Bill O’Neill, Wes Malott Advance in PBA Playoffs

by Jerry Schneider, Professional Bowlers Association 0

PORTLAND, Maine (May 6, 2019) – No. 7 seed Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pennsylvania and No. 15 seed Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, survived PBA Playoffs Round of 16 Race to 2 Points matches that both required a ninth and 10th frame roll-off, to advance to the Round of 8 after FS1’s telecast Monday from Bayside Bowl.

O’Neill and Malott join No. 4 seed Anthony Simonsen, No. 21 Andres Gomez, No. 1 Jason Belmonte and No. 9 Kris Prather who have already advanced to the Round of 8 after winning Round of 16 matches.

In the first match, No. 2 seed Jakob Butturff of Mesa, Arizona, defeated Malott in the first game, 268-210, but the USBC Masters champion couldn’t keep the momentum going in the second game, losing to Malott, 226-193, to send their match into a roll-off.

With both players starting with a strike and spare, Malott, a 10-time tour winner, struck on his final ball and advanced when Butturff left a solid 7 pin on his fill ball, handing Malott a 40-39 win. It was the second time that Malott won a Playoffs match sitting on the bench. He also won his Round of 24 match-up against Josh Blanchard when Blanchard left the 1-2-4 on his final ball of the 10th frame.

“I felt like I was running out of lives when I was watching Jakob,” said Malott, the 2009 PBA Player of the Year. “I didn’t think either one of us had a really good look to start the second game. Jakob was struggling and I was still trying to get comfortable. It looked like it was going to be one of those matches where filling frames any way you can was going to get the job done.

“In the middle of the second game I was finally getting comfortable enough where I was getting the ball reaction I wanted so I could repeat good shots.”

No. 23 seed Sweden’s Jesper Svensson, a seven-time tour winner, jumped out to an early lead with a 222-211 win in the first game of the second match, but O’Neill capitalized on the struggling Svensson in the second game coming back to win, 247-164, to send the match into the roll-off. O’Neill, who won his 10th PBA Tour title in the season-opening PBA Hall of Fame Classic, struck in the ninth and the first two shots in the 10th to eliminate Svensson, 57-39.

“To start the first game, I really didn’t feel like I knew what I was doing,” said O’Neill.  “In practice everything felt good but I think I started to rush because the adrenaline was pumping. I felt lucky to get 211.

“Fortunately, I was able to settle down and I made really good shots down the stretch,” O’Neill continued. “With Jesper struggling I felt like the ball was in my court and was pretty confident going into the roll-off.  I made a ball change and threw three really good shots when I needed them.”

The Round of 16 concludes on May 13 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1 with two matches to determine the last two positions for the Round of 8 matches which will air on May 20 and May 27. The four Round of 8 winners will return to Portland for the semifinal and final rounds live on FOX on Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2.

The winner of the Playoffs, which features the top 24 players in competition points after the first 13 Go Bowling! PBA Tour tournaments of the 2019 season, will earn a $100,000 first prize.

To view a PBA Playoffs bracket click on


Bayside Bowl, Portland, Maine

(aired Monday on FS1. Race to 2 Points format. Winners advance to Round of 8. Losers earn $5,000)

Match One

Game 1 – No. 2 Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz. def. No. 15 Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 268-210.

Game 2 – Malott def. Butturff, 226-193.

Malott won roll-off, 40-39.

Match Two

Game 1 – No. 23 Jesper Svensson, Sweden def. No. 7 Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 222-211.

Game 2 – O’Neill def. Svensson, 247-164.

O’Neill won roll-off, 57-39.


Bayside Bowl, Portland, Maine

Remaining Round of 16 pairings (Race to 2 Points format based on one point per game won)

Match 15 – No. 14 Dom Barrett, England, vs. No. 3 Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla. (airs May 13).

Match 16 – No. 11 Kyle Sherman, O’Fallon, Mo., vs. No. 6 Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill. (airs May 13).

Round of 8 Pairings (Race to 2 Points format)

Match 17 – No. 1 Jason Belmonte, Australia, vs. No. 9 Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill. (airs May 20).

Match 18 – No. 4 Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, vs. No. 21 Andres Gomez, Colombia (airs May 20).

Match 19 – No. 15 Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, vs. Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa. (airs May 27).

Match 20 – Barrett-Duke winner vs. Sherman-Rash winner (airs May 27).


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