ARLINGTON, Texas (Jan. 16, 2020) – Finishing 18th after the first round of qualifying, seven-time Go Bowling PBA Tour winner Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Arizona, had better success navigating the challenging PBA Hall of Fame Classic dual lane conditions Thursday averaging 252 in the second round to emerge as the top qualifier for the opening event of the 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour season and leading 14 players who advanced to match play.
Bowling on PBA’s 45-foot Dick Weber lane condition on the left lane and 38-foot Mike Aulby condition on the right lane at the International Training and Research Center, the 25-year-old Butturff, finished Wednesday’s first round with a 1,293 six-game pinfall total but roared back with 1,516 in the second round to lead the field with a 2,809 overall pinfall for 12 games. The left-hander had games of 280, 226, 238, 225, 268 and 279 in the second round.
“It was difficult to repeat shots yesterday because I’m nursing a slight muscle tear on my right thigh,” said Butturff, who also topped qualifying in the 2019 Hall of Fame Classic and eventually finished second losing to winner Bill O’Neill 199-194 in the title match. “Today it was a combination of the leg feeling much better and making the right equipment choices from the start. I was feeling much more comfortable which made it easier to repeat the good shots I needed to make.”
Anthony Lavery-Spahr of Pasadena, Texas, who led qualifying after the first round, appeared to be on his way to the qualifying lead after starting the second round with games 239, 259, 258 but then struggled in the second half of the round finishing with games of 183, 212 and 183. Lavery-Spahr finished qualifying in second 23 pins behind Butturff with a 2,786.
Rounding out the top five heading into match play were Darren Tang, Las Vegas, 2,759; Ryan Ciminelli, Lancaster, South Carolina, 2,741 and Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Michigan and PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke, Clermont, Florida, tying for fifth with 2,740.
Five-time and reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte of Australia, tied for 12th with fellow two-hander Jesper Svensson of Sweden, to advance with a 2,656 pinfall. Belmonte finished third in 2019 and Svensson finished fourth.
PBA Hall of Famer Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, finished 10th with 2,659 and Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, South Carolina, who will be inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame this Saturday took the final match play spot finishing 14th with 2,650.
O’Neill failed to advance after finishing in a tie for 30th with 2,539. Boston Red Sox star Mookie Betts finished qualifying in 48th with 2,383.
The 14 players who made the cut will bowl two seven-game match play rounds Friday at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT. Total pinfall, including match play bonus pins for 26 games will determine the top five for the live stepladder finals on FS1 Sunday at 1 p.m. ET (noon CT).
Friday’s match play will be streamed live by PBA’s live streaming partner FloBowling. For subscription information visit www.flobowling.com.
PBA HALL OF FAME CLASSIC
(a 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour event)
International Training and Research Center, Arlington, Texas, Thursday
Final Qualifying Standings (after 12 games, top 14 players advance to Friday’s round-robin match play )
1, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 2,809.
2, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 2,786.
3, Darren Tang, Las Vegas, 2,759.
4, Ryan Ciminelli, Lancaster, S.C., 2,741.
5, (tie) Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., and Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 2,740.
7, Patrick Hanrahan, Wichita, Kan., 2,705.
8, Patrick Girard, Canada, 2,672.
9, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 2,660.
10, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 2,659.
11, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 2,658.
12, (tie) Jason Belmonte, Australia, and Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 2,656.
14, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 2,650.
Did not advance:
15, Tom Hess, Granger, Iowa, 2,637, $2,500.
16, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 2,623, $2,300.
17, Brad Miller, Lees Summit, Mo., 2,617, $2,100.
18, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 2,614, $2,000.
19, Nicholas Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 2,605.
20, Stuart Williams, England, 2,597.
21, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 2,594.
22, Nate Garcia, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 2,584.
23, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 2,576.
24, Matt Sanders, Evansville, Ind., 2,568.
25, Deo Benard, Henderson, Nev., 2,558.
26, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 2,557.
27, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 2,552.
28, AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 2,544.
29, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 2,543.
30, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 2,539.
30, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 2,539.
32, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 2,528.
33, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 2,526.
34, Mitch Hupe, Wichita, Kan., 2,515.
35, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 2,508.
36, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 2,494.
37, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 2,489.
38, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 2,482.
39, Mark Williams, Beaumont, Texas, 2,476.
40, Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 2,473.
41, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 2,472.
42, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 2,465.
43, Matthew Ogle, Louisville, Ky., 2,460.
44, Graham Fach, Urbana, Ohio, 2,418.
45, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 2,414.
46, Bryan Goebel, Shawnee, Kan., 2,410.
47, Dom Barrett, England, 2,387.
48, Mookie Betts, Studio City, Calif., 2,383.
49, DJ Archer, Spring, Texas, 2,382.
50, Richard Teece, England, 2,369.
51, (tie) Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., and Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 2,360.
53, Jason Sterner, Rochester, N.Y., 2,350.
54, Brent Boho, Colgate, Wis., 2,347.
55, Wesley Low Jr., Palmdale, Calif., 2,319.
56, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 2,257.