Kyle Troup, Jesper Svensson, Bill O’Neill, David Krol advance to PBA Playoffs semifinals

The Final Four of the PBA Playoffs features the two-time defending champion, a former Playoffs champion, a two-handed lefty who almost shot 300, and an underdog turned into a hungry wolf.

Kyle Troup, Bill O’Neill, Jesper Svensson and David “Boog” Krol each won their quarterfinal match on Sunday evening to advance to the semifinals. The quarterfinals were taped May 5 at Angel of the Winds Casino Resort in Arlington, Wash.

The four victors advance to the semifinals, which will be held Sunday, May 19 at AMF Kissimmee in Kissimmee, Fla.

O’Neill will face Kril in the first one-game semifinal before Troup and Svensson square off in the second.

The winners will then meet in the Race-to-Two championship match.

Tickets for the 2 p.m. Eastern show, airing on FOX, are available here.

Krol won the opening match of the quarterfinals, defeating top seed EJ Tackett, 257-213. Much like he did in his Round of 12 win over Zach Wilkins, Krol overcame a slow start with a furious finish to close out the season’s top player.

Without an exempt spot in the main field, Krol had to earn a spot via the seven-game pre-tournament qualifier before every PBA Tour event — until he won the PBA Delaware Classic and secured an exempt spot. Despite having to bowl PTQs for the first half of the season, the 28-year-old finished ninth in points.

“Holy smokes. Final Four of the Playoffs coming from the PTQs,” Krol said. “It’s crazy to say that I have (made it). It’s insane. I still don’t believe it. It’s going to take me a while to process this.”

O’Neill, the 2020 Playoffs champion, was the lone higher seed to win in the quarterfinals. After enjoying his one-round bye, O’Neill defeated his doubles partner Jason Belmonte, 238-206.

After a fortunate break to trip out the 4-pin, O’Neill doubled in the 10th to shut out Belmonte.

“The first one in the 10th loosened me up a little bit because it was such a bad shot and still struck,” O’Neill said. “I tried to throw it slower and make it hook. I threw it terribly and luckily for me the carry in that spot is really really good. The second one in the 10th was about as good as I could throw it.”

After winning the season-opening PBA Players Championship, O’Neill led the tour in points for much of the season. O’Neill has now earned six top-five and seven top-10 finishes in the midst of a career renaissance.

“It feels good to be back in position to win as frequently as I have this year,” O’Neill said. “I haven't capitalized on it enough and hopefully I can do that in Florida.”

Svensson was the lone southpaw — at least on paper — remaining in the field after he defeated Matt Russo in the Round of 12. 

In the quarterfinals, Svensson nearly shot 300. He fired 10 consecutive strikes against Marshall Kent before the 7-pin once again reared its ugly head.

Kent kept up with Svensson for much of the match until a 7-10 in the ninth frame ended the TOC champion’s run.

“It's a big mix of emotions because you're kind of relieved that you won the game, but you're still trying to be locked in to finish the job,” Svensson said. “I guess I got caught in between. I didn't throw a terrible, but it wasn't the best shot. I’ll take a dub.”

Troup, who won the Playoffs in 2021 and 2022 (no event in 2023), defeated Chris Via and Anthony Simonsen in his Round of 12 and quarterfinal matches to keep his threepeat bid alive.

Simonsen, described by nearly all tour players as the sport’s most versatile player, elected to throw a back-up ball on the right lane’s 39-foot Mike Aulby pattern and a “normal” line on the left lane’s 45-foot Dick Weber pattern on the left lane.

Simonsen started with four straight strikes, but added just two more in the final six frames.

Troup doubled in the eighth and ninth frames to seize the lead for good. He will meet Svensson, his best friend on tour and his title-winning partner in the 2017 and 2020 Roth/Holman PBA Doubles Championships.

“We've been waiting for this moment for a long time,” Troup said.

“Obviously there are a lot of jokes and all that, but I know that when the lights come on and we're ready to bowl, I’m going to put my head down and try to beat him,” Svensson said.

Tickets for the PBA Playoffs Finals, which will be held May 19 at 2 p.m. ET, are available here.

Quarterfinal Matches

No. 9 David Krol def. No. 1 EJ Tackett, 257-213
No. 4 Bill O’Neill def. No. 5 Jason Belmonte, 238-206
No. 10 Jesper Svensson def. No. 2 Marshall Kent, 289-224
No. 6 Kyle Troup def. No. 3 Anthony Simonsen, 234-225

Semifinal and Championship | May 19 at 2 p.m. ET on FOX

No. 9 David Krol vs. No. 4 Bill O’Neill
No. 10 Jesper Svensson vs. No. 6 Kyle Troup

Championship: Krol/O’Neill vs. Svensson/Troup

Tickets for the PBA Playoffs Finals are available here.