SHAWNEE, Okla. (Jan. 13, 2019) – Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., finally closed the deal by winning the PBA Oklahoma Open as the stepladder finals top qualifier to capture his fifth career tour title Sunday at the FireLake Bowling Center.
After losing last week’s 2019 season-opening PBA Hall of Fame Classic and the 2018 season-ending U.S. Open title match as top qualifier, the 24-year-old left-hander finally broke the slump by defeating left-handed two-hander Jesper Svensson of Sweden 267-201, in the title match of the second stop of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season televised live by FS1.
In the title match it looked like missing easy spares might again prove to be Butturff’s undoing when he missed a seven pin in the second frame. As it turned out, he wouldn’t need to attempt a spare again in the match, throwing the next nine strikes to seal the win against Svensson who couldn’t mount a challenge to Butturff’s strike barrage.
“I did have flashbacks from last week, but I got over it quickly and was able to get back in the mindset of letting that go and start fresh with the next shot,” Butturff said. “I decided to make a ball change to improve pin carry at that point and fortunately started striking again.”
Butturff joined Hall of Famers Earl Anthony, Johnny Petraglia and Walter Ray Williams Jr. as the only players to earn a top seed for the stepladder finals in three consecutive PBA Tour telecasts. Had he lost, he would have become the first player to lose three consecutive tournaments from the top qualifier position.
Butturff missed two easy spares in his loss to Bill O’Neill in the Hall of Fame Classic title match which ended up costing him the win.
“I knew I would break through with a win sooner or later because I’ve had experience winning out here (on tour),” Butturff said. “I feel like I’m in good company when you think of the greats in the game who were in a similar position that have had their share of second-place finishes.
“I will say that I think after all I’ve been through recently, this is probably my most satisfying win so far,” he added.
Svensson, who qualified third for the finals and was trying for his eighth tour title, advanced to the championship match by beating No. 2 qualifier Patrick Girard of Canada, 239-218, in the semifinal. Girard was trying for his first PBA Tour title and to become only the third Canadian to win on tour.
In the opening stepladder match, No. 4 qualifier, seven-time tour winner Dom Barrett of England beat No. 5 qualifier, two-time Tour winner Tom Daugherty of Riverview, Fla., 245-162, to advance to the second match against Svensson. Svensson then beat Barrett in the second match, 267-231, to advance to the semifinal.
The next stop for the Go Bowling! PBA Tour will be the PBA Lubbock Sports Open Jan. 22-27 at South Plains Lanes. The finals will be televised live by FS1 at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 27.
PBA OKLAHOMA OPEN
FireLake Bowling Center, Shawnee, Okla., Sunday
1, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., $25,000.
2, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, $13,000.
3, Patrick Girard, Canada, $9,000.
4, Dom Barrett, England, $7,000.
5, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., $6,000.
Match One: Barrett def. Daugherty, 245-162.
Match Two: Svensson def. Barrett, 267-231.
Semifinal Match: Svensson def. Girard, 239-218.
Championship: Butturff def. Svensson, 267-201.