COLUMBUS, Ohio (Feb. 4, 2020) – While Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte etched his name in Go Bowling PBA Tour history in 2019 by winning the PBA World Championship for a record 11th PBA major title, PBA Players Championship winner and fellow two-hander Anthony Simonsen of Little Elm, Texas, was carving out his own place in PBA majors history.
Both players will be among an expected field of 92 entrants who will return to Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl for the second major of the 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour season Feb. 9-15. In addition to a major title and the $75,000 first prize, the $1 million perfect game bonus will again be in effect for the Players Championship if the winning player bowls a perfect game in the title match of the live finals on FS1 on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m. ET.
Already in the young 2020 season, the Players Championship is part of a grueling stretch as the second of three consecutive majors in as many weeks. The PBA Tournament of Champions is currently underway at AMF Riviera Lanes in Fairlawn, Ohio and immediately following the Players Championship the tour travels to Lincoln, Nebraska for the U.S. Open Feb. 16-23.
At age 22 Simonsen, the No. 2 seed, won the 2019 Players Championship to become the youngest player to win two PBA majors, defeating No. 1 seed Belmonte 232-212 in the title match at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.
In 2019, Belmonte, who won the PBA Tournament of Champions the week before, held a three-pin lead in the fifth frame of the title match when he left a 4-6-7-9-10 split. Both players then threw strikes from the sixth through the ninth frames but Belmonte left the door open for Simonsen when he left a pocket 7-10 split on the first shot of the 10th frame.
“To have a second major at this point in my career, I’m speechless,” said Simonsen, who won the 2016 USBC Masters at age 19 to become the youngest to win a major. “Jason is the guy everyone is gunning for and as a fellow two-handed player, he’s an inspiration.”
The Players Championship gets underway Sunday, Feb. 9 with two five-game Pre-Tournament Qualifier (PTQ) rounds at 3:30 and 7 p.m. EST. Monday, Feb. 10 will feature a practice session, 2-5 p.m.; Pro Meet and Greet/Buffet, 6-7 p.m., and pro-am at 7 p.m.
Competition begins Tuesday, Feb. 11 with six-game qualifying rounds at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Qualifying continues with the third round Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 11 a.m. after which the top 24 players will advance to the first eight-game match play round at 6 p.m. After the second and third match play rounds at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, the top five based on 42-game pinfall totals will be determined for the stepladder finals on Feb. 15.
Tommy Jones capped a storybook week in the season-opener in January when, after his induction into the PBA Hall of Fame the night before, he won the PBA Hall of Fame Classic with a dramatic 300-237 victory over Darren Tang in the title match for his 20th career title. While the Hall of Fame Classic was not part of the $1 million bonus lineup of tournaments, he did receive $10,000 for that remarkable accomplishment.
The $1 million title match bonus is in effect for the Tournament of Champions, Players Championship, Go Bowling PBA Indianapolis Open and PBA World Championship.
All qualifying and match play rounds will be livestreamed by FloBowling. To subscribe, visit flobowling.com. FloBowling also will livestream the FS1 finals to its international subscribers.
To purchase tickets for the live FS1 finals click on https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pba-players-championship-tickets-82216280107. Additional admission and pro-am entry information is also available by calling Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl at (614) 491-7155.
PBA Players Championship Schedule
Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl, Columbus, Ohio
(All times Eastern)
Sunday, Feb. 9
3:30 p.m.- PTQ Round 1 (5 games)
7 p.m. - PTQ Round 2 (5 games)
Monday, Feb. 10
2-5 p.m. - Practice session
6-7 p.m. - Pro Meet and Greet/Buffet
7-9 p.m. - Pro-am
Tuesday, Feb. 11
11 a.m. - Qualifying Round 1 (6 games)
6 p.m. - Qualifying Round 2 (6 games)
Wednesday, Feb. 12
11 a.m. - Qualifying Round 3 (6 games)
Top 24 players advance to match play
6 p.m. - Match Play Round 1 (8 games)
Thursday, Feb. 13
11 a.m. - Match Play Round 2 (8 games)
6 p.m. - Match Play Round 3 (8 games)
Top five advance to stepladder finals
Friday, February 14
7 p.m. - Pro-am
Saturday, February 15
Noon - Pro-am
5:30 p.m. – Live stepladder finals on FS1