PBA Spare Shots: U.S. Open to Bring 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour Season to Dramatic Close
by Bill Vint | Wednesday, October 24, 10:10 AM
The 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season will come to a dramatic end over the next few days with a number of plot lines in play as the U.S. Open gets underway at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan., including its impact on the PBA Player and Rookie of the Year races, the possibility of a new addition to the PBA’s “Triple Crown” roster, maybe a record-tying major, and a battle for berths in the end-of-season PBA Clash.
For starters, how players finish in the U.S. Open could be a significant factor in deciding the 2018 PBA Player and Rookie of the Year races. Heading into the final PBA Tour event of the year, EJ Tackett is the only three-title winner in 2018. Jason Belmonte, Anthony Simonsen, Andrew Anderson and Jakob Butturff are all solidly in contention with two PBA Tour titles each.
On a personal level, the U.S. Open also may have special meaning to Belmonte and Tackett. Both players are in need of a U.S. Open title to complete the PBA Triple Crown. A win by Belmonte also would be his 10th major, tying the legendary Earl Anthony and Pete Weber for the all-time record for most PBA major titles.
The U.S. Open will pay $30,000, $15,000, $12,000, $10,000 and $8,000 to the top five finishers. Fans can track the competition through exclusive live coverage of the qualifying and match play rounds by Xtra Frame on FloBowling Friday through Tuesday, Oct. 30. Fans also can follow the U.S. Open via the Live Scoring feature on pba.com. The five-man stepladder finals will air live on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, Oct. 31, at 7 p.m. Eastern.
The prize money could impact the PBA Clash, a special event that will officially debut the PBA’s historic new television agreement with FOX Sports. The Clash will feature the top eight players in PBA earnings for the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season. Belmonte, Tackett, Anderson and Simonsen have locked up berths in the Clash, based on their current-season earnings, but they could change positions based upon what they may earn in the U.S. Open.
Behind the top four, Stuart Williams, Dom Barrett, Marshall Kent and Kyle Troup currently hold the next four spots, but there are several players mathematically in contention to overtake any of those four. Williams made a big move after picking up a total of $36,000 in the FloBowling PBA Fall Swing.
The PBA Clash, which will also include a preview of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season on FOX and FS1, will take place at Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Fla., on Monday, Dec. 10, and will air on FOX on Sunday, Dec. 23, at 2:30 or 4:30 p.m. ET (depending on where the viewer lives).
LANETALK PROVIDES STATISTICAL INSIGHT ABOUT FLOBOWLING PBA FALL SWING
Sweden-based Lanetalk has again provided comprehensive stats for the three-tournament FloBowling PBA Fall Swing. Here’s a look at just a few of the interesting Fall Swing stats from the five Tulsa Open finalists:
● Kris Prather, who had third-place finishes in the Wolf and Bear Opens and a fifth-place finish in the Tulsa Open, was by far the best spare shooter during the tournament. He recorded a 94.87% conversion rate of his non-split spare attempts. In addition, he had a strike or spare in 93.57% of his frames for the entire Fall Swing, which comes to about one open every two games.
● Tulsa Open winner Stuart Williams came out on top in the Bear Open where he led the field with an overall strike percentage of 67.8%.
● Third-place Tulsa Open finisher Richie Teece had the highest strike percentage in the Tulsa Open at 64%.
● Andrew Anderson finished second in the Wolf and Tulsa Opens and fourth in the Bear Open, thanks in great part to a 96.7% spare conversion rate in the Tulsa Open and the Fall Swing’s top scoring average (223.33 for 42 games).
● EJ Tackett won the Bear Open and finished fourth in the Tulsa Open, but he led the field in strike percentage (62.8%) in the Wolf Open where he had his worst finish: eighth place.
● The entire field averaged 207.54 on the 33-foot Wolf pattern and 200.12 on the 39-foot Bear pattern. The top 18 qualifiers who advanced to the Tulsa Open then averaged 212.46 as a group with the Bear pattern applied on the left lane and the Wolf on the right.
PBA BOWLING CHALLENGE MOBILE GAME OFFERS “BOO-LING” TOURNAMENT
Concrete Software is getting into the Halloween spirit with a new “Boo-ling Tournament” for PBA Bowling Challenge players. The “spooky” tournament, currently underway, invites players to battle through frightful opponents in 13 “spooktacular” games on cemetery-themed lanes with special “candy corn” oil patterns. Included in the contest are three new Halloween-theme bowling balls players can use.
Anyone with an Android and iPhone mobile device can download the PBA Bowling Challenge at no cost, joining the throng of more than 23 million people who have already joined the fun.
PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: WARREN IMPROVES RECORD TO 53 OVERALL REGIONAL TITLES
Native Texan Chris Warren of Grants Pass, Ore., survived a final game challenge from former PBA member Steve Shaffer of Georgetown, Texas, in the eight-game round robin finals, to win a record 53rd PBA Regional title in the PBA50 Waxahachie Southwest Open Sunday at Hilltop Lanes in Waxahachie, Texas.
Warren, who held a 103-pin lead going into the final game position round match, lost to Shaffer, 247-224, but maintained the overall pinfall lead, including bonus pins, 5,075-5,025. Along with his title he earned the $2,200 winner’s check. The win was Warren’s sixth in PBA50 Regional competition in addition to his PBA-record 47 titles won in standard PBA Regional events, improving upon his own overall titles record.
After building a 132-pin lead following the 13-game qualifying portion of the event, Warren continued to increase his lead, winning his first three matches with games of 251, 237, and 246. Shaffer, however, momentarily took the lead by rolling 256 and 300 in games four and five while Warren struggled before regaining the lead with his own 300 game. He followed that with a 246 prior to position round. Shaffer earned $1,400 for second place.
Graham Fach of Canada defeated Aaron Lorincz of Center Line, Mich., 230-222, to win the PBA Jackson Central/Midwest Open at Dave Small’s JAX 60 in Jackson, Mich., Sunday for his fifth career regional title and the $2,000 first prize.
Fach topped Patrick Dombrowski of Parma, Ohio, 234-201 and Lorincz downed Kyle Cook of Centerville, Ohio, 230-222 to set up the championship match.
● The final PBA Regional events of October take place over the Oct. 26-28 weekend, including the PBA50 Bryan’s Bowling Center East Open presented by the Hopkins Automotive Group and 900 Global in Laurel, Del., and the South Point West Challenge and PBA Member-Nonmember Doubles, both presented by Radical, at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas
● 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).
● Josh Blanchard’s slip-and-fall during the 2011 PBA World Championship elimination matches at South Point in Las Vegas is being revisited, thanks to a new Google Pixel 3 ad called “Flip to Shhh.” The video clip, depicting Blanchard being distracted by an untimely cell phone pinging during his delivery, is included in one of the commercials Google Pixel 3 is airing nationally to sell its newest top-of-the-line smart phone. To view the clip, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eD_lhnyW9k.
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