KIA PBA Tournament of Champions Begins This Week
Jupiter, Fla.—The Kia PBA Tournament of Champions, the second major championship of the 2021 PBA Tour season, begins this week at Bowlero Jupiter. The qualifying and match play rounds will be streamed live on FloBowling, Feb. 23-26, and the stepladder finals will air live Sunday, Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX Broadcast Channel.
Here are some of the top storylines heading into the 2021 Kia PBA Tournament of Champions:
Troup Goes for Second Consecutive Major
After winning his first career major title in the PBA Players Championship, Kyle Troup will attempt to win his second in as many weeks. Winning a quarter of a million dollars has already made 2021 Troup’s best ever season in PBA Tour earnings. Winning the Tournament of Champions would give Troup another six-figure payday and make him performance-eligible for PBA Hall of Fame consideration. It would also tie him with his father, Guppy, with eight career PBA Tour titles.
Defending Champion Seeks Another $100,000 Check
Kris Prather won the 2019 PBA Playoffs for his first $100,000 purse, then earned another six-figure prize last season when he won the 2020 Tournament of Champions for his first major title. With $100,000 available to the winner again this season, Prather will be looking to further solidify his nickname: $100k Prather.
Two Jasons Look for Record-Breaking Fourth Win
Three players have won the Tournament of Champions three times: Mike Durbin (1972, 1982, 1984), Jason Couch (1999, 2000, 2002) and Jason Belmonte (2014, 2015, 2019). Both Couch, the only player ever to win three consecutive Tournament of Champions titles (the event was not held in 2001) and Belmonte, the all-time PBA record holder with 13 major titles, are entered in the 2021 event. If either can emerge victorious, he’ll become the first player ever to win the event four times.
$1,000,000 Bonus for a Perfect Game
For the second time this season, players will have a chance to win a $1 million bonus by bowling a perfect game in the title match of the Tournament of Champions. Through a partnership between the PBA and FOX, the $1 million bonus is on the line four times this season: the just-completed PBA Players Championship (in which neither player earned the bonus), the Tournament of Champions, the PBA World Championship and the PBA Super Slam.
PTQ Could Lead to a First-Time Champion
Players who have yet to win a PBA Tour national title will bowl eight qualifying games in the pre-tournament qualifier, with 16 players advancing to the Tournament of Champions elite field. A player has won the Tournament of Champions for his or her first PBA Tour national title twice in the last 11 years: Matt O’Grady (2018) and Kelly Kulick (2010).
The qualifying and match play rounds of the Kia PBA Tournament of Champions will be streamed live on FloBowling beginning Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 11 a.m. ET from Bowlero Jupiter in Jupiter, Fla. To subscribe, visit FloBowling.com.
PBA Tournament of Champions Winners Since 2011
2011 – Mika Koivuniemi
2012 – Sean Rash
2013 – Pete Weber
2014 – Jason Belmonte
2015 – Jason Belmonte
2016 – Jesper Svensson
2017 – EJ Tackett
2018 – Matt O’Grady
2019 – Jason Belmonte
2020 – Kris Prather
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 PBA Tour, PBA Regional Tour, and PBA50 Tour. In 2020, the PBA launched PBA Jr., a club for elite youth bowlers under the age of 17 and the PBA Pinsiders, a membership for fans of the sport. For more information, please visit PBA.com.