Belmonte Has Commanding Lead Heading Into PBA Players Championship Final Match Play Round

by Jerry Schneider  |  Friday, February 15, 12:09 PM

Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte went 8-0 in Friday’s first match play round to extend his lead in the PBA Players Championship heading into tonight’s final round that will determine the top five for Sunday’s live stepladder finals at 1 p.m. ET on FS1.

Belmonte, who is trying for a PBA record 11th major and 20th career tour title, takes a 13-3 overall record and 8,244 34-game pinfall into tonight’s final round.

Belmonte won with games of 245, 268, 227, 197, 247, 217, 235 and 244.

Trailing Belmonte by 215 pins with a 12-3-1 record (including 7-1 today) and 8,029 pinfall is another two-handed standout Anthony Simonsen.

Simonsen, who became the youngest player to win a major when he won the 2016 USBC Masters at age 19, is trying for his second major title and sixth career title.

Two-time tour winner DJ Archer also put together an 8-0 record early Friday to move into third with a 7,872 pinfall. Archer has a 13-2-1 record after two rounds of match play.

Defending champion Tom Smallwood holds down the fourth spot with a 9-6-1 overall match play record and 7,835 pinfall.

Smallwood defeated Belmonte 259-239 in the title match of last year’s Players Championship at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl for his second major and third career tour title.

In fifth is another two-hander, three-time tour winner Kyle Troup, who has a 9-7 record and 7,804 pinfall.

Tonight’s final match play round gets underway at 6 p.m. ET.

PBA PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP

Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl, Columbus, Ohio, Friday

FIFTH ROUND RESULTS (after 34 games. Includes match play record and total pinfall including bonus pins. All players return for Friday’s final match play round)

1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 13-3-0, 8,244.
2, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 12-3-1, 8,029.
3, DJ Archer, Spring, Texas, 13-2-1, 7,872.
4, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 9-6-1, 7,835.
5, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 9-7-0, 7,804.
6, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 9-7-0, 7,796.
7, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 10-6-0, 7,791.
8, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 12-4-0, 7,756.
9, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 7-8-1, 7,710.
10, Brad Miller, Lees Summit, Mo., 7-8-1, 7,664.
11, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 8-8-0, 7,639.
12, AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 5-10-1, 7,632.
13, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 8-8-0, 7,623.
14, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 8-8-0, 7,618.
15, Stuart Williams, England, 8-7-1, 7,559, $100.
16, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 6-10-0, 7,512.
17, Zacharay Wilkins, Canada, 7-9-0, 7,497.
18, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 7-9-0, 7,458.
19, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 6-10-0, 7,456.
20, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 7-9-0, 7,326.
21, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 5-11-0, 7,287.
22, A.J. Rice, Salem, Ala., 3-12-1, 7,279.
23, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 4-12-0, 7,238.
24, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 5-11-0, 7,129.