Jason Belmonte Wins PBA Chameleon Championship for 20th Career Title
by Jerry Schneider | Tuesday, March 19, 9:02 PM
ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Four-time PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte of Australia won the PBA Chameleon Championship Tuesday for his 20th career Go Bowling! PBA Tour title and to become the third two-time winner this season.
The 35-year-old two-hander from Australia defeated three-time tour winner and Chameleon Championship finals top qualifier Andres Gomez of Colombia 236-194 in the second event of PBA World Series of Bowling X at Thunderbowl Lanes which was televised live by FS1.
Belmonte threw seven strikes in the match and didn’t throw a shot worse than nine on the first ball to hold a comfortable lead over Gomez throughout the match.
“What you find is that making a good shot to get to the pocket really isn’t the issue, it’s how the ball goes through the pins once it gets there,” said Belmonte who won his 18th career title in the 2018 PBA Tour Finals at Thunderbowl Lanes. “When you leave a single pin, it puts you in an odd position of how much of a change you should make to carry those single pins because you’re basically making good shots. But, on the other hand, you don’t want to leave those single pins all day.”
By winning the Chameleon Championship Belmonte joined PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke and Dick Allen as two-time winners this season. He also joined Hall of Famers Amleto Monacelli, Dick Ritger and Wayne Webb in the 20-win club.
Belmonte won the PBA Tournament of Champions in February for his 19th career title and to tie Hall of Famers Pete Weber and Earl Anthony for most major titles with 10.
“It’s a crazy big number I never thought I would reach,” Belmonte said. “I’m just enjoying the moment and then moving forward to the next tournament. I’ll celebrate a little tonight and then focus on what I need to do tomorrow. “You don’t want to live in the past or the future because it will distract you from what you need to do now.”
Bowling on the PBA 39-foot Chameleon lane condition, the finals opened with a seeding round that determined the qualifying order for three stepladder matches. Gomez earned the top seed for the finals with a 235 game followed by Belmonte, 227; No. 3 qualifier AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 205, and four-time tour winner Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 179.
In the opening stepladder match, Chapman, making his second tour telecast and trying for his first tour win beat Russell 244-233 to advance to the semifinal match against Belmonte. Belmonte beat Chapman 200-197 in the semifinal to advance to the title match against Gomez.
The four finalists survived Round-of-16 and Round-of-8 best-of-five elimination rounds earlier Tuesday after qualifying rounds bowled last week to advance to the telecast.
Belmonte will have an opportunity to add more milestones to his career this week. He will try for his 21st tour win when WSOB X competition continues with Round-of-16 and Round-of-8 elimination rounds Wednesday for the PBA Scorpion Championship which will determine the four finalists for the finals telecast at 8 p.m. ET on FS1.
Belmonte has already earned top qualifier honors for Thursday’s stepladder finals of the PBA World Championship when he will try for a record 11th major title. The World Championship finals will air live Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.
A $1 million bonus will be paid if Belmonte or his opponent can bowl a 300 game in the title match.
WSOB wraps up with the tape-delayed USA vs. The World team competition Friday also at 8 p.m.
The match play rounds for the Scorpion Championships will be streamed live by FloBowling. For subscription information visit www.flobowling.com.
PBA CHAMELEON CHAMPIONSHIP
Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich., Tuesday
1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, $20,000
2, Andres Gomez, Colombia, $10,000
3, AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, $7,000
4, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., $6,000
Seeding Round – Gomez, 235; Belmonte, 227; Chapman, 205; Russell, 179.
Match 1 – Chapman def. Russell, 244-233.
Semifinal – Belmonte def. Chapman, 200-197.
Championship – Belmonte def. Gomez, 236-194.
Round of 8 (winners advance to championship round. Best-of-five matches, losers earned $3,000)
Andres Gomez, Colombia, def. Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 3-2 (258-252, 225-274, 220-256, 213-201, 225-180).
Jason Belmonte, Australia, def. Tim Pfeifer, Oakdale, Pa., 3-2 (182-239, 255-187, 236-174, 226-232, 203-172).
AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, def. Anthony Pepe, East Elmhurst, N.Y., 3-1 (219-175, 226-213, 226-242, 213-208).
Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., def. Rafiq Ismail, Malaysia, 3-1 (193-196, 173-165, 211-188, 199-197).
Round of 16 (winners advance to Round-of-8. Best-of-five matches, losers earned $1,500)
AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, def. Mitch Hupe, Canada, 3-1 (174-189, 214-180, 211-192, 193-181).
Anthony Pepe, East Elmhurst, N.Y., def. Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3-2 (183-190, 211-168, 212-245, 277-221, 243-182).
Rafiq Ismail, Malaysia, def. Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 3-0 (239-188, 300-170, 279-232).
Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., def. Jimmy Cook, Indianapolis, 3-1 (246-205, 220-232, 247-245, 226-213).
Jason Belmonte, Australia, def. Matt McNiel, Minneapolis, Minn., 3-0 (258-247, 231-215, 211-192).
Tim Pfeifer, Oakdale, Pa., def. Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 3-2 (207-252, 221-211, 215-234, 235-212, 201-190).
Andres Gomez, Colombia, def. Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 3-1 (255-141, 192-179, 193-197, 258-232).
Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., def. Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 3-1 (215-225, 248-168, 225-205, 238-207).
300 games – Rafiq Ismail
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