Fort Myers, Florida – Tom Hess is focused on staying in the moment and letting things develop. So far, that is working out really well for him. His consistency across 14 games of qualifying has allowed him to stay at the top of the leaderboard at this week’s 2024 PBA50 Fort Myers Classic.

During Tuesday’s final seven games of qualifying, he shot 235, 234, 235, 234, 192, 238 and 267 to improve to 3,316 overall, a 236.86 average. He felt the lanes inside Lightning Strikes Bowl hooked a bit more for him than they did on Monday. His one game under 200, included a split and one double.

“I am getting breaks where my marginal shots are not splitting very often. I only have six opens in 14 games,” the Iowa native said. “That allows your strikes to add up instead of playing catch up, and it makes it easier to bowl those games over 200.”

He continued to be the only player in the entire field to have just a single game under 200 sitting at +516. He holds a 97-pin advantage over John Janawicz, who is in second place followed by Paul Koehler, Brad Angelo and John Marsala, to round out the top five. Hess is the tournament’s defending champion, but he is not getting ahead of himself. It’s all about sticking to his process.

“I am being chased by some really good bowlers right now. The first thing is to remain the No. 1 seed,” he said. “From there, win a couple of matches and be that No. 1 seed. If I bowl to my capabilities, I really like my chances.”

After Tuesday’s final day of qualifying, the field was cut to the top 42 players. The final players to move into the Advancers Round were Michael Haggitt and Danny Wiseman tied at +47. The remaining players will bowl four games starting at 8 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday, with all pins carrying forward. The top 24 bowlers will continue into bracket match play rounds best two-out-of-three games, where all pins are dropped. In the Round of 24, qualifiers 9-24 will begin bowling at Noon.

Those winners and the top 8 players, who received a first-round bye, will bowl in the Round of 16 at 2 p.m. followed by the Round of 8 at 4 p.m. After that, the top four and the highest seed to lose in the Round of 8 will be in the stepladder finals, scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Enjoy all of the action only on BowlTV.

Top 10 PBA50 Fort Myers Classic standings:

  1. Tom Hess, 3,316 (+516)
  2. John Janawicz, 3,219 (+419)
  3. Paul Koehler, 3,152 (+352)
  4. Brad Angelo, 3,121 (+321)
  5. John Marsala, 3,116 (+316)
  6. Peter Dohan Jr., 3,101 (+301) 
  7. Jon Rakoski, 3,095 (+295)
  8. Chris Warren, 3,083 (+283)
  9. Danny McMillan, 3,079 (+279)
  10. Chris Barnes, 3,077 (+277)

Full standings - PBA50 Fort Myers Classic

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