2019 Barbasol PBA Tour Finals pres by Red Rock Casino Resort Spa

Tour Title On The Line This Weekend At PBA Tour Finals

Tour Title On The Line This Weekend At PBA Tour Finals

The top eight players over the past two years earned spots in the PBA Tour Finals, which will award a PBA Tour title this weekend.

Jul 19, 2019 by Lucas Wiseman
Tour Title On The Line This Weekend At PBA Tour Finals

With a quick turnaround from the PBA League to the PBA Tour Finals, eight of the PBA’s stars spent the day Friday traveling from Portland, Maine, to Las Vegas.

The top eight players over the past two years earned spots in the PBA Tour Finals, which will award a PBA Tour title this weekend. The event will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network (in the United States) and on FloBowling (internationally).

Here are a few key points to get you ready for the PBA Tour Finals:

Belmonte is the defending champion

The conclusion to last year’s PBA Tour Finals was a dramatic one that saw Jason Belmonte take the title as he beat one of his biggest rivals on tour, EJ Tackett.

Belmonte won the first game in the best-of-three match, 239-205, but Tackett rallied to take the second game, 219-170. That setup a dramatic ninth and 10th frame tiebreaker for the clinching point.

After Belmonte posted a score of 40, going spare, strike, spare, Tackett, who had spared in his ninth frame, could have won with a double. Instead, Tackett, left a 2-8-10 split on his first shot to lose.

Who is in the field and how they qualified

In order to earn a spot in this weekend’s event, the top eight players had to perform well over the course of 24 months. The qualifying period for the event ended after the USBC Masters on April 1.

Belmonte qualified first with 46,770 points and was followed by Jakob Butturff (40,267), Anthony Simonsen (38,919), Tackett (37,692), Kris Prather (31,266), Andrew Anderson (30,983), Marshall Kent (29,447) and Bill O’Neill (28,937).

Here’s a look at each of the players:

Belmonte: The two-handed PBA Tour Finals defending champion won the 2019 PBA Tournament of Champions and PBA World Championship earlier this year for his 10th and 11th PBA Tour major victories to top the all-time majors list. He also won the Chameleon Championship and Japan Cup. In 2018, he won the PBA Tour Finals and Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship with Bill O’Neill. He also concluded the 2017 season by winning the PBA World Championship.

Butturff: The left-hander won the PBA Oklahoma Open, PBA Lubbock Sports Shootout and the USBC Masters this season for his first major title. He was runner-up in the 2019 PBA Hall of Fame Classic, the DHC PBA Japan Invitational and PBA World Championship. In 2018, he won two PBA Tour titles.

Simonsen: The 22-year-old two-hander won the 2019 PBA Players Championship to become the youngest player to win two majors. He had a runner-up finish in the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Jonesboro Open and won two titles in 2018.

Tackett: Was the 2018 season’s only three-time winner. Finished second in the 2019 PBA Tournament of Champions, third in the Go Bowling! PBA Jonesboro Open and fifth in the PBA Players Championship. He won the inaugural PBA Tour Finals in 2017 and finished second to Belmonte in 2018.

Prather: Won the PBA Scorpion Championship in 2019 for his first Go Bowling! PBA Tour title, ending a streak of seven top-five and four third-place finishes over the past two seasons. Won the inaugural PBA Playoffs earlier in 2019.

Anderson: Earned PBA Player of the Year honors in 2018 with the help of two wins including the USBC Masters. Finished third in the 2018 PBA Tournament of Champions.

Kent: Finished third in the 2019 PBA Tournament of Champions. In 2018 had five championship round appearances including third in the PBA Players Championship and fifth in the U.S. Open. Also had two wins in the second half of the 2017 season.

O’Neill: PBA Playoffs runner-up won the 2019 season-opening PBA Hall of Fame Classic for his 10th career tour win. Finished third in the PBA Scorpion Championship and fourth in the PBA World Championship. In 2018, he won the Roth-Holman Doubles Classic with Jason Belmonte and finished second in the Xtra Frame Parkside Lanes Open.

The format and lane condition

The Barbasol PBA Tour Finals will incorporate the same format as 2018 with the eight-player field divided into two four-player groups. The field will bowl four games of qualifying in their respective groups.

The four-game pinfall totals for each player will be used to determine the seeding for a separate stepladder finals in each group. The final match of each group’s stepladder will be a best-of-three match with each game worth one point and, if the two games are split, the final point is awarded via a 9th and 10th frame roll off.

The two group winners will then meet in another best-of-three championship match that will also use a 9th and 10th frame roll-off should there be a tie after two games.

The lane condition being used will be the PBA Mark Roth pattern, which is 42 feet long.

How to watch

All rounds of the PBA Tour Finals will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network for fans in the United States, while international fans can watch live on FloBowling.

What the schedule looks like

Here’s the schedule for this event, all times listed are Eastern:

Saturday, July 20
3 p.m. - Round Robin 1
5 p.m. - Round Robin 2

Sunday, July 21
3 p.m. - Group 1 Stepladder
5 p.m. - Group 2 Stepladder
7 p.m. - Championship

Jerry Schneider of PBA Media Relations contributed to this report.