With his season-opening appearance on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour at the PBA World Championship in October, the two-handed Aussie sensation lapped the field in qualifying then finished in 10th place, launching a media blitz for pro bowling. Belmonte graced a cover story in the Wall Street Journal on Feb. 5 and has since been featured in the Los Angeles Times and the Denver Post in addition to appearances on Good Morning America and the Today show.
In 2008, 12-time Lumber Liquidator PBA Tour champion Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., defeated Hall of Famer Pete Weber, 257-191, to win the GEICO Classic held at AMF Babylon Lanes.
Jones and Weber, along with a star-studded field including a number of competitors recently named to the list of the 50 greatest players in PBA history as part of its 50th anniversary celebration will be among the field of 64. Players on that list who will compete are all-time PBA Tour titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. (45 wins), Parker Bohn III, back-to-back Don Johnson Buckeye State Eliminator and Go RVing Match Play Championship winner Chris Barnes, and Player of the Year contenders Wes Malott, Norm Duke and 2009 H & R Block Tournament of Champions winner Patrick Allen.
The format will consist of 14 games of qualifying with a cut to the top 32 for nine-game modified round robin match play. The field will then be cut to the top 16 for another round of match play to determine the top five for the stepladder finals to be televised by ESPN at 2 p.m. Eastern.
The tournament will feature two of the PBA’s lane conditioning patterns: Viper and Shark for the first two qualifying rounds, respectively, and for match play the left lane will use the Shark condition and the right lane Viper.
The Bowling Foundation partners with bowling organizations as the PBA, Bowling Proprietor’s Association of America, Bowling Proprietors International and United States Bowling Congress to serve as the central and premier charitable arm of bowling, the industry and its partners worldwide to become a philanthropic leader toward social change.
"We are honored to be a part of this event,” said Troy Greisen, Bowling Foundation’s Executive Director. “Just as the PBA showcases some of the world's greatest bowlers, The Bowling Foundation supports some of the most important charitable causes. Our partnership with the PBA is yet another way we can show that bowling cares."
Tickets and pro-am entries are still being accepted for this event and information can be obtained by visiting pba.com or by calling AMF Babylon Lanes at (631) 661-6600.
The PBA Tour’s regular season concludes next week at the 66th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open from March 29 to April 5 at Brunswick Zone Carolier in North Brunswick, N.J.
PBA BOWLING FOUNDATION LONG ISLAND CLASSICAMF Babylon Lanes – West Babylon, N.Y.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25
9 a.m. - Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour Qualifying Round (7 games total pins)
4:30 p.m. - Exempt Player Practice
THURSDAY, MARCH 26
10 a.m. - Round of 64 (7 games on Viper)
5 p.m. - Round of 64 (7 games on Shark)
Cut to top 32 players
FRIDAY, MARCH 27
11 a.m. - Match Play Round 1 (9 games, cut to top 16 players)
6 p.m. - Match Play Round 2 (9 games, top 5 advance to ESPN finals)
SATURDAY, MARCH 28
PBA Pro-Am Events and Fan Day
Pro-Am Times: 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m.
SUNDAY, MARCH 29
2 p.m. (Eastern) Live ESPN Television Finals