GEICO PBA WSOB IX Notebook VIII: WBT Men’s Finals Field Set, but Order of Matches is Pending

by Bill Vint November 15, 2017 14:55

Sweden’s Jesper Svensson, Australia’s Jason Belmonte and Marshall Kent (feature photo) of Yakima, Wash., have clinched berths in Sunday’s World Bowling Tour Men’s Finals, presented by the PBA, but the order of matches to decide the winner is still pending the outcome of the PBA World Championship, the final PBA event of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Resorts Properties.

Svensson, the top qualifier for the PBA World Championship, can earn 100 points toward the 2017 World Bowling Tour standings if he wins the World Championship. He enters the finals with a 15-point lead over No. 2 qualifier Belmonte, who can finish as low as third place in the World Championship if he loses his first match, or 100 points if he wins the title. A loss for Belmonte would keep him in second place and a match against Kent. But if Belmonte wins his ninth major in the World Championship, he’ll overtake Svensson by five points, making Svensson bowl Kent in the first WBT Men’s Finals match.

The men and women will compete for $12,500, $7,500 and $5,000 in prize money Sunday (the WBT Women’s Finals field includes top qualifier Diana Zavjalova of Latvia, defending champion Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., and Malaysia’s Shalin Zulkifli). The WBT Men’s and Women’s Finals will follow the PBA World Championship finals Sunday at the National Bowling Stadium. ESPN3 will live-stream the finals and ESPN will tape the finals for broadcast on Sunday, Jan. 7, at 1 p.m. EST as part of the 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule.


As top qualifier for the PBA World Championship, Jesper Svensson of Sweden earned the right to select which of the four PBA animal patterns he wants the field to confront during the stepladder finals, and he has selected the Chameleon 39 pattern.

Svensson will only bowl one game – for the title – on the Chameleon pattern, but during the PBA Chameleon Championship presented by Reno Tahoe qualifying stage, he averaged 239.4 on the 39-foot pattern, second only to Tom Smallwood’s 243.9. Smallwood, however, didn’t make it to the World Championship finals. No. 2 qualifier Jason Belmonte finished in a tie for 14th in the 10-game Chameleon round (232.9 average), No. 3 Ryan Ciminelli was fifth (236.3 average), No. 4 Kyle Troup was 35th (224.2 average) and No. 5 Matt Sanders was 16th (232.2 average).


Speaking of oiling patterns, the USA vs. The World team match on Friday at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST will be contested on a neutral lane condition – the Earl Anthony 42 pattern that also was used in the PBA Regional and PBA50 Tour Challenge events that kicked off WSOB IX. None of the U.S. or international players have bowled on the 42-foot Anthony pattern.

For the U.S. players (Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich.; Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C.; Matt McNiel, Minneapolis, and Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa.) and The World players (Jesper Svensson, Sweden; Jason Belmonte, Australia; Thomas Larsen, Denmark; Dom Barrett, England, and Muhammad Rafiq Ismail, Malaysia), the best-of-two-game Baker team match is more than an exhibit. The winning team will share in $40,000 in prize money ($8,000 each) while the losing team will split up $20,000 in prize money ($4,000 each).


Lanetalk, PBA’s statistical analysis partner for WSOB IX, finished tracking performance data for the 49 PBA World Championship cashers as they completed their final five-game rounds on Cheetah 33 and Scorpion 42 animal patterns Tuesday, comparing the 49 leaders to how the entire field of 195 performed for 10 games on the same oiling patterns. Much more detailed information is available on Lanetalk’s Facebook page, but here’s a glimpse of the comparisons for the five-game Cheetah and Scorpion World Championship final rounds vs. the earlier 10-game rounds.

Cheetah 33 Championship comparisons:

— The field of 195 players had a composite average of 215.81 on the Cheetah pattern. The 49 World Championship cashers averaged 226.65 on the same pattern.

— The high score in the first Cheetah round was 300 (by eight players), but 299 was the top score in the cashers’ round. The low game for the full field was 109; it was 150 among the 49 leaders.

— The entire field’s strike percentage on the Cheetah was 57.55 vs. 62.76 for the cashers. First shots resulted in splits 6.53% of the time and non-strike shots resulted in single pins 23.28% of the time. The 49 cashers had a 5.51% split rate and an almost identical 23.24% single-pin rate.

— The field had an 89.02% “clean frame” average, converting “makeable” spares 84.24% of the time. The cashers were 92.57% clean and converted makeable spares at a 90.93% pace.

Scorpion 42 Championship comparisons:

— The field of 195 players averaged a WSOB-low 211.07, but the cashers picked up the scoring pace to 229.14.

— Three players bowled 300s in the opening round, but only one 300 was bowled in the cashers’ round. The low game was 71 (an incomplete game by a player who withdrew). Among the cashers, 143 was the low score.

— The entire field’s strike percentage was 54.84. First shots resulted in splits 8.47% of the time and non-strike shots resulted in single pins 23.37% of the time. The 49 cashers struck at a 63.66% rate, left splits on 6.45% of first shots and had a 22.75 single-pin rate.

— The field had an 87.79% “clean frame” average, converting “makeable” spares 86.66% of the time. The top 49 players had a 92.9% clean frame rate and converted makeable spares 93.7% of the time.


Xtra Frame’s continuing coverage of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Resorts Reno Properties, concludes into coverage of the animal pattern match play elimination rounds Thursday. In addition to game by game coverage in real time through the “live scoring” feature on, Xtra Frame will provide subscribers with additional insights through pre- and post-round coverage of each round.

Thursday’s coverage includes the PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game best-of-five-game Round of 16 at 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PST and the best-of-three-game Round of 8 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern/1:30 p.m. Pacific. The four Round of 8 winners advance to the Cheetah Championship finals on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Eastern/4:15 p.m. Pacific.

Following the Cheetah rounds will be the Pepsi PBA Scorpion Championship presented by best-of-five-game Round of 16 at 6:30 Eastern/3:30 Pacific followed by the best-of-three Round of 8 at 9 p.m. Eastern/6 p.m. Pacific. The four winners advance to the Scorpion Championship finals on Saturday at 9 p.m. Eastern/6 p.m. Pacific.

The Cheetah and Scorpion finals will be live-streamed on ESPN3. ESPN will air both one-hour shows back-to-back on Sunday, Dec. 24, at 1 and 2 p.m. EST, respectively.

All of the WSOB IX finals are part of the 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour.

Xtra Frame subscriptions are available in a variety of packages: three-day ($3.99), 30-day ($7.99) and Xtra Frame Season Ticket (a full-year’s coverage at an average cost of $1.25 per week) subscriptions are available by visiting “” and clicking on the “subscribe now” link.

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