PBA Spare Shots: ‘Birthday Boy’ Walter Ray Williams Jr. Boosts Overall PBA Titles Total to 105

by Bill Vint  |  Friday, October 06, 11:39 AM

PBA Spare Shots: ‘Birthday Boy’ Walter Ray Williams Jr. Boosts Overall PBA Titles Total to 105

Aging like a fine wine, PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla., celebrated his 58th birthday Friday, six days after defeating amateur Robert Crain of Gray Court, S.C., 257-174, for his 105th career PBA title Sunday in Spartanburg, S.C.

Williams, PBA’s all-time leading title winner, picked up his third PBA50 regional title in the month of September in the PBA50 J & L Sports Spartanburg South Open at Paradise Lanes. Over his 37-year PBA career, he has won 47 PBA Tour, 32 PBA Regional, 11 PBA50 Tour and now 15 PBA50 Regional titles.

Unofficially, Williams has competed in 823 PBA Tour, 192 PBA Regional, 83 PBA50 Tour and 35 PBA50 Regional events – a grand total of 1,133 tournaments.

After qualifying in a tie for 15th place to slip into the Spartanburg elimination bracket finals, he never looked back in winning five consecutive matches on his way to the $1,900 first prize. Crain pocketed $1,000 as the runner-up.

Williams started his climb by eliminating Joe Scarborough of Charlotte, N.C., 2-0 in the best-of-three-game Round of 16, followed by a 2-0 sweep of Ernie Segura of Taylor, Mich., in the Round of 12; another 2-0 sweep of Roy Davis of Lumberton, N.C., in the Round of 8, and 210-195 victory over Doug Becker of Clermont, Fla., in the semifinal round. Crain won his Rounds of 12 and 8 matches before rallying to eliminate PBA Hall of Famer Tom Baker of King, N.C., 199-178, in his semifinal match.


Sean Rash won his 11th PBA Tour title when he defeated Australia’s Jason Belmonte in the finals of the 2016 PBA Detroit Open at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich. In this new PBA Player’s Perspective that debuted on Xtra Frame on Friday, Oct. 6, Rash provides insight into that victory.

On Oct. 14, the Player’s Perspective series on Xtra Frame will be Francois Lavoie’s insights into his 300 game in the 2016 U.S. Open. Xtra Frame subscription packages are offered for seven days, a full month or a 12-month Xtra Frame Season Ticket. Visit xtraframe.com for details on how to enroll.

Additionally, Player’s Perspective features that have previously been released on Xtra Frame will be made available on the PBA’s YouTube channel. EJ Tackett’s Player’s Perspective from the 2016 PBA World Championship has already been posted and fans can look for other Player’s Perspectives to be added to YouTube beginning this Tuesday with Ryan Ciminelli’s description of the 2015 U.S. Open title match.


Reigning U.S. Open champion Francois Lavoie from Quebec City, Canada, defeated Kurt Gengelbach of Carrollton, Texas, 243-221, to win his third PBA Regional title in the 21st annual PBA Killeen Southwest Open at Hallmark Lanes in Killeen, Texas, Sunday.

Lavoie opened the title match with a spare and then struck six out of the next seven frames to outdistance Gengelbach who started the final game with four strikes before suffering opens in the fifth and seventh frames, allowing Lavoie to claim the $2,700 winner’s check.

Lavoie started his road to victory by topping Brian Burkett of Ennis, Texas, 2-1 in their best-of-three-game Round of 12 match. He then eliminated Andy Patterson from Tyler, Texas, in the Round of 8, 2-1. In his semifinal round match, PBA Southwest Region Hall of Famer Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, could not keep up with Lavoie, succumbing, 231-183.

Gengelbach, who won his first of two PBA regional titles in 1982, defeated Gabe Yanes from Shertz, Texas, 2-1 in the Round of 16 and then topped Mike Bailey of Carrollton in the Round of 12, 2-0. In the round of 8, Gengelbach edged former Southwest Region Player of the Year Joe Findling of Mesquite, Texas, 2-1. In his semifinal match, Gengelbach ousted Anthony Lavery-Spahr from Pasadena, Texas, 208-203, to reach the final match.

Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, defeated Harry Sullins of Chesterfield Twp., Mich., by 161 pins to win the PBA50 Mel Westrich Memorial Central/Midwest Open at Delphos Recreation Center in Delphos, Ohio, Sunday.

Kretzer finished the 20-game event with a 9-3 match play record and a total of 4,706 pins, including match play bonus pins, to earn his second PBA50 Central Region title of the year and his sixth overall PBA50 Regional title. He also earned $1,500.

● PBA members bidding for points to qualify for the PBA Regional Challenge at the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX will have the following opportunities over the Oct. 6-8 weekend, the next-to-last weekend of qualifying (points are not awarded for PBA50 events): the Tavares Member/Non-Member South Doubles presented by Columbia 300 at Break Point Alley in Tavares, Fla.; the PBA and PBA50 Junction City Southwest/Midwest Opens in Junction City, Kan.; the Battle at Black Oak Casino West Open in Tuolumne, Calif.; the PBA and PBA-PWBA Greater Muskegon Central Opens at Sherman Bowling Center in Muskegon, Mich.; the PBA Champion Bowl Midwest Open in Ottumwa, Iowa, and the PBA Japan Shark Open presented by Ebonite International in Iruma, Japan.

● The final weekend of qualifying for the PBA Regional Challenge at the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX on Nov. 7 includes limited opportunities to add to players’ points totals. The Oct. 13-15 weekend includes the PBA50/PBA60 Centre Lanes Central Open presented by Storm in North Canton, Ohio; the PBA/PBA50 Over/Under D.A. Roofing Baker Doubles at Station 300 in Bluffton, S.C., and the Lubbock Sports Southwest Challenge presented by Ebonite for non-title winners at South Plains Lanes in Lubbock, Texas.

● PBA Regional action continues over the Oct. 20-22 weekend with the PBA50 Bryan’s Bowling Center Eastern Open presented by The Insurance Market and 900 Global in Laurel, Del.; the NAS JAX Freedom Lanes South Open in Jacksonville, Fla.; the Wichita Southwest Open at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan.; the PBA and PBA50 Spare Time Lanes Northwest Opens presented by Clover Island Hotel in Kennewick, Wash., and the Kokomo Central/Midwest Classic presented by Security Federal Savings in Kokomo, Ind.

● Closing the October PBA Regional calendar over the Oct. 27-29 weekend will be the South Point Challenge for non-champions and the South Point Member/Non-Member Doubles, both presented by Radical, at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas.

● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba. com (easily accessible for Apple device users using the new PBA app).


● Jermaine Baxter of Blythewood, S.C., is the winner of a new high-performance ball from DV8; Cal Yokomizo of San Diego, Calif., will receive a new high-performance ball from MOTIV, and Garrett Anderson of Atco, N.J., wins a new Brunswick ball as September sweepstakes winners for subscribing to Xtra Frame. The monthly sweepstakes is sponsored by the respective PBA Product Registered partners. Monthly winners are selected from among new Xtra Frame subscribers, who are automatically entered when they enroll as a monthly or Xtra Frame Season Ticket (full year) subscriber.

PBA60 member Ty Dawson of Sunnyvale, Calif., is the September winner of a $200 HotelPlanner.com certificate, redeemable for future lodging expenses, compliments of PBA’s official travel partner. The monthly sweepstakes is open to anyone who books a hotel through the HotelPlanner.com link on pba.com. Those who book through HotelPlanner.com are automatically entered.