Jason Belmonte

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Jason Belmonte
Personal information
Birth name Jason Belmonte
Nickname(s) Belmo
Nationality Australian
Born (1983-07-29) 29 July 1983 (age 34)
Orange, New South Wales, Australia
Sport
Sport Ten-pin bowling
Turned pro 2008
Achievements and titles
World finals World Tenpin Masters (2007), Qubica AMF World Cup (2011)
Regional finals Brunswick Euro Challenge, Greece (2006)
National finals PBA Tour (2009–17, 15 titles)
Korea Cup (2010), Thailand Open (2011), Australian Masters, Sydney (2012)

Jason Belmonte (born 29 July 1983), an Australian ten-pin bowler, is a professional player on the PBA Tour in the United States[1] and world circuits. He is known for being one of the first bowlers to gain media attention for using the two handed "shovel" style to deliver his shot. He has won 15 PBA titles, including eight major tournaments, and is a three-time PBA Player of the Year.

Early life[edit]

Belmonte's father opened the Orange Ten Pin Bowl[2] when Jason was a toddler. As a result, he started rolling a ball at 18 months old. Interviewed in 2009, he commented: "The only problem for me though was as an 18-month-old baby boy lifting a nine- to 10-pound (4-4.5kg) bowling ball ... it was a little hard, so like all babies I pushed the ball with two hands."[2] In doing so he developed a two-handed style which he uses today, placing only two fingers and no thumb in the ball to produce more revolutions.[1] He started competing at the age of three, winning his first event at the age of four. At the age of five, he had a league average of 117 and a high game of 179.[citation needed]

Belmonte was described by friends as motivated and compassionate. He also participated in many local charity events in his youth.[citation needed]

Titles[edit]

Belmonte has won one European Bowling Tour title, the Brunswick Euro Challenge, held in Greece. He also won the World Tenpin Masters championship in 2007. In September 2010, he defeated American Sean Rash in the finals to earn the 2010 Korea Cup title.[3]

On the PBA Tour, Belmonte owns twelve titles, including his first title at the Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic (2009), and three titles in the 2011–12 season (GEICO Shark Open, World Series of Bowling Chameleon Open, and the Pepsi PBA Elite Players Championship). After making the televised finals in five of six PBA majors without winning, he defeated Wes Malott to capture his first PBA major title: the 2012–13 USBC Masters. He captured his second major at the 2014 Barbasol Tournament of Champions, again defeating Malott in the title match. On February 8, 2015, Belmonte became the first bowler to win three consecutive USBC Masters tournaments after defeating No. 1 seeded AJ Johnson. On February 15, 2015, he defeated No. 1 seed Rhino Page to capture his second consecutive Barbasol Tournament of Champions title, and his second major title in two weeks.

Bowling career[edit]

Amateur and international accomplishments[edit]

Aged seventeen, Belmonte became the first Junior Australian to bowl a 300 game overseas. He also took five Gold medals at the 2000 Junior National Championships, was selected for the Youth Australia team, and also held a place in this team in 2002 and 2004. Belmonte was awarded the 2001 Orange Junior Sportsperson of the Year and won the 2002 Senior Award. He also was awarded the Orange Sportsperson of the Year award in both 2002 and 2003. Belmonte won one gold, one silver and two bronze medals at the 2002 Commonwealth Championships in Scotland and a silver medal at the WTBA World Youth Championships in Thailand. Later in the year, he was selected in the Australian Open men's team, where he remains to the present time.

In 2004, Belmonte took three gold, one silver and one bronze in the Asian Youth FIQ in Hong Kong and followed this up in the World Youth FIQ titles in Guam with a gold in the singles and a gold in all events. He won the prestigious 2004 Bowler of the Year award, voted by the Board of Directors of the World Bowlers Writers' Association. Belmonte was invited to participate in the 2005 World Tenpin Masters in England where he was defeated in the semi-finals. In this event, he made history by bowling the first-ever 300 game in the event. The game was filmed by Matchroom Sport. Belmonte represented Australia in the 2006 World Youth Championships in Berlin. He was part of the team to take the gold medal in the Team Event and went on to make the Masters after finishing in sixth place in the All Events. He was defeated in the second step of the Masters by the eventual winner, Mads Sandbaekken from Norway. In 2007, Belmonte was once again invited to take part in the World Tenpin Masters, held at the Barnsley Metrodome. After defeating the defending champion Chris Barnes of the United States in the semi-finals, Belmonte went on to defeat England's Paul Moor in the finals where he rolled the event's second-ever 300 game. Belmonte rolled 23 out of a possible 24 strikes to win the event with a 566 score for two games, against Moor's 524.

Belmonte participated in the 2007 World Ranking Masters and after qualifying in second position, was defeated in the quarter finals by eventual runner-up Peter Ljung from Sweden, 2–0 (190–258, 158–279), finishing in sixth place.[4]

2011, World Bowling Tour, Jason defeated good friend and PBA Player Mike Fagan, 300–205, to win the 2011 Thailand Open.[1]

——— AMF WORLD CUP ———

Jason Belmonte competed in the 2004 AMF World Cup in Singapore, the most prestigious individual tournament in bowling, where he was lead qualifier and never lost the lead in five days of qualifying events, finishing in 5th place after being knocked out in the quarter final.

Belmonte competed again in the 2007 AMF World Cup in [St. Petersburg, Russia] where he was also lead qualifier and as well all final rounds. Finishing as runner-up after defeated in the final by Bill Hoffman (USA). In the first match Hoffman defeated Andres Gomes (Colombia). Petteri Salonen (Finland) hit a new Bowling World Cup record for six games when he amassed 1538 pins in the second qualifying block at the 43rd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup. His series included back to back 279 games (247, 220, 256, 279, 279, 257) which beats the 1513 set by Jason Belmonte in 2004 in Singapore. It was a little consolation that Jason won the country rankings for Australia with Ann-Maree Putney, she won the trophy in the women's. Ann-Maree Putney (Australia) bowled superbly, (280 and 247). Her total of 527 is just one short of the all-time record for two games in the TV finals.

In his 3rd appearance in the 2011 AMF World Cup in (Johannesburg, South Africa) he finally have been crowned as AMF Bowling World Cup champion. His first match was against Mykhaylo Kalika (Ukraine), Jason won by 237-203 but it was a different story in the second game, 248-266. So we were into a deciding game, which Jason won by 266-185. Jason Belomonte then came up against first seed Tommy Jones (USA). The first game was high scoring, 259-279. Jason came back and won the second, 247-216. So yet again we needed a decider. What a game it was, strike for strike until Tommy opened the 8th frame. It was up to Jason to close the 10th frame, which he did in style, 259-236 and becoming the first Australian man to take the title. Jason’s three game total of 765 is a new finals record, just beating the previous mark of 764 by Petter Hansen (Norway), set in Singapore in 2004.

Quote Jason Belmonte; “I was a long way in the lead in 2004 in Singapore, and got knocked in the quarters,” he said, “and again I led the field in St Petersburg in 2007 and then I lost in the final. So I was happy to go in as number two seed this time".

PBA Tour[edit]

2008–09: Rookie of the Year[edit]

In 2009, Belmonte won the Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic PBA Tour event in his PBA TV finals debut. As the second seed, he defeated Bill O'Neill, and went on to defeat number one seed Mike Fagan 215–201 for his first PBA title. The title earned Belmonte "exempt" status for the 2009–10 PBA Tour, and he was also named the 2008–09 PBA Rookie of the Year.[1]

2009–10[edit]

2009–10 marked his first season as an exempt PBA bowler. Belmonte qualified for the TV finals in three events, but did not win a tournament. He came close at the GEICO Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship on 28 March 2010. Finishing as the top qualifier, he faced Brian Ziesig in the finals. Ziesig was a non-exempt amateur who had to qualify via the TQR round. The two were tied at the end of the regulation game, 247–247, which sent the championship to a sudden-death, one-ball rolloff. Belmonte's high flush shot on his first attempt left a solid 7-pin standing for a count of 9. Ziesig then threw a strike to take the title.[5]

2010–11[edit]

In the 2010–11 season, Belmonte appeared in 10 of 12 PBA events, making match-play 9 times and appearing on TV 4 times. Without a victory, he had earnings of US$62,950,[1] while averaging 218.82 pins per game. In his first three years on tour, Belmonte cashed in 33 of 37 tournaments, making match-play a total of 25 times, with 8 television appearance; and earnings of US$187,420.[1]

2011–12: Return to victory[edit]

Belmonte won his second, third and fourth PBA titles at the PBA's "World Series of Bowling" in November, 2011, taking the trophies in the Chameleon Open, GEICO Shark Open and the Pepsi PBA Elite Players Championship.[6][7] Belmonte also rolled a nationally televised 300 game in the quarterfinals of the PBA World Championship, broadcast on 8 January 2012 in North America; however, he did not go on to win the tournament.[8] Despite his three titles in the 2011–12 season, Belmonte did not win the PBA Player of the Year honors. The award was won by Sean Rash in an extremely close vote (Rash received 29% of the vote to Belmonte's 26.6%).[9]

With his home crowd watching, Belmonte defeated Sean Rash in a best-of-three final (174–172, 223–255, 256–243) for his fifth PBA title at the 2012 Australian Masters in Sydney, Australia.[10]

2012–13: Player of the Year[edit]

On 24 February 2013, Belmonte won his sixth PBA Tour title and first PBA major at the USBC Masters in North Brunswick, NJ. Belmonte finished with six consecutive strikes in the dramatic final match to top Wes Malott, 258–245.[11] Belmonte won a second title on the 2012–13 season, his seventh overall, at the PBA Lucas Oil Bear Open in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.[12] He was runner-up to Wes Malott in the 2013 Bowling's U.S. Open. It marked Jason's seventh appearance in the TV finals of a major over the last eight major tournaments.[13]

On 17 January 2014, Belmonte was named the Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year for the 2012–13 season. Along with two titles on the season, including a major title and runner-up finishes at three other major championships, Belmonte won the George Young High Average Award (228.81) and the Harry Smith Points Leader Award (238,903). He became only the third PBA player born outside the USA (after Amleto Monacelli and Mika Koivuniemi) to win PBA Player of the Year.[14]

2014: Major success, Player of the Year Repeat[edit]

Belmonte won the first tournament of the 2014 PBA season, the Barbasol Tournament of Champions in Allen Park, Michigan, which marked his second major tournament win and eighth title overall. As he did in his first major championship win, Belmonte defeated Wes Malott, this time in a 219–218 single game match.[15] Jason continued his dominance on 23 February 2014, when he became the first player to repeat as USBC Masters champion in nearly 50 years, and also the first player in history to win a major as the 5th seed, defeating every rival in the championship stepladder final. (Billy Welu won back-to-back Masters in 1964–65.) This was Belmonte's ninth PBA title and third major.[16] He captured his tenth title winning the Oklahoma Open during the PBA's Summer Swing.

His three titles (two majors) in the 2014 season made Jason an easy choice to win his second consecutive Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year award. In doing so, he became the first bowler to repeat as Player of the Year since Walter Ray Williams, Jr. won three consecutive awards from 1996 to 1998. Jason led all bowlers in season earnings ($163,788), average (226.71) and competition points (136,454).[17]

2015: Player of the Year Three-Peat[edit]

Jason again won the USBC Masters on February 8, 2015, defeating amateur A.J. Johnson, a surprise #1 seed, in the final match, 202-157. In doing so, Belmonte joined Mike Aulby as the only three-time winners of this tournament, while becoming the only player to win the Masters in three consecutive seasons.[18] On 15 February 2015, in Indianapolis, he captured his 12th PBA title by winning the Barbasol Tournament of Champions for the second consecutive season. As in the USBC Masters, Belmonte won from the #2 seed position, knocking off #4 seed Sean Rash in the semifinals, 235-203, before defeating top seed Rhino Page in the final match, 232-214. It was Belmonte's tenth appearance in the TV finals over the last 12 PBA major tournaments, and his fifth win in a major.[19]

As of June 2, 2015, Belmonte has the highest winning percentage in TV finals matches (37-19, .661) among all active players.[20]

On January 20, 2016, Belmonte was named the Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year for 2015, the third consecutive season he has won this award. In addition to his two major tournament wins, Jason had nine other Top Five finishes, led the PBA Tour in earnings ($178,542) and was fourth in average (225.4). He became the first non-American player to win three consecutive POY honors, and the fourth PBA player overall to do so (joining Earl Anthony, Mark Roth and Walter Ray Williams, Jr.).[21]

2016[edit]

Belmonte made the five-player stepladder finals as the #3 seed for the 2016 PBA Fire Lake Tournament of Champions, seeking to join Jason Couch as the only players to win in this tournament in three consecutive seasons, but he was knocked off in the second match of the finals by Tom Daugherty. His bid for an unprecedented fourth USBC Masters title the following week also fell short, as he made the Round of 8 but was defeated by Wes Malott in the winner's bracket and Martin Larsen in the loser's bracket, keeping him out of the TV finals.

On February 15, 2016, Belmonte was retroactively awarded a major title for his 2011 PBA Elite Players Championship victory. After the tournament returned to major status in the 2016 season, the PBA voted to award additional major titles to the winners of the three previous Players Championship events (2011, 2013, 2015), stating the tournament "is a members-only event, and includes all of the elements of a major." This gives Belmonte six majors among his 12 PBA Tour titles.[22]

2017[edit]

On February 12, 2017, Belmonte won his 13th PBA title and seventh major in the PBA Players Championship held in Columbus, Ohio. Having qualified as the #1 seed, he defeated #2 seed Anthony Simonsen in his lone TV finals match.[23] On 26 February, as the no.1 seed, he defeated Micheal Tang to get his 14th PBA title, fourth USBC Masters title, and his eighth major title (T-3rd all time). Belmonte is the only bowler to ever win four USBC Masters titles.[24] As one of the top eight money leaders from the start of the 2015 season through the 2017 USBC Masters, Belmonte was invited to participate in the inaugural Main Event PBA Tour Finals in May, 2017. Starting as the #1 seed, Jason finished runner-up to E. J. Tackett.[25] Belmonte won his 15th PBA Tour title on August 27, 2017 at the PBA International-WBT Storm Lucky Larsen Masters, held in Malmö, Sweden.[26]

World Series of Bowling[edit]

Wins (2)[edit]

Year Championship Final score Runner-up Earnings ($)
2011 Chameleon Championship 268-191 United States Sean Rash 15,000
2011 Shark Championship 246-213 United States Chris Barnes 15,000

Results timeline[edit]

Results not in chronological order.

Tournament 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Cheetah Championship 60 61 87 37 23 35 13 63 44 4
Viper Championship 8 115 75 25 4 5 112 Not Held
Chameleon Championship 12 6 1 2 12 21 47 66 13
Scorpion Championship 29 2 3 20 3 29 14 76 11 2
Shark Championship 7 3 1 Not Held 67 26
  Win
  Top 10
  Did not play

"T" = Tied for a place

Personal[edit]

Belmonte is married to Kimberly Shapter, and together they have three children, daughter Aria, born in December 2009, son Hugo, born in April 2012,[1] and daughter Sylvie, born January 2016.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Jason Belmonte: player profile". Professional Bowlers Association. 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Hall, Lex (6 February 2009). "Aussie bowler Jason Belmonte is still using techniques he learned when he was a toddler". The Australian. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Belmonte Defeats Rash for 2010 Korea Cup Victory". United States: Professional Bowlers Association. 17 September 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Williams comes from behind to win men's title at Kegel/USBC World Ranking Masters". Bowling Digital. 7 May 2007. Retrieved 7 January 2012. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Schneider, Jerry (28 March 2010). "Amateur Brian Ziesig Defeats Jason Belmonte to Win PBA GEICO Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship". Professional Bowlers Association. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  6. ^ Vint, Bill (4 March 2012). "Barnes Bowls 300 One Game Too Early; Belmonte Wins GEICO Shark Open for Second World Series Title". Professional Bowlers Association. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  7. ^ Vint, Bill (8 April 2012). "Australia's Belmonte Wins Third 2011-12 Title in Pepsi PBA Elite Players Championship". Professional Bowlers Association. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  8. ^ Vint, Bill (15 January 2012). "Finland's Osku Palermaa Becomes First International Player to Win PBA World Championship, First Two-Hander to Win PBA Major Title". Professional Bowlers Association. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  9. ^ Vint, Bill. "Sean Rash Wins Closest PBA Player of the Year Contest in Years; Belmonte Second, Fagan Third." www.pba.com, 28 May 2012. [1]
  10. ^ Vint, Bill. "Belmonte Rallies to Defeat Rash for AMF Australian Masters Title." Article at www.pba.com on 27 October 2012. [2]
  11. ^ Australia's Jason Belmonte Wins First Major, Tops Wes Malott in USBC Masters Title Match, pba.com on 24 Feb. 2013.
  12. ^ Perfect Finish Helps Jason Belmonte Win Lucas Oil PBA Bear Open for Seventh Career Title Vint, Bill at pba.com on 25 June 2013.
  13. ^ Malott, Johnson Capture Lipton Bowling's U.S. Open Titles Jerry Schneider at pba.com on 27 July 2013.
  14. ^ Australia's Jason Belmonte Named 2012–13 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year Schneider, Jerry at pba.com on 17 January 2014.
  15. ^ Australia's Jason Belmonte Strikes on Final Shot to Win Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions, 219–218 Vint, Bill at pba.com on 26 January 2014.
  16. ^ Jason Belmonte Becomes First Player in Nearly 50 Years to Successfully Defend USBC Masters Title Schneider, Jerry at pba.com on 23 February 2014.
  17. ^ Vint, Bill (January 26, 2015). "Australia's Jason Belmonte Wins Second Consecutive Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year Award". pba.com. Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
  18. ^ Schneider, Jerry (February 8, 2015). "Belmonte Becomes First to Win Three Consecutive USBC Masters Titles". pba.com. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  19. ^ Vint, Bill (February 15, 2015). "Belmonte Repeats as Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions Winner; Rash Rolls Historic 300 Game". pba.com. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  20. ^ Vint, Bill (May 28, 2015). "Next Up on CBS Sports Network: Hall of Famer Norm Duke Leads Field into PBA Bear Open Finals". pba.com. Retrieved June 1, 2015. 
  21. ^ Schneider, Jerry (January 20, 2016). "Belmonte Becomes Fourth to Win Three Consecutive Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year Honors". pba.com. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 
  22. ^ Vint, Bill (February 15, 2016). "Barbasol PBA Players Championship Returns to Major Title Status; Belmonte, Norton, Bohn Earn Retroactive Majors". PBA.com. Retrieved February 16, 2016. 
  23. ^ Schneider, Jerry (February 12, 2017). "Belmonte Wins Barbasol PBA Players Championship for Seventh Major Title". pba.com. Retrieved February 13, 2017. 
  24. ^ Schneider, Jerry (February 26, 2017). "Australia's Jason Belmonte Dominates USBC Masters, Wins Record Fourth Title, Eighth Career PBA Major". pba.com. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  25. ^ Vint, Bill (June 27, 2017). "Indiana's EJ Tackett Wins Inaugural Main Event PBA Tour Finals for Third 2017 Title". Retrieved July 5, 2017. 
  26. ^ Vint, Bill (August 27, 2017). "Jason Belmonte Wins PBA-WBT "Storm Lucky Larsen Masters" in Sweden for 15th Career Title". Retrieved August 29, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
United States Walter Ray Williams, Jr.
Best Bowler ESPY Award
2011
Succeeded by
United States Sean Rash
Preceded by
United States Sean Rash
PBA Player of the Year
2013–15
Succeeded by
United States E. J. Tackett