LAS VEGAS – Brian LeClair of Delmar, New York, is in the midst of a breakout season on the Professional Bowlers Association 50 Tour, having already collected two wins during his 2017 campaign.
The 52-year-old right-hander brought that momentum to the United States Bowling Congress Senior Masters this week, and he leads the 277-player field after two rounds of qualifying at the Sam’s Town Bowling Center.
LeClair, who started the day in a tie for second place, moved into the top spot after firing a five-game block of 1,163 on Tuesday, bringing his 10-game total to 2,434, a 243.4 average.
USBC and PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III of Jackson, New Jersey, posted the highest five-game block of the day (1,252) to move into second place with 2,409. Opening-round leader Amleto Monacelli of Venezuela is third with 2,374, and defending champion Pete Weber of St. Ann, Missouri, is fourth with 2,367. John Dougherty III of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, rounds out the top five with 2,358.
LeClair collected his first PBA50 Tour title during the 2015 season but knew he had to work on aspects of his game in order to contend each week. The dedication to improving, along with a twist of fate from a back injury, has helped everything fall into place for him.
“I knew I needed to work on my release to make my ball read the patterns better,” said LeClair, who has wins this season at the PBA50 Pasco County Florida Open and PBA50 Johnny Petraglia BVL Open presented by Brunswick. “I worked on my release, and my timing, too, and it’s obviously paid off. One lucky thing that also happened, if you can call it lucky, is that I hurt my back earlier in the year. I had to adjust my posture, and when I did that, some of the things I had been working on clicked even more, and it has continued to get better and better.”
LeClair will lead the field back onto the lanes Thursday for the final round of qualifying, and it will be his first opportunity to compete on the tournament’s fresh 41-foot lane condition. LeClair’s first two rounds took place on the double-burn and burn, respectively.
The lanes at the 2017 USBC Senior Masters only are being oiled once each day during qualifying, with all competitors getting the chance to experience the three phases of the pattern - fresh, burn and double-burn.
“I talked with my ball reps during the last game, trying to figure out a plan for tomorrow,” said LeClair, who finished tied for 33rd at the 2016 event, also held at Sam’s Town. “Hopefully I’ll be able to match up my release and make the right equipment choices. You won’t score well without good ball reaction. I think I have a good game plan, and we’ll see if it works tomorrow.”
Qualifying will conclude Thursday with three final squads, starting at 11 a.m. Eastern, and 15-game pinfall totals will determine the 63 bowlers who will join Weber in the double-elimination match-play bracket.
Weber, also a USBC and PBA Hall of Famer, is guaranteed the No. 64 seed if he falls out of the cut, but he can improve his seeding for match play during qualifying.
Mark Scroggins of Canyon, Texas, holds the 64th position after 10 games with a 2,117 total, a 211.7 average.
All rounds of qualifying and match play are being broadcast live on BowlTV, and the five players who advance through the bracket will battle for the title in the stepladder finals Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern.
The Senior Masters is open to USBC members age 50 and older and has a top prize of $16,000.
For more information on the USBC Senior Masters, visit BOWL.com/SeniorMasters.
2017 USBC SENIOR MASTERS
At Sam's Town Bowling Center, Las Vegas
QUALIFYING - ROUND 2
(10 games - top 100)
1, Brian LeClair, Delmar, N.Y., 2,434. 2, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 2,409. 3, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 2,374. 4, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 2,367. 5, John Dougherty III, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., 2,358. 6, Doug Becker, Clermont, Fla., 2,322.
7(tie), Bob Learn Jr., Boynton Beach, Fla., and Sam Lantto, Eden Prairie, Minn., 2,294. 9, John DeBenedetta (a), Las Vegas, 2,291. 10, Eddie Graham, Centerville, Ohio, 2,289. 11, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 2,276. 12, Dana Wright, St. Paul, Minn., 2,265.
13, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 2,260. 14(tie), Tony Rodriguez Jr., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and Michael Tountas (a), Tucson, Ariz., 2,253. 16, Scott Merritt, Iowa City, Iowa, 2,243. 17, Walter Ray Williams Jr, Oxford, Fla., 2,241. 18(tie), Joe Salvemini, Yuba City, Calif., and Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 2,239.
20, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 2,221. 21, Curt Rasnic (a), Fairborn, Ohio, 2,216. 22, Ed Silva, Manteca, Calif., 2,204. 23(tie), David Cirigliano, Phoenix, and Mark Williams, Beaumont, Texas, 2,202.
25, Paul McCordic, Sugar Land, Texas, 2,201. 26, Kevin Croucher, Grants Pass, Ore., 2,197. 27, Ernie Segura, Taylor, Mich., 2,195. 28, Lewis Elting, Carlsbad, Calif., 2,193. 29, Lennie Boresch Jr., Kenosha, Wis., 2,188. 30, Billy Langford (a), Lone Grove, Okla., 2,180.
31(tie), Brian Kretzer, Kettering, Ohio, and Robert Worrall II (a), Colorado Springs, Colo., and David Smith (a), Fort Worth, Texas, 2,178. 34, Marv Sargent, Temecula, Calif., 2,177. 35, Michael Lucente, Warren, Mich., 2,176. 36, Bobby Nelson, Las Vegas, 2,173.
37(tie), James Campbell (a), Clearwater, Fla., and Andrew Frawley, Australia, 2,170. 39, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 2,169. 40, Andy Neuer (a), Lewisburg, Pa., 2,167. 41, Michael Klosin (a), Windham, N.H., 2,163. 42, Ted Staikoff, Black Hawk, S.D., 2,162.
43, Dave Sill, Titusville, Fla., 2,159. 44, Ron Mohr, North Las Vegas, Nev., 2,156. 45, Hugh Miller, Mercer Island, Wash., 2,154. 46(tie), Tim Shirlock, Las Vegas, and Tish Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo., 2,153. 48, Brian Voss, Centennial, Colo., 2,147.
49, James Lord, Fort Mill, S.C., 2,144. 50, Jim Dougherty, Oklahoma City, 2,141. 51, Bruce Hall, Westborough, Mass., 2,140. 52(tie), Darryl Bower, Middletown, Pa., and Charles Vashaw (a), Deephaven, Minn., 2,139. 54, Paul Appling (a), Camarillo, Calif., 2,137.
55, Doug Kempt, Arcadia, Calif., 2,134. 56(tie), Christer Petersson, Sweden, and Donald Herrington, Ballston Lake, N.Y., 2,131. 58, Junichi Yajima, Japan, 2,129. 59, Patrick Shipley, Spring Valley, Calif., 2,125. 60, Roger Kossert, Lithia, Fla., 2,124.
61, Harry Sullins, Chesterfield, Mich., 2,123. 62, John Burkett, Southlake, Texas, 2,122. 63, John Hricsina (a), Las Vegas, 2,120. 64, Mark Scroggins, Canyon, Texas, 2,117. 65, Brian Cooper, Henderson, Nev., 2,115. 66, Jeff Suma (a), Auburn Hills, Mich., 2,114.
67, Terry Rohrer, Fort Wayne, Ind., 2,113. 68(tie), Mike Dias, Lafayette, Colo., and Gerald Sikora (a), Huron, S.D., 2,109. 70(tie), Noel Vazquez, Sacramento, Calif., and Michael Austin, Conroe, Texas, 2,107. 72, Scott Kraye (a), La Habra, Calif., 2,106.
73(tie), William Nichols, Bella Vista, Ark., and Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 2,104. 75(tie), Henry Dawson (a), Elma, Wash., and Russ Davies, Las Vegas, 2,102. 77, Kenny Parks, Hazel Park, Mich., 2,100. 78(tie), Ricky Schissler, Brighton, Colo., and Raif Terry, Larned, Kan., 2,098.
80, Mike Keough, Stockton, Calif., 2,096. 81, James Wallace (a), Hicksville, N.Y., 2,095. 82, Dave Washburn (a), Las Vegas, 2,090. 83(tie), Don Robinson, Boise, Idaho, and Joe Fulner III, Ocala, Fla., 2,087.
85, Darron Peters, Temecula, Calif., 2,086. 86, Alvin Lou (a), El Cajon, Calif., 2,083. 87, John Chovanec (a), Sugar Land, Texas, 2,081. 88, Gary Faulkner, Norfolk, Va., 2,078. 89, Robert Pohlman (a), Cedar Park, Texas, 2,076. 90(tie), Mark McCreary, Livermore, Calif., and Kevin Anderson, Mt. Juliet, Tenn., 2,070.
92, Stephen Kenyon, Dade City, Fla., 2,069. 93(tie), David Scardaville, Houston, and Michael Owen, Gainesville, Fla., 2,066. 95, Barry Zimmerman (a), Grand Forks, N.D., 2,065. 96, Gary Reh, Bullhead City, Ariz., 2,063.
97(tie), Stan Winters, Simi Valley, Calif., and Bryan Goebel, Shawnee, Kan., 2,061. 99, John Dudak, Orland Park, Ill., 2,060. 100, Darryl Dempsey, St. Petersburg, Fla., 2,057.