Eleven of the 25 berths go to non-champions
New York, NY – Established PBA stars Anthony Simonsen (West Region), François Lavoie (Southwest), Tom Smallwood (Central), Kyle Troup (East) and Jesper Svensson (South) claimed the top seeds for their respective PBA Players Championship regional stepladder finals. After 28 games of qualifying, eleven non-champions inserted themselves into four of the five regions.
Simonsen, the winner of the 2019 PBA Players Championship, led the West Region by 103 pins over second seed Wesley Low Jr., with Jakob Butturff, Darren Tang and Kris Koeltzow rounding out the top five. Koeltzow held on to the fifth spot by 11 pins after fending off late charges by PJ Haggerty and Sam Cooley in the final game of qualifying.
The only PBA Tour champion in the Southwest Regional Finals is top seed Lavoie, a four-time champion who built a 104-pin lead over second place. Lavoie will be challenged by Packy Hanrahan, Keven Williams, Benjamin Martinez and AJ Chapman.
Smallwood, who won the 2018 PBA Players Championship, rolled a 300 game on his way to leading the Central Region, followed by 2018 PBA Player of the Year Andrew Anderson, four-time champion Ronnie Russell (who rolled two 300 games during qualifying), 10-time winner Wes Malott and Zach Weidman, who is making his televised finals debut. Weidman bowled 258 in his final game to take the fifth spot away from EJ Tackett, who missed the top five by 17 pins.
Bookending the East Region are six-time champion Troup on the top of the stepladder and Bill O’Neill, the defending champion, in fifth. O’Neill jumped into the top five in the 28th and final game, edging Tim Foy Jr. by 11 pins. Seeded second through fourth, respectively, are Brandon Novak, Michael Davidson and Chris Via, all of whom are looking for their first PBA Tour titles.
The South Region is the only one in which all five spots are held by PBA Tour champions. Svensson qualified 10 pins ahead of #2 seed Christian Azcona after the two jockeyed for the position all day. 2015 U.S. Open champion Ryan Ciminelli, who retired from full-time competition in 2020, earned the third spot, followed by two-time champion Tom Daugherty and seven-time winner Dick Allen.
The Regional Finals begin airing live on Fox Sports’ FS1 Sunday, Jan. 24 starting with the West Region. The winners of each Regional Final will then advance to the PBA Players Championship Finals, live on FOX Broadcast Channel Feb. 21, featuring a top prize of $250,000.
PBA Players Championship Television Schedule
Bowlero Jupiter – Jupiter, Fla.
Sunday, Jan. 24 at 12 p.m. ET on FS1 – West Region Finals
Sunday, Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. ET on FS1 – Southwest Region Finals
Saturday, Feb. 6 at 4 p.m. ET on FS1 – Central Region Finals
Sunday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. on FS1 – East Region Finals
Sunday, Feb. 14 at 1 p.m. on FS1 – South Region Finals
Sunday, Feb. 21 at 12:30 p.m. on FOX – PBA Players Championship Finals
West Region Stepladder Finalists
Bowlero Christown – Phoenix, Ariz.
Wesley Low Jr.
Full West Region standings: https://www.pba.com/node/117446
Southwest Region Stepladder Finalists
AMF Garland Lanes – Garland, Texas
Full Southwest Region standings: https://www.pba.com/node/117441
Central Region Stepladder Finalists
Bowlero Wauwatosa – Wauwatosa, Wis.
Full Central Region standings: https://www.pba.com/node/117436
East Region Stepladder Finalists
Bowlero West End – Richmond, Va.
Full East Region standings: https://www.pba.com/node/117431
South Region Stepladder Finalists
AMF University Lanes – Tampa, Fla.
Full South Region standings: https://www.pba.com/node/117426
About the PBA
The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) is the world’s preeminent organization dedicated to the sport of bowling and its professional competition, with thousands of members and millions of fans throughout the world. The PBA plays host to bowling’s biggest tournaments from the PBA Tour, PBA Regional Tour, and PBA50 Tour. In 2020, the PBA launched PBA Jr., a club for elite youth bowlers under the age of 17 and the PBA Pinsiders, a membership for fans of the sport. For more information, please visit PBA.com.