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2017 PBA Players Championship Recap

By: 3/2/2017

The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) kicked off it’s big February with the first of three consecutive majors, the PBA Players Championship presented by Barbasol. The show featured the up and coming rising stars of A.J. Chapman, Connor Pickford, and Martin Larsen. Also on the show were reigning USBC Masters champion Anthony Simonsen and the two-handed wonder Jason Belmonte.

The first match featured two bowlers of the youth movement, A.J. Chapman and Connor Pickford. The oil pattern used was a flooded 45-foot PBA Players Championship pattern, very slick and required bowlers to play a tight line to the pocket. Connor was throwing the newly released No Rules Pearl and kept his line tight to the pocket and had great ball reaction, plus a couple nice split conversions. A.J. made a few good shots, just threw the wrong ball the entire match in my opinion. However, he did throw the ball great considering it was his first show.

Next match featured Pickford and Sweden’s Martin Larsen. Larsen isn’t a stranger to TV or major telecasts, but still remains without a PBA title. Martin had gone through everything in the tournament bag he brought to the show, made a couple good shots but looked completely lost throughout the whole match. He also missed a spare which made this match the Connor Pickford show. Martin though, is one of the classiest bowlers out there.

The first of the two two-handed bowlers on the show awaited Connor Pickford and fellow Team Fish and Roto Grip staffer Anthony Simonsen. Anthony had good ball reaction on the left lane with the newly released Wreck-Em and a good look with the Timeless from Storm on the right lane. Had Pickford changed balls in the middle of the match when his ball checked through the face a couple times or moved left quicker, he probably would’ve won the match with Simonsen not getting a good shot in the 10th.

With the title match being set between Simonsen and Belmonte, the two-handed effect had taken place in the previous match, but the lanes were really going to transition more than they had. Belmonte throwing his signature ball the Timeless, he was lofting the gutter cap and got a lot of light swishers to carry. Simonsen changing balls to an Alpha Crux on the right lane and a 7-10 early on would be his downfall. I think Belmonte could’ve thrown something that hooks a lot harder on the back or something that read up a few inches quicker with his ball carrying all the light hits. It would’ve made his ball reaction easier and made the lanes more playable, but nonetheless all congrats goes to a fellow two-handed bowler who is ultimately leading the revolution in the game of bowling with his two-handed style. You can read more about the two-handed style and all the tips and tricks to the game of bowling here at, it’s where bowlers go.

Hello everyone and greetings from the Bowling Mecca of the World, also known as Las Vegas! My name is Nick Pollak. I am 18 years old and I’m a two-handed bowler as well as a USBC Bronze level coach. I am thankful to have been invited to join the team to write about the sport I love. I look forward to sharing many articles with you and hope to interact with many of you to get feedback and topic ideas you would like to see.

Did I mention I am a two hander? I wasn't always but that all changed in January of 2015 when my one-handed mechanics became a tremendous liability. For each and every one of my fellow two-handers, it should be noted that we are all different in our styles of approach, rev rate, speed and release. I look forward to sharing my perspective of the sport I love, as a competitive bowler and as a two-hander.


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