LAS VEGAS (Oct. 30, 2013) – England’s Dom Barrett retained a 99-pin lead over reigning Player of the Year Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., after the two rounds of match play in the Professional Bowlers Association World Championship Wednesday at South Point Bowling Center.
Barrett, who entered the 24-game match play finals as the top qualifier after 28 games bowled in four animal pattern tournaments earlier in the PBA World Series of Bowling V program, won nine of his first 16 matches to finish the sixth round with a 44-game total of 10,649 pins, including match play bonus pins. He held off a charge by Rash, who averaged 252.62 in winning all eight of his matches in the morning round and finished the day with a 14-2 match play record and a 10,550 pinfall total.
With eight more match games to go Thursday to determine the top five players for the stepladder finals, Barrett and Rash have distanced themselves from the field. Mike Fagan of Fort Worth, Texas, was in third place with 10,282 pins, 268 pins behind Rash; 21-year-old rookie E.J. Tackett of Huntington, Ind., was fourth with a 10,266 total and 2010 World Champion Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., was fifth with a 10,249 total. Four other players were less than 100 pins behind Smallwood in the race for the top five.
“Sean bowled well this morning. I didn’t bowl bad, but it just shows how good these guys are for him to make a move like that (from 12th to second),” Barrett said. “I put my striking shoes on tonight and had a really good round. I think we are pretty much locked into the top two, but I want to go for the top seed tomorrow. That’s very important.”
Barrett, 28, won his only PBA Tour title in the 2011 Scorpion Championship. He also has qualified No. 1 for this weekend’s Chameleon Championship finals, but the World Championship is the prize everyone bowling in the PBA World Series of Bowling V wants to win.
“Winning the World Championship would be a dream, but I have a lot more work to do,” he said. “One thing you can’t do is take anything for granted with these guys. I can’t do anything more than bowl the best I can. I’ve had a good week so far, so I’ll just try to keep it going.”
The World Championship stepladder finals will take place Sunday at 12:30 p.m. PT on a special two-lane installation in South Point Exhibition Hall B. ESPN will air the finals on Sunday, Dec. 29, at 1 p.m. ET. First prize in the 2012-13 season’s final major tournament is $50,000.
The final match play round will be covered live on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel Thursday at 2 p.m. PT, and via “live scoring” on pba.com. For daily, monthly or yearly subscriptions to Xtra Frame, click on the Xtra Frame link on the pba.com home page.
PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
South Point Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Oct. 30
ROUND SIX STANDINGS (after 44 games, including match play bonus pins; top five after 52 games advance to ESPN stepladder finals)
1, Dom Barrett, England, 9-7, 10,649.
2, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 14-2, 10,550.
3, Mike Fagan, Ft. Worth, Texas, 8-8, 10,282.
4, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 9-7, 10,266.
5, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 10-6, 10,249.
6, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 8-8, 10,232.
7, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 10-6, 10,196.
8, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 9-7, 10,170.
9, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 8-8, 10,137.
10, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 9-7, 10,133.
11, Tom Baker, King, N.C., 8-8, 10,131.
12 (tie), Todd Book, Russells Point, Ohio, 9-7, and Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 9-7, 10,112.
14, Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore., 9-7, 10,068.
15, Paul Moor, England, 8-8, 10,049.
16, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 5-11, 9,987.
17, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 6-10, 9,916.
18, Dave Wodka, Henderson, Nev., 7-9, 9,886.
19, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 6-10, 9,861.
20, Johnathan Bower, Middletown, Pa., 7-9, 9,852.
21, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 8-8, 9,839.
22, Jake Peters, Decatur, Ill., 8-8, 9,742.
23, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 4-12, 9,658.
24, x-Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 2-6, 9,464.
25, D.J. Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 2-6, 8,003.
x – Allen replaced Archer, who withdrew due to injury.
300 Games: Tom Baker.