Columbia 300 News
Josh Blanchard Wins PBA Xtra Frame Reality Check Classic For Third Career PBA Tour Title
TAMARAC, Fla. (March 19, 2017) – Josh Blanchard of Mesa, Ariz., breezed through all three of his stepladder matches to win the PBA Xtra Frame Reality Check Classic Sunday at Sawgrass Lanes for his third career PBA Tour title.
Streamed live on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame, Blanchard beat former McKendree University collegiate star and finals top seed AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill., 232-204, in the title match for his first title of the season and first in two years. For Johnson, it was his third career runner-up finish.
“It feels unbelievable,” said Blanchard, who won his last title in the 2015 PBA Xtra Frame Maine Shootout. “Sometimes you doubt yourself but I have a lot of support from my family, friends and fans so I think it was just a matter of time before I could bring home another win.”
By winning, Blanchard also takes the early lead in the Storm Cup points race which will award $50,000 in bonus prize money at the end of the season. All eight Storm Cup events are streamed live on Xtra Frame.
Needing a strike on the first ball of the 10th frame to win the semifinal match, Blanchard struck out to beat four-time Tour winner Dom Barrett of England, 279-258, to advance to the title match.
In the opening match, Blanchard, who was the No. 3 seed, beat two-hander Shawn Maldonado of Houston, who was trying for his first Tour win, 236-175.
Upcoming Storm Cup Xtra Frame events this season will include stops in North Carolina, Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia and Delaware before its final event in Coldwater, Ohio, in late August. The next stop for the Xtra Frame Storm Cup series will be the Xtra Frame Wilmington Open in Wilmington, N.C., May 26-29.