The PBA Shawnee Classic saw a battle of brotherly love as qualifying kicked off Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Firelake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla.

Zac Tackett held a narrow eight-pin lead through seven games on A-squad. He proceeded to fire the last 11 strikes in Game 8 to extend his lead to nearly 100 pins.

On the 41-foot Bear oil pattern, players found a multitude of angles to the pocket early on. As the lanes transitioned, of course, the right-handers migrated left — that’s where Tackett did most of his damage. 

“When I can slow hook it and my ball is hooking from everywhere, I’m going to strike,” Tackett said.

His older brother refused to let him bask in the spotlight for too long. EJ Tackett came out on fire to start B-squad, shooting 264 and 289 his first two games.

Heading into the final game, EJ trailed Zac by 207 pins. EJ needed a double in the 10th frame to pass his sibling and, with the help of some fortuitous pin carry, got the job done.

“It’s one of those things, that brother rivalry. I don’t want to lose to him ever,” EJ said with a laugh.

Just a few pairs to the right, Stu Williams polished off a 255 game to usurp both Tacketts for the lead. Williams fired a field-high 1,920 series (+320), including a 300 in Game 5.

Williams said it was nice to get back on track after struggling last week in Springfield.

“I think (the pattern) really suited my game. I could control the break point with speed,” Williams said. “Tomorrow is another day. No doubt the lanes will break down a little bit differently. Everybody’s going to have a different game plan. We’ll see how it goes, but I’ve bowled here a lot of times so I kind of know what the lanes do.”

Qualifying resumes at 12 p.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 16 with B-squad taking the first shift on the lanes. A-squad players will bowl at 6 p.m. ET.

After Round 2 of qualifying, the field will be cut to the top 12 players. The dozen advancers will compete in round-robin match play on Friday, Feb. 17, with the top four players advancing to the stepladder finals at 7 p.m. ET.

Round 1 Leaders

  1. Stu Williams, 1,920 (+320)
  2. EJ Tackett, 1,915 (+315)
  3. Zac Tackett, 1,906 (+306)
  4. Tomas Käyhkö, 1,899 (+299)
  5. Dick Allen, 1,812 (+212)
  6. Joseph Grondin, 1,805 (+205)
  7. Kris Prather, 1,804 (+204)
  8. AJ Johnson, 1,791 (+191)
  9. Kevin McCune, 1,790 (+190)
  10. Shawn Maldonado, 1,785 (+185)
  11. Arturo Quintero, 1,785 (+185)
  12. Keven Williams, 1,783 (+183)

Full standings are available here.

Tournament Schedule

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.


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