Event: PBA World Series of Bowling
Tournament: PBA World Championship Finals
Where: South Point Hotel Exhibition Hall, Las Vegas
Purse: $542,120, winner’s share: $50,000 and Earl Anthony trophy
Eliminator Format: Four finalists will bowl a one-game match. The player with the lowest score will be eliminated. The three survivors will bowl another game, with the low man ousted. The two finalists will then bowl in the championship match.
Each finalist won a Division final to advance to Championship.
Television: ESPN (Sunday at 1 p.m. ET)
Finland’s Osku Palermaa and Australia’s Jason Belmonte, two-handed players of almost the same age who developed their unique styles half a world apart, will join 25-year PBA Tour veteran Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y., and 29-year-old Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., in the battle for the $50,000 first prize and a major title.
Palermaa, won his only PBA Tour title in the GEICO Shark Championship during the 2010 PBA World Series of Bowling. Palermaa, who defeated Stuart Williams, Dom Barrett and Jack Jurek to win the Don Carter Division berth, is trying for his first major title.
Belmonte hasn’t won a title since his first PBA Tour victory in the 2009 Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic. He also is looking for his first major title after rolling a 300 game on his way to winning the Mike Aulby Division over Brian Kretzer, Josh Blanchard and Mike Fagan.
Shafer is a four-time PBA Tour title winner who wants to end his record streak of 12 consecutive top five finishes in PBA majors without a title. Shafer eliminated Andres Gomez, Ildemaro Ruiz and Tom Smallwood in the Billy Hardwick Division.
Rash is the only finalist who has won a major (the 2007 United States Bowling Congress Masters), but he hasn’t won a title in eight television appearances since then. Rash dominated the 40 qualifying games leading into the World Championship elimination rounds, averaging 234 on five different PBA lane conditions. As the top qualifier in the finals field, he has selected the Scorpion lane oiling pattern, the same pattern he selected for the Johnny Petraglia Division when he eliminated Pete Weber, Ryan Ciminelli and Nathan Bohr.