With his victory Thursday in the PBA Bear Open, the second event in the FloBowling PBA Summer Swing, Anthony Simonsen of Little Elm, Texas, became the youngest player in PBA history to qualify for eventual placement on the PBA Hall of Fame ballot. The thing is, he has a considerable wait ahead of him.
There are two key qualifiers to become PBA HOF-eligible. First is “title eligibility,” which calls for winning a minimum of 10 “standard” PBA Tour titles or five “standard” titles plus two majors. The Bear Open was Simonsen’s fifth standard title, won at age 22 years, 235 days. He also has won two majors: the 2016 USBC Masters and the PBA Players Championship earlier this year.
The second qualifier to get on the PBA HOF ballot is 20 years of PBA membership. Assuming he will remain a member, Simonsen will reach his 20-year requirement in 2033.
In that unusual record category, Simonsen displaced EJ Tackett of Bluffton, Ind., his victim in Thursday’s Bear Open title match. Tackett became HOF “title eligible” when he won the 2017 PBA Tournament of Champions in Shawnee, Okla., at the age of 24 years, 191 days. Tackett, who now owns a total of 13 PBA Tour titles, also is on the wait list for participation eligibility. He’ll be on the HOF ballot a year ahead of Simonsen, in 2032.