COLUMBUS, Ohio – Coming the 2019 PBA Players Championship, players who like to hook the ball seemed to have a distinct advantage. That played out as expected during the first two rounds of qualifying Wednesday.
With 12 games of qualifying completed, the top five players in the standings are guys who like to get inside and hook the ball, including tournament leader Jason Belmonte, who has a 2,817 total, a 234.75 average, at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.
Just 50 pins back sits defending champion Tom Smallwood, who has totaled 2,767. Marshall Kent is third with 2,723, two-hander Kyle Troup is fourth with 2,719 and no-thumber Tom Daugherty is fifth with 2,709.
The 120-player field will return Thursday at 10 a.m. Eastern for the final six-game block of qualifying before the cut is made to the top 24 for round robin match play. All rounds are being broadcast live on FloBowling.
After shooting a blistering 1,508 in the first round Wednesday, Belmonte cooled off considerably in the second round, shooting nearly 200 pins less with 1,309. He had games of 232, 209, 214, 204, 193 and 257 in the second round.
Smallwood’s difference between the first and second rounds was not quite as drastic as his score went down 100 pins. He had 1,434 in the first round and 1,333 in the second round.
Scores were significantly lower in the second round than they were in the first round. Yet another example is Kent, who had 1,442 early in the day and 1,281 in the second block.
Currently sitting on the cut line in 24th place is Jake Rollins with 2,580, a 215 average. After the first round, the player in 24th place was averaging 219, another clear indication the lanes played tougher in the second round.