Smallwood, Troup Lead Their Regions in Back-to-Back PBA Players Championship Regional Finals This Weekend on FS1

Central Region Finals air Saturday at 4 p.m. ET, East Region Finals air Sunday at 2 p.m. ET

New York, NY—Tom Smallwood and Kyle Troup lead their respective regions into the PBA Players Championship Central and East Region Finals airing this weekend on FS1. Each region will award a berth in the Championship Finals to air Feb. 21 on FOX Broadcast Channel.

Smallwood, one of three major champions in the Central Region, finished 68 pins ahead of second place through qualifying. Two of Smallwood’s three career PBA Tour titles are majors, including the 2018 PBA Players Championship and 2009 World Championship.

Qualifying second for the stepladder is 2018 PBA Player of the Year Andrew Anderson, who claimed both of his PBA Tour titles that season, including the USBC Masters. Anderson played a prominent role on the Las Vegas High Rollers, who advanced to the 2020 PBA League Elias Cup Championship before finishing second, and looks to return to his Player of the Year form early in 2021.

Four-time PBA Tour champion Ronnie Russell sits third, helped by two perfect games during qualifying. Russell finished second to Parker Bohn III in a tie-breaking roll-off in the 2015 PBA Players Championship and is looking to win his first PBA Tour title since 2016.

Malott, the 2008-09 PBA Player of the Year, owns 10 PBA Tour titles, including the 2013 U.S. Open. Malott closed his 2020 season by anchoring the Portland Lumberjacks to their second consecutive Elias Cup and then outlasted 11 other players to win the PBA League All-Star Clash.

Challenging Malott in the opening match is Zach Weidman, a 26-year-old from Indianapolis making his TV debut. In the final game of qualifying, Weidman rolled a 258 game to get past EJ Tackett, who landed just 17 pins short of the top five.

The Central Region Finals air Saturday, Feb. 6 at 4 p.m. ET on FS1.

In the East Region, Troup, a six-time winner on the PBA Tour including three victories in 2020 alone, led the field by 66 pins in his effort to claim his first major title. To win the East Region, Troup will have to defeat one of four players hoping to secure a PBA Tour title for the first time.

Brandon Novak is making his fourth career televised finals appearance with a previous best finish of third in the 2017 PBA Scorpion Championship. The 32-year-old from Chillicothe, Ohio owns five PBA regional titles but has yet to win his first national title.

Third seed Michael Davidson makes his television debut after qualifying 13 pins behind Novak and well ahead of fourth place. Davidson was one of the early leaders and stayed in the mix throughout all four qualifying rounds to earn his spot on the stepladder.

Chris Via, who finished fifth in each of the last two majors—the 2020 U.S. Open and World Championship—will need to win four matches to guarantee himself a fifth-or-better finish in the Players Championship.

Securing the fifth spot in the final game of qualifying was defending champion Bill O’Neill. However, due to COVID-19 protocol, O’Neill had to withdraw from the stepladder. Tim Foy Jr., who finished just behind O’Neill after qualifying, will assume the fifth spot and make his first career TV finals appearance. His best career PBA Tour finish is sixth, which he’s done twice.

The East Region Finals air Sunday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. ET on FS1.

The two players who emerge victorious this weekend will join West Region winner Anthony Simonsen, Southwest Region winner François Lavoie and next week’s South Region winner, in the PBA Players Championship Finals, which will feature a top prize of $250,000 and air live on FOX Feb. 21.

Central Region Stepladder Finalists

Tom Smallwood

Andrew Anderson

Ronnie Russell

Wes Malott

Zach Weidman

Full Central Region standings: pba.com/node/117436

East Region Stepladder Finalists

Kyle Troup

Brandon Novak

Michael Davidson

Chris Via

Tim Foy Jr.

Full East Region standings: pba.com/node/117431

Upcoming Players Championship Television Schedule

Bowlero Jupiter – Jupiter, Fla.

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

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

###

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s