Tackett, Russo, Via and Butturff Lead PBA Players Championship presented by Snickers
After 12 more games at the PBA Players Championship presented by Snickers, the top four players remain the same.
EJ Tackett, Matt Russo, Chris Via and Jakob Butturff remain in position to earn a bye for the 12-player televised bracket with a dozen games remaining in the tournament.
Tackett leads the field with a total pinfall of 8,290 (+1,090) for 36 games, while Russo fired games of 277 and 300 this evening to move into second place.
Tomas Käyhkö, who led the second advancer round with a 1,477 six-game series, moved into fifth place. He trails fourth-place Butturff by 72 pins as the field trimmed from 42 players to 24 following Thursday’s two advancer rounds.
Anthony Simonsen, who seeks to make the championship round of all five major championships, sits in sixth place, while defending champion Jason Belmonte is in 14th.
Tackett increased his lead to 159 pins during Thursday’s dual-pattern competition. With the 45-foot Weber pattern on the left lane and 39-foot Carter on the right, Tackett opted to throw a Carbide Tank on the fresh.
“I describe that ball as if it’s made out of maple syrup and gummy bears,” Tackett said. “The cover likes to stick to the lane.
Tackett said he started off both advancer rounds well, but said he has struggled with transition, particularly on the left lane.
“I’m having a really tough time seeing the lane the right way,” he said. “I’ve gotta get better at the end of blocks here.”
If he continues to bowl well on the fresh and solves his issues later in rounds, Tackett could earn the No. 1 seed at a fourth major this season. However, he said the top seed is irrelevant this week.
“At this tournament, it doesn’t matter because it doesn’t guarantee you the title match,” Tackett said. “The top four is all that matters.”
Cody Shoemaker struck on his final eight shots to usurp Ramsey Basurto by nine pins for the final berth in Friday’s top-24 round. With two games to go, Shoemaker had fallen to 34th place.
“It was one of those moments where you're like, “Let’s leave it all out there. You never know what's going to happen,’” Shoemaker said. “I would have to find a lot (of pins) tomorrow to get the 12th, but we'll take the first step of trying to get to 18th first.”
The top-24 round begins at 11 a.m. ET on Friday, with those six games determining the advancers to the top-18 round on Friday evening. The top 12 players after 48 games of qualifying will advance to the televised bracket finals.
Leaders Through Advancer Round 2
- EJ Tackett, 8,290 (+1,090)
- Matt Russo, 8,131 (+931)
- Chris Via, 8,102 (+902)
- Jakob Butturff, 8,076 (+876)
- Tomas Käyhkö, 8,004 (+804)
- Anthony Simonsen, 7,975 (+775)
- Dom Barrett, 7,971 (+771)
- Bill O’Neill, 7,952 (+752)
- Trevor Roberts, 7,945 (+743)
- Keven Williams, 7,943 (+743)
Full standings are available here.
All times are listed in Eastern.
Friday, May 5 | BowlTV
11 a.m. — Top-24 Round (six games)
5:30 p.m. — Top-18 Round (six games)
Saturday, May 6 | FS1
10 p.m. — Round of 12 (single-game matches)
Tickets for the 4 p.m. taping are available here.
Sunday, May 7 | FS1
Noon — Round of Eight (Race-to-Two matches)
4 p.m. — Round of Eight (Race-to-Two matches)
Tickets for the shows are available here.
Saturday, May 13 | FS1
12:30 p.m. — Round of Four (Race-to-Two matches)
Sunday, May 14 | FOX
1 p.m. — Championship Round (Best-of-Five match)
More information on the PBA Players Championship presented by Snickers is available here.