The 2022 Guaranteed Rate PBA Tour: By The Numbers
The 2022 Guaranteed Rate PBA Tour season featured all kinds of compelling statistics.
Jason Belmonte won five titles. Anthony Simonsen won two majors. EJ Tackett averaged 225.27 to lead the tour. Kris Prather left 872 9-pins. (Trust me on that last one.)
But any fool could find those numbers on the internet. I wanted to dig deeper — I wanted to find stats only a fool with the internet and basic knowledge of Excel could discover.
What was the average score in championship round wins? What was the highest scoring telecast? The lowest? Who threw the most strikes on the left lane on patterns between 39- and 41-feet on Tuesday afternoons?
Some of these stats shed new light on a player's season or reveal riveting insights into a telecast. Others are simply interesting. Either way, you'll learn something new about the 2022 season.
the number of pins Keven Williams by which missed the show of the PBA Players Championship - Southwest Region Qualifier
The 2022 season began with a gut punch for Keven Williams. After making the regional show in 2021, Williams looked poised to return through 27.9 frames.
He needed one more strike to secure the final spot on the show. The 8-pin had other ideas. The two-pin deficit was the narrowest margin by which any player missed a championship round this season.
The bowling gods would ultimately return the favor. Later in the season, Williams had a chance to claim his first career PBA Tour title, needing two strikes and nine pins to shut out AJ Chapman.
That time, the pins cooperated. He threw all three strikes, securing his first career PBA Tour title by a margin of... two pins.
Keven Williams defeats AJ Chapman, 225-223, to win the PBA Shark Championship!— PBA Tour (@PBATour) March 17, 2022
Congrats to Williams, who earns his first PBA Tour title!🏆 pic.twitter.com/vCivCl87M5
Tommy Jones's average finish in majors
Jones may not have won a major title in 2022, but he was the tour's second most consistent player.
The 43-year-old opened the year with a fifth place at the Players Championship, obliterating the South Region by 293 pins to reach the finals. He followed that performance up with sixth at the U.S. Open, fifth at the Tournament of Champions and third at the World Championship.
His lowest major finish of the season came at the Masters, where he fell to Simonsen (the top qualifier and eventual champion) in the second round of the bracket. Jones won three more matches to finish tied for 13th.
It's hard to believe the Hall of Famer hasn't won a major since 2007. He seems poised to end that drought sooner rather than later.
Jason Belmonte’s record in championship round matches
Statistically speaking, a player's odds of winning a single-game match should be similar to winning a coin flip. Ten frames is a small sample size and results are therefore highly susceptible to variance. The odds shift in the favor of the game's top talents, but not to a significant degree.
And yet, that fella from Australia won 20 of 24 matches, an 83% clip. Dom Barrett, Simonsen, Prather and Jones, the next four winningest players, won a combined 19 championship round matches.
Belmonte won his first eight matches of the season while averaging 243. On the year, he averaged 239.59 under the lights.
Just one player had a higher singles winning percentage on TV: the aforementioned Williams, who bowled (and won) one game.
the number of singles matches won in the championship round by EJ Tackett
Tackett made seven singles shows in 2022: Players Midwest Region Qualifier, U.S. Open, Kokomo, Scorpion, Lubbock, Playoffs and Tour Finals. He lost his first match each time. (In the Playoffs, Tackett split the two-game match with Jesper Svensson but lost the roll-off.)
The 30-year-old has earned somewhat of a reputation for struggling on TV. But looking solely at his win-loss record ignores all context and nuance.
He averaged 208 across eight championship round games while his opponents averaged 239. But those eight games represent about two percent of his season.
Leading the tour in average over nearly 400 games is more indicative of Tackett's success this season than any eight-game sample, even if those eight games came on TV.
If you change a single shot — when Tackett left a stone-9 in his 10th frame, then Belmonte doubled to win the Lubbock Sports Open title — the entire complexion of his season changes.
While Tackett struggled in singles shows, he had one of the season’s best TV performances at the Roth/Holman Doubles.
Hang this EJ Tackett performance in the Louvre pic.twitter.com/NKRv5hlXJc— Nolan Hughes (@nolan_hughes24) March 6, 2022
Jesper Svensson’s average at the PBA David Small's Best of the Best Championship, the highest of any No. 1 seed.
Svensson rolled 300 in Game 2 of the season's first Storm Cup event and never let off the gas. He closed the opening six-game block with games of 279, 269 and 279.
After 20 games and three advancer rounds, he finished at +932 for 20 games to earn the top seed for the stepladder. Despite his evisceration of the pins, Nick Pate finished just six pins behind Svensson.
In the title match against Packy Hanrahan, Svensson rolled a ho-hum 248 to capture the title, the 11th of his young career.
Thomas Larsen’s total earnings
After a 2021 season in which Larsen captured a career-defining victory at the USBC Masters, he struggled in 2022. He earned just one top-20 finish — exactly 20th at the Tournament of Champions — and ranked 55th in points.
Honestly, I just thought it was cool his season earnings were a round number.
the difference in points between Kyle Sherman and Brad Miller
Sherman perhaps earned bragging rights by finishing juuuust ahead of his co-vlogger. Miller’s thrilling run at the Masters, resulting in a third-place finish, closed the gap and secured his PBA Playoffs berth.
the difference in earnings between Brad Miller and Kyle Sherman
Miller’s performance at the Masters also helped close the gap in earnings. Miller surged ahead of Sherman at the PBA League, where Sherman did not compete due to an injury.
the difference in titles between Kyle Sherman and Brad Miller
Well, we needed a tiebreaker! To the victor go the spoils, or however that saying goes.
There's nothing like winning your first singles title! 🏆— PBA Tour (@PBATour) March 15, 2022
Congrats to Kyle Sherman on capturing the PBA Cheetah Championship, the third event in the 2022 World Series of Bowling XIII! pic.twitter.com/YNsKuT9NtY
the average score in championship round wins
In case you needed a reminder, these guys are the best in the world. Average winning scores topped 250 eight times, twice as often as they dipped below 220.
They saved their best for last, as the two highest scoring shows were the championship matches of the Tour Finals and Kia PBA Playoffs. Kyle Troup averaged 265 in his 3-1 defeat of Jones in the Playoffs Finals, while Belmonte averaged 267.5 in the Tour Finals Championship.
Scores were higher in part due to the players breaking the lanes down themselves and seeing transition first-hand, but 265+ averages are nothing to scoff at.
the average score in championship round losses
It only made sense to show you both sides of the coin. Losing scores dropped below 200 eight times, and exceeded 220 seven times.
Losing scores were the lowest in the Scorpion Championship, where players averaged just 182.75. (More on that show later.)
Note: These figures include all games from the Playoffs and Tour Finals. For example, Jones beat Troup 279-201 in Game 3 of the PBA Playoffs Finals. Troup won the match, but Jones’s Game 3 score counts as a win.
the average score on the first Playoffs Quarterfinals show, the highest of any telecast
The Kia PBA Playoffs featured five of the seven highest scoring telecasts — that’s what happens when the game’s best collide. The first quarterfinals show was the highest of them all: Troup, Bill O’Neill, Barrett and Prather averaged nearly 250 combined.
Troup and Prather didn’t give their opponents any breathing room, sweeping their Race to Two matches while averaging 260. O’Neill and Barrett averaged 238.5 combined, the highest losing average by almost 10 pins. In fact, Barrett shot 248-268 and lost both games.
If it wasn’t for Troup and O’Neill’s second game (205-202), this could’ve been one of the highest scoring telecasts in PBA history. Even if they both shot 300, however, it wouldn’t have sniffed the 276.50 collective average at the 1996 Flagship Open.
Kris Prather sweeps Dom Barrett! Prather joins Kyle Troup in the 2022 Kia PBA Playoffs Semifinals! pic.twitter.com/yMuBM7WEvJ— PBA Tour (@PBATour) April 24, 2022
the highest score on the Masters telecast
There are plenty of statistical quirks to discuss with the Masters show. The collective average of 199.88 was the season's lowest and the only one below 200. The last three matches were decided by a combined seven pins.
But the single weirdest statistic from the Masters was that AJ Johnson shot the highest game on the show and did not win his match. He tied with Brad Miller at 224, but lost the roll-off.
the average margin of victory in the PBA Players Championship - West Region Qualifier and Scorpion Championship
No, these aren’t Alabama football’s margins of victory from recent wins over Louisiana-Monroe and Utah State. (Though they are very similar.)
Notice anything similar about those two tournaments? They were both shows in which Belmonte climbed the stepladder to win.
Belmonte averaged 254.75 and 236 while his opponents averaged 187.25 and 182.75, respectively. He’s an alien.
A similarly large margin of victory happened in the Roth/Holman Doubles, where Tackett and Marshall Kent averaged a 249-199 win in four matches.
Anecdotally, this makes sense. When one player/team has a great look on a challenging pattern, it is difficult for an oncoming player/team to quickly figure out the lanes and take them down.
the number of collective tears shed watching Norm Duke's final shot
After Wes Malott locked up the Elias Cup for the Portland Lumberjacks, the anchor stepped aside to let Duke cap off his PBA career. It took everything he had but Duke, of course, delivered a parting gift for the ages.
There aren't words to properly describe that moment, one sports fans will remember for a long, long time.