After another record-breaking 'year to remember', Orange's Jason Belmonte was named the 2019 Chris Schenkel Professional Bowlers Association Player of the Year in a landslide on Thursday morning (AEDT), adding a fifth crown to his already bulging trophy cabinet.
Belmonte's crown will take pride of place alongside his 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 Player of the Year gongs, only PBA legends Walter Ray Williams Jr. (seven) and Earl Anthony (six) have won it more times than the Australian two-hander.
"I am so honoured to accept the award," Belmonte said, via social media.
"This accolade is the reward of a desire to constantly push myself on the lanes.
I never take for granted the opportunity I have been given to [bowl] at the highest level.PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte
"Each and every year I am bowling the ball I never take for granted the opportunity I have been given to do so at the highest level of the game."
Belmonte claimed the crown after continuing his assault on the tour's record books in 2019, most notably laying claim to the greatest-of-all-time tag by winning the World Championship to stand alone atop the list of Major winners, with 11.
That came after he won his 10th major at the Tournament of Champions to draw level with Anthony and Earl Weber, but he also became the first player to reach the championship finals in four majors in a single season for a second time, he first did so in 2013.
The 36-year-old was the only player to win four tour titles in 2019 and led the earnings with almost $300,000 in prizemoney as well, finishing in the top five in 12 of the 18 tournaments he competed in.
Along with the tour major wins, he also triumphed in the DHC Japan Invitational and the Chameleon Championship, taking his total number of tour victories to 22.
The US' Jakob Butturff was a distant second in the voting.
Belmonte went to thank the PBA and all its members and writers, his sponsors and his supporters, the latter of whom he labelled 'the best fans in bowling'.
Of course, he saved special praise and gratitude for his family, before congratulating the other 2019 major award winners as well.
"To my family, Kimberly, Aria, Hugo and Sylvie, leaving you to perform on tour is the single, hardest part of my job," Belmonte said.
"The can't begin to imagine the impact you have on me as a human being. Every time I roll the ball I know you are rolling it with me."
The US' Mykel Hollinan was recognised as the Harry Golden Rookie of the Year while fellow American, Bowl 4 Life founder Chuck Gardner, was awarded the Tony Reyes Community Service Award.
Sweden's Martin Larsen became the first international player to win the Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award for a second time as well.
"Congratulations to Chuck, Martin and Mykel ... each of you are most deserving," Belmonte said.
"I can't wait to do what I can to have a bigger and better 2020 PBA tour season."
The four award winners will be recognised during the PBA Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in mid-January, as part of the Hall of Fame Classic tournament weekend.
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