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Belmonte Makes Stepladder Final at TOC

Monday, February 12, 2018

After narrowly making the top 24 cut, Australia’s Jason Belmonte has bowed out of the PBA Tournament of Champions going down to eventual winner, Matt O’Grady in the second round of the stepladder finals this morning.

With the tournament beginning on Wednesday, Belmonte was shooting for a record 10th PBA title to match all time leaders Pete Weber and Earl Anthony.

In the first round of qualifying, the Australian sat in 31st place overall but made the move to 3rd place in round 2. In the third and final round, Belmonte dropped back to 24th place to scrape into the match play finals by only 7 pins.

In the match play rounds, the World number one claimed 14 wins and 10 losses to move into the stepladder finals in 3rd place.

In round 2, the Australian who was aiming for a third TOC title, came up against pre-tournament qualifier and four time PBA regional tournament winner, Matt O’Grady.  With it on the line Belmonte needing a double in the 10th frame to get a win, struck on the first ball but left a 10 pin on a pocket hit on the second shot giving O’Grady the 229-225 win.

In the semi-final match, O’Grady beat Andrew Anderson, a second-year tour player who owns one regional title as a PBA member, 194-185, to then move into the final and eventually beating top qualifier and 2016 Tournament of Champions winner Jesper Svensson, 207-193, in the title match.

For Belmonte, who finished fourth, another opportunity to win a 10th major will present itself when the Barbasol PBA Players Championship is held from 19th -25th February at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in Columbus, Ohio.

AMF Riviera Lanes, Fairlawn, Ohio, Sunday

Final Standings

1, Matt O’Grady, Rahway, N.J., $50,000.
2, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, $25,000.
3, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich. $13,000.
4, Jason Belmonte, Australia, $11,000.
5, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., $10,000.

Stepladder Results
Match One – O’Grady def. Moore, 219-174
Match Two – O’Grady def. Belmonte, 229-225
Semi-final Match – O’Grady def. Anderson, 194-185
Championship – O’Grady def. Svensson, 207-193.