2018 PBA Tournament of Champions

Matt O’Grady Defeats Jesper Svensson to Win 53rd PBA Tournament of Champions

Four-time PBA regional winner also beats BJ Moore, Jason Belmonte and Andrew Anderson on way to first PBA Tour title

 

FAIRLAWN, Ohio (Feb. 11, 2018) – Advancing from a pre-tournament qualifier earlier in the week all the way to the title match, four-time Professional Bowlers Association regional tournament winner Matt O’Grady of Rahway, N.J., won the 53rd PBA Tournament of Champions Sunday for his first PBA Tour title.

O’Grady, whose best previous PBA Tour finish was fourth, and best major finish was 13th, won three stepladder finals matches at AMF Riviera Lanes before beating top qualifier and 2016 Tournament of Champions winner Jesper Svensson, 207-193, in the title match of the first major of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season.

O’Grady held a three-pin lead over Svensson in the eighth frame but was able to pull away when he struck in the ninth frame and the first shot in the 10th. Except for strikes in the second and third frames, Svensson was not able to put another string of strikes together for the rest of the match.

“I feel like I’m sleepwalking—it’s a dream come true,” said the 31-year-old O’Grady, who won PBA’s signature event that requires a player to be a PBA champion to be eligible to enter. “It just shows you what hard work can do. I’ve been working hard the past year to be able to compete at this level.

“I admit that in the past I haven’t been as disciplined as I should be to be competitive out here on tour,” O’Grady added. “I just had to commit to putting my head down, grit my teeth, and do the hard work you have to do.”

For Svensson, it was his second consecutive runner-up finish in a major after finishing second in the PBA World Championship, the final major of the 2017 season.

O’Grady, who became the first player since Dave D’Entremont in the 1996 Tournament of Champions to win four stepladder matches for the title, started the championship round with a 219-174 victory over PBA regional winner BJ Moore of Greensburg, Pa., who finished fifth.

In the second match, O’Grady met four-time and reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte of Australia, who was trying for a record-tying 10th major and third Tournament of Champions title. Needing a double in the 10th frame to pull out the win, Belmonte struck on the first ball but left a 10 pin on a pocket hit on the second shot giving O’Grady the 229-225 win.

“That was like climbing the mountain to win that match,” O’Grady said. “Obviously, I still had a lot of work to do but there was a lot of relief after beating Jason, especially with everything he was bowling for.”

Belmonte, who was the No. 3 qualifier, made a dramatic run to the finals just barely advancing to match play in the 24th and final position. Had he won, he would have been only the fourth player to win a major from that position.

Belmonte finished fourth but will have another opportunity to win a 10th major when the Barbasol PBA Players Championship is held Feb. 19-25 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in Columbus, Ohio.

In the semi-final match, O’Grady beat Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich., a second-year tour player who owns one regional title, 194-185.

Anderson and Moore, making their first tour television appearances, also had to qualify for the tournament field through the pre-tournament qualifier which was for non-tour winners who owned a title in one of PBA’s other divisions.

The 2018 Tournament of Champions marked the return of PBA’s signature tournament to historic AMF Riviera Lanes where it had been conducted from 1966 to 1994.

The PBA Tour moves to Indianapolis for the PBA Go Bowling! 60th Anniversary Classic at Woodland Bowl which begins Tuesday and will conclude with the stepladder finals next Sunday (Feb. 18) at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.

PBA TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
AMF Riviera Lanes, Fairlawn, Ohio, Sunday

Final Standings
1, Matt O’Grady, Rahway, N.J., $50,000.
2, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, $25,000.
3, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich. $13,000.
4, Jason Belmonte, Australia, $11,000.
5, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., $10,000.

Stepladder Results:
Match One – O’Grady def. Moore, 219-174.
Match Two – O’Grady def. Belmonte, 229-225.
Semifinal Match – O’Grady def. Anderson, 194-185.
Championship – O’Grady def. Svensson, 207-193.

About the PBA

In 2018 the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) celebrates its 60th anniversary. The PBA is an organization of more than 3,000 of the best bowlers from 27 countries who compete in Go Bowling! PBA Tour, PBA International Tour, PBA Regional Tour, PBA Women’s Regional and PBA50 Tour events. The 2018 season also marks the 59th consecutive year of nationally-televised competition, reaching bowling fans around the world who follow PBA activities through the PBA Network which includes Xtra Frame, the PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel, ESPN and CBS Sports Network, and the PBA on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. PBA sponsors include Barbasol, Brunswick, Ebonite International, GEICO, GoBowling.com, HotelPlanner.com, MOTIV, 900 Global, PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game, Storm Products and the United States Bowling Congress, among others. For more information, log on to www.pba.com


Jesper Svensson Earns Top Spot for PBA Tournament of Champions Stepladder Finals

Andrew Anderson, Jason Belmonte, BJ Moore and Matt O’Grady round out top five for live ESPN telecast Sunday at 1 p.m. ET

FAIRLAWN, Ohio (Feb. 9, 2018) –  Two-hander Jesper Svensson of Sweden will bowl for his second PBA Tournament of Champions title and eighth career tour title as the top qualifier for the stepladder finals of the 53rd edition of PBA’s signature championship Sunday at AMF Riviera Lanes.

The finals for the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season’s first major will air Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Svensson compiled a 16-6-2 match play record and 10,159 42-game pinfall total including match play bonus pins Friday to secure the top spot 147 pins ahead of No. 2 qualifier second-year pro Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich., who finished with a 10,012 pinfall and 15-9 record in match play.

Svensson, who is already a seven-time Tour winner at age 22, became the youngest player to win the Tournament of Champions, when he captured the title in Shawnee, Okla., in 2016 at age 20, eight days short of his 21st birthday.

Nearly failing to advance to match play after earning the 24th and final match play spot after qualifying on Thursday, nine-time PBA Tour major winner Jason Belmonte of Australia made a dramatic drive to reach the No. 3 qualifying position for the finals finishing with a 9,928 pinfall and 14-10 match play record.

Belmonte, who won his fourth Player of the Year crown in 2017, is trying for his 10th PBA major title to tie PBA Hall of Famers Pete Weber and Earl Anthony for the all-time major title record. A win would also make the 2014 and 2015 Tournament of Champions winner the third player to win the major three times. Jason Couch and Mike Durbin are the other three-time winners.

Should Belmonte, a 16-time tour winner capture the title, he would become only the fourth player to come from the 24th qualifying position, using PBA’s traditional head-to-head match play format, to win a major. The last player to accomplish the feat was Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III in the 2012 PBA World Championship.

If Belmonte advances to the championship match against Svensson, it would also set up a rematch of the 2017 PBA World Championship title match where Belmonte beat Svensson for the win.  Belmonte defeated Svensson 238-225 for a record third major win during the season with previous wins coming in the United States Bowling Congress Masters and Barbasol PBA Players Championship.

BJ Moore of Greensburg, Pa., a PBA regional titlist, and Matt O’Grady of Rahway, N.J., a four-time regional winner, took the fourth and fifth stepladder spots, respectively. Moore finished with a 9,873 pinfall and O’Grady finished with a 9,824 to take the final spot. Both players had 15-9 records in match play.

Anderson, who owns one regional title as a PBA member, Moore and O’Grady advanced to the Tournament of Champions field through a pre-tournament qualifier. The PTQ enabled players who did not have tour titles, but owned titles in PBA’s other divisions, to earn spots in the field.

 

PBA TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

AMF Riviera Lanes, Fairlawn, Ohio, Friday

Sixth Round Standings (after 42 games. Top five advance to Sunday’s stepladder finals on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET.  Includes match play record, total pinfall including bonus pins and money earned.)

1, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 16-6-2, 10,159.
2, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 15-9, 10,012.
3, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 14-10, 9,928.
4, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 15-9, 9,873.
5, Matt O’Grady, Rahway, N.J., 15-9, 9,824.
6, Matt Sanders, Evansville, Ind., 14-10, 9,814, $6,500.
7, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 13-11, 9,780, $6,000.
8, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 14-10, 9,764, $5,500.
9, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 15-9, 9,723, $5,000.
10, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 11-12-1, 9,718, $4,800.
11, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 11-13, 9,703, $4,700.
12, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 10-14, 9,691, $4,700.
13, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 13-10-1, 9,678, $4,500.
14, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 11-13, 9,522, $4,400.
15, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 11-13, 9,515, $4,300.
16, Mitch Beasley, Clarksville, Tenn., 14-10, 9,495, $4,200.
17, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 8-16, 9,494, $4,100.
18, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 9-15, 9,469, $4,000.
19, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 10-14, 9,464, $3,900.
20, Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 9-15, 9,445, $3,800.
21, Kyle Sherman, O’Fallon, Mo., 10-13-1, 9,408, $3,700.
22, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 12-12, 9,326, $3,600.
23, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, Texas, 8-15-1, 9,222, $3,650.
24, Kurt Pilon, Warren, Mich., 6-16-2, 9,039, $3,500.

300 games (3) – Matt O’Grady, Andrew Anderson, Kyle Troup


Russell Posts 6-2 Record in First Match Play Round to Retain Lead in PBA Tournament of Champions

Jesper Svensson moves into second and Jason Belmonte rebounds to finish seventh heading into Friday’s match play

 

FAIRLAWN, Ohio (Feb. 8, 2018) – Four-time PBA Tour winner Ronnie Russell of Marion, Ind., retained his lead in the PBA Tournament of Champions Thursday at AMF Riviera Lanes after the first match play round but had to withstand a challenge from 2016 TOC winner Jesper Svensson of Sweden who moved into second.

Russell posted a 6-2 match play record and finished with a 6,201 four-round overall pinfall total, which includes 30 bonus pins for each match win, to lead Svensson who also recorded a 6-2 record and finished 73 pins behind with 6,128.

In the first major tournament of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season, Russell reeled off match wins with games of 259, 266, 220, 267, 257, then lost with games of 158, 202 before winning the final match with 226.

“Bowling this well on a fresh condition isn’t really my game so I was pretty happy with the good start,” Russell said. “Everything was going well until I had trouble figuring out the pair of lanes in the sixth game. That was pretty frustrating but I was able to dig myself out of that whole and had a decent finish.

“I’ve been relying pretty heavily on my equipment choices so far in the tournament,” he added. “I’m probably going to drill up a couple more balls so I can be more prepared for what I might experience tomorrow.”

Svensson, a two-handed player who is already a seven-time Tour winner at age 22, became the youngest player to win the Tournament of Champions, when he captured the title in Shawnee, Okla., in 2016 at age 20, eight days short of his 21st birthday.

Finishing the day in third was 2017 PBA Rookie of the Year Matt Sanders of Evansville, Ind., with a 7-1 record and 6,092 pinfall. Two-hander Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas, recorded a 5-3 record in match play and 6,052 pinfall to finish in fourth. Simonsen won the 2016 United States Bowling Congress Masters at age 19 to become the youngest player to win a major.

Nearly failing to advance to match play after the final qualifying round earlier in the day, nine-time major winner Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte made a dramatic rebound posting a 5-3 match play record and 5,947 pinfall to move from 24th to seventh.

Belmonte, who won his fourth Player of the Year crown in 2017, is trying for his 10th PBA major title to would tie PBA Hall of Famers Pete Weber and Earl Anthony for the all-time major title record. A win would also make the 2014 and 2015 TOC winner the third player to win the major three times. Jason Couch and Mike Durbin are the other three-time winners.

Using PBA’s traditional head-to-head match play format that advances 24 players from qualifying, 15 players in PBA history have advanced from the 24th match play position to win a tournament. Three have accomplished the feat in majors.

Match play continues Friday with rounds at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET.  After Friday’s match play the top five players will be determined for Sunday’s live stepladder finals on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET.

Fans can catch the final match play rounds on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame. For subscription and schedule information visit www.xtraframe.tv.

 

PBA TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

AMF Riviera Lanes, Fairlawn, Ohio, Thursday

Fourth Round Standings (after 26 games. Includes match play record and total pinfall including bonus pins.)

1, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 6-2, 6,201.
2, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 6-2, 6,128.
3, Matt Sanders, Evansville, Ind., 7-1, 6,092.
4, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 5-3, 6,052.
5, Mat O’Grady, Rahway, N.J., 4-4, 5,984.
6, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 4-4, 5,975.
7, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 5-3, 5,947.
8, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 5-3, 5,946.
9, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 3-5, 5,934.
10, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 5-3, 5,900.
11, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 5-3, 5,884.
12, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3-5, 5,878.
13, Kyle Sherman, O’Fallon, Mo., 4-3-1, 5,850.
14, Mitch Beasley, Clarksville, Tenn., 5-3, 5,845.
15, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 2-6-0, 5,834.
16, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, Texas, 4-4, 5,828.
17, Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 2-6, 5,814.
18, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 3-5, 5,811.
19, BJ Moore III, Greensburg, Pa., 4-4, 5,747.
20, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 3-5, 5,740.
21, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 3-5, 5,683.
22, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 3-5, 5,661.
23, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 2-6, 5,647.
24, Kurt Pilon, Warren, Mich., 2-5-1, 5,605.


Ronnie Russell Averages 232 to Lead PBA Tournament of Champions After Second Round

FAIRLAWN, Ohio (Feb. 7, 2018) – Four-time PBA Tour champion Ronnie Russell of Marion Ind., averaged 232 for two rounds Wednesday to lead 80 PBA champions in the PBA Tournament of Champions at AMF Riviera Lanes.

Finishing 22nd after the first round earlier Wednesday with a 1,330 six-game pinfall total, Russell vaulted into the lead after bowling 1,460 in the second round finishing the day with 2,790 overall for 12 games.

The 38-year-old Russell bowled games of 208, 277, 267, 264, 198 and 246 in the second round.

“Overall, I’m bowling well but in the first round I wasn’t maximizing my performance in the ninth and 10th frames,” Russell said. “I was doing a better job of finishing games off in the second round.

“There have been times when I get on a good run but get ahead of myself and I lose the shot,” Russell added. “I need to stay patient and stay within myself to avoid those mistakes. I was really encouraged by the way I came back in the last game after bowling 198.”

Russell holds a 54-pin lead over Matt O’Grady of Rahway, N.J., in second with a 2,736 pinfall.

Four-time and reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte of Australia finished third after two rounds with a 2,723 pinfall (226 average).

Belmonte, who won the Tournament of Champions in 2014 and 2015, also rocketed up the standings finishing 31st after the first round. Bowling 1,308 for his first six games, he came back with a 1,415 pinfall in the second round bowling games of 299, 205, 193, 214, 224, and 280.

Belmonte, who uses the unique two-handed delivery, is trying to win his 10th PBA major which would tie him for first on the all-time list with Pete Weber and Earl Anthony.  A third TOC title would also tie him for most victories in PBA’s signature tournament with Jason Couch and Mike Durbin.

In 2017, Belmonte won the USBC Masters, Barbasol PBA Players Championship and PBA World Championship to become the first player to win three majors in a season.

Rounding out the top five in the first major of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season were two more two-handers, Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas, who finished the day in fourth with 2,721 and Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C., who finished fifth with a 2,718 pinfall.

The entire field returns for Thursday mornings third and final qualifying round after which the field will be cut to the top 24 players who will advance to the first match play round at 6 p.m. ET. After Friday’s match play rounds at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., the top five players will be determined for Sunday’s live stepladder finals on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET.

Fans can catch TOC qualifying and match play rounds on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame. For subscription and schedule information visit www.xtraframe.tv.

 

PBA TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

AMF Riviera Lanes, Fairlawn, Ohio, Wednesday

Second Round Standings (after 12 games. Entire field returns for third qualifying round Thursday morning)

1, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 2,790.
2, Mat O’Grady, Rahway, N.J., 2,736.
3, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 2,723.
4, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 2,721.
5, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 2,718.
6, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 2,693.
7, (tie) Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., and Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 2,687.
9, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 2,686.
10, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 2,678.
11, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 2,670.
12, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 2,662.
13, Yannaphon Larpapharat, Thailand, 2,659.
14, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 2,656.
15, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 2,655.
16, Ryan Ciminelli, Clarence, N.Y., 2,653.
17, Mitch Beasley, Clarksville, Tenn., 2,652.
18, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 2,640.
19, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 2,637.
20, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 2,627.
21, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 2,625.
22, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 2,623.
23, Dom Barrett, England, 2,621.
24, Jon Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., 2,616.
25, Kyle Sherman, O’Fallon, Mo., 2,605.
26, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, Texas, 2,599.
27, (tie) Darren Tang, San Francisco, Francois Lavoie, Canada, and Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 2,595.
30, Richie Teece, England, 2,590.
31, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 2,588.
32, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 2,584.
33, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 2,578.
34, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 2,576.
35, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 2,570.
36, Matthew Sanders, Evansville, Ind., 2,569.
37, Kurt Pilon, Warren, Mich., 2,560.
38, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 2,558.
39, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 2,557.
40, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 2,553.
41, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 2,552.
42, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 2,551.
43, (tie) Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., and Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 2,546.
45, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 2,543.
46, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 2,533.
47, Rhino Page, Orlando, 2,531.
48, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 2,521.
49, Jason Sterner, Rockledge, Fla., 2,520.
50, Chris Arcaro, Carolina Beach, N.C., 2,506.
51, Stuart Williams, England, 2,505.
52, Aaron Lorincz, Center Line, Mich., 2,497.
53, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 2,489.
54, Tim Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., 2,471.
55, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 2,469.
56, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 2,465.
57, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 2,463.
58, Joe Bailey, Wooster, Ohio, 2,460.
59, Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 2,457.
60, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 2,456.
61, Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 2,452.
62, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 2,446.
63, Graham Fach, Canada, 2,440.
64, Brad Miller, Maryland Heights, Mo., 2,439.
65, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 2,431.
66, Kyle Mayberry, Mt. Vernon, Ohio, 2,430.
67, Liz Johnson, Palatine, Ill., 2,417.
68, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 2,407.
69, Cameron Weier, Tacoma, Wash., 2,396.
70, Scott Newell, Deland, Fla., 2,373.
71, Kyle Bigelow, Troy, Ohio, 2,371.
72, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 2,370.
73, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 2,360.
74, Andrew Klingler, Grand Rapids, Mich., 2,325.
75, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 2,319.
76, Michael Clark Jr., Cleveland, Ohio, 2,286.
77, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 2,231.
78, Ed Carter, Austintown, Ohio, 2,214.
79, John Petraglia, Jackson, N.J., 2,123.
80, JT Jackson, Sherman Oaks, Calif., 1,960.

About the PBA

In 2018 the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) celebrates its 60th anniversary. The PBA is an organization of more than 3,000 of the best bowlers from 27 countries who compete in Go Bowling! PBA Tour, PBA International Tour, PBA Regional Tour, PBA Women’s Regional and PBA50 Tour events. The 2018 season also marks the 59th consecutive year of nationally-televised competition, reaching bowling fans around the world who follow PBA activities through the PBA Network which includes Xtra Frame, the PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel, ESPN and CBS Sports Network, and the PBA on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. PBA sponsors include Barbasol, Brunswick, Ebonite International, GEICO, GoBowling.com, HotelPlanner.com, MOTIV, 900 Global, PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game, Storm Products and the United States Bowling Congress, among others. For more information, log on to www.pba.com.

 

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