PBA Begins East Coast Swing This Weekend

The PBA Tour’s August frenzy kicks into full gear starting this weekend starting with the PBA Chesapeake Open.

The event begins a three-event East Coast stretch for the PBA Summer Tour with titles on the line in Chesapeake, Virginia, Wilmington, North Carolina, and Middletown, Delaware. The events will be broadcast live on FloBowling.

Here are a few key points to get you ready for all three events:

Allen looks for third title of 2019 in Chesapeake

The last time the PBA Tour made a stop in Chesapeake, Dick Allen hadn’t won a title in six years but his luck changed when the event was held there in 2017.

Allen defeated Ryan Ciminelli, 205-176, to win the 2017 PBA Chesapeake Open and end that drought. Heading into the 2019 event, Allen is in a much different position these days.

Since that win in Chesapeake, Allen has gone on to win three titles over the past two seasons, including two so far in 2019.

Allen won the PBA Lubbock Sports Open back in January and then claimed the title at the 2019 PBA Cheetah Championship in March. In 2018, he won the PBA Maine Shootout.

If Allen is going to win his third event of the season, he will have to take down a tough field when qualifying begins Saturday in Chesapeake.

The event is sold out with 144 players registered to compete with nearly all of the top 20 on the FloBowling PBA Power Rankings on the roster. The only ones not currently scheduled to compete are Jason Belmonte and Rhino Page.

Azcona riding high heading into Wilmington

Cristian Azcona made history last time the PBA Tour stopped in Wilmington as he became the first Puerto Rican player to win a PBA title.

Azcona defeated AJ Johnson, 217-214, to win the 2018 PBA Wilmington Open and will be back again this year to try to successfully defend his title.

Although Azcona has struggled so far this season on the PBA Tour with a best finish of 16th at the PBA Hall of Fame Classic, he will enter this summer stretch on a high note.

At the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, last month, Azcona paired up with Jean Perez to win the doubles gold medal. The pair beat out Team USA’s Jakob Butturff and Nick Pate for the honors.

Azcona will have to hope that momentum carries forward into the summer tour, especially in Wilmington where the field will be extremely tough. The event’s capacity is just 96 players and is sold out.

With 18 of the players in the FloBowling PBA Power Rankings competing, there are more top-ranked players per capita in this event than any other in this three-event stretch.

Simonsen returns to site of backup ball victory

Anthony Simonsen lit the bowling world on fire when he won the PBA Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Classic in 2018.

The two-hander who generally throws the ball from the right side decided to switch things up and throw a backup ball in the title match. The gutsy move paid off as he defeated lefty Matt Sanders, 216-194, to win the title.

“To be honest with you, I’m a bit speechless,” Simonsen told the PBA after winning the event. “These guys are the best bowlers in the world, and to beat them, sometimes you’ve got to be creative. I didn’t have any (kind of consistent shot) on the right, so I had to try something different.”

The creative approach showed just how versatile today’s top players have become and Simonsen to this day continues to occasionally use his backup ball in competition.

Will Simonsen have a chance to break out the backup ball again this year and win a second title? It’s possible, but he will face a difficult field of 146 players, the most amongst these three events.

The formats and lane conditions

The first two events of this stretch – Chesapeake and Wilmington – have identical formats, while the event in Middletown is slightly different.

Chesapeake and Wilmington will feature two eight-game squads of qualifying on the first day with the top third of the field advancing. The second day will feature a four-game cashers round, three-game Round of 16 and two-game Round of 8 before the top four make the stepladder finals.

The Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Classic has two seven-game qualifying squads with the top third advancing to a four-game cashers round. The top 16 will then move into a 12-game match play round to determine the top four for the stepladder.

The 38-foot PBA Mike Aulby pattern will be used in Chesapeake with 25.12 mL of oil. In Wilmington, the 39-foot Chameleon pattern with 25.77 mL of oil will be put down. Middletown will feature the PBA Earl Anthony pattern at 43 feet and 27.17 mL of oil.

How to watch

Every round of each event, including qualifying, cashers rounds, match play and stepladders, will be broadcast live exclusively on FloBowling.

What the schedules look like

Here’s the schedule for these events, all times listed are Eastern:

PBA Chesapeake Open

Saturday, Aug. 10
9 a.m. - Squad A Qualifying (eight games)
3 p.m. - Squad B Qualifying (eight games)

Sunday, Aug. 11
9 a.m. - Cashers Round (four games)
11:30 a.m. - Round of 16 (three games)
1:30 p.m. - Round of 8 (two games)
3 p.m. - Stepladder Finals (top four)

PBA Wilmington Open

Tuesday, Aug. 13
9 a.m. - Squad A Qualifying (eight games)
3 p.m. - Squad B Qualifying (eight games)

Wednesday, Aug. 14
9 a.m. - Cashers Round (four games)
11:30 a.m. - Round of 16 (three games)
1:30 p.m. - Round of 8 (two games)
3 p.m. - Stepladder Finals (top four)

PBA Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Classic

Saturday, Aug. 17
8 a.m. - Squad A Qualifying (seven games)
4 p.m. - Squad B Qualifying (seven games)

Sunday, Aug. 18
9 a.m. - Cashers Round (four games)
12:30 p.m. - Round Robin Match Play (12 games)
6:45 p.m. - Stepladder Finals (top four)

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