In a social-media post Wednesday, Sean Rash cited "an abundance of caution" as the reason he chose to withdraw from the 2021 USBC Masters, which currently is underway at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno.
The 13-time PBA Tour champion posted, "I woke up this morning and am not feeling well," and for that reason, he said, "I have decided to withdraw from the USBC Masters. I do not want to put anyone at risk or the even tin jeopardy. There will always be another tournament to bowl."
The 2007 Masters champion had been off to a rough start in the event's 2021 edition. His lone 200 game came in the last game of a five-game opening round, when he shot 212. He had opened the block with scores of 179 and 161, then added scores of 190 and 1823 to end up -79 for the round with a 924 pinfall.
USBC had announced on Monday that, "as a result of COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, 13 competitors have been excused from the event."
Rash's precaution echoes that taken by Bill O'Neill amid high stakes for the reigning PBA Playoffs champion, who had earned a spot on the PBA Players Championship East Region Finals show with a chance to advance to the main event and chase down a $250,000 top prize. Instead, he fell ill the night before boarding his flight to Jupiter, Florida, where he was to bowl the show at Bowlero, "and just decided that there is no way I can get on a plane without taking a [COVID] test. I went and got a rapid test, and it came back positive."
Rash's withdrawal from a major-title event comes amid another strong season for the 2012 PBA Player of the Year. He earned $35,000 for a fifth-place showing in the Tournament of Champions earlier this season, and again made a show with partner Matt Ogle in the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman Doubles Championship in March, finishing fifth there as well. Rash also finished sixth in the 2021 PBA Cheetah Championship.