The fans of this year's PBA Tournament of Champions witnessed probably the biggest comeback in PBA Tour history.
Being 154 pins outside the cut going into the third round of qualifying in 51st place, Jason Belmonte moved up to 20th place before match-play and ended as the No. 6 seed of the stepladder finals.
Australian bowler won 5 straight televised stepladder finals, including a defeat of top seed and hottest bowling player up to date EJ Tackett to claim his fourth career Tournament of Champions title and the 15th major championship.
"I’ll remember this come back win for the rest of my days!", Belmonte said.
With six PBA Tour stages now complete, it was only the first title for Belmo. Yet, probably the most satisfying of his career.
"Lesson here kids is to never give up and always back yourself…," Belmonte said, "You just never know what may happen!"
The No. 1 seed EJ Tackett gave an advantage to his opponent at the beginning of the title match, missing a 3-6-10 spare in the first frame. It happened again in the sixth frame and, according to Tackett, it was the reason for defeat.
“If I make both of those, I don't know if the match changes a bunch, but it definitely puts a little bit more pressure on Jason,” Tackett said. “It's been a great year so far. I had another opportunity to win another major championship. I threw some good shots, just failed a little bit at spare shooting and I have to chalk the loss up to that.”
Six European players started their PBA Tournament of Champions qualifiers on Tuesday, and three of them made the cut to the match-play round. Englishman Stuart Williams was the only one to advance to the stepladder round, finishing in 11th place.