2023 PBA Players Championship – Round of 12

This show was televised on Fox Sports 1. The USBC, PBA, and FOX own all the rights, I do not. This upload is for those that don't have that channel available and would like to watch the show.
0:00 – Match #1 – McCune vs. Tackett
20:58 – Match #2 – Simonsen vs. Via
41:09 – Break
44:39 – Match #3 – Svensson vs. Williams
1:05:18 – Match #4 – O'Neill vs. Barrett
1:22:23 – Conclusion
The PBA Tour’s grand return to Bowlero North Brunswick in New Jersey could only have resulted in a final field rife with poetic storylines and magical homecomings.

After 48 games of qualifying, plus a one-game roll-off, the 12 finalists of the PBA Players Championship presented by Snickers have been determined.

EJ Tackett earned the No. 1 seed, shooting 10,832 (+1,232) for his 48 games on the 39-foot Carter and 45-foot Weber patterns. Though this No. 1 seed does not guarantee him a spot in the title match, he earns an unprecedented fourth major championship top seed.

Earlier this season, Tackett earned the No. 1 seed at the U.S. Open presented by Go Bowling!, PBA Tournament of Champions and PBA World Championship presented by Pabst Blue Ribbon. He won the U.S. Open and World Championship to double his career major titles tally from two to four.

Jakob Butturff, Matt Russo and Tomas Käyhkö earned the No. 2-4 seeds and will also receive a one-round bye. Butturff and Käyhkö each advance to their second major telecast of the season, while Russo returns to TV at a major for the first time since last season’s PBA Players Championship.

Russo said win or lose, this will likely be the best telecast of his career.

He grew up in Millstone Township, N.J., less than 25 miles from the site of this week’s Players Championship. Russo grew up bowling youth and high school tournaments at Bowlero North Brunswick and is sure to have family and friends pack the house on Sunday afternoon.

The bracket begins Saturday, May 6 at 10 p.m. on FS1 with the No. 5-12 seeds. The opening match features two players making their PBA television debut, though two players have plenty of familiarity with bowling on TV.

No. 8 Zac Tackett — EJ Tackett’s younger brother — will face No. 9 Kevin McCune, the son of three-time PBA Tour champion Eugene McCune and grandson of former PBA Player of the Year Don McCune.

On Saturday, Zac will bowl on his first career PBA major telecast in the very same building EJ made his own major telecast debut at the 2014 USBC Masters. And if Zac defeats McCune, the brothers will go head to head on Sunday.

The second match pits No. 5 Chris Via against No. 12 Anthony Simonsen. Via left a 4-9 split in his final frame, which proved to be the difference as Käyhkö earned the final bye by just 10 pins.

Simonsen earned the final spot on Saturday’s telecast by defeating Jason Belmonte in a one-game roll-off. Belmonte doubled in his 10th frame, but left a 4-pin on his fill ball and opened the door for Simonsen.

The 26-year-old converted a 3-6-7-10 split, then struck on his fill ball to tie Belmonte. In the roll-off, Simonsen solved a tricky pair to win, 267-159.

A pair of lefties go head-to-head in the third match between No. 7 Jesper Svensson and No. 10 Keven Williams. The winner advances to bowl Butturff, the highest-scoring lefty of the week.

The ultimate match on Saturday pits the veterans No. 6 Bill O’Neill and No. 11 Dom Barrett. A potential battle between eastern Pennsylvania’s O’Neill and New Jersey native Russo could be in store for the following round.

The first round on Saturday will be single-game matches, while the Round of Eight and Round of Four matches will be a Race to Two. The championship match on Sunday, May 14 will be a best-of-five match.

The four advancers from Sunday’s telecasts return to Bowlero North Brunswick for the final rounds on May 13-14.

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12 Comments on “2023 PBA Players Championship – Round of 12”

    1. I wanted the same thing, except zac had that backbreaking open in the 8th frame. A strike and he wins by double digits. The tackett brothers are bound to square off sooner or later… only a matter of time.

    1. Ej is nearly standing straight up. Zac is very bent at the waist. Ej is in the 500 rpm Zac is lower 400s. Zac is a lil faster off his hand than ej. I personally don’t find their games similar at all

  1. Good to see some new faces, man. Even in a round of 12 there’s only a handful of them, but I am glad it wasn’t entirely filled by old, multi-titled talent.

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