Tommy Jones Wins 19th PBA Tour Title in Coldwater’s BowlerStore.com Classic

Despite Two Gutter Balls, Tommy Jones Wins 19th PBA Tour Title in Coldwater’s BowlerStore.com Classic

COLDWATER, Ohio – For Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, South Carolina, the title match in the PBA BowlerStore.com Classic presented by Moxy’s Xtra Pair at Pla-Mor Lanes Friday was an all or nothing affair.

Jones defeated top qualifier Sean Rash of Montgomery, Illinois, 215-179, bowling a game that featured eight strikes on his first 10 shots – and gutter balls on the other two attempts. Playing a severe angle that called for throwing the ball to the edge of the gutter in order to strike, Jones twice threw the ball a bit too far.

“I believe I’m the first one to win a title with two gutter balls because I don’t think anyone else was dumb enough to do it a second time,” Jones said. “There’s nothing you can do about it; you just move on to your next shot.”

Jones.Tommy_2019 PBA BowlerStore.com Classic_with from left Rick  and Patty Hartings_Carol and Linus Hartings_Lori and Doug Davidson for Bowlerstore

Photo caption: 2019 PBA BowlerStore.com Classic winner Tommy Jones with (from left) Rick and Patty Hartings_Carol and Linus Hartings_Lori and Doug Davidson for BowlerStore.com

After his first misfire, Jones converted his spare. On the second, he got nine pins for an open frame, but the two errant shots cost him enough pins that Rash still had an outside chance to win – despite leaving a 7-10 split on a light pocket hit on his side of the match.

“Tommy bowled a good game. I bowled a good game, but I left a 7-10,” Rash said, adding, “Thanks Coldwater” in a good-natured jab at the host center’s reputation for being a demanding scoring environment.

“Any time you have a chance to win, it’s special,” Rash said, “but at the end of the day there’s only one winner. I put myself in a position to win. That’s all you can ask for. Hats off to Tommy.”

In appraising his overall performance in winning his 19th career PBA Tour title, Jones said, “I like to throw it hard and I got to throw it hard this week. We all know Coldwater is a tough place to score, so I think my mindset was right to come in here and throw quality shots.”

Jones, a 40-year-old 20-year PBA Tour veteran, has now made it into the championship round at least once in 17 of the past 18 years.

In the first match of the four-man stepladder finals, defending Coldwater champion Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Arizona, and Dick Allen of Lancaster, South Carolina, both had their share of struggles to find the strike pocket, but Butturff found it in time, striking on his last four shots to pull out a 205-200 victory.

In the semifinal match, Butturff quickly lost his strike touch, failing to throw consecutive strikes the entire game while Jones threw a double in the fifth and sixth frames, and locked up a 231-184 victory with a string of four strikes starting in the eighth frame.

The FloBowling PBA Summer Tour will complete its nine-event schedule of competition points events with the three-event FloBowling PBA Summer Swing presented by the Brands of Ebonite International next Monday through Saturday at Parkside Lanes in Aurora, Illinois. The PBA Wolf, Bear and Illinois Opens, all of which will be live streamed from start to finish on FloBowling, will be the last three events for players to earn points toward the USBC Cup, FloBowling ATX Invite in September and inaugural PBA China Tiger Cup in Shanghai in November. For subscription information, visit FloBowling.com.

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