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Josh Blanchard wins third title in PBA XF Reality Check Classic

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Josh Blanchard of Mesa, Ariz., breezed through all three of his stepladder matches to win the PBA Xtra Frame Reality Check Classic Sunday at Sawgrass Lanes for his third career PBA Tour title.

Streamed live on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame, Blanchard beat former McKendree University collegiate star and finals top seed AJ Johnson (right) of Oswego, Ill., 232-204, in the title match for his first title of the season and first in two years. For Johnson, it was his third career runner-up finish.

“It feels unbelievable,” said Blanchard (pictured above with Aimee and their daughter), who won his last title in the 2015 PBA Xtra Frame Maine Shootout. “Sometimes you doubt yourself but I have a lot of support from my family, friends and fans so I think it was just a matter of time before I could bring home another win.”

By winning, Blanchard also takes the early lead in the Storm Cup points race which will award $50,000 in bonus prize money at the end of the season. All eight Storm Cup events are streamed live on Xtra Frame.

Needing a strike on the first ball of the 10th frame to win the semifinal match, Blanchard struck out to beat four-time Tour winner Dom Barrett (left) of England, 279-258, to advance to the title match.

In the opening match, Blanchard, who was the No. 3 seed, beat two-hander Shawn Maldonado (right) of Houston, who was trying for his first Tour win, 236-175.

Upcoming Storm Cup Xtra Frame events this season will include stops in North Carolina, Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia and Delaware before its final event in Coldwater, Ohio, in late August.

The next stop for the Xtra Frame Storm Cup series will be the Xtra Frame Wilmington Open in Wilmington, N.C., May 26-29.

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Standings after the first event

1. Josh Blanchard, 25
2. AJ Johnson, 19
3. Dom Barrett, 18
4. Shawn Maldonado, 17
5. Dick Allen, 16
6. Ildemaro Ruiz, 15
7. Tom Daugherty, 14
8. Chris Spoo, 13
9. Walter Ray Williams Jr., 12
10. Jeff Piroozshad, 11
11. Chris Loschetter, 10
12. Cristian Azcona, 9
13. Ryan Ciminelli, 7
14. Michael Azcarate, 5
15. DJ Archer, 4
16. Arturo Quintero, 3
17. Brad Miller, 2
18. Darren Tang, 1

PBA Xtra Frame Reality Check Classic – Stepladder Finals

Sawgrass Lanes in Tamarac, Fla., United States (March 17-19, 2017)

Championship Round:
1, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 747 (3 games), $10,000
2, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 204 (1 game), $5,500
3, Dom Barrett, England, 258 (1 game), $3,000
4, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 175 (1 game), $2,000

Playoff Results:
First Match: No. 3 Blanchard def. No. 4 Maldonado, 236-175
Semifinal Match: Blanchard def. No. 2 Barrett, 279-258
Championship Match: Blanchard def. No. 1 Johnson, 232-204.

Final Qualifying Standings (after 17 games, top 4 advanced to stepladder finals):

PBA Xtra Frame Reality Check Classic – Final Qualifying Standings

Players with position, hometown and 17-game total; top 4 advance to stepladder finals; n-denotes non-member,w-denotes woman.

1, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 4,128
2, Dom Barrett, England, 4,053
3, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz, 4,012
4, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 3,994

5, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 3,957, $1,750
6, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 3,926, $1,500
7, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 3,902, $1,400
8, Chris Spoo, Boynton Beach, Fla., 3,864, $1,300

Other Round of 16 Cashers (after 15 games):
9, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 3,462, $1,250
10, Jeff Piroozshad, Coral Springs, Fla., 3,429, $1,200
11, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 3,414, $1,150
12, Cristian Azcona, Lake Wales, Fla., 3,409, $1,100
13, n-Gabriel Garcia, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 3,401, $1,075
14, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 3,395, $1,050.
15, n-Greg Young, Viera, Fla., 3,360, $1,025
16, Michael Azcarate, Coral Springs, Fla., 3,325, $1,000

Other Cashers (after 12 games):
17, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 2,671, $700
18, Arturo Quintero, Mexico, 2,669, $700
19, Brad Miller, Maryland Heights, Mo., 2,661, $700
20, Darren Tang, San Francisco, 2,656, $700
21, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 2,654, $700
22, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 2,644, $700
23, n-Ramon Hilferink, Netherlands, 2,633, $700
24, Trevor Roberts, Crystal River, Fla., 2,631, $700
25, n-Sean Riccardi, St. Petersburg, Fla., 2,621, $700
26, Dwight Adams, Greensboro, N.C., 2,615, $675
27, Mike Williams II, Montgomery, Ala., 2,610, $675
28, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 2,600, $675
29, n-Thomas Bosquez Jr., Springhill, Fla., 2,598, $675
30, n-Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 2,597, $675
31, (tie) n-Reggie Pierson, Miami, Fla., 2,594, and Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 2,594, $675
33, Jeff Evans, Supply, N.C., 2,586, $675
34, (tie) EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 2,584, and n-Matt Russo, Millstone Township, N.J., 2,584, $663
36, Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., 2,567, $650
37, w-Daria Pajak, Poland, 2,563, $650
38, (tie) n-Sebastian Charry, Colombia, 2,561, and n-Danny Battles, Zephyrhills, Fla., 2,561, $650
40, n-Vince Grudinsky Jr., Jupiter, Fla., 2,541, $650
41, Cody Mullis, Homosassa, Fla., 2,537, $650
42, n-Kristijonas Sergejevas, Lake Wales, Fla., 2,536, $650
43, Ralph Brunt Jr., Jensen Beach, Fla., 2,526, $650
44, Mike Moore, Orlando, Fla., 2,515, $625
45, n-Daniel Vasquez, Colombia, 2,512, $625
46, n-John Janawicz, Winter Haven, Fla., 2,511, $625
47, (tie) Anthony DeStasio, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 2,505, n-Wyatt Smith, Cape Coral, Fla., 2,505, and n-Giorgio Clinaz Jr., Orlando, Fla., 2,505, $625
50, n-Shawn Naumann, Orlando, Fla., 2,504, $625
51, n-Andraunick Simounet, Lake Wales, Fla., 2,503, $625
52, Kristian Sieradzki, Seminole, Fla., 2,502, $625
53, w-n-Taylor Bulthuis, Coral Springs, Fla., 2,482, $600
54, (tie) n-Anthony Veney, San Antonio, Texas, 2,481, and n-Joe Barna, Stuart, Fla., 2,481, $600.
56, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 2,476, $600
57, Zachary Dwyer, Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., 2,464, $600
58, Zachary Seals, Kingsland, Ga., 2,461, $600
59, (tie) Carlos Tobon, Plantation, Fla., 2,456, and n-Jason Ferrill, Venice, Fla., 2,456, $600
61, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 2,448, $600
62, n-James Campbell, Clearwater, Fla., 2,370, $600

Author: Herbert Bickel
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