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Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Jesper Svensson Cruises in Last Two Rounds to Earn PBA World Championship Finals Top Qualifier Honors
by JSchneider | Tuesday, November 14, 8:46 PM
RENO, Nev. -- After six days of competition and 60 games on four different lane conditions, Sweden’s Jesper Svensson averaged 241 to earn top qualifier honors for the stepladder finals of the PBA World Championship.
The 22-year-old left-handed two-hander finished with a 14,465 60-game pinfall total at the National Bowling Stadium Tuesday to lead right-handed two-hander Jason Belmonte of Australia who qualified a distant second for the finals with a 14,129 pinfall total.
“Obviously a major (win) means more than the rest but it will be like bowling a new tournament,” said Svensson, who as top qualifier needs only to win one match for the title. “I have to forget that I led the qualifying rounds by so many pins and focus on the best 10 frames I can bowl.
“It’s really a different mindset than qualifying,” Svensson added. “If you bowl a bad frame or a bad game there’s plenty of time to make up for it. In the championship match, at the end of the day, it’s whoever throws it the best the quickest.”
In Tuesday’s final cashers’ round bowled on the 42-foot Scorpion lane condition, Svensson bowled games of 183, 255, 224, 224 and 246 after bowling games of 233, 247, 258, 257 and 255 earlier in the day on the 33-foot Cheetah lane condition.
The World Championship finals will be taped on Sunday, Nov. 19 at noon PST (live streamed on ESPN3, taped for telecast on ESPN on Dec. 31 at 1 p.m. EST).
The PBA World Championship is the crown jewel of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Resorts Properties, and the final major championship of the PBA’s 2017 season. WSOB IX is also a part of the 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule.
Svensson, already a six-time PBA Tour winner, will be trying for his second PBA major title after winning the 2016 PBA Tournament of Champions, while Belmonte, a 15-time Tour winner, will be trying for his ninth major, which would put him alone in third place among the PBA’s all-time major title winners. Neither player has won the PBA World Championship.
Belmonte will also be trying for his third major title of the season winning the Barbasol PBA Players Championship and USBC Masters earlier this year.
“This win would be important for a number of reasons,” said Belmonte, a three-time PBA Player of the Year. “It would be a major title I haven’t won and it would go a long way to securing another Player of the Year honor.”
Finishing third for the finals was seven-time Tour winner Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y., who is also trying for his second major, after winning the 2015 U.S. Open. Ciminelli posted a 14,031 pinfall.
Two-time Tour winner Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C., another two-hander, earned the fourth qualifying position finishing with a 13,931 pinfall and PBA Rookie of the Year contender Matt Sanders of Evansville, Ind., bowled a 268 in the final game of the round to secure the fifth qualifying position for the finals with a 13,830 pinfall. Sanders won his first PBA Tour title earlier this season in the Xtra Frame Billy Hardwick Memorial Open.
World Championship qualifying and cashers’ rounds were conducted on the 39-foot Chameleon, 45-foot Shark, 33-foot Cheetah and 42-foot Scorpion PBA lane conditioning patterns.
World Series of Bowling action continues Wednesday with PBA Chameleon presented by Reno Tahoe and Shark Championship presented by Xtra Frame elimination rounds beginning at 11 a.m. PST. Fans can catch all the action on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame.
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