All three of the leading contenders for the Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year award, listed in alphabetical order, had great seasons in one of the closest competitions in years. Player of the Year voting began with 13 candidates, all of whom met minimum requirements for consideration based upon PBA rules. Others on the original ballot included Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas; Dom Barrett, England; Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J.; Mike Fagan, Fort Worth, Texas; Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C.; Mika Koivuniemi, Finland-Hartland, Mich.; Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio; Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas; Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., and Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa.
Belmonte hopes to join Venezuela’s Amleto Monacelli and Finland’s Mika Koivuniemi as the third foreign-born player to win the PBA’s highest annual competition honor. He also would be the first two-handed player to win the award.
Belmonte’s 2012-13 season produced two titles, including the USBC Masters – his first major – and runner-up finishes in three other major championships: the 2012 PBA World Championship, U.S. Open and 2013 PBA Tournament of Champions. He won the George Young High Average Award, scoring at a 228.81 pace over 422 games, and the Harry Smith Point Leader Award with 238,903 points. The only major statistical category he didn’t win was earnings, where his $186,465 total ranked third behind Rash’s $248,317 and Koivuniemi’s $227,851.
Rash, the 2011-12 Player of the Year, won two PBA International Tour titles in Kuwait and Thailand, and made TV shows in the 2012 and ’13 PBA World Championships and the 2013 TOC. In addition to leading the earnings list, Rash finished third in average and competition points.
Weber, a 37-time PBA Tour champion who has never won Player of the Year, had one of the best years of his career as he entered the PBA50 Tour ranks. In addition to winning the 2013 Tournament of Champions for his record-tying 10th career major, Weber finished third in the 2013 U.S. Open (an event he has won a record five times) and third in the 2013 PBA World Championship.
In addition to the announcement of the 2012-13 PBA Player of the Year on Xtra Frame Friday, Tackett, Tony Reyes Community Service Award winner Parker Bohn III and the 2012-13 PBA Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award winner will be introduced. The special Xtra Frame webcast will kick off extended coverage of the qualifying and match play rounds of the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions Saturday through Tuesday, Jan. 21.
To subscribe to Xtra Frame, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame tab. Subscriptions are available for $7.99 for one month or $64.99 for a full year.