Belmonte Extends Lead After Strong Finish in PBA Tournament of Champions First Match Play Round

by Jerry Schneider February 7, 2019 20:07

FAIRLAWN, Ohio  – Dominating after three rounds of qualifying and compiling a 6-2 record in Thursday’s first match play round, two-hander Jason Belmonte of Australia extended his lead in the PBA Tournament of Champions at AMF Riviera Lanes.

The two-time Tournament of Champions winner, who is trying for a record-tying 10th career major title in the first major of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season, finished with a 6,226 26-game pinfall total, which includes 30 bonus pins for each match play win. He leads seven-time tour winner Dom Barrett of England, who also posted a 6-2 record but still finished 264 pins behind in second with 5,962.

Belmonte, four-time PBA Player of the Year, had wins with games of 247, 201, 205, 196, 278 and 268 while losing with games of 205 and 157 in the middle of the round.

“There were definitely some things we saw in this first match play round we didn’t see in qualifying,” said Belmonte, who owns 18 career tour titles. “What you’re going to typically see going forward is guys get out to a good start after the first one or two games, then who you bowl each match is really going to influence the adjustments you make from there.

“I definitely got caught in a couple games mainly because I didn’t expect to see how drastically the lanes were changing,” Belmonte added. “It was looking like I was going to be happy with a few wins and call it a day, but fortunately, I really executed the last two games.”

If Belmonte can win the Tournament of Champions, he would tie PBA Hall of Famers Pete Weber and Earl Anthony for the all-time PBA majors record. A third Tournament of Champions win would also tie him with Jason Couch and Mike Durbin for most wins in PBA’s signature event that requires a player to be a PBA champion to compete.

Finishing third was 12-time tour titlist and 2017 Tournament of Champions winner EJ Tackett of Bluffton, Ind., who had a 4-4 match play record and 5,942 pinfall.

Two-time tour winner Michael Machuga of Erie, Pa., surged from 14th after the final qualifying round to fourth after posting a 5-3 record and finishing with a 5,926 pinfall. Also making a big move after qualifying was Jake Peters of Henderson, Nev., who moved from 13th after qualifying to fifth with a 6-2 record and 5,912 pinfall.

Match play continues Friday with eight-game rounds at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET that will determine the top five players who will advance to Sunday’s live stepladder finals on FOX at 4:30 p.m.

The Tournament of Champions will be the first tournament of the season to offer a $1 million bonus if a player can bowl a 300 game in the title match of the finals.

Fans can follow all the final day of match play through PBA’s online streaming partner, FloBowling. For schedule and subscription information visit FloBowling.com.

PBA TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
AMF Riviera Lanes, Fairlawn, Ohio, Thursday

FOURTH ROUND RESULTS

(after 26 games. Includes match play record and total pinfall including bonus pins)

1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 6-2, 6,226.
2, Dom Barrett, England, 6-2, 5,962.
3, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 4-4, 5,942.
4, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 5-3, 5,926.
5, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 6-2, 5,912.
6, Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 2-5-1, 5,910.
7, Matthew Ogle, Louisville, Ky., 5-2-1, 5,879.
8, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 5-3, 5,840.
9, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 5-3, 5,834.
10, Mitch Beasley, Clarksville, Tenn., 6-2, 5,821.
11, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 4-4, 5,798.
12, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 2-6, 5,769
13, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 3-5, 5,746.
14, Jon Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., 3-5, 5,725.
15, Darren Tang, Las Vegas, Nev., 2-6, 5,714.
16, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 5-3, 5,692.
17, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 4-4, 5,658.
18, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 2-5-1, 5,630.
19, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 2-5-1, 5,622.
20, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 4-4, 5,614.
21, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 4-3-1, 5,613.
22, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 3-4-1, 5,549.
23, Rhino Page, Orlando, 2-6, 5,518.
24, Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., 3-5, 5,464.

THIRD ROUND RESULTS

(after 18 games. Top 24 players advanced to first match play round)

1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 4,279.
2, Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 4,054.
3, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 4,046.
4, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 4,043.
5, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 4,029.
6, Dom Barrett, England, 4,027.
7, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 4,012.
8, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 4,000.
9, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 3,990.
10, Jon Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., 3,971.
11, Matthew Ogle, Louisville, Ky., 3,963.
12, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 3,950.
13, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 3,946.
14, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 3,939.
15, Mitch Beasley, Clarksville, Tenn., 3,936.
16, Darren Tang, Las Vegas, Nev., 3,933.
17, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 3,919.
18, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 3,903.
19, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3,900.
20, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 3,890.
21, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 3,865.
22, Rhino Page, Orlando, 3,864.
23, (tie) Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., and Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 3,862.

Did not advance
25, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 3,861, $2,500.
26, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 3,853.
27, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 3,848.
28, DJ Archer, Spring, Texas, 3,838.
29, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, Texas, 3,829.
30, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 3,820.
31, Bob Learn Jr., Erie, Pa., 3,819.
32, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 3,815.
33, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 3,807.
34, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 3,805.
35, Kurt Pilon, Sterling Heights, Mich., 3,796.
36, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 3,779.
37, Annop Arromsaranon, Thailand, 3,774.
38, (tie) Osku Palermaa, Finland, and Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 3,764.
40, (te) Jason Sterner, Fayetteville, Ga., and Nathan Bohr, Austin, Texas, 3,758.
42, Stuart Williams, England, 3,747.
43, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 3,734.
44, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 3,722.
45, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 3,716.
46, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 3,704.
47, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 3,703.
48, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 3,695.
49, Matt O'Grady, Rahway, N.J., 3,662.
50, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 3,647.
51, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 3,637.
52, Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, 3,630.
53, Richie Teece, England, 3,613.
54, Anthony Pepe, East Elmhurst, N.Y., 3,573.
55, JoJoe Yannaphon, Thailand, 3,548.
56, Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 3,542.
57, Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 3,516.
58, Graham Fach, Urbana, Ohio, 3,509.
59, Matt Sanders, Indianapolis, 3,474.
60, Anthony LaCaze, Hanover Park, Ill., 3,403.
61, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 3,360.
62, Stephen Pavlinko, Sewell, N.J., 3,357.
63, Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., 3,301.
64, Carmen Salvino, Schaumburg, Ill., 2,985.

300 games – Josh Blanchard

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