Walter Ray Williams Jr. Takes Commanding Points Lead as PBA50 Tour Resumes Competition
by Jerry Schneider | Tuesday, May 21, 8:43 AM
BRENTWOOD, Calif. -- With three consecutive wins and an eighth-place finish to start the season, PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. takes a huge 10,000-point lead in the PBA50 Tour points race over reigning Player of the Year Michael Haugen Jr., as the tour for players 50 years and over begins its western swing with the PBA50 Northern California Classic presented by MOTIV at Harvest Park Bowl in Brentwood May 25-28.
The 59-year-old Williams, who owns the PBA Tour all-time career titles mark of 47, will try again for a record 15th career PBA50 Tour title, and if successful, will hold the all-time titles lead for both of PBA’s national tours. Williams is currently tied with fellow Hall of Famer John Handegard for most PBA50 Tour titles at 14.
Williams started the 2019 season with wins in the season-opening PBA50 Johnny Petraglia BVL Open and PBA50 National Championship for his third career PBA50 major title, before his streak ended with a win in the PBA50 Mooresville Open. He fell short of a record-tying fourth consecutive PBA50 Tour title with an eighth-place finish in the PBA50 Hamilton Lanes & Entertainment Center Open.
“It’s a matter of everything coming together, especially because the PBA50 Tour continues to get better and better,” said Williams who won the Northern California Classic in 2012 and 2013. “When I started the season, I certainly couldn’t have predicted getting the crazy start that I did.
“Last season I was in a good position to win but finished second three times,” the seven-time PBA Tour and two-time PBA50 Tour Player of the Year continued. “Before the start of this season, I didn’t think winning a 15th title was within reach but now it’s certainly possible. You never know when the next win will come.”
Williams currently leads the PBA50 Tour points list with 18,930 points, 10,270 ahead of Haugen in second with 8,660.
PBA Hall of Famer and two-time PBA50 Player of the Year Ron Mohr will defend his Northern California Classic title at Harvest Park Bowl. The 63-year-old Mohr, who also won in 2011, handed Williams one of his three runner-up finishes in 2018 with a come-from-behind 237-218 title match victory for his 10th career PBA50 Tour title.
The fifth stop of the 2019 season starts with eight-game qualifying Sunday, May 26 with squads at 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to be followed by a second round of qualifying on May 27. Cashers and match play rounds begin at 8 a.m. on May 28 which will determine the top five players for the stepladder finals at 6:30 p.m.
Following the Northern California Classic the PBA50 Tour heads to Las Vegas for back-to-back majors – the USBC Senior Masters at Sam’s Town June 2-9 and the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open presented by Storm June 10-14.
Chris Warren won the 2018 USBC Senior Masters to become the third player to win both the USBC Masters and USBC Senior Masters when he defeated Duke in the double-elimination format title match when Duke left the devasting 3-4-6-7-9-10 in the 10th frame of the second game of the match.
PBA Hall of Famer Mika Koivuniemi won the 2018 Senior U.S. Open for his first PBA50 Tour title by beating Brian Kretzer 259-237 in the title match at the Suncoast Bowling Center.
Hall of Famers Pete Weber, Amleto Monacelli and Tom Baker will be trying to become the first three-time winner of the Senior U.S. Open which is the third major of the season. All three players won their two U.S. Open titles in consecutive years, Weber won in 2015 and 16, Monacelli in 2012 and ’13 and Tom Baker in 2005 and ’06.
Prior to the USBC Senior Masters, Sam’s Town will also host the first tournament of the season solely for players 60 and over when the USBC Super Senior Classic gets underway May 29-June 2. Mike Dias is the defending champion.
The Northern California Classic and Senior U.S. Open will be streamed live via PBA’s online streaming partner FloBowling. The USBC Senior Masters and USBC Super Senior Classic will be streamed on BowlTV.com.
PBA50 NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CLASSIC
Presented by MOTIV
Harvest Park Bowl, Brentwood, Calif.
(All times Pacific)
Saturday, May 25
9 a.m. - noon - Practice Session
1, 3, 7 p.m. - Pro-am squads
Sunday, May 26
8 a.m. - A Squad qualifying (8 games)
1:30 p.m. - B Squad qualifying (8 games)
Monday, May 27
8 a.m. - B Squad qualifying (8 games)
1:30 p.m. - A Squad qualifying (8 games)
Tuesday, May 28
8 a.m. - Cashers Round
11:30 a.m. - Match Play Round 1 (5 games)
2:45 p.m.- Match Play Round 2 (6 games)
Top five players advance to stepladder finals
6:30 p.m. stepladder finals