Campbell, LeClair Top Qualifying Heading into USBC Senior Masters Match Play
by JSchneider | Thursday, June 07, 10:01 PM
By Matt Cannizzaro, USBC Communications
LAS VEGAS - After three days of qualifying at the 2018 USBC Masters the 64-player match-play bracket is set.
James Campbell of Clearwater, Florida, and reigning PBA50 Player of the Year Brian LeClair of Delmar, New York, again took turns occupying the top spot in the standings Thursday, as they have all week, with Campbell settling into the lead for good late in the final qualifying block.
Campbell, a 54-year-old right-hander making his second appearance at the USBC Senior Masters, paced the 272-player field with a 15-game total of 3,571, a 238.07 average. He posted sets of 1,221, 1,171 and 1,179 this week at the Sam's Town Bowling Center.
LeClair finished qualifying with 3,527 total and was followed by 2017 PBA50 Rookie of the Year Michael Haugen Jr. of Phoenix (3,386), Noel Vazquez of Sacramento, California (3,384), and two-time Senior Masters champion Pete Weber of St. Ann, Missouri (3,369).
The final spot in the double-elimination bracket went to Michael Calvin of Warren, Michigan,, who defeated Johnny Manzella of McCalla, Alabama, 204-155, in a one-game roll-off after the two tied for 64th place with 3,141, a 209.4 average.
Calvin will take on Campbell in the first round of match play Friday morning. Three-game total pinfall will determine the winners in each match.
Matches will continue throughout the day Friday and Saturday, after which, five players will remain in contention for the $20,000 top prize. The stepladder finals of the 2018 Senior Masters will be broadcast live on BowlTV Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern.
"My goal when I came here, like it is every year, was just to make the top 64, and it was nice to have a couple good days and some room going into today's block, especially with the start I had this morning," Campbell said. "I'm glad I was able to eventually find something, and I'm hoping what I found today, and what I learned, I can take forward with me into match play."
Defending champion Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Florida, who was guaranteed the final spot in the bracket regardless of his performance in qualifying, averaged 222.27 over his 15 games on the way to a 3,334 total and will enter the bracket in the No. 15 spot. He'll face Australia's Andrew Frawley in the opening round.
Because the Sam's Town Bowling Center only has 56 lanes, the left side of the bracket, including Campbell and Calvin, will bowl at noon Eastern, and the right side of the bracket will get underway at 2:30 p.m. EDT.
All first-round matches will be contested on the fresh 41-foot oil pattern.
Campbell admitted to having struggled in the past when the lanes were fresh, but it's something he has been working to overcome and definitely focused on Thursday at Sam's Town. Calvin considers his best look to be on the fresh condition.
"I hope because today I bowled well on the fresh, it means I figured something out, but I also have to be prepared to try something different, if what I start with doesn't work," Campbell said. "I might even just start left sooner. I'll just see how practice goes and make the best decision I can. Today, I tried a couple balls in practice, and my game plan was to try some different things during the block, but it's really hard to switch balls after you just fell into the shot and shot 250."
The 272 competitors at Sam's Town this week all bowled 15 games of qualifying over three days, giving each the chance to experience the fresh, burn and double-burn variations of the challenging lane condition. The 15-game pinfall totals determined the 63 players joining Williams in match play.
For complete qualifying results click on http://scores.bowl.com/2018SeniorMasters/2018SeniorMastersQualifying3.pdf
For bracket pairings click on http://scores.bowl.com/2018SeniorMasters/2018SeniorMastersBrackets.pdf