Troup Leads Stacked Stepladder In Jonesboro
Troup Leads Stacked Stepladder In Jonesboro
Kyle Troup will attempt to claim his fourth career PBA Tour title after earning the top seed for the stepladder finals at the 2020 PBA Jonesboro Open.
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JONESBORO, Ark. – Kyle Troup will attempt to claim his fourth career PBA Tour title after earning the top seed Thursday for the stepladder finals at the 2020 PBA Jonesboro Open at Hijinx Entertainment Center.
Troup had the best match play record out of the 16 bowlers Thursday, posting a 13-3 record and totaling 7,203, a 227.10 average. He will be joined on the show by AJ Johnson, Jason Belmonte, Chris Barnes and Tommy Jones.
The finals will be broadcast live on FS1 (United States) and FloBowling (international) on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Eastern.
“The first two weeks on tour, I grinded a lot,” Troup said about his year so far. “I never really felt like I was matched up with ball reaction on the left lane. I have been throwing urethane on the right lane the past two weeks. The left lane (longer pattern) has given me a lot of trouble. This week, we didn’t have to curve as much left to right and kept my angles tight which helped.”
Troup won his first PBA Tour title in 2015 at the PBA Wolf Open and his second in 2017 in the PBA Doubles Championship with Jesper Svensson. His most recent win came in 2018 when he claimed the Lucky Larsen Masters in Sweden.
Behind Troup in the stepladder final will be Johnson, who continued his qualifying success this week by going 11-5 in match play for a 7,101 total. Johnson managed only five games under 200 over the 30 games the past two days.
“With everything Bowlero has done for us this year, starting a new season with a new ball company and getting things going this early, this one is special,” said Johnson, who signed with MOTIV in the offseason.
Johnson, who holds six PBA Regional titles, is looking to claim his first PBA Tour title on Saturday. The last time he bowled on TV in a championship round was in 2016 at the PBA Chameleon Championship.
Belmonte, the reigning PBA Player Of The Year, advanced to his first show of the 2020 season, grabbing the third seed. Belmonte went 9-7 in match play with a 7,079 total.
“Early in the week, it wasn’t looking that great,” Belmonte said. “I was in and out of the cut for the show all day today in match play. After all of that to finish in the third seed, I’m really happy.”
The last time Belmonte was on TV was at the 2019 U.S. Open in October, where he finished fourth. His most recent title came in April last year when he won the PBA DHC Japan Invitational for his 22nd career win.
This will also be Belmonte’s first chance to raise money for the Australian bushfires happening in his home country on the other side of the world. He has pledged that he will donate money for every strike he throws on television this year.
The fourth and fifth seeds will go to a pair of PBA Hall Of Famers. Barnes (fourth) and Jones (fifth) will go head to head to kick off the show in Jonesboro. Barnes finished with a 10-6 record and 7,063 total, while Jones went 9-7 and had a 6,963 total.
“I’d like it better if I can beat him,” Barnes said about Jones. “I set that up for him pretty nicely in Texas two weeks ago. We didn’t bowl well at all, and he goes on to shoot 300 and wins the title match. I’m looking to even that score on Saturday.”
Barnes said he feels like he has had an advantage on dual patterns so far this season.
“It favors process players over feel players a little bit,” Barnes said. “You have to think and bowl and execute. That’s kind of like where I like to live anyway so it’s a little bit of an advantage.”
Jones held the lead going into the final round of match play and ultimately was fortunate he had built a big enough lead on sixth place going into the position round. Jones fired a 153 in the final game but managed to hang on to the fifth seed.
“It is a little bittersweet bowling my lowest game in the position round,” Jones said. “But I have about 36 hours to relax, figure it all out, process it and get ready for Saturday.”
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