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Eight berths at stake for end-of-season PBA Clash

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The Professional Bowlers Association Clash, which will air on FOX on Sunday, Dec. 23 to usher in the PBA’s historic 2019 television agreement with FOX Sports, will be a unique end-of-season “eliminator” event, showcasing the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s eight earnings leaders.

The PBA Clash will showcase eight of the PBA’s premier stars who will qualify for the event based on total earnings in 2018, including prize money yet-to-be-won in the WBT Thailand in Bangkok Sept. 22-28; the FloBowling PBA Fall Swing (including the Wolf Open, Bear Open and Tulsa Open) at The Lanes at Coffee Creek in suburban Tulsa, Okla., Oct. 15-20, and U.S. Open at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan., Oct. 24-31.

After last week’s Storm Lucky Larsen Masters in Sweden, the eight earnings leaders were Jason Belmonte, Anthony Simonsen, Dom Barrett, Andrew Anderson, EJ Tackett, Marshall Kent, Kyle Troup and Jakob Butturff.

Close behind were Bill O’Neill, Tom Smallwood, Matt O’Grady and Jesper Svensson. There is ample room for PBA members to make big moves in the final five events, just like Troup, the Lucky Larsen Masters winner, did when he earned a $16,385 first prize to move into the top eight.

The Clash will feature a unique format beginning with all eight players bowling a ninth and 10th frame. Based on total pinfall for the two-frame round, the low score will be eliminated. Starting with the second round, competition will shift to a one-ball, low-man-out format until two survivors remain. The last two survivors will bowl a traditional game to decide the PBA Clash winner-take-all prize is $25,000.

The 90-minute telecast will include biographical profiles of the eight Clash players, and it will include the announcements of the 2018 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year and Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year.

The Clash also will include a preview of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule of 30 telecasts on FOX and FS1, resulting in 60 hours of national television coverage in 2019 – twice as many hours as last year. The 10 hours of live broadcast network coverage on FOX is the most for bowling in 20 years. Combined with FS1 telecasts, the PBA will bring its fans 38 hours of live TV, almost five times as much as 2018.

The final PBA International-World Bowling Tour event of 2018 will be the WBT Thailand at Blu-O Rhythm & Bowl Paragon in Bangkok, offering a $32,250 first prize. PBA fans can follow the Thailand tournament online through the Asian Bowling Federation’s website. Thai native Yannaphon Larp-apharat is the defending champion.

The FloBowling PBA Fall Swing will include the two-day Wolf Open (Oct. 15-16), two-day Bear Open (Oct. 17-18) and the two-day Tulsa Open (Oct. 19-20). The Tulsa Open will be an 18-game round robin match play event for the top 18 qualifiers based on combined 24-game pinfall totals after the Wolf and Bear rounds (12 games in each).

PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling will cover all three events, live from first ball to last. First prize in the Wolf and Bear Opens will be $10,000. The winner of the Tulsa Open will earn $30,000.

The final qualifying event for the PBA Clash will be the 2018 season’s final major championship, the U.S. Open. CBS Sports Network will air the finals live on Wednesday, Oct. 31. The U.S. Open will offer a $30,000 first prize.

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Herbert Bickel

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