Lavoie’s Quest for Third Major Resumes in PBA Players Championship Southwest Region Finals
New York, NY—Two-time U.S. Open champion François Lavoie will need to win one game in the Southwest Region Finals to advance to the PBA Players Championship Finals and earn a chance at his third career major title. With four career PBA Tour titles including two majors, the 27-year-old Quebec native needs one more title to meet the minimum performance requirements for PBA Hall of Fame consideration.
As the top seed in the Southwest Region, Lavoie will face one of four players, all of whom are looking for their first PBA Tour titles.
Lavoie’s fellow Wichita State alumnus, Packy Hanrahan, finished 104 pins back of Lavoie after the qualifying rounds and holds the second position on the stepladder. Hanrahan made his first PBA Tour televised finals appearance just over a year ago, finishing fifth in the 2020 Oklahoma Open. In September, Hanrahan made his PBA League debut and was instrumental in helping the Portland Lumberjacks win the Elias Cup.
Holding the third seed is Keven Williams, whose last TV finals appearance was in the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic, finishing third. The 28-year-old from Springfield, Mo. has been heard many times on telecasts since, having composed and performed “Pick It Out,” Kyle Troup’s strike song.
The opening match will feature two players who bowled together throughout qualifying, with Benjamin Martinez claiming an 11-pin advantage over AJ Chapman to take the fourth seed.
Martinez, the 2020 NAIA Player of the Year while bowling for Savannah College of Art & Design, has been a member of Junior Team Mexico and Team Mexico and is making his first appearance on a PBA telecast.
The third Wichita State alumnus in the stepladder, AJ Chapman, has a best career finish of second in the 2019 Chesapeake Open. If Chapman is able to climb the stepladder and win the region, he’ll qualify for his second career finals appearance in the PBA Players Championship. He finished fifth in 2017.
The Southwest Region Finals air Sunday, Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. ET on FS1. The winner of the Southwest Region Finals will join Anthony Simonsen, who won the West Region, and the remaining three regional winners, in the PBA Players Championship Finals featuring a top prize of $250,000. The PBA Players Championship Finals will air live on FOX Broadcast Channel Feb. 21.
Southwest Region Stepladder Finals
Bowlero Jupiter – Jupiter, Fla.
Sunday, Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. ET on FS1
- François Lavoie
- Packy Hanrahan
- Keven Williams
- Benjamin Martinez
- AJ Chapman
Full Southwest Region standings: pba.com/node/117441
Upcoming Players Championship Television Schedule
Bowlero Jupiter – Jupiter, Fla.
Sunday, Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. ET on FS1 – Southwest Region Finals
Saturday, Feb. 6 at 4 p.m. ET on FS1 – Central Region Finals
Sunday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. on FS1 – East Region Finals
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.