For the second consecutive week Jason Belmonte will have the opportunity to make professional bowling history as he tries for a record 11th PBA major title from the top seed of the PBA Players Championship stepladder finals.
The 35-year-old Belmonte earned the top seed for the finals after finishing with a 17-7 overall match play record and 10,183 42-game pinfall total on Friday at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.
The finals will carry with it a $1 million bonus if Belmonte or his opponent can bowl a 300 game in the title match.
Belmonte, who averaged 230 and led all six rounds of the tournament, won last week’s PBA Tournament of Champions for his 10th major to tie Hall of Famers Pete Weber and Earl Anthony on the all-time majors list.
A win in the Players Championship would also make the four-time PBA Player of the Year the event’s first three-time winner. He’s currently tied with Dave Ferraro, Dennis Horan and Steve Hoskins with two Players Championship titles.
“I really feel like I know where the ball is going every single frame,” said Belmonte, who earned his third consecutive top seed in the Players Championship.
“These past couple weeks are probably some of the best weeks I’ve ever bowled in my life. It’s really nice when you feel like you are physically executing and the pins are also falling.”
I really feel like I know where the ball is going every single frame.Jason Belmonte
“I’d love to get 11 now, just get it out of the way and done, and that’s exactly what my game plan is going to be,” Belmonte said. “I want to come out, throw the exact same shots I’ve been throwing all week and hopefully I’ll raise the crown again.”
Belmonte, who is also trying for his 20th career tour title, is one of three players that uses the unique two-handed delivery to make the finals.
Coming all the way from 21st heading into Thursday’s first match play round, two-hander Anthony Simonsen posted a 17-6-1 record and finished with a 10,014 pinfall to earn the No. 2 seed for the finals.
The 22-year-old Simonsen, who became the youngest player to win a major when he won the 2016 USBC Masters at age 19, is trying for his second major and sixth career tour title.
Another Texan, two-time tour winner DJ Archer, who is trying for his first major, compiled an 18-5-1 match play record and 9763 pinfall to qualify third for the finals.
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