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Canadian Francois Lavoie tops PBA Wolf Open Qualifying


Canadian native Francois Lavoie, now living in Wichita, Kan., earned the top berth for the stepladder finals of the PBA Wolf Open Monday as the Professional Bowlers Association Fall Swing got underway at Thunderbowl Lanes in in Allen Park, Michigan.

From left to right, Francois Lavoie, Jason Belmonte, Chris Barnes, Tom Daugherty and Anthony Simonsen.

Lavoie, who starred with the Wichita State University bowling program, averaged 239.83 for his 12 qualifying games to claim the lead with a total of 2,878 pins, 76 ahead of Australia’s two-handed star Jason Belmonte.

The 24-year-old rookie, bowling in only his fourth PBA Tour event, will make his national television debut on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 9 p.m.

“It should be exciting. I’m looking forward to it,” Lavoie said. “I’m just drinking up all the experiences.”

After ranking third in the first eight games bowled earlier Monday in the main section of Thunderbowl Lanes, Lavoie dominated competition Monday night when the second six-game round was bowled in Thunderbowl’s historic arena bay, built in 1961 as a showcase for premier bowling competition.

“I think the surface on the lanes in the bay was a little different, so it played different than the main center,” Lavoie said, “but it was still fairly understandable if you were able to do the right thing with ball motion. And I was able to do that pretty well.”

Lavoie, who grew up in Quebec City, is living in Wichita on a temporary visa, but plans to apply for an athlete visa to stay here full-time.

“As long as I want to be a competitive bowler, I think I need to be in the U.S. and Wichita is pretty centrally located to a lot of competitive bowling. Plus it’s a great city,” he said.

Belmonte, the three-time reigning PBA Player of the Year, is trying for his 13th PBA Tour title, but first of the 2016 season. He qualified for his eight career PBA Summer/Fall Swing television final, one shy of Bill O’Neill’s record in the fourth annual multi-event program.

Eighteen-time PBA Tour champion Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, fired a 300 game earlier Monday to take the early lead but slipped to third place in the evening session. Barnes, 46, is seeking his first title on U.S. soil since winning the 2013 PBA Viper Open in Las Vegas. Barnes’ most recent titles were won in Qatar (2014) and Japan (2015).

Tom Daugherty of Riverview, Fla., qualified fourth and 19-year-old Texas two-hander Anthony Simonsen, a leading contender in the 2016 PBA Player of the Year race, slipped past Kris Prather of Milton, Fla., by six pins in the final game to clinch the fifth stepladder berth.

The Wolf Open stepladder finals will be conducted on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 11 a.m. for telecast on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 9 p.m. ET.

The first six games in the Wolf, Bear and Badger Opens count as the qualifying legs to determine the 18 players who will advance to the Detroit Open qualifying finals on Thursday.

2016PBAFallSwingLogoThe PBA Fall Swing continues Tuesday with two rounds of Bear Open qualifying at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by two rounds of Badger Open qualifying at the same times on on Wednesday.

All preliminary rounds of the Fall Swing are being covered live, exclusively on PBA’s online video streaming channel, Xtra Frame. For more information, click here.

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PBA Wolf Open – Final Qualifying Standings

Players with position, hometown and 12-game total; top five advance to stepladder finals Saturday, Sept. 10, at 11 a.m. ET; finals air on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 9 p.m. ET

1, Francois Lavoie, Wichita, Kan., 2,878
2, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 2,802
3, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 2,783
4, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 2,773
5, Anthony Simonsen, Princeton, Texas, 2,739

Missed Cut:
6, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., 2,733, $1,500
7, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 2,697, $1,300
8, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 2,685, $1,100
9, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 2,677, $900
10, Jason Sterner, Cocoa, Fla., 2,655, $800
11, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 2,591, $700
12, Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill., 2,549, $600

PBA Wolf Open – Qualifying Round One

Players with position, hometown and 6-game total; top 12 advance to the second round; n indicates non-member

1, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 1468
2, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 1460
3, Francois Lavoie, Wichita, Kan., 1445
4, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 1403
5, Jason Sterner, Cocoa, Fla., 1401
6, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 1400
7, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 1397
8, Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill., 1388
9, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 1384
10, Anthony Simonsen, Princeton, Texas, 1382
11, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., 1372
12, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 1370

Missed Cut:
13 (tie), Martin Larsen, Sweden, and Steven Arehart, Chesapeake, Va., 1,365
15, n-Carl Boldt, Pontiac, Mich., 1,364
16, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 1,362
17 (tie), Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., and Dylan Macon, Lubbock, Texas, 1,359
19 (tie), Jordan Klassen, Ontario, Canada, and J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 1,358
21 (tie), Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., and Jeff Evans, Supply, N.C., 1,356
23, Ronnie Sparks Jr., Ecorse, Mich., 1,355
24, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 1,354
25, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 1,352
26, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 1,344
27, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 1,342
28, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 1,337
29, n-Matthew Sanders, Evansville, Ind., 1,336
30 (tie), John Furey, Freehold, N.J.; Osku Palermaa, Finland, and Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 1,332
33, Joe Bailey, Wooster, Ohio, 1,330
34, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 1,327
35, Cameron Weier, Tacoma, Wash., 1,325
36, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 1,319
37, Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 1,318
38, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 1,317
39, Sam Cooley, Australia, 1,314
40, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 1,312
41 (tie), n-Mason Brantley, Detroit; Chris Arcaro, Wilmington, N.C., and Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 1,311
44, Kim Bolleby, Thailand, 1,310
45, Dave Wodka, Beavercreek, Ohio, 1,308
46, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla., 1,307
47, Graham Fach, Ontario, Canada, 1,305
48 (tie), D.J. Archer, Friendswood, Texas, and Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 1,304
50, Myles Duty, Modesto, Calif., 1,299
51, Darren Tang, San Francisco, Calif., 1,292
52, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 1,290
53, Aaron Lorincz, Belleville, Mich., 1,289
54 (tie), Dom Barrett, England, and Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 1,288
56, Brett Cunningham, Clay, N.Y., 1,276
57, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 1,275
58, Jakob Butturff, Chandler, Ariz., 1,273
59, n-Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 1,271
60, Patrick Allen, Mt. Kisco, N.Y., 1,268
61, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 1,266
62, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 1,265
63, Brad Miller, Maryland Hts, Mo., 1,262
64, Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., 1,260
65, Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., 1,253
66, A.J. Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 1,252
67, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 1,250
68 (tie), Rocio Restrepo, Colombia, and Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 1,247
70 (tie), Carleton Chambers, Detroit; Jason Miller, Houston, and Jon Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., 1,245
73, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y., 1,238
74 (tie), E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., and Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 1,224
76 (tie), Anthony Colosimo, Davie, Fla.; Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., and Maria Rodriguez, Pflugerville, Texas, 1,219
79, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 1,215
80, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 1,213
81, n-Christopher Lemmon, Canada, 1,212
82, Austin Hunt, Kennewick, Wash., 1,210
83, Andrew Graff, Las Vegas, 1,205
84 (tie), n-Charles Zelechowski, Warren, Mich., and Lonnie Jones, Ypsilanti, Mich., 1,203
86, Liz Kuhlkin, Rotterdam, N.Y., 1,198
87 (tie), Johnathan Bower, Middletown, Pa., and Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 1,194
89, Mike Williams II, Montgomery, Ala., 1,192
90, Carey Bock, Canada, 1,182
91, Matt Bollhalter, Niceville, Fla., 1,165
92, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 1,164
93, Zachary Dwyer, Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., 1,159
94, Ben Zakrocki, Philadelphia, 1,139
95, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 1,125
96 (tie), Zachary Seals, Kingsland, Ga.; Perry Crowell IV, Hoquiam, Wash., and n-Steve Jacobs, Belleville, Mich., 1,119
99, Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 1,112
100, Ward Rauch, Cheboygan, Mich, 1,097
101, n-Kurry Crayton, Birmingham, Ala., 1,082
102, Brian Gunn, Chicago, 1,077
103, Monty Wonnacott, Livonia, Mich., 1,067
104 (tie), Ervin Raines, New Cummberland, Pa., and D.J. Rose, Ypsilanti, Mich., 1,065
106, Matthew Wozney, Clayton, Del., 1,030
107, Jeremiah Bryant, Taylor, Mich., 1,029
108, Daniel Hochstein, Farmington Hills, Mich., 1,021
109, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 1,016

300 games (6) – Jason Belmonte, Jason Sterner, Bill O’Neill, Francois Lavoie, Chris Barnes, Martin Larsen.

Herbert Bickel

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