Parker Bohn III, already a member of the PBA Hall of Fame (he was inducted in 2000), was the fifth seed entering the stepladder finals, meaning he’d have to roll through four of the top bowlers in the world. But let’s take it back even further. Entering the final match-play round, Bohn was seeded 24th (out of 24). Despite not making it to any other TV shows, he performed consistently well enough to make the cut, at the line, for the World Championship.
Then, as the 24th seed, he went on an incredible spree that shot him up 19 spots into the fifth and final slot on the television final. After all that, he might as well win, right?
He thought so, and he did.
2013 PBA World Championship Finalists
- Jason Belmonte, Australia
- Sean Rash, United States
- Rhino Page, United States
- Dan MacLelland, Canada
- Parker Bohn III, United States
Belmonte’s top spot in the final came from being the best overall bowler throughout the entire World Series of Bowling. He made two other TV shows (Chameleon Open and Scorpion Open), but failed to capture either title. As he said after his loss in the Scorpion Open, the reason he flew all the way from Australia was to win the World Championship, which would’ve been his first career major.
Rash, the defending Player of the Year, once again joined Belmonte as the top two bowlers throughout the WSOB. Rash wasn’t able to win the title in his other television appearance from this WSOB (Viper Open), but like Belmonte, Rash wants to win the majors more than anything else.
Page and MacLelland were both making their only TV appearances of the WSOB, and were both seeking their first career major title (MacLelland was looking for his first title of any sort).
Bohn hadn’t won a tournament since the Cheetah Championship in 2008. Despite a Hall of Fame career and 32 career PBA Tour titles coming in, only one of those titles was a major, giving him extra motivation to make himself a multi-time major winner.
Stepladder Match 1: Dan MacLelland vs. Parker Bohn III
This was a tight match all the way through, with neither man going on an extended run of strikes. They each cleaned up every frame (except Bohn in the 10th), and the match was within 10 pins as late as the sixth frame.
Bohn’s two turkeys are what gave him the advantage. MacLelland didn’t manage more than a double until he closed out his game with three strikes in the 10th, but by that time it was too late, meaning Bohn’s missed 7 pin in the 10th didn’t hurt him at all.
Final scores: Bohn 226, MacLelland 218
Stepladder Match 2: Rhino Page vs. Parker Bohn III
In the early stages of this match, it looked like Bohn’s run would end. Bohn left a 7 pin in each of the first two frames, then a 6-10 in the third, while Page opened with two strikes. Bohn covered all his spares though, and Page left a 2-4-6-7-10 washout in the third, failing to pick up any of them on his spare attempt.
Page still held the lead, but Bohn fought his way back with spares, keeping the battle as close as one pin in the eighth (that was Bohn’s first lead of the match). Page then missed a 7 pin, leaving the eighth open, then found himself shooting at (and missing) a 6-7 split in the ninth.
Bohn, thinking it might be prudent to strike, threw three in a row on his way to a 30-pin victory and a match with fellow Brunswick staffer Sean Rash.
Final scores: Bohn 200, Page 170
Stepladder Match 3: Sean Rash vs. Parker Bohn III
How long could Bohn go? He was the old man of the group, so in theory he should’ve run out of energy by now, and Rash is not someone who can be beaten by some listless shlub. Fortunately for Bohn, he’s far from a listless shlub and threw his best match of the day against Rash.
Rash’s first two frames were spares, followed by five strikes. Normally, that’s a pretty good start, but in this case, by the end of the seventh frame, Bohn had thrown seven in a row. Because Rash was also on a run, though, nothing was guaranteed for Bohn.
In the eighth frame, Bohn lost his perfect game, covering a 3 pin for a spare. Rash, meanwhile, was left with an 8-10 split, picking up one of them. Three more strikes for Bohn to follow, and Rash was eliminated.
Final scores: Bohn 278, Rash 231
Stepladder Championship Match: Jason Belmonte vs. Parker Bohn III
After getting through three of the best bowlers in the world, it was getting hard to pick against Bohn. There was one compelling reason to lean toward his opponent, though: his opponent was a fresh, power-throwing Jason Belmonte.
One of the best ever and one of today’s best were going to put on a show.
Bohn opened with a turkey, while Belmonte threw five strikes in his first six frames. Because of the order of the strikes and spares thrown by these two, the lead was never safe for anyone. Bohn led by 10 after one, trailed by 11 after five, one after six and finally took the lead for good in the seventh, although no one knew that at the time.
In one of the most impressive displays of endurance and striking in big situations in recent memory, Parker Bohn III earned his 33rd career title and second career major. He had to bowl four consecutive matches, none of which were easy victories, but somehow he pulled it off to become the PBA World Champion.
Final scores: Bohn 254, Belmonte 227
- Parker Bohn III, $50,000
- Jason Belmonte, $25,000
- Sean Rash, $15,000
- Rhino Page, $12,000
- Dan MacLelland, $10,000