Denny's World Championship
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Denny's World Championship

The PBA World Championship is one of five major PBA (Professional Bowlers Association) bowling events. Prior to 2002, the tournament was called the PBA National Championship. The PBA National Championship was first contested on November 28, 1960, then called the First Annual National Championship; the winner was PBA Hall of Famer Don Carter. Tournament champions currently win the Earl Anthony Trophy, named in honor of the late PBA legend who won this title a record six times (1973-75 and 1981-83).[1] The World Championship has occasionally offered a $100,000 top prize, and as much as $150,000 in 2020.


The National Championship and World Championship have been contested over the years using a variety of formats. Currently, the PBA World Championship format is different from normal PBA Tour events. Since the 2009-10 season, the initial qualifying scores for the World Championship have come from other stand-alone tournaments at the PBA World Series of Bowling, which celebrated its 11th anniversary in 2020. Thus, the current tournament is open to any PBA member who also enters the World Series of Bowling.

For the 2009-10 season, the PBA World Championship was part of the World Series of Bowling held in Allen Park, Michigan, and was contested in a split format. The qualifying rounds of the tournament were contested August 31 - September 4, with the televised finals being broadcast live on ESPN December 13, 2009.[2] The PBA's second World Series of Bowling in 2010 was contested in Las Vegas, Nevada, and was again used as qualifying for the 2010-11 PBA World Championship. This time, the 60-game qualifying scores for the five "animal pattern" championships held at the World Series were used to determine the 8-bowler TV field for the PBA World Championship finals. The World Championship finals were televised live over three consecutive days (January 14-16, 2011), a PBA first.[3]

Currently (as of the 2019 WSOB X), combined scores from the 30 games of qualifying (10 games each) on the Cheetah 33, Chameleon 39 and Scorpion 42 oil patterns determine the top 45 for the cashers round of the PBA World Championship. These 45 players then bowl ten more games (two five-game blocks) on the Earl Anthony 43 oil pattern, which is named after the six-time winner of this event. The cashers field is subsequently cut to 16 players for two eight-game, roundrobin match play rounds. Total pinfall from all 56 qualifying games, including 30 bonus pins for head-to-head match play wins, determines the five players that advance to the televised finals.[4]

World Champions

2020 event

A five-player stepladder format was used in the 2020 PBA World Championship finals, contested March 15 at the South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, Nevada. The tournament had 120 entries and a total prize fund of $484,350. One-third of the field (40 players) cashed, with the champion earning $150,000.[5]

Number 1 seed and two-time defending champion Jason Belmonte successfully defended his title, defeating Anthony Simonsen 213-190 in the final match for his 24th PBA title, 3rd consecutive PBA World Championship title and record-extending 13th career major overall.[6]

  Match #1     Match #2     Match #3     Championship Match
    1 Jason Belmonte 213
      2 E. J. Tackett 177     3 Anthony Simonsen 190
      3 Anthony Simonsen 224     3 Anthony Simonsen 215  
  4 François Lavoie 259     4 François Lavoie 204  
  5 Chris Via 258  
  • Prize Pool:
1. Jason Belmonte (Orange, New South Wales, Australia) - $150,000
2. Anthony Simonsen (Little Elm, Texas) - $70,000
3. EJ Tackett (Bluffton, Indiana) - $40,000
4. François Lavoie (Quebec City, Quebec, Canada) - $30,000
5. Chris Via (Springfield, Ohio) - $20,000

Past winners

Season Winner Runner-up Championship match score
1960 Don Carter Ronnie Gaudern 237.17-227.24
1961 Dave Soutar Morrie Oppenheim 212.02-208.19
1962 Carmen Salvino Don Carter 193.29-193.10
1963 Billy Hardwick Ray Bluth 13541-13288
1964 Bob Strampe Ray Bluth 13979-13721
1965 Dave Davis Jerry McCoy 681-502
1966 Wayne Zahn Nelson Burton Jr. 14006-13869
1967 Dave Davis Pete Tountas 216-191
1968 Wayne Zahn Nelson Burton Jr. 14182-13741
1969 Mike McGrath Bill Allen 13670-13605
1970 Mike McGrath Dave Davis 226-222
1971 Mike Limongello Dave Davis 207-202
1972 Johnny Guenther Dick Ritger 12986-12889
1973 Earl Anthony Sam Flanagan 212-189
1974 Earl Anthony Mark Roth 218-188
1975 Earl Anthony Jim Frazier 245-180
1976 Paul Colwell Dave Davis 191-191 (49-48 in two frame roll-off)
1977 Tommy Hudson Jay Robinson 206-200
1978 Warren Nelson Joseph Groskind 219-199
1979 Mike Aulby Earl Anthony 245-217
1980 Johnny Petraglia Gary Dickinson 235-223
1981 Earl Anthony Ernie Schlegel 242-237
1982 Earl Anthony Charlie Tapp 233-191
1983 Earl Anthony Mike Durbin 210-183
1984 Bob Chamberlain Dan Eberl 219-191
1985 Mike Aulby Steve Cook 253-211
1986 Tom Crites Mike Aulby 190-184
1987 Randy Pedersen Amleto Monacelli 233-222
1988 Brian Voss Todd Thompson 246-185
1989 Pete Weber Dave Ferraro 221-216
1990 Jim Pencak Chris Warren 223-214
1991 Mike Miller Norm Duke 218-214
1992 Eric Forkel Bob Vespi 217-133
1993 Ron Palombi Jr. Eugene McCune 237-224
1994 Dave Traber Dale Traber 196-187
1995 Scott Alexander Wayne Webb 246-210
1996 Butch Soper Walter Ray Williams Jr. 226-210
1997 Rick Steelsmith Brian Voss 218-190
1998 Pete Weber David Ozio 277-236
1999 Tim Criss Dave Arnold 238-161
2000 Norm Duke Jason Couch 214-198
2001 Walter Ray Williams Jr. Jeff Lizzi 258-204
2001-02 Doug Kent Lonnie Waliczek 215-160
2002-03 Walter Ray Williams Jr. Brian Kretzer 226-204
2003-04 Tom Baker Mika Koivuniemi 246-239
2004-05 Patrick Allen Chris Loschetter 235-210
2005-06 Walter Ray Williams Jr. Pete Weber 236-213
2006-07 Doug Kent Chris Barnes 237-216
2007-08 Norm Duke Ryan Shafer 202-165
2008-09 Norm Duke Chris Barnes 259-189
2009-10 Tom Smallwood Wes Malott 244-228
2010-11 Chris Barnes Bill O'Neill 267-237
2011-12 Osku Palermaa Ryan Shafer 203-177
2012-13+ Parker Bohn III Jason Belmonte 254-227
2012-13+ Dominic Barrett Sean Rash 238-235
2014 Mike Fagan Wes Malott 252-212
2015 Gary Faulkner Jr. E. J. Tackett 216-178
2016 E. J. Tackett Tom Smallwood 246-180
2017 Jason Belmonte Jesper Svensson 238-225
2018 Tournament not held in 2018[7]
2019 Jason Belmonte Jakob Butturff 236-227
2020 Jason Belmonte Anthony Simonsen 213-190

+ Due to the 2012-13 "Super Season" running from November 2012 to December 2013, there were two PBA World Championship events: one in November 2012 and one in November 2013.


  1. ^ Schneider, Jerry (January 11, 2015). "Mike Fagan Wins PBA World Championship for Fifth Tour Title and Second Major". Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ "FAQs for PBA World Series of Bowling." Article at Archived 2009-04-02 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Vint, Bill. "O'Neill Wins Top Berth for PBA World Championship." Article at on October 29, 2010. [1]
  4. ^ Schneider, Jerry. "Belmonte Averages 239 to Surge Into PBA Scorpion Championship and PBA World Championship Leads in WSOB X". Retrieved .
  5. ^ "Tournament Details - PBA World Championship". Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ Schneider, Jerry (15 March 2020). "Belmonte Beats Simonsen to Win Third Consecutive PBA World Championship Title". Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ Vint, Bill (May 9, 2018). "PBA's 10th Anniversary World Series of Bowling Returns to Its Detroit Roots in March 2019". Retrieved 2018.

External links

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