By Matt Cannizzaro and David McCord
LAS VEGAS - After missing the cut to match play at the 2019 United States Bowling Congress Senior Masters, Michael Calvin of Warren, Michigan, made his way across town to bowl a squad at the 2019 Bowlers Journal Championships presented by USBC, where he hoped to end his week on a high note.
Using a subtle change in his hand position that helped him finish his USBC Senior Masters experience with two big games, Calvin rolled the sixth 300 of the 2019 Bowlers Journal Championships at the South Point Bowling Center.
He followed the perfect effort Wednesday with games of 246 and 202 for a 748 series, propelling him to the top of the Senior Singles leaderboard. Jeff Richgels of Oregon, Wisconsin, previously held the lead with a 709 series.
"During the last two games of qualifying (at the Senior Masters), I made a hand adjustment and shot 243 and 256," said Calvin, who was looking to improve on his eighth-place finish in the 2018 Senior Masters. "Even though I missed cut, it was a morale boost. Some of the guys suggested we come over here and bowl the Bowlers Journal, so we made the short drive over."
In addition to the Senior Singles lead, Calvin helped himself into two spots in the top 10 in Senior Doubles.
He and Jeff Suma Sr. of Auburn Hills, Michigan, are third with a 1,344 total, while he and Mike Lucente, also from Warren, moved into ninth place with 1,315.
Phillip Spruill of San Francisco and Terry Leong of Henderson, Nevada, lead Senior Doubles this year with 1,353.
"Winning the Bowlers Journal would just be the tops for me," said Calvin, a 55-year-old right-hander. "I won my state Masters tournament last year, but winning something on the national level would be a great achievement."
The Bowlers Journal Championships is in its 73rd year as the premier side event at the USBC Open Championships, which is being held at the nearby South Point Bowling Plaza. Both the Bowlers Journal Championships and Open Championships kicked off in March and will conclude during the first week of July.
The 2019 Senior Masters, which started with 300 of the best USBC members age 50 and older, is down to just five competitors.
The stepladder finals of the Senior Masters will be broadcast live from Sam's Town at BowlTV.com, beginning Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern. The winner will take home a $20,000 top prize.
For more information on the Open Championships, visit BOWL.com/OpenChamp.
Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Open Championships Facebook page.