WICHITA, Kan. – Jakob Butturff of Chandler, Arizona, once again finds himself one win away from his first major title after earning the top seed for the stepladder finals of the U.S. Open for the second consecutive year on Tuesday.
Butturff will be joined in the stepladder at Northrock Lanes by Kristopher Prather of Plainfield, Illinois; EJ Tackett of Bluffton, Indiana; Dom Barrett of England; and Marshall Kent of Yakima, Washington.
CBS Sports Network will have live coverage of Wednesday’s stepladder finals starting at 8 p.m. Eastern. The champion will take home the $30,000 top prize and coveted green jacket.
Butturff shined in match play on Monday and Tuesday, averaging more than 243 and posting a 19-5 record to finish with a 13,452 total, including bonus pins, to lead Prather (12,900) by 552 pins. Prather had led for every round heading into Tuesday’s competition.
“I’m speechless,” said Butturff, who is a four-time champion on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour. “Kris had bowled so well, and I knew I had a lot of work to do. I worked as hard as I could to repeat shots and keep it going, and now I only have one more game to go.”
Butturff displayed a similar performance leading to the top seed at the 2017 event in Liverpool, New York. He posted a 20-4 match-play record to lead the field by 617 pins but fell in the title match to Rhino Page of Orlando, Florida, 256-222.
Page advanced to match play at Northrock Lanes this week and finished his title defense in 13th place with a 12,056 total.
The 24-year-old left-hander now finds himself in elite company, joining PBA and United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Earl Anthony as the only bowlers since 1971 to earn the top seed for the stepladder finals in back-to-back years.
Anthony led by 578 pins in 1979 and 551 pins in 1980 but was unable to come away with the title either year.
Last year’s stepladder at Flamingo Bowl featured three left-handers, as Page and Graham Fach of Canada joined Butturff on the left side. This year, he’ll have the left side of the lane to himself and knows he can take advantage of it.
“Last year was a learning experience,” said Butturff, who has won two titles this season. “This week, when I’ve been the only left-hander on the lane, I’ve performed much better. So, now I need to make sure I’m able to go out there and make the best shots I possibly can.”
Tackett earned the No. 3 seed with a 12,644 total, while Barrett (12,402) and Kent (12,363) will face off in the opening match of Wednesday’s stepladder finals.
Prather is in search of his first career PBA Tour title, while Tackett is looking to add a third major, the Triple Crown and another PBA Player of the Year award to his mantle.
Tackett captured the PBA World Championship in 2016 and PBA Tournament of Champions in 2017, and a win Wednesday would make him the seventh player in PBA history to complete the Triple Crown. His victory at the World Championship also helped him claim player of the year.
Tackett’s the only player on tour this season to win three titles, and a fourth win would put him as the front-runner for the 2018 award.
Barrett has six career titles, including the 2013 World Championship. He advanced to the stepladder finals at the 2015 U.S. Open but lost to top-seed Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, New York, in the title match, 236-223.
Kent was the top seed at the 2016 U.S. Open but fell to Canada’s Francois Lavoie in the championship match, 228-194. Kent has four career PBA Tour titles and is looking for his first major.
All competitors bowled 24 qualifying games over three days to determine the 36 players advancing to a cashers’ round. After eight additional games, the field was cut to the top 24 players for round-robin match play.
The five finalists were determined by total pinfall, including bonus pins, for 56 games.
The U.S. Open is the fourth and final major championship on the 2018 PBA Tour schedule and is conducted jointly by the USBC and Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America.
Each round of the 2018 U.S. Open leading up to the stepladder finals was broadcast live on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame on FloBowling.
Information on Bowling branching into: Bowling News, The Professional Bowlers, Bowling Center Operation, Bowling Store Operation, and Coaching.
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Big Start Vaults Bill O’Neill Into FloBowling PBA Wolf Open First Round Lead
by jschneider | Monday, October 15, 5:51 PM from PBA.com
Bowling on PBA’s 33-foot Wolf lane condition, O’Neill, who makes his home in Langhorne, Pa., bowled games of 298, 278, 236, 207, 252 and 235 to average 251 for the round.
“I wanted to play it safe by starting the round with a ball I was confident would control the lane and get to the pocket consistently,” O’Neill said. “I felt if I can do that, I can make the smaller adjustments necessary to get the pin carry.
“You don’t anticipate starting 290 and 270 but you certainly want to take advantage of a good start like that,” he added. “I was actually more satisfied with the end of the round because in the middle of the fourth game I made a ball change and moved 10 boards left on the approach which gave me the confidence that I was making the right adjustment decisions.
O’Neill, who turns 37 on Oct. 21, teamed with four-time and reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte to win the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship earlier this season for his ninth career title.
“It’s been a pretty good year,” O’Neill said. “I wish I was winning more but I’ve been pretty happy with the way I’m bowling overall. With the way the game has evolved things aren’t as instinctual to me as they used to be. I just keep knocking on the door and hope I can put myself in the best possible position to win.”
O’Neill holds a commanding 76-pin lead over AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill. who finished the round in second with a 1,430 pinfall total. Markus Jansson of Sweden finished third with 1,421 followed by Kristopher Prather of Plainfield, Ill., with 1,391 and 2018 USBC Masters Champion Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich., rounding out the top five with 1,387.
The 102-player field returns for the second six-game qualifying round Tuesday that will determine the top five players who will advance to the stepladder finals at 7:30 p.m. CT, which can be seen live on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame on FloBowling.
After Tuesday’s Wolf Open stepladder finals, the Fall Swing continues with Bear Open qualifying Wednesday and Thursday.
Based on the combined 24-game qualifying totals from the Wolf and Bear events, the top 18 players will advance to Tulsa Open match play, consisting of two six-game round robin match play rounds, on Friday and the final six-game round on Saturday morning that will determine the top five players for the Tulsa Open stepladder finals at 12:30 p.m.
The entire Fall Swing is streamed live on Xtra Frame on FloBowling which is providing multi-stream coverage of every lane of competition. For subscription and schedule information visit www.flobowling.com. Lanetalk is providing Fall Swing tournament statistics which can be accessed by visiting the Lanetalk link on the pba.com homepage.
Lanetalk Quick Stats
Kristopher Prather had the best clean frame percentage with 98.33% (only one open); Sean Rash, who qualified ninth after the first round had the highest percentage of pocket hits with 86.57%. Chris Via, who qualified 10th, had the best pocket pin carry percentage with 88% on his pocket hits.
FLOBOWLING PBA WOLF OPEN
The Lanes at Coffee Creek, Owasso, Okla., Monday
FIRST ROUND QUALIFYING RESULTS (after six games)
1, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 1,506.
2, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 1,430.
3, Markus Jansson, Sweden, 1,421.
4, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 1,391.
5, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 1,387.
6, Keven Williams, Springfield, Mo., 1,385.
7, (tie) Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, and Rhino Page, Orlando, 1,382.
9, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 1,381.
10, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 1,366.
11, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 1,364.
12, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 1,360.
13, Dom Barrett, England, 1,358.
14, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 1,357.
15, (tie) AJ Chapman, St Paul, Minn., and EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 1,354.
17, Graham Fach, Canada, 1,347.
18, Darren Tang, San Francisco, 1,345.
19, Zachery Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 1,336.
20, (tie) Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., and Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., 1,333.
23, Sam Cooley, Australia, 1,319.
24, Brad Miller, Lees Summit, Mo., 1,313.
25, (tie) Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, and Arturo Quintero, Mexico, 1,312.
27, Stuart Williams, England, 1,311.
28, (tie) Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., and Kamron Doyle, Brentwood, Tenn., 1,310.
30, (tie) Jason Belmonte, Australia, Charlie Brown Jr., Grandville, Mich., Francois Lavoie, Canada, and Matt Sanders, Indianapolis, 1,307.
34, (tie) JR Raymond, Clinton Twp., Mich., and Michael Tang, San Francisco, 1,306.
36, (tie) Thomas Larsen, Denmark, and Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 1,305.
38, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 1,302.
39, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 1,295.
40, Michael Davidson, Versailles, Ohio, 1,292.
41, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 1,288.
42, Kurt Pilon, Warren, Mich., 1,285.
43, (tie) Pontus Andersson, Sweden, and Ryan Ciminelli, Clarence, N.Y., 1,280.
45, (tie) Richie Teece, England, George Duke, Vidor, Texas, and Francois Louw, South Africa, 1,275.
48, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 1,274.
49, (tie) John Furey, Howell, N.J., and Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 1,265.
51, Humberto Vazquez, Mexico, 1,264.
52, (tie) Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., and Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 1,259.
54, Trey Ford III, Bartlesville, Okla., 1,256.
55, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 1,250.
56, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 1,249.
57, (tie)Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., and Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 1,247.
59, Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 1,244.
60, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 1,238.
61, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 1,236.
62, (tie) Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., and Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 1,235.
65, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 1,232.
66, Kim Bolleby, Thailand, 1,231.
67, Dakota Vostry, Chicago, Ill., 1,227.
68, (tie) Daniel Fransson, Sweden, and Matt Kuba, Chicago Ridge, IL, 1,225.
70, Christopher Sloan, Ireland, 1,224.
71, Jim Pratt, Avondale, Ariz., 1,223.
72, Matt O'Grady, Rahway, N.J., 1,222.
73, Tim Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., 1,220.
74, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 1,219.
75, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 1,217.
76, (tie) Jason Sterner, Covington, Ga., and DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 1,213.
78, Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 1,203.
79, (tie) Kenneth Ryan, Morganville, N.J., and Rocio Restrepo, Colombia, 1,181.
81, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 1,178.
82, Nicholas Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 1,174.
83, Zach Doty, Campbellsville, Ky., 1,171.
84, Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., 1,169.
85, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 1,163.
86, Kyle King, Glendale, Ariz., 1,162.
87, (tie) Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., and Nate Garcia, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 1,143.
89, David Krol, Nixa, Mo., 1,141.
90, Stephen Pavlinko Jr., Sewell, N.J., 1,135.
91, Kenneth Bland Jr., San Antonio, Texas, 1,111.
92, Matt Wozney, Clayton, Del., 1,084.
93, Julio Cesar Blancas, Mexico, 1,077.
94, Dino Castillo, Highland Village, Texas, 1,058.
95, Russ Oviatt, Chandler, Ariz., 1,055.
96, Stephen Hahn, Sterling, Va., 1,030.
97, Michael Duran, Banning, Calif., 1,024.
98, Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 1,022.
99, James Britton, Grand Prairie, Texas, 1,019.
100, Andrew Silverman, Akron, Ohio, 1,010.
101, James Sitters, Australia, 952.
102, Michael Foster, Tulsa, Okla., 869.
300 games – AJ Johnson, Marshall Kent
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