Jason Belmonte Overtakes EJ Tackett to Qualify No. 1 for PBA World Championship Stepladder Finals

by Bill Vint  |  Friday, March 13, 5:58 AM

Jason Belmonte Overtakes EJ Tackett to Qualify No. 1 for PBA World Championship Stepladder Finals

LAS VEGAS – Australia’s Jason Belmonte out-bowled a field of 120 Storm PBA World Series of Bowling XI competitors over 56 games on four different lane conditions to earn the top berth for the PBA World Championship stepladder finals at South Point Bowling Plaza Thursday.

The PBA World Championship will be decided live on FS1 on Wednesday, March 18, at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific before an audience consisting only of PBA players, family members and tournament officials in the wake of the PBA’s decision to close the event to the public in response to coronavirus concerns.

Belmonte, who owns 2017 and 2019 PBA World Championships among his record 12 PBA major titles, overcame EJ Tackett’s 246-pin lead heading into the final 16 games of round robin match play Thursday, winning 11 of his 16 matches to post a 56-game total of 13,546 pins and qualifying No. 1 for the stepladder finals by six pins over Tackett.

Rounding out the finals field will be Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, with a 13,390 total, two-time U.S. Open winner Francois Lavoie, Canada, 13,283, and Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 13,236.

Simonsen, 23, is trying to become the youngest bowler in PBA history to win three major titles. He won the USBC Masters at 19 and upset Belmonte to win the PBA Players Championship a year ago at age 22. Via is trying for his first PBA Tour title.

The multi-event PBA World Series has been contested on 33-foot Cheetah, 39-foot Chameleon, 42-foot Scorpion and 43-foot Earl Anthony lane oiling patterns, forcing the entire field of players from around the world to adapt to a variety of scoring challenges. All players also have been working to earn competition points in each event toward qualifying for the upcoming PBA Playoffs and the annual PBA League draft that will be held Sunday at 5 p.m. Eastern.

Prior to the World Championship finals, the top 16 qualifiers in the Go Bowling PBA Cheetah Championship, Chameleon Championship and Scorpion Championship will bowl five-game, single-elimination match play rounds to narrow each group of 16 to four finalists. The Cheetah elimination rounds will take place Saturday at 3 and 6 p.m. Eastern and the finals will air live on FS1 on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Eastern. The Chameleon and Scorpion match play rounds will be held at noon and 3 p.m. Eastern with finals live on FS1 Monday and Tuesday, respectively, at 8 p.m. Eastern.

The WSOB XI will conclude with a special USA vs. The World team event that will air on FS1 on Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

FloBowling, the PBA’s official subscription-based online streaming service, is providing exclusive coverage of all WSOB match play rounds, plus the PBA League Draft. FloBowling also livestreams the FS1 finals to its international subscribers. For subscription information, visit flobowling.com. Fans also can follow the World Series in real time on pba.com’s Live Scoring feature.

PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
(A Storm PBA World Series of Bowling XI/2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour Tier 1 event)

Final Match Play Standings (after 56 qualifying games, including match play bonus pins; top five advance to live FS1 stepladder finals Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific)
1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 11-5, 13,546.
2, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 7-7-2, 13,540.
3, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 10-6, 13,390.
4, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 10-6, 13,283.
5, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 10-6, 13,236.
6, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 10-6, 13,166, $12,000.
7, Darren Tang, Las Vegas, 7-9, 13,146, $10,000.
8, Dom Barrett, England, 10-5-1, 13,137, $9,500.
9, Brad Miller, Lees Summit, Mo., 7-9, 13,080, $9,000.
10, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 6-8-2, 13,058, $8,500.
11, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 9-7, 13,022, $8,000.
12, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 7-9, 12,842, $7,500.
13, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 4-11-1, 12,841, $7,000.
14, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 7-9, 12,825, $6,500.
15, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 5-11, 12,804, $6,000.
16, Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 5-11, 12,707, $5,500.
300 Games: Kyle Troup.