Belmonte Regains PBA Players Championship Lead After First Match Play Round

by Jerry Schneider February 12, 2020 20:12

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte averaged 232 and posted a 3-4-1 record in the first round of match play Wednesday at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl but it was good enough to retake the lead in the PBA Players Championship.

Leading with a 6,184 26-game pinfall total including match play bonus pins, the two-time Players Championship winner bowled games of 218, 235, 226, 223, 279, 212, 235 and 233 to edge past 55-year-old PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke who posted a 4-4 record and finished the day just six pins back in second with 6,178.

Belmonte, who earned his fifth PBA Player of the Year crown in 2019, owns 22 Go Bowling PBA Tour titles including a record 11 majors.

Duke, who earned top qualifier honors after the third round earlier in the day with a 4,245 18-game pinfall, ranks third on the all-time PBA Tour titles list with 40 wins including seven majors and continues to be a competitive force on tour.

In 2019, just shy of his 55th birthday, Duke won the Go Bowling Indianapolis Open and Go Bowling Jonesboro Open back-to-back to become the oldest player to accomplish the feat.

In pursuit of yet another milestone in his more than three career, the Players Championship is the only major that Duke hasn’t won. With a Players Championship win he would join fellow Hall of Famer Mike Aulby as the only player to win all of the tour majors which include the PBA Tournament of Champions, U.S. Open, PBA World Championship, USBC Masters and Players Championship.

“It’s the only one (major) I don’t have,” Duke said. “Training and staying in shape becomes more of a priority as I battle father time but it’s the motivation to win this tournament that really drives me.”

EJ Tackett of Huntington, Indiana, a 13-time tour winner with two major titles, went 6-2 in match play and finished the day in third with a 6,147 pinfall.

Two-time tour winner Tom Daugherty of Riverview, Florida, also posted a 6-2 record to finish the day one pin back in fourth with 6,146, while two-time winner Stuart Williams of England compiled a 7-1 record finishing with 6,128 to round out the top five.

After Thursday’s second and third match play rounds at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET, the top five based on 42-game pinfall totals will advance to Saturday’s live stepladder finals on FS1 at 5:30 p.m. ET. A $1 million bonus will be paid if the winning player bowls a 300 game in the title match.

Thursday’s match play action will be livestreamed on FloBowling. For subscription information visit www.flobowling.com.

PBA PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP

(a 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour Tier 1 event)

Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl, Columbus, Ohio, Wednesday

Fourth Round Standings

(after 26 games. Includes total pinfall plus match play bonus pins. All players advance to Thursday’s second match play round)

1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 3-4-1, 6,184.
2, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 4-4, 6,178.
3, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 6-2, 6,147.
4, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 6-2, 6,146.
5, Stuart Williams, England, 7-1, 6,128.
6, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 3-4-1, 6,107.
7, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 4-2-2, 6,083.
8, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 4-4, 6,018.
9, Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 2-5-1, 5,997.
10, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 5-3, 5,976.
11, Nicholas Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 4-4, 5,946.
12, Brad Miller, Lees Summit, Mo., 5-3, 5,941.
13, Darren Tang, Las Vegas, 5-3, 5,929.
14, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 4-3-1, 5,901.
15, Zach Wilkins, Canada, 5-3, 5,899.
16, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 4-4, 5,872.
17, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 3-5, 5,870.
18, Greg Ostrander, Brick, N.J., 3-5, 5,852.
19, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 2-6, 5,846.
20, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 4-4, 5,825.
21, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 2-6, 5,817.
22, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 2-6, 5,807.
23, Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., 4-4, 5,784.
24, Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 2-6, 5,778.

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Belmonte Has Big Second Round to Take PBA Players Championship Lead

by Jerry Schneider February 11, 2020 20:12

COLUMBUS, Ohio  – Sitting in 13th after the first round, Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte averaged 246 in Tuesday’s second round to emerge as the PBA Players Championship leader after two rounds.

After bowling 1,371 for six games in the first round of the 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour season’s second major, the two-time Players Championship winner came back with a 1,478 six-game pinfall in the second round on games of 268, 210, 205, 279, 258 and 258 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl to finish the day with a 2,849 pinfall (237 average).

“It was a combination of using all of your experience and making some good guesses with your adjustments,” said the 36-year-old Belmonte, who earned his fifth PBA Player of the Year crown in 2019. “After the third game the lanes can be really tricky. I started playing right, had to move left and then moved right again so finishing with those 258 games was big.”

The all-time leader on the PBA major titles list with 11 wins, was the runner-up in last year’s Players Championship, losing to fellow two-hander defending champion Anthony Simonsen of Little Elm, Texas 232-212 in the title match.

Belmonte holds a 26-pin lead over Canadian Zach Wilkins who finished the day in second with a 2,823 pinfall heading into Wednesday’s third qualifying round.

Wilkins, who is trying for his first tour win, also had a big second round bowling 1,472 with games of 224, 248, 245, 219, 259 and 277 to make his run up the leaderboard.

Four-time tour winner Marshall Kent of Yakima, Washington, was third after two rounds, one pin behind Wilkins with 2,822. Four-time tour winner – which includes two U.S. Open titles – Francois Lavoie of Canada is in fourth with 2,820.

PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke made a surge of his own going from 10th after the first round to fifth finishing with 2,811. The 55-year-old 40-time tour winner – which includes seven major wins – bowled 1,436 in his second round with games of 223, 224, 278, 206, 257 and 248.

Simonsen got off to a disappointing start finishing the day in 72nd with 2,434. Sunday’s PBA Tournament of Champions winner Kris Prather finished 11th after two rounds with 2,771.

The 92-player field will bowl the final six-game qualifying round Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET after which the top 24 players will advance to the first eight-game match play round at 6 p.m.

After Thursday’s second and third match play rounds at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., the top five based on 42-game pinfall totals will advance to Saturday’s live stepladder finals on FS1 at 5:30 p.m. ET. A $1 million bonus will be paid if the winning player bowls a 300 game in the title match.

PBA fans can watch all preliminary round of the Players Championship on FloBowling or follow game by game scoring in real time on pba.com’s Live Scoring feature. FloBowling will livestream the finals to its international subscribers.

PBA PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP

(a 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour Tier 1 event)

Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl, Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday

Second Round Standings (after 12 games. Field returns for third qualifying round Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. ET)

1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 2,849.
2, Zach Wilkins, Canada, 2,823.
3, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 2,822.
4, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 2,820.
5, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 2,811.
6, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 2,795.
7, (tie) Shawn Maldonado, Houston, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., and Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 2,783.
10, Stuart Williams, England, 2,777.
11, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 2,771.
12, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 2,758.
13, Nicholas Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 2,756.
14, Brad Miller, Lees Summit, Mo., 2,743.
15, Darren Tang, Las Vegas, 2,735.
16, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 2,731.
17, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 2,717.
18, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 2,709.
19, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 2,679.
20, (tie) Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., and Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., 2,672.
22, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 2,664.
23, Christopher Sloan, Ireland, 2,661.
24, Dom Barrett, England, 2,656.
25, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 2,652.
26, (tie) Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, and Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 2,650.
28, (tie) Mike Coffey, Melbourne, Fla., and Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 2,643.
30, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 2,641.
31, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 2,633.
32, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 2,630.
33, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 2,629.
34, Patrick Girard, Canada, 2,618.
35, Alex Martin, Kennesaw, Ga., 2,615.
36, Zac Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 2,614.
37, Jason Sterner, Rochester, N.Y., 2,606.
38, Pontus Andersson, Sweden, 2,604.
39, JR Raymond, Clinton Twp., Mich., 2,597.
40, Ryan Ciminelli, Lancaster, S.C., 2,584.
41, Nathan Bohr, Austin, Texas, 2,582.
42, (tie) Tim Pfeifer, Oakdale, Pa., and AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 2,577.
44, Matthew Ogle, Louisville, Ky., 2,573.
45, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 2,572.
46, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 2,569.
47, (tie) Patrick Hanrahan, Wichita, Kan., and Osku Palermaa, Finland, 2,567.
49, Greg Ostrander, Brick, N.J., 2,561.
50, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 2,559.
51, Arturo Quintero, Mexico, 2,556.
51, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 2,556.
53, Nate Garcia, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 2,552.
54, (tie) Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., and Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 2,548.
56, Jake Rollins, Glen Rock, N.J., 2,547.
57, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 2,546.
58, Michael Tang, Johnstown, Ohio, 2,544.
59, Andrew Suscreba, Clifton, N.J., 2,540.
60, Dwight Adams, Greensboro, N.C., 2,537.
61, Richard Teece, England, 2,513.
62, Michael Davidson, Versailles, Ohio, 2,504.
63, Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., 2,496.
64, Tim Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., 2,495.
65, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 2,492.
66, (tie) Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., and Greg Young, Viera, Fla., 2,466.
68, Matt O'Grady, Rahway, N.J., 2,465.
69, Michael Martell, Brooklyn, N.Y., 2,463.
70, Tom Hess, Granger, Iowa, 2,451.
71, DJ Archer, Spring, Texas, 2,440.
72, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 2,434.
73, Dakota Vostry, Romeoville, Ill., 2,416.
74, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 2,412.
75, (tie) Michael Schlabach, Goshen, Ind., and Graham Fach, Urbana, Ohio, 2,403.
77, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 2,387.
78, Mattt Russo, Fariview Heights, Ill., 2,386.
79, Wesley Low Jr., Palmdale, Calif., 2,368.
80, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 2,367.
81, Kim Bolleby, Sweden, 2,360.
82, Mykel Holliman, Collierville, Tenn., 2,355.
83, Corey Umbrello, Westminster, Mass., 2,353.
84, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 2,333.
85, Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 2,326.
86, Kenneth Ryan, Farmingdale, N.J., 2,308.
87, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 2,306.
88, Samuel DeWitt III, Moon Township, Pa., 2,278.
89, Jean Perez, Puerto Rico, 2,253.
89, Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 2,253.
91, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 2,238.
92, Matt Sanders, Evansville, Ind., 2,221.

First Round Standings (after six games. All players advance to second round)

1, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 1,481.
2, Matt Ogle, Louisville, Ky., 1,435.
3, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 1,420.
4, Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 1,401.
5, Brad Miller, Lees Summit, Mo., 1,395.
6, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 1,387.
7, (tie) Nicholas Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., and Stuart Williams, England, 1,380.
9, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 1,377.
10, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 1,375.
11, Alex Martin, Kennesaw, Ga., 1,374.
12, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 1,372.
13, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 1,371.
14, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 1,370.
15, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 1,352.
16, (tie) Martin Larsen, Sweden, and Zach Wilkins, Canada, 1,351.
18, Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., 1,349.
19, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 1,347.
20, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 1,343.
21, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 1,341.
22, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 1,337.
23, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 1,330.
24, Michael Tang, Johnstown, Ohio, 1,326.
25, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 1,323.
26, Nathan Bohr, Austin, Texas, 1,321.
27, Darren Tang, Las Vegas, 1,318.
28, Matt O'Grady, Rahway, N.J., 1,316.
29, Ryan Ciminelli, Lancaster, S.C., 1,315.
30, Pontus Andersson, Sweden, 1,314.
31, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 1,313.
32, Patrick Hanrahan, Wichita, Kan., 1,310.
33, Dom Barrett, England, 1,306.
34, Mike Coffey, Melbourne, Fla., 1,304.
35, Patrick Girard, Canada, 1,302.
36, Andrew Suscreba, Clifton, N.J., 1,299.
37, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 1,298.
38, Christopher Sloan, Ireland, 1,296.
39, Graham Fach, Urbana, Ohio, 1,295.
40, (tie) AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, and BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 1,293.
42, Jason Sterner, Rochester, N.Y., 1,290.
43, (tie) AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., and Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., 1,289.
45, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 1,283.
46, Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 1,276.
47, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 1,271.
48, Mykel Holliman, Collierville, Tenn., 1,263.
49, Zac Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 1,260.
50, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 1,258.
51, Greg Ostrander, Brick, N.J., 1,253.
52, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 1,252.
53, (tie) Greg Young, Viera, Fla., and Corey Umbrello, Westminster, Mass., 1,251.
55, JR Raymond, Clinton Twp., Mich., 1,250.
56, Dakota Vostry, Romeoville, Ill., 1,249.
57, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 1,248.
58, Richard Teece, England, 1,247.
59, (tie) Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., and Tim Pfeifer, Oakdale, Pa., 1,245.
61, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 1,243.
62, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 1,242.
63, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 1,241.
64, (tie) Jake Rollins, Glen Rock, N.J., and Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 1,238.
66, DJ Archer, Spring, Texas, 1,236.
67, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 1,233.
68, Dwight Adams, Greensboro, N.C., 1,228.
69, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 1,227.
70, (tie) Nate Garcia, Port St. Lucie, Fla., and Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 1,220.
72, (tie) Kenneth Ryan, Farmingdale, N.J., and Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 1,215.
74, (tie) Arturo Quintero, Mexico, and Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 1,214.
76, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 1,212.
77, Tim Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., 1,211.
78, Michael Davidson, Versailles, Ohio, 1,209.
79, Michael Martell, Brooklyn, N.Y., 1,205.
80, (tie) Michael Schlabach, Goshen, Ind., and Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 1,190.
82, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 1,185.
83, Kim Bolleby, Sweden, 1,180.
84, Wesley Low Jr., Palmdale, Calif., 1,167.
85, (tie) Matt Russo, Fariview Heights, Ill., and Tom Hess, Granger, Iowa, 1,159.
87, Samuel DeWitt III, Moon Township, Pa., 1,155.
88, Matt Sanders, Evansville, Ind., 1,133.
89, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 1,124.
90, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 1,116.
91, Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 1,110.
92, Jean Perez, Puerto Rico, 1,084.

300 games (3) – Matt Ogle, Brad Miller, Francois Lavoie

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Kris Prather Takes All Four Stepladder Matches to Win 55th PBA Tournament of Champions for First Major Title

by Jerry Schneider February 9, 2020 18:33

FAIRLAWN, Ohio  – Coming off a 2019 season in which he captured his first two Go Bowling PBA Tour wins including the inaugural PBA Playoffs, Kris Prather of Plainfield, Illinois, won all four stepladder matches to win the 55th PBA Tournament of Champions Sunday at AMF Riviera Lanes for his first major title.

Prather, the No. 4 seed for the finals beat top seed Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, 280-205, in the title match to also win his third career tour title. O’Neill, an 11-time tour winner making his first Tournament of Champions telecast, was trying for his second major title.

“To just be able to compete in this tournament is incredible,” said the 28-year-old Prather. “To win it by beating four of the best players on the planet is just unbelievable.”

The Tournament of Champions, televised live on FOX, offered a $1 million bonus if the winner bowled a 300 game in the title match. Prather struck in the first frame of the title match, left a solid 10 pin in the second frame, converted the spare, and then struck on the next 10 shots for his 280 game.

“Leaving that 10 pin in the second frame actually took some of the pressure off and I was able to just stay loose and focus solely on winning the match,” Prather said. “If bowling for the $1 million would have come down to the last frame or even the last few frames, I don’t know that I would have even been able to get to the line.”

Prather began his run through the finals by beating No. 5 seed, 15-time tour winner Sean Rash of Montgomery, Illinois, 187-164, in an opening match where both players struggled after getting off to a strong start.

Rash, who won the recent PBA Oklahoma Open, was trying for his second Tournament of Champions title and third major, had splits in the next two frames which enabled Prather to take command in the match.

“It took some time for the lanes to develop to the point where I could get a handle on the lane condition transition,” Prather said. “Once that match was over, everything seemed to get easier for me and I could concentrate better on repeating good shots.”

In the second match Prather beat defending champion Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte 252-179 to advance to the semifinal. Belmonte, who struggled from the start of the match, was trying for a record fourth Tournament of Champions title.

Belmonte, who leads the all-time majors titles list with 11 wins, qualified for the 24th and final position for match play Friday by one pin before climbing the standings through three rounds to earn the No. 3 seed. He took a similar path to the finals in 2018 making match play by just seven pins eventually earning the No. 3 seed before losing the second stepladder match to eventual winner Matt O’Grady to finish fourth.

In the semifinal match, Prather beat seven-time tour winner Anthony Simonsen of Little Elm, Texas, 226-203, to advance to the title match. The 23-year-old Simonsen was trying to become the youngest player to win three PBA majors. The two-hander won the 2019 PBA Players Championship to become the youngest player to win two major titles and won the 2016 USBC Masters at 19 to become the youngest to win a tour major.

The Tournament of Champions is the first of three consecutive majors this season on the Go Bowling PBA Tour. The tour travels to Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl for the PBA Players Championship which begins with first round qualifying Tuesday. The stepladder finals will air live on FS1 Saturday, Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m. ET.

The $1 million championship match bonus will be in effect once again if the winning player bowls a 300 game in the title match. After the Players Championship, the tour heads to Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln, Nebraska for the U.S. Open Feb. 16-23.

PBA TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

(a 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour Tier 1 event)
AMF Riviera Lanes, Fairlawn, Ohio, Sunday

Final Standings:

1, Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill., $100,000.

2, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., $50,000.

3, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, $25,000.

4, Jason Belmonte, Australia, $12,000.

5, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., $10,000.

Playoff Results:

Match One: Prather def. Rash, 187-164.

Match Two: Prather def. Belmonte, 252-179.

Semifinal: Prather def. Simonsen, 226-203.

Championship: Prather def. O’Neill, 280-205.

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Bill O’Neill Captures Top Seed for PBA Tournament of Champions Finals

by Jerry Schneider February 7, 2020 20:53

FAIRLAWN, Ohio  – As the top seed for the stepladder finals of the 55th PBA Tournament of Champions, 11-time Go Bowling PBA Tour winner Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, will need to win one match for his second major title, while defending champion Jason Belmonte of Australia will try for a record fourth win in PBA’s signature tournament as the No. 3 seed.

The finals telecast for the season’s first major will air Sunday on FOX at 5 p.m. ET from AMF Riviera Lanes. In addition to the $100,000 first prize, a $1 million bonus will be paid if the winner bowls a 300 game in the title match.

O’Neill earned the top seed with a 9,717 42-game pinfall total including bonus pins, which was boosted by a 19-5 record in match play.

“I’ve been working hard on improving my physical and mental game over the past couple years which has enabled me to make more of a commitment to the adjustments I have to make,” said the 38-year-old O’Neill who won the 2010 U.S. Open for his lone major title. “If I have a bad game or run into trouble, I have much more confidence that I can dig myself out of it.

“I bowled consistently well the whole tournament and really was never in a situation where I felt I was losing momentum,” he added. “Now it’s time to work on a game plan for Sunday, commit to it and go out there and figure out a way to win.”

Qualifying second for the finals was 23-year-old two-hander Anthony Simonsen of Little Elm, Texas who finished with a 9,674 pinfall and 14-10 record in match play.

Looking to make some more major tournament history of his own, the seven-time tour winner became the youngest player to win two majors when he defeated Belmonte 232-212 in the title match to win 2019 PBA Players Championship at age 22. He won the 2016 USBC Masters at age 19 to become the youngest to win a major.

For the second time in three years, the 36-year-old Belmonte who is the all-time majors win leader with 11 titles, narrowly made the cut to match play taking the 24th and final match play spot and worked his way up the standings during match play to qualify third for the finals.

After making the cut to match play by one pin, the five-time and reigning PBA Player of the Year earned the No. 3 seed with a 9,594 pinfall and 17-7 match play record.

In 2018 the Australian two-hander took the last match play spot by just seven pins and made a steady climb through three rounds of match play to qualify third for the stepladder finals finishing fourth in the tournament after losing the second stepladder match to eventual winner Matt O’Grady, 229-225.

Belmonte’s win in the 2019 Tournament of Champions was his 10th major title which tied Pete Weber and Earl Anthony for first on the all-time major titles list.  He won the PBA World Championship for his 11th major win a few weeks later to take sole possession of first on the all-time list.

Sunday’s stepladder finals will open with a match between two players from suburban Chicago.

Two-time tour winner Kris Prather of Plainfield, Illinois, who won the inaugural PBA Playoffs in 2019, earned the No. 4 seed with a 13-11 match play record and 9,393 pinfall. He will meet 15-time tour titlist and 2012 Tournament of Champions winner Sean Rash of Montgomery, Illinois, who earned the fifth seed with a 12-12 match play record and 9,371 pinfall.

PBA TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

(a 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour Tier 1 event)   
AMF Riviera Lanes, Fairlawn, Ohio, Friday

SIXTH ROUND RESULTS

(after 42 games. Top five advance to Sunday’s stepladder finals. Includes match play record and total pinfall including bonus pins)

1, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 19-5, 9,717.
2, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 14-10, 9,674.
3, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 17-7, 9,594
4, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 13-11, 9,393
5, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 12-12, 9,371.
6, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 15-8-1, 9,368, $8,000.
7, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 13-11, 9,353, $7,000.
8, Stuart Williams, England, 14-10, 9,290, $6,000.
9, Dom Barrett, England, 12-11-1, 9,279, $5,500.
10, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 10-14, 9,272, $5,000.
11, Mitch Hupe, Canada, 12-11-1, 9,268, $4,800.
12, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 12-12, 9,207, $4,600.
13, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 12-12, 9,193, $4,400.
14, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 12-12, 9,192, $4,200.
15, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 10-14, 9,183, $4,000.
16, Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., 15-9, 9,119, $3,800.
17, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 10-14, 9,053, $3,700.
18, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 10-14, 9,033, $3,600.
19, AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 11-13, 9,023, $3,500.
20, Richard Teece, England, 10-13-1, 8,992, $3,400.
21, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 8-16, 8,958, $3,400.
22, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 11-12-1, 8,861, $3,200.
23, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 10-13-1, 8,751, $3,200.
24, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 3-21, 8,241, $3,000.

FIFTH ROUND RESULTS

(after 34 games. Includes match play record and total pinfall including bonus pins. All players advanced to final match play round)

1, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 14-2, 7,858.
2, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 12-4, 7,774.
3, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 8-8, 7,721.
4, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 10-6, 7,670.
5, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 8-8, 7,615.
6, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 9-7, 7,613.
7, Dom Barrett, England, 9-6-1, 7,570.
8, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 7-9, 7,556.
9, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 9-7, 7,537.
10, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 9-7, 7,536.
11, Mitch Hupe, Canada, 8-7-1, 7,475.
12, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 10-6, 7,467.
13, Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., 11-5, 7,439.
14, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 8-8, 7,417.
15, AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 9-7, 7,393.
16, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 7-9, 7,385.
17, Stuart Williams, England, 7-9, 7,364.
18, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 5-11, 7,358.
19, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 6-10, 7,346.
20, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 7-8-1, 7,245.
21, Richard Teece, England, 5-10-1, 7,149.
22, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 4-12, 7,148.
23, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 7-9, 7,093.
24, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 1-15, 6,654.

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Simonsen Retains Lead While Belmonte Makes Run in PBA Tournament of Champions After First Round of Match Play

by Jerry Schneider February 6, 2020 19:56

FAIRLAWN, Ohio  – Despite a 4-4 record, seven-time PBA Tour titlist Anthony Simonsen was able to retain his lead in the PBA Tournament of Champions after the first round of match play at AMF Riviera Lanes Thursday but defending champion and fellow two-hander Jason Belmonte made a run to finish the day in eighth.

After earning top qualifier honors earlier in the day to lead 24 players advancing to match play, Simonsen ended the day with a 5,869 26-game pinfall total including 30 bonus pins for each match win. He won matches with games of 226, 235, 238 and 213 and lost with games of 202, 182, 207 and 235.

“It seemed like the lanes just played difficult in general and adjusting pair to pair was tricky,” said the 23-year-old Simonsen. “I felt like I had the pocket under control but it seemed like if I wasn’t striking I was getting splits which made it hard to keep any momentum going.”

Simonsen became the youngest player to win two majors when he defeated Belmonte 232-212 in the title match of the 2019 PBA Players Championship at age 22. He won the 2016 USBC Masters at age 19 to become the youngest to win a major.

In pursuit of a record fourth Tournament of Champions title, Belmonte narrowly made it into match play taking the 24th and final spot by just one pin earlier in the day. After losing his first two matches with games of 197 and 191, he won the next six matches with games of 232, 214, 255, 222, 242 and 247 posting a 6-2 record and finishing the day with a 5,733 pinfall.

It was reminiscent of 2018, when Belmonte took the last match play spot with a seven-pin cushion and proceeded to make a steady climb through the standings to qualify third for the stepladder finals  finishing fourth after losing the second stepladder match to eventual winner Matt O’Grady 229-225.

“You just have to remember that once qualifying ends you’re not even halfway through the tournament so there’s time to make a move,” said the five-time and reigning PBA Player of the Year. “I started using a urethane ball to start the round but that wasn’t working so we tried some things and a couple different balls. Fortunately, I found one that I felt comfortable with and started striking.”

Belmonte’s win in the 2019 Tournament of Champions was his 10th major title which tied Pete Weber and Earl Anthony for first on the all-time list. He won the PBA World Championship for his 11th major win a few weeks later to take sole possession of first on the all-time majors win list.

Rounding out the top five after Thursday’s first match play round were Andrew Anderson, 5,861 (6-2); Bill O’Neill, 5,850 (6-2); Tom Daugherty, 5,786 (4-4) and Dom Barrett, 5,763 (6-1-1).

After the final two rounds of match play Friday at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET, the top five will be determined for Sunday’s stepladder finals which will be televised live at 5 p.m. ET on FOX. The winner will earn a $100,000 first prize and a $1 million bonus will be paid if the winner bowls a 300 game in the title match.

Friday’s match play rounds will be streamed live by FloBowling which is also livestreaming the finals to international subscribers.

PBA TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

(a 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour Tier 1 event)

AMF Riviera Lanes, Fairlawn, Ohio, Thursday

Fourth Round Standings (Includes total pinfall for 26 games including match play bonus pins. All 24 players return for the second round of match play Friday morning at 11 a.m. ET)

1, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 4-4, 5,869.
2, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 6-2, 5,861.
3, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 6-2, 5,850.
4, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 4-4, 5,786.
5, Dom Barrett, England, 6-1-1, 5,763.
6, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 4-4, 5,751.
7, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 5-3, 5,735.
8, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 6-2, 5,733.
9, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 4-4, 5,727.
10, AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 5-3, 5,721.
11, Stuart Williams, England, 4-4, 5,715.
12, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 3-5, 5,705.
13, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 4-4, 5,697.
14, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 3-5, 5,696.
15, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 2-6, 5,685.
16, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 3-5, 5,660.
17, Mitch Hupe, Canada, 4-4, 5,640.
18, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 5-3, 5,627.
19, Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., 5-3, 5,597.
20, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 2-6, 5,564.
21, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 5-3, 5,558.
22, Richard Teece, England, 3-4-1, 5,513.
23, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 2-6, 5,465.
24, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 0-8, 5,188.

Third Round Standings (after 18 games. Top 24 players advanced to first round of match play)

1, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 4,011.
2, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 3,954.
3, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 3,951.
4, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 3,932.
5, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3,922.
6, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 3,908.
7, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 3,904.
8, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 3,898.
9, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 3,885.
10, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 3,870.
11, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 3,864.
12, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 3,848.
13, Stuart Williams, England, 3,831.
14, Richard Teece, England, 3,825.
15, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 3,823.
16, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 3,822.
17, Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., 3,819.
18, AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 3,785.
19, Mitch Hupe, Canada, 3,784.
20, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 3,782.
21, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 3,776.
22, Dom Barrett, England, 3,766.
23, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 3,764.
24, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 3,753.

Failed to advance:
25, Jon Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., 3,752, $2,500.
26, Tom Hess, Granger, Iowa, 3,721.
27, DJ Archer, Spring, Texas, 3,715.
28, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 3,710.
29, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 3,696.
30, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 3,692.
31, Darren Tang, Las Vegas, 3,689.
32, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 3,686.
33, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 3,674.
34, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 3,663.
35, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 3,653.
36, (tie) Matthew Ogle, Louisville, Ky., and Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 3,644.
38, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 3,624.
39, Rhino Page, Spokane, Wash., 3,616.
40, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 3,614.
41, Chris Collins, Myrlte Beach, S.C., 3,606.
41, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 3,606.
43, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 3,591.
44, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 3,573.
45, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 3,550.
46, (tie) Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., and Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 3,535.
48, Jason Sterner, Rochester, N.Y., 3,511.
49, Matt Sanders, Evansville, Ind., 3,502.
50, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 3,495.
51, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 3,484.
52, Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 3,482.
53, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 3,481.
54, Anthony Pepe, Long Island City, N.Y., 3,473.
55, Matt O'Grady, Rahway, N.J., 3,466.
56, Ryan Ciminelli, Lancaster, S.C., 3,454.
57, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 3,404.
58, Graham Fach, Canada, 3,338.
59, Carmen Salvino, Schaumburg, Ill., 2,714.

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