.; the Hubbard Central Open presented by Brunswick at Bell-Wick Bowl in Hubbard, Ohio; the PBA50 Allstate Monte Skeets Midwest/Central Open presented by Ebonite at Liberty Lanes in Carpentersville, Ill.; the PBA50 Ultra Star Multi-Tainment Center South Open at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in Cherokee, N.C., and the Caveman Bowl Northwest/West Open presented by DV8 in Grants Pass, Ore.

● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple and Android device users using the PBA app).

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‘The World’ Beats USA in PBA World Series of Bowling X USA vs. The World Team Challenge

by Jerry Schneider March 22, 2019 19:08

ALLEN PARK, Mich.  – The five leading International scorers from PBA World Series of Bowling X qualifying beat the five highest U.S. scorers to win the USA vs. The World team competition, 2-0, in a best-of-three Baker team format finals to conclude a historic week of PBA competition on FS1 at Thunderbowl Lanes in suburban Detroit.

The World team, made up of Pontus Andersson (Sweden), Andres Gomez (Colombia), Dom Barrett (England) and Australians Sam Cooley and Jason Belmonte defeated the U.S. team of Bill O’Neill, Kyle Sherman, Tom Daugherty, Anthony Simonsen and EJ Tackett, to end the U.S.’s two-year reign as champion of the non-title WSOB “all-star” event.

The U.S. team, captained by PBA Hall of Famer Marshall Holman, jumped out to the lead in the first game of the second match 184-176 but The World team, captained by Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli, came back to win the second game 204-156 to force a sudden death one-ball roll-off. Belmonte, who was coming off a historic PBA World Championship win Thursday, won the roll-off against Tackett with a nine-count to seven for Tackett, who left the 2-8-10 split, for the title.

In the first match, the U.S. team also took the early lead, winning the first game 234-227 but then lost to The World team in the second game 213-202 to force another one-ball roll-off. Belmonte and Tackett tied with strikes in the first roll-off frame with a strike, forcing a second roll-off where Barrett struck to beat Simonsen’s eight-count (2-10 split) to give The World team a 1-0 lead heading into the second match.

The Baker format requires each player to bowl two frames in one game to combine for one score. The leadoff bowler bowls frame one and six, the second bowler frames two and seven and so on until the anchor bowler bowls frame five and 10.

“It’s another great example of showcasing the international scope of the sport and the talent that exists all over the world,” Belmonte said of the event. “I felt good about this team because we bowl against each other all over the world so I knew we could develop a good chemistry right away.

“Like all team competitions, the key is communication between the players,” Belmonte added. We share what we experience on every shot, then it’s up to each player to execute.”

Monacelli, a 20-time PBA Tour and eight-time PBA50 Tour winner, who is also coach for the Dominican Republic national team, echoed Belmonte’s comments as a coach for the highly talented World team.

“They know what to do as far as their physical game is concerned,” Monacelli said. “What’s important is putting together a good order (lineup). I try to help with the mental side and give them another pair of eyes to see what is happening with the lanes and their games. What the eyes can’t see, the body feels so I try to get them to connect with that feel so they can trust in the decisions they make.”

The players earned berths on their respective teams based on their finishing positions after 30 qualifying games from the 10-game qualifying rounds of the WSOB X Cheetah, Chameleon and Scorpion events.

USA vs. The WORLD TEAM CHALLENGE

Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich.,

(Televised Friday on FS1)

Final Results

(Winning team determined in pair of best-of-three Baker format team matches)

The World def. USA, 2-0

Match one

Game one - USA (Bill O’Neill, Kyle Sherman, Tom Daugherty, Anthony Simonsen and EJ Tackett) def. The World (Pontus Andersson, Andres Gomez, Dom Barrett, Sam Cooley and Jason Belmonte), 234-227

Game two-The World def. USA, 213-202

The World wins in second roll-off frame 10-8

Match two

Game one – USA def. The World, 184-176

Game two – The World def. USA, 204-156

The World wins in first roll-off frame 9-7 for title

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Jason Belmonte Wins PBA World Championship for Record 11th Major Title

by Jerry Schneider March 21, 2019 21:07

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Australia’s Jason Belmonte successfully defended his PBA World Championship title Thursday for a record 11th PBA major crown, continuing to set new benchmarks of performance for the Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s most prestigious and challenging tournaments.

The 35-year-old two-hander defeated Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., 236-227, in the title match of the stepladder finals televised live by FS1. The World Championship, the PBA Tour season’s third major, was the pinnacle event of the multi-event PBA World Series of Bowling X at Thunderbowl Lanes.

In his 11th season on tour, Belmonte broke a tie with PBA Hall of Famers Earl Anthony and Pete Weber for most major titles, after winning his 10th major in the PBA Tournament of Champions in February. He had a chance to win his 11th major in the Players Championship a week after the Tournament of Champions but was defeated by fellow two-hander Anthony Simonsen in the title match of that tournament.

Belmo trophyHaving been top qualifier for the finals of the Tournament of Champions, Players Championship and the World Championship, Belmonte also set a new mark for earning the top qualifier position for the finals in three consecutive major tournaments in a season.

“I’m so overwhelmed right now that if I could express how I feel I don’t know if anyone could understand me,” said Belmonte, who also won his 21st career tour title. “To break a record held by two of the greatest players of all time is just something I never thought was possible when I first started on tour more than 10 years ago.”

Belmonte got off to a fast start in the title match with strikes in the first three frames, while Butturff, trying for his first major and sixth career tour title, struggled until striking in the third frame. Butturff ran into trouble again in the sixth frame when he missed a seven pin – which has been his nemesis this season -- but recovered to throw the last six strikes of the match to eventually force Belmonte to strike on the first ball in the 10th and then finish the frame with a spare. Belmonte doubled in the 10th to seal the win.

“Jakob is a great player and I knew what he was capable of so for him to come back from that missed spare really didn’t surprise me,” Belmonte said. “He put together a clutch performance to the very end.

“Going into the 10th I knew my ball had to be perfect going through the pins and those were two of the best shots of my life,” Belmonte added. “I can’t think of a better way to win this tournament.”

Belmonte also became the season’s first three-time winner having won the Chameleon Championship on Tuesday. He also extended his record of career tour wins in WSOB competition to six.  The World Championship wasn’t conducted in calendar year 2018 but he did win it when it was last conducted conducted in November of 2017 in Reno, Nev.

The stepladder finals started with Butturff, who qualified fourth, beating No. 5 qualifier BJ Moore of Greensburg, Pa., 236-183. Moore, who was trying for his first PBA Tour title, finished fifth which tied his best finish in a major when he also finished fifth in the 2018 Tournament of Champions.

The 24-year-old Butturff then beat 10-time tour winner No. 3 qualifier Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa, 235-226, to advance to the semifinal match where he beat part-time tour player and No. 2 qualifier Matt McNiel of Minneapolis, 184-179, to advance to the title match against Belmonte.

The next stop for the Go Bowling! PBA Tour will be the USBC Masters March 26-April 1 at the Gold Coast Bowling Center in Las Vegas where Belmonte will try for a 12th major win. After the season’s fourth major has concluded, the top 24 players in points will earn berths in the PBA Playoffs which begin April 8 with the Round of 24 eliminations at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

World Series of Bowling X action concludes Friday on FS1 with the USA vs. The World team competition from Thunderbowl Lanes at 8 p.m. ET.

PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich., Thursday

Final Standings

1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, $60,000.

2, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., $30,000.

3, Matt McNiel, Minneapolis, $25,000.

4, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., $20,000.

5, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., $15,000.

Playoff Results

Match One – Butturff def. Moore, 236-183.

Match Two – Butturff def. O’Neill, 235-226.

Semifinal – Butturff def. McNiel, 184-179.

Championship – Belmonte def. Butturff, 236-227.

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Kris Prather Wins PBA Scorpion Championship for First Career PBA Tour Title

by Jerry Schneider March 20, 2019 21:03

ALLEN PARK, Mich.  – With seven career top-five finishes over the past two seasons without a win, Kris Prather of Plainfield, Ill., finally made it to the winner’s circle Wednesday by winning the PBA Scorpion Championship for his first career Go Bowling! PBA Tour title.

The 27-year-old Prather defeated stepladder finals top qualifier BJ Moore of Greensburg, Pa., 200-190, in the title match of the third tournament of PBA World Series of Bowling X at Thunderbowl Lanes.

After five frames in the title match, Prather held a 10-pin lead over Moore, who was also trying for his first tour win, when he left the 4-10 split in the sixth frame on a seemingly good hit.

TF1_2499“I didn’t have a clue what happened there because it was a pretty good shot as far as I was concerned,” said Prather. “It could have been a turning point in the match but there was still time to get back on track. I decided after that shot the best thing to do was move a little further left and create a little more angle to the pocket and  it turned out to be a good adjustment.”

Prather’s previous best tour finish was third which he had achieved four times.

“Even though I wasn’t winning, I was fortunate to achieve small breakthroughs in my game over the past 18 months,” Prather said. “That was a good thing because I didn’t want to go backwards. I could still find something positive to take away from those (top five) finishes even though I didn’t win.”

Moore, whose best previous finish was second in the 2016 Scorpion Championship, earned the top seed for the finals with a 224 game in a seeding round to open the live FS1 telecast. Ten-time tour winner Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., earned the No. 2 spot with 215 followed by Prather, 212, and three-time tour winner Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C., 194.

In the first stepladder match, Prather beat Troup 222-208 to advance to the semifinal match against O’Neill. Prather doubled in the 10th frame to beat O’Neill 198-190 to advance to the title match against Moore.

As was the case with the first two animal pattern events, the four finalists survived Round-of-16 and Round-of-8 best-of-five elimination rounds earlier Wednesday after qualifying rounds bowled last week to advance to the telecast. The Scorpion Championship was conducted on PBA’s 42-foot Scorpion lane condition.

In the Round-of-8, Prather swept two-hander Anthony Simonsen of Little Elm, Texas, 3-0, and beat PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke, 3-2, in the Round-of-16 which included a 300-211 match win in the last game.

The focus of WSOB X now swings to the stepladder finals of the PBA World Championship which will be televised live Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on FS1.

As the World Championship top qualifier, four-time PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte of Australia, who won the Chameleon Championship Tuesday for his 20th career tour title, will try for a record 11th major win in the third major of the season.

The finals will also include O’Neill and Moore who qualified third and fifth, respectively, for the finals. The No. 2 qualifier is Matt McNiel of Minneapolis and the No. 4 qualifier is five-time tour winner Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz.

A $1 million bonus will be paid if Belmonte or his opponent can bowl a 300 game in the title match.

WSOB X wraps up with the USA vs. The World team competition which will be televised Friday also at 8 p.m. on FS1.

PBA SCORPION CHAMPIONSHIP

Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich., Wednesday

Final Standings

1, Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill., $20,000

2, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., $10,000

3, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., $7,000

4, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., $6,000

Playoff Results

Seeding Round – Moore, 224; O’Neill, 215; Prather, 212; Troup, 194.

Match 1 – Prather def. Troup, 222-208.

Semifinal – Prather def. O’Neill, 198-190.

Championship – Prather def. Moore, 200-190.

Round of 8 (winners advance to championship round. Best-of-five matches, losers earned $3,000)

Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., def. Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 3-1 (189-203, 245-211, 176-175, 211-139).
Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill., def. Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 3-0 (222-171, 234-166, 235-201).
Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., def. EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 3-2 (189-258, 268-190, 226-220, 211-249, 206-192).
BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., def. Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 3-1 (226-203, 244-200, 197-219, 212-205).

Round of 16 (winners advance to Round-of-8. Best-of-five matches, losers earned $1,500)

Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., def. Nathan Bohr, Austin, Texas, 3-1 (279-233, 186-218, 221-164, 233-177).
EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., def. Matt Kuba, Chicago Ridge, Ill., 3-2 (264-174, 224-232, 209-265, 245-175, 237-186).
Thomas Larsen, Denmark, def. Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 3-2 (202-242, 249-186, 265-257, 227-247, 215-206).
BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., def. Jason Belmonte, Australia, 3-0 (258-243, 236-190, 209-175).
Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, def. Marshall Kent , Yakima, Wash., 3-2 (187-182, 197-198, 276-204, 195-258, 237-223).
Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill., def. Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 3-2 (211-218, 199-244, 205-196, 279-247, 300-211).
Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., def. Kurt Pilon, Sterling Heights, Mich., 3-2 (245-258, 261-258, 214-215, 214-211, 255-195).
Shawn Maldonado, Houston, def. Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 3-2 (199-263, 254-188, 186-236, 268-155, 247-237).

300 games – Kris Prather

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