Reigning PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., came into the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IV as the highest averaging player on PBA “animal patterns” in three previous WSOB (224.54 for 162 games), more than two pins ahead of Chris Barnes, and he easily retained his No. 1 ranking in that category.
After another 32 games and 7,662 pins on the Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion patterns – a 239.44 average which earned him the No. 1 seed for the PBA World Championship match play finals – Rash improved his four-year WSOB animal pattern average to 226.99.
Some other WSOB IV notes:
● Through the four animal pattern events, Australia’s Jason Belmonte has taken the lead in “most World Series” television finals with 12 after qualifying for the Chameleon and Scorpion finals. Rash is second with 11 after qualifying for the Viper finals. Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., is third, qualifying for his eighth ESPN final in the Cheetah. All three have a chance to add to their totals if they can fill any of the five stepladder berths in the PBA World Championship.
● Speaking of Belmonte, Rash and O’Neill – they are the only three players who have qualified for at least one television final in all four World Series.
● For the five WSOB tournaments, 76 players in the 240-player field – 31.6 percent – cashed in at least one event. Tommy Jones, Dan MacLelland and Stuart Williams were the only players to get a check in all five.
THREE PLAYERS WILL MAKE ESPN TELEVISION DEBUTS
Veteran PBA Central Region competitor Jeff Roche of Dearborn, Mich.; fifth-year PBA Tour competitor Jason Sterner of McDonough, Ga., and Bahrain’s Fawaz Abdulla will make their ESPN television debuts in WSOB IV. Roche qualified No. 2 for the Alka Seltzer Plus Cold Cheetah Championship finals. Abdulla will be the first Middle East player to appear on national television in the U.S. as the No. 4 qualifier in the Chameleon Championship. Sterner is the No. 3 qualifier in the Bowlers Journal Scorpion Championship field.
Those three, along with Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio (Cheetah) and Tom Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla. (Scorpion), are trying for their first PBA Tour title.
HOW THE INTERNATIONAL FIELD HAS FARED IN WSOB IV
The field of 66 international players representing a record 17 countries (including the U.S.) acquitted themselves well during WSOB IV. Here’s how the best from each country finished in the animal pattern events:
● Australia: Jason Belmonte, qualified first for Chameleon finals.
● Bahrain: Fawaz Abdulla, qualified fourth for Chameleon finals.
● Canada: Dan MacLelland, sixth in Viper.
● Colombia: Andres Gomez, 12th in Scorpion.
● Costa Rica: Alejandro Reyna, 140th in Scorpion.
● Denmark: Mik Stampe, eighth in Chameleon.
● England: Dom Barrett, sixth in Scorpion.
● Finland: Osku Palermaa, qualified first in Scorpion.
● Germany: Manuel Mrosek, Germany, 157th in Scorpion.
● Iceland: Hafthor Hardarson, 80th in Cheetah.
● Korea: Hyun Bum Kim, 57th in Cheetah.
● Mexico: Julio Cesar Blancas, 37th in Cheetah.
● Phillipines: Paolo Joquico, 212th in Viper.
● Saudi Arabia: Ahmed Saad Alhaydan, 80th in Chameleon.
● Sweden: Johan Hellden, 18th in Cheetah.
● Venezuela: Amleto Monacelli, 49th in Viper
KULICK TOPS FOUR WOMEN IN WORLD SERIES
Four women were among the capacity field of 240 players who competed in WSOB IV, and PBA Tournament of Champions winner Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., had the best showing among them. Kulick finished PBA World Championship qualifying in 53rd place, averaging 221.13 for her 32 games. She also cashed in the Viper (21st) and missed cashing in the Chameleon by one pin, finishing 37th.
XTRA FRAME TO COVER PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH PLAY, PBA LEAGUE DRAFT
Upcoming on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, will be the final eight games of match play to determine the five finalists for the PBA World Championship, starting at 2 p.m. PT Thursday.
Friday’s Xtra Frame exclusive will feature the inaugural PBA League Draft, live at 10 a.m. PT. The eight PBA League Franchise Players who will draft teammates for the historic team competition (which begins in January in Detroit) will be, in draft order: Norm Duke, Pete Weber, Bill O’Neill, Jason Belmonte, Mike Fagan, Sean Rash, Chris Barnes and Osku Palermaa.
To subscribe to Xtra Frame, visit pba.com. Special one-day rates are available exclusively during the WSOB for $3.99. One-month subscriptions are offered for $7.99 and a full-year subscription is only $64.99.
THURSDAY IS DEADLINE FOR SILENT AUCTION TO BENEFIT TONY REYES FAMILY
If you are looking for a unique Christmas gift for the bowler in your family, remember that Thursday at 6 p.m. Pacific is the deadline to bid on the wide variety of one-of-a-kind items being offered in the Tony Reyes Memorial Silent Auction.
All proceeds from the auction will benefit Tony Reyes’ family. The auction is being conducted as part of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling. Photos and a brief description of each item can be found on pba.com. (click the yellow Tony Reyes Auction link at the top of the home page), including instructions are included on how to place a bid on-site, or via email or telephone.
Reyes, a PBA Tour champion, died on Sept. 28 of injuries sustained in a traffic accident near his northern California home.