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Bowling News USA - April 28, 2011 Storm's Belmonte, Frilingos Rule Australia

Storm's Jason Belmonte has been dominating Australian tenpin bowling for years but recently he celebrated a first.

Belmonte won his maiden Australian Open title after a number of years of trying.

Like the previous weekend in the Orange Audi Open, it came down to a battle between Belmonte and Australia’s top ranked bowler and fellow Storm staffer George Frilingos.

And just like last weekend, Belmonte finished in front.

“The Australian Open has eluded me for a few years,” Belmonte said.

“I’ve been second a few times and I think I’ve come third before. I’ve never won an Australian Open. It’s really special to win it. It’s one of the biggest tournaments in Australia and a lot of great bowlers have won it, so it’s great to get my name on the trophy.”

Frilingos was leading by 54 pins after Saturday’s 16 games qualifying at Melbourne’s Keon Park.

The top 14 bowled 13 matchplay games yesterday with Belmonte edging ahead to win by 66 pins.

He finished with a 242.38 average, just ahead of Frilingos’ 239.41 average.

“He (Frilingos) bowled really well and we were in the same position as we were in Orange where he was about 100 pins in front of me at one stage,” Belmonte said.

“He didn’t look like slowing down and I wasn’t sure I could catch up.

“In about 10 of the 13 games (Sunday) I was just in this mode. It felt like I was throwing the same shot for 10 games. I was happy because I knew
I had to bowl well to beat him. I went on a striking spree.”

Belmonte said staying within striking distance on Saturday was crucial to getting the win.

“I started using the wrong equipment. I changed it up and luckily I didn’t lose the tournament on Saturday,” he explained.

“I could have fallen way behind. That’s what won it for me - not getting 200 pins behind them. I knew I could do it. The key is it’s a confidence thing.”

Part of Belmonte’s prize is he will represent Australia at the AMF World Cup later this year.

This will be his third time chasing the prestigious title after finishing second in his last attempt.

Belmonte will head to America on Thursday to do a coaching tour for six weeks.

• The top three bowlers were throwing Storm balls.
• Six out of the top 14 finalists were throwing Storm or Roto Grip
• Roto Grip staffer Michael Little finished 5th

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April, 2011