Walter Ray Williams Jr. survived a roll-off after the championship match to successfully defend his PBA50 Northern California Classic presented by Track title Wednesday at Harvest Park Bowl becoming the first two-time winner this season.
Williams, the reigning PBA50 Player of the Year, defeated amateur Pete Thomas of Oklahoma City, 20-19 in a two-frame roll-off after the players tied with a 223 game. Both players struck in the first frame of the roll-off but Williams struck on the second ball and Thomas could only manage a nine-count leaving the 2 pin. In the 10th frame of the title match, Williams needed the second strike to win the match outright but went nine-spare to force the tie.
“That was a little more exciting than I wanted it to be,” said the PBA Hall of Famer of the title match. “It was kind of a reflection of how tough all my matches were. None of them were easy which made it a tough day but all the more rewarding in the end.”
Williams, who won his sixth career PBA50 Tour title, won a best-of-five game match against Joe Goldstein of San Bruno, Calif., 3-2, and a best-of-three match against Bob Learn Jr. of Erie, Pa., to advance to the semifinal match where he beat Kevin Croucher of Grants Pass, Ore., 253-209 to advance to the championship match.
“Except for one frame I used the same ball the whole tournament,” said Williams, who won the PBA50 Sun Bowl In The Villages earlier this season. “With a few adjustments I was able to keep the ball in play and get to the pocket consistently.”
Thomas, bowling in his fifth PBA50 Tour event, defeated Hall of Famer Dale Eagle of Tavares, Fla., 248-224, in the other semifinal to advance to the title match. Thomas was trying to become the first amateur to win a PBA50 tournament since Nick Morgan of Sacramento, Calif., won the Northern California Classic in 2008.
With three tournaments remaining in the season, Williams’ win moved him into the PBA50 Player of the Year points lead with 42 points, followed by Amleto Monacelli of Venezuela with 40, and Lennie Boresch Jr. of Kenosha, Wis., in third with 29. The top three in points will earn a trip to Las Vegas in early November for the televised PBA50 Finals which will be part of World Series of Bowling V at the South Point Bowling Center.
The PBA50 Tour season takes a six-week break before returning to Hammond, Ind., for the PBA50 South Shore Open presented by DV8 Aug. 5-8.
PBA50 NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CLASSIC PRESENTED BY TRACK
Harvest Park Bowl, Brentwood, Calif., Wednesday
Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla. ($8,000) def. Pete Thomas, Oklahoma City ($4,500), 223-223 (Williams won two-frame roll-off 20-19 for title).
Semifinal Round (one-game matches, losers earn $2,600)
Thomas def. Dale Eagle, Tavares, Fla., 248-224.
Williams def. Kevin Croucher, Grants Pass, Ore., 259-203.
Round of 8 (best-of-three games, losers eliminated, earn $1,600)
Williams def. Bob Learn Jr., Erie, Pa., 2-1.
Croucher def. Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 2-1.
Thomas def. Kevin Foley, Reno, Nev. 2-0.
Eagle def. Wayne Webb, Columbus, Ohio, 2-0.
Round of 16 (best-of-five games, losers eliminated, earn $1,300)
Monacelli def. Lennie Boresch Jr., Kenosha, Wis., 3-1.
Croucher def. Ron Mohr, Las Vegas, 3-1.
Learn def. Bob Rice, Sunnyside, Wash., 3-1.
Williams def. Joe Goldstein, San Bruno, Calif., 3-2.
Thomas def. Rodney Garrick, San Francisco, 3-0.
Foley def. Hugh Miller, Seattle, 3-0.
Eagle def. Dale Traber, Cedarburg, Wis., 3-2.
Webb def. Ron Winger, Las Vegas, 3-0.
Round of 24 (best-of-five games, losers eliminated, earn $1,100)
Boresch def. Dave Dayton, Reno, Nev., 3-2.
Rice def. Kenny Parks, Hammond, Ind., 3-2.
Croucher def. Mike Dias, Lafayette, Colo., 3-0.
Goldstein def. Paul Appling, Camarillo, Calif., 3-1.
Garrick def. Noel Vazquez, Sacramento, Calif., 3-0.
Foley def. John Dudak, Orland Park, Ill., 3-1.
Eagle def. Sam Carter, BenLomond, Calif., 3-1.
Webb def. Nick Morgan, Sacramento, Calif., 3-1.