Tenpin Bowling Australia (TBA) congratulates Jason Belmonte on winning his 27th Professional Bowling Association (PBA) career title after claiming the Storm Cup: PBA David Small’s Kokomo Championship in Kokomo, Indiana.
Belmonte put on a dominant display throughout all stages at the second of four Storm Cup events scheduled in this year’s PBA Tour – the Kokomo Championship. Averaging 233.45 in his 20 games leading up to the stepladder, Belmonte would qualify as the first seed in yet another stepladder final appearance.
The stepladder final involved four bowlers. The other bowlers making the cut would be American trio EJ Tackett, Nicholas Pate and Anthony Simonsen.
Compared to his previous stepladder finals, this time, Belmonte would have to wait for other games to finish before having a chance to bowl for the $20,000 USD prize money and title.
Number three seed Nicholas Pate would climb the ladder to face Belmonte in the final.
Pate would defeat the recently crowned U.S. Open champion Anthony Simonsen in a tight tussle in match one 237-226. In match two, Pate would continue his hot form, defeating number two seed EJ Tackett 237-186 to book his ticket to bowl against Belmonte in the final.
It came down to Belmonte and Pate. One was searching for his first PBA title and the other looking for his 27th.
You couldn’t ask for a better final where both players went toe to toe swapping strikes. The question quickly became who would make the first mistake. Belmonte would answer the question after slipping up momentarily in the seventh, leaving a four-pin and sparing after both players struck in the first six frames of the title match.
Getting back on track in the eighth, Belmonte would strike and put pressure on the young gun to continue his hot form. Nick would leave a 6,7,10 in the eighth, providing an open frame before sparing in the ninth.
With an opportunity to shut Pate out in the 10th, Belmonte would spare but then leave the door ajar, leaving the 10 with the messenger just missing. Belmonte would post 249, with Pate requiring two strikes and an eight to claim victory.
Pate delivered a strike in his first delivery before receiving a heart-breaking ringing 10 in the second. For the 27th time in his illustrious career, Jason Belmonte was once again a PBA champion defeating Nicholas Pate 249-243. Belmonte was thankful to survive the brutal battle against Pate and thanked his fans back home in his post-event speech.
“Thanks to everyone back home for their support – I think they are watching! I love you guys very much,” he said after securing victory.
After the four Storm Cup events on tour this season, the top five players will receive a bonus, with the first ranked player receiving $10,000USD. Belmonte joins Swedish superstar Jesper Svensson as the first two Storm Cup events champions.
After a ten-month layoff, Belmonte has returned with a bang in the 2022 PBA Tour season. The current all-time leader in major titles extended his record by winning his 14th career major title in the first event of the season at the PBA Players Championship. After making another stepladder final, a third place followed this at the U.S. Open.
Belmonte currently sits comfortably up the top of the PBA Player of the Year standings.
The PBA Tour will roll on next week with the next major title on offer for bowlers – the PBA Tournament of Champions. The first qualifying round will kick off next Wednesday, the 23rd February, at 9.30 am AEDT.
As always, keep your eye on PBA.com for all the latest news and FloBowling to stream all the action.