Cameron Weier led the way during the first round of qualifying for the PBA division at the 2022 Regional Players Invitational in Las Vegas.

The Seattle native shot 1,735 for his seven games, averaging more than 247. Fero Williams, Anthony Schanen, Graham Fach and Cortez Schenck round out the top five.

Fach, a five-time PBA regional champion this season, entered the tournament as one of the favorites. The southpaw said he is battling an injury in his left elbow, but still held the lead after Game 6.

However, in the final game of the night, the trio of righties surged past the southpaw.

Weier, Williams and Schanen all hail from the West Coast and their experience competing at South Point Bowling Plaza paid dividends. They each said an emphasis on speed control was crucial to their high scores on the 43-foot, 31.4-mL pattern.

“There's really only a couple things that work in the Plaza,” Schanen said. “On this type of pattern, speed control is really key. If you can throw it slow and get left of everybody that seems to work more often than not.”

Schanen said his strategy was very similar to the one he utilized at the PBA regional at South Point two months ago. He said his game plan was to throw a big asymmetric ball and stay right of 15, then jump left as the lanes opened up.

Williams used a similar approach to Schanen. After a strong start with 738 for his first three games, transition and a tricky pair caught him in Game 4. He switched to a Reality Check after that game, a move that allowed him to shoot 300 in Game 5 and 813 down the stretch.

“I missed right and once it came back, I just got zoned in,” he said of the ball change in Game 5. “I made sure to float the ball off my hand, keep the flat spot long and don't try to do too much.”

Weier, however, opted to use urethane. He threw the Purple Pearl Urethane for the first seven games before switching to a Zen in Game 7. The late ball change resulted in a 277, which helped him climb into the lead at +335.

“I wanted to stay grounded in my approach, approach every shot like its own entity and not worry about what's going on around me,” Weier said. “I don't want to let up on the guys, obviously, but it's a little easier to have a looser swing going in tomorrow knowing that I don't have to press or try to do anything crazy.”

The second round of qualifying begins tomorrow, Jan. 4, at noon ET. The top 32 players after all 14 games of qualifying will advance to match play.

The top eight players will receive a double bye in the bracket, while the ninth through 16th qualifiers will earn a one-round bye.

After seven games, Jake Rollins and Michael Patterson are tied for the final spots in the cut at 1,550, averaging a hair over 221.

Williams, Nathan Bohr (13th) and Michael Schlabach (15th) shot the lone 300 games of the day.

Qualifying Round 1 Standings

  1. Cameron Weier, 1,735
  2. Fero Williams, 1,720
  3. Anthony Schanen, 1701
  4. Graham Fach, 1,691
  5. Cortez Schenck, 1,671
  6. Zac Tackett, 1,661
  7. Tim Foy Jr., 1,659
  8. Colin Champion, 1,658
  9. Cody Shoemaker, 1,653
  10. Jean Perez, 1,645

Full standings are available here.

Remaining RPI Schedule

Wednesday, Jan. 4
9 a.m. PST | 12 p.m. ET — PBA qualifying Round 2 (seven-game block)
4 p.m. PST | 7 p.m. ET — PBA division Round of 32 (best-of-five matches)
6:30 p.m. PST | 9:30 p.m. ET — PBA Round of 24 (best-of-five matches)

Thursday, Jan. 5
8 a.m. PST | 11 a.m. ET — PBA Round of 16 (best-of-three matches)
9:30 a.m. PST | 12:30 p.m. ET — PBA Round of 8 (best-of-three matches)
11 a.m. PST | 2 p.m. ET — PBA Round of 4 (single-game matches)
11:45 a.m. PST | 2:45 p.m. ET — PBA championship round (single-game match)