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Jason Belmonte rises to the top in Barbasol PBA Players Championship


Trying to end a two-year drought without a Professional Bowlers Association Tour title, three-time PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte of Australia put together a solid second round to move into the Barbasol PBA Players Championship lead Wednesday at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in Columbus, Ohio.

Playing an extreme inside line, Belmonte (pictured above) finished the day with a 3,739 16-game overall pinfall total (233.6 average) bowling games of 245, 259, 248, 202, 220, 268, 200 and 257 in Wednesday’s second round.

“I was kind of on autopilot today,” said Belmonte. “I was able to migrate pretty far inside, which is where I like to play. Because not that many players play that far left on the lane, for me, it’s kind of like bowling on a fresh condition every time we move to another pair.

“I really wanted to get off to a good start because when you bowl the longer format tournaments you can’t always rely on the big game,” the 12-time Tour titlist added. “It was a good consistent round and I avoided the real bad game.”

Belmonte’s last title came when he won his second consecutive Tournament of Champions in February 2015. He is trying for his seventh major title having won three consecutive USBC Masters (2013, ’14, ’15) in addition to his 2011 Players Championship title.

“I had a lot of expectations last year and because of that I took my focus off the prize,” said Belmonte who earned three consecutive Player of the Year crowns which came in 2013, 2014 and 2015. “I admit I put pressure on myself and I let it get to me. The goal shouldn’t be the award at the end of the season but winning the tournament you’re bowling in.”

Former Wichita State standout and Team USA member AJ Chapman (left) retained his position in second just six pins behind Belmonte finishing with a 3,733 pinfall. Four-time Tour winner Ronnie Russell of Marion, Ind., who led after the first round, dropped to third with a 3,709 pinfall after finishing with games of 189 and 169 in the second round.

Rounding out the top 5 were Brad Miller, Maryland Heights, Mo., in fourth place with 3,698 and DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, in fifth place with 3,672 who were followed by Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., in sixth place with 3,666.

Defending champion Graham Fach (right) moved from 10th to seventh after the second round finishing with a 3,623 pinfall with the help of a 300 game in his second round. Fach became the first Canadian to win a PBA Tour title when he won last year’s Players Championship.

Competition continues with another eight-game qualifying round Thursday. After Thursday’s round the field will be cut to 24 players who will bowl another eight-game round Friday morning that will determine the top 16 players who will advance to the final eight-game round Friday afternoon. After Friday’s final round, the top five players will advance to the live stepladder finals Sunday on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET.

All qualifying rounds are covered live on PBA’s Xtra Frame online video streaming service. For subscription information, click here.

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Barbasol PBA Players Championship – Second Round Standings

Players with position, hometown and 16-game total

1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 3,739
2, AJ Chapman, Wichita, Kan., 3,733
3, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 3,709
4, Brad Miller, Maryland Heights,, Mo., 3,698
5, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 3,672
6, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 3,666
7, Graham Fach, Canada, 3,623
8, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 3,616
9, Jeff Evans, Supply, N.C., 3,605
10, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 3,597
11, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 3,593
12, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3,580
13, Jason Sterner, Rockledge, Fla., 3,577
14, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 3,573
15, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 3,566
16, Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill., 3,555
17, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 3,554
18, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 3,550
19, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 3,544
20, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 3,543
21, (tie) Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., and Darren Tang, San Francisco, 3,529
23, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 3,523
24, Cameron Weier, Tacoma, Wash., 3,522
25, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 3,521
26, Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., 3,513
27, Daniel Fransson, Sweden, 3,512
28, Tim Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., 3,508
29, (tie) BJ Moore III, Greensburg, Pa., and Patrick Allen, Elmwood Park, N.J., 3,505
31, Ronnie Sparks Jr., Redford, Mich., 3,495
32, Richie Teece, England, 3,493
33, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 3,488
34, Zacharary Wilkins, Canada, 3,483
35, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 3,479
36, JR Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 3,478
37, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 3,477
38, Francois Louw, South Africa, 3,473
39, Dave Wodka, Beavercreek, Ohio, 3,469
40, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 3,468
41, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 3,461
42, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y., 3,460
43, Joe Bailey, Wooster, Ohio, 3,458
44, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 3,451
45, Kyle Bigelow, Troy, Ohio, 3,450
46, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 3,439
47, (tie) Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., and Aaron Lorincz, Belleville, Mich., 3,431
49, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 3,425
50, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 3,424
51, Wayne Webb, Columbus, Ohio, 3,412
52, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 3,410
53, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 3,408
54, (tie) Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., and Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 3,406
57, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 3,401
58, (tie) Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., and Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 3,398
60, Matthew O’Grady, Rahway, N.J., 3,394
61, (tie) Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., and John Furey, Freehold, N.J., 3,387
63, Cristian Azcona, Lake Wales, Fla., 3,382
64, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 3,373
65, Stuart Williams, England, 3,372
66, (tie) Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., and Josh Conner, Columbus, Ohio, 3,370
68, Sam Cooley, Australia, 3,369
69, Mitch Beasley, Clarksville, Tenn., 3,368
70, Dom Barrett, England, 3,366
71, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., 3,364
72, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 3,329
73, (tie) Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, and Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 3,327
75, Jon Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., 3,325
76, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 3,324
77, Daniel Hochstein, Farmington Hills, Mich., 3,323
78, Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., 3,322
79, David Krol, Nixa, Mo., 3,318
80, Kristian Rogers, Salisbury, N.C., 3,297
81, Matthew Sanders, Evansville, Ind., 3,294
82, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 3,289
83, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 3,288
84, Carleton Chambers, Detroit, 3,285
85, Kim Bolleby, Thailand, 3,280
86, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 3,275
87, Andrew Graff, Las Vegas, 3,269
88, Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 3,246
89, Rocio Restrepo, Colombia, 3,239
90, (tie) Jesper Svensson, Sweden, and Chris Polizzi, Spring Hill, Fla., 3,223
92, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 3,213
93, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 3,211
94, Tristan Butler, Fort Wayne, Ind., 3,194
95, Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 3,193
96, Dwight Adams, Greensboro, N.C., 3,178
97, Kyle Mayberry, Mt. Vernon, Ohio, 3,175
98, Matthew Rubright, Pittsburg, Pa., 3,162
99, (tie) Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., and Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 3,160
101, Jason Lundquist, Columbus, Ohio, 3,157
102, Kelly Jordon, Marion, Ohio, 3,132
103, Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 3,109
104, Anggie Ramirez, Colombia, 3,104
105, Joshua Weiner, Hilliard, Ohio, 3,080
106, Matthew Wozney, Clayton, Del., 3,069
107, Christopher Barger, Dry Ridge, Ky., 3,065
108, Zachery Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 3,063
109, Warren Burr, Wilmington, Del., 3,049
110, Jeremiah Bryant, Taylor, Mich., 3,048
111, John Dudak, Orland Park, Ill., 3,043
112, David Adcox Jr., Shawnee, Kan., 2,905
113, Chad Cygnarowicz, Robinson Township, Pa., 2,848
114, CL Smith, Rynoldsburg, Ohio, 2,748
115, Johnathan Bower, Middletown, Pa., 1,510

300 games (2) – Graham Fach, Marshall Kent.

Herbert Bickel

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