Sam Cooley Wins PBA Cheetah Championship for First Career Title
Tampa, Fla.—Australia’s Sam Cooley won the PBA Cheetah Championship for his first career PBA Tour title by defeating Kris Prather, 247-185. Cooley, who has been bowling on the PBA Tour since 2015, had a previous best finish of third, which he’d accomplished three times, but this was his first championship match.
Cooley, seeded eighth into best-of-five match play earlier today, defeated No. 9 seed Brad Miller and No. 2 seed Chris Via on the way to the eliminator finals. After considering a couple different strategies, Cooley settled on doing what he’d been doing all day.
“I went with what got me here through match play,” Cooley said, “throwing reactive at the gutter, which is one of my strengths. I got through the first match and my reaction got better from there.”
In the eliminator format, all four players bowled a single game, with Cooley posting the third-highest score, eliminating Anthony Simonsen. Cooley rolled 258 in the next game while Prather shot 236, knocking out Marshall Kent.
Cooley built a lead over Prather in the championship match and had to stop himself from thinking too far ahead during the commercial break.
“There were a few moments during the break when I had thoughts that this was actually going to happen,” said Cooley. “I had to tell myself to stop. That’s what kills you, overthinking or thinking it’s already over when it’s only halfway. I treated each frame as important as anything else. It all worked out.”
Cooley rolled seven strikes in the championship match to defeat Prather, who won his fourth career title yesterday in the PBA Roth/Holman Doubles Championship.
“I’m glad today worked out,” said Cooley. “I’ll have a lot more confidence moving forward. Now that I know I can do it, hopefully it’ll happen more regularly.”
World Series of Bowling XII action continues tomorrow with PBA Chameleon Championship match play live on FloBowling at noon ET. The PBA Chameleon Championship stepladder finals air tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET on Fox Sports’ FS1.
PBA Cheetah Championship Final Standings
AMF University Lanes – Tampa, Fla.
- Sam Cooley, earns $30,000
- Kris Prather, $15,000
- Marshall Kent, $8,000
- Anthony Simonsen, $5,000
Match 1 – Prather 257, Kent 256, Cooley 225, Simonsen 214 (Simonsen eliminated)
Match 2 – Cooley 258, Prather 236, Kent 215 (Kent eliminated)
Match 3 – Cooley def. Prather, 247-185
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.