By Michael Cousins
After three days, three blocks, and fifteen games, your leader – which may come as a surprise to some – is Nick Kruml. Kruml, of Downers Grove, Illinois, finished his final block of qualifying with games of 288 and 266 (1216 total) to take the lead and the number one seed away from the three-time Masters champion, Jason Belmonte.
The two-handed Australian put together three consistent blocks of 1199, 1217, and 1162 along the way. According to Storm’s Facebook postings, Belmonte used a combination of urethane (Pitch Black on the fresh), Phaze II, and the all new Storm Timeless, his signature ball. Belmonte – who’s looking for his eighth major and fourth Masters title – heads into matchplay as the number two seed.
In third, his fellow Australian, Sam Cooley, who put together two HUGE blocks to end his tournament: 1230 and 1280, which followed his opening round 1030. Cooley’s closing round 1280 was the highest five game total of the tournament.
Michael Tang, day two’s overall leader, hit a bit of a shaky block (1038), and struggled to get anything going until his final game, where he managed to save his block with a big 269 game. The young Tang has put himself in a great position going into matchplay tomorrow.
In fifth place, one of the most physical gifted bowlers on the planet, out of Belvidere, Illinois, Jesse Buss. Buss has been consistently great all week, putting together blocks of 1180, 1128, and 1162. Buss is heading into matchplay looking for his first career telecast.
The final two spots into the top 64 had to be determined by a three man roll-off, as Chad Kloss, Vernon Peterson, and Brandon Novak all tied for 63rd place with a fifteen game score of 3,223.
The three bowlers bowled one game each, where Peterson (201) led the way, while Novak finished one pin below him (200) to take the 63rd and 64th seed. Kloss, of Cudahy, Wisconson, was the odd man out, finishing the roll-off with a score of 188.
Vernon, having earned the higher seed, will face off against Jason Belmonte, the number 2 seed, while Novak, who earned the 64th seed, will bowl Nick Kruml.
Matchplay begins tomorrow morning, 9:00AM Pacific time. The top 64 bowlers will be seeded into matchplay and three game total pin fall will determine who moves on to the next round. Continue to check out BowlersMart.com, our Facebook, and our Twitter page for up to the date Masters coverage!