O’Neill, Troup, Miller, Smallwood Join PBA Playoffs Elite Eight
Quarterfinals set for November 8 at 2 p.m. ET on FS1
Centreville, Va.— Last year’s PBA Playoffs runner-up, Bill O’Neill, made his 2020 playoffs debut with a 234-190 victory over AJ Johnson to advance to the Quarterfinals. O’Neill, the second overall seed, admitted he’ll need to be better if he’s to continue in the competition.
“My ball reaction was incredible,” said O’Neill, “but I didn’t throw a lot of good shots. I was getting it too far right, especially in the middle of the game, but the ones in the eighth and ninth when I really needed them, were really good.”
The 12-time PBA Tour champion moves on to face the seventh seed, Kyle Troup, who also said he needs to be better following his 223-214 win over Nick Pate.
“Mentally, I need to be a little better,” said Troup, recalling Pate’s slow-rolling messenger in the fifth frame. “I let that get to me just a little bit. That’s inexcusable, really. I let something into my mindset that normally isn’t there and then I didn’t execute two of the best shots afterward. Luckily, the commercial break allowed me to slow my mind down and make some good shots.”
Troup, with three PBA Tour titles already in 2020, came out of the commercial break with three consecutive strikes before leaving a single pin on his first shot in the 10th. With a spare and strike on the fill ball, Troup forced Pate to get all three strikes in his 10th frame, which he was unable to do.
In the first of two upsets on the telecast, 11th seed Brad Miller got past sixth-seeded Jesper Svensson, 236-223. Svensson started strong with three strikes, but struggled later on in the match.
“After the first three frames, I didn’t know how that was going to go,” said Miller, “but then he left a couple of bad breaks.”
In particular, Svensson left a 3-7-9 split in the ninth frame, which he failed to convert.
“I knew he was going to strike out,” said Miller, who took advantage of Svensson’s open frame to clinch the victory in the 10th. “As soon as he left that split, I knew I was going to need the first strike and count and I got it. I’m feeling really good right now with my game. I’m getting some breaks. Some good things are going my way right now.”
Miller earns a match with Tom Smallwood in the Round of 8. Smallwood used a strategic ball change and finished strong to defeat the third seed, EJ Tackett, the highest seed to be eliminated thus far. “He was bowling so well and I knew 190 wasn’t beating him,” said Smallwood of Tackett’s fast start with four strikes in the first five frames. “If I switch balls and it’s wrong, I’m still not going to win, but I made a fortunate change and it worked out.”
Smallwood rolled six consecutive strikes after the ball change as Tackett’s carry went away, allowing Smallwood to chip away at the deficit.
“You try to put as much pressure on somebody as you can,” said Smallwood. “I don’t care who it is, they know you’re still there. He left a few taps at the end and I didn’t. That was the difference in the game. He bowled amazing but I had better breaks than he did.”
The PBA Playoffs conclude with the quarterfinals, semifinals and championship match on November 8 beginning at 2 p.m. ET on FS1.
The final event of the 2020 PBA Tour season, the winner of the PBA Playoffs will receive a PBA Tour title, $100,000 and an official WWE championship title.
Viewers can live stream the PBA on the FOX Sports and FOX NOW apps or at FOXSports.com. Select highlights will be available on @FOXSports social handles across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. International fans can watch live on FloBowling.com.
PBA Playoffs Round of 24 Results (Saturday, October 10, 2020 on FOX)
Bowlero Centreville, Centreville, Virginia
No. 18 Jakob Butturff def. No. 16 Tommy Jones, 215-214
No. 9 François Lavoie def. No. 24 Norm Duke, 256-193
No. 20 Dick Allen def. No. 13 Dom Barrett, 227-190
No. 12 Marshall Kent def. No. 21 Chris Via, 218-212
Round of 16 Results (Saturday, October 17 on FOX) No. 1 Jason Belmonte def. No. 17 Jakob Butturff, 205-195
No. 9 François Lavoie def. No. 8 Sean Rash, 300-236
No. 4 Anthony Simonsen def. No. 20 Dick Allen, 258-204
No. 5 Kris Prather def. No. 12 Marshall Kent, 237-214
Round of 24 Results (Sunday, October 25, 2020 on FS1) No. 18 AJ Johnson def. No. 15 Kyle Sherman, 223-166
No. 23 Nick Pate def. No. 10 Darren Tang, 207-202
No. 14 Tom Smallwood def. No. 19 Chris Barnes, 215-180
No. 11 Brad Miller def. No. 22 Tom Daugherty, 215-195
Round of 16 (Sunday, November 1 on FS1) No. 2 Bill O’Neill def. No. 18 AJ Johnson, 234-190
No. 7 Kyle Troup def. No. 23 Nick Pate, 223-214
No. 11 Brad Miller def. No. 6 Jesper Svensson, 236-223
No. 14 Tom Smallwood def. No. 3 EJ Tackett, 234-227
Quarterfinals (Sunday, November 8 at 2 p.m. ET on FS1) No. 1 Jason Belmonte vs. No. 9 Francois Lavoie
No. 4 Anthony Simonsen vs. No. 5 Kris Prather
No. 2 Bill O’Neill vs. No. 7 Kyle Troup
No. 11 Brad Miller vs. No. 14 Tom Smallwood
Semifinals and Finals (Sunday, November 8 at 4 p.m. ET on FS1) Belmonte/Lavoie vs. Simonsen/Prather
O’Neill/Troup vs. Miller/Smallwood
Championship match to be determined following the semifinals
About the PBA
The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) is the world’s preeminent organization dedicated to the sport of bowling and its professional competition, with thousands of members and millions of fans throughout the world. The PBA plays host to bowling’s biggest tournaments from the Go Bowling! PBA Tour, PBA Regional Tour, and PBA50 Tour. In 2019, the PBA was acquired by Bowlero Corporation, the world’s largest owner and operator of bowling entertainment centers with more than 300 locations throughout North America. For more information, please visit PBA.com.