PBA Spare Shots: PBA Bowling Challenge Continues to Rank Among World’s Most Popular Mobile Games

by Bill Vint March 2, 2017 07:39

Concrete Software’s PBA Bowling Challenge Game continues to rank as one of the world’s most popular games among mobile device users. Current statistics pertaining to PBA Bowling Challenge show:

● The game has been downloaded 18,265,778 times;

● There are more than 100,000 active daily players;

● The total number of balls rolled in the game is now over 14.6 billion (with a “b”…);

● Players now have the option of 13 bonus venues like Zero-G, Jurassic Classic, and Route 66.


Entries are now open for PBA members for PBA50 Tour events as players get ready for the start of the 2017 season April 15-17 and 17-20 with the PBA60 Killer ‘B’ Open (for players 60 and older) followed by the PBA50 Pasco County Florida Open, both at Lane Glo Bowl in New Port Richey, Fla. Entries will be available to non-members 30 days prior to the start of each PBA50 event, if space is available.

Bowlers can enter online (click here to select the event: http://www.pba.com/Tournaments/Season/106) or by contacting Mary von Krueger at maryvk@pba.com (fax: 850-564-1717).

Following the season openers in New Port Richey, the PBA50 Tour heads to Spanish Springs Lanes in The Villages for the PBA50 UnitedHealthcare Sun Bowl In The Villages, presented by Radical, April 22-25; to Mooresville, N.C., for the PBA50 Miller High Life Classic presented by Columbia 300 at George Pappas’ Victory Lanes, April 30-May 3, and to Farmingdale, N.Y., for the PBA50 Johnny Petraglia BVL Open presented by Brunswick at Farmingdale Lanes, May 6-9.

PBA’s “senior players” then travel to Indianapolis for the season’s first major, the PBA50 Tour Players Championship, May 13-16, at Woodland Bowl.

For a complete PBA50 Tour schedule, visit pba.com and click on the schedules’ tab. All PBA50 Tour events will be covered live, from start to finish, on Xtra Frame, PBA’s exclusive live streaming service. For subscription information and a detailed schedule of air times, visit xtraframe.tv. Xtra Frame subscriptions are available for $3.99 (three days), $7.99 (a full month) or the full year Xtra Frame Season Ticket (at about $5 a month).


After a brief respite following PBA’s intense “Big February” schedule, Tour players will return to action in the first in a series of PBA Xtra Frame Storm Cup events March 17-19 when Sawgrass Lanes in Tamarac, Fla., hosts the Xtra Frame Reality Check Classic.

Originally scheduled for early October 2016, the XF Reality Check Classic was forced to postpone due to the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. The re-scheduled event will feature a minimum $10,000 first prize and will award the first points in the new XF Storm Cup series that will pay a $20,000 first prize at the conclusion of the 2017 series plus additional cash prizes of $10,000 for second place, $8,000 for third, $7,000 for fourth and $5,000 for fifth place.

In each of the eight XF Storm Cup events, points will be awarded to the top 20 players with the winner earning 25 points, second place 19, third place 18, etc., with points declining by one through 20th place.

Each of the Storm Cup events also will be covered live from start to finish, exclusively by PBA’s Xtra Frame live streaming service. For subscription information, visit xtraframe.tv.

Immediately following the XF Reality Check Classic, PBA players will have their first shot at a 2017 PBA International-World Bowling Tour title in the Brunswick Euro Challenge at Dream-Bowl Palace in Munich, Germany. Qualifying gets underway March 18 and the tournament ends on Sunday, March 26. First prize will be roughly $12,000. A PBA Tour title will be awarded if the winner is a PBA member who doesn’t accept handicap pins.


The United States Bowling Congress and Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America, joint sponsors of the U.S. Open, have announced several changes for the 2017 event that will be held Oct. 25-Nov. 1 at 40-lane Flamingo Bowl in Liverpool, N.Y.

The U.S. Open, the fourth major championship on the PBA Tour’s 2017 schedule, will feature:

● 24 qualifying games, including eight-game rounds on “fresh, burn” and “double-burn” lane conditions;

● A limited field of 144 bowlers, including PBA earnings leaders and others who will be invited based on 2016 performances in international, collegiate and Junior Gold events, among others. For the list of invited players, click here: http://usbcongress.http.internapcdn.net/usbcongress/bowl/tournaments/pdfs/usopen/2017/2017USOpenInvitees.pdf

● To fill vacancies, a pre-tournament qualifying event will be held at Flamingo Bowl prior to the event;

● Invited players will have until June 1 to accept invitations, after which invitations will be extended to the next player on the eligibility list. Any vacancies will be added to the pre-event qualifier;

● A projected $175,000 prize fund with $30,000 to the winner.

"Returning to a select field where an athlete has to qualify brings a higher level of prestige to the event, and the potential to use smaller centers means we can take this great tournament to more places," USBC Director Chad Murphy said. "Additional changes, featuring a limit to the total number of lanes being used and the introduction of separate practice pairs, will further reduce outside factors from influencing the event, which should also be a good thing."


March may be known for “madness” of another kind, but in PBA competition, it also means a return to a full schedule of QubicaAMF PBA Regional competition, getting underway over the March 3-5 weekend with the PBA50 Strike Zone Lanes Central Classic presented by Brunswick, in Canton, Ohio, and the Lakewood Southwest Super Regional, presented by Denver Broncos’ running back CJ Anderson and Storm Products, at Holiday Lanes in Lakewood, Colo.

● QubicaAMF PBA Regional activity over the March 10-12 weekend includes the PBA50 Fayetteville South Open at Lafayette Lanes in Fayetteville, N.C.; the Colorado Springs Southwest Super Regional, presented by Budweiser, at Harmony Bowl in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort Championship at Gold Country Lanes in Sutter, Creek, Calif.

● The March 17-19 calendar of QubicaAMF PBA Regional action includes the Trumbull County Tourism Bureau Central/East Open, presented by Radical, at Bell-Wick Bowl in Hubbard, Ohio; the Odessa Southwest Open at Astro Bowl in Odessa, Texas, and a PBA West/Northwest tripleheader at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno – the PBA50 and PBA Sands Regency West/Northwest Classic events plus the Sands Regency West/Northwest Challenge (for non-titlists), presented by DV8.

● The schedule of QubicaAMF PBA Regional events over the March 24-26 weekend will feature the PBA50 Rossi Lanes Eastern Open in Elmira, N.Y.; the PBA50 Liberty Lanes Midwest/Central Open in Carpentersville, Ill.; the CCFA Strike Out Crohn’s and Colitis South Open, presented by Rhino Page, at Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando, Fla., and the Caveman Bowl Northwest/West Open presented by DV8 in Grants Pass, Ore.

● Closing out March and kicking off April’s QubicaAMF PBA Regional calendar over the March 31-April 2 weekend will be the PBA50 Showtime Lanes Midwest/Central Open in Virden, Ill.; the Myrtle Beach South Open at Myrtle Beach Bowl in South Carolina, and the FireLake Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Southwest Open at FireLake Bowl in Shawnee, Okla. The weekend also will include a Sunday-only reduced entry fee Elkhart Central/Midwest Open presented by 900 Global at Country Club Lanes in Elkhart, Ind.

● For complete QubicaAMF PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on QubicaAMF Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area. For more information about QubicaAMF, visit www.qubicaamf.com or, for social media posts, visit http://bit.ly/QAMFSponsorship1.


● Robert Fancher of Springville, N.Y., has won a new high-performance MOTIV ball; Tony Badger of Furlong, Pa., wins a new DV8 ball and Kelvin Peters of Byram, Miss., will receive a new high-performance Brunswick ball as February sweepstakes prizes for subscribing to Xtra Frame. The monthly sweepstakes is sponsored by the respective PBA Product Registered partners. Monthly winners are selected from among new Xtra Frame subscribers, who are automatically entered when they enroll as a monthly or Xtra Frame Season Ticket (full year) subscriber.

● Brett Krimminger of Kannapolis, N.C., is the February winner of a $200 HotelPlanner.com certificate, redeemable for future lodging expenses, compliments of PBA’s official travel partner. The monthly sweepstakes is open to anyone who books a hotel through the HotelPlanner.com link on pba.com. Those who book through HotelPlanner.com are automatically entered.

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Anthony Simonsen, Danielle McEwan Win World Bowling Tour Men’s, Women’s Finals

by Bill Vint February 26, 2017 11:42

By PBA Staff and Aaron Smith, PWBA Communications

LAS VEGAS – Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas, capped a year of globetrotting by winning the World Bowling Tour Men’s Finals, presented by the PBA, Sunday at The Orleans Bowling Center, defeating WBT points leader Martin Larsen of Sweden, 243-213, for the $20,000 first prize.

Simonsen, a 20-year-old two-handed player who qualified second for the finals after a year-long, world-wide points competition based on performances in PBA International-World Bowling Tour events, eliminated no. 3 qualifier Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., in the opening match of the three-man stepladder, 263-253.

Women’s top qualifier and defending champion Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., successfully defended her WBT Women’s Finals title in unexpected fashion when Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., needing only a mark in the 10th frame to win, left a pocket 7-10 split and opened, handing McEwan a 203-200 victory.

Simonsen, the 2016 United States Bowling Congress Masters champion, struck on six of his first seven shots in the title tilt to build a 33-pin lead under WBT’s experimental “Current Frame” scoring system and secured the win on the bench when Larsen did not strike in the 10th frame.

Under the “Current Frame” system, players earned 30 pins a frame for each strike; 10 pins plus the total from their first shot of the frame for a spare, and actual pinfall for an open frame. Games consisted of 10 frames with no additional shots in the 10th frame if a player strikes or spares. The maximum score is 300 (30 pins for 10 strikes).

For Simonsen, the WBT win was a bit of redemption after falling short in his title defense at the USBC Masters. Simonsen finished the week tied for 17th place.

“It’s been a good three-week swing,” said Simonsen, who finished second at the 2017 Barbasol PBA Players Championship. “I made a TV show, all three cuts, so it’s been a good run. You obviously want to win them all, but being able to finish this week with the win makes it all worth it.”

McEwan, a 25-year-old right-hander, threw a strike in her 10th frame for a 203, forcing Johnson, a two-time PWBA Player of the Year, to mark in her 10th frame for the win. Johnson ran into a disaster instead.

After starting the title match with two strikes, McEwan was unable to strike again until the 10th frame, converting four multiple-pin combinations to remain in contention. Johnson held a 28-pin lead heading into the ninth frame but was unable to mark in her final two frames.

“In the moment, I didn’t think that strike would be enough,” said McEwan, who won the 2016 H.H. Emir Cup in Doha, Qatar. “I hadn’t struck on that lane in a while, so I just wanted to get to the pocket. It’s hard to watch that happen on the bench to someone who’s such a good friend and someone I look up to, but sometimes bowling works that way. I need to appreciate being on this side of it, because I know the other side can come just as easily.”

In the semifinal match, Johnson bested Colombia’s Anggie Ramirez, 268-220.

The Orleans Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Sunday

Final Standings:

1, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., $20,000.
2, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., $10,000.
3, Anggie Ramirez, Colombia, $5,000.
Stepladder Results (WBT Current Frame scoring system):
Semifinal Match: Johnson def. Ramirez, 268-220.
Final: McEwan def. Johnson, 203-200.

Final Standings:

1, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, $20,000.
2, Martin Larsen, Sweden, $10,000.
3, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., $5,000.
Stepladder Results (WBT Current Frame scoring system):
Semifinal Match – Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, def. Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 263-253.
Final – Simonsen def. Martin Larsen, Sweden, 243-213.

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Australia’s Jason Belmonte Dominates USBC Masters, Wins Record Fourth Title, Eighth Career PBA Major

by Jerry Schneider February 26, 2017 09:08

By Matt Cannizzaro, USBC Public Relations Manager

LAS VEGAS - Australia's Jason Belmonte has been a trailblazer in the sport of bowling his entire career, and he added another milestone to his growing list of accomplishments by becoming the first bowler to win the United States Bowling Congress Masters four times.

The 33-year-old entered the event's stepladder finals Sunday as the No. 1 seed and started the championship match at The Orleans Bowling Center with seven consecutive strikes, before a 7 pin ended his run at the first perfect game in a USBC Masters final.

The 279-212 win over amateur Michael Tang of San Francisco gave Belmonte his eighth major title, and second in three events, tying him with USBC and Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famers Mike Aulby and Walter Ray Williams Jr. for second all-time behind fellow hall of famers Earl Anthony and Pete Weber, who have 10 apiece.

"Honestly, it hasn't sunken in yet, and I'm really speechless," Belmonte said. "I love this tournament and think it really brings out the best in me. To have my name etched on this trophy four times and be the only person to do that is unbelievable. It doesn't seem real."

Belmonte, who won the recent Barbasol PBA Players Championship, now has 14 PBA Tour titles in nine seasons. He won the Masters three-consecutive times in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Heading into Sunday, Belmonte knew his game plan would be dependent on who else made the show and how they attacked the lanes in the games leading up to the final. Even as practice ended before the title match, Belmonte was uncertain about his look and made an educated guess.

"I struck once in practice and nothing looked like I was going to have that kind of game," said Belmonte, a three-time PBA Player of the Year. "With two shots left, Tim Mack hit the surface with 1,000 grit, and it looked OK. I hadn't thrown it on the other lane, so I had to make a guess on that lane. I told myself just to hit that spot. With urethane, the game Michael bowled easily could have been the game I had. He bowled a great game and didn't give anything away. He's an amazing talent."

Tang, the No. 4 seed for Sunday's championship round, was looking to become the first amateur since 2002 to win the Masters. He also would've been the first bowler to win from the fourth spot. Only two times since the Masters went to a stepladder format in 1980 has anyone lower than the second seed won the event.

Tang's ticket to the final came with a 227-217 win over amateur Alex Hoskins of Brigham City, Utah.
The two were even through five frames, with neither player throwing a double, but both rallying with late strings of three strikes.

Tang finished first, giving Hoskins the opportunity to win the game with a strike and nine-spare in his final frame, but Hoskins went light and left a 2 pin on his first offering. Hoskins, who made his first appearance at the Masters, finished third.

"The right lane got a little tight downlane," said Tang, the 2015 Intercollegiate Singles champion. "In the match against Hoskins, I rang a couple of 10s, which were worrisome, but I thought I had something figured out. The lanes kind of transitioned differently than through the week, so I had to make some different moves. Belmo is Belmo. It's hard to beat him when he has that kind of look. I feel like I bowled well, so there's nothing to be mad about."

In two wins on the way to the semifinal matchup with Hoskins, Tang tossed 18 strikes to get past his brother, Darren, and Sweden's Martin Larsen.

Tang's nine-strike performance against Darren ended in a 248-212 victory. The two were separated by just two pins after four frames, but four consecutive strikes from Michael in frames five through eight allowed him to pull away for good. Darren Tang finished fourth.

It was the first TV meeting between brothers since the 1994 PBA National Championship, when David Traber defeated his brother Dale in the title match. The last time two brothers met in the stepladder at the Masters was 1980 when Neil Burton defeated his brother, Nelson (Bo), in the semifinal, before topping hall of famer Mark Roth for the title.

clip_image001"It was fun," Michael Tang said. "I think he was trying to keep things a little looser, while I tried to stay in my zone and treat it like any other match. But it will be fun to watch back home."
In the opening match Sunday, Michael Tang also struck nine times, including the first five frames, to defeat Larsen, 264-229. Larsen, who's still searching for his first PBA Tour title, finished fifth.

Competitors in the 395-player field this week bowled 15 games of qualifying, before a cut was made to the top 63, who joined defending champion Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas, in the double-elimination match-play bracket.

At The Orleans Bowling Center, Las Vegas
Sunday's Results
Final standings

1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 279 (one game), $30,000
2, Michael Tang (a), San Francisco, 951 (four games), $22,500
3, Alex Hoskins (a), Brigham City, Utah, 217 (one game), $15,000
4, Darren Tang, San Francisco, 212 (one game), $11,500
5, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 229 (one game), $9,000

Stepladder results
Match One - M. Tang def. Larsen, 264-229
Match Two - M. Tang def. D. Tang, 248-212
Semifinal - M. Tang def. Hoskins, 227-217
Championship - Belmonte def. M. Tang, 279-212

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PBA Spare Shots: PBA’s ESPN Telecasts Continue to Post Impressive Viewership Gains

by Bill Vint February 23, 2017 08:16

With the final championship events of “Big February” scheduled to air live Sunday, the PBA on ESPN continues to have strong viewership gains year-over-year. Through the first 10 telecasts of the 2016-17 ESPN season including the WSOB, viewership is up 13%, averaging 650,000.

BelmoBig February’s four shows so far include the Main Event Terrell Owens PBA Super Clash (averaging 712,000 viewers), the Barbasol PBA Players Championship (averaging 664,000 viewers), the State Farm CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational (averaging 834,000 viewers) and FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions (averaging 704,000 viewers). Each of the shows has been among the highest rated sports program on cable on its respective air date.


Of note, the State Farm CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational had a strong rating among coveted 18-49 year-olds, with 482,000 of the 834,000 average number of viewers in that category (58 percent).

Tackett.EJ_2017 TOC (42)Big February concludes Sunday with another TV first for the PBA on ESPN: back-to-back live telecasts. First the USBC Masters title will be decided with a stepladder final at 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PST), followed by the Men’s and Women’s World Bowling Tour Finals at 3 p.m. EST (noon PST), both live from The Orleans in Las Vegas.

In addition to ESPN’s live coverage, the Masters and WBT Finals will be live streamed on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.


The 2016 World Bowling Tour season officially concludes Sunday when the PBA presents the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals, live on ESPN at 3 p.m. EST from The Orleans Bowling Center in Las Vegas.

Sunday’s WBT finals will include men’s top qualifier Martin Larsen of Sweden, Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas, and Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash. The women’s finalists will be defending champion Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y.; Colombia’s Anggie Ramirez, and Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y. Players in both divisions will compete for $20,000, $10,000 and $5,000 prizes.

Competition will again be conducted using the experimental “World Bowling scoring system” introduced last year whereby players will bowl 10 frames with a strike counting as 30 points, a spare counting for 10 points plus the number of pins converted (example: a 10 pin spare will be worth 10 plus 9 = 19), and an open frame will count as the actual pinfall (example: if a player leaves the 4-6-7-10 split and converts the 4-7, the score for the frame will be 8).

The maximum score under the World Bowling system is still 300 – based on 10 consecutive strikes - and there is no extra shot or bonus pins in the 10th frame. In last year’s final, England’s Dom Barrett shot the first “World Bowling 300 game” in winning the men’s title over American qualifier Mike Fagan, 300-256.


Xtra Frame’s “Big February” coverage continues with qualifying and double-elimination match play coverage of the USBC Masters today through Saturday from The Orleans Bowling Center in Las Vegas. The Masters finals, followed by the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by the PBA will air live, back-to-back, on ESPN on Sunday, Feb. 26, beginning at 1 p.m. EST.

Xtra Frame subscriptions are available for $3.99 (three days), $7.99 (a full month) or the full year Xtra Frame Season Ticket (at about $5 a month). Visit xtraframe.tv to enroll.


PBA Southwest Region Hall of Famer and 18-time PBA Tour champion Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, defeated Greg Ostrander of Freehold, N.J., 243-200, to win his 27th QubicaAMF PBA Regional title and the $2,500 first prize in the second annual PBA FireLake Grand Casino Resort Southwest Winter Open at FireLake Bowling Center preceding the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions.

Barnes, one of several PBA Tour champions who used the event as a warmup for the TOC, qualified in sixth place for the best-of-two-game match play elimination rounds in the regional event, and he began his march to the title with a 2-0 victory over PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla. He then disposed of BJ Moore III of Greensburg, Pa., 2-0 in the Round of 8 and won his semifinal round match against defending champion Anthony Pepe of Elmhurst, N.Y., 213-210.

Greg McMahan of Dandridge, Tenn., defeated Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, 213-205, 216-212, in the best-of-three-game title match to win his fourth QubicaAMF PBA Regional title in the PBA50 Dave Edwards Toyota Spartanburg Southern Open presented by Global 900 at Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C., Sunday.

McMahan, who was in control throughout both games of the title match, won the $2,400 first prize while Kretzer pocketed $1,400 as the runner-up. In the best-of-three semifinal round, McMahan swept Dave Sill of Titusville, Fla., 237-212, 208-203, while Kretzer rallied to eliminate Dale Csuhta of Wadsworth, Ohio, 208-205, 199-181.

● For complete QubicaAMF PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information heading into the new year, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on QubicaAMF Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area. For more information about QubicaAMF, visit www.qubicaamf.com or, for social media posts, visit http://bit.ly/QAMFSponsorship1.


● PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber has learned he’ll be inducted into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame in September, along with standout St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter. Additional details will be announced later.

● Just in time for the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship in Portland, Maine, the PBA Store (pba.com/store) is offering a new line of Mark Roth signature t-shirts and polos. The Roth/Holman doubles event will include a pro-am and qualifying rounds April 9-12, concluding with live ESPN stepladder finals on Sunday, April 16, at 1 p.m. ET.

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Unexpected Error Helps Indiana’s EJ Tackett Win FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions

by Bill Vint February 19, 2017 07:39

SHAWNEE, Okla.  – EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., had four chances to throw doubles to take the lead, but in the end, he won his second Professional Bowlers Association major title in the 52nd FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions Sunday at FireLake Arena thanks in part to an unexpected error by his opponent.

Tackett.EJ_WS_2017 PBA TOC (4)Tackett, at age 24, defeated 18-time PBA Tour champion Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., 208-203, when Jones left and failed to convert the 1-2-4-10 “washout” in the 10th frame.

Tackett, who won the 2016 PBA World Championship in December for his first major, was certain he had lost the TOC title after he failed to double in the 10th frame.

“I knew if I doubled in the 10th, I’d force Tommy to strike on the right lane,” Tackett said. “But I never in a million years expected that. Tommy has been so good in situations like that his entire career, I didn’t think I had a chance. I was in total shock.”

After winning the DHC PBA Japan Invitational to start the year, the TOC victory gives Tackett a very early edge in defending his 2016 PBA Player of the Year title. But, he said, “it’s not even something to think about. It’s way too early and we have way too many tournaments to go.

With seven titles already in his young career, Tackett has demonstrated he has the skill and the confidence to stay at the top of the PBA’s elite.

Tackett.EJ_WS_2017 PBA TOC w PBA CEO & Commiss Tom Clark_FireLake Dir of Bowling Chris Skillings“I do belong out here,” he said. “I feel like I’m going to do it every time I need to make a shot, and you’re going to have to beat me. It’s not arrogance, it’s just a level of confidence I’ve never had.”

In the opening match, Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., ended Pete Weber’s bid for a PBA-record 11th major championship, 223-203. Tied at 163 after eight frames, Smallwood finished the match first, throwing four strikes and forcing Weber to do the same to tie and force a roll-off. But the 54-year-old Weber, from St. Ann, Mo., left the 1-2-4-10 on his opening shot of the 10th frame to end the match.

England’s Dom Barrett then eliminated Smallwood, 235-202, striking on seven of his first eight shots to build an insurmountable lead after Smallwood left splits he couldn’t covert in the first and fourth frames.

Jones advanced to the title match, defeating Barrett in the semifinal match, 248-216, rolling a late string of six strikes to overcome Barrett’s early eight-pin lead.

PBA players begin competition in the United States Bowling Congress Masters, PBA’s third consecutive major championship in February, on Tuesday at The Orleans Bowling Center in Las Vegas. The Masters qualifying rounds will be held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to determine the 63 players who will join defending champion Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas, in the three-game, double-elimination match play rounds Friday and Saturday. The stepladder finals will air live on ESPN on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 1 p.m. ET.

All qualifying and match play rounds of the Masters will be live streamed on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel. Visit xtraframe.tv for subscription information. Sunday’s finals also will be live streamed on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.

FireLake Bowling Center, Shawnee, Okla., Sunday

Final Standings
1, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., $50,000.
2, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., $25,000.
3, Dom Barrett, England, $13,000.
4, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., $11,000.
5, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., $10,000.

Stepladder Results:
Match One – Smallwood def. Weber, 223-203.
Match Two – Barrett def. Smallwood, 235-202.
Semifinal Match – Jones def. Barrett, 248-216.
Championship – Tackett def. Jones, 208-203.

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