Jason Belmonte Will Try for Record 11th PBA Major Title As Top Qualifier for PBA World Championship Finals

by Jerry Schneider  |  Saturday, March 16, 5:47 PM

Jason Belmonte Will Try for Record 11th PBA Major Title As Top Qualifier for PBA World Championship Finals

ALLEN PARK, Mich. - As top qualifier for the 2019 World Series of Bowling X PBA World Championship stepladder finals, Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte finds himself once again one more match win away from a record 11th career PBA major title.

The stepladder finals of the fourth event of WSOB X, and the third major of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season, will air live next Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on FS1 from Thunderbowl Lanes in suburban Detroit.

The four-time PBA Player of the Year and World Championship defending champion earned top-qualifier honors for the finals by posting an 8-8 match play record and 12,953 56-game pinfall total (including match win bonus pins) after Saturday’s match play rounds.

“I’m feeling confident as I usually do when I get to this point – maybe a little more relaxed because we have a few days before the (World Championship) finals,” said Belmonte, a 19-time tour winner. “It’s a little more rewarding when you come back from a slow start. First, you just chip away, and then if you get the lead stretch it out if you can.”

Belmonte won the PBA Tournament of Champions in February for his 10th PBA major title to tie PBA Hall of Famers Earl Anthony and Pete Weber for first on the all-time list. The following week, also as top qualifier, he was denied an 11th major title losing to fellow two-hander Anthony Simonsen of Little Elm, Texas, in the title match of the PBA Players Championship.

The title match of the World Championship will feature a $1 million bonus if Belmonte or his opponent can bowl a 300 game.

Qualifying second for the World Championship finals was part-time tour player Matt McNiel of Minneapolis, who put together a 12-4 match play record and a 12,630 pinfall total, 323 pins behind Belmonte after 40 qualifying and 16 match play games.

McNiel, making his first tour singles television appearance, has finished 11th in the last three World Championships. He has a best tour finish of fifth, which came in the 2015 Roth-Holman Doubles Championship with Anthony Pepe.

Qualifying third for the finals was 10-time tour winner Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., with a 10-6 match play record and 12,603 pinfall. O’Neill, trying for his second major title, won his 10th title in the season-opening PBA Hall of Fame Classic in January.

Five-time tour winner Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., compiled a 12-4 record in match play and finished with a 12,597 pinfall to qualify fourth for the finals. Butturff, trying for his first major win, won the PBA Oklahoma Open in January for his fifth tour title.

Qualifying fifth for the finals was BJ Moore of Greensburg, Pa., with a 7-9 record and 12,518 pinfall. Moore, who has a best tour finish of second in the 2016 Scorpion Championship will be making his second major telecast after a fifth-place finish in the 2018 Tournament of Champions.

Live WSOB X telecasts on FS1 will begin when FOX Sports airs the championship finals of the PBA Cheetah, Chameleon and Scorpion Championships live on FS1 on consecutive nights Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern. After the World Championship telecast on Thursday, WSOB will wrap up with the telecast of the tape-delayed USA vs. The World team competition Friday, March 22 also at 8 p.m. ET.

The four finalists for the Cheetah, Chameleon and Scorpion Championships will be determined after single-elimination match play competition earlier on the days of their respective finals telecasts. The match play rounds will be streamed on FloBowling.com. Click on www.flobowling.com for subscription information.


Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich., Saturday

MATCH PLAY STANDINGS (includes match play record and 56-game pinfall totals including match win bonus pins. Top five advance to live FS1 finals Thursday at 8 p.m. ET)

1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 8-8, 12,952.
2, Matt McNiel, Minneapolis, Minn., 12-4, 12,630.
3, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 10-6, 12,603.
4, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 12-4, 12,597.
5, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 7-9, 12,518.
6, AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 9-7, 12,508, $10,000.
7, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 8-8, 12,468, $12,000.
8, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 8-8, 12,456, $9,500.
9, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 6-10, 12,355, $9,000.
10, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 7-9, 12,288, $8,000.
11, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 8-8, 12,281, $8,500.
12, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 9-7, 12,210, $7,500.
13, Rhino Page, Orlando, 7-9, 12,173, $6,500.
14, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 4-12, 12,162, $7,000.
15, Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., 10-6, 12,109, $6,000.
16, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 3-13, 11,803, $5,500.

MATCH PLAY STANDINGS (includes match play record and 48-game pinfall total with bonus pins)

1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 3-5, 11,029.
2, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 5-3, 10,817.
3, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 6-2, 10,796.
4, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 6-2, 10,698.
5, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 4-4, 10,661.
6, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 4-4, 10,608.
7, Matt McNiel, Minneapolis, Minn., 6-2, 10,606.
8, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 3-5, 10,560.
9, AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 3-5, 10,548.
10, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 1-7, 10,527.
11, Rhino Page, Orlando, 4-4, 10,489.
12, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 6-2, 10,472.
13, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 3-5, 10,465.
14, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 4-4, 10,415.
15, Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., 5-3, 10,362.
16, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 1-7, 10,193.

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