When Wayne Webb attempts to successfully defend his United States Bowling Congress Senior Masters title next week, he will do so in the town he now calls home - Columbus, Ohio - and in a bowling center named after him.
Webb hopes the local support will propel him to become just the third bowler to successfully defend a Senior Masters title. The event begins Monday with qualifying at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl and will feature over 250 of the top bowlers in the country age 50 and over. BOWL.com will have wire-to-wire live streaming of the event.
"I think the local support is going to be a big influence next week," said Webb, who was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame last month. "I've got something to prove to the people in this area because they've never seen me bowl in a professional tournament in this center."
At last year's Senior Masters, Webb went undefeated in seven matches to win the title, defeating fellow Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., 705-628.
Webb knows going undefeated again this year will be a difficult task, especially given the fact he's been battling a left knee injury for the past year.
"I've taken the past month off and bowled three games this past Monday," said Webb, who has 20 titles on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour. "I wasn't sure I was even going to be able to bowl, but I am going to give it a try no matter what. I think I've got a pretty good chance, but it's almost impossible to do what I did last year. Winning seven matches doesn't sound very hard, but when you are out there trying to do it, it feels almost impossible."
Competition begins with the opening five-game block of qualifying on Monday and continues with additional five-game blocks on Tuesday and Wednesday. The top 63 players after 15 games will join Webb and advance to the double-elimination match-play bracket on Thursday and Friday. The winner will earn $14,000 and the total prize pool is more than $110,000.
For more information on the USBC Senior Masters, visit BOWL.com/seniormasters.