As of Wednesday, Apr. 18, the PBA Tour season has concluded and all of the bowlers are awaiting to here who will win the PBA Player of the Year award. There was not a dominant bowler on the PBA Tour this season, so there are several bowlers that can win the award. Based on the entire PBA season, I believe that Jason Belmonte, Sean Rash and Mike Fagan are the only four bowlers in contention for the award.
Jason Belmonte probably had the most consistent season of any on the PBA Tour this year. Belmonte was able to win three tournaments this season, which tied for the lead with Norm Duke. Belmonte was also able to make the final round of eight tournaments this season, which was more than any other bowler on the tour this season. The only thing that can keep Belmonte form winning the award is his lack of a major tournament title. While Belmonte did not win any of the major tournaments, he had a solid finish in all of them. Belmonte's worst finish at a major tournament was 9th place at the USBC masters, and he was able to finish in the top five in the other three major tournaments.
Sean Rash was only able to the PBA Tournament of Champions, but he made the final round of six other tournaments. Rash was also able to lead the PBA Tour in points and average. If the PBA Player of the Year award was still determined by the season's point list, then Rash would win the award but that is no longer the case. The award is determined by a vote, and I believe that winning only one title will keep Rash from winning the award.
Mike Fagan is the other bowler with a shot at the PBA Player of the Year award. Fagan was able to win a major tournament at the USBC Masters as one of his two titles. He was also able to win a title on the PBA International Tour. While this is not part of the PBA Tour season, the voters may take it into account. While Fagan had his best season of his career, I think he is a long shot to win the award.
I believe that the PBA Player of the Year award will go to either Jason Belmonte or Sean Rash. They both had very similar seasons, but I think Belmonte has the edge because of his three titles. I just do not see how you can be the best bowler on the PBA Tour if you only win one tournament, even if it was a major. Jason Belmonte had a great season, and should be rewarded with the award. If Belmonte is able to win the PBA Player of the Year award, he will become the first international player to ever win the award.
Jake has been an avid bowler since the age of 8, and regularly follows the PBA all year-round.
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