François Lavoie Wins Kia PBA Tournament of Champions for Third Major Title

The fifth seed wins all four matches and defeats Anthony Simonsen in the title match to earn $100,000

Jupiter, Fla.—Fifth seed François Lavoie defeated four of his fellow major champions to claim the 2021 Kia PBA Tournament of Champions title. With wins over Sean Rash, Jesper Svensson, Jason Belmonte and top seed Anthony Simonsen, Lavoie earned his fifth career PBA Tour title and third major.

“It’s really special,” said Lavoie of winning an event with such a high caliber of opponents. “I got through the first match against Sean and it wasn’t easy, but I got a little more comfortable as it went along. It is the Tournament of Champions, so I wouldn’t expect anything less. It was tough but I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

In the championship match, Lavoie struck in five of the first six frames, building a lead over Simonsen, who left an 8-10 split in the fourth frame. Simonsen rolled three consecutive strikes after the split, but Lavoie’s lead proved to be insurmountable.

“I knew I had a lead halfway through the game, but I wasn’t looking at the scores,” said Lavoie. “The last thing I wanted to do was get ahead of myself. Against someone as talented as Anthony, you can never let up until it’s mathematically over. I kept telling myself to stay here, stay in the moment and keep doing my thing.”

The 28-year-old Lavoie now has five PBA Tour titles, including three majors, making him performance-eligible for the PBA Hall of Fame.

“That hadn’t crossed my mind,” said Lavoie. “It certainly is nice to be in that class of players who are eligible for the Hall of Fame. When I started bowling on Tour, I didn’t know if it was going to work out, whether I would be doing this for a while or try something else. I’m really happy with where I am now.”

A two-time U.S. Open champion, Lavoie has now finished in the top five in each of the past three majors dating back to the 2020 PBA World Championship.

“Lately, what’s been successful for me is my ability to strategize,” said Lavoie. “I come up with a good game plan and stick to it. If the plan doesn’t go exactly as I wanted, I have different options.”

Lavoie becomes the second player, after PBA Players Championship winner Kyle Troup, to qualify for the PBA Super Slam, which will feature all five 2021 major winners and air April 18 on FOX Broadcast Channel.

Kia PBA Tournament of Champions Final Standings

Bowlero Jupiter – Jupiter, Fla.

  1. François Lavoie, earns $100,000
  2. Anthony Simonsen, $60,000
  3. Jason Belmonte, $45,000
  4. Jesper Svensson, $40,000
  5. Sean Rash, $35,000

Match Scores

Match 1 – No. 5 Lavoie def. No. 4 Rash, 225-209

Match 2 – No. 5 Lavoie def. No. 3 Svensson, 236-201

Match 3 – No. 5 Lavoie def. No. 2 Belmonte, 220-194

Match 4 – No. 5 Lavoie def. No. 1 Simonsen, 233-187

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



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About Me

Brian grew up in New York before moving to Phoenix, AZ in 1991. He has been involved in writing for his own bowling publication called “Striking Spotlight.” He has been published in the Desert Bowler Newspaper, Windy City News Newspaper and the Bowlers Journal. Hirsch is a Youth Director in the Kenosha USBC and a former Director for the Metro Phoenix USBC. As a Level 1 and RVP USBC coach, he can be found coaching his wife Amber and their son Masen each Saturday morning. Hirsch currently has (6) 300’s and (4) 800’s and is a member of the International Gay Bowling Organization where he is a five-time IGBO Champion and a six-time Arizona State Grand Canyon State Games Medalist. The Hirsch’s moved to Wisconsin to be closer to family and assist the Freedom Farm for Vets. Hirsch’s home bowling center is Sheridan Lanes, located in Kenosha, WI.


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