Bowling News USA - January 8, 2012 Belmonte Fires Perfect Game..Advances at PBA World Championship...
Three Storm Staffers Advance to PBA World Championship Final..
A funny thing happened to Storm two-handed star Jason Belmonte in Sunday’s Mike Aulby Division telecast on ESPN. He recorded the 21st nationally-televised 300 game in Professional Bowlers Association history, but it was a sub-200 game that earned him a trip to the Jan. 15 PBA World Championship final round.
Belmonte, who won his only PBA Tour title in the 2009 Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic, followed his game-two perfect effort with a less-than-perfect 196-179 victory over Roto Grip staffer Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, to capture the final berth in the World Championship finals at South Point Hotel Exhibition Hall.
Belmonte used the Roto Grip Critical Theory™ on the telecast.
Each of the divisional elimination contests consist of three one-game rounds, starting with four players. The lowest-scoring player after each game is eliminated.
In Sunday’s ESPN telecast, Belmonte was fortunate to survive the opening game. Kretzer’s 231 led the opening round. Mike Fagan of Dallas was second with a 194, Belmonte struggled through a pair of open frames for a 188, but PBA rookie Josh Blanchard of Gilbert, Ariz., had even more problems in his PBA television debut, posting a 139 game to get eliminated.
Belmonte righted his ship in game two, however, earning a $10,000 bonus for his perfect game. Kretzer’s second consecutive 231 game was enough to eliminate Fagan, who started with five strikes but failed to convert the 3-6-10 in the ninth frame and finished with a 220.
Kretzer used a Storm Marvel™ Pearl and Roto Grip Defiant™ on the show.
Belmonte maintained his poise into the final game, striking on four of his first five shots. He failed to convert the 5-10 and 6-7-10 splits in the eighth and ninth frames, but by that time, Kretzer’s inability to string strikes proved to be his downfall.
“The struggle was to forget about the 300 because you have one more game to bowl,” Belmonte said. “You kinda want those games as your last game, not second-to-last, but I was so thrilled it was difficult to put it behind me and work on the next game. I actually thought about it in the second frame. It just popped into my head and I threw a really bad shot. But the next three or four frames were OK, so I kind of loosened up.
“Then the lanes started playing tricks with me, but Brian was having troubles as well. I was fortunate he didn’t find the look that would allow him to strike. If that game had gone on another four or five frames, I don’t know what would have happened.”
Belmonte will join Storm staffers Osku Palermaa, winner of the Don Carter Division and Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y., winner of the Billy Hardwick Division; Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., winner of the Johnny Petraglia Division in the World Championship finals on ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 15, at 1 p.m. ET. At stake will be a $50,000 first prize, the first major title of the 2011-12 PBA Tour season, and a berth in the Round of 36 for the end-of-season PBA Tournament of Champions.
The Aulby finals were conducted on the PBA’s Shark lane condition, selected by Belmonte as the high qualifier in his group.
A special World Championship pre-game show will be webcast on the Wednesday on pba.com’s Xtra Frame and a post-game Xtra Frame interview with the winners will immediately follow the Sunday telecast.
PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
MIKE AULBY DIVISION FINALS
South Point Exhibition Hall, Las Vegas
Round One (lowest score eliminated): Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 231; Mike Fagan, Dallas, 194; Jason Belmonte, Australia, 188; Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz., 139 ($4,000).
Round Two (lowest score eliminated): Belmonte 300, Kretzer 231, Fagan 220 ($4,500).
Championship (winner advances to PBA World Championship finals): Belmonte def. Kretzer ($5,000), 196-179.
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