Jason Belmonte doubled his lead on the field Friday in the first round of cashers qualifying at the 2019 PBA World Championship.
Leading by just over 100 pins heading into the day, Belmonte extended his lead to 205 pins after 35 games with a total pinfall of 8,076, a 230.74 average, at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Michigan.
Belmonte has been surging ever since missing his first cut of the season at the PBA Cheetah Championship in the opening event of the 2019 PBA World Series of Bowling.
The 45-player field, all of whom advanced after 30 games of animal pattern qualifying, will return at 6:30 p.m. today for the final round of cashers qualifying live on FloBowling. After 40 total games, the field will be narrowed to the top 16 for round robin match play Saturday.
Belmonte started Friday’s first round with the front 10 and settled for a 289 game, which he followed with games of 235, 257, 194 and 224 for his second best five-game block of the week with 1,199.
Bill O’Neill held onto his second-place position with 7,871, while BJ Moore moved up to third with 7,796. Tom Daugherty sits in fourth place with 7,755, and Kyle Sherman is fifth with 7,747.
With one five-game block remaining before the cut to match play, Darren Tang and Parker Bohn III are tied on the cut line in 16th place with 7,523, a 214.94 average.
The top five players after tomorrow’s 16 games of match play will advance to Thursday’s stepladder finals, where the winner will earn $60,000 and the season’s third major title.