LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., completed the most impressive five-day run in the three-year history of the Professional Bowlers Association’s World Series of Bowling Wednesday, earning the top qualifying position for the PBA World Championship and earning an unprecedented fifth consecutive television finals berth.
Rash, a 29-year-old four-time PBA Tour champion, averaged 234.03 over 40 games bowled on five different lane conditioning patterns at South Point Bowling Center to finish with 9,361 pins and earn a $5,000 bonus as top qualifier by 296 pins over Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich.
“I’ve got my foot down and I’m going full force,” Rash said. “There are so many great players here, you can’t let up. If you think positive, positive things will happen. You need to avoid the negativity. With this (40-game) format, you have to have that mindset.”
Rash, who qualified for the Bayer Viper, Chameleon, Scorpion and GEICO Shark Open finals the previous four days, is the first player to reach more than three television finals in a World Series. He will be among the 16 players who now advance to a series of four divisional elimination rounds in determining the PBA World Championship winner.
In each divisional final, named in honor of past PBA World Champions Don Carter, Billy Hardwick, Johnny Petraglia and Mike Aulby, four players will bowl one game with the lowest-scoring player eliminated. The three surviving players will bowl a second game, again eliminating the low score. The two survivors will then bowl a game to decide who advances to the PBA World Championship finals which will follow the same format.
All five PBA World Championship rounds will be contested on Saturday, Nov. 19, in a special arena lanes setup at South Point, starting at 10:30 a.m. PT. The telecasts will air on ESPN on five consecutive Sundays except Christmas Day (Dec. 11, 18, Jan. 1, 8 and 15) at 1 p.m. ET.
First prize in the 2011 PBA World Championship is $50,000.
The World Series of Bowling will take a break Thursday. Competition resumes Friday with the All Region South Point Open and Carmen Salvino Classic Tour Qualifying Round, followed by a special PBA West Region Member/Non-Member Doubles event Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Competition for PBA Tour players resumes Monday with Carmen Salvino Classic qualifying rounds.
All preliminary rounds of World Series competition are being webcast live on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel. To subscribe, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame logo.
PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
South Point Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Nov. 9
Final Qualifying Standings (after 40 games; top 16 advance to ESPN finals)
1, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 9,361.
2, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 9,065.
3, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 9,047.
4, Stuart Williams, England, 9,023.
5, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 8,974.
6, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 8,954.
7, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 8,921.
8, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 8,906.
9, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 8,874.
10, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 8,861.
11, Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz., 8,849.
12, Dom Barrett, England, 8,843.
13, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 8,838.
14 (tie), Mike Fagan, Dallas, and Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 8,831.
16, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 8,825.
DID NOT ADVANCE (after 40 games)
17, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla., 8,794, $3,500.
18, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 8,780, $3,300.
19, Tyler Jensen, Ft. Worth, Texas, 8,747, $3,100.
20, Scott Norton, Costa Mesa, Calif., 8,736, $3,000.
21, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 8,723, $2,950.
22, Patrick Allen, Baltimore, 8,712, $2,900.
23, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 8,706, $2,850.
24, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 8,701, $2,800.
25, Dan MacLelland, Canada, 8,700, $2,750.
26, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 8,685, $2,700.
27, Dave Wodka, Henderson, Nev., 8,666, $2,650.
28, Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, 8,665, $2,600.
29, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 8,662, $2,550.
30, Patrick Girard, Canada, 8,659, $2,500.
31, Stevie Weber, Chalmette, La., 8,644, $2,450.
32, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 8,614, $2,400.
33, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 8,597, $2,200.
34, Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga., 8,596, $2,150.
35, Mike DeVaney, Murrieta, Calif., 8,594, $2,100.
36, Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 8,593, $2,080.
37, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 8,586, $2,060.
38, Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, 8,584, $2,040.
39, Kurt Pilon, Warren, Mich., 8,570, $2,020.
40, Mitch Beasley, Clarksville, Tenn., 8,562, $2,000.
41, Kimmo Lehtonen, Finland, 8,560, $1,980.
42, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 8,557, $1,960.
43, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 8,556, $1,940.
44, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 8,552, $1,920.
45, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 8,550, $1,900.
46 (tie), Matthew O'Grady, South Amboy, N.J., and Lee Vanderhoef, Greenville, S.C., 8,535, $1,870.
48, Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 8,525, $1,850.
49, Hyun Bum Kim, South Korea, 8,512, $1,840.
50, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 8,501, $1,830.
51, David Haynes, Las Vegas, 8,481, $1,820.
52, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 8,470, $1,810.
53, Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 8,436, $1,800.
PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS PAIRINGS
Don Carter Division (Saturday, Nov. 19, 10:30 a.m. PT; ESPN air date Sunday, Dec. 11, 1 p.m. ET; winner advances to World Championship finals)
Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill.; Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo.; Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan.
Billy Hardwick Division (Saturday, Nov. 19, 12:30 p.m. PT; ESPN air date Sunday, Dec. 18, 1 p.m. ET; winner advances to World Championship finals)
Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich.; Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela; Andres Gomez, Colombia; Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y.
Johnny Petraglia Division (Saturday, Nov. 19, 3:30 p.m. PT; ESPN air date Sunday, Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET; winner advances to World Championship finals)
Jason Belmonte, Australia; Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio; Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz.; Mike Fagan, Dallas.
Mike Aulby Division (Saturday, Nov. 19, 5:30 a.m. PT; ESPN air date Sunday, Jan. 8, 1 p.m. ET; winner advances to World Championship finals)
Stuart Williams, England; Osku Palermaa, Finland; Dom Barrett, England; Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y.
PBA World Championship Finals (Saturday, Nov. 19, 8:30 a.m. PT; ESPN air date Sunday, Jan. 15, 1 p.m. ET)
Carter, Hardwick, Petraglia and Aulby Division winners