Round 1 results
NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. - A pair of Professional Bowlers Association young stars tied for the first-round lead Tuesday at the 2013 United States Bowling Congress Masters.
Two-hander Osku Palermaa of Finland and left-hander Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y., each fired a five-game total of 1,246 (249.5 average) to take the lead after the opening round at Brunswick Zone Carolier.
Palermaa, 29, and Ciminelli, 26, lead a sold-out field of 468 of the best bowlers in the world competing for a piece of the $325,000 prize fund. The finals of the event will be broadcast live on ESPN on Sunday at 3 p.m. Eastern.
Fueled by a strong start with games of 278 and 248, Palermaa closed with 227, 267 and 226 to finish at the top of the leader board.
"I made the right moves, I bowled well but I was also pretty lucky," said Palermaa, a three-time PBA Tour winner. "With this format, it is good to get ahead early because you don't have to chase the cut number. From here, it's just about filling frames."
Ciminelli surged in the final game, shooting 279 to take a piece of the lead. He started the day with 234, 279, 245 and 209.
"I watched the lefties bowl well on the first squad, so I felt like I had to go out and get a big number," said Ciminelli, who has one PBA Tour title. "I made the right ball change at the right time today. Now I have to figure out a way to stay in that five-to-10 board zone."
Rhino Page of Dade City, Fla., sits in third with 1,244, while Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., got off to a strong start with 1,233 to place fourth. Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., rounds out the top five with 1,218.
All competitors will bowl 15 games of qualifying over three days before the field is cut to the top 63 plus defending champion Mike Fagan of Dallas for the double-elimination match-play bracket starting Friday.
The top five players at the conclusion of the bracket competition will compete in the live two-hour championship round on ESPN.
The Masters, which features a first-place prize of $50,000, is a major event on the PBA Tour and is part of the World Tenpin Bowling Association World Bowling Tour for the third consecutive season.
All qualifying and match play rounds of the Masters are being covered live on Xtra Frame, the PBA's online bowling channel. For subscription information, visit pba.com.
For more information on the Masters, including live scoring, visit BOWL.com/Masters.