Krol completes storybook journey from PTQs to Playoffs title

From pre-tournament qualifiers, to his first PBA Tour title, to the Playoffs and his second title: David “Boog” Krol wrote the final chapter to one of the most improbable stories in PBA history on Sunday afternoon.

Krol defeated Jesper Svensson in a roll-off to win the 2024 PBA Playoffs title at AMF Kissimmee Lanes in Kissimmee, Fla. The win marked the second title of 28-year-old Krol’s season and career.

Svensson took the first game of the Race-to-Two championship match. Krol then rebounded to win the second game and force a ninth and 10th frame roll-off.

Krol struck to start the roll-off. Svensson spared an 8-pin, then added a strike and spare in his 10th frame.

Krol, needing a mark, aced a strike to clinch the victory.

Krol defeated Bill O’Neill in the first semifinal, 243-202. Krol also defeated O’Neill in his first-ever televised match in February’s PBA Delaware Classic, which Krol went on to win for his first PBA Tour title.

O’Neill started the match with splits in the first and third frames on the left lane, which featured the 45-foot Dick Weber oil pattern. The right lane featured the 39-foot Mike Aulby pattern.

As Krol mounted the first five strikes, that early deficit proved to be too much for O’Neill to overcome.

“I didn't actually mind the shots too much, but when you're in the wrong part of the lane with the wrong ball sometimes it doesn't matter how good you throw it,” said O’Neill, who won the 2020 Playoffs. “It’s tough when it's a one-game match. You have to get out of the gates strong. You can't be guessing like that.”

In the second semifinal, two-time defending Playoffs champion Kyle Troup stormed out to a similarly commanding lead over Svensson. But after throwing the first five strikes, Troup trudged down the stretch.

Troup split in the sixth frame, then missed a 10-pin spare in the eighth after hitting his ankle. After sparing the 3-6-10 in the ninth frame, Troup opened the door for Svensson to throw three strikes and shut him out.

Svensson, who has bragged about his dominance over his close friend and Roth/Holman Doubles partner for years, seized the opportunity. The Iceman struck in the ninth, added two more in the 10th and knocked over the nine pins he needed on the fill ball.

The Playoffs featured the top 16 players in competition points during the regular season. The four finalists advanced to the championship round by virtue of their quarterfinal wins at Angel of the Winds in Arlington, Wash.

The championship match featured a Race-to-Two format. If either player won both games, they would secure the title; a 1-1 split would result in a ninth and 10th frame roll-off.

All previous matches in the PBA Playoffs were single-game matches.

Svensson took the first game, 220-213, as Krol struggled to control his tempo early in the match.

Krol rebounded in Game 2, racing out to an early lead over the two-handed lefty. Krol’s lead grew when Svensson left the Big Four in the sixth frame; however, Krol returned the favor and left a Big Four of his own in the seventh.

The same trend occurred in the next set of frames: Svensson spared a 2-4-7 in the seventh frame and a 7-pin in the eighth, then Krol spared a 4-pin in the ninth when he had an opportunity to completely take control.

Ultimately, a Krol earned a 204-194 win to force the roll-off.

Even though Svensson aced three strikes on the left lane to end Game 2, Krol opted to let the Swede bowl his final roll-off frame on that lane.  

“I knew in the roll-off I was starting on the left lane. That was my bad lane for sure and I had no trust on that lane,” said Krol, who struck just once on that lane in Game 2. “But I need one strike on this lane, I’m going to do whatever it takes to hit the head-pin and strike.”

That’s exactly what Krol did, shifting the pressure over to Svensson. The southpaw went light on the right lane, leaving and sparing the 8-pin. In the 10th, Svensson struck then left and spared the 3-5-6-10.

Krol then struck in his first shot on the right lane to clinch the win, completing his improbable and inspirational journey from the PTQs to Playoffs and two-time PBA Tour champion.

“All I can say is it's been a dream come true,” Krol said. “I fought so long for this and I finally trusted myself this year to bowl everything as much as I could. We're reaping the benefits right now. Not even winning a title or winning this, just knowing and feeling that I can beat these guys every week and this could be a career that I could hold for another 10 years out here.”

Championship Round Scores

Semifinal 1: No. 9 David Krol def. No. 4 Bill O’Neill, 243-202
Semifinal 2: No. 10 Jesper Svensson def. No. 6 Kyle Troup, 224-211
Championship: No. 9 David Krol def. No. 10 Jesper Svensson, 2-1 (213-220, 204-194, 48-40)

Final Standings

  1. David Krol, $75,000
  2. Jesper Svensson, $50,000
  3. Bill O’Neill, $25,000
  4. Kyle Troup, $25,000
  5. EJ Tackett, $15,000
  6. Marshall Kent, $15,000
  7. Anthony Simonsen, $15,000
  8. Jason Belmonte, $15,000
  9. Matt Russo, $10,000
  10. Zach Wilkins, $10,000
  11. Chris Via, $10,000
  12. Tom Smallwood, $10,000
  13. Andrew Anderson, $8,000
  14. Packy Hanrahan, $7,000
  15. Graham Fach, $6,000
  16. AJ Johnson, $5,000

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