The recent trend of slow starts from reigning champions came to an abrupt halt at the PBA Jackson Classic. Anthony Simonsen, who won the most recent PBA Tour event, spent the first two rounds at JAX 60 in Jackson, Mich. atop the leaderboard.

Simsonsen led opening six games on the 39-foot Chameleon oil pattern, averaging more than 255. After six more games Tuesday evening on the 44-foot Hardwick pattern, the 26-year-old outlasted a host of challengers to maintain the lead with a 2,923 total pinfall (+523).

Matt Russo nearly ran down Simonsen, tying him after the fifth game of Round 2, but closed the day 10 pins behind in second place. EJ Tackett, Richie Teece and Cody Shoemaker round out the top five.

The top 24 players will advance following six more games on Wednesday morning. After another six-game block Wednesday evening, the field will be cut to the top 12 players. A final six-game round on Thursday will determine the four stepladder finalists.

The remainder of the tournament will feature a true dual-pattern format: Hardwick on the left lane and Chameleon on the right lane. All rounds will be livestreamed on BowlTV.

Leaders after Round 2

  1. Anthony Simonsen, 2,923 (+523)
  2. Matt Russo, 2,913 (+513)
  3. EJ Tackett, 2,896 (+496)
  4. Richie Teece, 2,834 (+434)
  5. Cody Shoemaker, 2,825 (+425)
  6. Tommy Jones, 2,815 (+415)
  7. AJ Johnson, 2,792 (+392)
  8. Jesper Svensson, 2,765 (+365)
  9. Marshall Kent, 2,765 (+365)
  10. Tom Smallwood, 2,747 (+347)

Full standings are available here.

Tournament Schedule

Wednesday, March 8
11 a.m. ET — Qualifying Round 3 (six games) — cut to top 24 players
5 p.m. ET — Top-24 Qualifying Round (six games) — cut to top 12 players

Thursday, March 9
12 p.m. ET — Top-12 Qualifying Round (six games) — cut to top four players
6:30 p.m. ET — Stepladder finals


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