WAUWATOSA, Wis. – Australia’s Jason Belmonte won six of his final eight matches and tied another to charge out of 10th place and capture the top stepladder finals berth for the Lucas Oil PBA Bear Open Tuesday night at AMF Bowlero.
Belmonte, who is trying for his seventh PBA Tour title, averaged a modest 215.65 for a 26-game total of 5,952 pins, including match play bonus, to complete a move that began when he dropped to 24th place after the first two games of match play Tuesday. Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, finished second with 5,891 pins followed by Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, with a 5,855 total; Canada’s Dan MacLelland with 5,819 pins and Tom Hess of Urbandale, Iowa, with a 5,811 total.
“I bowled really, really well tonight,” the Aussie two-handed star said. “After sitting in 24th place two games into match play, I was just hoping to maybe break into the top 10. Then I got closer, and I drilled a new ball that gave me a lot better look down the lane. It carried so much better, and that was the difference.”
Belmonte finished seventh in the Badger Open last week at AMF Waukesha, the first of the fourth GEICO PBA Summer Swing tournaments, but then finished 69th in the Wolf Open at AMF West – a performance that knocked him out of the Milwaukee Open field.
“My goal when I came over here was to do well on all of the patterns,” Belmonte said. “I just missed on the first one (Badger). The second one (Wolf) was – what’s a good word – disaster? But I never give up, even in the Wolf.
“It was just like today,” he continued. “I needed to dig a little deeper and I’m a whole lot happier now than I was last week. Hopefully I can cap it off with one more good game on TV and add another “W”.
Barnes will be trying for his 15th title in the Bear Open finals. Loschetter, who led the tournament heading into the final eight games, is trying for his first title after nine years on Tour. He also is top qualifier for the Wolf Open finals. MacLelland, also a non-titlist, hopes to become the first Canadian ever to win a PBA Tour title. Hess, who won his only title in the 2011 United States Bowling Congress Masters, made a huge move when he bowled the tournament’s only 300 game in the sixth game of the final round, and then jumped from eighth to fifth with a 268-210 victory over collegiate star Aaron Lorincz of Belleville, Mich., in the final position round match.
The Bear Open was conducted on a flat 40-foot oiling pattern – similar to the demanding scoring environment used for the U.S. Open. It is the third of four events that compose the GEICO PBA Summer Swing presented by Lucas Oil. The Bear Open stepladder finals will be conducted at 6 p.m. Saturday at AMF Bowlero and will air on CBS Sports Network on June 25 at 7 p.m. ET.
The PBA Summer Swing continues Wednesday when the top 28 qualifiers from the Badger, Wolf and Bear “animal pattern” events compete in the five-game Lucas Oil PBA Milwaukee Open cashers round on the Bear pattern at 11 a.m. at Bowlero. Based on 35-game pinfall totals, the top 24 will advance to three eight-game match play rounds Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. (Bear pattern), Thursday at 11 a.m. (Wolf pattern) and Thursday at 5:30 p.m. (Badger pattern). The top five after 59 games will advance to the Milwaukee Open finals at 11 a.m. Sunday at Bowlero. There will be no competition on Friday.
The Milwaukee Open cashers round and match play rounds Wednesday and Thursday will be covered live, exclusively on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame.
The stepladder finals for the Badger, Wolf, Bear and Milwaukee Opens will be contested Saturday at 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively. The GEICO Summer King of the Swing special event will follow the Milwaukee Open finals Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The Summer Swing finals will air on five consecutive Tuesdays at 7 p.m. ET beginning June 11.
LUCAS OIL PBA BEAR OPEN
AMF Bowlero, Wauwatosa Wis., May 28
FINAL MATCH PLAY STANDINGS (after 26 games, including match play bonus pins; top five advance to Bear Open stepladder finals on Saturday, June 1, at 6 p.m. CT at AMF Bowlero)
1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 11-4-1, 5,952.
2, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 9-7, 5,891.
3, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 10-6, 5,855.
4, Dan MacLelland, Canada, 10-6, 5,819.
5, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 10-6, 5,811.
6, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 9-7, 5,764, $1,800.
7, Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif., 8-8, 5,741, $1,700.
8, Aaron Lorincz, Belleville, Mich., 9-6-1, 5,724, $1,600.
9, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 10-6, 5,708, $1,550.
10, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 8-8, 5,691, $1,500.
11, Dom Barrett, England, 10-5-1, 5,676, $1,450.
12, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 7-9, 5,662, $1,400.
13, Scott Newell, Deland, Fla., 9-7, 5,627, $1,350.
14, Dave Wodka, Henderson, Nev., 7-9, 5,607, $1,300.
15, Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 9-7, 5,606, $1,250.
16, John Szczerbinski, North Tonawanda, N.Y., 8-8, 5,600, $1,200.
17, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 8-8, 5,589, $1,150.
18, Jon VanHees, Charlestown, R.I., 6-10, 5,467, $1,100.
19, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 6-9-1, 5,429, $1,050.
20, Mike Fagan, Dallas, 6-10, 5,349, $1,000.
21, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 5-11, 5,306, $950.
22, Andrew Graff, Las Vegas, 6-10, 5,256, $900.
23, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 4-12, 5,217, $850.
24, Patrick Girard, Canada, 5-11, 5,071, $800.
300 Game: Tom Hess.