Two days removed from missing his first cut of the season in the PBA Cheetah Championship, Jason Belmonte found himself at the top of the leaderboard Thursday after qualifying at the PBA Scorpion Championship.
Belmonte, who also moved into the lead in the PBA World Championship standings, earned the top seed for Scorpion match play with a 10-game total of 2,396, a 239.60 average, at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Michigan.
The top 16 players after Thursday’s Scorpion qualifying advanced into the single-elimination match-play bracket, which will take place Wednesday live on FloBowling.
Belmonte closed out the final five-game block Thursday night with games of 265, 258 and 248 after starting with 257 and 194 to move into the lead. First-round leader Bill O’Neill dropped to fourth with 2,258 despite shooting a 300 in the second game of the second round.
Anthony Simonsen sits in second place with 2,332, while Kurt Pilon is third with 2,287. O’Neill was fourth, and EJ Tackett is in fifth place with 2,242.
The cut score was BJ Moore in 16th place with 2,167, an average of 216.7, while Sean Rash was the first player out, missing the cut by eight pins.
Qualifying scores from the Cheetah, Chameleon and Scorpion events were combined to create a 30-game total to determine the 45 players who advanced in the PBA World Championship, the season’s third major.
Those 45 players will bowl two five-game rounds of cashers qualifying Friday with the top 16 players after 40 total games advancing to Saturday’s round-robin match play, all of which will be broadcast live on FloBowling.
Belmonte has a 30-game total of 6,877, a 229.23 average, and leads O’Neill, who is in second with 6,774, by more than 100 pins.
Tackett sits in third place with 6,663, Tom Daugherty is fourth with 6,641 and Simonsen rounds out the top five with 6,605. For complete results, click here.