In A Performance For The Ages, Kris Prather Takes Down The 2020 PBA Tournament Of Champions

Nobody saw it coming on Sunday afternoon but here we are anyways. Kris Prather emerges victorious over top seeded Bill O'Neil in what bowling enthusiasts are calling one of the great Major performances of the last 12-18 months. With the victory, Prather takes home $100,000 and some serious bragging rights: it's his 3rd national title. This time he bulldozed through a loaded field: Sean Rash, Jason Belmonte and Anthony Simonsen before squaring off against O'Neil in the finals. 

Needless to say, he earned the big smile: 

The Atmosphere Was Bumping

Credit where credit is due - Fairlawn, Ohio played phenomenal host to the TOC chaos. A lot of people had doubts that the Akron suburb and it's population of 7,437 would be enough space for excitement AND THEY WERE WRONG.

Thoughts & Prayers out to the Fairlawn Hilton. If the endless headboard banging wasn't enough this weekend, you know the continental breakfast looked like a murder scene come Sunday morning. 

All in preparation of the big weekend of action I'm sure. Let's get to some of the highlights:

AJ Chapman Goes For 300

What a rush for AJ coming into game 1 of the TOC. You know he really wanted this one to jump up the standings, but also for the respect a 300 brings you on the first day. I think maybe next time he takes some velocity off the 12th ball. Nerves can certainly get to you and I think this is a bigger learning lesson for AJ than anything else. 


Afro Fish Looked Awesome

Afro Fish is a fan favorite for a lot of reasons - the two handed bowling style certainly evokes a Common Man principle that I like. But also because he consistently brings the passion and enthusiasm I envy from professional athletes. You can't get all jacked up when you work in Corporate America and have HR to report to. But if you put me on the lanes with Afro Fish during the TOC, you're gonna get high octane energy that's illegal in most countries. Excuse me for secreting it naturally. 

Why do I love Afro Fish so much? One glance at his PBA profile does the trick:

Personal: Son of eight-time PBA Tour winner Guppy Troup…Manages a Wendy's restaurant when not bowling on Tour.

Pretty easy to fall in love with unlimited access to spicy chicken sandwiches. 

Dom Barret Represented England Well

There were 3 bowlers from England who made the trip to Ohio and Barret probably showed the strongest. The Brunswick sponsored athlete had high hopes to make it to the final 5 but was unfortunately thwarted late on Day 2. That's the harsh reality when you want to roll with the big boys. 


No Lefties! 

How about this. No lefty bowlers in the whole field this year at the TOC. Maybe not a huge surprise if you follow the circuit closely, but still wild to read it out like that. Makes you wonder if there's a big advantage to being a righty on the lines and vice versa? But there's also not a lot of lefty Quarterbacks and people widely assume that to be the most alpha position in sports. So maybe there's a crossover between being a big swinging dick and not being lefty. That's my logical conclusion. 

Up Next

The US Open starts February 16th in Lincoln, Nebraska. Prather should be getting a lot of looks but by no means is he the favorite. Christian Azcona should bounce back after a disappointing finish this weekend while I sneaky love AJ Johnson after going 279-300 in the final 3 rounds at TOC. 

Honestly though the whole field should be up for grabs. Nebraska has played home to some legendary tournaments over the years (1997 Mid-Amateur, 2003 7U Bumper Nationals, 2009 Cornhusker Round Robin, etc.) I don't think next week is going to be any different, especially if the crowd shows up like I expect. 

Stay tuned for more coverage as bowling completely takes over my life.