ALLEN PARK, Mich. (May 1, 2018) – Led by defending champion EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., eight PBA Tour stars who have dominated PBA’s earnings chart over a span of more than two years will compete in the second annual PBA Tour Finals at Thunderbowl Lanes May 4-5 in Allen Park, Mich.
The event marks the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s return to the CBS Sports Network with a series of five two-hour telecasts involving the top eight PBA Tour money earners for the period beginning in 2016 and concluding four months into the 2018 season. The PBA Tour Finals will begin airing on five consecutive Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET beginning May 22.
Tackett, the 2016 PBA Player of the Year, returns to defend his title after winning the 2017 Main Event PBA Tour Finals in Orlando, Fla., where he defeated four-time PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte of Australia, 668-628, in the three-game total pinfall title match.
In addition to Tackett and Belmonte, the other six finalists will be Jesper Svensson of Sweden; England’s Dom Barrett; Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas; Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash.; Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., and Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill.
● Tackett is a nine-time PBA Tour champion and winner of the 2016 PBA World Championship and 2017 FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions.
● Belmonte is a 17-time PBA Tour titlist including nine majors and is a four-time PBA Player of the Year.
● Svensson, PBA’s 2016 Rookie of the Year, is a seven-time tour winner and the winner of the 2016 FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions.
● Barrett is a six-time tour winner including the 2013 PBA World Championship and the 2018 DHC PBA Japan Invitational.
● Simonsen, a three-time Tour titlist, won the 2016 USBC Masters to become the youngest player ever to win a major title at age 19.
● Kent, the 2014 Rookie of the Year, is a four-time tour winner including the 2017 Grand Casino Hotel and Resorts PBA Oklahoma Open.
● Jones is an 18-time title winner, including the 2016 PBA Scorpion Championship, and has won two majors.
● Rash is a 12-time titlist, has won two majors and was 2012 PBA Player of the Year. He won two titles during the 2016 PBA Fall Swing on CBS Sports Network.
Tickets are available for the May 4 tapings at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and the May 5 tapings at noon, 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. Tickets, which range in price from $10 to $30, may be purchased by visiting www.pba.com/tickets or on site at Thunderbowl Lanes.
The tournament field will be divided into two four-player groups. The field will bowl four games of qualifying in their respective groups on a different oil pattern each game. The four game scratch totals for each player will be used to determine the seeding for a separate stepladder finals in each group. The final match of each group’s stepladder will be a best of two-game match with ties broken by a 9th and 10th frame roll off. The two group winners will then meet in another best-of-two-game championship match.
The four PBA lane condition oil patterns that will be used will be the 36-foot Johnny Petraglia, 42-foot Mark Roth, 39-foot Don Carter and 45-foot Dick Weber patterns.
Competing in Group 1 will be Belmonte, Barrett, Simonsen, and Rash, while Tackett, Svensson, Kent and Jones will compete in Group 2.
The PBA Tour Finals, similar to tennis’ ATP Tour Finals, was created last year as a summer national TV showcase of the PBA’s top players. Last year’s inaugural event in Orlando criteria for qualification was money earned in 2015, 2016 and half of 2017 up to the PBA Tour Finals date. This year’s field was based on PBA national money earned in 2016, 2017 and 2018 to this point in the season.
Thunderbowl Lanes will also host a pro-am at noon on Sunday, May 6. Entry information may be obtained by calling Thunderbowl Lanes at (313) 928-4688.
PBA TOUR FINALS CBS SPORTS NETWORK TAPING SCHEDULE
Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich., May 4-5 (all times are Eastern)
Group 1 players - Jason Belmonte, Dom Barrett, Anthony Simonsen, Sean Rash
Group 2 players - EJ Tackett, Jesper Svensson, Marshall Kent and Tommy Jones
Friday, May 4
5 p.m. – Group 1 and Group 2, one qualifying game on 39-foot Johnny Petraglia lane condition, Group 2 and Group 1, one qualifying game on 42-foot Mark Roth lane condition airs Tuesday, May 22, at 9:30 p.m. EDT on CBS Sports Network.
7:30 p.m. – Group 2 and Group 1, one qualifying game on 39-foot Don Carter lane condition, Group 1 and Group 2, one qualifying game on 45-foot Dick Weber lane condition, airs Tuesday, May 29, at 9:30 p.m. EDT on CBS Sports Network.
Sat., May 5
Noon – Group 1 Stepladder Finals (seeding based on four-game qualifying totals; top qualifier will choose lane pattern); airs Tuesday, June 5, at 9:30 p.m. EDT on CBS Sports Network.
2:30 p.m. – Group 2 Stepladder Finals (seeding position based on qualifying totals; top qualifier will choose lane pattern; airs Tuesday, June 12, at 9:30 p.m. EDT on CBS Sports Network.
(Group 1 and Group 2 stepladders determine finalists for championship match)
5:30 p.m. – Championship match (best-of-two-game match with 9th and 10th frame roll-off tie breaker, if necessary), overall average leader will choose lane pattern; airs Tuesday, June 19 at 9:30 p.m. EDT on CBS Sports Network.
Sunday, May 6
Noon – Pro-am