Tackett Headlines Loaded Finals at 2023 PBA World Championship presented by Pabst Blue Ribbon
Tackett earns third No. 1 seed in four majors this season, while Simonsen, Butturff, Belmonte and Tahvanainen also advance to the championship round.
EJ Tackett’s brilliant 2023 Guaranteed Rate PBA Tour continued at the PBA World Championship presented by Pabst Blue Ribbon. The four-time champion earned the No. 1 seed, marking his third No. 1 seed in four majors this season.
Tackett averaged over 230 across the 72 total games of qualifying, which included 20 games from the PBA Cheetah, Scorpion and Shark Championships, plus a dozen games of round-robin match play with the 12 finalists.
Despite posting a 4-8 match play record, Tackett usurped Jakob Butturff in the position round to earn the top seed with a total pinfall of 16,732.
"I have no idea, it was really hard to stay in it," Tackett said of his mental strength during match play. "It was maybe a little bit to do with Butturff not running away with it. He kind of kept me in it. I knew coming into Game 6 I basically just had to beat him and not lose by more than like 32 to Simo."
The 20-time PBA Tour titleist will seek his fifth title and second major of the season on Sunday at noon ET on FOX.
Anthony Simonsen, who earned the No. 1 seed at the USBC Masters and later took home the title, secured the No. 2 seed win over Butturff in a roll-off. Butturff earned the No. 3 seed.
Tackett, Simonsen and Butturff each advance to their third championship round of the 2023 Guaranteed Rate World Series of Bowling XIV.
Tackett and Butturff made the PBA Cheetah and Scorpion finals; Tackett won the former and Butturff defeated Tackett for the latter title. Simonsen finished fifth at the PBA Scorpion Championship and fourth at the PBA Shark Championship.
Jason Belmonte, a PBA record 15-time major champion, began the match play round in 12th place, 324 pins from fifth place. He compiled an 11-1 record while averaging 250 to surge all the way to the No. 4 seed.
"It was a good day," Belmonte said. "There was a World Championship in Las Vegas in 2020 where I think I may have averaged more for more games, but (with) the context of today, knowing that I had just today and I had (324) pins to catch on a relatively high scoring pattern."
I came in this morning hoping that the scores were going to be low, so if I bowled well, I could catch a lot of pins," Belmonte added. "I wasn't expecting the scores to be as high as they got to, but I was able to strike a couple times more than most."
Belmonte, who defeated Simonsen and Tackett en route to winning the PBA Tournament of Champions earlier this season, won the PBA World Championship in 2017, 2019 and 2020. This marks his first telecast of the WSOB XIV.
In the opening match on Sunday, Belmonte will face the lone player in the finals without a major title to his credit. Santtu Tahvanainen, the 2022 Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year, advanced to the PBA Scorpion and PBA Shark Championship finals, but lost his first match each time.
Chris Via and Nathan Bohr finished in a tie for sixth place, trailing Tahvanainen by 58 pins. Packy Hanrahan, who began the day in fifth place, dropped to ninth place. Matt Ogle, who won the PBA Shark Championship on Wednesday night, finished 11th.
By virtue of their major titles this season, Tackett, Simonsen and Belmonte have clinched berths in the PBA Super Slam Cup to be held in May. The highest finisher between Butturff and Tahvanainen will join the trio in Jupiter.
The winner of the PBA World Championship presented by Pabst Blue Ribbon will earn $100,000.
Match Play Standings
- EJ Tackett, 16,732 (+2,332)
- Anthony Simonsen, 16,704 (2,304)
- Jakob Butturff, 16,704 (+2,304)
- Jason Belmonte, 16,465 (+2,065)
- Santtu Tahvanainen, 16,456 (+2,056)
- Chris Via, 16,398 (+1,998)
- Nathan Bohr, 16,398 (+1,998)
- Bill O’Neill, 16,207 (+1,807)
- Packy Hanrahan, 16,166 (+1,766)
- Marshall Kent, 16,161 (+1,761)
- Matt Ogle, 15,990 (+1,590)
- Jesper Svensson, 15,910 (+1,510)
More information on the PBA World Championship presented by Pabst Blue Ribbon is available here.
WSOB XIV Schedule
All times listed in Eastern.
Sunday, April 23
Noon on FOX — PBA World Championship Finals
Tickets are available here.