The 2022 Guaranteed Rate PBA Tour season continues tomorrow with the KIA PBA Tournament of Champions at AMF Riviera Lanes, Fairlawn, Ohio.
A $100,000 first-place prize awaits this year’s champion in the third major title up for grabs on the 2022 PBA tour.
The PBA Tournament of Champions (TOC) is the only ‘invitational’ major event on tour. With a maximum field of 72 bowlers, 64 spots are reserved for past PBA National Tour champions before the remaining spots are provided to the top 8 bowlers who compete in the Pro-Tour Qualifier (PTQ) before the main event.
A PBA Tour champion to receive his first automatic invitation to the event is Sam Cooley from Shellharbour Tenpin Bowl in New South Wales (NSW).
Cooley will enter the elite field alongside fellow PBA Tour champions after winning his inaugural PBA career title in 2021 (PBA WSOB XII PBA Cheetah Championship). In what will be his TOC debut, Cooley is excited to get going on the lanes once again after learning of some sad news back at home.
“Given everything that’s been happening at home with the passing of my grandma, the excitement really hasn’t hit me about competing in the TOC,” said Cooley. “I do now have added motivation as I’ll be bowling this event and the rest of the season in memory of her”.
Currently sitting in 19th place on the PBA Playoffs race, Cooley will be keen to perform strongly again to edge closer to the top 16 who will qualify for the PBA Playoffs scheduled to commence in mid-April.
Leading the field in the PBA pathway to the Playoffs is fellow Australian – Jason Belmonte.
Belmonte has been nearly flawless in returning to the lanes after an interrupted 2021 season. He sits on top of the standings with 16,370 points, about 5,000 points ahead of second-place Anthony Simonsen.
Winning the Storm Cup: David Small’s Kokomo Championship last week provided title number two in 2022 for the two-handed superstar from Orange, NSW. In 2021, Belmonte qualified for the TOC stepladder before losing to eventual champion François Lavoie from Canada in match number three of the finals.
Belmonte will again strive to extend his all-time PBA record of 14 major titles. A victory at this year’s TOC will see Belmonte become the first player ever to win the event four times and notch up major title number 15.
We wish all the Australian’s the best of luck and high scoring at the PBA Tournament of Champions.
Tuesday, February 22
- PTQ – Top 8 advance to elite field 1am – 5am AEDT
Wednesday, February 23
- Qualifying Round 1 – 9.30 am – 1:00pm AEDT (6 Games)
Thursday, February 24
- Qualifying Round 2 – 9.30am – 1:00pm AEDT (6 Games)
Friday, February 25
- Qualifying Round 3 – 4am – 7.30 am AEDT
Top 24 advance to Match Play
- Match Play Round 1: 9:30 am – 1:00 pm AEDT (8 games)
Saturday, February 26
- Match Play Round 2: 4:00 am – 7:30am AEDT (8 Games)
- Match Play Round 3: 9:30 am – 1:30 pm AEDT (8 Games)
Top 5 bowlers advance to a stepladder final
Sunday, February 27
Pro-am: 2:00am & 5:00 am AEDT
Hall of Fame Inductions & 2021 Awards – 10 am – 2pm
Monday, February 28
Final Stepladder Matches – 5:00 am – 7:00 am AEDT
Watch all the action on FloBowling with a FloBowling subscription. As always, FloBowling will be streaming the event for Australian’s to watch and follow the action.
Keep an eye out on the PBA website and social platforms for all the latest news and results.
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
2021 – François Lavoie