‘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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Field Set for PBA Scorpion Championship Finals at 8 p.m. ET on FS1

by Jerry Schneider March 20, 2019 14:27

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – No. 3 and No. 5 PBA World Championship qualifiers Bill O’Neill and BJ Moore will have the opportunity to win a PBA Tour title before Thursday’s World Championship Finals by advancing to the FS1 finals of the PBA Scorpion Championship.

All four players survived Round of 16 and Round of 8 best-of-five game competition today in the third animal pattern event of PBA World Series of Bowling X at Thunderbowl Lanes.

Bowling on the PBA 42-foot Scorpion lane condition, O’Neill defeated EJ Tackett in the best-of-five elimination Round of 8, 3-2; Moore beat Thomas Larsen, 3-1; Two hander Kyle Troup advanced with a 3-1 record over fellow two-hander Shawn Maldonado, and Kristopher Prather beat two-hander Anthony Simonsen, 3-0.

O’Neill, a 10-time tour winner, won the Chameleon Championship in WSOB I in 2009 for his first PBA Tour title.

Jason Belmonte, who won yesterday’s PBA Chameleon Championship was eliminated by Moore in the Round of 16, 3-0.

Belmonte has already earned top qualifier honors for Thursday’s stepladder finals of the PBA World Championship when he will try for a record 11th major title. The World Championship finals will air live Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.

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

WSOB wraps up with the USA vs. The World team competition Friday also at 8 p.m.

PBA SCORPION CHAMPIONSHIP

Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich., Wednesday

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).
Kristopher 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, IL, 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).
Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., def. Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 3-2 (211-218, 199-244, 205-196, 279-247, 300-211).

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Jason Belmonte Wins PBA Chameleon Championship for 20th Career Title

by Jerry Schneider March 19, 2019 21:02

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Four-time PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte of Australia won the PBA Chameleon Championship Tuesday for his 20th career Go Bowling! PBA Tour title and to become the third two-time winner this season.

The 35-year-old two-hander from Australia defeated three-time tour winner and Chameleon Championship finals top qualifier Andres Gomez of Colombia 236-194 in the second event of PBA World Series of Bowling X at Thunderbowl Lanes which was televised live by FS1.

Belmonte threw seven strikes in the match and didn’t throw a shot worse than nine on the first ball to hold a comfortable lead over Gomez throughout the match.

“What you find is that making a good shot to get to the pocket really isn’t the issue, it’s how the ball goes through the pins once it gets there,” said Belmonte who won his 18th career title in the 2018 PBA Tour Finals at Thunderbowl Lanes. “When you leave a single pin, it puts you in an odd position of how much of a change you should make to carry those single pins because you’re basically making good shots. But, on the other hand, you don’t want to leave those single pins all day.”

Belmonte actionBy winning the Chameleon Championship Belmonte joined PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke and Dick Allen as two-time winners this season. He also joined Hall of Famers Amleto Monacelli, Dick Ritger and Wayne Webb in the 20-win club.

Belmonte won the PBA Tournament of Champions in February for his 19th career title and to tie Hall of Famers Pete Weber and Earl Anthony for most major titles with 10.

“It’s a crazy big number I never thought I would reach,” Belmonte said. “I’m just enjoying the moment and then moving forward to the next tournament. I’ll celebrate a little tonight and then focus on what I need to do tomorrow. “You don’t want to live in the past or the future because it will distract you from what you need to do now.”

Bowling on the PBA 39-foot Chameleon lane condition, the finals opened with a seeding round that determined the qualifying order for three stepladder matches. Gomez earned the top seed for the finals with a 235 game followed by Belmonte, 227; No. 3 qualifier AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 205, and four-time tour winner Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 179.

In the opening stepladder match, Chapman, making his second tour telecast and trying for his first tour win beat Russell 244-233 to advance to the semifinal match against Belmonte. Belmonte beat Chapman 200-197 in the semifinal to advance to the title match against Gomez.

The four finalists survived Round-of-16 and Round-of-8 best-of-five elimination rounds earlier Tuesday after qualifying rounds bowled last week to advance to the telecast.

Belmonte will have an opportunity to add more milestones to his career this week. He will try for his 21st tour win when WSOB X competition continues with Round-of-16 and Round-of-8 elimination rounds Wednesday for the PBA Scorpion Championship which will determine the four finalists for the finals telecast at 8 p.m. ET on FS1.

Belmonte has already earned top qualifier honors for Thursday’s stepladder finals of the PBA World Championship when he will try for a record 11th major title. The World Championship finals will air live Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.

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

WSOB wraps up with the tape-delayed USA vs. The World team competition Friday also at 8 p.m.

The match play rounds for the Scorpion Championships will be streamed live by FloBowling. For subscription information visit www.flobowling.com.

PBA CHAMELEON CHAMPIONSHIP

Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich., Tuesday

Final Standings

1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, $20,000

2, Andres Gomez, Colombia, $10,000

3, AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, $7,000

4, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., $6,000

Playoff Results

Seeding Round – Gomez, 235; Belmonte, 227; Chapman, 205; Russell, 179.

Match 1 – Chapman def. Russell, 244-233.

Semifinal – Belmonte def. Chapman, 200-197.

Championship – Belmonte def. Gomez, 236-194.

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

Andres Gomez, Colombia, def. Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 3-2 (258-252, 225-274, 220-256, 213-201, 225-180).
Jason Belmonte, Australia, def. Tim Pfeifer, Oakdale, Pa., 3-2 (182-239, 255-187, 236-174, 226-232, 203-172).
AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, def. Anthony Pepe, East Elmhurst, N.Y., 3-1 (219-175, 226-213, 226-242, 213-208).
Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., def. Rafiq Ismail, Malaysia, 3-1 (193-196, 173-165, 211-188, 199-197).

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

AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, def. Mitch Hupe, Canada, 3-1 (174-189, 214-180, 211-192, 193-181).
Anthony Pepe, East Elmhurst, N.Y., def. Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3-2 (183-190, 211-168, 212-245, 277-221, 243-182).
Rafiq Ismail, Malaysia, def. Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 3-0 (239-188, 300-170, 279-232).
Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., def. Jimmy Cook, Indianapolis, 3-1 (246-205, 220-232, 247-245, 226-213).
Jason Belmonte, Australia, def. Matt McNiel, Minneapolis, Minn., 3-0 (258-247, 231-215, 211-192).
Tim Pfeifer, Oakdale, Pa., def. Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 3-2 (207-252, 221-211, 215-234, 235-212, 201-190).
Andres Gomez, Colombia, def. Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 3-1 (255-141, 192-179, 193-197, 258-232).
Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., def. Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 3-1 (215-225, 248-168, 225-205, 238-207).

300 games – Rafiq Ismail

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