Via begins competition with the 30th televised perfect game in PBA history, Troup earns a chance to win his first major title
Jupiter, Fla.—Kyle Troup continued the trend of the top seeds winning each region, defeating Michael Davidson to win the East Region and move into the PBA Players Championship Finals. In the opening match on the telecast, Chris Via rolled the 30th televised perfect game in the history of PBA title events.
“This was the next step in winning my first major,” said Troup, a six-time PBA Tour champion. “My goal was to get to Jupiter, then come here and conquer this tournament. I did so. Now I’m going to go home and work even harder. It doesn’t stop here.”
Following an errant shot in the first frame that Troup blamed on a mental lapse, he rattled off the next seven strikes to build a commanding lead over Davidson, who was making his first TV finals appearance.
“After that first frame, I did a lot of self-talking,” said Troup. “Telling myself to stay in it, stay present, don’t worry about (Davidson’s) ball reaction. He had a little bit of room, but I wanted to stay focused on myself and the shots I was making.”
Davidson, the third seed, defeated Via and Brandon Novak to earn his way into the final match.
Seeded fourth, Via achieved perfection against Tim Foy Jr., who was making his TV finals debut. Foy qualified sixth but stepped in as the alternate when Bill O’Neill withdrew himself per COVID-19 protocol.
In the next match, Via rolled the first five strikes against Davidson before leaving a 4 pin in the sixth frame. Via’s 17 strikes in a row fell one short of the PBA record for most consecutive strikes on a PBA telecast; Pete Weber rolled 18 in a row in 2001 and Ryan Shafer tied the mark in 2007. Via earned an additional $10,000 for the 300 game.
Troup is the fourth player to advance to the PBA Players Championship Finals—joining Anthony Simonsen (West), François Lavoie (Southwest) and Tom Smallwood (Central)—and the first of the four who hasn’t won a major title. Simonsen, Lavoie and Smallwood each own two major championships.
“It feels good that my hard work has paid off, but it’s going to take every bit of physical and mental ability to beat the guys on the show,” said Troup. “Self-belief goes a long way and I believe that I can win.”
Troup, Simonsen, Lavoie and Smallwood will be joined by next week’s winner of the South Region to compete in the PBA Players Championship Finals for a major championship title and a top prize of $250,000.
The PBA Players Championship Finals will air live on FOX Broadcast Channel Feb. 21.
EAST REGION STEPLADDER FINALS RESULTS
Bowlero Jupiter – Jupiter, Fla.
- Kyle Troup, advances to PBA Players Championship Finals
- Michael Davidson, earns $15,000
- Brandon Novak, $13,000
- Chris Via, $21,000 ($11,000 for finishing fourth and $10,000 for bowling a perfect game)
- Tim Foy Jr., $7,000*
*Because Foy replaced O’Neill and finished fifth, the two players split their total winnings ($10,000 for fifth and $4,000 for sixth for a total of $14,000), meaning both Foy and O’Neill receive $7,000.
Match 1 – No. 4 Via def. No. 5 Foy, 300-235
Match 2 – No. 3 Davidson def. No. 4 Via, 244-242
Match 3 – No. 3 Davidson def. No. 2 Novak, 245-213
Match 4 – No. 1 Troup def. No. 3 Davidson, 259-216
UPCOMING PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP TELEVISION SCHEDULE
Bowlero Jupiter – Jupiter, Fla.
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.