PBA Spare Shots: Kris Prather, Andrew Anderson to Make Barbasol PBA Tour Finals Debuts in July

by Bill Vint  |  Friday, April 05, 9:35 AM

PBA Spare Shots: Kris Prather, Andrew Anderson to Make Barbasol PBA Tour Finals Debuts in July

Two of the Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s hottest young players – Kris Prather of Plainfield, Ill., and 2018 PBA Player of the Year Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich.- will make their debuts in the elite eight-player Barbasol PBA Tour Finals field in July.

The Barbasol PBA Tour Finals, presented by Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa, will take place at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas and will be televised live by CBS Sports Network over a span five shows (two on Saturday, July 20 and three on Sunday, July 21).

2018_USBC_MastersPrather (pba.com feature photo), who won his first PBA Tour title in the 2019 Scorpion Championship during PBA World Series of Bowling X, has made eight championship round appearances during the past two seasons while Anderson (at left) used his break-through campaign in 2018 to build his two-year competition points total and break into the eight-man PBA Tour Finals field.

Australia’s Jason Belmonte, the PBA Tour Finals defending champion, was leader in the competition points race to qualify for 2019 after he accumulated 46,700 points in Go Bowling! PBA Tour competition over the past two seasons. The two-year points race ended with the USBC Masters on April 1.

Also qualifying for the 2019 Tour Finals are Masters champion Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz. (40,267 points); Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas (38,919); EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind. (37,919); Prather (31,266); Anderson (30,983); Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash. (29,447), and Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa. (28,937). Prather and Anderson replace Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., and Dom Barrett of England, who finished ninth and 10th, respectively. Rash and Barrett both bowled in the 2017 and ’18 Tour Finals.

Tickets for the showcase event are now available online. To order, click here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/barbasol-pba-tour-finals-presented-by-red-rock-casino-resort-spa-tickets-57610119418

FOX VIEWERSHIP, SOCIAL MEDIA IMPRESSIONS CONTINUE TO IMPRESS

The PBA Tour’s historic television package with FOX Sports and its social media impact, boosted by its new relationship with FloSports, continue to show impressive gains in 2019.

During the recently-completed PBA World Series of Bowling X, highlighted by live or first-run WSOB events on FS1 for five consecutive nights in late March plus multiple re-airs throughout the week, PBA competition was watched by 3,106,000 viewers on FS1 or FS2.

To date, 15,583,000 viewers have tuned-in to watch the PBA on FOX, FS1 or FS2 in 2019, including repeats. That’s 43 percent higher than the total audience for PBA telecasts during the entire 2018 season (10,907,000).

In addition to FOX coverage, FloBowling streamed more than 50 hours of WSOB X coverage, including exciting elimination match play rounds during a week FloSports said had the most bowling fan viewership traffic to date.

At the same time, PBA’s social media and web site traffic continues to set records, rolling along at a pace that approached 70 million impressions across its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts during the first three months of the year.

It was due to history being made on the lanes with Jason Belmonte's 11th major victory in a thrilling climactic title match in the PBA World Championship; Kris Prather winning his first title; Dick Allen winning his second title of the year and The World team captained by Amleto Monacelli again shining the spotlight on the PBA’s powerful base of global stars. Rising talents including Kyle Sherman, AJ Chapman and others served notice that many styles of players can achieve success across the multiple challenging patterns and conditions PBA Tour competition presents.

The inaugural FOX Sports season now moves into the highly-anticipated PBA Playoffs that will include eight consecutive Monday night prime-time telecasts on FS1 April 8 through May 27 leading into the live FOX semifinal and final rounds on Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: SOUTHWEST PLAYERS RETURN TO FIRELAKE

April arrives with a robust schedule of PBA Regional activity beginning over the April 5-7 weekend with the Grand Casino Resort Southwest Open presented by Brunswick at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla.

Headlining the April 12-14 PBA Regional schedule will be the Bowlers Discount Pro Shop Open presented by DV8 at AMF Towson Lanes in Towson, Md.; the Debbie and Leo Nunan Memorial Central Open presented by Track at AMF Stardust Lanes in Grove City, Ohio; the Jac’s Lanes Valdosta South Open presented by DV8 in Valdosta, Ga., and the PBA and PBA50 Earl Anthony West/Northwest Memorial doubleheader at Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl in Dublin, Calif.

The only event heading into the Easter weekend is the PBA50 Sarasota Ford South Open April 18-20 at Sarasota Lanes in Florida.

• Closing the April PBA Regional calendar over the April 26-28 weekend will be the Houston Copperfield Southwest Challenge for non-title winners, presented by Global 900; the Brighton Construction Myrtle Beach South Open at Myrtle Beach Bowl in South Carolina; the Oklahoma City Southwest Open presented by Roto Grip at Planet Bowl in Oklahoma; the PBA/PBA50 Tumwater Lanes Doubles event presented by MOTIV in Tumwater, Wash., and the Greater Richmond Central Open at Richmond 40 Bowl in Richmond, Ind.

● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple and Android device users using the PBA app).

QUICK NOTES:

Thanks to his runner-up finish in the USBC Masters, 26-year-old lefthander Mykel Holliman of Collierville, Tenn., has soared into the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour competition points lead among rookies. Holliman earned 4,500 points in the Tier 1 event to advance to 25th place on the overall points list. He holds a 4,220-point lead over Kenneth Ryan of Farmingdale, N.J., among 2019 Bowl4life PBA Rookie Watch candidates. Wichita’s Patrick Hanrahan is third among rookies with 2,813 points. The PBA Rookie of the Year, which will be decided in voting to be conducted at the end of the 2019 season, will receive a $2,500 bonus from Chuck Gardner’s Bowl4Life Foundation and the foundation will donate an additional $2,500 to a youth bowler scholarship in the ROY’s name.

In the wake of the USBC Masters, the unofficial FloBowling PBA Power Rankings top 10 now features Jakob Butturff as the player to beat in Go Bowling! PBA Tour competition. Butturff has assumed the No. 1 position over Jason Belmonte after the Australian two-handed star sustained an injury to the middle finger of his bowling hand in a freak accident, forcing him to bowl qualifying in the Masters using his ring and little fingers. After his worst finish of the year (169th), Belmonte dropped to No. 2 in FloBowling’s power rankings. The current top 10 (with previous ranking in parenthesis) includes: 3, EJ Tackett (3); 4, Anthony Simonsen (8); 5, Kyle Sherman (11); 6, Norm Duke (6); 7, Rhino Page (13); 8, Kris Prather (5); 9, Dom Barrett (9) and 10, Bill O’Neill (4). Visit FloBowling.com for a complete list along with Flo’s rationale for its rankings.

• WSOB X Note: The 10th anniversary PBA World Series of Bowling at Thunderbowl in Allen Park, Mich., featured a field of 135 players bowling in three animal pattern championships plus the PBA World Championship. Out of the 135, 52 players (38.5 percent) earned at least one check.

• Based on their performances at the USBC Masters and the Pan American Games Trials, Masters champion Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., and Nick Pate of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., have earned the right to represent the United States in the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, July 26-Aug. 11. The two women’s representative will be determined at the 2019 USBC Queens May 15-21 at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan.