Belmonte, Miller Tie for Qualifying Lead as Players Championship Field is Cut to 24 for Match Play

by Jerry Schneider  |  Thursday, February 14, 12:47 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio  – Brad Miller of Lees Summit, Mo., made a run in the final qualifying round of the PBA Players Championship Thursday to tie Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte for the lead as the field is cut to 24 players who will advance to tonight’s first match play round at 6 p.m. ET.   

Miller bowled a 1,292 pinfall for six games, with games of 279, 248, 254, 212, 225 and 233 in the third round of qualifying, to finish with a 4,109 18-game overall pinfall (228 average) to share the lead with Belmonte who was the leader after the first two rounds.

“I wasn’t real confident coming into the tournament but gained confidence as the tournament went on,” said Miller. “I like the condition (PBA 45-foot Dragon) we’re bowling on this week but wasn’t sure I could take advantage of it because I haven’t been bowling well the last couple weeks.

“I’m anticipating it’s going to be kind of a grind going forward,” the 28-year-old Miller added. “In some ways the tournament is just beginning. It’s easy to go down in the standings but it’s hard to go up.”

Miller has made a steady climb after starting the tournament in 21st after the first round and sixth after the second round.

Miller has a best tour finish of second which came in the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman Doubles Championship earlier this season with doubles partner Kyle Sherman.

Finishing third heading into match player is defending champion Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., with a 4,074 pinfall. Smallwood, a three-time tour winner defeated Belmonte 259-239 in the title match of the 2018 Players Championship for his second major and third career tour title.

Trying for a record 11th PBA major title, Belmonte struggled as the third round progressed, starting with 258 but then following up with games of 216, 213, 215, 209 and 181.

Belmonte is also trying for his second consecutive major title on the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour, after winning his third PBA Tournament of Champions title last Sunday for his 10th career major to tie Pete Weber and Earl Anthony on the all-time list. With a win he can also become the first three-time winner of the Players Championship.

Also making a run was 10-time tour winner Wes Malott who was 29th after the first round but finished fourth after the third round with, 4,057. Just three pins behind in fifth is three-time tour winner Kyle Troup with 4,053.

After this evening’s first match play round, match play continues Friday with rounds at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. which will determine the top five players for Sunday’s live stepladder finals on FS1 at 1 p.m. ET. The Players Championship will offer a $1 million bonus if a player can bowl a 300 game in Sunday’s title match.

Fans can catch all the match play action on through PBA’s online streaming partner, FloBowling. For schedule and subscription information visit FloBowling.com.

PBA PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP

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

THIRD ROUND RESULTS (after 18 games. Top 24 advance to first match play round)

1, Brad Miller, Lees Summit, Mo., 4,109.
1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 4,109.
3, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 4,074.
4, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 4,057.
5, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 4,053.
6, AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 4,040.
7, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 4,019.
8, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 4,006.
9, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 3,998.
10, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3,987.
11, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 3,985.
12, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 3,980.
13, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 3,949.
14, DJ Archer, Spring, Texas, 3,935.
15, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 3,926.
16, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 3,920.
16, A.J. Rice, Salem, Ala., 3,920.
18, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 3,912.
19, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 3,909.
20, Stuart Williams, England, 3,899.
21, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 3,896.
22, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 3,882.
23, Zacharay Wilkins, Canada, 3,876.
24, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 3,854.

Failed to advance:
25, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 3,845, $2,000.
26, Nicholas Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 3,844, $1,700.
27, Patrick Girard, Canada, 3,838, $1,650.
28, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 3,835, $1,575.
28, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 3,835, $1,575.
30, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 3,834, $1,500.
31, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 3,821.
31, Christopher Sloan, Ireland, 3,821.
33, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 3,819.
34, Francois Louw, South Africa, 3,818.
35, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 3,806.
36, Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., 3,793.
37, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 3,791.
38, Jake Rollins, Glen Rock, N.J., 3,790.
39, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 3,780.
40, Tim Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., 3,776.
40, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 3,776.
40, Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 3,776.
43, Aaron Lorincz, Center Line, Mich., 3,766.
44, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 3,763.
45, Mike Coffey, Melbourne, Fla., 3,754.
46, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 3,752.
47, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 3,750.
48, Kurt Pilon, Sterling Heights, Mich., 3,749.
49, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 3,740.
49, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 3,740.
51, Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 3,739.
52, Jason Sterner, Fayetteville, Ga., 3,719.
53, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 3,714.
54, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 3,705, $100.
55, Mitch Hupe, Canada, 3,703.
55, Richie Teece, England, 3,703.
57, Rafiq Ismail, Malaysia, 3,702.
58, Dom Barrett, England, 3,700.
59, Ryan Ciminelli, Clarence, N.Y., 3,695.
60, Nathan Bohr, Austin, Texas, 3,694.
61, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 3,686.
62, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 3,684.
63, Zachery Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 3,681.
64, Jim Pratt, Avondale, Ariz., 3,679.
64, John Furey, Howell, N.J., 3,679.
66, Michael Tang, Johnstown, Ohio, 3,677.
67, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 3,667.
68, Matthew Ogle, Louisville, Ky., 3,665.
69, Gaetan Mouveroux, France, 3,657.
70, Darren Tang, Las Vegas, Nev., 3,654.
71, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 3,653.
72, Billy Rogers, Mesquite, Texas, 3,652.
73, Mykel Holliman, Collierville, Tenn., 3,640.
74, Jean Perez, Puerto Rico, 3,636.
74, Michael Davidson, Versailles, Ohio, 3,636.
76, Johnathan Bower, Middletown, Pa., 3,631.
77, Joe Bailey, Wooster, Ohio, 3,629.
78, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 3,627.
79, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 3,619.
80, Rhino Page, Orlando, 3,605.
81, Dwight Adams, Greensboro, N.C., 3,602.
82, Kyle Bigelow, Troy, Ohio, 3,601.
83, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 3,592.
84, Jimmy Cook, Indianapolis, 3,591.
85, Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., 3,588.
86, Geoffrey Young, Roanoke, Texas, 3,587.
87, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 3,586.
88, Graham Fach, Urbana, Ohio, 3,579.
89, Justin Knowles, Okemos, Mich., 3,578.
90, Sam Cooley, Australia, 3,575.
91, Annop Arromsaranon, Thailand, 3,561.
92, Kamron Doyle, Brentwood, Tenn., 3,559.
93, Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 3,554.
94, Cody Shoemaker, Hanover, Pa., 3,550.
95, Andrew Suscreba, Clifton, N.J., 3,528.
95, David Harold, Columbus, Ohio, 3,528.
97, Kim Bolleby, Sweden, 3,527.
98, Matt Kuba, Chicago Ridge, IL, 3,519.
99, Chris Colella, Indianapolis, Ind., 3,511.
100, JR Raymond, Clinton Twp., Mich., 3,498.
101, JoJoe Yannaphon, Thailand, 3,494.
102, Patrick Hanrahan, Wichita, Kan., 3,491.
103, Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., 3,483.
103, Charlie Brown Jr, Grandville, Mich., 3,483.
105, Greg Young, Viera, Fla., 3,481.
106, Kyle Gillum, Columbus, Ohio, 3,474.
107, Jason Lundquist, Columbus, Ohio, 3,464.
108, Samuel DeWitt, Pittsburgh, Pa., 3,458.
109, Matt Sanders, Indianapolis, 3,437.
110, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 3,428.
111, Arturo Quintero, Mexico, 3,403.
112, Pontus Andersson, Sweden, 3,392.
113, Keven Williams, Springfield, Mo.,, 3,345.
114, Brandon Robertson, Venice, Fla., 3,292.
115, Joshua Weiner, Hilliard, Ohio, 3,280.
116, Justin Wyman, Fairport, N.Y., 3,274.
117, Eduardo Astiazaran, Mexico.., 3,256.
118, Michael Baker, Moline, Ill., 3,145.
119, Tristan Butler, Fort Wayne, Ind., 3,088.
120, Stephen Pavlinko, Sewell, N.J., 2,451.

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