Walter Ray Williams Jr. wins 16th PBA50 title at Odessa Open
Odessa, Texas – On Saturday during day two of qualifying at the 2022 PBA50 Odessa Open, Walter Ray Williams Jr. climbed from ninth place to second. During match play on Sunday, the winningest professional bowler ever shot a 750 series followed by a 771 series to earn the No. 1 seed in the stepladder finals.
However, heading into the championship match inside Diamond Lanes Williams Jr. was completely confused.
During his initial practice time on the TV pair, he noticed the left lane had a hang spot where he was trying to play and it was a pinch tighter, so he thought he would have to hook the ball. But then he wasn’t seeing the results he wanted from that game plan either. After watching Lennie Boresch Jr., who was the No. 16 seed heading into match play, be able to manipulate his wrist and roll to power his way through the rest of the stepladder field, Williams Jr. was even more uncomfortable.
Boresch Jr. started first on the left lane with a strike. Williams Jr. left two weak 10-pins back-to-back using the Hammer Black Widow Pink urethane and made the switch to a Brunswick Quantum EVO in the third frame. The ball didn’t hook as much as he thought it would, leaving the 2-4-5. He picked up the bucket then left the 7-10 split.
“After I left the 7-10 in the fourth, I thought this is not good at all,” Williams Jr. said. “Lennie was lined up and I figured he was going to do a lot of striking.”
The right lane would end up being the key lane in the match, which seemed to favor Boresch Jr. who had thrown at least four strikes on that lane in each of his previous three matches, but in the fourth frame Boresch Jr. left a pocket 4-10 for his first open frame.
Williams Jr. followed up his open frame with a double, while Boresch Jr. left a pocket 7-10 on the dreaded right lane in the sixth frame for his second open frame of the title match.
“Lennie had two really bad breaks that gave me the lead,” Williams Jr. said. “In the ninth frame, I tugged it a little too much and it dead hooked.”
Williams Jr. left the 4-6-7-10 in the ninth also on the right lane. But he was able to throw a double in the 10th frame to earn the hard fought 187-172 victory for his 16th PBA50 Tour title.
“Fortunately, in the 10th frame, I managed to do what I needed,” the USBC and PBA Hall of Famer said. “I was not very comfortable and in fact, I am still not comfortable, and I just won the tournament.”
He admits it was not an “overly impressive match on my part, but I was very fortunate.”
Coming into the title match, Boresch Jr. was in complete control of the lanes. In the opening match, Dan Knowlton, who finished second at this tournament last year, jumped out to a 20-pin lead through five frames over Boresch Jr. Boresch had the better carry of the two players down the stretch. He stepped up in the 10th frame and doubled for the 248-238 win.
Boresch’s hot hand continued in match two against Tom Hess. Through the first four frames, Hess had three spares and one strike, while Boresch had one strike and three single-pin spares as they were tied. Boresch then reeled off eight straight strikes for 258 over Hess’s 182.
In the third match, Boresch again had the better look on the TV pair over Brad Angelo, despite both players opening in the first frame. Boresch went on to win 216-165.
View the full PBA50 Odessa Open results at PBA50 Odessa Open | PBA
2022 PBA50 ODESSA OPEN FINAL STANDINGS:
1. Walter Ray Williams Jr. $7,500
2. Lennie Boresch Jr. $4,000
3. Brad Angelo $2,400
4. Tom Hess $2,000
5. Dan Knowlton $1,700
Match 1 –Boresch Jr. def Knowlton 248-238
Match 2 – Boresch Jr. def Hess 258-182
-Match 3 – Boresch Jr. def Angelo 216-165
Championship match – Williams Jr. def. Boresch Jr. 187-172