Above “King” Wes Malott and Tommy Jones with Wes’ kids Camden and Brooke.
In the third installment of the King of Bowling challenge series, Malott came back from a loss in the first game and won the next two to beat Jones 2-1 for the title contested on the 44-foot Oklahoma Open lane condition.
Jones got off to a strong start winning the first match 278-200, but Malott was able to come back with a 258-238 win in the second game and a 212-204 win in the third game for the title. Jones had a 34-pin lead in the third game but had back-to-back splits in the sixth and seventh frames that he did not convert which turned the momentum back to Malott.
“Those were the best matches I’ve bowled in a long time,” said Malott. “I consider myself fortunate to come away with a win with the start Tommy had.
“You never give up in a match like this because you have the opportunity to come back,” Malott added. “I’m just happy to win it again and now I’m ready for the next opponent.”
Despite the slow start, Malott made the decision to stay with the same ball and just make the necessary physical adjustments to his delivery.
“Bowling in general is a guess,” he said. “I wasn’t 100 percent sure what ball would be best so I went with the ball I felt most comfortable with. Fortunately, it was a ball that I could make the right adjustments with.”
Malott, who dominated the original King of Bowling series held at Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Fla., in 2009, successfully defended his throne when he won the revival of the competition on April 12 in Portland, Maine, defeating reigning PBA Player of the Year EJ Tackett and Australia’s Jason Belmonte, PBA Player of the Year the three previous years, with a 721 series. Tackett had a 664 series and Belmonte a 640 in the three-game, total pinfall contest.
Jones was selected as Malott’s challenger through fan voting on pba.com and PBA’s Twitter account which concluded on June 16.
The King of Bowling event was a prelude to the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Oklahoma Open which gets underway at the FireLake Bowling Center Tuesday with first round qualifying at 10 a.m. CDT (11 a.m. ET).
Xtra Frame will provide live coverage of all Oklahoma Open qualifying action Tuesday through Friday leading up to the live ESPN stepladder finals from the Grand Casino Hotel Event Center Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. EDT (noon CDT).
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