BRENTWOOD, Calif. – PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. made a bid to become the favorite for 2012 Senior Player of the Year honors by winning the PBA Senior Northern California Classic presented by Track Wednesday at Harvest Park Bowl.
The seven-time PBA Player of the Year became the first two-time winner this season by defeating Hugh Miller of Seattle, 248-231, in the championship match.
“A lot of my matches today were closer than they looked,” said Williams, who was the 2010 PBA Senior Rookie of the Year. “It wasn’t all smooth sailing because I had a couple of matches that came down to the 10th frame. But I did what I had to do to win.”
Williams, who won the Senior Don Carter Memorial earlier this season, captured his fourth career Senior Tour title to go along with his PBA Tour career-leading 47 titles. He also improved on seventh and 17th-place finishes in his previous two Senior Northern California Classic appearances.
“The first game I bowled in match play was 194 and missed the pocket one time so I had to go to another ball to get a better reaction on the backend,” said Williams, who won a total of four matches Wednesday on his way to victory. “I had one open and don’t think I missed the pocket maybe two or three times all day. I’m just glad I didn’t waste all my strikes in qualifying.”
Miller was trying to become the seventh different winner of the season and was coming off a fifth-place finish in the Etonic PBA Senior U.S. Open and second-place finish in last week’s United States Bowling Congress Senior Masters.
In the semifinals, Williams defeated Mike Dias of Lafayette, Colo., 259-228 and Miller defeated Hall of Famer Wayne Webb of Columbus, 216-205, to advance to the title match.
The 2012 PBA Senior Tour season takes a six-week break before it resumes with the PBA Senior South Shore Open presented by DV8 at Olympia Lanes in Hammond, Ind., Aug. 6-9, and the season-ending PBA Senior Decatur Open presented by Brunswick Aug. 11-14 at Spare Time Lanes in Decatur, Ill.
PBA SENIOR NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CLASSIC PRESENTED BY TRACK
Harvest Park Bowl, Brentwood, Calif., Wednesday
Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla. ($8,000) def. Hugh Miller, Seattle ($4,500), 248-231.
Semifinal Round (losers earn $2,600)
W.R. Williams def. Mike Dias, Lafayette, Colo., 259-228.
Miller def. Wayne Webb, Columbus, Ohio, 216-205.
Round of 8 (best of three games, losers eliminated, $1,600 each)
W.R. Williams def. Ross Packard, San Jose, Calif., 2-0.
Dias def. a-Mark McCreary, Livermore, Calif., 2-0.
Miller def. Ted Staikoff, Black Hawk, S.D., 2-0.
Webb def. Lennie Boresch, Jr., Kenosha, Wis., 2-0.
Round of 16 (best of five games, losers eliminated, $1,300 each)
W.R. Williams def. a-Dick Baker, Henderson, Nev., 3-1.
Packard def. Chris Keane, New City, N.Y., 3-1.
Dias def. Dale Traber, Cedarburg, Wis., 3-1.
Miller def. Barry Gurney, West Hills, Calif., 3-0.
Staikoff def. Kevin Croucher, Grants Pass, Ore., 3-1.
Webb def. Paul McCordic, Sugar Land, Texas, 3-1.
McCreary def. Todd Kjell, Roscoe, Ill., 3-2.
Boresch def. a-Sam Carter, BenLomond, Calif., 3-0.
Round of 24 (best of five games, losers eliminated, $1,100 each)
D. Baker def. Bill Nichols, Roseville, Calif., 3-0.
Packard def. Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., 3-2.
Dias def. Tom Baker, King, N.C., 3-1.
Gurney def. Tom Carter, Rockford, Ill., 3-1.
Staikoff def. Ron Mohr, Eagle River, Alaska, 3-1.
McCordic def. Ricky Beck, Box Elder, S.D., 3-1.
Boresch def. Randy Shewmake, Fort Worth, Texas, 3-1.
Kjell def. Ron Winger, Las Vegas, 3-2.