Morgantown, W.V. – When Randy Weiss turned 50 on December 30, his focus turned to getting out and competing on the PBA50 Tour. The South Carolina native quickly made his presence noticed with a seventh place finish at the first stop of the season followed by another check at the second stop. His best finish so far was third at the Senior Masters, and on Tuesday he led Day 1 of qualifying at the 2024 PBA50 Morgantown Classic.

“I had been thinking about it for awhile. I didn’t quite really stop bowling the regular tour (PBA National Tour) because I wanted to. I definitely felt like I had some unfinished business left with bowling,” he said. “It has been pretty good. Using all the tricks I have learned over all of these years and see what we can do with them.”

The tricks he used included twirling his ball through the front and spinning it as the 37-foot Bat oil pattern was hooking more than what he has seen on the lanes this season. He focused on trying to get more side roll to make his ball not see the front as much. Those tricks helped him shoot 240, 202, 236, 247, 245, 255 and 232 for 1,657, an average of 236.71.

After his stellar performance at the Senior Masters, he skipped the U.S. Open to celebrate his 7-year-old daughter, Rosi’s birthday. Rosi and her 9-year-old brother, Gavin, are with their dad and they were cheering him on.  

“I just enjoy them coming with me and getting to see new towns. We make sure we do some things outside of bowling to give them some new experiences. They definitely enjoy it,” he said. “All the time I get with them, I love.”

Looking ahead to bowling on the fresh oil inside Suburban Lanes Wednesday morning, he is glad he already got off to a nice start. He expects more urethane equipment will go down the lane, so he envisions having to move further right and play straighter. Weiss holds a 12-pin lead over A-squad leader David Handlowich Jr. He shot 183, 279, 206, 259, 249, 223 and 246, averaging 235. He only bowls a couple of PBA50 stops each year and this is his first one.

After having issues with his interchangeable thumb fitting properly in his urethane ball, he struggled early but was able to rebound in a huge way. He switched balls and from there he said it was lights out. He was crossing with John Burkett, who is in fourth place. In the eighth frame of their last game, "he congratulated me, shook my hand, and the rest is history," Handlowich Jr. said.

“Every ball I picked up after that first game was money no matter what I did,” he said. “John (Burkett) and I were battling for first and second for most of the day. I always wanted to come out and try to compete, but kids and family come first. I have never really bowled as good as I did today.”

His wife, Jackie was behind him all day cheering him on. He said she was shocked, and he described the experience as mind blowing. His first call was to his mom, Careen, back home in New York and he said there would be some tears. He credits the support from his wife and family, and the help and encouragement he has received for years from fellow New York bowlers Brian LeClair and Ryan Shafer with getting him to this point. He never imagined he would lead a PBA50 qualifying squad, as he did after the A-squad finished on Tuesday. And this all comes a few days before his 55th birthday on Thursday.

Weiss and the rest of the B-squad will get things started at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday followed by the A-squad at 1:30 p.m. ET. At the end of qualifying, 31 players will move onto the Advancers Round on Thursday. Watch the final day of qualifying on BowlTV.

Top 10 PBA50 Morgantown Classic standings:

  1. Randy Weiss, 1,657 (+257)
  2. David Handlowich Jr., 1,645 (+245)
  3. John Marsala, 1,635 (+235)
  4. John Burkett, 1,633 (+233)
  5. Joe Fulner III, 1,627 (+227)
  6. Jason Couch, 1,616 (+216)
  7. Mark Sullivan, 1,615 (+215)
  8. Pete Weber, 1,599 (+199)
  9. George Kostjal, 1,596 (+196)
  10. Bill Vannoy, 1,585 (+185)

Full standings - 2024 PBA50 Morgantown Classic

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