After leading seven consecutive rounds of PBA Tour competition going back to last week's Tournament of Champions, Jason Belmonte has company atop the leaderboard as non-champion Brad Miller fired a sizzling six-game pinfall of 1451 on scores of 279, 248, 254, 212, 225 and 233 in the final qualifying round of the PBA Players Championship to tie Belmonte for the lead heading into match play.
Miller enjoyed a runner-up finish already this season when he and partner Kyle Sherman came up second in the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman Doubles Championship on Jan. 20.
Belmonte had maintained sole possession of the lead through the first five games today but faltered with a final game of 181 as Miller caught up with him him with his 233 closer. Belmonte settled for a 1292 set on scores of 258, 216, 213, 215 and 209 before shooting 181.
While last night saw Tommy Jones, Patrick Girard and Brandon Novak each jump dozens of spots up the leaderboard with strong night blocks following lackluster opening rounds, today saw a big move by one big name. Wes Malott, a 10-time PBA Tour titlist looking for his first tour win since 2015's Mark Roth-Marshall Holman Doubles Championship with partner Norm Duke, blasted out of the gate with a 792 series on games of 277, 258 and 257, then finished his block with 228, 215 and 226 for a six-game pinfall of 1461 to move from 19th into 4th. That 1461 total was the highest among all 120 players in today's round.
Also putting up big numbers today was A.J. Chapman, who posted a blistering block on scores of 237, 268, 234, 252, 248 and, despite taking a step back with a closing score of 169, still helped himself into sixth place heading into match play with a 1408 set today. Defending champion Tom Smallwood continues to be a steady performer this week, as a 1307 block helped him remain within the top five in third place. Rounding out the top five is Kyle Troup, who shot 1334 for today's six games.
Get the full standings here: https://www.pba.com/PBALiveScoring?TournamentID=2762
Match play gets underway tonight at 6 p.m. as the tournament's top 24 players bowl round-robin style head-to-head matches with 30 bonus pins awarded the winner of each match.