Rookie Francois Lavoie Tops PBA Wolf Open Qualifying

by Gianmarc Manzione 0

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (Sept. 5, 2016) – Canadian native Francois Lavoie, now living in Wichita, Kan., earned the top berth for the stepladder finals of the PBA Wolf Open Monday as the Professional Bowlers Association Fall Swing got underway at Thunderbowl Lanes.

Lavoie, who starred with the Wichita State University bowling program, averaged ??? for his 12 qualifying games to claim the lead with a total of 2,878 pins, 76 ahead Australia’s two-handed star Jason Belmonte. The 24-year-old rookie, bowling in only his fourth PBA Tour event, will make his national television debut on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 9 p.m.

“It should be exciting. I’m looking forward to it,” Lavoie said. “I’m just drinking up all the experiences.”

After ranking third in the first eight games bowled earlier Monday in the main section of Thunderbowl Lanes, Lavoie dominated competition Monday night when the second six-game round was bowled in Thunderbowl’s historic arena bay, built in 1961 as a showcase for premier bowling competition.

“I think the surface on the lanes in the bay was a little different, so it played different than the main center,” Lavoie said, “but it was still fairly understandable if you were able to do the right thing with ball motion. And I was able to do that pretty well.”

Lavoie, who grew up in Quebec City, is living in Wichita on a temporary visa, but plans to apply for a athlete visa to stay here full-time.

“As long as I want to be a competitive bowler, I think I need to be in the U.S. and Wichita is pretty centrally located to a lot of competitive bowling. Plus it’s a great city,” he said.

Belmonte, the three-time reigning PBA Player of the Year, is trying for his 13th PBA Tour title, but first of the 2016 season. He qualified for his eight career PBA Summer/Fall Swing television final, one shy of Bill O’Neill’s record in the fourth annual multi-event program.

Eighteen-time PBA Tour champion Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, fired a 300 game earlier Monday to take the early lead but slipped to third place in the evening session. Barnes, 46, is seeking his first title on U.S. soil since winning the 2013 PBA Viper Open in Las Vegas. Barnes’ most recent titles were won in Qatar (2014) and Japan (2015).

Tom Daugherty of Riverview, Fla., qualified fourth and 19-year-old Texas two-hander Anthony Simonsen, a leading contender in the 2016 PBA Player of the Year race, slipped past Kris Prather of Milton, Fla., by six pins in the final game to clinch the fifth stepladder berth.

The Wolf Open stepladder finals will be conducted on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 11 a.m. for telecast on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 9 p.m. ET.

The first six games in the Wolf, Bear and Badger Opens count as the qualifying legs to determine the 18 players who will advance to the Detroit Open qualifying finals on Thursday. The PBA Fall Swing continues Tuesday with two rounds of Bear Open qualifying at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by two rounds of Badger Open qualifying at the same times on on Wednesday. All preliminary rounds of the Fall Swing are being covered live, exclusively on PBA’s online video streaming channel, Xtra Frame. For subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.

PBA WOLF OPEN

Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich. Sept. 5

Final Qualifying Standings (after 12 games; top five advance to stepladder finals Saturday at 11 a.m. ET; finals air on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 9 p.m. ET)

1, Francois Lavoie, Wichita, Kan., 2,878.
2, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 2,802.
3, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 2,783.
4, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 2,773.
5, Anthony Simonsen, Princeton, Texas, 2,739.
6, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., 2,733, $1,500.
7, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 2,697, $1,300.
8, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 2,685, $1,100.
9, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 2,677, $900.
10, Jason Sterner, Cocoa, Fla., 2,655, $800.
11, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 2,591, $700.
12, Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill., 2,549, $600.

Qualifying Round One (after 6 games):

1, Barnes, 1,468.
2, Pepe, 1,460.
3, Lavoie, 1,445.
4, Troup, 1,403.
5, Sterner, 1,401.
6, Belmonte, 1,400.
7, Daugherty, 1,397.
8, Buss, 1,388.
9, Malott, 1,384.
10, Simonsen, 1,382.
11, Prather, 1,372.
12, Duke, 1,370.

Failed to advance:
13 (tie), Martin Larsen, Sweden, and Steven Arehart, Chesapeake, Va., 1,365.
15, n-Carl Boldt, Pontiac, Mich., 1,364.
16, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 1,362.
17 (tie), Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., and Dylan Macon, Lubbock, Texas, 1,359.
19 (tie), Jordan Klassen, Ontario, Canada, and J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 1,358.
21 (tie), Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., and Jeff Evans, Supply, N.C., 1,356.
23, Ronnie Sparks Jr., Ecorse, Mich., 1,355.
24, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 1,354.
25, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 1,352.
26, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 1,344.
27, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 1,342.
28, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 1,337.
29, n-Matthew Sanders, Evansville, Ind., 1,336.
30 (tie), John Furey, Freehold, N.J.; Osku Palermaa, Finland, and Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 1,332.
33, Joe Bailey, Wooster, Ohio, 1,330.
34, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 1,327.
35, Cameron Weier, Tacoma, Wash., 1,325.
36, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 1,319.
37, Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 1,318.
38, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 1,317.
39, Sam Cooley, Australia, 1,314.
40, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 1,312.
41 (tie), n-Mason Brantley, Detroit; Chris Arcaro, Wilmington, N.C., and Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 1,311.
44, Kim Bolleby, Thailand, 1,310.
45, Dave Wodka, Beavercreek, Ohio, 1,308.
46, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla., 1,307.
47, Graham Fach, Ontario, Canada, 1,305.
48 (tie), D.J. Archer, Friendswood, Texas, and Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 1,304.
50, Myles Duty, Modesto, Calif., 1,299.
51, Darren Tang, San Francisco, Calif., 1,292.
52, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 1,290.
53, Aaron Lorincz, Belleville, Mich., 1,289.
54 (tie), Dom Barrett, England, and Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 1,288.
56, Brett Cunningham, Clay, N.Y., 1,276.
57, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 1,275.
58, Jakob Butturff, Chandler, Ariz., 1,273.
59, n-Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 1,271.
60, Patrick Allen, Mt. Kisco, N.Y., 1,268.
61, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 1,266.
62, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 1,265.
63, Brad Miller, Maryland Hts, Mo., 1,262.
64, Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., 1,260.
65, Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., 1,253.
66, A.J. Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 1,252.
67, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 1,250.
68 (tie), Rocio Restrepo, Colombia, and Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 1,247.
70 (tie), Carleton Chambers, Detroit; Jason Miller, Houston, and Jon Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., 1,245.
73, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y., 1,238.
74 (tie), E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., and Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 1,224.
76 (tie), Anthony Colosimo, Davie, Fla.; Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., and Maria Rodriguez, Pflugerville, Texas, 1,219.
79, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 1,215.
80, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 1,213.
81, n-Christopher Lemmon, Canada, 1,212.
82, Austin Hunt, Kennewick, Wash., 1,210.
83, Andrew Graff, Las Vegas, 1,205.
84 (tie), n-Charles Zelechowski, Warren, Mich., and Lonnie Jones, Ypsilanti, Mich., 1,203.
86, Liz Kuhlkin, Rotterdam, N.Y., 1,198.
87 (tie), Johnathan Bower, Middletown, Pa., and Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 1,194.
89, Mike Williams II, Montgomery, Ala., 1,192.
90, Carey Bock, Canada, 1,182.
91, Matt Bollhalter, Niceville, Fla., 1,165.
92, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 1,164.
93, Zachary Dwyer, Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., 1,159.
94, Ben Zakrocki, Philadelphia, 1,139.
95, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 1,125.
96 (tie), Zachary Seals, Kingsland, Ga.; Perry Crowell IV, Hoquiam, Wash., and n-Steve Jacobs, Belleville, Mich., 1,119.
99, Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 1,112.
100, Ward Rauch, Cheboygan, Mich, 1,097.
101, n-Kurry Crayton, Birmingham, Ala., 1,082.
102, Brian Gunn, Chicago, 1,077.
103, Monty Wonnacott, Livonia, Mich., 1,067.
104 (tie), Ervin Raines, New Cummberland, Pa., and D.J. Rose, Ypsilanti, Mich., 1,065.
106, Matthew Wozney, Clayton, Del., 1,030.
107, Jeremiah Bryant, Taylor, Mich., 1,029.
108, Daniel Hochstein, Farmington Hills, Mich., 1,021.
109, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 1,016.

300 Games: Jason Belmonte, Jason Sterner, Bill O’Neill, Francois Lavoie, Chris Barnes, Martin Larsen.

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