INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 14, 2018) – Indiana native Matt Sanders, the 2017 Professional Bowlers Association Rookie of the Year, was feeling under the weather, but didn’t bowl like it in rolling into the early second round lead in the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic Wednesday at Woodland Bowl.
The 24-year-old left-hander rolled games of 204, 222, 258, 278, 237, 279, 278 and 216 for 1,977 pins for the round and a 16-game total of 3,887 pins to pace the 73 players on B Squad, who completed their qualifying round Wednesday afternoon. The 75 players on A Squad bowled their final eight-game qualifying round at 4 p.m. EST.
Sanders, a former NAIA All-American with Marian University, was scoring at a 242.94 pace in build a 89-pin lead over Kris Prather of Plainfield, Ill., after 16 games. Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich., was third among the early finishers with 3,751 pins.
“I got off to a slow start, but once I got going, I bowled pretty well,” said Sanders, an Evansville native who recently relocated to Indianapolis. “It would really mean a lot to win a title in my home state, but I have to make it to the stepladder finals first.”
Sanders won his first PBA Tour title in the Xtra Frame Billy Hardwick Memorial Open in Memphis last June. He also finished fifth in the 2017 PBA World Championship and finished sixth in last week’s PBA Tournament of Champions, missing the ESPN finals by 10 pins.
In addition to Sanders, fellow Hoosiers Ronnie Russell of Marion (fifth place) and EJ Tackett of Huntington (17th) were in solid position to remain in contention for the 60th Anniversary Classic title.
The Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic is special tournament at the heart of a week dedicated to the organization’s birth in 1958 and 60 years of competition. Included in the season-long celebration will be the unveiling of the PBA’s 60 Most Memorable Moments, the PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration dinner and hall of fame induction ceremonies Saturday, and Sunday’s live 1 p.m. ESPN finals of the 60th Anniversary Classic.
Based on 16-game qualifying totals, the top 37 players now advance to an eight-game cashers round Thursday at 9 a.m. After 24 qualifying games, the top 24 will bowl eight-game head-to-head match play rounds Thursday at 6 p.m. and Friday at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. All preliminary rounds, plus the annual PBA League Draft on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and the PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner Saturday at 6:30 p.m., will be live streamed on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. To sign up, visit xtraframe.tv.
GO BOWLING! PBA 60TH ANNIVERSARY CLASSIC
Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, Feb. 14
EARLY SECOND ROUND STANDINGS (Squad B leaders after 16 games; Squad A bowled its final 8 games at 4 p.m. Wednesday)
1, Matthew Sanders, Evansville, Ind., 3,887.
2, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 3,798.
3, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 3,751.
4, Keven Williams, Springfield, Mo., 3,722.
5, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 3,697.
6, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 3,684.
7, Richie Teece, England, 3,665.
8, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 3,654.
9, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 3,636.
10, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 3,634.
11, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 3,615.
12, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 3,607.
13, Arturo Quintero, Mexico, 3,598.
14, Charlie Brown Jr, Grandville, Mich., 3,597.
15, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 3,596.
16, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 3,594.
17, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 3,584.
18, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 3,568.
19, Tannya Roumimper, Indonesia, 3,567.
20, Richard McCormick, Cincinnati, Ohio, 3,560.
21, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 3,552.
22, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 3,544.
23, Jason Sterner, Rockledge, Fla., 3,539.
24, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 3,525.
25, Yannaphon Larpapharat, Thailand, 3,524.
300 Games: Russ Oviatt, Richard McCormick.