LAS VEGAS – Two-handed lefty Soloman Salama put up a 236.80 average Wednesday to lead after the first round of qualifying at the 2019 United States Bowling Congress Masters.
The 16-year-old Junior Team USA member from Beverly Hills, California, had a five-game total of 1,184 to open the fourth major of the season on the PBA Tour at Gold Coast Hotel and Casino.
Salama, who as an amateur is not eligible to be awarded a PBA Tour title should he win this week, had games of 206, 279, 280, 228 and 191 in his opening round.
Powered by a 300 game to open qualifying, Marshall Kent sits in second place with 1,158. After shooting the perfect game, Kent followed it up with 200, 228, 238 and 192.
Amateur Greg Thompson Jr. is in third place with 1,147, Kyle Sherman is fourth with 1,138 and Mykel Holliman is fifth with 1,134.
The Masters format consists of three five-game rounds of qualifying for the 450-player field before the cut is made to the top 63 plus defending champion Andrew Anderson for the double-elimination match-play bracket, which begins Saturday live on FloBowling.
Anderson struggled in his first Masters action since winning the event last year in Syracuse, New York, shooting 958, a 191.60 average. Should Anderson finish qualifying outside of the top 64, he would be slotted into the No. 64 slot in the bracket.