The PBA World Championship will conclude with a first-ever three-day live television event featuring the eight top qualifiers after 60 games of PBA World Series of Bowling competition. The eight-player stepladder final includes two live matches each on Friday and Saturday on ESPN2 followed by the live championship round with three matches live on ESPN on Sunday.
NEW: “Live at the PBA World Championship,” 30 minutes of bonus coverage, has been added to Saturday night’s schedule on ESPN2, expanding Saturday’s programming to 90 minutes starting at 8:30 p.m. Eastern/5:30 p.m. Pacific.
FRIDAY, JAN. 14, 5 P.M. EASTERN/2 P.M. PACIFIC LIVE ON ESPN2
No. 8 Jason Belmonte, Australia, vs. No. 7 Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas (loser earns $8,000)
No. 6 Michael Haugen Jr., Carefree, Ariz., vs. winner of Match 1 (loser earns $9,000)
SATURDAY, JAN. 15, 8:30 P.M. EASTERN/5:30 P.M. PACIFIC LIVE ON ESPN2
Lead in: 30-minute “Live at the PBA World Championship” bonus coverage of Friday’s competition and preview of upcoming matches
No. 5 Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., vs. winner of Match 2 (loser earns $10,000)
No. 4 Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, vs. winner of Match 3 (loser earns $11,000)
SUNDAY, JAN. 16, 1 P.M. EASTERN/10 A.M. PACIFIC LIVE ON ESPN
No. 3 Osku Palermaa, Finland, vs. winner of Match 4 (loser earns $12,000)
No. 2 Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., vs. winner of Match 5 (loser earns $14,000)
No. 1 Bill O’Neill, Southampton, Pa., vs. winner of Semifinal Match (winner earns $50,000, loser earns $25,000)
● International two-handed stars Belmonte and Palermaa will compete against five of the best “traditional” one-handed bowlers in the world. Belmonte needs to win four consecutive matches for a chance to avenge his 182-176 loss to Palermaa in the GEICO Shark Championship.
● Belmonte qualified for the World Championship finals by advancing from 115th place after the first 24 games of qualifying, finishing fourth in the fifth and final (Shark) round to edge Ronnie Russell of Camby, Ind., for the eighth stepladder position.
● Belmonte won his only PBA Tour title in the 2009 Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic and went on to win 2008-09 PBA Rookie of the Year honors.
● Malott (2008-09), Koivuniemi (2003-04) and Barnes (2007-08) are former PBA Players of the Year; none of the three won a title during the 2009-10 season.
● Malott will be trying for his seventh Tour title and first since the 2009 Etonic Marathon Open.
● Haugen will be trying for his third PBA Tour title and first since the 2008 PBA Tournament of Champions.
● Koivuniemi is trying for his ninth PBA Tour title and first since the 2008 DyDo Japan Cup.
● Barnes needs to win the PBA World Championship to complete the PBA Triple Crown. He previously won the 2005 U.S. Open and the 2006 PBA Tournament of Champions.
• Barnes will be trying for his 13th Tour title and first since the 2009 GoRving Match Play Championship.
● Palermaa won his first Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour title in the GEICO Shark Championship, defeating Canada’s Dan MacLelland, 173-149, in the championship match.
● Rash will be trying for his fifth PBA Tour title and first since the 2007 USBC Masters in Milwaukee’s Miller Park.
● The PBA World Championship finals will be conducted on the PBA Viper lane conditioning pattern, selected by O’Neill as the top qualifier. O’Neill won the Pepsi Viper Championship as part of the PBA World Series of Bowling for his third PBA Tour title.
● O’Neill also is trying for his second major title. He won his first in the 2010 U.S. Open in Indianapolis.
How they qualified: PBA World Championship qualifying standings were based on 60 games including 12 games each on five different PBA lane conditions during the PBA World Series of Bowling.
1, O’Neill, 13,606 pins (226.76 average).
2, Rash, 13,563 (226.05).
3, Palermaa, 13,544 (225.73).
4, Barnes, 13,506 (225.10).
5, Koivuniemi, 13,496 (224.93).
6, Haugen, 13,425 (223.75).
7, Malott, 13,408 (223.46).
8, Belmonte, 13,405 (223.41).
Additional PBA Tour coverage may be accessed by visiting pba.com and its Xtra Frame subscription video service.