Aussie bowling star Jason Belmonte celebrates 20th win in Allen Park

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Jason Belmonte takes a selfie with fans in Allen Park on Tuesday night.

The two-handed bowler needed only one hand to hoist the trophy.

Australian Jason Belmonte, who is widely considered the Tiger Woods of professional bowling, rolled his way to his 20th PBA Tour win in the Chameleon Championship on Tuesday night at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park.

One of the first bowling stars to use a two-handed style of throwing, Belmonte beat Andres Gomez, 236-194, in the final match.

In his semifinal, Belmonte beat AJ Chapman, 200-197.

In winning, Belmonte became the 15th man to enter the 20-victory club.

"Twenty! That's a crazy big number I never thought I'd get to," Belmonte said on TV afterward. "Now that I'm here, I'm extremely happy and I'm gonna celebrate tonight.

"And then get ready for the next tournament tomorrow.

"So I won't be celebrating too much."

For the win, Belmonte, 35, took home $20,000, adding to his career earnings, which have topped $1.3 million.

The Chameleon Championship was the second of four individual PBA tournaments this week in Allen Park, which is hosting the World Series of Bowling X. Dick Allen of Lexington, S.C., won the Cheetah Championship on Monday, also cashing $20,000.

The Scorpion Championship is set for Wednesday night — BJ Moore, Kris Prather, Kyle Troup and Bill O'Neil, who bowled at Saginaw Valley State — are in the final four. The World Championship, a major, is Thursday. Both finals are at 8, on Fox Sports 1.

(Chameleon, Cheetah and Scorpion are names of lane oiling patterns.)

Belmonte, who has won four of the last six PBA player of the year titles — Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich., and Oakland University won the honors in 2018 — already is the top qualifier for Thursday's stepladder finals, as he continues his quest for an 11th major championship. His 10 are tied for the most-ever.

Adding to the intrigue, a $1-million bonus is up for grabs if either finalist rolls a 300 in the World Championship title match. Belmonte has 23 career 300 games.

The final event of the week in Allen Park is a team showcase, the United States against The World. That will air on tape-delay at 8 Friday, also on FS1.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984