PBA Shawnee Classic Preview
The third stop of the 2023 Guaranteed Rate PBA Tour will be in central Oklahoma for the PBA Shawnee Classic.
Two stars return to action this week as they recover from significant injuries, while more than a half dozen players look to continue their exemplary starts to the campaign.
The PBA Shawnee Classic begins on Wednesday morning and all rounds will be livestreamed on BowlTV. Here’s what you need to know:
Players to Watch
Anthony Simonsen, Kevin McCune, Matt Sanders, Kris Prather, Jesper Svensson and AJ Chapman will look to build off their strong starts to the season, each finishing among the top 20 in both tournaments.
Simonsen is the lone player with two top-10 finishes. McCune finished 12th in both tournaments, while Prather and Chapman finished 16th and 20th in each event, respectively.
Shawnee has produced a pair of major champions in EJ Tackett and Jesper Svensson, who each won the Tournament of Champions, while Kyle Troup’s first career title came at the 2015 PBA Wolf Open.
A-squad notables: Andrew Anderson, Jakob Butturff, Sam Cooley, Tom Daugherty, Tommy Jones, François Lavoie, Sean Rash, Tom Smallwood, Jesper Svensson, Kyle Troup
B-squad notables: Chris Barnes, Jason Belmonte, AJ Johnson, Brad Miller, Kris Prather, Kyle Sherman, Anthony Simonsen, Jason Sterner, EJ Tackett, Chris Via
The full tournament roster is available here.
Sean Rash owns three career titles in Shawnee, including each of the last two PBA Tour stops, the 2020 PBA Oklahoma Open and 2019 Roth-Holman PBA Doubles Championship with Matt Ogle.
Rash announced last week that he has been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease. While he missed the PBA Springfield Classic to recuperate, he said he feels about 75-80% entering this tournament.
Another notable player returning from injury is Kyle Sherman. The 28-year-old missed the first two tournaments of the season recovering from torn labrum surgery on his left hip during the offseason.
Sherman said he’s not back to 100% yet, but is itching to return to competition. He said he doesn't have any expectations; his lone goal is to get through the week.
This will be the second of five Classic Series events this season. The top eight players in points across those five tournaments will earn the chance to compete in July’s PBA Skill Ball Challenge. Sam Cooley, champion of the PBA Springfield Classic, leads that race after one event.
Classic Series Points Leaders
- Sam Cooley, 5,000 points
- Keven Williams, 3,000
- Jakob Butturff, 2,300
- François Lavoie, 1,900
- Chris Via, 1,700
- Anthony Neuer, 1,550
- Jason Belmonte, 1,490
- Nick Pate, 1,430
- Ildemaro Ruiz Jr., 1,370
- Anthony Simonsen, 1,310
Players will be competing on the 41-foot Bear oil pattern. Sixteen games of qualifying (two eight-game blocks) across Wednesday and Thursday will determine the 12 players advancing to Friday’s match play round.
After 12 games of round-robin match play, the top four players will advance to the stepladder finals, livestreaming at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 17. The champion will receive $25,000.
Wednesday, Feb. 15
12 p.m. ET — A-squad Qualifying Round 1 (eight games)
6 p.m. ET — B-squad Qualifying Round 1 (eight games)
Thursday, Feb. 16
12 p.m. ET — B-squad Qualifying Round 2 (eight games)
6 p.m. ET — A-squad Qualifying Round 2 (eight games) — top 12 overall players advance
Friday, Feb. 17
11 a.m. ET — Round-robin Match Play Round 1 (six games)
3 p.m. ET — Round-robin Match Play Round 2 (six games) — top 4 overall players advance
7 p.m. ET — Stepladder finals
More information on the PBA Shawnee Classic is available here.