With the top 24 players advancing to Friday’s final elimination rounds, Bill O’Neill leads the field with a total pinfall of 5,511 (+711) through 24 games on the 45-foot Dragon pattern at Enterprise Park Lanes in Springfield, Mo.

O’Neill, who leads the tour in points through three events, credited his strong season to his physical game and ability to read the lanes.

“Wherever I have to play on the lane right now, I feel like I can do it and I can do it at the speed and axis rotation that I need to do it,” O’Neill said. “The second part of that is I feel like I'm really seeing the lane well. Whatever pattern we're bowling on, I see what I need to do and the type of ball motion that I need to achieve to strike really clearly.”

O’Neill shot a pair of 290 games en route to a 1,441 six-game series to take the PBA Pete Weber Missouri Classic lead.

“It’s really imperative to take advantage of the good pairs,” O’Neill said. “When you see your ball do the right thing the first couple of frames, you have to take advantage of them because there's not a ton of good pairs. But also when you see your ball do the right thing, you can kind of relax a little bit because you know what you’ve got to do.”

Matt Russo, EJ Tackett, Jakob Butturff and Kim Bolleby round out the top five.

Tackett said he struggled with his ball reaction a bit the first block, but saw significant improvement during the second and third rounds of qualifying.

“The lanes developed the way I like to see him develop on patterns like this,” Tackett said. “I was able to do the thing with my hand that helps me strike a bunch on these patterns and that's keeping my hand dead behind the ball and keeping the ball a little bit closer to the head-pin. The first block, I felt like I had to kind of twist my hand around the ball a little bit and that's never good for me.”

Tackett, like most of the 64-player field, was emotional at the conclusion of Thursday’s third round of qualifying as Pete Weber threw the final shots of his PBA Tour career. 

The moment reminded Tackett of the swan songs of Johnny Petraglia, Carmen Salvino, Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Norm Duke.

“It’s going to be cool to look back on my career and say I was there when they bowled for the last time,” Tackett said. “Obviously I wasn't there in their heyday, but it's been really cool to be able to see all of that. Now to have this tournament named after Pete, it’s a fitting place for him to hang the hat up. These guys are legends that we grew up watching. To be able to be here for such a big moment, it’s hard to put into words.”

Tackett, the second-youngest player to reach 20 career titles, was just 14 days older than Weber when he won last season on April 17, 2023 — 30 years to the day after Weber eclipsed the 20-title mark.


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Three Missouri natives — Spencer Robarge, David “Boog” Krol and Brad Miller — were among the 24 players who advanced on Thursday night.

Friday’s competition will include two six-game elimination rounds, with a cut to the top 12 players after the morning’s round. After all 36 games are complete, the top five players will advance to Sunday’s stepladder finals.

The second elimination round begins at 10 a.m. Central (11 a.m. Eastern) time on Friday.

All qualifying and elimination rounds will be livestreamed on BowlTV.

Leaders after Elimination Round 1

  1. Bill O’Neill, 5,511 (+711)
  2. Matt Russo, 5,503 (+703)
  3. EJ Tackett, 5,473 (+673)
  4. Jakob Butturff, 5,465 (+665)
  5. Kim Bolleby, 5,425 (+625)
  6. Jason Sterner, 5,420 (+620)
  7. Anthony Simonsen, 5,418 (+618)
  8. Tom Daugherty, 5,418 (+618)
  9. DJ Archer,  5,400 (+600)
  10. Cristian Azcona, 5,383 (+583)
  11. Cortez Schenck,  5,377 (+577)
  12. Zach Wilkins,  5,355 (+555)
  13. Jesper Svensson,  5,351 (+551)
  14. AJ Johnson, 5,338 (+538)
  15. Graham Fach, 5,330 (+530)
  16. Shawn Maldonado, 5,316 (+516)
  17. Nathan Bohr, 5,274 (+474)
  18. Justin Knowles, 5,269 (+469)
  19. Kris Prather, 5,254 (+454)
  20. Spencer Robarge, 5,219 (+419)
  21. David Krol, 5,218 (+418)
  22. Mitch Hupé, 5,207 (+407)
  23. Packy Hanrahan, 5,205 (+405)
  24. Brad Miller, 5,200 (+400)

Full standings are available here.

PBA Pete Weber Missouri Classic Schedule

Enterprise Park Lanes | Springfield, MO

All times Central

Friday, Feb. 16
10 a.m. — Elimination Round 2 (six games)
Cut to top 12 players; pins carry over
6 p.m. — Elimination Round 3 (six games)
Top five players advance to championship round

Sunday, Feb. 18
12 p.m. (1 p.m. ET) — PBA Pete Weber Missouri Classic stepladder finals