Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, earned high qualifier honors Thursday at the 2013 United States Bowling Congress Masters, and will become the No. 1 seed entering the three-game, double-elimination match-play bracket competition starting Friday morning.
Malott finished the 15 games of qualifying with a total pinfall of 3,518 (234.53 average) to lead the 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.
To round out the top five after 3 days of qualifying goes as...
"I haven't been practicing a lot lately because of my knee injury and today I finally started to feel better physically," said Malott, who has seven career Professional Bowlers Association Tour titles. "It usually takes a day or two to get all the kinks worked out and start feeling good. I also drilled another ball today and that helped."
Malott leads the field of 63 qualifiers who will join defending champion Mike Fagan of Dallas into the double-elimination match-play bracket. Fagan finished qualifying in 210th place but was guaranteed a spot in the bracket as the reigning champion. As a result of his qualifying finish, he will assume the No. 64 seeded position and face Malott in his opening-round match.
Weber and Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, who qualified eighth, are looking to join Mike Aulby and Norm Duke by completing the PBA's Grand Slam. 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 qualified 27th, has a chance to join Aulby as only the second player to win three Masters titles. Bracket play will take place all day Friday and continue until Saturday afternoon when the final five surviving players will advance to Sunday's 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.