Past Health Issues Made Stakes Higher For Lavoie

2020 PBA World Champ Francois Lavoie Anthony Simonsen elbow bump

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LAS VEGAS – While the health of players, families and staff was top of mind this week, for Francois Lavoie it was even more critical than most.

Lavoie, who finished fourth Sunday in the PBA World Championship, had lung surgery in 2014 that sidelined him and even kept him from getting on an airplane for nine months.

Considering the coronavirus can cause respiratory infection, Lavoie said he has had to be extra careful, and if it were up to him, the event would not have continued into Sunday.

“The CDC and World Health Organization said there was cause for concern, so when organizations like that speak out, I think there’s merit there,” Lavoie said. “I think we should probably listen to them. If it was up to me, I probably wouldn’t have bowled.”

Lavoie Decided To Bowl Despite Concerns

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The PBA consulted with the five World Championship finalists Friday and determined the event would continue with the stepladder finals moved up to Sunday. The PBA postponed the remaining events.

“The decision was made that the TV show was going to happen anyway,” Lavoie said. “I stuck around, stayed in my room all day yesterday, didn’t really try to do much.”

Although he said he did feel pressured to compete, Lavoie took responsibility for the decision.

“Ultimately the decision was mine,” he said. “I essentially had to choose between finishing the tournament in fifth maybe or a chance at all the money on top. It was a great opportunity. Ultimately, I decided to stick around, be as safe as possible for the extra day I was going to be here and do my best on TV to make the best of a poor situation.”

Lavoie did point out that he was pleased the PBA made adjustments to try to create a safe playing environment, including holding the finals without spectators.

“I think the PBA went to a lot of lengths to make sure the environment was as safe as possible for the players, staff and everyone who was going to be here,” Lavoie said. “It definitely felt strange. It was a unique experience not bowling in front of a live audience, but in the end, I think we got through it. The main thing is for us to go home and try to be safe for a while.”

Simonsen Soars To Top Seed At 2021 Kia PBA Tournament Of Champions

Simonsen Turns Fire Into Top Seed At TOC

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JUPITER, Fla. – Anthony Simonsen had a big day Friday as he not only took the lead but pulled away from the field at the 2021 Kia PBA Tournament of Champions.

PBA Bringing Back Regional Players Invitational

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The PBA announce Friday the Regional Players Invitational (RPI) will return for the 2021 season with the finals being held after the first of the year.

Jason Belmonte Now Leads 2021 Kia PBA Tournament Of Champions

Belmonte A Little Salty Despite Leading TOC

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JUPITER, Fla. – Jason Belmonte posted an 8-4 record in match play Thursday as he moved into the lead at the 2021 Kia PBA Tournament of Champions.

Tom Smallwood Still Leads After First Cut At PBA Tournament Of Champions

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JUPITER, Fla. – As qualifying came to a close Wednesday night, Tom Smallwood stayed at the top of the standings but his lead on the field was nearly cut in half at the 2021 Kia PBA Tournament of Champions.

Tom Smallwood Crushes First Day At 2021 Kia PBA Tournament Of Champions

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JUPITER, Fla. – With two rounds of qualifying completed, Tom Smallwood holds the lead by a wide margin at the 2021 Kia PBA Tournament of Champions.

Bungled Entry Keeps Kyle Sherman Out Of 2021 PBA Tournament Of Champions

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JUPITER, Fla. – PBA champion Kyle Sherman is not competing this week in the 2021 Kia PBA Tournament of Champions after he failed to actually enter the event, FloBowling has learned.

Column: There's A Different Feel At 2021 PBA Tournament Of Champions

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JUPITER, Fla. – Walking through Bowlero Jupiter you recognize nearly every face you see – well maybe every pair of eyes you see – at the 2021 PBA Tournament of Champions. Some are old. Some are new. All are talented.

Pattern Breakdown: Why Scores May Soar At 2021 PBA Tournament Of Champions

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JUPITER, Fla. - The 2021 PBA Tournament of Champions takes place this week as it continues the major swing at Bowlero Jupiter. The pattern these bowlers will be up against is the 2021 PBA Don Johnson 40 pattern. 

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Kyle Troup Reaches New Heights With 2021 PBA Players Championship Win

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JUPITER, Fla. – The ascension of Kyle Troup has reached new heights.

Kyle Troup Earns Top Seed For Sunday's Finals At 2021 PBA Players

Troup: 'You Could Feel The Tension'

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JUPITER, Fla. – Kyle Troup overcame the pressure of competing for a massive, guaranteed payday Saturday as he earned the top seed for the 2021 PBA Players Championship stepladder finals.