Chase to Catch Reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte Resumes Monday in Oklahoma

by Bill Vint May 12, 2014 07:21

SHAWNEE, OKLA. – The chase to catch reigning Professional Bowlers Association Player of the Year Jason Belmonte resumes next Monday when the multi-event Grand Casino Resort PBA Summer Swing gets underway at FireLake Bowling Center.

The Summer Swing will conclude when five finals, airing on CBS Sports Network, are conducted May 24-25 in a special bowling arena installed inside the Grand Event Center in the Grand Casino Resort complex. CBS Sports Network will televise the finals on five consecutive Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. ET, beginning June 3.

The Summer Swing will include four PBA Tour title events – the Wolf, Bear and Badger Opens and the PBA Oklahoma Open – and the Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort Summer King of the Swing special event involving four winners plus a “wild card” player.

Coming into the Summer Swing, Belmonte has jumped into a huge lead in defense of his 2012-13 PBA Player of the Year title after winning the PBA Tour’s first two major championships of the 2014 season. In late January, Belmonte defeated Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, 219-218, to win the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions in Allen Park, Mich., and in late February the Australian two-handed star won his second straight United States Bowling Congress Masters title, defeating 2013 PBA Rookie of the Year E.J. Tackett of Huntington, Ind., 221-177, in North Brunswick, N.J.

Those two victories have given Belmonte big leads in PBA Tour earnings ($99,800 vs. $47,181 by England’s Dom Barrett), scoring averages (236.51 vs. Barrett’s 228.84) and competition points (80,000 vs. Malott’s 30,199) heading into the Summer Swing. Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, who won the PBA International Tour’s H.H. Emir Cup in Qatar in late February, is third in earnings ($45,344) and just over 10 pins behind Belmonte in average (226.41) while Barrett ranks third in points (28,461).

Belmonte also comes into the Summer Swing as the defending PBA Bear Open champion. Belmonte defeated Barnes, 235-211, in the title match of the most demanding Summer Swing event, contested on a 40-foot lane condition that is very similar to the lane conditioning pattern used for the U.S. Open.

Barnes returns as the Oklahoma Open champion (re-named geographically; last year it was called the Milwaukee Open). The Oklahoma Open, which will feature the top 18 overall performers based upon combined qualifying pinfall total from the Wolf, Bear and Badger Opens, uses all three unique lane conditions for its 18-game round-robin match play finals.

The Wolf Open, which will be contested on Monday, May 19, uses the shortest of all PBA “animal” patterns (32 feet). The Bear Open will be held on Tuesday. The Badger Open, which uses the longest of all “animal” patterns at 52 feet, will be conducted on Wednesday. Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, won his first PBA Tour title in last year’s Wolf Open and Jake Peters of Henderson, Nev., won his first PBA Tour title in the 2013 Badger Open.

In addition to those four PBA Tour title events, the four winners along with a “wild card” player – whoever scores the most points without a title – will compete in a special Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort King of the Swing event to conclude the Summer Swing. If any player wins more than one preliminary event, whomever finishes second in the ensuing event(s) will earn a spot in the King of the Swing. Norm Duke of Clermont, Okla., is defending King of the Swing winner.

“It’s going to be a fabulous event,” PBA Commissioner Tom Clark predicted. “We’re going to bowl for four PBA Tour titles, conduct a King of the Swing special event, and provide PBA fans around the world with more than 50 hours of live coverage on Xtra Frame in addition to 10 hours of nationally-televised coverage on CBS Sports Network.”

The Summer Swing will feature a sold-out field of 120 players representing 11 different countries. Oklahoma will be represented in the Summer Swing by veteran PBA Tour champion Mike Edwards of Tulsa along with Kyle Biggs of Sapulpa, Jeff Hatt, Oklahoma City; Will Hoge of Sand Springs, Justin Morris, McLoud; Thomas Patterson of Owasso and FireLake Bowling Center manager Chris Skillings of Shawnee, and Jayden Warren of Muskogee. The field also will include four PBA Hall of Famers (33-time titlist Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J.; 37-time champions Norm Duke , Clermont, Fla., and Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., and the winningest player in PBA Tour history, 47-time title-winner Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla.) and four women.

In addition to the CBS Sports Network televised finals, all qualifying and preliminary match play rounds of the summer swing events will be covered live on PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel, Xtra Frame.

CBS Sports Network is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 221 and Dish Network Channel 158.  For more information, including a full programming schedule and how to get CBS Sports Network, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com.

OKLAHOMA’S GRAND CASINO RESORT PBA SUMMER SWING SCHEDULE
FireLake Bowling Center and Grand Casino Resort, Shawnee, Okla., May 18-25

FireLake Bowling Center schedule (all times are Central)
Saturday, May 17
2-5 p.m. – Pro-Am squads

Sunday, May 18
Noon – A Squad practice session
3:30 p.m. – B Squad practice session

Monday, May 19, PBA Wolf Open
8 a.m. – A Squad, 6 qualifying games
2 p.m. – B Squad, 6 qualifying games
  Top 18 advance to second qualifying round
7:30 p.m. – Top 18, 6 qualifying games
  Top 5 after 12 games advance to stepladder finals

Tuesday, May 20, PBA Bear Open
8 a.m. – B Squad, 6 qualifying games
2 p.m. – A Squad, 6 qualifying games
  Top 18 advance to second qualifying round
7:30 p.m. – Top 18, 6 qualifying games
  Top 5 after 12 games advance to stepladder finals

Wednesday, May 21, PBA Badger Open
8 a.m. – A Squad, 6 qualifying games
2 p.m. – B Squad, 6 qualifying games
  Top 18 after 6 games advance to second qualifying round; top 18 after 18 games (combined 6-game first-round Wolf, Bear and Badger totals) advance to Oklahoma Open match play
7:30 p.m. – Top 18, 6 qualifying games
  Top 5 after 12 games advance to stepladder finals

Thursday, May 22, PBA Oklahoma Open Round Robin Match Play
10 a.m. – Top 18, 6 games match play, Wolf pattern
2 p.m. – Top 18, 6 games match play, Bear pattern
6:30 p.m. – Top 18, 6 games match play, Badger pattern
  Top 5 advance to stepladder finals

Friday, May 23
4 p.m. – PBA Southwest Region practice session

Saturday, May 24
8 a.m. – PBA Southwest Region A Squad, 8 qualifying games
2 p.m. - PBA Southwest Region B Squad, 8 qualifying games
  Top 16 after 8 games advance to single-elimination match play

Sunday, May 25
10 a.m. – Round of 16 best-of-five-game match play; losers eliminated
Noon – Round of 8 best-of-three-game match play; losers eliminated
1:30 p.m. – Semifinal Round, one game matches; losers eliminated
2 p.m. – Championship match, one game

OKLAHOMA’S GRAND CASINO RESORT PBA SUMMER SWING
CBS SPORTS NETWORK STEPLADDER FINALS SCHEDULE (all times are Central)

Saturday, May 24
11 a.m. – PBA Wolf Open five-player stepladder finals
2:30 p.m. – PBA Bear Open five-player stepladder finals
6 p.m. – PBA Badger Open five-player stepladder finals

Sunday, May 25
Noon – PBA Oklahoma Open five-player stepladder finals
3:30 p.m. – Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort Summer King of the Swing five-player stepladder finals (four title winners plus “wild card” player - highest in combined points for four events without a title)

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