Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte is hoping to qualify for his second World Series of Bowling television final by taking the early lead in the GEICO Shark Open Tuesday at South Point.
Belmo fired a 1,897 eight-game pinfall (237.1 average) to lead Tuesday’s first squad by 55 pins over 13-time Tour champion and 2010 PBA World Championship winner Chris Barnes in second.
Belmo, who has already made the TV finals for the Chameleon Open, and Barnes are a virtual lock to advance to tonight’s final qualifying round which will advance 16 players after this afternoon’s second qualifying block. After the final round the top four will be determined for the Shark Open ESPN taping at 8 p.m. PT on Nov. 18.
“I think it comes down to patience,” Belmonte said. “When the lanes come to you, you take advantage. That’s what guys around the world do.
“The Shark pattern forces you to play farther left, which is where I like to play. You couldn’t swing the ball. You had to play a little tighter line. I was patient and waited for lanes to come to me. They did, I saw it and took advantage.
“I didn’t start so well (on the Viper pattern Saturday), but I led on the Chameleon and yesterday I was a pin or two away from making the cut, so I’m very happy with the way things are going. This is a brutal tournament. It’s quick, it’s short, but it’s the same for all of us, so when you get a chance, you take it advantage.”
Belmonte tied for 75th on the Viper pattern, led Sunday’s Chameleon Open qualifying and finished 20th in the Scorpion round Monday. After 24 games, he was seventh on the PBA World Championship qualifying list.
After this afternoon’s second eight-game qualifying block the top 53 players will advance to the World Championship cashers round on Wednesday beginning at 9 a.m.