Burkett slumps, will await cut line

RENO, Nev. -- With three of four quads having completed first round qualifying Thursday, Nick Vogelgesang, Cincinnati, holds the lead in the American Bowling Congress (ABC) Masters with a 2,350 10-game pinfall.

Vogelgesang, a third-year member of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour, shot a tournament-best 298 in his fourth game of the night to vault him into the lead. He kicked off his session with a 242 and closed out his round with a 219.

"I've never had a 300 in the ABC Masters," Vogelegsang, who left the 4 and 9 pins on his 12th ball of his 298 game, said. "It was the first time I've gotten nervous trying to shoot a 300 since I was in junior leagues … I felt like a little kid again."

Vogelgesang, still looking for his first PBA Tour title, entered the day in second place behind Tyler Jensen, Wheat Ridge, Colo., who shot 2,242 and now sits in second place. Tore Torgersen, Norway, is third with 2,239.

Major League pitcher John Burkett entered the day tied for 69th place after averaging 206.60 in five games on Wednesday. Burkett started slow Thursday, averaging 163.67 in his first three games before tossing a 226 in his fourth game. After a 180 in his final game, he currently sits in 135th place.

After the final squad bowls tonight, the 590-man field will be cut to the top 25 percent, or 147 bowlers. They return Friday morning to bowl another five-game set after which the top 63 will join defending champion Bryon Smith to begin match play at 4 p.m. Match play consists of three games, with the player having the higher pin total advancing.

ESPN will televise the five-man finals live Sunday, Jan. 25 from 1-3 p.m. ET.