The 24-year-old doubles partners, who characterized themselves as “polar opposites” as far as bowling styles are concerned, averaged a combined 232 for 12 doubles (24 individual) games to lead the field of eight teams that advanced to Wednesday’s final qualifying rounds.
Their 5,586 pinfall total gave them a 32-pin lead over a pair of two-handed players, Sweden’s Jesper Svensson and Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C. First-round leaders Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., and Jason Belmonte of Australia were in third place and defending champions Connor Pickford of Plano, Texas, and Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas, advanced in fifth place.
Tackett, PBA’s 2016 Player of the Year, and Kent reunited after bowling together on the ‘Merica Rooster Illusion team that won the PBA Team Challenge in Las Vegas last fall, where they found the magical blend they both were looking for.
“I was looking for a personality I could match up with,” said Kent (left), who led the duo by 120 pins with his six-game, 2,863 pinfall total that included a 300 game. “It’s easy to find good players to bowl with, but I wanted to bowl with someone I could relax with…” and “…we absolutely do that,” said Tackett, finishing Kent’s thought.
“Marshall’s ball roll is a lot different than mine. He sees the lane a lot differently than I do,” Tackett added. “He’s hooking the ball; I was throwing a urethane ball and trying to play straighter. The way we bowl, we’re polar opposites.
“The team we won with last fall was strategically put together with guys who all have fun,” Tackett (right) continued. Other members of their team were Ronnie Russell, Rhino Page and Chris Loschetter. “It’s so important in this kind of environment.
“We were ragging on each other all day,” Kent chimed in. “There was a lot of banter.” “A lot,” Tackett laughed.
“That’s why we could save ourselves from bad games,” Kent said. “We didn’t let anything get us down. We always pulled it back together the next game.”
Wednesday’s competition will include two eight-game rounds of Baker format (alternate frame) match play at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Based on combined standard and Baker pinfall totals, the top four teams will advance to the live ESPN stepladder finals on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. The finals also will be simultaneously streamed live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.
Both of Wednesday’s match play rounds will be covered live on PBA’s Xtra Frame live streaming service.
Following Wednesday’s final rounds of doubles qualifying, the PBA will present a special pay-per-view King of Bowling match involving Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas; EJ Tackett and Jason Belmonte of Australia is a winner-take-all three-game total pinfall match. The special webcast begins at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Players with position, hometown and 12-game total; top 8 teams advance to Baker format match play; n-denotes non-member
1, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash./EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 5,586
2, Jesper Svensson, Sweden/Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 5,552
3, Jason Belmonte, Australia/Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 5,533
4, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C./Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 5,519
5, Connor Pickford, Plano, Texas/Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 5,442
6, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J./AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 5,441
7, Andres Gomez, Colombia/Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 5,420
8, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas/Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 5,409
9, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 2,709/Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich., 5,404
10, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla./Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 5,387
11, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y./Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 5,385
12, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas/Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 5,376
13, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas/Sam Cooley, Australia, 5,371
14, Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa./John Furey, Freehold, N.J., 5,361
15, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C./Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 5,354
16, Jeff Evans, Supply, N.C./Dwight Adams, Greensboro, N.C., 5,348
17, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz./Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 5,332
18, Matthew McNiel, Minneapolis/Jon Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., 5,325
19, Dave Wodka, Beavercreek, Ohio/Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 5,322
20, Tim Mack, Indianapolis/Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 5,296
21, BJ Moore III, Greensburg, Pa./Matthew O’Grady, Rahway, N.J., 5,270
22, Graham Fach, Canada/Brett Spangler, Niles, Ohio, 5,236
23, Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore./Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 5,214
24, Martin Larsen, Sweden/Stuart Williams, England, 5,212
25, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y./Francois Lavoie, Canada, 5,085
26, Jason Sterner, Rockledge, Fla./Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 5,063
27, Dom Barrett, England/Osku Palermaa, Finland, 5,039
28, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind./Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 5,030
29, w-Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y./w-Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 5,002
30, n-Jimmy Clark, Hermon, N.H./n-James Goulding, Lewiston, Maine, 4,989
31, n-Joseph Ramsdell III, Skowhegan, Maine/n-Sarah Pelletier, Lewiston, Maine, 4,931
32, n-Terrence Robinson, Gray, Maine/n-Charlie Mitchell, Portland, Maine, 4,360
300 Games (3) – Zeke Bayt, Marshall Kent, Tim Mack.
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