Santtu Tahvanainen earns the No. 5 seed in his career's first major event at the PBA World Championship, while Tackett, Butturff, Simonsen, and Belmonte also advance to the stepladder finals.
Finland's rising bowling star, Santtu Tahvanainen, was third after sixty games of qualifying. Despite posting a 7W-5L match play record and dropping a few spots in the standings, the 2022 Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year advanced to the finals as the No. 5 seed.
Although he is the lone player in the finals without a major title to his credit, Santtu Tahvanainen proved his stability by averaging over 225 across the 72 total qualifying games.
Only three days ago, a talented bowler from a small town of Ylöjärvi, Finland, had no televised PBA game experience. Now, the PBA World Championship stepladder finals will be Tahvanainen's third telecast of the WSOB XIV. Twenty-six-year-old finished fourth at the PBA Scorpion Championship and fifth at the PBA Shark Championship.
After his TV debut at the Scorpion Championship finals, Santtu admitted that the pressure and cameras were buzzing his mind a little. Still, his confidence was rising after every shot he made.
Making it through the PBA World Championship finals was an additional confidence boost for Santtu. Underestimating him can be disastrous for his opponents.
Santtu's next rival at the stepladder, Australian Jason Belmonte, made another near-miracle of his long bowling career. A PBA record 15-time major champion began the match play round in the last 12th place, 324 pins under the top 5. Still, Belmo assembled an 11W-1L record, averaging over 250, to surge to the No. 4 seed.
'Bet you didn't think I could get to 4th…. Neither did I', Jason Belmonte wrote on his social media.
EJ Tackett took over Jakob Butturff in the position round to earn the No. 1 seed, marking his third No. 1 seed in four majors this season. The 20-time PBA Tour champ will seek his fifth title and season's second major.
Anthony Simonsen earned the No. 2 seed after a win over Butturff in a roll-off, as he and Butturff made the same total pinfall after 72 games of qualifying.
The PBA World Championship Finals will be broadcasted live on FOX at 6 PM on Sunday, April 23, featuring three future PBA Hall of Famers (Belmonte, Tackett, Simonsen). Many bowling analysts and fans have already named the upcoming PBA World Championship the all-time greatest.
The PBA World Championship winner will be awarded a $100,000 top prize and the PBA Major title.