PBA Super Regional: Sean Rash takes lead into round-robin match play
By Steve T. Gorches 314-3797 or email@example.com July 19, 2013 11:24PM
Updated: August 21, 2013 6:18AM
TINLEY PARK, Ill. — Nothing fazes the reigning Professional Bowlers Association national player of the year.
That means eight games of qualifying in a PBA regional — albeit the most lucrative regional in PBA history with a first-place payout of $15,000 — is old hat.
So on Friday at Tinley Park Bowl, 2012 PBA player of the year Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., rolled to the top spot after a simple eight-game block — much less than the national tournaments in which he’s made TV shows after more than 40 games — with a high game of 279 and low of 206 for an average of 242.4.
Rash will carry over his pin count to Saturday’s round-robin match play, followed by a stepladder finals.
“I didn’t have many open frames, which is the most important part,” Rash said. “In tournaments like this you need to fill frames.”
Following Rash in the standings are two more national tour members who have made multiple TV appearances in recent years — Jason Sterner of McDonough, Ga., and Tom Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla.
Just missing the top 16 was three-time PBA champ Eugene McCune of Munster, in 19th with a 219 average.
“I had two bad games,” said McCune, whose PBA and United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame father, Don, was watching. “I had 150 in the second game with three splits and 170 in the seventh game.
“This event is great. It’s 15 minutes from my house, $15,000 first place … I couldn’t ask for anything more, except to bowl a little better.”
McCune earned a check in the lucrative event, as did John Riffle of Highland, who finished 24th with a 215 average.
“Pair to pair, approach to approach, lane to lane, it was everything you want in a battle and competitive tournament,” said Riffle, who loves tougher lane conditions. “Some pairs were scorable and others were tough. How can you not bowl this kind of event. You see who it attracts.”
He said that last part as Australian sensation Jason Belmonte’s name was brought up. Riffle smiled when it was mentioned that he finished ahead of “Belmo.” Belmonte finished in 36th place, just two spots and seven pins from a cashing spot.