Looking for his first Lumber Liquidators Professional Bowlers Association Tour singles title, Michael Fagan of Patchogue, N.Y., earned the No. 1 qualifying position for Sunday’s live ESPN-televised stepladder finals of the Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic at AMF Babylon Lanes.
As a result of earning the No. 2 qualifying position, Australian two-handed bowling sensation Jason Belmonte will make his Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour television debut in Sunday’s finals scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
After Friday’s Round of 16, the 28-year-old Fagan had a 7,624 overall pinfall and a 12-6 match play record, 53 pins ahead of Belmonte who finished with a 7,571 pinfall and 14-4 record. Belmonte had the tournament lead going into the final position round match against Fagan but lost the match to Fagan 212-185.
“I knew I was going have to do something special to compete with Jason but I was able to pull it out in the position round,” Fagan said. “I had the support of a lot of friends and family here tonight and was happy to give them a good show.”
Belmonte, who has won several major international titles and is in his first year on the PBA Tour, has garnered much media attention this season and will make an appearance with PBA Player of the Year contender Wes Malott Saturday morning from 7-10 a.m. Eastern on Fox & Friends, the top-rated cable morning show on the Fox News Network.
“It’s nice to have the media attention and pressure finally turn into a reward,” said the 25 year-old Belmonte, whose hometown is Orange, Australia. “For America to see me bowl live has been my goal. I will let them their own assessment of what I can do.
“The hardest thing about the stepladder will be sitting there watching the other guys get a feel for the lanes,” Belmonte added.
Fagan’s top finishes this year have been second and fourth place which both came in February.
Belmonte had 11th, 12th and 15th place finishes in February and posted a 10th place finish in the PBA World Championship which opened the season last October.
Rounding out the stepladder field will be No. 3 qualifier, Bill O’Neill, Southampton, Pa.; No. 4 qualifier, Ritchie Allen, Columbia, S.C., and No. 5 qualifier, Robert Smith of Columbus, Ohio.
Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour
2009 Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic
AMF Babylon Lanes, West Babylon, N.Y.
Round of 16 Results After 32 Games
1, Michael Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., 12-6, 7,624
2, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 14-4, 7,571
3, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 10-8, 7,448
4, Ritchie Allen, Columbia, S.C., 10-8, 7,443
5, Robert Smith, Columbus, Ohio, 10-8, 7,401
6, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 13-5, 7,397, $4,000
7, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 11-7, 7,319, $3,700
8, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 9-9, 7,316, $3,400
9, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 8-10, 7,312, $3,200
10, Todd Book, Wapakoneta, Ohio, 9-9, 7,282, $3,000
11, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 9-9, 7,263, $2,800
12, Sean Rash, Wichita, Kan., 9-8-1, 7,257, $2,700
13, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 7-10-1, 7,246, $2,650
14, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 8-10, 7,159, $2,600
15, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 8-10, 7,154, $2,550
16, John Nolen, Waterford, Mich., 9-9, 7,104, $2,500