NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III from nearby Jackson, N.J., leads a group of eight players who made it through three rounds of matches undefeated Friday at the 2013 United States Bowling Congress Masters.
The 33-time Professional Bowlers Association winner and 2001 Masters champion lives just 45 minutes from Brunswick Zone Carolier and used that hometown feel to go 3-0 in the opening rounds of the double-elimination match-play bracket.
A total of 16 players remain in the bracket with eight players undefeated and eight players in the elimination bracket. Another series of matches Saturday will determine the five players who will advance to the live ESPN finals on Sunday at 3 p.m. Eastern.
"When you look at the 16 players who are left, regardless of whom you bowl, all of these guys know what they are doing and know their ball motion well," said Bohn, who defeated Matt McNiel of Prior Lake, Minn., 700-688, in the third round. "There are no easy matches left."
Bohn will take on two-hander Jason Belmonte of Australia in the winners bracket Saturday morning. Other winners bracket matches include top qualifier Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, against Manuel Otalora of Colombia; John Janawicz of Winter Haven, Fla., vs. Stuart Williams of England; and Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, vs. Mike Machuga of Erie, Pa.
Janawicz, a four-time Team USA member, and Otalora, a member of the Colombian national team, are the only non-professional bowlers left in the winners bracket.
"You always have to have confidence you can win, but these guys are the best in the world," said Janawicz, who blew past Mike Edwards of Tulsa, Okla., 692-555, in his third match. "I have tremendous respect for the guys who do this for a living. It just feels good to be able to come in and compete alongside them."
Defending champion Mike Fagan of Dallas was eliminated Friday after losing his first two matches. He lost to Malott in the opening round, 770-695, and then fell to Martin Larsen of Sweden, 749-718.
Among the players still alive in the elimination portion of the bracket is Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, who would join Norm Duke and Mike Aulby as the only players to complete the PBA's Grand Slam with a victory this week. The Grand Slam is made up of the four majors on the PBA Tour - the USBC Masters, PBA Tournament of Champions, U.S. Open and the PBA National/World Championship.
Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., who also is still alive in the elimination bracket, has a chance to join Aulby as only the second player to win three Masters titles.
The Masters, which features a total prize fund of $325,000 including a $50,000 first prize, 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 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.