PBA Spare Shots: Tournament of Champions Kicks Off “Million Dollar 300 Bonus” Series Sunday on FOX

by Bill Vint  |  Friday, February 07, 9:01 AM

PBA Spare Shots: Tournament of Champions Kicks Off “Million Dollar 300 Bonus” Series Sunday on FOX

The two players who will bowl for the $100,000 first prize in Sunday’s finals of the PBA Tournament of Champions also will be the first two players to try for the “$1 Million 300 Game Bonus” incentive. Live FOX coverage of the TOC finals from AMF Riviera Lanes in Fairlawn, Ohio, will begin at 5 p.m. EST

This week’s finals will be special because the competition will take place on lanes 27-28, the same pair of lanes where Don Johnson came the closest of any player ever to record a nationally-televised perfect game in the title match of a PBA major championship. When Johnson left a 10 pin in his iconic 299-268 victory over Dick Ritger, he fell face-first on the approach and Akron Beacon Journal photographer Don Roese froze the moment in time on film. Roese’s photo was later re-created by artist Marc Moon for the cover of the 1971 PBA souvenir program book, and Johnson’s historic image was later celebrated as the No. 1 most memorable moment in the PBA’s first 60 years.

Under the million-dollar incentive program, a $1 million bonus prize is again being offered to any player bowling a 300 game in the championship match of one of the following PBA on FOX/FS1 live telecasts: the TOC; PBA Players Championship at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in Columbus Ohio (Saturday, Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m. EST on FS1); the Go Bowling PBA Indianapolis Open at Royal Pin Woodland (Saturday, Feb. 29 at 8:30 p.m. EST on FS1) and PBA World Championship at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas (Wednesday, March 18 at 8 p.m. EST on FS1).

Only three perfect games have ever been bowled in the championship match of any nationally-televised PBA Tour event (including Tommy Jones’ 300 in the title match of the PBA Hall of Fame Classic to kick off the 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour season), but no one has ever bowled a 300 to win a PBA major championship.

If you’d like to re-visit Johnson’s epic victory, click here for the YouTube clip on the title match: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLQ_WLrqlZI.


PBA Oklahoma Open winner Sean Rash, with a seventh-place finish in the PBA Jonesboro Open, retained his lead in the 2020 PBA Playoffs points after the first three tournaments of the 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour season while PBA Jonesboro Open titlist Kyle Troup picked up 5,000 points in the Tier 2 event to advance from 31st place to second. Tommy Jones, who collected 2,500 points for his PBA Hall of Fame Classic victory (a Tier 3 limited entry and/or restricted format) tournament, was in third place heading into this week’s Tournament of Champions.

Fans can expect a major shakeup in the points race after this week’s Tournament of Champions, the first Tier 1 event of the season. Points are awarded to all players in each PBA Tour tournament according to how the event is classified in the three-tier points structure. Tier 1 (major championship) tournaments reward winners with 7,500 points. Tier 2 (standard PBA Tour) tournaments award 5,000 points to the winner. A Tier 3 tournament (limited field and/or restricted format) awards 2,500 points to the winner. Points also are awarded to all other players in each tournament in a declining manner based upon where they finish.

The top 24 in 2020 competition points will qualify to bowl in the PBA Playoffs in April and May. Points standings will be finalized at the conclusion of the USBC Masters on March 29 in Reno, Nev. Below are the top 30 points standings after three events:

2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour Competition Points Standings
(Top 30 after three events)
1, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 6,635
2, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 5,805
3, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 4,290
4, Chris, Barnes Double Oak, Texas, 4,240
5, Ryan Ciminelli, Lancaster, S.C., 4,215
6, Darren Tang, Las Vegas, 4,000
7, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 2,755
8, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 3,395
9, Brad Miller, Lee’s Summit, Mo., 2,915
10, Mitch Hupe, Canada, 2,880
11, Patrick Hanrahan, Wichita, Kan., 2,745
12, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 2,575
13, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 2,555
14, Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 2,485
15, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 2,375
16, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 2,295
17, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 2,180
18, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 2,155
19, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 2,140
20, DJ Archer, Spring, Texas, 2,085
21, Nick Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 1,975
22, Greg Young, Viera, Fla., 1,860
23, Sam Cooley, Australia, 1,740
24, Dom Barrett, England, 1,685
25, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 1,680
26, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 1,670
27 (tie), Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 1,615
  Francois Lavoie, Canada, 1,615
29, Patrick Girard, Canada, 1,515
30, Dick Allen Lexington, S.C., 1,513


The youngest player in PBA history to win two major titles is the topic of Anthony Simonsen’s PBA Player’s Perspectives on YouTube, re-living his win in the 2019 PBA Players Championship. That episode will debut on the PBA’s YouTube channel on Tuesday, Feb. 11, as Simonsen begins his title defense at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in Columbus, Ohio.

Future Player’s Perspectives on the schedule for introduction on Tuesdays include:

Feb. 18 - Norm Duke talks about winning his 39th career title in the 2019 Go Bowling Indianapolis Open.

Feb. 25 - Jason Belmonte and Bill O’Neill share insider thoughts about winning the 2018 Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship.

To view the entire series of PBA Player’s Perspective episodes, visit the PBA’s YouTube channel and click on the PBA Player’s Perspective play list. A wide range of Player’s Perspectives currently reside in the archives on YouTube. Among the most recent are:

• Jakob Butturff’s 2019 USBC Masters win (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cuYcXxfXXs).

EJ Tackett’s 2017 DHC PBA Japan Invitational victory. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91yoFd7nd8g).

Kris Prather’s 2019 PBA Scorpion Championship win (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aVe_n8uCOM).

• Bill O’Neill’s 2019 PBA Hall of Fame Classic victory that made him title-eligible for future PBA HOF consideration (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeHXCYxWH4o).

• Jakob Butturff’s 2019 PBA Oklahoma Open win (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOsC36SxxxA&list=).

• Sean Rash’s 2012 PBA TOC victory (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkzuCw4Cpqs).

• Jason Belmonte’s record-tying 10th PBA major championship in the 2019 PBA Tournament of Champions (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Si3d6oPhBo).

Fans can follow all of the latest video clips and more by enrolling as a subscriber to PBA’s YouTube channel. It’s easy and it’s free. Visit YouTube.com/PBABowling and click on the “subscribe” button.


Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y., in his first tournament as a PBA50 competitor, teamed up with Thomas Larsen of Denmark to defeat PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla. and team mate Nate Garcia of Port St. Lucie, Fla., 2-0, in a best-of-three-game title match to win the PBA/PBA50 Don Vay Memorial Central Doubles Classic title at Legend Lanes Sunday.

Teams in the PBA Central Region’s first tournament of 2020 included one bowler age 50 or older, and one bowler under the age of 50. The title was Angelo’s fourth overall in PBA Regional competition and Larsen’s first. They also split a $3,950 first prize.

In the semifinal round, Angelo, who turned 50 on December 23, and Larsen blanked Doug Kent of Newark, N.Y. and Tim Pfeifer of Oakdale, Pa., 2-0, while Williams and Garcia shut out Tom Adcock of Decatur, Ill. and Jake Peters of Las Vegas, 2-0, in the best-of-three semifinal round.

The Feb. 7-9 PBA Regional weekend schedule includes two Break Point Alley Challenge events for non-title winners in Tavares, Fla. The PBA South Region doubleheader will include separate tournaments for standard players and a PBA50 Challenge for “senior” players.

Regional competition over the Feb. 21-23 weekend includes the PBA50 Dave Edwards Toyota South Open at Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C., and a pair of tournaments at South Point in Las Vegas – the Southpoint West Challenge for non-titlists and a Southpoint Member/Non-Member Doubles Tournament.

Closing out the February regional calendar over the Feb. 28-March 1 “leap year” weekend will be the PBA Plaza Lanes Central/Midwest Open in Crawfordsville, Ind.

For complete PBA Regional schedules including 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. Whether you are a competitor or a fan, 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).


Unrelated note #1 re: the 1970 PBA TOC: PBA Hall of Famer and founding member Carmen Salvino, who made his 30th TOC appearance this year at a record age of 86, was sitting on the sidelines when Don Johnson rolled his 299 in the 1970 TOC title match. Salvino finished that tournament in sixth place, 50 pins behind Jim Stefanich, who was the No. 5 qualifier for the ABC-TV telecast. Salvino therefore served as “alternate” to the TV finals. It was standard practice in those days to have a backup ready in case one of the finalists was unable to bowl in the TV finals.

Unrelated note #2 re: 1970 PBA TOC: all five finalists for the 1970 TOC telecast were subsequently elected to the PBA Hall of Fame. The qualifiers in order were: Don Johnson, Mike Durbin, Dick Ritger, Barry Asher and Jim Stefanich.

Entering the PBA Tournament of Champions after finishing second in the PBA Jonesboro Open, Chris Barnes had moved into sixth place on the PBA career earnings list with $2,481,331. He passed fellow Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli who has earned $2,475,574. Barnes’ next goal is to catch and pass Brian Voss who is fifth on the list with $2,577,979.

In his first television appearance of the 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour season Sunday in the PBA Jonesboro Open, Australia’s Jason Belmonte threw seven trikes in a 257-207 loss to Chris Barnes. Fulfilling his pledge to donate $50 per strike to his “2HandsHelpingAustralia” fundraiser in the wake of his home country’s devastating wildfires, Belmonte’s first donation was for $350.

Belmonte’s “2HandsHelpingAustralia” fundraiser got a major jolt of support from Bill and Barb Chrisman, the owners of Storm Products and the company Belmonte has represented throughout his PBA career. The Chrismans announced they are making a $100,000 donation to help Australia recover from its devastating losses. A recent report said more than 30 people including four firefighters have died in the fires that have consumed more than 27 million acres of forest and park lands, killing more than a billion animals in the process.