Three-game seeding round Saturday will determine stepladder positioning
Jupiter, Fla.—The first PBA Tour champion of 2021 will be crowned Sunday as the PBA Players Championship Finals conclude with the winners from each of the five Regional Finals competing for a major title and $250,000 first prize. Plus, if a player bowls a perfect 300 game in the title match, he’ll receive a $1 million bonus. The PBA Players Championship Finals will air live on FOX Broadcast Channel at 12:30 p.m. ET.
The five Regional winners—Anthony Simonsen (West), François Lavoie (Southwest), Tom Smallwood (Central), Kyle Troup (East) and Dick Allen (South)—will first compete in a three-game, total-pinfall competition to determine seeding for the stepladder finals. The seeding round will be streamed live on FloBowling Saturday, Feb. 20 at 4 p.m. ET.
Simonsen, a seven-time PBA Tour champion (two majors) and winner of the 2019 PBA Players Championship, won the West Region by rolling a 279 game to defeat Kris Koeltzow in the final match. Simonsen finished the 2020 season ranked third in PBA Tour earnings despite not capturing a title. He finished second four times, including twice in majors.
Two-time U.S. Open champion Lavoie will be looking to win his fifth career PBA Tour title, which would make him performance-eligible for PBA Hall of Fame consideration. Lavoie, the qualifying leader in the Southwest, won his region in a sudden-death roll-off over Keven Williams.
Among Smallwood’s three career titles are two majors, including the 2018 PBA Players Championship. With a top-five performance this year, Smallwood has finished in the top 15 in the Players Championship five straight times. A 246 game in the Central Region final match ended the run of rookie Zach Weidman, sending Smallwood into the finals.
Troup is a six-time PBA Tour champion—three of those coming in 2020—looking to win his first major title. With seven consecutive strikes as the top seed in the East, Troup defeated Michael Davidson to advance to the Finals.
Allen, a seven-time winner on the PBA Tour, climbed the stepladder from the fifth position to win the South Region, defeating four PBA Tour champions—Tom Daugherty, Ryan Ciminelli, Cristian Azcona and Jesper Svensson—along the way. Averaging 270 on the telecast, Allen still needed to make clutch shots in the 10th frame of every match as his opponents combined to average 258. A win in the Players Championship would be Allen’s first major title.
The PBA Players Championship will pay $250,000 for first place, $130,000 for second, $80,000 for third, $60,000 for fourth and $50,000 for fifth, making the seeding round on Saturday especially important for all five players. The player with the highest three-game total will guarantee himself a six-figure payday.
PBA Players Championship Stepladder Finals
Bowlero Jupiter – Jupiter, Fla.
Seeding round Saturday, Feb. 20 at 4 p.m. ET on FloBowling
Stepladder finals Sunday, Feb. 21 at 12:30 p.m. ET on FOX
Anthony Simonsen (West)
François Lavoie (Southwest)
Tom Smallwood (Central)
Kyle Troup (East)
Dick Allen (South)
To watch the seeding round, subscribe to FloBowling at FloBowling.com.