By Steve Samek
This afternoon the nominees for the ESPY awards came out. Amongst the category is one that may seem odd: Best bowler. Yes, bowling gets its own category up with best team and best male and female athletes. You Can vote here for all the categories. http://www.espn.com/espys/story/_/page/voting37/best-bowler.
The nominees for best of the lane are Jason Belmonte, Francois Lavoie and E.J Tackett. Belmonte and Tackett are due to square off on the lanes before that in fact as they compete at the Main Event PBA tour Finals Title match next Tuesday. https://www.pba.com/articles/Tackett-Belmonte-to-Meet-in-Main-Event-PBA-Tour-Finals-Title-Match
Belmonte is the Australian Two-handed bowler that has taken the tour by force sense his 2008 debut. He has won 14 career titles, including eight major tournament victories. His latest major victories are the 2017 Barbasol PBA Players Championship and USBC Masters. https://www.pba.com/bowlers/bowler/36058.
E.J Tackett is a rising young star. He joined the tour in 2012. Tackett won the 2012-2013 rookie of the year. He owns seven titles on tour, five standard and two majors. Tackett was your 2017 PBA Tournament of Champions winner. He has two titles for the 2017 season. https://www.pba.com/bowlers/bowler/39420.
Lavoie is very similar to Tackett in the fact that he’s new on tour. It’s only Lavoie’s second season in the PBA. Lavoie hasn’t wasted any time as he has three titles including the U.S open win in 2016 for his first major title. Lavoie was voted the 2016 rookie of the year in the PBA and the PBA’s south region. Lavoie won a singular title this season so far. https://www.pba.com/bowlers/bowler/44364.
This race is very close for the award. All of them have won one, or two titles. Tackett and Belmonte each own a major win this season. With both majors counting the same it really is too close to call. I do think that if I were voting I would select the person that wins head to head in next week’s match. Especially with this tournament being the best eight tour players in total money earned. Making it a tough out to win this tournament, with no slackers entering. https://www.pba.com/articles/Tackett-Belmonte-to-Meet-in-Main-Event-PBA-Tour-Finals-Title-Match. The best way to be the best is too beat the best and the cliché rings true here. Belmonte/Tackett win gets the ESPY.