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European bowling star set to shine at the PBA Tour Finals this weekend

PBA Tour FInals
Picture source: Professional Bowlers Association

This weekend, the highly anticipated PBA Tour Finals will bring together the top eight players from the past two seasons in an exhilarating showdown.

Returning to Strikerz Bowling in Arlington, Washington, this event marks the second consecutive year at this venue. As the 15th title event of the 2023 season, the PBA Tour Finals promises thrilling competition and intense bowling action.

Excitingly, all five rounds of the PBA Tour Finals will be broadcasted live on CBS Sports Network, treating fans to nine hours of non-stop PBA action on June 24-25.

Seven of the eight finalists are familiar faces from last season's PBA Tour Finals. Among them is one European bowling player - Dominic Barrett - who showcased his consistent prowess and skill throughout the two-year competition.

EJ Tackett, Anthony Simonsen, defending champion Jason Belmonte, Jakob Butturff, Kris Prather, and Kyle Troup have also earned their spots once again.

Joining them is the newcomer, Packy Hanrahan, who claimed the seventh spot on the 2022-23 points list after winning the Roth/Holman PBA Doubles Championship with Mitch Hupé and placing 16th at the PBA Players Championship.

While the players will face different oil patterns this year, spectators should brace themselves for an exhilarating pace of scoring. In the previous season, the stepladder finals witnessed an average score of over 228 across 20 combined games.

It is worth mentioning that both Troup and Belmonte achieved perfection, bowling a perfect game, making them the first players to achieve this feat on the same day in PBA televised history.

The event's seventh iteration will include all previous PBA Tour Finals champions, ensuring a high level of competition. Tackett and defending champion Belmonte have both claimed victory in this event twice, while Troup and Simonsen have also triumphed and lifted the prestigious trophy.

Tackett, the victor in the 2017 and 2019 Tour Finals, has a remarkable chance to equal the single-season titles record this year. With five titles already to his name, he could potentially surpass Mark Roth's legendary record of eight titles from 1978 if he manages to win all three remaining title events.

PBA Tour Finals format

In terms of the format, the PBA Tour Finals will maintain the same structure as last season. Players will be divided into two groups based on their point totals from the past two seasons.

Group 1 will consist of Tackett, Barrett, Butturff, and Troup, while Group 2 will feature Simonsen, Belmonte, Prather, and Hanrahan.

To determine the seedings for Sunday's stepladders, Saturday's positioning round will require each player to compete in two games on the 38-foot Webb pattern and two games on the 43-foot Anthony pattern.

On Sunday, the competition will shift to a dual-pattern format for the group stepladders. The final match of each group stepladder will adopt a Race-to-Two format.

The top advancers from each group stepladder will meet in the highly anticipated championship match on Sunday evening, where they will engage in another Race-to-Two battle. This thrilling showdown will determine the ultimate champion of the PBA Tour Finals, concluding the intense bowling action.

The final two title events of the thrilling 2023 will be The PBA/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles in July and the Storm Lucky Larsen Masters in September.

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