Anthony Simonsen Averages 226 After Two Rounds to Lead PBA Tournament of Champions

by Jerry Schneider February 5, 2020 19:54

FAIRLAWN, Ohio – Seven-time Go Bowling PBA Tour winner Anthony Simonsen of Little Elm, Texas, averaged 226 for 12 games Wednesday at AMF Riviera Lanes to lead the PBA Tournament of Champions after two rounds.

In the first major of the season, the 23-year-old two-hander led the 62-player field with a 2,715 pinfall total. He surged from 14th after the first round bowling a 1,281 pinfall for six games but came back with 1,434 in the second round with games of 246, 258, 217, 257, 190 and 266.

Already in his young career, Simonsen is trying for his third PBA major title. He won the PBA Players Championship in 2019 at age 22 to become the youngest player to win two majors.

“In the first round I was still trying to feel my way around but in the second round everything seemed to be going right for me,” said Simonsen who won the 2016 USBC Masters at age 19 to become the youngest player to win a major. In the second round I had the right ball, was playing the right part of the lane and got some breaks. I had that 190 in the fifth game but I learned from it and was able to finish strong.”

Heading into Thursday’s third and final qualifying round Simonsen holds a 43-pin lead over Cristian Azcona of Puerto Rico in second who finished with a 2,672 pinfall for 12 games. Azcona won the 2018 Wilmington Open for his first tour title.

Rounding out the top five after two rounds were first round leader 2019 PBA Playoffs winner Kris Prather, Plainfield, Illinois, 2,627; last week’s PBA Jonesboro Open winner Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, North Carolina., 2,613, and two-time tour winner Stuart Williams of England, 2,611.

In pursuit of a record fourth Tournament of Champions title, defending champion Jason Belmonte of Australia finished the day in 23rd with 2,511. After finishing the first round in fourth with 1,351, the five-time and reigning PBA Player of the Year, found the going much tougher in the second round managing only 1,160.

Belmonte’s win in last season’s TOC was his 10th career major title which tied him for the all-time lead with PBA Hall of Famers Pete Weber and Earl Anthony. Just a few weeks later Belmonte won the PBA World Championship for his 11th major title taking sole possession of the top spot on the all-time major wins list.

The 62-player field returns for third-round qualifying Thursday morning at 11 a.m. ET which will determine the top 24 players who will advance to the first eight-game match play round Thursday evening at 6 p.m. After the final two rounds of match play Friday at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., 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 $100,000 first prize and a $1 million bonus will be paid if the winner bowls a 300 game in the title match.

All qualifying and match play rounds are livestreamed 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, Wednesday

Second Round Standings (after 12 games)

1, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 2,715.
2, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 2,672.
3, Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 2,627.
4, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 2,613.
5, Stuart Williams, England, 2,611.
6, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 2,606.
7, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 2,583.
8, Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., 2,579.
9, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 2,571.
10, Dom Barrett, England, 2,566.
11, (tie) Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., and Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 2,562.
13, Mitch Hupe, Canada, 2,560.
14, Richard Teece, England, 2,558.
15, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 2,556.
16, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 2,544.
17, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 2,535.
18, (tie) Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., and Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 2,534.
20, Darren Tang, Las Vegas, 2,525.
21, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 2,521.
22, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 2,517.
23, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 2,511.
24, DJ Archer, Spring, Texas, 2,508.
25, Tom Hess, Granger, Iowa, 2,501.
26, Jon Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., 2,494.
27, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 2,481.
28, AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 2,479.
29, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 2,471.
30, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 2,464.
31, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 2,462.
32, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 2,461.
33, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 2,452.
34, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 2,449.
35, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 2,446.
36, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 2,439.
37, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 2,433.
38, Chris Collins, Myrlte Beach, S.C., 2,430.
39, Matthew Ogle, Louisville, Ky., 2,411.
40, (tie) Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., and Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 2,407.
42, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 2,404.
43, Matt Sanders, Evansville, Ind., 2,397.
44, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 2,395.
45, (tie) Rhino Page, Spokane, Wash., and Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 2,394.
47, Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 2,376.
48, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 2,365.
49, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 2,361.
50, Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 2,357.
51, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 2,355.
52, Jason Sterner, Rochester, N.Y., 2,323.
53, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 2,320.
54, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 2,304.
55, Anthony Pepe, Long Island City, N.Y., 2,296.
56, Ryan Ciminelli, Lancaster, S.C., 2,280.
57, Matt O'Grady, Rahway, N.J., 2,268.
58, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 2,248.
59, Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, 2,218.
60, Graham Fach, Canada, 2,208.
61, Carmen Salvino, Schaumburg, Ill., 1,795.
62, Mitch Beasley, Clarksville, Tenn., 1,249.

First Round Standings (after six games)

1, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 1,444.
2, Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., 1,370.
3, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 1,361.
4, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 1,351.
5, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 1,345.
6, Jon Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., 1,335.
7, Dom Barrett, England, 1,334.
8, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 1,328.
9, (tie) Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., and Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 1,300.
11, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 1,299.
12, Stuart Williams, England, 1,292.
13, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 1,287.
14, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 1,281.
15, (tie) Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., and Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 1,279.
17, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 1,278.
18, (tie) Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., and Francois Lavoie, Canada, 1,275.
20, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 1,270.
21, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 1,268.
22, (tie) Tom Hess, Granger, Iowa, and Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 1,262.
24, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 1,260.
25, Matt Sanders, Evansville, Ind., 1,255.
26, (tie) Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., and Mitch Beasley, Clarksville, Tenn., 1,249.
28, AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 1,248.
29, Darren Tang, Las Vegas, 1,243.
30, Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 1,242.
31, Richard Teece, England, 1,233.
32, Mitch Hupe, Wichita, Kan., 1,230.
33, DJ Archer, Spring, Texas, 1,228.
34, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 1,227.
35, (tie) Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., and Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 1,226.
37, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 1,224.
38, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 1,217.
39, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 1,216.
40, (tie) Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., and Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 1,200.
42, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 1,183.
43, Matthew Ogle, Louisville, Ky., 1,180.
44, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 1,177.
45, Ryan Ciminelli, Lancaster, S.C., 1,174.
46, (tie) Jason Sterner, Rochester, N.Y., and Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 1,173.
48, (tie) Chris Collins, Myrlte Beach, S.C., and Rhino Page, Spokane, Wash., 1,171.
50, Graham Fach, Urbana, Ohio, 1,165.
51, Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, 1,159.
52, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 1,154.
53, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 1,148.
54, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 1,141.
55, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 1,127.
56, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 1,121.
57, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 1,120.
58, Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 1,106.
59, Anthony Pepe, Long Island City, N.Y., 1,105.
60, Matt O'Grady, Rahway, N.J., 1,077.
61, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 1,064.
62, Carmen Salvino, Schaumburg, Ill., 920.

300 games – Jason Belmonte, Cristian Azcona

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