Sean Rash became just the second bowler in Denny’s PBA Tour history to win a title in his first three TV appearances, defeating Brian Himmler, 262-190, to win the 2007 Earl Anthony Medford Classic Sunday at Lava Lanes.
The 24-year-old won his first career title last season, becoming the first bowler in history to go from the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round to the title. He won his second title earlier this season in the Beltway Classic.
Rash nearly made more history, as he started with the title match with eight consecutive strikes and looked like he might become the 18th bowler in history to bowl a televised 300 game. He opened in the 9th frame to end the string, but cruised to improve to 6-0 on TV in his short career.
“This one means a lot. Earl Anthony and Dick Weber were two of the greatest bowlers of all time, and to win the tournament named after Earl means a lot,” said Rash (Wichita, Kan.). “Hopefully us young guns can win as many times as they did. I’d like to win the Dick Weber event next week as well.”
Last season’s PBA Rookie of the Year runner-up joined Hugh Miller as the only other bowler to win his first three TV appearances. Miller won titles in his first four TV appearances.
Rash advanced to the title match with a 232-227 win over Patrick Healey Jr. Healey held the early lead after striking in five of the first six frames, while Rash had four consecutive spares in frames 4-7, including a crucial 4-9 split conversion in the 5th. Healey had back-to-back nine-spares to let Rash back in the match, and Rash took advantage with a double in the 8th and 9th. Healey still could have shut Rash out with a double in the 10th, but he had another nine-spare and Rash struck with his first ball in the 10th to win.
In the first semifinal, Himmler defeated the No. 1 bowler in the PBA World Point Rankings Wes Malott, 209-183. Malott had back-to-back opens in the 4th and 5th and struck just twice the rest of the match. Himmler’s double in the 8th and 9th all but wrapped up the match.
Rash earned $25,000, while Himmler (Cincinnati) took home $13,000 for second. Malott (Argyle, Texas) earned $6,500 for third and Healey (Denton, Texas) earned $5,500 for fourth.
Next week the Denny’s PBA Tour heads to Fountain Valley, Calif., for the 2007 Dick Weber Open, Jan. 16-21 at Fountain Bowl. The live ESPN televised stepladder finals take place Sunday, Jan. 21 at 10 a.m. PST. Denny’s PBA Tour
2007 Earl Anthony Medford Classic
Sunday, Jan. 14
|1.||Sean Rash, Wichita, Kan.||494 (2 games)||$25,000|
|2.||Brian Himmler, Cincinnati||399 (2 games)||$13,000|
|3.||Wes Malott, Argyle, Texas||183 (1 game)||$6,500|
|4.||Patrick Healey Jr., Denton, Texas||227 (1 game)||$5,500|
SCORES – In the first match, Himmler def. Malott, 209-183; in the second match, Rash defeated Healey, 232-227; and in the final, Rash def. Himmler, 262-190.
This is Rash’s third career Denny’s PBA Tour title.