Round 2 standings
NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., surged to the top of the leaderboard Wednesday after two rounds of qualifying at the 2013 United States Bowling Congress Masters.
The 2007 Masters champion has a 10-game pinfall total of 2,381 (238.1 average) to lead a field of 468 of the top bowlers in the world at Brunswick Zone Carolier. The Masters, which features a total prize fund of $325,000, will conclude with the live ESPN finals on Sunday at 3 p.m. Eastern.
Rash put together his second consecutive strong day to start the Masters. After firing 1,218 in Tuesday's opening round, Rash came back with 1,163 in the second round. He closed out Wednesday's block with games of 233 and 259 to take the lead.
"The pattern is starting to get flatter and with that the lanes are going to get tougher," said Rash, who is the reigning Professional Bowlers Association Player of the Year. "Shot making becomes important and spare shooting becomes important. I had a great game plan from practice, I bowled good yesterday and had another good block today."
With one more round of qualifying to go Thursday, Rash said he will try to gather as much information as possible before the Masters heads to match play.
"I get to bowl on fresh (oil) tomorrow again and most of match play is going to be on fresh," Rash said. "I want to know as much as possible, and I'm still trying to learn. Tomorrow's a different day with different ball motions and following different people. I still have to make great shots and fill frames."
Finland's Osku Palermaa, who had a share of the lead after the first round, sits in second place with 2,376. Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., sits in third with 2,344, while Tom Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla., is fourth with 2,326.
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.