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Jason Belmonte earns No. 1 seed for PBA Players Championship finals

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After earning top qualifier honors for the Barbasol PBA Players Championship stepladder finals Thursday, defending champion Jason Belmonte of Australia is just one match win away from capturing a record-tying 10th Professional Bowlers Association major title.

After Thursday’s sixth round, the four-time PBA Player of the Year finished with a 7,337 30-game pinfall total to earn the top qualifying berth for Sunday’s live Players Championship stepladder finals which will be televised by ESPN at 1:30 p.m. ET from Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in Columbus, Ohio.

Pictured above from right: Marshall Kent, Jason Belmonte, Kristopher Prather, Patrick Girard and Tom Smallwood.

A win in the title match would move Belmonte into a tie with Pete Weber and Earl Anthony for most career major victories.

At 34, Belmonte (left) would become the youngest by far to win 10 majors with Anthony winning his 10th major at age 46, and Weber, who won his 10th at age 50.

In the second major of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season, Belmonte, a 16-time tour winner whose major titles include the 2011 and 2017 Players Championships, led after every round and set a new average mark for highest qualifying average to make a stepladder final in a major averaging 244.57 for his 30 games.

“Today I was as focused as I could be which enabled me to put my foot on the pedal and continue to throw the best shots I could possibly throw,” Belmonte said. “If I didn’t strike, I wanted to make every spare. I didn’t want to take anything for granted.

“I’m in the best position I can be in to win,” he added. “Now I just need to continue to do the same thing I’ve done all week for one game and hopefully the rest will take care of itself.”

In the PBA Tournament of Champions, Belmonte made a run at his 10th major title but finished fourth in the finals at AMF Riviera Lanes in Fairlawn, Ohio on Feb. 11.

While Belmonte sits in the coveted top position for the finals, four challengers will be battling for the opportunity to meet him in the championship match.

Qualifying second for the finals and making his second consecutive television appearance after his runner-up finish in last week’s Go Bowling! PBA60 Anniversary Classic, was four-time Tour winner Marshall Kent (right) of Yakima, Wash. Kent finished 278 pins behind Belmonte with a 7,059 pinfall.

Making his first television appearance and qualifying third for the finals was Kris Prather (left) of Milton, Fla., who finished with a 6,995 pinfall for 30 games.

Patrick Girard (right) of Canada made his first TV finals appearance in 13 years and third overall to take the fourth qualifying position finishing with a 6,924 pinfall.

Two-time PBA Tour winner Tom Smallwood (left) of Saginaw, Mich., who began the tournament in 93rd after the first round battled all the way back to earn the fifth and final TV finals position with a 6,903 pinfall. The 2009 PBA World Championship winner doubled in the 10th frame of the final game of qualifying to make it into the finals.

The Players Championship qualifying rounds also determined 14 doubles team that will advance to Friday’s Mark Roth/Marshall Holman Doubles Championship presented by BowlerX.com final two Baker format qualifying rounds.

After Friday’s rounds the top five doubles teams will be determined for the taped ESPN telecast that will follow the Players Championship finals at 5 p.m. Fans will also be able to catch the doubles final live on ESPN3.

Belmonte and Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., also dominated the Doubles Championship after six rounds finishing with a combined 14,235 30-game total, almost 500 pins ahead of their nearest competitors. The pair will lead the 14 doubles teams that advanced to Friday’s final two Baker format qualifying rounds.

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From right: Jason Belmonte, Marshall Kent, Kristopher Prather, Patrick Girard and Tom Smallwood.

Barbasol PBA Players Championship – Sixth Round Standings

Players with position, hometown and 30-game total; top five players advance to live ESPN stepladder finals Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET.

1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 7,337
2, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 7,059
3, Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 6,995
4, Patrick Girard, Canada, 6,924
5, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 6,903

Missed Cut:
6, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 6,898, $8,000
7, Stuart Williams, England, 6,890, $7,000
8, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 6,875, $6,000
9, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 6,853, $5,500
10, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 6,847, $5,000
11, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 6,833, $4,500
12, Darren Tang, San Francisco, 6,832, $4,200
13, AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 6,823, $4,000
14, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 6,793, $3,600
15, Kyle Sherman, O’Fallon, Mo., 6,791, $3,400
16, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 6,783, $3,200
17, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 6,760, $3,000
18, Tim Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., 6,743, $2,800
19, Liz Johnson, Palatine, Ill., 6,737, $2,600
20, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 6,726, $2,400
21, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 6,719, $2,300
22, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 6,715, $2,200
23, Richie Teece, England, 6,709, $2,100
24, Dom Barrett, England, 6,697, $2,000
25, Cameron Weier, Tacoma, Wash., 6,691, $1,900
26, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 6,690, $1,800
27, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 6,684, $1,700
28, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 6,672, $1,600
29, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 6,667, $1,550
30, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 6,663, $1,500

Failed to cash:
31, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 6,658
32, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 6,640
33, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 6,634
34, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 6,626
35, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 6,621
36, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 6,616
37 (tie), Daniel Fransson, Sweden, and
Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 6,614
39, Matt O’Grady, Rahway, N.J., 6,602
40, Michael Tang, San Francisco, 6,597
41, Zacharay Wilkins, Canada, 6,581
42, Kim Bolleby, Thailand, 6,574
43, Ryan Lakota, Shorewood, Ill., 6,571
44, Brad Miller, Maryland Heights, Mo., 6,558
45 (tie), Andres Gomez, Colombia, and
Arturo Quintero, Mexico, 6,535
47, Matt Kuba, Chicago Ridge, Ill., 6,511
48, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 6,510
49, Yannaphon Larpapharat, Thailand, 6,509
50, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 6,508
51, Rhino Page, Orlando, 6,504
52, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 6,495
53, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 6,494
54, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 6,483
55 (tie), Matthew Ogle, Louisville, Ky., and
Sam Cooley, Australia, 6,482
57, Matt Sanders, Indianapolis, 6,480
58, David Haynes, Las Vegas, 6,479
59, Jason Sterner, Rockledge, Fla., 6,475
60, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 6,468
61, Pontus Andersson, Sweden, 6,448
62, Ray Teece, England, 6,439
63, Dino Castillo, Highland Village, Texas, 6,435
64, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 6,433
65, Kyle Cook, Centerville, Ohio, 6,431
66, Francois Louw, South Africa, 6,429
67, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 6,427
68, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 6,423
69, Chris Arcaro, Carolina Beach, N.C., 6,419
70, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 6,404
71, Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., 6,397
72, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 6,385
73, Markus Jansson, Sweden, 6,380
74, Kyle Bigelow, Troy, Ohio, 6,374
75 (tie), Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., and
Dave Wodka, Clarksville, Tenn., 6,372
77, Michael Schlabach, Goshen, Ind., 6,361
78, Zulmazran Zulkifli, Malaysia, 6,349
79, Tannya Roumimper, Indonesia, 6,333
80, Scott Newell, Deland, Fla., 6,307
81, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 6,288
82, Mitch Hupe, Towanda, Kan., 6,285
83, Ryan Ciminelli, Clarence, N.Y., 6,277
84, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 6,271
85, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 6,254
86, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 6,241
87, Charlie Brown Jr, Grandville, Mich., 6,240
88, Jeff Evans, Supply, N.C., 6,218
89, Matthew Staninger, Highland, Ind., 6,204
90, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 6,199
91, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 6,191
92, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 6,183
93, Dwight Adams, Greensboro, N.C., 6,175
94 (tie), Andrew Cain, Phoenix, and
Robert Mushtare, Carthage, N.Y., 6,172
96, Trey Ford III, Bartlesville, Okla., 6,170
97, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 6,146
98, Gabriel Garcia, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 6,128
99, Wayne Webb, Columbus, Ohio, 6,105
100, Napatra Buspanikonkul, Thailand, 6,104
101, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 6,099
102, Kyle King, Glendale, Ariz., 6,094
103, Kevin Kullman, Lockport, Ill., 6,089
104, Timothy Steria, Watertown, N.Y., 6,078, $100
105, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 6,070
106, Kristian Rogers, Salisbury, N.C., 6,059
107, Graham Fach, Canada, 6,054
108, Sandra Gongora, Mexico, 6,008
109, Christopher Sloan, Ireland, 6,000
110, Justin Wyman, Fairport, N.Y., 5,958
111, Russ Oviatt, Chandler, Ariz., 5,957
112, Andrew Klingler, Grand Rapids, Mich., 5,898
113, CJ Kirchner, Herrin, Ill., 5,740
114, Tristan Butler, Fort Wayne, Ind., 5,611
115, Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 5,595
116, Myles Duty, Modesto, Calif., 5,534
117, Matthew Ward, Fort Mohave, Ariz., 5,061
118, Jean Perez, Puerto Rico, withdrew
119, Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., withdrew
120, Eric Cottrell, Grove City, Ohio, withdrew

300 games (3) – Sean Rash, Brad Angelo, Tim Steria.

Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship – Sixth Round Standings

Players with position, hometown and 30-game total; top 14 teams advance to Baker format qualifying Friday

1, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa./Jason Belmonte, Australia, 14,235
2, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind./Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 13,743
3, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio/Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 13,653
4, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas/Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 13,543
5, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla./Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 13,520
6, Patrick Girard, Canada/Zacharay Wilkins, Canada, 13,505
7, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas/Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 13,445
8, Darren Tang, San Francisco/Michael Tang, San Francisco, 13,429
9, Dom Barrett, England/Osku Palermaa, Finland, 13,369
10, Francois Lavoie, Canada/Stuart Williams, England, 13,358
11, Brad Miller, Maryland Heights, Mo./Kyle Sherman, O’Fallon, Mo., 13,349
12, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas/Sam Cooley, Australia, 13,329
13, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio/Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 13,276
14, Dino Castillo, Highland Village, Texas/Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 13,268

15, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y./Liz Johnson, Palatine, Ill., 13,245
16, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y./Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 13,240
17, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa./Matt O’Grady, Rahway, N.J., 13,218
18, Daniel Fransson, Sweden/Kim Bolleby, Thailand, 13,188
19, Arturo Quintero, Mexico/Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 13,169
20, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo./Yannaphon Larpapharat, Thailand, 13,149
21, Ray Teece, England/Richie Teece, England, 13,148
22, Jesper Svensson, Sweden/Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 13,116
23, AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa/Mitch Hupe, Towanda, Kan., 13,108
24, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich./Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 13,102
25, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas/Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 13,048
26, Shota Kawazoe, Japan/Zulmazran Zulkifli, Malaysia, 13,039
27, Matthew Ogle, Louisville, Ky./Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 12,992
28, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill./Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 12,986
29, Andres Gomez, Colombia/Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 12,968
30, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y./Tim Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., 12,934
31, Matt Kuba, Chicago Ridge, IL/Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., 12,908
32, Justin Wyman, Fairport, N.Y./Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 12,833
33, Markus Jansson, Sweden/Pontus Andersson, Sweden, 12,828
34, Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan./Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 12,795
35, Jason Sterner, Rockledge, Fla./Scott Newell, Deland, Fla., 12,782
36, Rhino Page, Orlando/Ryan Ciminelli, Clarence, N.Y., 12,781
37, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C./Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 12,735
38, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia/Matt Sanders, Indianapolis, 12,734
39, Kevin Kullman, Lockport, Ill./Ryan Lakota, Shorewood, Ill., 12,660
40, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich./Jeff Evans, Supply, N.C., 12,645
41, Andrew Cain, Phoenix/Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 12,576
42, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y./Tannya Roumimper, Indonesia, 12,516
43, Chris Arcaro, Carolina Beach, N.C./Kristian Rogers, Salisbury, N.C., 12,478
44, Dave Wodka, Clarksville, Tenn. /Wayne Webb, Columbus, Ohio, 12,477
45, Christopher Sloan, Ireland/Francois Louw, South Africa, 12,429
46, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio/Graham Fach, Canada, 12,342
47, Gabriel Garcia, Port St. Lucie, Fla./Matthew Staninger, Highland, Ind., 12,332
48, Andrew Klingler, Grand Rapids, Mich./Charlie Brown Jr, Grandville, Mich., 12,138
49, Kyle King, Glendale, Ariz./Russ Oviatt, Chandler, Ariz., 12,051
50, Dwight Adams, Greensboro, N.C./Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 11,770

Herbert Bickel

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