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Canada’s Francois Lavoie wins PBA XF Greater Jonesboro Open


In a tournament that put a premium on spare shooting, Quebec City native Francois Lavoie threw an error-free game to upset top qualifier Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y., Sunday, 224-152, to win the PBA Xtra Frame Greater Jonesboro Open at Jonesboro Bowling Center in in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Lavoie (pictured right with the trophy), PBA’s 2016 Rookie of the Year and the 2016 U.S. Open champion, converted four spares and threw in a string of four strikes late in the game to knock off Ciminelli, who had otherwise dominated the event.

2017 Greater Jonesboro Open champion Francois Lavoie, center, with Jonesboro Bowling Center marketing manager Corrine Bell, Ritter Communications rep Casey Pearce, Ritter rep Paige Bobo and Jonesboro Bowling Center owner Stacey Blaxton (l-r).

Ciminelli (left), a 31-year-old left-hander, cruised to Saturday’s qualifying lead by out-averaging his closest competitor by nearly 25 pins per game. Despite slowing his scoring pace to an overall 223 average on Sunday, he qualified no. 1 for the four-man stepladder finals by 304 pins over England’s Stuart Williams.

But the title match was his downfall. After failing to convert the 3-7 split in the second frame, Ciminelli also failed to convert the 3-5-6-9 in the eighth frame and missed a 6 pin in the ninth.

“I reminded myself of what I do best, and that’s keep the ball in play,” Lavoie said. “I don’t strike as much as some of the guys out here, so I have to do what I do best.” In the title match, “I was just trying to fluff the ball and leave makeable spares,” he added. “I figured that would put me in a good position.”

It was the same philosophy that got Lavoie into the stepladder. He defeated Japan’s Shota Kawazoe in his final two matches, shooting 200 in game seven and 238 in the position round match to overtake Kawazoe and reigning PBA Player of the Year EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind. and to advance to the stepladder finals.

In the opening match, Lavoie broke open a tied match with Wes Malott (right) of Pflugerville, Texas, with three strikes, a spare and a double to win, 210-178.

He then struck on six of his first seven shots to eliminate Williams (left), 232-196, to advance to the title match. Lavoie won $12,500, his third PBA Tour title and 25 points in the PBA’s Xtra Frame Storm Cup points competition.

PBA’s Xtra Frame Storm Cup series continues next Saturday and Sunday with the PBA Xtra Frame Lubbock Sports Open at South Plains Lanes in Lubbock, Texas, where Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., is defending champion.

All of the Lubbock action will be streamed live on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel. For subscription and schedule information click here.

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2017 PBA Tour Schedule & Champions

PBA Xtra Frame Jonesboro Open – Stepladder Results

Jonesboro Bowling Center in Jonesboro, Ark., USA (June 2-4, 2017)

1, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 666 (3 games), $12,500
2, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 152 (1 game), $7,000
3, Stuart Williams, England, 196 (1 game), $4,000
4, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 178 (1 game), $2,500

Playoff Results:
First Match: No. 4 Lavoie def. No. 3 Malott, 210-178
Semifinal Match: Lavoie def. No. 2 Williams, 232-196
Championship: Lavoie def. No. 1 Ciminelli, 224-152

PBA XF Greater Jonesboro Open – Final Match Play Standings

Players with position, hometown and 21-game total, including match play bonus pins; top 4 advance to the stepladder finals; n-denotes non-member

1, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 4-4, 4,805
2, Stuart Williams, England, 5-3, 4,501
3, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 4-4, 4,500
4, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 5-2-1, 4,485

Missed Cut:
5, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 5-3, 4,427, $2,000
6, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 6-2, 4,414, $1,800
7, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 6-2, 4,391, $1,550
8, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 4-4, 4,332, $1,415
9, Dom Barrett, England, 4-4, 4,329, $1,350
10, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 4-4, 4,327, $1,300
11, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 3-5, 4,269, $1,250
12, Ryan Lakota, Shorewood, Ill., 3-4-1, 4,234, $1,200
13, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 2-6, 4,222, $1,150
14, n-Michael Tang, San Francisco, Calif., 3-5, 4,208, $1,100
15, Dino Castillo, Highland Village, Texas, 2-6, 4,177, $1,050
16, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 3-5, 4,112, $1,000

Other Cashers (after 13 games):
17, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 2,602, $780
18, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 2,592, $760
19, n-Kamron Doyle, Brentwood, Tenn., 2,590, $740
20, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 2,581, $720
21, James Watson, Austin, Texas, 2,571, $700
22, Curt Dupre IV, Destrehan, La., 2,569, $680
23, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 2,566, $670
24, Joe Findling, Mesquite, Texas, 2,547, $665
25, Mitch Beasley, Clarksville, Tenn., 2,544, $660
26, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 2,541, $650
27, Kyle Sherman, O’Fallon, Mo., 2,538, $645
28, Lucas Legnani, Argentina, 2,531, $640
29, Brad Miller, Maryland Heights, Mo., 2,524, $640
30, Jared Wolf, Lowell, Ark., 2,520, $635
31, Robert Lawrence, Austin, Texas, 2,519, $630
32, Jeff Evans, Supply, N.C., 2,516, $625
33, Jeff Hatt, Oklahoma City, 2,513, $620
34, Keven Williams, Springfield, Mo., 2,479, $615
35, n-David Krol, Branson, Mo., 2,462, $610.
36, Matthew Sanders, Evansville, Ind., 2,438, $605
37, David Krol, Nixa, Mo., 2,396, $600

Herbert Bickel

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