Australia’s world number one tenpin bowler Jason Belmonte has been voted the 2020 PBA (Professional Bowlers Association) Player of the Year.
Belmonte has gone back-to-back, winning the award in 2019 and the sixth of his glittering career. He now equals the late-great PBA hall of famer Earl Anthony with the second most player of the year awards in PBA history and is now just one behind hall of famer Walter Ray Williams Jr who holds the record with seven.
At 37-years old, Belmonte still has many years left on the PBA Tour and the goal now will be to surpass Walter Ray and add that record to his already record-breaking list of accomplishments. Although there are several talented young professional bowlers snapping at his heels, Belmonte is still easily the best player in the world, and it would be hard to bet against him.
It was a forgone conclusion that Belmonte would claim another player of the year gong after winning two major titles early in the season; the US Open in February and the PBA World Championship in March to extend his record number of major titles to 13.
In a COVID-19 disrupted season, Belmonte, from Orange, New South Wales, returned to the US after seven months for the 11th annual World Series of Bowling in October where he claimed the PBA Chameleon Championship – his 25th PBA Tour title.
He competed in 13 events in 2020, finished in the top five eight times, qualified for the TV finals in all four majors and winning three tour titles.
“What an honour to be named PBA Player of the Year award for the 6th time”, Belmonte said in an Instagram post.
“Winning the US Open, the only major I hadn’t won at that point. Winning the World Championship in front of my family for the first time and winning the Chameleon Championship to have me reach a quarter century in PBA titles has helped this year be one of the most memorable seasons of my career.
“Thank you to the PBA membership and it’s writers for voting for me! It truly is an honour to equal Earl Anthony as a 6-time winner of this award.
“To my family (Kimberly, Aria, Hugo and Sylvie) thank you for having my back, for motivating me and for always loving me while I jet set halfway around the world to do what I love”.
Belmonte begins his quest for a record-equaling seventh player of the year award when he returns to the US early next year for the start of the 2021 PBA season.