Stage is Set for Tackett vs. Belmonte PBA Tour Finals Title Rematch Next Tuesday on CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. ET
by Jerry Schneider | Thursday, June 14, 9:59 AM
ALLEN PARK, Mich. – After two positioning rounds based on total pinfall on four different lane conditions, and two stepladder semifinal rounds decided by best-of-two-game final matches, the PBA showcase that began with eight elite players based on composite earnings over the past two and a half years has boiled down to a duel between the past two PBA Players of the Year to decide the winner.
A rematch between reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte and 2016 Player of the Year EJ Tackett to decide the 2018 PBA Tour Finals title will air next Tuesday on CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. ET from the historic arena bay at Thunderbowl Lanes.
The defending champion is Tackett, a 25-year-old, nine-time PBA Tour champion from Huntington, Ind. The challenger is four-time PBA Player of the Year Belmonte, a 34-year-old 17-time PBA Tour winner from Australia. Tackett is a high-rev, one-handed power player. Belmonte is a high-rev, two-handed power player.
Belmonte, who will be trying for his 18th Go Bowling! PBA Tour title, earned his spot in the finals as the winner of his four-player Group 1 stepladder semifinal. Tackett, trying for his 10th PBA Tour title, earned his berth as winner of his Group 2 semifinal.
All eight players were split into two four-player groups and began the competition by bowling four games on four different PBA lane conditions in the positioning rounds, which determined their positions in a semfinal stepladder. The positioning rounds were conducted on PBA’s 36-foot Johnny Petraglia, 42-foot Mark Roth, 39-foot Don Carter and 45-foot Dick Weber lane conditions.
Tackett won his Group 2 semifinal round by beating Sweden’s Jesper Svensson, 2-0, in the best-of-two-game final match, 235-206, and 245-203. Belmonte won the Group 1 semifinal round by beating Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas, 265-259, and 239-216.
As the player with the highest average for the tournament (246), Belmonte earned the right to select the lane condition for the finals and chose the Dick Weber condition (which, coincidentally, was also Tackett’s choice for the Group 2 semifinal round).
Tackett won the inaugural PBA Tour Finals title in Orlando, Fla., last year by defeating Belmonte, 666-628, in a three-game, total pinfall championship match.
Preceding the title match Svensson will bowl Simonsen in the PBA Tour Finals third-place match.