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EJ Tackett earns second consecutive top qualifier berth at PBA World Championship


For the second year in a row, EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., captured the top qualifying position for the stepladder finals of the PBA World Championship after the conclusion of match play Monday at the National Bowling Stadium.

The picture above shows the finalists of the 2016 PBA World Championship. From left, E.J. Tackett, Dom Barrett, Jason Belmonte, Tom Smallwood and Anthony Simonsen.

2016PBAEJTackettTackett (left), who finished second in last year’s World Championship after losing to winner Gary Faulkner Jr., 215-202 in the title match, compiled a 12-12 match play record and 62-game 14,747 overall pinfall total, including bonus pins, to lead No. 2 qualifier 2013 World Championship winner Dom Barrett of England who finished with a 14,616 pinfall and 17-7 match play record.

Tackett, Barrett, Jason Belmonte of Australia, 2009 World Championship winner Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., and Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas will return for the live World Championship ESPN stepladder finals Sunday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT).

The World Championship is the fifth and final major championship of the PBA’s 2016 season.

Tackett, who won the PBA Xtra Frame Storm Open, PBA Bear Open and PBA Team Challenge titles earlier this season, could only manage a 3-5 record in Monday’s final match play round with games of 257, 247, 245, 237, 255, 235, 217 and 236 but it was enough to hold on to the tournament lead.

Overall for the tournament, which was conducted on five different PBA lane conditions – Cheetah, Chameleon, Scorpion, Shark and World Championship – Tackett averaged 232.05.

“My match play record didn’t show it but I bowled really well,” said Tackett, who was the 2013 PBA Rookie of the Year. “Bowling this format isn’t necessarily the toughest as far as scoring but it’s definitely the toughest physically as far as I’m concerned. I can’t say I knew I could get to this point again, but this year I really came in with more confidence. You just never know until you get here.”

As top qualifier for the stepladder finals Tackett will have to bowl only one game for the title.

“With a finals field of players made up of proven winners, especially in majors, it won’t be easy,” Tackett added. “After the year I’ve had so far I’m hoping the boost of confidence will help me get it done this time. All I can do is give it my best.”

2016PBADomBarrettBarrett (left), also a four-time Tour winner, will be trying for his first win of the season and his first Tour title since winning the 2014 Qatar Open.

2016PBAJasonBelmonteBelmonte, a 12-time Tour winner that includes six majors, earned the No. 3 qualifying position with a 14,544 pinfall total and 13-10-1 match play record. The three-time reigning Player of the Year will be trying for his first World Championship title and first win of the season.

2016PBATomSmallwoodSmallwood (left), the No. 4 qualifier, finished with a 14,443 pinfall total and 16-6-2 record. He will be trying for his third Tour title with his last coming in the 2013 Scorpion Championship.

2016PBAAnthonySimonsenSimonsen (right) finished with a 14,411 pinfall total and 14-10 match play record and held on to the No. 5 qualifying position with a 287-254 win in the final position round match against Mitch Beasley of Clarksville, Tenn.

Simonsen, who will be trying for his third career Tour title, made PBA Tour history in February when he won the USBC Masters becoming the youngest to win a major at age 19 years and 39 days.

Tickets are still available for the World Championship finals which will be available at the door or in advance by ordering on pba.com.

2016PBAWSOBVIIILogoThe GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VIII presented by Silver Legacy Resort & Casino returns to action Tuesday with best-of-five-single elimination match play rounds of the Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game and the Chameleon Championship presented by HotelPlanner.com.

All qualifying and match play rounds of the WSOB are being covered live, exclusively by PBA’s online video streaming service, Xtra Frame. For more information, click here.

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PBA World Championship – Match Play Standings

Players with position, hometown, match play record and 62-game total, including match play bonus pins; top 5 advance to live ESPN-televised finals Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, 10 a.m. PT; places 6-24 show earnings.

1, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 12-12, 14,747
2, Dom Barrett, England, 17-7, 14,616
3, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 13-10-1, 14,554
4, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 16-6-2, 14,443
5, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 14-10-0, 14,411

Missed Cut:
6, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 14-10, 14,356, $11,000
7, Mitch Beasley, Clarksville, Tenn., 10-14, 14,347, $10,100
8, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 11-12-1, 14,307, $9,100
9, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 12-12, 14,259, $8,600
10, B.J. Moore III, Greensburg, Pa., 13-11-0, 14,258, $8,000
11, Matthew McNiel, Minneapolis, Minn., 14-10, 14,213, $7,500
12, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 14-10, 14,120, $7,000
13, Patrick Girard, Canada, 14-10, 14,112, $6,500
14, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 13-11, 14,109, $6,100
15, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 8-16, 14,095, $5,700
16, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 10-13-1, 14,059, $5,400
17, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 12-12, 14,043, $5,300
18, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 10-14, 14,004, $5,000
19, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 13-11, 13,962, $4,800
20, Sam Cooley, Australia, 8-15-1, 13,931, $4,600
21, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., 10-14, 13,900, $4,400
22, Arturo Quintero, Mexico, 8-14-2, 13,864, $4,200
23, Matthew O’Grady, South Amboy, N.J., 9-15, 13,756, $4,200
24, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 8-14-2, 13,550, $4,000

PBA World Championship – Round Six Standings

Players with position, hometown, match play record and 54-game total, including match play bonus pins

1, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 9-7, 12,728
2, Dom Barrett, England, 11-5, 12,511
3, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 11-5, 12,502
4, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 13-3, 12,480
5, Mitch Beasley, Clarksville, Tenn., 7-9, 12,455
6, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 9-7, 12,415
7, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 10-6, 12,398
8, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 7-8-1, 12,371
9, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 7-9, 12,349
10, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 7-9, 12,335
11, Matthew McNiel, Minneapolis, Minn., 9-7, 12,305
12, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 8-7-1, 12,285
13, B.J. Moore III, Greensburg, Pa., 8-8, 12,274
14, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 9-7, 12,250
15, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 10-6, 12,171
16, Matthew O’Grady, South Amboy, N.J., 7-9, 12,135
17, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 5-11, 12,096
18, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 7-9, 12,091
19, Arturo Quintero, Mexico, 6-9-1, 12,079
20, Sam Cooley, Australia, 5-10-1, 12,062
20, Patrick Girard, Canada, 8-8, 12,062
22, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 7-9, 12,017
23, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., 5-11, 11,921
24, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 5-11, 11,789

Herbert Bickel

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