PORTLAND, Maine — Nine days after winning his first Professional Bowlers Association Tour title in Germany, Josh Blanchard of Gilbert, Arizona, made it back-to-back titles, winning the PBA’s Xtra Frame Maine Shootout at Bayside Bowl Tuesday with a 2-1 victory over Australia’s Jason Belmonte in the best-of-three-game title match.
The Maine Shootout, the first PBA Tour event held in Maine, was a best-of-three-game, single-elimination match play tournament.
Blanchard, fresh off his first career win in the Brunswick Euro Challenge, won five consecutive best-of-three-game matches, including a stunning Round of 64 decision over Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, on his way to the title.
In his first match, Malott won the first game, 270-202, but the 2011-12 PBA Rookie of the Year then rallied for consecutive 258-256 victories to begin his march to the title.
He then eliminated Greg Ostrander, Freehold, New Jersey, 2-0; Jason Sterner of Covington, Georgia, 2-0; Bryon Smith of Roseburg, Oregon, 2-0; and Osku Palermaa of Finland, 2-0, to reach the title match against the two-time reigning PBA Player of the Year where he won the first game, 243-180, lost the second, 204-234, and started with six strikes en route to a 249-211 in the deciding game.
“I just decided to stop trying to hook the ball,” Blanchard said in a news release. “I decided I just don’t have the ball rotation to hook the ball with these guys, so I went back to playing it straight and I think I’ll keep doing it for a while.”
For his victory, Blanchard earned $10,000 and denied Belmonte a third 2015 title.
The PBA Tour will resume competition May 9-17 in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Arizona ($10,000) def. Jason Belmonte, Australia ($6,000), 2-1 (243-180, 204-234, 249-211).
(Best of three games, losers earned $4,000)
Blanchard def. Osku Palermaa, Finland, 2-0 (255-247, 245-204).
Belmonte def. Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Michigan, 2-1 (191-214, 226-198, 220-168).
Round of 8
(Best of three games, losers earned $2,500)
Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Michigan, def. Dan MacLelland, Canada, 2-0 (214-209, 234-219).
Osku Palermaa, Finland, def. Dave Wodka, Beavercreek, Ohio, 2-1 (226-235, 242-225, 200-138).
Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Arizona, def. Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Oregon, 2-0 (257-201, 257-192).
Jason Belmonte, Australia, def. Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Florida, 2-0 (214-193, 257-201).
Round of 16
(Best of three games, losers earned $1,500)
Smallwood def. Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, New York, 2-0 (279-247, 207-191).
MacLelland def. Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 2-1 (237-258, 258-247, 195-177).
Palermaa def. Scott Moore, Lewiston, Maine, 2-0 (226-224, 212-191).
Wodka def. Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pennsylvania, 2-0 (259-222, 235-231).
Blanchard def. Jason Sterner, Covington, Georgia, 2-0 (211-183, 217-183).
Smith def. E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Indiana, 2-0 (221-181, 232-208).
Belmonte def. Eric Malone, Brewster, New York, 2-0 (191-171, 237-211).
Daugherty def. Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Florida, 2-0 (245-190, 249-218).