Two-handers Palermaa, Belmonte lead TOC field of 24 into round robin match play


    2012-13 PBA Tour #12


    Finland's Osku Palermaa (pictured left) and Australia's Jason Belmonte (right), the top two-handed bowlers in the world, led the field of 24 finalists into the opening round of match play in the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions Thursday at Woodland Bowl.

    Palermaa, a three-time PBA Tour champion and winner of the 2011 PBA World Championship, averaged 244.88 for his 24 qualifying games, finishing with a total of 5,877 pins to lead Belmonte by 146 pins.

    201213PBAL04PeteWeber.jpgBelmonte, who entered the final qualifying round in eighth place, averaged 265.87 for his first seven games in round three before finishing with a 169 game, but he held onto second place with a 5,731 total, 15 pins ahead of Pete Weber (left) of St. Ann, Mo.

    "I felt tired this morning, but I started well anyway," Palermaa said. "I left a 7-10 split in my first frame and converted it, and that's the way it started. To be honest, I've probably converted the 7-10 more times than I have bowled 300 games - and I have a few of those – but it was a good way to start the day.

    201213PBA06SeanRash.jpg201213PBAStuartWilliams.jpg"Scores were high today, but I made the right guesses," Palermaa continued. "I felt like I bowled better physically yesterday, but I scored better today. Yesterday I made the right moves, but I didn't make big enough moves. Today the moves were smaller, but I made them pair to pair and I stayed right on top of things."

    Weber, who is trying for a record-tying 10th major championship, had 5,716 pins for third place. He was followed by reigning PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash (left) in fourth with a 5,599 total and Stuart Williams (right) of England with 5,570 pins.

    201213PBAWalterRayWilliams.jpgAll-time PBA titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. (right) of Ocala, Fla., kept his hopes for a 48th title alive, advancing to match play in 19th place. Williams needs to win the Tournament of Champions to become the eighth player to complete the PBA Triple Crown (Tournament of Champions, U.S. Open and PBA World Championship) and the third to complete the Grand Slam (Triple Crown plus USBC Masters).

    2013BarbasolTOALogo_small.jpg The Tournament of Champions continues Thursday night when the top 24 players bowl the first of three eight-game round of match play. The final two match play rounds will be held Friday at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. After 48 games, the top five players will advance to Sunday's live ESPN stepladder finals at 2:30 p.m. ET.

    All match play rounds of the Tournament of Champions (and the PBA Hall of Fame induction ceremonies Saturday night) will be covered live, exclusively on PBA's online bowling channel, Xtra Frame.


    Related Articles

    Pete Weber charges into second round lead in PBA Tournament of Champions
    Scott Norton averages 252 for first round lead in Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions
    Russell's dramatic victory in Germany finalizes Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions field
    2012 Tournament of Champions was more than a major title for Sean Rash
    PBA Tournament of Champions comes full circle
    Barbasol to sponsor PBA Tournament of Champions
    2012-13 PBA Tour Schedule & Champions


    Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions - Standings after Round Three

    Players with position, hometown and 24-game total; the top 24 advance to round robin match play.

    300 Games: (5) Mike Scroggins, Scott Norton, Scott Newell (Round One); Pete Weber (Round Two); Jason Belmonte.