Pete Weber of St. Ann, Missouri, turned in a steady performance Wednesday at The Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley to maintain his lead at the 2015 United States Bowling Congress Senior Masters.
The 52-year-old right-hander rolled games of 197, 206, 269, 226 and 257 for a 1,155 total, and his 2,338 two-day effort, a 233.8 average, puts him 84 pins ahead of fellow USBC and Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli of Aventura, Florida, who has toppled 2,254 pins in his first 10 games this week.
Mike Edwards of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the 2012 USBC Senior Masters champion, is third with 2,234, Brian LeClair of Delmar, New York is fourth with 2,214, and left-hander Mike Dias of Lafayette, Colorado, and Mark Williams of Beaumont, Texas, are tied for fifth with 2,186.
Some might say Weber has a leg up on the competition this week in Green Bay after leading every qualifying round on the way to a third-place finish at the 2015 USBC Masters, which was held in the same bowling center in February, and he agrees that being familiar with the venue certainly is a factor in his continued success in The Badger State.
"I do like the house, and my guesses and ball choices have been good, too, but I also feel like I've been bowling well overall," said Weber, the 2013 Senior Masters winner. "In February, I learned to switch balls quicker when I get to a pair and start getting in trouble. I also remember some of the characteristics of the center, and that has helped."
For Monacelli, experience definitely played a role in Wednesday's success.
The 53-year-old right-hander quickly realized what the fresh 40-foot lane condition was giving him, and he was able to confidently make a move that helped him score until the lanes opened up.
"I had no expectations for today," said Monacelli, who owns 19 PBA Tour titles and four PBA50 victories. "I had an idea, but that's never definite until I go out there and throw the ball. Today, it only took four frames for me to realize I started too far left. I moved right and changed balls and bowled until I was able to move left to where I was yesterday."
All 194 competitors will be back on the lanes for five more games Thursday as qualifying concludes with squads at noon and 6 p.m. Eastern.
After 15 games, the field will be cut to the top 63 bowlers, who will join defending champion Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Florida, in the double-elimination match-play bracket.
Williams finished the second day in 44th place with a 2,032 total. Should he not make the top 63, he still is guaranteed the No. 64 spot in match play. He is looking to become the first player since Tom Baker of King, North Carolina, in 2007, to win the Senior Masters in consecutive years.
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 open to USBC members age 50 and older and is the first of three USBC tournaments that will take place in Green Bay in the coming weeks. Senior Masters bowlers are competing for a $16,000 top prize.
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.