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Bowling News USA - January 28, 2012 Bryon Smith Will Represent Storm Nation at Masters Final...

Chris Barnes of Double Oak, TX earned the top seed for Sunday's live televised finals at the 2012 Alka Seltzer Plus Liquid Gels United States Bowling Congress Masters on Friday.

Barnes went 6-0 in the double-elimination match-play bracket at Sunset Station's Strike Zone Bowling Center and is now one victory away from claiming his first career Masters title. The finals will be broadcast live on ESPN at 12:30 PM EST on Sunday.

Barnes earned the top seed by virtue of an 806-743 victory over Mike Fagan of Dallas TX. Fagan, who was previously unbeaten, is the No. 2 seed for the finals. Rounding out the telecast is No. 3 seed Dan MacLelland of Canada and No. 4 seed Bryon Smith, who will be using Storm balls, of Roseburg, OR.

Smith made the finals by overcoming a 29-pin deficit heading into the final game, rallying for a 660-625 victory against Chris Loschetter of Avon, OH. It's the first time Smith has made a TV appearance since 2004 and his lone professional title came at the 2003 USBC Masters.

"My heart rate went up a couple times today, and when I was behind in that last game my heart rate went up again," Smith said. "Come Sunday, I'm sure there will be some nerves. When this isn't something you do on a regular basis anymore, it can be a bit more nerve wrecking."

The week began with 305 of the best players in the world vying for a piece of the $250,000 prize fund and $50,000 first-place prize.

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January, 2012