Rhino Page takes Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions lead into final round


    2015 PBA Tour #5

    Final 8 games of match play Friday night to decide Sunday's ESPN stepladder finalists

    2014PBARhinoPage.jpg2014PBAJasonBelmonte.jpgRhino Page (pictured left) of Dade City, Fla., again held off his challengers to take a 137–pin lead over defending champion Jason Belmonte (right) of Australia into Friday night's final round of match play in the 50th anniversary Barbasol Professional Bowlers Association Tournament of Champions.

    Page, who is hoping to win the Tournament of Champions title that evaded him in 2009, has won 11 of his first 16 matches and tied another, averaging 245.23 for 40 games for a 10,154 pinfall total. He has led the tournament since the opening round.

    201213PBAPatrickAllen.jpg2014PBAScottNorton2.jpgBelmonte, who has been lurking in the shadows the entire tournament, closed his Friday morning round with a 300 game to move into second place with 10,017 pins, 87 pins ahead of 2009 TOC winner Patrick Allen (left) of Wesley Chapel, Fla. Scott Norton (right) of Mission Viejo, Calif., was fourth with 9,917 pins and Bill O'Neill of Langhorne, Pa., held the fifth spot for Sunday's ESPN finals with 9,833 pins, six ahead of Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y.

    "It's a good thing I'm not watching the rearview mirror," Page said. "The lanes were a little different today. I struggled the first three games, and luckily won a couple of them. If I'd been watching in the rearview mirror, panic might have set in. But once I got a good read, I got more comfortable and got things back under control."

    Not only is the two-handed Belmonte, the two-time reigning PBA Player of the Year, not on Page's heels, but so is Allen, who won the 2009 TOC title over Page, 267-263, when Page made an errant shot in the 10th frame, knocking down four pins to hand Allen the title. A rematch with Allen in the title match here is a possibility.

    "I have not given a single thought to a repeat match with (Allen)," Page said. "When you've got a guy like Belmo chasing you – he's the best there is right now and he made a big move this afternoon – it's hard to think about a rematch with P.A."

    Belmonte, who won the United States Bowling Congress Masters for a record third consecutive time last Sunday, is trying for his fifth major title in three years. He also has a chance to become the first player to win both the Masters and Tournament of Champions back-to-back.

    The final eight games of match play begin at 5 p.m. ET today with at least 10 players in contention for the five stepladder finals berths. After 48 games, the top five will advance to Sunday's live ESPN finals where they will compete for the $50,000 first prize and the second major title of the 2015 season at 1 p.m. ET.

    Friday's final round will be covered live on PBA's Xtra Frame online video streaming channel.


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    50th PBA Tournament of Champions - Match Play Round 2 (Fifth round overall)

    Players with position, hometown, won-lost-tie record and 40-game total including match play bonus pins (30 pins per win, 15 for a tie)

    201550thTOCLogo.jpg 1, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 11-4-1, 10,154
    2, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 9-7, 10,017
    3, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 11-5, 9,930
    4, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., 11-5, 9,917
    5, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 7-9, 9,833
    6, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 7-8-1, 9,827
    7, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 9-7, 9,789
    8, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 10-6, 9,776
    9, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 10-6, 9,767
    10, Dom Barrett, England, 8-8, 9,705
    11, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 12-3-1, 9,699
    12, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, New York, 8-7-1, 9,657
    13, D.J. Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 9-7, 9,635
    14, Dan MacLelland, Canada, 8-8, 9,628
    15, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 10-6, 9,519
    16, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 5-11, 9,517
    17, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 8-7-1, 9,440
    18, Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 5-11, 9,335
    19, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 7-9, 9,302
    20, J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 5-11, 9,258
    21, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 4-11-1, 9,257
    22, Mike Fagan, Fort Worth, Texas, 7-9, 9,170
    23, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 6-10, 9,153
    24, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 2-14, 9,094

    300 Games (20) - Fifth Round: Jason Belmonte, Patrick Allen, Dan MacLelland. Fourth Round: Dom Barrett (2), Chris Barnes, DJ Archer. Third Round: Chris Barnes, Anthony LaCaze, Sean Rash, Stuart Williams, Dennis Horan Jr., Steven Arehart. Second Round: Kyle Troup, Chad Lusche. First Round: Brian Voss, Dom Barrett, Scott Norton, Travis Celmer, Lonnie Waliczek.