USBC Senior Masters Headlines Trio of Events in Green Bay

by Gianmarc Manzione 0

During the next two weeks, three United States Bowling Congress events will head to The Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley in Green Bay, Wis., which has played host to many of the world's best bowlers in 2015.

The USBC Senior Masters will headline the three tournaments, with nearly 200 of the top USBC members age 50 and older set to take on the unique double-elimination format from July 27-Aug. 2.

The International Training and Research Center Super Senior Classic, the premier event for USBC members age 60 and older, will hit the lanes in Green Bay from Aug. 2-5, while bowlers from across the United States and several Canadian provinces compete in the USBC Senior Championships on Aug. 5-7.

All qualifying and match-play rounds at the Senior Masters and Super Senior Classic will be broadcast live on BowlTV.

USBC and PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla., is the defending champion at the Senior Masters. His 240-219 victory against No. 1 seed Jack Jurek of Lackawanna, N.Y., came in dramatic fashion when Williams collapsed the 2-4-5 combination to log a must-have strike in his final frame.

Williams, the 2004 (January) and 2010 USBC Masters champion, became the second bowler in history to win both the Masters and Senior Masters, joining fellow hall of famer Dave Soutar of Bradenton, Fla.

Now, the 55-year-old Williams looks to become the sixth competitor to win multiple Senior Masters titles and first to win in back-to-back years since USBC and PBA Hall of Famer Tom Baker of King, N.C., accomplished the feat in 2007.

Earlier this year, Williams finished tied for 78th in the 2015 Masters, which was held at The Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley, so he has some familiarity with the 60-lane facility.

As the defending champion at the Senior Masters, Williams automatically will have a spot in the three-game double-elimination bracket portion of the event. However, he will bowl qualifying to try and improve his seeding in the bracket. If he finishes outside of the top 63 in qualifying, he will earn the No. 64 spot in the bracket.

Qualifying begins Tuesday at 1 p.m. Eastern, and all players will bowl 15 games over three days to determine the 63 bowlers who will join Williams in match play. The player who survives the bracket to win the event will take home $18,000 of the estimated $128,000 prize fund.

Competitors at the 2015 Super Senior Classic will compete for an estimated top prize of $4,000.

After 16 games of qualifying over two days, beginning Aug. 3, the top 25 percent of the field will advance to the four-game cashers' round, which will determine the five players for the stepladder finals.

Jim Knoblauch of Waukesha, Wis., defeated defending champion Kerry Painter of Henderson, Nev., 224-213, to win the 2014 Super Senior Classic at the ITRC in Arlington, Texas.

Senior Championships competitors will finish USBC's historic run in Green Bay as they roll six games over two days, competing in six age-based categories in two divisions - Open and Women's.

The Senior Championships field includes bowlers who advanced through local and state events to earn their places in the national tournament.

The top six scores with handicap in each category after six games will advance to the medal round, which will include three additional games to determine the 2015 champions.

At the Masters in February, Green Bay bowling fans were a part of history as Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte became the first bowler to win the event three consecutive times.

In May, they witnessed new USBC Hall of Famer Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., win the Queens for the second time in her career, while USBC Hall of Famer Robin Romeo of Newhall, Calif., won her second consecutive USBC Senior Queens title.

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