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For the second straight week, a multi-pin spare was converted to help a player secure a title on the PBA Tour.
Lefty two-hander Jesper Svensson converted the 3-5-6 combination and got count on the fill to defeat Shawn Maldonado, 245-226, on Saturday night to win the PBA Indianapolis Open. Just last week, Jason Belmonte made the 3-6-9-10 to win the U.S. Open.
Svensson powered his way to the title, striking from the fifth through the ninth frames to stay ahead of Maldonado at Royal Pin Woodland. Needing a mark and count to win, Svensson came up light and left the 3-5-6, which he easily converted.
“You really want to step up and get a strike, but I’ll take the spare, I guess,” Svensson said. “It wasn’t the best of shots I’ve ever thrown, but it was enough and I’ll take it.”
Maldonado, who was seeking his first career title, led by one pin after he struck in the seventh frame but was unable to hang with Svensson. He went high in the ninth frame and left the 6-10, and although he made it, the damage was done.
Competing on dual patterns this week with the 42-foot Mark Roth pattern on the left lane and the 37-foot Marshall Holman pattern on the right lane, it seemed possible that the $1 million bonus for shooting 300 in the title match could be in play this week.
Scores were high on the two patterns, but the $1 million fell by the wayside after just three frames when Svensson left a seven pin.
In the semifinal, Maldonado took down Nick Pate, 246-230, after getting off to a hot start to the match.
Maldonado struck in the first frame, left and converted a 10 pin in the second, and the rattled off six consecutive strikes to build a 38-pin lead and coast to the win.
Pate actually held the lead early after starting with a spare and three consecutive strikes but he was unable to keep up with Maldonado, who converted a four pin and got count in the final frame to secure the win.
Pate advanced into the semifinal by knocking off Anthony Simonsen, 226-213, in the second match of the stepladder.
Pate led the match before he even threw a shot after Simonsen left a 2-10 split for an open in the first frame. Pate went on to throw strikes on six of his first seven shots to build up the a 23-pin lead.
In the final frame, Pate struck on his first shot of the frame and then left a pocket 7-10 split. He knocked over the 10 pin to shut Simonsen out by a pin.
The show opened with Pate earning his first career PBA match win on television as he defeated Tom Smallwood with ease, 227-164.
Smallwood struggled, especially early in the match, as he routinely came up light and struck only one time in the first eight frames. He was still in the match late but a Big Four split in the eighth frame ended any hopes.
The PBA has this week off but the World Series of Bowling gets underway live on FloBowling on Sunday.