The semifinalists are set for the Bowlero Elite Series finale that will air Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on NBC. The professional side of the unique pro-am competition at Bowlero Jupiter in Florida has been culled down to newly-elected PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte and recently-elected PBA Hall of Famer Tommy Jones.
(PBA.com lede photo includes, from left, professional competitors Kyle Troup, Marshall Kent, Jason Belmonte, Shannon O’Keefe, Tommy Jones, Clara Guerrero, Kyle Sherman and Anthony Simonsen).
The two PBA stars will bowl a one-game match with the winner taking on the survivor of the Bowlero league bowler side of the bracket that will include former Saginaw Valley State collegiate bowler Garrett Shovan vs. Illinois’ Luis Gonzalez, who won the first event in the three-event Bowlero Elite Series competition. The winner of the Jupiter tournament will receive $100,000.
Leading up to the semifinals, PBA titlist Kyle Troup eliminated PWBA champion Clara Guerrero, 248-246, before losing to Belmonte in the quarterfinal round, 247-246. Belmonte knocked out fellow two-hander Anthony Simonsen, 263-257, in his first match. In the lower half of the pro bracket, Jones defeated PWBA Bowler of the Year Shannon O’Keefe, 226-196, and Marshall Kent, 235-218, to reach the semifinals. Kent ousted Kyle Sherman, 257-197, in his first-round match.
On the amateur side of the match play elimination bracket, Douglas Herron defeated Greg Thompson, 230-172, before losing to Shovan, 179-161. In the lower half of the amateur bracket, Jay Nephew eliminated Elizabeth Jones, 204-191, before losing to Gonzalez, 243-216. In the other first round matches, Shovan knocked out Mike Ewing, 199-167, while Gonzalez topped Amy Brehm, 226-175.
Gonzalez won the inaugural Bowlero Elite Series tournament in suburban Chicago, defeating Troup in the final match, 237-226. Simonsen won the second event in New Jersey, eliminating Brehm in the final match, 259-220.
HALL OF FAMER PETE WEBER HELPS ROOKIE MYKEL HOLLIMAN WIN FIRST TITLE
With a little Hall-of-Fame help from Pete Weber, 2019 PBA Rookie of the Year Mykel Holliman of Collierville, Tenn., won his first PBA title Sunday in the PBA/PBA50 Houston Emerald Bowl Doubles in Houston, Texas.
Holliman, PBA’s top rookie in 2019, finished second in the USBC Masters but had yet to capture his first PBA title. Weber, on the other hand, is one of two players in PBA history to win 100 titles at all levels of PBA competition. He has won 37 PBA Tour titles (including 10 majors); 11 PBA50 Tour titles, 47 standard PBA Regionals and six PBA50 Regionals, including his win at Emerald Bowl in Houston, for a total of 101 – 14 behind all-time leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. The duo split a $7,000 first prize.
The winning duo finished the eight-game qualifying portion of the event in third place. After winning only four of their first nine matches in the 10-game round robin finals, they were still stalking the leaders in third place going into the final position round match. The father-son duo of Deo Benard from Henderson, Nev., and Rick Benard, now living in Keller, Texas, had just assumed a slim lead over WRW Jr. and his PBA Tour champion partner Dick Allen from Lexington, S.C. With only 73 pins separating the top three teams, Williams and Allen combined for a 420 team game to top the Benards’ final game of 404, while Weber and Holliman handily defeated the team of Paul McCordic of Sugar Land, Texas, and Justin Bui from Terrytown, La., 468-422. Earning 50 match bonus pins, Weber and Holliman overtook Williams and Allen by 11 pins, 8,539-8,528, in 18-game total pinfall to claim the title.
PBA PLAYER’S PERSPECTIVE RETURNS WITH KRIS PRATHER INTERVIEW ON JAN. 7
The PBA Player’s Perspective interview series, featuring PBA title winners reflecting on their victories, will return to YouTube in early January when Kris Prather will chat about winning his first PBA Tour title in the 2019 PBA Scorpion Championship during World Series of Bowling X. The Prather perspective will debut on Tuesday, Jan. 7.
To view all of the PBA Player’s Perspective episodes, visit the PBA’s YouTube channel and click on the PBA Player’s Perspective play list. The weekly series includes a new perspective released every Tuesday on the PBA’s YouTube channel. The following players will provide personal play-by-play reflections in the weeks ahead:
• Jan. 14 – Bill O’Neill talks about his victory in the 2019 PBA Hall of Fame Classic, a win that made him title-eligible for PBA Hall of Fame consideration in the future.
• Jan. 21 – Jakob Butturff made the PBA Oklahoma Open a part of his “career year.” He’ll share insights about his 2019 win in Shawnee, Okla.
• Jan. 28 – Sean Rash will take a look into his past, revealing what he experienced in winning the 2012 PBA Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas.
Player’s Perspectives currently in the archives on YouTube include:
• Norm Duke’s stunning 2011 U.S. Open win (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQ0cGzRfnBk).
• Kris Prather’s historic PBA Playoffs victory (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hISjw3KmGCk).
• Anthony Simonsen’s win in the 2019 Bear Open (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt2k25WKNzQ).
• Sean Rash’s 2019 Wolf Open title (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GNxO2WdaZo).
• EJ Tackett’s Barbasol PBA Tour Finals victory (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVuLOuU8btQ).
• Bill O’Neill’s 2019 Harry O’Neale Chesapeake Open win (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSwE3YYFjso).
• Jason Belmonte’s historic 11th major title victory in the 2019 PBA World Championship (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4QqbkRPirM).
• Jakob Butturff’s 2019 USBC Masters win (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cuYcXxfXXs).
• EJ Tackett’s 2017 DHC PBA Japan Invitational victory (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91yoFd7nd8g).
Fans can follow all of the latest video clips and more by enrolling as a subscriber to PBA’s YouTube channel. It’s easy and it’s free. Visit YouTube.com/PBABowling and click on the “subscribe” button.
PBA BOWLING CHALLENGE HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT ENDS FRIDAY
Last call for PBA Bowling Challenge for mobile devices players: the Holiday Tournament ends at 1 a.m. Eastern on Friday. The game calls for players to bowl a 245 or higher game. Each qualifying game will count as an entry. At the conclusion of the tournament, three entries will be randomly selected to receive a bowling pin signed by PBA stars along with 5,000 Gold Pins within the PBA Bowling Challenge game.
To enter, Download PBA Bowling Challenge http://bit.ly/Download-PBA and start playing. There is no cost to enter. Participants must be 18 or older.
PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: 2020 SEASON BEGINS IN NORTH CAROLINA, CALIFORNIA
The 2020 PBA Regional season gets underway over the Jan. 17-19 weekend with a pair of tournaments in North Carolina and California for PBA50 competitors. Westview Lanes in Wilson, N.C., will host the PBA50 Richie’s Automotive South Open and Tracy Bowl in Tracy, Calif., will host the PBA50 Patton Amusement West Regional.
• Next up (Jan. 29-30) will be the PBA Japan Region’s Ikyo Cup Wolf Open at Ikyo Bowl Inzai in Inzai, Japan.
• The PBA Central Region kicks off its 2020 schedule over the Jan. 31-Feb. 2 weekend with the PBA/PBA50 Don Vay Memorial Doubles Classic at Legend Lanes in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
• For complete PBA Regional schedules including rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area. Whether you are a competitor or a fan, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple and Android device users using the PBA app).
• The five best PBA moments of 2019? Check the PBA Channel on YouTube for this summary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=565AySMex8A