The best of the best among the PBA will again return to Fairlawn and AMF Riviera Lanes for the Tournament of Champions tournament Monday through Feb. 10.
The first PBA major of the 2019 tour season is also the lone tournament to feature solely past title winners, thus garnering a loaded field. AMF Riviera Lanes hosted the Tournament of Champions from 1966 to 1994. After a lengthy absence, the tournament returned to Fairlawn last year.
The 2019 Tournament of Champions features a field of 76 PBA champions. Three qualifying rounds will cut the tournament field to 24 by Thursday night, when match play begins. The field will then be sliced to the top five Friday night, leading to next Sunday’s stepladder finals, which will be televised live on Fox at 4:30 p.m.
This tournament will also be the first to feature a $1 million bonus if a player bowls a 300 game during the title match of the stepladder finals, something that’s only happened twice on the PBA Tour.
The field features the sport’s top names.
Jason Belmonte, a four-time PBA Player of the Year and an 18-time tour winner, is attempting to secure his 10th major title on tour, which would tie Earl Anthony and Pete Weber for the record. He’ll also have to go through Weber, a hall of famer who has been stuck on 10 major titles since 2013.
Walter Ray Williams Jr., a hall of famer and the all-time titles leader with 47, is attempting to become the third player to complete the PBA Grand Slam (U.S. Open, PBA World Championship, USBC Masters and the Tournament of Champions).
The field also boasts the 2018 Tournament of Champions defending champ Matt O’Grady, who one year ago won four consecutive matches in the stepladder finals to win it, and 85-year-old Carmen Salvino, who will compete in his 29th Tournament of Champions.
Those seeking tickets are being encouraged to contact AMF Riviera Lanes, 20 S. Miller Road, Fairlawn, at 330-836-7985.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.