The cream rose to the top of the PBA Senior U.S. Open at Highland Park Lanes in Greeley, Colo. as the top four players from the 2022 PBA50 season all made the stepladder finals.

But all week, none of those stars were able to beat the 55-year-old from Blandon, Pa. 

Top-seeded Troy Lint defeated his idol and close friend Parker Bohn III in the title match 211-195 to win the season’s second major championship, marking his first career PBA50 Tour title.

Lint dealt with various injuries throughout the week, particularly to his right knee. In fact, during one shot earlier on Monday, his knee pain flared up and almost forced him to withdraw. But he wasn’t going to withdraw — not as the top seed.

“Pain will go away,” Lint said. “I’m going to bowl no matter what. I’ll bowl one-legged if I have to. I’ll one-step it.”

Though Bohn and Chris Barnes stayed within striking distance of Lint throughout match play, they never managed to catch him. He averaged over 230 to clinch the top seed for the five-player stepladder finals with a 42-game pinfall of 10,189 (+1,789).

“It means a lot, more than you can even imagine,” Lint said after earning the top seed earlier on Monday. “Leading the U.S. Open is just… it’s right there at the top of my accomplishments."

The championship round featured Lint, followed by the top four players from the 2022 PBA50 Tour: Barnes, Bohn, Tom Hess and Brad Angelo.

Both Angelo and Hess started slow in the opening match, each opening in the second frame. However, the struggles continued for Hess while Angelo caught fire. The Western New York native threw nine straight strikes en route to a decisive 266-145 win.

Angelo’s flames petered out in the second match against Bohn. He left a five-count spare and a 2-8-10 split on the right lane, which proved detrimental. Bohn stayed clean and fired the back-five for a 247-217 victory, setting up a semifinal match featuring the two leading PBA50 Player of the Year candidates from last season.

Barnes started off the semifinal with two consecutive splits, sparing the 4-7-10 in the second frame. The righty then made a quick ball change in the fourth frame; after splitting again, he rallied with a hambone to essentially even the match.

After a messenger failed to finish the job in Barnes' ninth frame, Bohn stepped up in his 10th frame with a chance to seal the match. He got the first strike he needed, but he split on the second shot and opened the door for Barnes.

However, the match ended the same as the 2022 Player of the Year race last year with Bohn earning a narrow victory.

Bohn's semifinal win set up an all-southpaw title match. Despite Lint’s clear advantage in rev rate and ball speed, he continued to play farther left than the Hall of Famer — that was by design.

“My goal coming into this season was to be left of Parker,” Lint said. “Even with all my hand, I want to be left of Parker. Because if he’s (to my left), I’m going to build his hold and he’s going to run me over. He’s the standard. He’s the guy on the left and, let’s be honest, we all want to beat him.

“So wherever he's at, I want to be left of him or on top of him. And that took a lot of work because I like to hook the whole lane,” Lint said laughing.

The title match was an old-fashioned grind. The two exchanged nine-count spares frame after frame. Because of a tricky right lane, the first double of the match came from Lint in the sixth and seventh frames.

Lint capitalized on the double and fired the lone three-bagger of the match. After Bohn converted a spare in the ninth frame, Lint just needed to stay clean to win his first title.

The eastern Pennsylvania native spared the 2-5 in the ninth and the 4-7 in the 10th to secure the win, 211-195.

Lint committed to bowling the PBA50 Tour full-time back in January. After he captured the PBA50 Regional Players Invitational title, which featured the best regional talents in the country, he wanted to prove he could be the best in the nation.

He set a goal to not be eligible for next year’s RPI, which would require finishing top 10 on the national tour in points. Through two tournaments, he’s been the best player in the nation.

The 55-year-old has racked up nine PBA50 Regional Tour titles, including the RPI, since joining the PBA less than three years ago. On Monday, he added a PBA50 major title to his résumé.

None of this would have happened without the influence of Michael Markis, his close friend, who passed away in April 2021.

“If it wasn't for Mike, I wouldn't be bowling in the PBA,” Lint said. “Now it’s all I care about.”

“You think you know how good you are, until you come out and bowl against the best in the world,” Lint said. “Then you figure out you’re a little better than you thought you were.”

Executing his gameplan to perfection this week speaks to Lint’s growth as a player. He said he thought his first win would have come last week at the USBC Senior Masters, when he could play his A-game and felt nobody else could replicate it.

Lint said the third-place finish motivated him even more coming into this week. After winning a major title while playing his B- or C-game, he doesn’t have the words to describe his mile-high confidence.

“These are the best in the world. I’m just doing the best I can against them," he said. "I think I’m doing alright.”

The PBA50 Tour continues next month in the Eastern time zone. The PBA60 Tristan’s T.A.P.S. Memorial Tournament begins July 2 in Columbus, Ohio, then the PBA50 South Shore Classic starts July 10 in Hammond, Ind.

Championship Round Scores

Match 1: No.5 Brad Angelo def. No. 4 Tom Hess, 266-145
Match 2: No. 3 Parker Bohn III def. No. 5 Brad Angelo, 247-217
Match 3: No. 3 Parker Bohn III def. No. 2 Chris Barnes, 206-182
Championship: No. 1 Troy Lint def. No. 3 Parker Bohn III, 211-195

Final Standings

  1. Troy Lint, $15,000
  2. Parker Bohn III, $8,000
  3. Chris Barnes, $6,000
  4. Brad Angelo, $5,000
  5. Tom Hess, $4,000
  6. David Leverage, $3,000
  7. Steven Badovinac, $2,800
  8. Pete Weber, $2,600
  9. Amletto Monacelli, $2,400
  10. Jon Rakoski, $2,200

Complete Senior U.S. Open Standings

More information on the Senior U.S. Open is available here.