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Saginaw bowler Tom Smallwood claimed his third PBA title and second PBA major with his win Sunday.

Nothing came easy, but when the PBA dust cleared Saginaw's Tom Smallwood was able to claim his second major PBA championship.

Smallwood won four consecutive stepladder finals matches, including the championship match against Jason Belmonte to win the PBA Players Championship Sunday at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl in Columbus, Ohio.

Smallwood, who won the 2013 PBA Scorpion Championship, stood 93rd after the first round before working his way into the No. 5 qualifying position and a spot in Sunday's stepladder finals.

He won the first three stepladder finals, then topped Belmonte, the defending champion from Australia, 259-239. Belmonte, who was the No. 1 qualifier, attempted to claim a record-tying 10th major and 17th career tour title.

Smallwood's other major title came in the 2009 PBA World Championship.

"That's one of the assets of my game to grind through matches and never quit," Smallwood said in a PBA press release. "I'm good with the pressure and if I'm not striking a lot I can hang in there to stay in contention. This tournament was a great example of that."

Smallwood's stepladder trek began with a 237-206 win over Patrick Girard from Canada and then a 236-235 win over Kris Prather from Illinois. He added another one-pin win, 225-224, over Marshall Kent of Washington after Smallwood picked up a spare in the 10th frame and then a nine on his final ball.

By Hugh Bernreuter

​Saginaw News