Bowling News USA - June 10, 2011 Storm's Mark Williams Ready to Defend at 2011 PBA Senior U.S. Open
Defending champion and Storm Senior staffer Mark Williams (pictured) performance in winning the 2010 Senior U.S. Open presented by the Suncoast was indicative of the creativity that players will need to be successful in what is considered the toughest test for Senior Tour players.
Williams will try to defend his title against a field of approximately 250 players when the 2011 Senior U.S. Open returns to the Suncoast Bowling Center June 12-17.
Playing two entirely different lines in the championship match last year, the PBA Hall of Famer from Beaumont, Texas, won the 2010 Senior U.S. Open for his first major Senior Tour title.
Using the same ball and playing the right lane from an extreme outside angle, and the left lane much farther inside, Williams defeated 2009 Senior Player of the Year Ron Mohr of Eagle River, Alaska, 198-181, to also win his third career Senior Tour title.
The Senior U.S. Open format is the most demanding in the sport for the 50-years-and-older players. To get to the championship round a bowler must get through four qualifying rounds and three match play rounds for a total of 51 games. The demanding lane conditions and format were well-suited for Williams who bowled two 300 games last year, the only perfect games of the tournament.
"I look forward to the long format tournaments like the U.S. Open because you're going to experience a lot of changes and having to adjust to those changes is really my biggest asset," said the 54-year-old Williams. "By the time you get through match play you're going to experience a little of everything.
"I like the variety and the versatility you need to have to make the right adjustments. If I could design a tournament for the way I bowl, this would be it."
Williams, who also owns seven Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour titles including the 1985 and 1988 PBA Tournament of Champions, was part of a three-way battle with fellow Hall of Famers Wayne Webb and Walter Ray Williams Jr. for Senior Player of the Year honors which came down to the last tournament of the 2010 season.
So far this year Williams' best finishes have been fifth and sixth-place finishes, respectively, to start the season in the Senior Don Carter Open and Sun Bowl In The Villages.
"So far I've qualified pretty well but haven't done as well as I would have liked in match play," Williams said. "I'd have to admit that I'm not as sharp as I was a year ago which is a little strange because physically I'm feeling better than ever. I'm hoping that with a little more practice by the time the tournament starts I'll be where I need to be."
After four Senior Tour events this season there have been four different winners. PBA legend Walter Ray Williams Jr. is coming off a win in the recent Senior Mark Roth Allentown Open. Mike Dias won the season-opening Senior Don Carter Open followed by wins by Harry Sullins in the Sun Bowl In The Villages, and Ron Mohr in the Senior Miller High Life Classic.
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