Belmonte, Tackett and Lavoie Nominated for 2017 Best Bowler ESPY Award

by Jerry Schneider, Professional Bowlers Association 0

CHICAGO – Three of PBA’s standout performers over the past year – reigning GEICO Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year EJ Tackett, three-time Player of the Year Jason Belmonte, and 2016 Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year Francois Lavoie – have been nominated by ESPN for the 2017 Best Bowler ESPY Award.

The ESPYs honor excellence in sports performance and achievements in several categories over the past year, as decided in popular voting by fans. Voting is now open for bowling fans to choose their favorite by clicking on  http://www.espn.com/espys/story/_/page/voting37/best-bowler

Awards will be announced Wednesday, July 12 during the ESPYs telecast in Los Angeles beginning at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC. Voting will be open until the start of the ESPYs telecast.

Belmonte, Australia’s two-handed star, is hoping for his third consecutive ESPY Award and fourth overall. After a strong season without winning a title in 2016, Belmonte reasserted his dominance in PBA Tour major championships early in 2017, winning a record fourth USBC Masters title and the Barbasol PBA Players Championship to bring his total to eight career majors. His 2016 season included five top-five finishes in the second half of 2016 including a fourth-place finish in the PBA World Championship.

Tackett was the dominant player in the second half of 2016, highlighted by his first major in the PBA World Championship. He continued his hot streak into 2017, winning his second major title in the 2017 FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions after capturing the DHC Japan Invitational title.

In 2016 Lavoie became the first Canadian to earn Rookie of the Year honors and the second Canadian to win a PBA Tour title. The Quebec City native not only won Bowling’s U.S. Open, but became the first player in the tournament’s history to bowl a nationally-televised 300 on his way to the win. He captured his second title in the 2016 PBA Shark Open, and his third early in 2017 in the PBA Xtra Frame Greater Jonesboro Open.

HISTORY OF ESPY BEST BOWLER AWARD WINNERS

2016 – Jason Belmonte

2015 – Jason Belmonte

2014 –  Pete Weber

2013 – Pete Weber

2012 – Sean Rash

2011 – Jason Belmonte

2010 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.

2009 – Norm Duke

2008 – Norm Duke

2007 – Norm Duke

2006 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.

2005 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.

2004 – Pete Weber

2003 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.

2002 – Pete Weber

2001 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.

2000 – Parker Bohn III

1999 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.

1998 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.

1997 – Bob Learn Jr.

1996 – Mike Aulby

1995 – Norm Duke