BY PBA COMMUNICATIONS
Jason Belmonte, Anthony Simonsen, Kris Prather Also Advance
Centreville, Va. – Francois Lavoie shot 300 in the PBA Playoffs Round of 16 to become the second player in PBA history to have bowled two career televised perfect games in title events. Lavoie joins Sean Rash, the man he eliminated, on that exclusive list.
“A lot of people asked me after the U.S. Open if I was nervous,” said Lavoie, referring to his first televised perfect game in the 2016 U.S. Open semifinal match. “I was definitely nervous. It was the same thing today. I was still very nervous and I’m glad I was able to come through again.”
Through his first two PBA Playoffs matches, Lavoie rolled 21 of a possible 24 strikes in defeating Norm Duke in the Round of 24 and Rash in the Round of 16.
“I bowl my best when I’m able to create some miss room in the middle part of the lane,” said Lavoie. “In the last two matches, I’ve been able to do that. I took a look at the bracket before we started and I knew it was going to be a tough road, and it has been so far. I’m sure it will be from the next match on, but I’m ready to keep going.”
Lavoie’s 300 was the 29th televised perfect game in PBA history and third of the 2020 PBA Tour season, joining Tommy Jones, who achieved perfection in the championship match of the Hall of Fame Classic in January, and Jakob Butturff, who bowled 300 during the qualifying round of the PBA Tour Finals in July.
Rash, who bowled 236 in a losing effort, has been involved in a PBA-record six televised perfect games, rolling two and opposing four.
“I like to set the lanes up so I can get off to a big start,” said Rash of his penchant for being involved on either side of perfection. “I try to find the most miss room and out-strike my competitors. (Lavoie) and I were going to play a similar part of the lane, so we knew the scores could get pretty high. I bowled a really good game and probably could have bowled a bigger score, but I still would have lost.
“I’ve bowled (Lavoie) twice now and he just strikes at me,” added Rash. “At the (2019) U.S. Open, he started with the front five when the pair was impossible and now this. He’s a great player, very accurate, and I guess he really likes to bowl against me.”
Lavoie advances to face top-ranked Jason Belmonte in the quarterfinals. Belmonte cited a turkey in the middle of the game which was crucial to take out the 17th-seeded Jakob Butturff, 205-195.
“Halfway through the game, Jakob’s ball motion through the pins was a lot more high flush than mine,” said Belmonte, a three-time winner in 2020. “I knew if he could work it out, he had a really good chance of striking a lot. When I got a light hit on the left lane in the sixth frame, it was imperative to me that I doubled. Then, if I could get one more, I knew Jakob had to find a triple or a four-bagger, so that triple for me was really critical.”
Butturff struck twice in the 10th frame to force Belmonte to mark, which he did, moving him into the PBA Playoffs quarterfinals for the second straight year.
Anthony Simonsen rolled the second-highest game on the telecast as he eliminated seven-time PBA Tour champion Dick Allen, 258-204.
“I decided pretty early urethane was going to be the play,” said fourth-seeded Simonsen of his bowling-ball strategy. “I threw a couple mediocre shots in the beginning and got away with one, but I bowled a pretty solid game. I just tried to make good shots and keep the pocket in play. I was fortunate enough to throw a few strikes together.”
Simonsen earns a rematch with Kris Prather, who eliminated Simonsen in last season’s Playoffs semifinals. Prather, the defending PBA Playoffs champion, moved into the quarterfinals with a win over four-time PBA Tour champion Marshall Kent.
“I was super nervous,” admitted Prather. “I haven’t had a whole lot of competition reps, so being on TV again is a little nerve-racking, but to be able to come away with the victory tonight is huge.”
A tight match early, Prather credits a ball change during the commercial break as the difference in the match.
“I switched to the original Hy-Road,” Prather said. “It stored a little more energy and was able to go through the pins a lot better. I think if I don’t make that ball change, I don’t win.”
The other half of the PBA Playoffs bracket gets underway with Round of 24 action Sunday, October 25 at 5 p.m. ET on FS1, followed by Round of 16 competition November 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1. The PBA Playoffs concludes with the quarterfinals, semifinals and championship match on November 8 beginning at 2 p.m. ET on FS1.
The final event of the 2020 PBA Tour season, the winner of the PBA Playoffs will receive a PBA Tour title, $100,000 and an official WWE championship title.
Viewers can live stream the PBA on the FOX Sports and FOX NOW apps or at FOXSports.com. Select highlights will be available on @FOXSports social handles across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. International fans can watch live on FloBowling.com.
PBA Playoffs Round of 24 Results
Bowlero Centreville, Centreville, Va.
No. 18 Jakob Butturff def. No. 16 Tommy Jones, 215-214
No. 9 François Lavoie def. No. 24 Norm Duke, 256-193
No. 20 Dick Allen def. No. 13 Dom Barrett, 227-190
No. 12 Marshall Kent def. No. 21 Chris Via, 218-212
PBA Playoffs Round of 16 Results
No. 1 Jason Belmonte def. No. 17 Jakob Butturff, 205-195
No. 9 Francois Lavoie def. No. 8 Sean Rash, 300-236
No. 4 Anthony Simonsen def. No. 20 Dick Allen, 258-204
No. 5 Kris Prather def. No. 12 Marshall Kent, 237-214
PBA Playoffs Round of 24 (Sunday, October 25 at 5 p.m. ET on FS1)
No. 15 Kyle Sherman vs. No. 18 AJ Johnson
No. 10 Darren Tang vs. No. 23 Nick Pate
No. 14 Tom Smallwood vs. No. 19 Chris Barnes
No. 11 Brad Miller vs. No. 22 Tom Daugherty
Round of 16 (Sunday, November 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1)
No. 2 Bill O’Neill vs. Sherman/Johnson
No. 7 Kyle Troup vs. Tang/Pate
No. 3 EJ Tackett vs. Smallwood/Barnes
No. 6 Jesper Svensson vs. Miller/Daugherty
Quarterfinals (Sunday, November 8 at 2 p.m. ET on FS1)
No. 1 Jason Belmonte vs. No. 9 Francois Lavoie
No. 4 Anthony Simonsen vs. No. 5 Kris Prather
Additional two matches to be determined following the completion of the Round of 16
Semifinals and Finals (Sunday, November 8 at 4 p.m. ET on FS1)
Matches to be determined following the quarterfinals