With an 11-5 overall record in match play, Australian Jason Belmonte takes a commanding 308-pin lead heading into tonight’s final round of match play in the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions at Thunderbowl Lanes.
The 24 player match play field will compete in the final eight-game match play round tonight at 6 p.m. ET. With Belmonte in command as tournament leader, the four remaining spots will be determined for Sunday’s live ESPN stepladder finals at noon ET.
Belmonte is trying to win his first TOC title after finishing second in 2013 and third in 2012. It would also be his second major after winning the USBC Masters last season.
Trailing Belmonte who has a 10,377 41-game overall pinfall total (with bonus pins) is nine-time tour winner and 2013 U.S. Open winner Wes Malott who takes a 13-2-1 overall record and a 10,069 into tonight’s final round.
Three-time Tour winner Dom Barrett of England, who won the PBA World Championship last November in Las Vegas, is in third with 11-4-1 record and 10,017 pinfall.
Dan MacLelland of Canada is in fourth with a 10-6 record and 9,813 pinfall and 2006 Tournament of Champions winner Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas rounds out the top five with a 9-7 record and 9,777 pinfall total.
Hoping to break into the top five will be defending and 1987 Tournament of Champions winner Pete Weber in sixth, 49 pins back of Barnes. Weber will be trying to become only the third three-time Tournament of Champions winner. Fellow Hall of Famers Mike Durbin and Jason Couch have also accomplished the feat.
2011 Tournament of Champions winner, Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, Mich., is in seventh 142 pins back of the fifth spot. The 13-time PBA Tour champion will be trying for his second consecutive Tour win. Koivuniemi won the recent Brunswick Ballmaster tournament in his native Finland for his 13th Tour title.
Bowling fans can catch tonight’s final match play round on pba.com’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel. Subscription information is available by clicking on the Xtra Frame logo on the pba.com homepage.
49TH PBA TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich.
SEVENTH ROUND (after 41 games, including won-lost records and match play bonus pins)
1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 11-5-0, 10,377.
2, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 13-2-1, 10,069.
3, Dom Barrett, England, 11-4-1, 10,017.
4, Dan MacLelland, Canada, 10-6-0, 9,813.
5, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 9-7-0, 9,777.
6, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 9-7-0, 9,728.
7, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 8-7-1, 9,635.
8, Stuart Williams, England, 10-6-0, 9,619.
9, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 8-8-0, 9,617.
10, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., 10-6-0, 9,595.
11, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 7-8-1, 9,585.
12, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 9-7-0, 9,582.
13, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 11-5-0, 9,561.
14, Tom Daugherty, Tampa, FL, 8-8-0, 9,519.
15, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, SC, 7-9-0, 9,510.
16, Mike Fagan, Fort Worth, Texas, 7-8-1, 9,482.
17, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 7-9-0, 9,412.
18, Dave Wodka, Henderson, Nev, 7-8-1, 9,394.
19, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 6-9-1, 9,319.
20, Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz., 4-12-0, 9,238.
21, Jason Sterner, Covington, Ga., 7-9-0, 9,173.
22, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 4-11-1, 9,145.
23, Jason Poli, West Des Moines, Iowa, 3-13-0, 9,086.
24, Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich., 2-14-0, 8,946.