Pictured above from left: EJ Tackett, Brandon Novak, Jason Belmonte and Shawn Maldonado.
Bowling on the 42-foot PBA Scorpion lane oil pattern, the three-time PBA Player of the Year also made his 18th career WSOB telecast by beating rookie Raymond Lussier of Canada, 2-0 (235-189, 276-237).
Belmonte, who also qualified second for the PBA World Championship finals earlier in WSOB IX, added to his PBA major win total earlier this season with wins in the Barbasol PBA Players Championship and 2017 United States Bowling Congress Masters.
The Scorpion Championship finals will be taped Saturday by ESPN at 6 p.m. PT at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada, and live streamed on ESPN3. The finals will air on ESPN Dec. 24 at 2 p.m. ET.
In addition to being part of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Resorts Properties, the Scorpion Championship is also part of the 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule.
Defending PBA Player of the Year EJ Tackett (left) of Huntington, Ind., made his first WSOB IX finals appearance by beating qualifying leader Arturo Quintero of Mexico 2-1 (220-157, 188-247, 205-176). Tackett, an eight-time Tour winner, will be trying for his third Tour win of the season.
Brandon Novak (right) of Chillicothe, Ohio, made his second consecutive Scorpion Championship finals appearance by beating Matt McNiel of Minneapolis, Minn., 2-1 (199-205, 279-237, 223-196). In 2016 Novak finished fourth in the WSOB Scorpion Championship.
All animal pattern championship ESPN finals telecasts (Chameleon, Shark, Cheetah and Scorpion) will use a format where the four finalists simultaneously bowl one game on the same pair of lanes with the top two scorers advancing to a head-to-head final match.
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World Bowling Tour Men’s Finals field set, order of matches pending
Jesper Svensson earns top qualifier honors for PBA World Championship finals
Jesper Svensson takes commanding PBA World Championship
Mexico’s Arturo Quintero leads PBA Scorpion Championship qualifying
Denmark’s Thomas Larsen leads PBA Cheetah Championship qualifying
Japan’s Shota Kawazoe leads PBA Shark Championship qualifying
Tom Smallwood averages 243.9 to lead PBA Chameleon Championship qualifying
PBA returns to Reno for GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX
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2017 PBA Tour Schedule & Champions
Best-of-five games, winners advance to round of 8, losers earn $1,200.
Arturo Quintero, Mexico, def. Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 3-2
(228-219, 171-216, 219-214, 206-267, 236-223)
Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, def. Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., 3-2
(213-225, 213-193, 258-227, 208-236, 265-235)
Jason Belmonte, Australia, def. Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3-1
(247-223, 206-235, 248-230, 238-220)
Shawn Maldonado, Houston, def. BJ Moore III, Greensburg, Pa., 3-1
(289-224, 246-239, 187-248, 290-231)
Dom Barrett, England, def. Kyle Sherman, O’Fallon, Mo., 3-1
(246-247, 221-198, 247-214, 212-204)
Raymond Lussier, Canada, def. Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 3-1
(234-226, 225-224, 218-223, 257-190)
Matthew McNiel, Minneapolis, Minn., def. Brian LeClair, Albany, N.Y., 3-2
(234-174, 186-189, 200-211, 216-161, 247-201)
EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., def. Stuart Williams, England, 3-0
(247-237, 254-219, 235-211)
Best-of-three games, winners advance to ESPN-taped finals Saturday at 6 p.m. PT. ESPN telecast Dec. 24 at 2 p.m. ET. Losers earn $2,000.
Tackett def. Quintero, 2-1
(220-157, 188-247, 205-176)
Novak def. McNiel, 2-1
(199-205, 279-237, 223-196)
Belmonte def. Lussier, 2-0
Maldonado def. Barrett, 2-0
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