Jason Belmonte Wins Back-to-Back Best Bowler ESPY Awards

by Jerry Schneider, Professional Bowlers Association 0

LOS ANGELES (July 13, 2016)- Jason Belmonte of Australia earned his second consecutive and third overall Best Bowler ESPY Award Wednesday evening during the 2016 ESPY Awards ceremonies at the Microsoft Theater.

Belmonte, who won his first ESPY Award in 2011, was among winners in a variety of sports and special moment categories that were determined by fan voting. The winners were announced during ABC-TV’s live ESPY Awards telecast.

In 2015, Belmonte became the first international player to win three consecutive Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year awards. The two-handed star also became the first player to win the USBC Masters in three consecutive years and he won his second consecutive Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions title, becoming the first player to win both the Masters and TOC in back-to-back seasons.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to win the ESPY again this year,” Belmonte said. “This award means so much to me because it’s voted by the people who I believe matter most in bowling, the fans. My fans are a huge motivation in my game. I want to always give them my absolute best because it’s what they deserve. I’d like to thank everyone who voted, but more importantly, thanks to all the fans for loving the sport of bowling.”

Also nominated in the Best Bowler category were PBA Player of the Year contender Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Swedish two-handed star Jesper Svensson and Texan Anthony Simonsen, also a two-handed player.

Ciminelli won three titles in 2015 including the U.S. Open and finished third in the PBA World Championship. Early in 2016 he won the bowlingball.com Maine Shootout for his sixth career PBA Tour title.

Svensson won two titles in 2015 on his way to earning PBA Rookie of the Year honors and in 2016 won the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions to become the tournament’s youngest champion at age 21.

Simonsen became the youngest player ever to win a major when he won the 2016 USBC Masters at age 19. He won his first title with partner Connor Pickford in the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship.

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