PBA Bowler of the Year E.J. Tackett took advantage of Tommy Jones' open in the 10th frame of their championship match to win the FireLake Tournament of Champions on Sunday in Shawnee, Okla.
Tackett, who had missed four previous chances to take the lead, defeated Jones, 208-203, when the South Carolina bowler failed to convert the 1-2-4-10 "washout" in the 10th.
"I knew if I doubled in the 10th, I’d force Tommy to strike on the right lane," the 24-year-old Tackett said. "But I never in a million years expected that. Tommy has been so good in situations like that his entire career, I didn’t think I had a chance. I was in total shock."
Tackett sat at the top of the five-bowler stepladder after leading in the 39 games of qualifying that were completed on Saturday. In the opening match, Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., ended Pete Weber’s bid for a PBA-record 11th major championship, 223-203. Smallwood finished the match first, throwing four strikes and forcing Weber to do the same to tie and force a roll-off. But Weber, 54, left the 1-2-4-10 on his opening shot of the 10th frame to end the match.
England’s Dom Barrett then eliminated Smallwood, 235-202, striking on seven of his first eight shots while Smallwood left splits in the first and fourth frames.
Jones advanced to the title match, defeating Barrett, 248-216, rolling a late string of six strikes.
PBA players will begin competition in the United States Bowling Congress Masters on Tuesday at The Orleans Bowling Center in Las Vegas. Qualifying rounds will be held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to determine the 63 players who will join defending champion Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas, in the three-game, double-elimination match play rounds Friday and Saturday. The stepladder finals will be Sunday (ESPN, 1 p.m.).