The 2024 season’s final major is underway at historic AMF Riviera Lanes in Fairlawn, Ohio.

Marshall Kent leads the 72-player field through two rounds of qualifying. He averaged over 228 across 12 games on the 40-foot Don Johnson pattern.

Kent said he drew on his past experience and success at AMF Riviera Lanes, which gave him confidence and allowed him to get to the right part of the lane quicker.

“I know this building typically is not known for high scores,” Kent said. “Going into this week, I knew it was going to be a grind, to just be patient and make spares. I say ‘make spares’ and I missed back-to-back single-pins in Game 2. Luckily my ball reaction helped me strike enough to make up for it. Physically I didn't feel the best this morning but I think mentally I was very clear and seeing my ball reaction very well and that helped put up a number.”

Several players said the differences from pair to pair is one reason for the lower scoring pace, particularly compared to the World Series of Bowling XV. In fact, Kent said he didn’t start a game in the same spot in which he finished the previous game. 

To start Game 4, Kent said he moved 25 boards right after watching Bill O’Neill throw a quality shot and miss the head-pin right.

BJ Moore, Bill O’Neill, Matt Ogle and Anthony Simonsen round out the top five. EJ Tackett fired 300 in the final game of Round 2 to rise into seventh place.

O’Neill, who won the season-opening PBA Players Championship presented by Snickers, said winning the TOC is atop his bucket list.

“When I first started bowling out here, you couldn't bowl unless you had a national title, so I couldn't bowl the tournament for like four years,” O’Neill said. “It's a special tournament for me. I've never been able to win; I lost to Kris Prather here in 2020. It’s just one that I want on my résumé pretty bad.”

A TOC victory would also catapult O’Neill to the top of the Player of the Year conversation. He trails EJ Tackett in points and earnings, but a second major title would be a massive feather in O'Neill's cap.

But the 42-year-old said he isn't worried about the ramifications of this week's tournament.

“I've been out here so long that I know I have to approach every tournament as its own entity,” O’Neill said. It's not like if I finish eighth I’ll be the Player of the Year — I have to win. That's my goal anyway, so it'll take care of itself.”

Qualifying resumes at 10 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday. The morning’s six-game round will determine the 24 players advancing to match play, which begins at 6 p.m. ET.

After Thursday’s final round of match play, the five-player stepladder finals field will be set.

All rounds of qualifying and match play will be livestreamed on BowlTV.

Round 2 Leaders

  1. Marshall Kent, 2,740 (+340)
  2. BJ Moore, 2,683 (+283)
  3. Bill O’Neill, 2,659 (+259)
  4. Matt Ogle, 2,654 (+254)
  5. Anthony Simonsen, 2,653 (+253)
  6. Dick Allen, 2,644 (+244)
  7. EJ Tackett, 2,631 (+231)
  8. Kyle Sherman, 2,627 (+227)
  9. Brad Miller, 2,618 (+218)
  10. Jake Peters, 2,616 (+216)

Full standings are available here.

TOC Schedule

AMF Riviera Lanes | Fairlawn, OH

All times listed in Eastern

Wednesday, April 24
10am — Qualifying Round 3 (six games)

Top 24 players advances to round-robin match play

6pm — Match Play Round 1 (eight games)

Thursday, April 25
10am — Match Play Round 2 (eight games)
6pm — Match Play Round 3 (eight games)

Top five players advance to championship round — Sunday at 1pm ET on FOX

Friday, April 26
6pm — Hall of Fame induction ceremonies (free to watch on BowlTV)

Saturday, April 17
9am — Pro-Am
11am — Pro-Am
4pm — PBA Elite League Round 14 matches (L.A. X vs. Portland; Akron vs. Las Vegas)

Sunday, April 28
1pm on FOX — TOC stepladder finals

More information on the PBA Tournament of Champions is available here.