COLUMBUS, Ohio – Graham Fach, a 24-year-old left-hander from Gulph, Ontario, bowling in his second Professional Bowlers Association Tour event, averaged 248.38 to charge into the early second round lead in the Barbasol PBA Players Championship at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl Wednesday.
Fach (pronounced “faw”) fired games of 276, 227, 195, 289, 235, 256, 245 and 247 during Wednesday’s second round to finish with 3,974 pins to overtake first-round leader Sam Cooley of Australia by 56 pins. PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., was third among the B Squad players. Squad A, the second half of the 122-player field, bowled its second eight-game round later Wednesday.
Fach, who finished 171st in the field of 417 players in his PBA debut in last week’s United States Bowling Congress Masters, entered the day in second place, 47 pins behind Cooley.
“After the Masters, I was a little upset; I thought I bowled well and didn’t get a check,” Fach said. “Today I felt pretty comfortable the whole day. I’m just trying to stay on the high from day one.”
Fach, a member of Canada’s national bowling team, said, “I’ve bowled some pretty big amateur tournaments that were kinda similar in format, but this is the first time with this caliber of players, this much talent. It makes you want to strike a lot more because you know they’re going to.
“The biggest part for me is, no matter what pair you look at, there’s a big name professional. When you start anything as a rookie, you want to make a good impression. Fortunately, my impression here was better than the Masters, where I was barely in the top half of the field. I got comfortable with my ball motion, and it let me play to my strength and I didn’t have to worry about that.
“Today just means I’ve proven to myself I can compete with the guys I grew up watching. My goals are to make some money, make the cut to match play, make the show and win a title. I think I’ve two of them so far.”
The 2015 graduate of Ohio’s Urbana University, where he got his degree in sports management, said he’s well aware no Canadian has ever won a PBA Tour title.
“Yup, I’m aware. Every time Dan MacLelland has made a show, the point is made,” Fach said of the Windsor, Ontario native and former Saginaw Valley State All-American who has made nine PBA television shows without winning a title. “The fact that he hasn’t won yet indicates how tough this Tour is.”
The PBA Players Championship continues with an eight-game qualifying round for A Squad Wednesday night. After 16 games, the top 36 players will advance to an eight-game cashers round at 10 a.m. Thursday to determine the 24 players who will advance to round-robin match play beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday. The final two match play rounds begin at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday. After 48 games, the top five players will compete for the $40,000 first prize live on ESPN Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
All preliminary rounds will be covered live, exclusively on PBA’s Xtra Frame online video-streaming service. For subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.
BARBASOL PBA PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl, Columbus, Ohio, Wednesday
Early Second Round Standings (top 25 after 16 games, B Squad only; A Squad bowls its second round at 4 p.m. ET)
1, Graham Fach, Canada, 3,974. 2, Sam Cooley, Australia, 3,918. 3, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 3,848. 4, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 3,830. 5, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 3,806. 6, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 3,804. 7, Dave Wodka, Beavercreek, Ohio, 3,781. 7, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 3,781. 9, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 3,777. 10, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 3,755. 11, Ronnie Sparks Jr., Ecorse, Mich., 3,735. 12, Dom Barrett, England, 3,727. 13, f-Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 3,722. 14, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 3,710. 15, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 3,681. 16, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 3,654. 17, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y., 3,642. 18 (tie), Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., and Anthony Simonsen, Princeton, Texas, 3,636. 20, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 3,629. 21, John Furey, Freehold, N.J., 3,616. 22, Jon Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., 3,611. 23, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 3,610. 24, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3,607. 25, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 3,581.