For the sixth consecutive qualifying round at The Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley, Pete Weber of St. Ann, M0., found his way to the top of the standings, this time earning top qualifier honors at the 2015 United States Bowling Congress Senior Masters.
The USBC and Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer’s streak goes back to the USBC Masters in February, where he led all three rounds of qualifying. This week, he is back in Green Bay and has averaged more than 233, while leading a field of 194 USBC members age 50 and older.
The 52-year-old right-hander posted sets of 1,183, 1,155 and 1,163 to earn the No. 1 spot in the event’s double-elimination match-play bracket with a 15-game total of 3,501.
USBC and PBA Hall of Famer, Amleto Monacelli of Aventura, Fla., qualified second with a 3,427 total and was followed by 2012 Senior Masters champion Mike Edwards of Tulsa, Okla. (3,426), Pete McCordic of Katy, Texas (3,323) and Sam Ventura of Norwich, N.Y. (3,255).
“Sometimes, you walk into a house knowing you’re going to bowl well, and after finishing third in the Masters here in February, I felt that way coming into this week,” said Weber, who averaged more than 238 during qualifying at the Masters. “The characteristics of this house just suit my game, and I don’t have to do anything special.”
Weber will continue his quest for a second USBC Senior Masters title and the $16,000 top prize when match play kicks off Friday at 10 a.m. Eastern. All matches will be three games, with total pins determining the winners.
The left side of the bracket will bowl first, and the right side of the bracket will take the lanes at 12:30 p.m. Eastern.
“Now, I just want to make sure I keep throwing the ball well and not worry about my opponents,” said Weber, who will take on No. 64 Bill Sell of Menasha, Wisconsin, in the opening round of match play. “If I do what I need to, I’ll be happy. If I don’t, I won’t be happy, and I’ll try something different.”
Defending champion Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla., who was guaranteed a spot in the bracket, qualified 20th with a 3,118 qualifying total. He’ll take on No. 45 Ted Staikoff of Black Hawk, South Dakota, in his opening match Friday.
Competitors at the Senior Masters this week rolled 15 qualifying games over three days before the field was cut to the top 63 bowlers, who will join Williams in match play. Sell earned the final spot in the bracket with a 2,962 total, a 197.47 average.
All rounds of qualifying and match play are being broadcast live on BowlTV and will conclude with the stepladder finals Sunday at noon Eastern.
The Senior Masters is the first of three USBC tournaments that will take place in Green Bay in the coming weeks. Senior Masters bowlers are competing for an estimated prize fund of nearly $115,000.
The Senior Masters will be followed by the International Training and Research Center Super Senior Classic, the premier event for USBC members age 60 and older, and the USBC Senior Championships, which will bring bowlers from across the United States and Canada.
All qualifying and match-play rounds at the Super Senior Classic also will be broadcast live on BowlTV.
To watch the Senior Masters and Super Senior Classic live, visit YouTube.com/BowlTV.