Svensson Leads Five Champions into PBA Players Championship South Region Finals
New York, NY—Sweden’s Jesper Svensson leads all qualifiers in the PBA Players Championship South Region, the only region in which all five stepladder finalists are PBA Tour champions. Svensson seeks to continue the trend of top seeds advancing and claim the final berth in the PBA Players Championship Finals.
Svensson’s two titles in 2020 brought him to 10 in his career, making him performance-eligible for Hall of Fame consideration. A win in the Players Championship would be his second major title, along with the 2016 PBA Tournament of Champions, when Svensson became the youngest ever to win the event.
Second seed Cristian Azcona, the first player from Puerto Rico to win a PBA Tour title when he claimed the 2018 PBA Xtra Frame Wilmington Open, battled with Svensson for the top spot throughout qualifying but ultimately finished 10 pins short. Although Azcona is a PBA Tour champion, his win was not televised, so he will be making his first appearance in a televised finals event.
Eight-time PBA Tour champion Ryan Ciminelli announced his retirement from full-time PBA competition in 2020, but that didn’t stop him from entering the Players Championship and qualifying third in the South Region. If Ciminelli can get through the region and into the finals, he’ll have a chance to win his second career major title, which would make him eligible for Hall of Fame consideration.
The number-four seed, Tom Daugherty, is a two-time PBA Tour champion looking to win his first major title. Daugherty has competed in multiple major championship finals telecasts but has yet to finish higher than third, doing so three times, including the 2015 PBA Players Championship. His other third-place major finishes came in the Tournament of Champions, notably his infamous 100 game in 2011 and a loss to Svensson in 2016.
Facing Daugherty in the opening match is Dick Allen, a seven-time winner on the PBA Tour whose championship victories span 17 years. Allen won his first title in 2002 and earned his sixth and seventh titles during the 2019 season. A win in the PBA Players Championship would be Allen’s first career major title.
The South Region Finals air on Sunday, Feb. 14 at 1 p.m. ET on FS1. The winner will join Anthony Simonsen (West), François Lavoie (Southwest), Tom Smallwood (Central) and Kyle Troup (East) in the PBA Players Championship Finals, which will feature a top prize of $250,000 and air live on FOX Broadcast Channel Feb. 21.
South Region Stepladder Finals
Bowlero Jupiter – Jupiter, Fla.
Sunday, Feb. 14 at 1 p.m. ET on FS1
- Jesper Svensson
- Cristian Azcona
- Ryan Ciminelli
- Tom Daugherty
- Dick Allen
Full South Region standings: pba.com/node/117426
Upcoming Players Championship Television Schedule
Bowlero Jupiter – Jupiter, Fla.
Sunday, Feb. 14 at 1 p.m. on FS1 – South Region Finals
Sunday, Feb. 21 at 12:30 p.m. on FOX – PBA Players Championship Finals
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.