LAS VEGAS – Marshall Kent of Yakima, Washington, continued his dominance at the 2016 U.S. Open on Tuesday and earned the top seed for the stepladder finals.
The stepladder finals will air live on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern. The champion will take home $30,000 and the coveted green jacket. The 2016 event features a prize fund of $214,000, which includes $100,000 in added money.
Kent, a 24-year-old right-hander, posted a 20-4 record in match play to lead the field by nearly 275 pins with a 56-game total of 13,467, including bonus pins.
Canada’s Francois Lavoie earned the No. 2 seed with a 13,195 total, and 2016 United States Bowling Congress Masters champion Anthony Simonsen of Princeton, Texas, is No. 3 with 12,985.
The opening match in Wednesday’s championship round will feature No. 4 Shawn Maldonado of Houston taking on No. 5 John Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda, New York. Maldonado finished with 12,904, while Szczerbinski had 12,877.
Kent was in a tie for 92nd place after Friday’s opening round but rebounded by averaging more than 233 over the remaining 48 games.
“It’s been incredible,” said Kent, who will be looking for his third Professional Bowlers Association Tour title and first major victory. “After the way I started, I didn’t expect to even come close to making the show, so to be the No. 1 seed is an unbelievable feeling. With one game, anything can happen, but I’m just going with the same thought process that got me here – have fun, stay relaxed and just let the bowling take care of itself.”
The five-time Team USA member relied on his mental approach as much as his physical game to make it through the 56-game marathon.
“I took some really good notes on the pairs this week,” Kent said. “I feel like I saw the lanes, pair to pair, much better than most. Mentally, I was as clear as I’ve ever been, and I think that was a big advantage. A lot of players get frustrated when the ball didn’t do the right thing. I took the logical route and tried to figure out why, and that saved me a lot of games and frustration.”
Kent also made the television show at the 2013 U.S. Open as an amateur, finishing in fourth. He hopes to use that experience to his advantage against the fresh faces in the stepladder.
Maldonado is the oldest among the five competitors at 30 years old, and only Simonsen previously has won a major championship. Lavoie, Maldonado and Szczerbinski are looking for their first PBA Tour titles.
“I think my experience in 2013 is going to help a ton,” said Kent, who finished ninth at the 2015 U.S. Open. “It’s a different feeling bowling under the lights, especially at a major. To have that experience under your belt, especially with such a youthful show, will play to my favor. I’ll hope for the best and see what happens.”
All competitors at the 2016 U.S. Open bowled 24 qualifying games over three days, before the field was cut to the top 57 for eight additional games. The 32-game pinfall totals determined the 24 players for round-robin match play.
Each round of the 2016 U.S. Open leading up to the stepladder finals was broadcast live on Xtra Frame, the exclusive online bowling channel for the Professional Bowlers Association.
For more information on U.S. Open, visit BOWL.com/USOpen.
2016 U.S. OPEN
At South Point Bowling Plaza, Las Vegas
(56 games, 30 bonus pins for a win, 15 bonus pins for a tie)
*(a) denotes amateur
1, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 20-4-0, 13,467. 2, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 14-10-0, 13,195. 3, Anthony Simonsen, Princeton, Texas, 16-8-0, 12,985. 4, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 11-12-1, 12,904. 5, John Szczerbinski, North Tonawanda, N.Y., 16-7-1, 12,877.
TELEVISED STEPLADDER FINALS
(Will be live Wednesday on CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. Eastern)
Match No. 1: Shawn Maldonado vs. John Szczerbinski
Match No. 2: Anthony Simonsen vs. Match No. 1 winner
Semifinal: Francois Lavoie vs. Match No. 2 winner
Final: Marshall Kent vs. semifinal winner
DID NOT ADVANCE
6, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 14-10-0, 12,737, $5,500. 7, Andres Gomez, Hollywood, Fla., 13-11-0, 12,696, $5,375. 8, Arturo Quintero (a), Mexico, 10-12-2, 12,628, $5,250. 9, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 16-8-0, 12,625, $5,125. 10, DJ Archer, Spring, Texas, 11-13-0, 12,524, $5,000. 11, Pontus Andersson (a), Sweden, 10-14-0, 12,489, $4,875. 12, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 11-13-0, 12,461, $4,750.
13, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 11-11-2, 12,431, $4,650. 14(tie), Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 12-12-0, and Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 12-12-0, 12,379, $4,487. 16, Brad Miller, Raytown, Mo., 13-11-0, 12,376, $4,325. 17, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., 10-14-0, 12,375, $4,150. 18, Walter Ray Williams Jr, Oxford, Fla., 12-12-0, 12,333, $4,025.
19, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 6-18-0, 12,300, $3,900. 20, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 10-14-0, 12,279, $3,775. 21(tie), Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 8-15-1, and Paul Moor, United Kingdom, 8-15-1, 12,199, $3,587. 23, AJ Chapman (a), Wichita, Kan., 10-14-0, 12,189, $3,400. 24, Thomas Larsen*, Denmark, 4-3-0, 11,608, $2,888.
25, Sam Cooley*, Australia, 7-10-0, 10,455, $2,888.
*Larsen replaced Cooley after he withdrew in Game 2 of the third round of match play.