Jarrod Langford has returned to Australia with a bang by taking out his fourth consecutive Melbourne Tenpin Cup title at Oz Tenpin Chirnside Park in Victoria over the weekend.
A total of 98 participants lined up for the 49th annual running of the famous tournament. All with an eye on the return of the ‘King in the North’ to the ranked event scene who had won the last three editions of the event. In true fashion, Langford wouldn’t disappoint with an incredible display of bowling to win yet another Melbourne Tenpin Cup title.
“Any win really does feel great,” said Langford following the victory.
“It feels like everything you build for throughout the year, but one never seems enough. You always strive for better.
“Managing to somehow get four in a row is really an honour. The MTC is such a prestigious event and there are few multi-time winners, so it really feels like an achievement to have multiple titles at this event” added Langford.
Langford is one of nine bowlers in the 49-year history who have won multiple titles at the event. The impressive list of the company includes Carl Bottomley, George Frilingos, Ian Bradford, Jason Belmonte, Mike Muir, Billy Gardiner and Steve Mackie. Only Langford and Belmonte have won more than three, with Langford now on four titles, chasing Jason Belmonte’s incredible seven titles at the famous event.
Still only 26 years old, the star bowler from Burdekin, North Queensland is in a good position to give advice on what the key to victory at the event is.
“It’s a marathon and a spring at the same time,” explained Langford.
“The first two stages are such a marathon. You have to keep your composure and try to get as many pins as possible. Once you get to the finals, with the 40 and 20 bonus, it becomes a sprint.
“Beat the other people on your pair by as much as you can and see where it leaves you. Fortunately for me, I got the win” added Langford.
Bursting out of the blocks in qualifying, Langford averaged an incredible 236.6 to take a 113-pin lead over his nearest challenger Sam Cooley. Maintaining his strong form, Langford shot 1,081 in his five-game stage two performance to maintain the top spot leading into the final stage. Cooley would edge closer to his rival trailing by only 5 pins at the end of the stage and Victorian David Porto charged up the leaderboard with the top performance in stage 2 and now only trailing the leader by 54 pins.
The last stage would see the top 15 bowlers compete in a tri-matchplay phase with bonus pins of 40 for a win, 20 for second, and 0 for third activated.
The challengers of Cooley and Porto would do all they could to try chase down the defending champion but would eventually come up short yet finish on the podium. Cooley would end the phase with 5 wins, 1 second place and 1 third place for a total of 220 bonus points to finish only 21 pins behind the champion. Only managing 2 wins and 4 second places, Porto would shorten the gap but by not enough, eventually completing his campaign 71 pins behind Langford and finishing in third place.
“Sam is Sam. One of the world’s best. An absolute fierce competitor and you will always have a hard task keeping him away from the win” explained Langford.
“Porto is another bowler who is just an absolute grinder and if you give him the chance, he will run away with the event.
“It was about keeping close and not letting them get over 100 pins ahead in the matchplay. If it happened, it would be difficult to catch them” added Langford.
A tournament-high game for Langford would come in the second game with a 285 plus bonus awarded. Langford would win four games, two second places and one third in his seven games to capture the title.
The victory follows a stint in the United States where Langford competed in some PBA (Professional Bowling Association) events. Langford would test his might in the play to qualify (PTQ) events and would manage to qualify for one main event being the Springfield Classic which ironically was won by his fellow countryman Sam Cooley. The trip provided an all-encompassing experience to the rising star.
“I learned something about the game every time I stepped up to compete,” said Langford. “Not even necessarily about the lane conditions but also about myself. Probably something about that experience helped me keep my composure going into the last few games”.
Now back in Australia, Langford hasn’t got too much planned but will keep doing what he can to keep developing his game.
“I have some local tournaments up home with the Lexus of Townsville and the Mackay Open” explained Langford. “Hopefully I do well in them and then ill head down to the NSW Open in September but other than that, not a whole lot planned other than to keep building on my game”.
Another name was etched into the famous trophy of the Melbourne Tenpin Cup and next year promises to be the biggest year yet with the 50th anniversary of the event.
Tenpin Bowling Australia wishes to congratulate Jarrod Langford for winning his fourth consecutive Melbourne Tenpin Cup title.
- 300 – Blayne Fletcher
Top Performances of each stage
- Qualifying – Jarrod Langford – 2,366
- Stage 2 – David Porto – 1,198
- Stage 3 – David Porto – 1,602