Player of the Year Race Taking Shape Heading into T of C - UPDATED THROUGH 3/24/13

by Jason Thomas March 17, 2013 06:46
With one of the season's biggest events (the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions) set to begin Wednesday, five players have separated themselves from the pack to put their names into contention for the prestigious PBA Player of the Year award. The only thing that has been decided so far is that nothing has been decided. Here are the top five contenders (listed in random order) and their accomplishments thus far in the season:

Sean Rash - Has a Tour-leading eight top-5 finishes (next closest are Jason Belmonte and Mika Koivuniemi with six), including a win in the WBT Kuwait Open, second-place finishes in the Earl Anthony Players Championship, Japan Cup and the WBT IBC in Tokyo, third in the WSOB Viper, PBA World Championship and the Mark Roth Classic, plus a fifth in the Carmen Salvino Classic.
Jason Belmonte - Won the USBC Masters, plus two second-place finishes (including the PBA World Championship), a third at the WSOB Scorpion Championship and a fourth in the Brunswick Euro Challenge. Also finished fifth in the Earl Anthony Players Championship at the PBA Winter Swing.
Parker Bohn III - Won the PBA World Championship, finished fourth in the USBC Masters and also made another TV appearance in the Japan Cup.
Mika Koivuniemi - Won the Japan Cup and the WBT Qatar Open, second place finishes in the WBT Kuwait Open, Japan Cup and WSOB Viper Championship, plus a fifth place finish in the USBC Masters.
Scott Norton - Won the WSOB Chameleon Championship and the Earl Anthony Players Championship and finished second in the Mark Roth Classic.

Below is a list of all of the completed and upcoming events on this season's schedule, bearing in mind that this is a "transitional" season on the PBA Tour, encompassing 14 months of tournaments. Beginning at the start of 2014, the PBA will be moving to a calendar-year schedule.

(Event name - Champion)

NOVEMBER 2-9, 2012
WSOB Alka Seltzer Plus Cold Cheetah Championship - Bill O'Neill
World Series of Bowling Viper Championship - Brad Angelo
World Series of Bowling Chameleon Championship - Scott Norton
WSOB Bowlers Journal Int'l Scorpion Championship - Tom Daugherty
PBA World Championship - Parker Bohn III


Round One's International Japan Cup (Tokyo, Japan) - Mika Koivuniemi

DECEMBER 9-15, 2012
WBT Qatar Open (Qatar - Not televised) - Mika Koivuniemi

JANUARY 4-13, 2013
WBT Brunswick Ballmaster Open (Helsinki, Finland - Not televised) - Jesper Svensson

JANUARY 15-19, 2013
WBT International Bowling Championships (Nagoya, Japan - Not televised)- Tommy Jones

JANUARY 19-27, 2013
PBA Carmen Salvino Classic - Andres Gomez
PBA Mark Roth Classic - Michael Haugen, Jr.
PBA Don Carter Classic - Jason Sterner
Earl Anthony PBA Players Championship - Scott Norton

FEBRUARY 18-24, 2013
USBC Masters (North Brunswick, NJ) - Jason Belmonte

MARCH 13-17, 2013
WBT Kuwait Open (Kuwait City, Kuwait - Not televised) - Sean Rash

MARCH 19-24, 2013
WBT Brunswick Euro Challenge (Unterföhring, Germany) - Ronnie Russell

MARCH 26-31, 2013
Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions (Indianapolis, Indiana) - TBD

MAY 19-JUNE 2, 2013
GEICO PBA Summer Swing - PBA Badger Open (Waukesha, Wisconsin) - TBD
GEICO PBA Summer Swing - PBA Wolf Open (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) - TBD
GEICO PBA Summer Swing - PBA Bear Open (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin) - TBD
GEICO PBA Summer Swing - PBA Milwaukee Open (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin) - TBD

JULY 7-13, 2013
It's Daejeon Int'l Open Bowling Tournament (Daejeon, Korea) - TBD

JULY 21-28, 2013
70th U.S. Open (Columbus, Ohio) - TBD

AUGUST 17-31, 2013
WTBA World Championships (Henderson, Nevada) - TBD

SEPTEMBER 16-22, 2013
11th Indonesia Int'l Open (Ancol, Indonesia) - TBD

OCTOBER 1-6, 2013
WBT Vienna Open (Vienna, Austria) - TBD

OCTOBER 13-20, 2013
WBT Thailand Open (Bangkok, Thailand) - TBD

PBA World Series of Bowling V (Las Vegas, Nevada) - TBD

NOVEMBER 27-30, 2013
Round One's International Japan Cup (Tokyo, Japan) - TBD


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