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INDIANAPOLIS – Texas two-hander and two-time major champion Anthony Simonsen led the field of 120 bowlers after 14 games of qualifying Tuesday at the PBA Indianapolis Open at Royal Pin Woodland Bowl.
Simonsen, who was the runner-up at the U.S. Open just two days ago, averaged 238.64 with a total pinfall of 3,341 (+541) on the dual patterns of Mark Roth 42 and Marshall Holman 37. But it didn’t come without some challenges right off the start in this morning’s first round.
“I started with three open frames in the first four frames of the first game, shooting 163,” Simonsen said. “I wasn’t too concerned, and I managed to rally off a few good games in that block.”
After the first game, Simonsen went on a rally, scoring 259, 213, 279, 257, 269 and 197 to shoot 1,637 in Round 1. In Round 2, Simonsen never had a bad game, shooting 1,704 to clinch the top spot for Wednesday’s 16 games of match play.
Simonsen said his midseason changes have been paying off lately.
“I made a pitch change back at Jonesboro and ever since then, physically, everything has been well,” Simonsen said. “I think that is allowing me to be more comfortable in the moves and allow me to see a clearer picture on the lanes.”
Kyle Troup had the second highest block in Round 2, shooting 1,746 to bump him up to the second spot with a total pinfall of 3,290 (+490), averaging 235.
Fresh off his 12th major win at the U.S. Open on Sunday, reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte qualified third and averaged 234.14 over the 14 games, which included a 300 game in Game 5 of Round 2. His total pinfall was 3,278 (+478).
Nick Pate, Tom Daugherty, EJ Tackett, Wes Malott, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Jesper Svensson, Tom Smallwood, Matt Russo, Francois Lavoie, Brandon Novak, Shawn Maldonado and Ryan Shafer moved on to Wednesday’s match play.
There was a one game rolloff for the 16th spot between Norm Duke and Greg Ostrander. Ostrander won the rolloff, 179-168, to earn the final spot.
The 16 games of match play starts with the first eight-game block at 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday live on FloBowling.