Bowling News USA - August 16, 2013 Belmonte The Man To Beat in PBA Player of The Year Race...
Storm's Jason Belmonte, with a pair of 2012-13 titles and championship round appearances in all four PBA Tour major championships conducted thus far in the season, continues to pace the overall PBA Tour statistics heading into PBA World Series of Bowling V Oct. 25-Nov. 3 at South Point Casino, Hotel and Bowling Center in Las Vegas.
The "super-sized" 2012-13 PBA Tour season began with PBA World Series of Bowling IV last November and concludes on Dec. 31, 2013, as the PBA returns to calendar-year scheduling as of Jan. 1, 2014.
Belmonte leads the current season earnings list with $166,386, tops the competition points list with 199,015 points, and in second on the average list, trailing leader Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, by less than half-a-pin.
Malott, with 259 games bowled during a season limited by knee surgery, is scoring at a 229.50 pace for 259 games while Belmonte has bowled 334 games in domestic PBA Tour competition, averaging 229.22.
Finnish-American Mika Koivuniemi who now calls Hartland, Mich., home, has won a pair of PBA International Tour titles and ranks second in earnings with $163,312 while Malott, the 2013 U.S. Open champion, has moved into second place on the points list with 162,779.
In third place in all three statistical races is reigning PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill.
The one race Rash is leading, however, is the WTBA-World Bowling Tour rolling two-year points competition. Koivuniemi is second and Belmonte is third. The top three in points earned in recognized World Tenpin Bowling Association-PBA International Tour events will advance to the WBT Finals presented by the PBA at the conclusion of the World Series.
The WBT Finals also will include a women's finals. Three female members of the PBA – Kelly Kulick, Missy Parkin and Liz Johnson – dominate the women's standings.
Events remaining on the PBA Tour schedule that will impact the statistical competitions include the Columbia 300 Vienna Open in Austria, Oct. 1-6 (only earnings and title count toward PBA Tour stats); the WBT Thailand Open in Bangkok, Oct. 14-21 (earnings and title only); the PBA World Series of Bowling V (Chameleon, Cheetah, Scorpion and Viper Opens plus the season's final major, the PBA World Championship (points, averages, earnings and titles), Oct. 25-Nov. 3 at South Point in Las Vegas, and the season-ending Round1 Japan Cup, Nov. 28-30 in Tokyo (average, earnings and title).
Tournaments remaining in the WBT points races include next week's WTBA World Championships in Las Vegas (men and women), the USBC Queens in Las Vegas (women only), and the Vienna and Thailand tournaments.
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