Columbia 300 News
PBA Returns Players Championship to Major Title Status: PBA Players Committee votes to retroactively recognize past winners Belmonte, Norton, Bohn
By: Bill Vint
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Feb. 15, 2016) – Prior to the start of the Barbasol Professional Bowlers Association Players Championship, PBA Deputy Commissioner Kirk von Krueger announced Monday night that three past Players Championship winners – Jason Belmonte, Scott Norton and Parker Bohn III – will be awarded major title recognition retroactively for the titles they won in 2011, 2013 and 2015, respectively.
The announcement was made at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl where the 2016 Barbasol PBA Players Championship begins Tuesday.
”The PBA Players Championship is returning to major status for the first time since it was suspended as a major championship after the 2000 event,” von Krueger said. “In returning the Players Championship to major status because it is a members only event, and includes all of the elements of a major, PBA’s leadership asked the PBA Players Committee to review three events held under the Players Championship banner in recent years, and the committee members voted to retroactively award the winners of those events with major titles.”
Australia’s Jason Belmonte won the Pepsi Elite Players Championship as part of the 2011 PBA World Series of Bowling in Las Vegas, defeating Mike DeVaney, 255-238, in the title match. The decision means Belmonte has now won six majors including the 2013, ’14 and ’15 USBC Masters and the 2014 and ’15 PBA Tournaments of Champions.
Norton, from Mission Viejo, Calif., won the Earl Anthony PBA Players Championship that was held as part of the 2013 PBA Winter Swing at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich. Norton defeated Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., 219-181, in the title match. Norton now is credited with his first major title.
Bohn, a PBA Hall of Famer from Jackson, N.J., won the 2015 PBA Players Championship at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis, defeated hometown favorite Ronnie Russell of nearby Marion, Ind., in a two-frame sudden-death roll-off after they tied at 237. Bohn, who now has three major titles, previously won the 2001 USBC Masters and the 2012 PBA World Championship.
The PBA Players Championship begins with eight-game qualifying squads Tuesday and Wednesday at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET. The top one-third of the field after 16 games will advance to an eight-game cashers round at 10 a.m. Thursday. After 24 games, the top 24 players will advance to eight-game round-robin match play rounds at 5 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday. All preliminary rounds will be covered live, exclusively on PBA’s Xtra Frame online video-streaming service. For subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.
After 48 games, the top five players will compete for the $50,000 first prize live on ESPN Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.