SHAWNEE, Okla. (Jan. 11, 2019) – For the second consecutive tournament of the season, four-time PBA Tour winner Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., captured the top qualifying position for a Go Bowling! PBA Tour stepladder final and will lead a five-player field for the PBA Oklahoma Open finals telecast which will air live on FS1 this Sunday at 11 a.m. ET from the FireLake Bowling Center.
It is actually the third consecutive PBA Tour event that Butturff has earned the top qualifying spot for the finals dating back to the season-ending 2018 U.S. Open in October where he finished second to England’s Dom Barrett, losing 207-206 in the title match.
Butturff, who finished second in last week’s PBA Hall of Fame Classic, posted a 10-6 overall record in match play and finished with a 9,362 37-game pinfall total (including match play bonus pins) to take the top qualifying position.
In what turned out to be a disappointing runner-up finish in the Hall of Fame Classic title match to Bill O’Neill because of two missed spares, the 24-year-old Butturff is more than prepared to break his string of runner-up finishes from the top qualifying spot.
“Failure doesn’t mean give up – it means stay patient,” said the left-hander. “I’ve had to work hard on my mental game strength and it’s been put to the test recently. You need a lot of mental strength to rebound from disappointment. I’m learning from my past mistakes and believe that just makes you stronger.”
Canadian Patrick Girard posted an 8-0 record in Friday’s match play round (12-4 overall) and averaged 257 to move from ninth heading into the round to finish second for the finals with a 9,251 pinfall.
Girard will be trying for his first PBA Tour title with previous best finishes of fourth twice in 2005 and a fifth-place finish in the 2018 PBA Players Championship.
Also making his second consecutive championship round appearance of the young season was Sweden’s Jesper Svensson who qualified third for the finals with a 9-7 overall match play record and 9,214 pinfall.
The 23-year-old left-handed two-hander who owns seven PBA Tour titles, finished fourth in the Hall of Fame Classic.
Despite winning only two matches in the final round of match play, Barrett, also a seven-time tour winner, hung on to qualify fourth for the finals finishing with an 8-8 match play record and 9,187 pinfall.
In a dramatic position round match, two-time tour winner Tom Daugherty of Riverview, Fla., defeated four-time PBA Player of the Year and 18-time tour winner Jason Belmonte of Australia, 279-269, to surge from eighth place to take the fifth and final stepladder spot.
The 43-year-old Daugherty went 11-5 in match play and finished with a 9,146 overall pinfall total to edge out Belmonte, who finished sixth with a 7-9 record and 9,133 pinfall.
PBA competition continues this evening from the FireLake Bowling Center beginning at 6 p.m. CT with the first Baker match play round of the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship. After tonight’s round the 12 doubles teams will return Saturday at 10 a.m. for the final Baker round which will determine the top five teams for the taped FS1 telecast at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. The Doubles Championship will air on FS1 Sunday, Jan. 20 at 1 p.m. ET (noon CT).
FireLake Bowling Center, Shawnee, Okla., Friday
Fifth Round Standings (after 37 games. Top five advance to Sunday’s stepladder finals on FS1. Includes match play record and total pinfall including bonus pins)
1, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 10-6-0, 9,362.
2, Patrick Girard, Canada, 12-4-0, 9,251.
3, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 9-7-0, 9,214
4, Dom Barrett, England, 8-8-0, 9,187.
5, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 11-5-0, 9,146.
6, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 7-9-0, 9,133, $4,500.
7, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 12-3-1, 9,098, $4,000.
8, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 8-8-0, 9,073, $3,500.
9, Nicholas Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 9-7-0, 9,053, $3,600.
10, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 8-7-1, 9,052, $3,100.
11, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 8-8-0, 8,917, $3,100.
12, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 7-9-0, 8,862, $2,900.
13, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 5-11-0, 8,852, $2,800.
14, Patrick Hanrahan, Wichita, Kan., 5-11-0, 8,666, $2,700.
15, Zacharay Wilkins, Canada, 4-12-0, 8,526, $2,700.
16, Jake Rollins, Glen Rock, N.J., 4-12-0, 8,479, $2,500.
300 games – Ildemaro Ruiz