Sean Rash followed up his 2011-12 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year crown by receiving the 2012 “Best Bowler” ESPY Award during the 20th Annual ESPY Awards ceremony at the Nokia Theatre Wednesday evening.
Rash became the fans’ choice in the bowling category thanks to a 2011-12 Tour season in which the 29-year-old right-hander won the season-ending PBA Tournament of Champions for his only title, but had six championship round finishes, including third place in the PBA World Championship. Qualifying for a record five consecutive TV finals during the World Series of Bowling helped the Alaska native dominate PBA Tour stats where he finished first in average, points and earnings. His Tournament of Champions win was the fifth Tour title of his career.
“This is very special because it’s an award voted on by the fans—bowling fans
and sports fans,” said Rash, who now makes his home in the Chicago suburb of
Montgomery, IL. “The fans are why we do what we do—they’re why I get up in the morning.
“Winning the Tournament of Champions, Player of the Year, getting married (to wife Sara) and winning the ESPY has made it just an unbelievable year,” Rash added. “Even though I had a frustrating start to the season, I had a lot of support from my family, fans, friends and Brunswick and without them I couldn’t have done it.”
Joining Rash at the ceremonies were fellow ESPY candidates Jason Belmonte and Mike Fagan who also were finalists for the PBA Player of the Year crown which was announced on pba.com’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel in May.
During the 2011-12 season Belmonte, who won the ESPY in 2011, won three titles and had seven top five finishes. Fagan qualified for TV shows in all four majors winning the USBC Masters, finished second in the U.S. Open, fourth in the Tournament of Champions and 12th in the PBA World Championship. He also won an international PBA Tour title.
ESPY Award candidates are selected by ESPN staff for a variety of sports
categories and special moments in athletic competition. Winners are determined
by fan voting through espn.com.
BEST BOWLER ESPY AWARD WINNERS
2012 – Sean Rash
2011 – Jason Belmonte
2010 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
2009 – Norm Duke
2008 – Norm Duke
2007 – Norm Duke
2006 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
2005 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
2004 – Pete Weber
2003 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
2002 – Pete Weber
2001 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
2000 – Parker Bohn III
1999 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
1998 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
1997 – Bob Learn Jr.
1996 – Mike Aulby
1995 – Norm Duke
1994 – Norm Duke