PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash compiled a 5-3 match play record and averaged 231 to take the lead after the first match play round in the GEICO PBA Summer Swing Badger Open at AMF Waukesha Lanes today.
Rash leads with a 4,391 18-game overall pinfall (including bonus pins) bowling games of 247, 216, 217, 235, 245, 226, 247 and 216 in today’s first round.
Rash has won one title this season winning the Kuwait Open for his sixth career title. He also has six other top five finishes including thirds in the Tournament of Champions and World Championship.
Rash has adapted well to the new 52-foot PBA Badger lane condition on AMF Waukesha’s wood lane surface which he says hasn’t offered many surprises.
“You still have to play the pattern, win matches, make the right ball choices and adjustments like you would anywhere else,” Rash said. “The patterns that play long force you to move left on the lane and you just have to be prepared for that.”
To get ready for the Summer Swing, Rash took some time off before some intense practice just before heading for Milwaukee.
“I took a two week vacation and then practiced every day for about five days before the tournament so I feel about as ready as I can be to do well here,” he added.
Rash holds an eight-pin lead over PBA titlist Kurt Pilon who also had a 4,383 pinfall and 5-3 match play record. Rounding out the top five are Tommy Jones, 4,361 (5-2-1), Josh Blanchard, 4,334 (5-3) and Chris Barnes, 4,333 (5-3).
The 24-player field will return at 5:30 p.m. this afternoon for another eight-game match play round to determine the top five for the stepladder finals. The top five players will advance to the stepladder finals on Saturday, June 1, at AMF Bowlero in nearby Wauwatosa.
After the Badger Open concludes, the Summer Swing moves to AMF West in Milwaukee for the Wolf Open May 22-24. The Bear Open is next, May 26-28 at AMF Bowlero, followed by the Milwaukee Open May 29-30, also at AMF Bowlero. The Milwaukee Open will feature the top 28 qualifiers based on total pinfall after 30 qualifying games from the three animal pattern events.
Stepladder finals for all four tournaments, plus the GEICO Summer King of the Swing special event, will be taped over two days by the CBS Sports Network June 1-2 at Bowlero for airing on five consecutive Tuesdays at 7 p.m. ET beginning June 11.
The GEICO Summer King of the Swing will include the four Summer Swing event champions plus the next highest points leader who hasn’t won a title. Those five will compete in a $25,000 stepladder final for a $10,000 first prize, concluding the summer series on June 2.
GEICO PBA SUMMER SWING BADGER OPEN RESULTS AFTER ROUND 3
1, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 5-3, 4,391.
2, Kurt Pilon, Warren, Mich., 5-3, 4,383.
3, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 5-2-1, 4,361.
4, Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz., 5-3, 4,334.
5, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 5-3, 4,333.
6, Aaron Lorincz, Belleville, Mich., 5-3, 4,319.
7, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 4-4, 4,310.
8, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 4-4, 4,306.
9, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 5-3, 4,301.
10, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 4-4, 4,300.
11, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 4-4, 4,253.
12, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 5-3, 4,246.
13, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 3-4-1, 4,236.
14, Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga., 6-2, 4,235.
15, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 5-3, 4,207.
16, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 5-3, 4,200.
17, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3-5, 4,175,
18, Jake Peters, Decatur, Ill., 3-5, 4,170.
19, Mike Fagan, Dallas, 2-6, 4,157.
20, Patrick Girard, Canada, 2-6, 4,088.
21, Jon VanHees, Charlestown, R.I., 3-5, 4,037.
22, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 2-6, 4,028.
23, Mike Dole, Loves Park, Ill., 2-6, 3,987.
24, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 3-5, 3,962.