Ty Dawson earns top seed for stepladder at 2019 Super Senior Classic

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By Daniel Farish
USBC Communications

- Ty Dawson of Sunnyvale, California, rolled 268 in his final game of match play to secure the top seed for the stepladder finals at the 2019 Super Senior Classic.

The 66-year-old right-hander averaged more than 238 during his 12 games at Sam's Town Bowling Center on Saturday and is one win away from winning the coveted title for United States Bowling Congress members age 60 and older, which will take place Sunday at 2 p.m. Eastern and be broadcast live at BowlTV.com.

Dawson was able to claim the top spot in his match-play group with a 4-2 record and 5,649 total, including bonus pins. Hugh Miller of Mercer Island, Washington, was able to lead the second group with 5,617 and will be the No. 2 seed for the stepladder finals.

Match play at the Super Senior Classic consists of two six-player groups, with the odd qualifiers competing in one group and evens in the other. The bowlers in each group competed in six games, including a position round.

The top qualifier in each group earned an automatic spot in the stepladder finals, with seeding being determined by total pinfall, including bonus pins.

Dawson's run to the top spot started during Saturday's Cashers' Round, as he led the field with a six-game block of 1,469 (244.83 average), allowing him to move from eighth place to second.

He was cruising to the top spot in his group during match play, but delivered nine strikes in his position-round victory over Pete McCordic of Katy, Texas, to surpass both Miller and 2017 Super Senior Classic champion Ron Mohr of Las Vegas in the final game.

For Dawson, his performance this week has been a culmination of months of preparation and hard work.

"I wanted to make good shots so I could make the right adjustments, and I did it," Dawson said. "I put in a lot of hard work to get to this position, and it feels good."

He solely focused on what he could control at Sam's Town, monitoring his on-lane reaction on this week's 40-foot lane condition as he made his run to the top of the leaderboard.

Dawson isn't ready to celebrate just yet, however. He plans to trust his instincts Sunday in order to take home the $8,500 top prize.

"I'm going to go home, have a good dinner, turn off my head and relax," Dawson said. "When I come in tomorrow, I'll let the lanes dictate what I need to do. I didn't bowl the practice session before the tournament - I just let my ball motion tell me where to throw it and how to move."

A pair of group stepladder finals will take place Sunday before the championship round to determine the final two players joining Dawson and Miller.

The second, third and fourth qualifiers in each match-play group advanced to an additional round Sunday, which starts at noon Eastern and also will be broadcast on BowlTV. The winner of each group stepladder also will advance and meet in the opening match.

Japan's Takeo Sakai finished third in Dawson's group and will face Professional Bowlers Association and USBC Hall of Famer Tom Baker of King, North Carolina, with the winner advancing to face McCordic in the final.

Darryl Bower of Middletown, Pennsylvania, and Christopher Keane of Cape Coral, Florida, will face off from Miller's group, with the winner drawing Mohr.

A record field of 198 players laced up at the 2019 Super Senior Classic, bowling 12 games of qualifying over two days to determine the top 50 players for Saturday's Cashers' Round.

The Cashers' Round included six additional games to determine the top 12 players, based on total pinfall for 18 games, advancing to round-robin match play.

Defending champion Mike Dias of Lafayette, Colorado, advanced to the Cashers' Round but was unable to make it to match play, finishing in 30th place.