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ARLINGTON, Texas – The first cut of the 2020 PBA Tour season was made Thursday night with Jakob Butturff leading the way at the PBA Hall of Fame Classic while a number of big names missed the cut.
Butturff averaged 234.08 for 12 games, totaling 2,809, to lead the field of 56 players after the final round of qualifying Thursday at the International Training and Research Center.
After trying to throw reactive in the first round on the long pattern, Butturff reversed course Thursday and went all urethane all the time. He stuck with urethane on the 45-foot pattern on the left lane and the 38-foot pattern on the right lane.
The result was a drastic improvement for Butturff as he totaled just 1,293 in the first round and improved that score significantly in the second round to 1,516. In Round 2, he had games of 280, 226, 238, 225, 268 and 279.
The top 14 players advanced into Friday’s two rounds of match play, which begins at Noon Eastern live on FloBowling.
First-round leader Anthony Lavery-Spahr dropped to second place with 2,786, while Darren Tang was third with 2,759. Ryan Ciminelli was fourth with 2,741, while Tom Smallwood and Norm Duke tied for fifth with 2,740.
The top five players after 14 games of round robin match play Friday will advance to Sunday’s stepladder finals, which will be broadcast live on FS1 (United States) and FloBowling (international).
The other players who made the cut to match play were Packy Hanrahan, Patrick Girard, Kyle Troup, Chris Barnes, Osku Palermaa, Jason Belmonte, Jesper Svensson and Tommy Jones.
In all, seven of the top 20 players in FloBowling’s PBA Preseason Power Rankings made the cut but a number of big names failed to advance Thursday.
Sean Rash, Bill O’Neill, Anthony Simonsen and EJ Tackett, who are second through fifth respectively in the rankings, exited the tournament early. They will be back on the lanes again next week at the PBA Oklahoma Open.
Other ranked players who failed to advance were Dom Barrett, Kyle Sherman, Kris Prather, AJ Johnson, Marshall Kent, Tom Daugherty, Dick Allen, Francois Lavoie and Jason Sterner.