Sweden’s Jesper Svensson
, Australia’s Jason Belmonte
and Marshall Kent
of Yakima, Wash., have clinched berths in Sunday’s World Bowling Tour Men’s Finals
, presented by the PBA.
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 (pictured above), 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 (right). 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, Svensson (left) 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 (right) was fifth (236.3 average), No. 4 Kyle Troup was 35th (224.2 average) and No. 5 Matt Sanders (left) 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 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).
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