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Marshall Kent Wins PBA Xtra Frame Lubbock Sports Open Title


LUBBOCK, Texas – In a duel of past PBA Rookies of the Year, Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., ended a personal quest for his first PBA singles title in the U.S. Sunday, defeating EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., 233-194, in the PBA Xtra Frame Lubbock Sports Open at South Plains Lanes Saturday.

Kent, who won his only previous PBA Tour singles title in Saudi Arabia in 2014, locked out
Tackett with a string of six strikes to finish the title match after Tackett struggled until the ninth and 10th frames to throw two strikes in a row.

“I had a game plan going in to do what I did all week, which basically meant making moves to the left and making good shots,” Kent said. “It looks like I made enough good shots down the stretch to get the job done.

“I’m still trying to process the win,” he added. “It means the world. It’s been a long time. It feels unbelievable. I haven’t been bowling that well lately, so I spent 15 hours last week practicing, putting in the extra time to get ready.”

The Lubbock Sports Open were a showcase for the PBA’s youth movement. Tackett, PBA’s reigning Player of the Year and Lubbock’s top qualifier, was the oldest of three 24-year-olds in the stepladder field, just a few weeks older than Kent and fourth-place finisher AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill. Third-place finisher Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., is 23. Tackett was PBA’s 2013 Rookie of the Year; Kent won that honor in 2014.

Kent kicked off the four-man stepladder finals with a string of six strikes on his way to a 259-228 victory over Johnson. He then took advantage of Butturff ’s inability to carry strikes early in the semifinal match, posting a
222-217 victory to advance to the title match against Tackett, who helped Kent win his second PBA Tour title as Merica Rooster Illusion teammates in winning the PBA Team
Challenge in Las Vegas last fall.

Butturff, the defending champion and the only left-hander among the top 16, made a big move during the six-game cashers round, averaging 259.5 behind games of 259, 258,
258, 234, 259 and 289 to charge out of 11th place into the lead heading into the eight-game match play round. The Tempe, Ariz., resident held the lead until his final position round match where he lost to Tackett, 228-165, dropping to second place for the stepladder finals and eventually finishing third.

With his second-place finish, Tackett took the lead in the Xtra Frame Storm Cup points race, picking up 19 points for a 53-point total to move ahead of previous leader Dom Barrett of England who finished in a tie for 28th, failing to add to his 46-point total. Lubbock was the fourth event in the seven-tournament Xtra Frame Storm Cup series that will reward the top five points leaders with shares of a
$50,000 bonus prize pool.

Article was posted with permission from Stars & Strikes, America's Bowling Newsmagazine.