Hoping to add a Senior U.S. Open title on the PBA50 Tour to his record five U.S. Open titles on the PBA Tour, Pete Weber continued to set the pace after third round qualifying Wednesday in the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open presented by Dexter in Las Vegas.
The PBA Hall of Famer bowled a 1428 six-game block at the Suncoast Bowling Center with games of 224, 179, 224, 287, 248 and 266 to bring his overall 18-game qualifying pinfall to 4181 (a 232.3 average), leading 53 players who advanced to Thursday’s final qualifying round.
“Except for one game, it was a real good round,” said Weber, who was the 2013 PBA50 Rookie of the Year. “I got caught out on the (lane condition) transition and didn’t make an adjustment quick enough in the second game.
“We’re at a point where you’re going to get a bad game or two,” he continued. “Hopefully you can keep your bad games to 200 or 2-teen, but it’s more likely than not going to happen. I just need to stay focused and do what I need to do to get to the show.”
Weber, a 37-time PBA Tour winner, is trying for his third career PBA50 Tour title. He won two titles in his PBA50 Tour rookie season, including the USBC Senior Masters for his first senior major.
He holds an 88-pin lead over first-round leader and two-time Senior U.S. Open defending champion Amleto Monacelli, who finished with a 4093 total after the third round. The Hall of Famer bowled 1368 in the third round with games of 233, 210, 225, 199, 222 and 279.
“I was working really hard in that round, but I was keeping my composure,” said Monacelli, who is trying to become the Senior U.S. Open’s first three-time winner. “The condition was pretty tough for me, so I had to concentrate really hard on making good shots. I was really encouraged by bowling 279 in the last game.”
Just two pins behind Monacelli is Hall of Famer Norm Duke, in third with a 4091 total. Duke, who also owns 37 PBA Tour titles and is tied with Weber for third on the all-time list, is bowling in his rookie season on the PBA50 Tour. He won his first PBA50 Tour title in The Villages, Fla., and finished second in the season-opening Pasco County (Fla.) Open.
After Thursday’s final eight-game qualifying round, the top 24 players will advance to match play beginning Thursday afternoon and continuing Friday to determine the top four players for the stepladder finals at 4 p.m. Pacific on Friday.
The Senior U.S. Open is the first major of the season and is considered the most demanding test for players because of its grueling format. Like the U.S. Open on the PBA Tour, it demands patience, quality shot-making and a strong mental game over 50 games of qualifying and match play.
The Senior U.S. Open is webcast live on pba.com’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame. Click on the Xtra Frame logo on the pba.com homepage for subscription information.