After 24 games at the PBA Jackson Classic, the two hottest players on the planet continue to dominate. EJ Tackett and Anthony Simonsen, champions of three of the season’s four events, lead the field into the final day of competition.

Tackett has tallied a total pinfall of 5,724 (+924), averaging more than 238, while Simonsen sits 62 pins behind. Santtu Tahvanainen, Cody Shoemaker and Matt Russo fill out the top five and trail Tackett by less than 200 pins.

Tommy Jones seized the lead after the third round of qualifying on Wednesday morning, but Tackett surged in front during the evening’s Top-24 Round.

The scoring pace slowed down on Wednesday as the players competed on two lane conditions simultaneously. Players bowled on the 44-foot Hardwick oil pattern on the left lane, with the 39-foot Chameleon pattern on the right lane.

Those conditions, however, proved futile in slowing down Jason Belmonte.

The 30-time champion catapulted nearly 30 spots up the leaderboard. Belmonte closed the evening’s six-game round with 279 and 276 to solidify his spot in Thursday’s competition.

Marshall Kent’s strong finish, firing 813 over his final three games, helped him stave off the Australian.

After tallying four straight games over 255 to begin the night, Tom Smallwood secured the final spot in the top 12.

The dozen contending players will bowl a final six-game round on Thursday morning, which will determine the four stepladder finalists. The finals begin at 6:30 p.m. ET on BowlTV.

Leaders after Top-24 Round

  1. EJ Tackett, 5,724 (+924)
  2. Anthony Simonsen, 5,662 (+862)
  3. Santtu Tahvanainen, 5,536 (+736)
  4. Cody Shoemaker, 5,536 (+736)
  5. Matt Russo, 5,531 (+731)
  6. Shawn Maldonado, 5,516 (+716)
  7. Tommy Jones, 5,515 (+715)
  8. Marshall Kent, 5,509 (+709)
  9. Kevin McCune, 5,504 (+704)
  10. Jason Belmonte, 5,501 (+701)
  11. AJ Johnson, 5,488 (+688)
  12. Tom Smallwood, 5,476 (+676)

Full standings are available here.

Tournament Schedule

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

More information on the PBA Jackson Classic is available here.


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