After four grueling days of seemingly endless bowling, the top five bowlers of the PBA Summer Swing emerged and will compete in the stepladder finals of the Oklahoma Open on CBS Sports Network.
Qualifying scores were based on six games on the Wolf pattern, six games on the Bear pattern and six games on the Badger pattern. The top 18 bowlers based on those scores spent all day Thursday bowling 18 match-play games, six on each pattern.
The finals will be contested on the Bear pattern, which was chosen by top seed E.J. Tackett. This choice surprised many, even though Tackett put up some big scores throughout the match-play round contested on the Bear.
Oklahoma Open Finalists
- E.J. Tackett
- Chris Loschetter
- Bill O'Neill
- Tommy Jones
- Jason Belmonte
The third five-person field for a stepladder finals at the 2014 PBA Summer Swing includes three major champions, one highly touted rookie and a bowler making his first career television appearance.
Badger Open Stepladder Finalists
- Bill O'Neill
- Pete Weber
- Marshall Kent
- Brian Valenta
- Mika Koivuniemi
Another day, another top five set to battle in the stepladder finals for a PBA Summer Swing title. After 12 games of qualifying, the top five bowlers who will compete for the Bear Open title are all PBA Tour national champions:
- Tommy Jones
- Bill O'Neill
- Ronnie Russell
- Rhino Page
- Dick Allen
The stepladder finalists for the first of four PBA Tour titles to be decided at the 2014 PBA Summer Swing are set. After 12 games of qualifying, five of the world's best will bowl for the title on CBS Sports Network, to be taped this weekend and aired June 3.
Wolf Open Finalists
There's been a lot of bowling on the PBA Tour schedule thus far in 2014, but most of it has been PBA League competition. Four individual PBA Tour titles have been won so far, with Jason Belmonte taking the trophy home from both the Tournament of Champions and USBC Masters (the other two winners were Chris Barnes in the H.H. Emir Cup and Thomas Larsen in the Kuwait International Open.
With two majors already secured and only one left to bowl this year (as the BPAA canceled the 2014 U.S. Open), Belmonte has a clear and large lead on winning the PBA Player of the Year Award for the second year in a row.
Still, not counting WBT events, the PBA still has four events coming up at the Summer Swing and another bunch of events at the World Series in October, including the World Championship. The opportunity is there to catch Belmonte. But will anybody do it?
Next Monday, May 19, PBA Tour competition resumes as the Summer Swing opens with the Wolf Open. Following that event will be the Bear Open, then the Badger Open, with the top overall bowlers advancing to the match-play finals of the Oklahoma Open. Stepladder finals for all events will be aired on CBS Sports Network, as will a made-for-TV King of the Swing event featuring all the winners and at least one wild-card bowler.
The Summer Swing will be held at Firelake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma and feature the official professional debut of Marshall Kent, who just recently received his PBA Tour card. We've already seen Kent on TV a couple times, including in a title match, so it's only fitting he now bowls as a PBA member. Now, if he wins a title, he'll get credit for it (non-members don't get credit for PBA titles).
PBA50 rookie and PBA Hall of Famer, Parker Bohn III, took all of three attempts to earn his first career PBA50 title in the Miller High Life Classic at George Pappas' Victory Lanes in Mooresville, North Carolina.
After going deep into match play in the first event of the 2014 season, Bohn qualified for the stepladder finals in the second event before being eliminated. This time, he forged all the way through, defeating fellow Hall of Famer Pete Weber in the finals.
The PBA50 Tour will take a brief rest throughout May before resuming competition in early June with the Senior U.S. Open.
The third event of the 2014 PBA50 Tour season, the PBA50 Miller High Life Classic, continues today at George Pappas' Victory Lanes in Mooresville, North Carolina. The second and final day of qualifying begins at 10 a.m. ET with B squad, then concludes with A squad beginning at 4 p.m. ET.
PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber leads all bowlers after eight games of qualifying. Match play and finals take place on Wednesday. The entire tournament is available on Xtra Frame, the PBA's subscription video service.
It didn't take Norm Duke long to prove the hype on the PBA50 Tour. Coming in as a rookie, expectations were understandably high for the Hall of Famer, and now two events in, he has a runner-up finish and a title.
Duke qualified third in the PBA50 Sun Bowl in The Villages and had to win three matches in the stepladder finals (all against Hall of Famers) to claim the title. First, Duke dispatched Parker Bohn III (who defeated Walter Ray Williams, Jr. in the opening match). Then, Duke eliminated Pete Weber before moving into the finals with tournament leader Tom Baker.
Two events into the PBA50 season, Norm Duke has to be the frontrunner for both the PBA50 Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year awards. Yes, it's early, but if Duke keeps performing like this, he'll take all the hardware.
The 2014 PBA50 season got underway last week in New Port Richey, Florida, with PBA Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli defeating PBA50 rookie Norm Duke in the title match.
Monacelli led qualifying in almost every PBA50 tournament last season, but was only able to get one title out of it. Now one tournament into the season, he already has one title.