Aging like a fine wine, PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla., celebrated his 58th birthday Friday, six days after defeating amateur Robert Crain of Gray Court, S.C., 257-174, for his 105th career PBA title Sunday in Spartanburg, S.C.
Williams, PBA’s all-time leading title winner, picked up his third PBA50 regional title in the month of September in the PBA50 J & L Sports Spartanburg South Open at Paradise Lanes. Over his 37-year PBA career, he has won 47 PBA Tour, 32 PBA Regional, 11 PBA50 Tour and now 15 PBA50 Regional titles.
Unofficially, Williams has competed in 823 PBA Tour, 192 PBA Regional, 83 PBA50 Tour and 35 PBA50 Regional events – a grand total of 1,133 tournaments.
After qualifying in a tie for 15th place to slip into the Spartanburg elimination bracket finals, he never looked back in winning five consecutive matches on his way to the $1,900 first prize. Crain pocketed $1,000 as the runner-up.
Williams started his climb by eliminating Joe Scarborough of Charlotte, N.C., 2-0 in the best-of-three-game Round of 16, followed by a 2-0 sweep of Ernie Segura of Taylor, Mich., in the Round of 12; another 2-0 sweep of Roy Davis of Lumberton, N.C., in the Round of 8, and 210-195 victory over Doug Becker of Clermont, Fla., in the semifinal round. Crain won his Rounds of 12 and 8 matches before rallying to eliminate PBA Hall of Famer Tom Baker of King, N.C., 199-178, in his semifinal match.