Williams earns top qualifier honors at Senior Masters

LAS VEGAS - After three rounds of qualifying at the 2014 United States Bowling Congress Senior Masters, Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., earned top qualifier honors heading into match play.

The USBC Hall of Famer finished with a 15-game total of 3,553 (236.8 average) to lead a field of 310 of the top senior bowlers age 50 and older at South Point Bowling Center.

The top 64 players after qualifying advanced to the double-elimination match-play bracket, which begins at 8 a.m. Pacific Thursday live on BOWL.com's BowlTV. The event concludes with the stepladder finals live on BowlTV on Friday at 3 p.m. Pacific.

Williams put together a huge third round to vault past Brian Voss of Centennial, Colo., who had lead after the first two rounds. Williams fired 1,245 for five games Wednesday after shooting 1,149 in the opening round and 1,159 in the second round.

"I've been sick for a couple days now, and normally when I have a cold it doesn't affect my bowling very much, so hopefully I don't feel worse tomorrow," Williams said. "Once I get going, I loosen up and it's not so bad. Hopefully, I can continue bowling well."

Voss, who competed on the final squad of the day, had a chance to stay ahead of Williams in the final frame. Needing a double to lock up top qualifier honors, Voss left a split that dropped him down to third with 3,534.

Jack Jurek of Lackawanna, N.Y., qualified second with 3,540. Super Senior Jim Starks of San Bernardino, Calif., took the fourth position with 3,445.

Defending champion Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., who was guaranteed a spot in match play regardless of where he finished, ended up taking the No. 5 seed for match play. He finished qualifying with 3,432.

The final spot in match play went to Steve Anderson of Colorado Springs, Colo., who qualified in 64th position with 3,160.
The players are battling for a piece of the $144,400 prize fund, which includes a first-place prize of $18,000.

All rounds of the Senior Masters are being broadcast live on BOWL.com's BowlTV. For more information on the event, visit BOWL.com/SeniorMasters.