The chase to catch reigning Professional Bowlers Association Player of the Year Jason Belmonte resumes next Monday when the multi-event Grand Casino Resort PBA Summer Swing gets underway at FireLake Bowling Center.
The Summer Swing will conclude when five CBS Sports Network television finals are conducted May 24-25 in a special bowling arena installed inside the Grand Event Center in the Grand Casino Resort complex. CBS Sports Network will air the finals on consecutive Tuesdays at 7 p.m. ET, beginning June 3.
“It’s going to be a fabulous event,” PBA Commissioner Tom Clark predicted. “We’re going to bowl for four PBA Tour titles, conduct a King of the Swing special event, and provide PBA fans around the world with more than 50 hours of live coverage on Xtra Frame in addition to 10 hours of nationally-televised coverage on CBS Sports Network.”
The Summer Swing will include four PBA Tour title events – the Wolf, Bear and Badger Opens and the PBA Oklahoma Open – and the Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort Summer King of the Swing special event involving four winners plus a “wild card” player.
Coming into the Summer Swing, Belmonte has jumped into a huge lead in defense of his 2012-13 PBA Player of the Year title after winning the PBA Tour’s first two major championships of the 2014 season. In late January, Belmonte defeated Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, 219-218, to win the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions in Allen Park, Mich., and in late February the Australian two-handed star won his second straight United States Bowling Congress Masters title, defeating 2013 PBA Rookie of the Year E.J. Tackett of Huntington, Ind., 221-177, in North Brunswick, N.J.
Those two victories have given Belmonte big leads in PBA Tour earnings ($99,800 vs. $47,181 by England’s Dom Barrett), scoring averages (236.51 vs. Barrett’s 228.84) and competition points (80,000 vs. Malott’s 30,199) heading into the Summer Swing.
Chris Barnes returns as the Oklahoma Open champion (re-named geographically; last year it was called the Milwaukee Open). The Oklahoma Open, which will feature the top 18 overall performers based upon combined qualifying pinfall total from the Wolf, Bear and Badger Opens, uses all three unique lane conditions for its 18-game round-robin match play finals.
The Wolf Open, which will be contested on Monday, May 19, uses the shortest of all PBA “animal” patterns (32 feet).
In addition to those four PBA Tour title events, the four winners along with a “wild card” player – whoever scores the most points without a title – will compete in a special Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort King of the Swing event to conclude the Summer Swing.
The Summer Swing will feature a sold-out field of 120 players representing 11 different countries. FireLake Bowling Center manager Chris Skillings of Shawnee will be competing, while veteran PBA Tour champion Mike Edwards of Tulsa, Kyle Biggs of Sapulpa, Will Hoge of Sand Springs, Thomas Patterson of Owasso will also be there.
In addition to the CBS Sports Network televised finals, all qualifying and preliminary match play rounds of the summer swing events will be covered live on PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel, Xtra Frame.
CBS Sports Network is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 221 and Dish Network Channel 158. For more information, including a full programming schedule and how to get CBS Sports Network, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com.