Belmonte, Kent Lead After First PBA Tour Finals Positioning Round

by Bill Vint, Professional Bowlers Association 0

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (May 22, 2018) – After the opening positioning round of the PBA Tour Finals, which aired on CBS Sports Network Tuesday, reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte and four-time PBA Tour winner Marshall Kent emerged as the leaders in their respective groups heading into next week’s second positioning round at Thunderbowl Lanes.

The top money earners on the Go Bowling! PBA Tour between 2016 and the first four months of 2018 include 2017 runner-up Belmonte, Dom Barrett, Anthony Simonsen and Sean Rash in Group 1, and defending champion EJ Tackett, Jesper Svensson, Kent and Tommy Jones in Group 2. The eight players opened the PBA Tour Finals by bowling one game each on PBA’s 36-foot Johnny Petraglia and 42-foot Mark Roth lane conditions.

In a test of each player’s ability to navigate vastly different PBA lane conditions, positioning round competition takes place on two lanes which are dressed with lane conditioner that incorporates blue dye to help fans visualize the conditions. Each player will bowl a total of four games on four different oil patterns with total pinfall within each group determining positions for the final rounds.

Belmonte took the lead in Group 1 with a 491 two-game total after bowling 236 on the Petraglia condition and 255 on the Roth condition. He was followed by Simonsen, 483 (236, 247); Rash, 379 (178, 201), and Barrett, 350 (205, 145).

“The two different conditions required two different plans of attack,” said Belmonte. “On the Petraglia condition I used urethane and played outside. On the Roth condition, I used a reactive ball and hooked the ball more.

“At this point you play what’s in front of you,” he added. “It’s really not too different than what you’d experience in any other tournament except the pace is much faster and you have to make your adjustments faster. It’s bang-bang, get up and throw it, and hope you’ve made the right decisions.”

Kent led Group 2 with a 458 pinfall after a 238 on the Petraglia condition and 220 on the Roth condition. He was followed by Tackett, 448 (236, 212); Svensson, 447 (224, 223), and Jones, 419 (257, 162).

“I got into a good comfort level on both conditions pretty quickly and had a good look on both lanes,” Kent said. “I think I only threw one bad shot.

“I like the faster pace because you can stay in a good rhythm,” Kent added. “Even though you’re having to deal with the different conditions, the quick pace prevents you from overthinking what you need to do.”

Next week’s second positioning round (on CBSSN Tuesday, May 29 at 8 p.m. ET) will put the players on the 39–foot Don Carter and 45-foot Dick Weber lane conditions. The four-game pinfall totals will determine each player’s position for their respective group stepladder semifinals.

The Group 1 semifinal stepladder will air on CBSSN June 5 at 8 p.m. ET and the Group 2 stepladder will air on June 12, also at 8 p.m. The final match of each semifinal stepladder will be a best-of-two-game match with ties broken by a 9th and 10th frame roll off. The two group winners will then meet in another best-of-two-game championship match which will air June 19 at 8 p.m. using the same stepladder format.


Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich.

(aired Tuesday on CBS Sports Network)

Group 1

(After two of four games; game one on Johnny Petraglia 36 lane condition; game two on Mark Roth 42 pattern)

1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 491 (236, 255).

2, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 483 (236, 247).

3, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 379 (178, 201).

4, Dom Barrett, England, 350 (205, 145).

Group 2

(After two of four games; game one on Johnny Petraglia 36 lane condition; game two on Mark Roth 42 pattern)

1, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 458 (238, 220).

2, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 448 (236, 212).

3, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 447 (224, 223).

4, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 419 (257, 162).

CBS Sports Network Remaining PBA Tour Finals Telecast Schedule

(All times Eastern)

May 29 – 8 p.m. - PBA Tour Finals Positioning Round 2 (two games)

June 5 – 8 p.m. - PBA Tour Finals Group 1 Semifinal Stepladder Round

June 12 – 8 p.m. - PBA Tour Finals Group 2 Semifinal Stepladder Round

June 19 – 8 p.m. - PBA Tour Finals Championship

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