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Bowling News USA - February 8, 2011 Reno, National Bowling Stadium, Ready for the Masters...

The stepladder finals of the 2011 Bayer USBC Masters — the season’s third Major on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour — will be telecast on ESPN Sunday at 3 p.m. Eastern.

The field of 259 of the nation’s top PBA Tour and amateur players begin the first of three rounds of qualifying today before the field is cut to the top 64 players who will compete in the grueling double elimination match play rounds beginning Thursday which will eventually determine the four player’s for Sunday’s stepladder finals.

Storm staffers, Norm Duke, Pete Weber, Rhino Page, Jeff Carter, Jason Belmonte and Ryan Shafer will be competing. Roto Grip staffers Wes Malott and Brian Kretzer are also entered. Stay posted to Storm Enews for updates from the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, NV.

Among the Masters storylines are:

•After a remarkable Tournament of Champions win and a fifth-place finish in the recent One A Day Earl Anthony Memorial, Mika Koivuniemi will be trying for his second Masters title having won in 2000 for his first PBA Tour title.

•Defending champion and the PBA Tour’s all-time win leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. will be trying for his third Masters title having won in 2004 and 2010. His win in last year’s Masters brought his total number of Tour wins to 47. He will also attempt to become the first player since Billy Welu in 1964-65 to win the Masters in back-to-back years.

•2011 PBA World Championship winner and 13-time Tour titlist Chris Barnes will be going for his first Masters title after top finishes of second in 2004 and 2010, and fifth in 2000.

•35-time PBA Tour titlist and Storm star Pete Weber, who finished third in the recent One A Day Earl Anthony Memorial, is also trying for his first Masters title.

Both Barnes and Weber need a Masters title to complete PBA’s Grand Slam (Tournament of Champions, U.S. Open, World Championship and Masters titles).

•While the list of winners who have won Masters is a virtual Who’s Who of bowling, many lesser-known players have also made their mark in bowling history by winning one of the sport’s most prestigious events. Who will win the coveted $50,000 first prize this year? Tune into ESPN on Sunday and find out.


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February, 2011