RENO, Nev. – In a hard-fought Round of 16 best-of-five single elimination match against PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr., former PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., was one of eight players who advanced to the Round of 8 in the GoBowling.com PBA Viper Championship presented by Xtra Frame Monday at the National Bowling Stadium.
Rash had a 2-1 lead before Williams tied it up with a 279-225 win in the fourth game to force a game five. Needing a nine-count, spare and strike in the 10th frame, Rash struck on the first ball in the 10th to seal the match winning the final game 259-237.
“I’m exhausted,” said the nine-time Tour winner. “Not just from this match, but the whole World Series seems like it’s been a nail-biter for me.
“It’s just an honor to be in a match with guys you look up to like Walter,” Rash added. “When you bowl matches against the best and win it’s always special.”
Earlier in the day Rash lost in a best-of-five Round of 16 match in the Cheetah Championship to Eugene McCune.
One of the sport’s emerging stars, Kyle Troup, the son of flamboyant eight-time PBA Tour winner Guppy Troup, advanced to the Round of 8 by sweeping his best-of-five match against Stuart Williams of England.
Troup, who won the PBA Wolf Open for his first PBA Tour title earlier this season, relied on some older technology and an outside line to the pocket for his success.
“When I’m going head-to-head on a condition like the Viper I like to throw the ball straighter from the outside of the lane which helps me repeat shots more,” Troup said. “Going to a urethane ball and playing the outside on a condition like the Viper usually works the best for me.”
Also advancing to the Round of 8 were: Kim Bolleby, Thailand, 3-1; Jakob Butturff, Chandler, Ariz., 3-1; Jonas Jehkinen, Finland, 3-0; Warren Crawford,McKinleyville, Calif., 3-0; and Rolltech PBA World Championship finalists Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 3-1, and Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 3-1
Wednesday’s Viper Championship match ups will be: Rash vs. Ciminelli, Jehkinen vs. Faulkner, Crawford vs. Butturff and Troup vs. Bolleby.
All the pattern championship Round of 8 matches will be part of a super Wednesday on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame with live coverage of who makes the final four for each telecast.
The 24 players competing in today’s match play rounds advanced from Viper Championship qualifying conducted last Wednesday.
The top four players will advance to the ESPN taping of the Viper Championship scheduled for 3:30 p.m. PT Friday. The Viper Championship telecast will air at 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Dec. 27.
GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VII presented by Silver Legacy action continues Tuesday with Round of 24 and Round of 16 matches for the PBA Chameleon Championship presented HotelPlanner.com and PBA Scorpion Championship presented by Reno Tahoe USA beginning at 10 a.m. PT.
GOBOWLING.COM VIPER CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY XTRA FRAME
National Bowling Stadium, Reno, Nev., Monday
BEST-OF-FIVE SINGLE-ELIMINATION MATCH PLAY (eight players advance to Wednesday’s Round of 8)
Round of 16 (losers earn $1,400)
Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., def. Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 3-2 (224-227, 254-224, 238-227, 225-279, 259-237).
Kim Bolleby, Thailand, def. Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3-1 (231-267, 233-216, 209-164, 210-180).
Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., def. Magnus Johnson Jr., Sweden, 3-1 (210-215, 215-157, 234-141, 256-211).
Jakob Butturff, Chandler, Ariz., def. Anthony LaCaze, Hoffman Estates, Ill., 3-1 (233-225, 225-222, 186-204, 223-192).
Joonas Jehkinen, Finland, def. Marshall Kent , Yakima, Wash., 3-0 (224-196, 257-233, 194-189).
n-Warren Crawford, McKinleyville, Calif., def. Patrick Girard , Canada, 3-0 (195-189, 195-176, 214-159).
Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., def. Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 3-1 (193-202, 203-200, 258-237, 241-180).
Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., def. Stuart Williams, England, 3-0 (218-181, 246-244, 266-192).
Round of 24 (losers earn $800)
Troup def. Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 3-1 (178-204, 229-156, 227-181, 198-169).
Jehkinen, def. John Furey, Freehold, N.J., 3-0 (221-204, 214-193, 204-190).
LaCaze, def. Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., 3-2 (174-243, 237-146, 225-203, 238-245, 264-235).
Rash, def. Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 3-0 (266-256, 244-201, 287-207).
Bolleby def. Daisuke Nakamura, Japan, 3-2 (290-162, 214-255, 234-225, 195-207, 224-175).
Angelo, def. Daniel Fransson, Sweden, 3-1 (245-176, 187-189, 224-191, 195-158).
n-Crawford def. Pontus Andersson, Sweden, 3-0 (218-189, 263-203, 219-217).
Faulkner, Memphis, Tenn., def. Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 3-1 (221-209, 268-204, 169-194, 257-255).
Round of 8 Matches
Sean Rash vs. Ryan Ciminelli
Joonas Jehkinen vs. Gary Faulkner Jr.
Warren Crawford vs. Jakob Butturff
Kyle Troup vs. Kim Bolleby