Michael Fagan is top qualifier for PBA Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic ESPN Finals

    03/28/09

    2008-09 PBA Tour #19

    Two-hander Jason Belmonte to make PBA Tour TV Finals debut

    200809PBA19MichaelFagan.jpgLooking for his first Lumber Liquidators Professional Bowlers Association Tour singles title, Michael Fagan (pictured left) of Patchogue, N.Y., earned the No. 1 qualifying position for Sunday's live ESPN-televised stepladder finals of the Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic at AMF Babylon Lanes.

    As a result of earning the No. 2 qualifying position, Australian two-handed bowling sensation Jason Belmonte will make his PBA Tour television debut in Sunday's finals scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern on ESPN. (Read more about the two-handed style here)

    After Friday's Round of 16, the 28-year-old Fagan, who won his second title on the European Bowling Tour at the Brunswick Euro Challenge in France two weeks ago, had a 7,624 overall pinfall and a 12-6 match play record, 53 pins ahead of Belmonte who finished with a 7,571 pinfall and field-best 14-4 record. Belmonte had the tournament lead going into the final position round match against Fagan but lost the match to Fagan, 212-185.

    "I knew I was going have to do something special to compete with Jason but I was able to pull it out in the position round," Fagan said. "I had the support of a lot of friends and family here tonight and was happy to give them a good show."

    2009EBT04JasonBelmonte3.jpgBelmonte (right), who has won several major international titles and is in his first year on the PBA Tour, has garnered much media attention this season and will make an appearance with PBA Player of the Year contender Wes Malott Saturday morning from 7-10 a.m. Eastern on Fox & Friends, the top-rated cable morning show on the Fox News Network.

    "It's nice to have the media attention and pressure finally turn into a reward," said the 25 year-old Belmonte, whose hometown is Orange, Australia. "For America to see me bowl live has been my goal. I will let them their own assessment of what I can do.

    "The hardest thing about the stepladder will be sitting there watching the other guys get a feel for the lanes," Belmonte added.

    Fagan's top finishes this year have been second and fourth place which both came in February.

    Belmonte had 11th, 12th and 15th place finishes in February and posted a 10th place finish in the PBA World Championship which opened the season last October.

    Rounding out the stepladder field will be No. 3 qualifier, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa.; No. 4 qualifier, Ritchie Allen, Columbia, S.C., and No. 5 qualifier, Robert Smith of Columbus, Ohio.


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    Round of 16 Results


    Players with position, hometown and 32-game total. The top 5 advance to the stepladder finals.

     

     

    Round of 32 Results


    Players with position, hometown and 23-game total. The top 16 advance to the Round of 16.