Jason Belmonte has begun his quest toward major number 14 this week, with the KIA PBA Tournament of Champions getting underway this morning at Bowlero Jupiter, Florida.
The second major championship of the 2021 PBA Tour season will showcase some of the world’s very best bowlers over five days of play, all striving for the $100,000 first-place prize. After missing the cut at the PBA Players Championship, Belmo was itching for the opportunity to return to the lanes.
In the first qualifying session this morning, it didn’t take long for Belmo to stamp his mark. Belmonte posted games of 269, 207, 279, 223, 226, and 290. A total average of 249 through six games sees Belmonte sit third on the standings.
Three players have won the Tournament of Champions three times: Mike Durbin (1972, 1982, 1984), Jason Couch (1999, 2000, 2002) and Australian Jason Belmonte (2014, 2015, 2019). Both Couch, the only player ever to win three consecutive Tournament of Champions titles (the event was not held in 2001) and Belmonte, the all-time PBA record holder with 13 major titles, are entered in the 2021 event.
If either can emerge victorious, he will become the first player ever to win the event four times. As always, Jason will face some stiff competition while striving for number four.
Kyle Troup will attempt to win his second PBA major in as many weeks after winning his first career major title – the PBA Players Championship. Kris Prather will be another to watch as he enters the event as defending champion after winning the event last year.
For the second time this season, players will have a chance to win a $1 million bonus by bowling a perfect game in the title match of the Tournament of Champions. The prize will be available four times this season – the just completed PBA Players Championship, The Tournament of Champions, the PBA World Championship and the PBA Super Slam.
Participants will bowl four qualifying rounds of six games, providing a 24 game qualifying score. The top 24 bowlers will then progress to another four rounds of six games for match play, where the top five will advance to the stepladder finals.
Schedule for Australian’s watching from home: All times are Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)
Wednesday, Feb. 24
3 a.m. – Qualifying Round 1 (six games)
9 a.m. – Qualifying Round 2 (six games)
Thursday, Feb. 25
3 a.m. – Qualifying Round 3 (six games)
9 a.m. – Qualifying Round 4 (six games)
Top 24 advance to match play
Friday, Feb. 26
4 a.m. – Match Play Round 1 (six games)
10 a.m. – Match Play Round 2 (six games)
Saturday, Feb. 27
4 a.m. – Match Play Round 3 (six games)
10 a.m. – Match Play Round 4 (six games)
Top five advance to stepladder finals
5 a.m. – Stepladder Finals
Where to watch?
Australians can follow the action with a FloBowling subscription. For more information, head to https://www.flobowling.com/
For all the latest news and results head to https://www.pba.com/
PBA Tournament of Champions Winners Since 2011
2011 – Mika Koivuniemi
2012 – Sean Rash
2013 – Pete Weber
2014 – Jason Belmonte
2015 – Jason Belmonte
2016 – Jesper Svensson
2017 – EJ Tackett
2018 – Matt O’Grady
2019 – Jason Belmonte
2020 – Kris Prather