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Sean Rash looks for silver lining after advancing to Cheetah Final 8

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In what has been an otherwise disappointing GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VIII for Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., the former PBA Player of the Year was among a field of eight players who advanced to Thursday’s PBA Cheetah Championship semifinal round at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.

Rash won his best-of-five game single-elimination round of 16 match by beating Andrew Graff of Las Vegas, 3-1 (238-247, 278-161, 255-249, 206-173).

2016PBASeanRash“It’s been disappointing, especially the World Championship,” said Rash (pictured right and above), who finished 24th in the World Championship. “It seemed like I was just getting in my own way. As I’ve always said, this is a humbling game. Hopefully I can make the (Cheetah) TV show and salvage something.

As for his performance in the Cheetah Championship Round of 16, Rash likes the unpredictability of the elimination match format. “I love the elimination matches because anything can happen in a matter of shots,” Rash said. “It can turn on a dime. It’s win or go home.

“You just look out there and you see some players who look like their bowling on the U.S. Open shot and others who are putting up big numbers. If you’re a fan you’ve got to like it.”

Rash won the PBA Badger Open and the PBA Detroit Open at the PBA Fall Swing for his two PBA Tour titles this season.

2016PBAWalterRayWilliams2016PBADomBarrettAlso advancing to the Cheetah Championship Round of 8, which is scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m., were PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. (left), Oxford, Fla., 3-0; Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 3-1; Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 3-1; Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 3-0; Darren Tang, San Francisco, 3-2; BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 3-2, and Dom Barrett (right), England, 3-1.

The 24 players competing in today’s match play rounds advanced from Cheetah Championship qualifying conducted last Tuesday.

After Thursday’s Round of 8, the top four players will advance to the ESPN taping of the Cheetah Championship at Noon PT time Saturday. The Cheetah Championship telecast will air Sunday, Dec. 18 at 1 p.m. ET.

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PBA Cheetah Championship – Round of 8 Match-ups

Best-of-five single-elimination match play; four players will advance to the ESPN taping of the Cheetah Championship at Noon PT time Saturday.

Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., vs. Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas
Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, vs. Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind.
Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., vs. Darren Tang, San Francisco, Calif.
B.J. Moore III, Greensburg, Pa., vs. Dom Barrett, England

PBA Cheetah Championship – Round of 16

Best-of-five single-elimination match play; eight players advance to Thursday’s Round of 8; losers earn $1,250.

Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., def. Brad Miller, Maryland Heights, Mo., 3-0
(256-220, 279-160, 237-154)
Dom Barrett, England, def. Pascal Winternheimer, Germany, 3-1
(163-201, 218-159, 232-227, 200-165)
Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., def. E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 3-0
(217-205, 216-192, 211-184)
Darren Tang, San Francisco, Calif., def. Daria Pajak, Poland, 3-2
(266-219, 267-242, 215-249, 183-227, 279-248)

Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, def. Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 3-1
(268-222, 231-212, 224-237, 258-252)
Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., def. Andrew Graff, Las Vegas, 3-1
(238-247, 278-161, 255-249, 206-173)
Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, def. Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 3-1
(206-246, 205-166, 246-184, 194-165)
B.J. Moore III, Greensburg, Pa., def. Ron Mohr, Las Vegas, 3-2
(184-206, 233-214, 183-177, 189-191, 203-185)

PBA Cheetah Championship – Round of 24

Best-of-five single-elimination match play; eight players advance to Round of 16; losers earn $700.

Ron Mohr, Las Vegas, def. Richie Teece, England, 3-2
(214-258, 193-224, 234-220, 235-182, 237-185)
Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, def. Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 3-2
(255-244, 224-234, 235-241, 216-133, 262-206)
Darren Tang, San Francisco, Calif., def. Mitch Beasley, Clarksville, Tenn., 3-0
(247-181, 191-188, 235-171)
Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., def. Francois Louw, South Africa, 3-0
(246-183, 235-168, 249-189)

Dom Barrett, England, def. Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 3-1
(300-188, 258-258, 227-266, 220-170)
Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, def. Dave Wodka, Beavercreek, Ohio, 3-1
(185-184, 208-215, 253-175, 213-193)
Andrew Graff, Las Vegas, def. Matthew O’Grady, South Amboy, N.J., 3-1
(201-213, 238-215, 216-208, 225-177)
Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., def. Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., 3-0
(226-191, 223-169, 238-200)

Herbert Bickel

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