2019 Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open Storylines

by Jerry Schneider June 6, 2019 08:46

LAS VEGAS  – As the most demanding stretch of the PBA50 Tour season continues with the USBC Senior Masters this week in Las Vegas, players will once again have to dig deep when the second half of the major doubleheader continues with the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open presented by Storm wraps up the western swing June 10-14.

The Senior U.S. Open marks the halfway point of the season which, thus far, has been dominated by PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. in what could already be considered a “Player of the Year” worthy season.

The Senior U.S. Open will be streamed live in its entirety via FloBowling beginning with first-round qualifying June 10.  Visit www.flobowling.com for subscription and schedule information.

Here’s a look at a few of the storylines for the third and final major of the 2019 season:

Walter Ray Williams Jr. continues his PBA50 Player of the Year march:  In the first five tournaments of the season, PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. started with three consecutive wins that included the PBA50 National Championship, followed by eighth and seventh-place finishes heading into the Senior Masters, an event he has won twice.

The seven-time PBA Tour and two-time PBA50 Tour Player of the Year holds a huge 10,000-point lead in the PBA50 Tour points race over reigning PBA50 Player of the Year and 2017 Senior U.S. Open winner Michael Haugen Jr.  Williams, the career leader on the Go Bowling! PBA Tour titles list with 47 wins, continues his pursuit of a 15th PBA50 Tour title which would give him the career titles lead for both of PBA’s national tours. He is currently tied for first on the PBA50 all-time titles list with fellow Hall of Famer John Handegard with 14 wins.

Mika Koivuniemi returns to defend Senior U.S. Open title: The PBA Hall of Famer earned the moniker of “Major Mika” after winning two majors for his first two titles early in his PBA Tour career before winning his first PBA Tour standard title. The 14-time tour winner, who is the head coach for the United Arab Emirates national bowling team, hopes that history will repeat itself on the PBA50 Tour after winning the 2018 Senior U.S. Open with a 259-237 title-match victory over Brian Kretzer for his first PBA50 Tour win. With his win, Koivuniemi – who won the 2001 U.S. Open on the PBA Tour – joined Amleto Monacelli as the only international Senior U.S. Open champions.

Will the Senior U.S. Open see its first three-time winner? Hall of Famers Pete Weber, Amleto Monacelli and Tom Baker will be trying to become the first three-time winner of the Senior U.S. Open since it began in 2003. All three players have won it in consecutive seasons – Weber (2015, ’16), Monacelli (2012, ’13) and Baker (2005,’06). The other two-time winner is retired hall of famer Wayne Webb who also won in back-to-back years in 2008 and ’09.

Can Pete Weber bounce back?  Weber, who is tied for sixth on the career PBA50 Tour titles list with 11 wins, took some time off from the PBA50 Tour earlier this season, but after winning a PBA regional in early May, hopes that tune-up will provide some momentum for the rest of the PBA50 Tour season.

Local favorite Ron Mohr looks for second Senior U.S. Open win: Among other notables entered in the Senior U.S. Open is 2011 champion and two-time runner-up Ron Mohr of Las Vegas who owns 10 PBA50 Tour titles and is a two-time PBA50 Player of the Year. The 63-year-old Mohr was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 2018 for his accomplishments on the senior tour.

The PBA has added $10,500 to the first five positions of the Senior U.S. Open with first place increased by $5,000 to $15,000.

The entire field will bowl six-game qualifying rounds June 10-13 with squads at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. PT. The top 25 percent of the field will then advance to match play which gets underway June 14 at 8 a.m. after which the top five will be determined for the stepladder finals at 4 p.m.

SUNCOAST PBA SENIOR U.S. OPEN PRESENTED BY STORM SCHEDULE
Suncoast Bowling Center, Las Vegas (all times Pacific)

Sunday, June 9
8 – 9:45 a.m. - A Squad practice
10 – 11:45 a.m. - B Squad practice
12:30 and 3:30 p.m. - Pro-Am squads

Monday, June 10
9 a.m. - A Squad qualifying (6 games)
1:30 p.m. - B Squad qualifying (6 games)

Tuesday, June 11
9 a.m. - B Squad qualifying (6 games)
1:30 p.m. - A Squad qualifying (6 games)

Wednesday, June 12
9 a.m. - A Squad qualifying (6 games)
1:30 p.m. - B Squad qualifying (6 games)

Thursday, June 13
9 a.m. - B Squad qualifying (6 games)
1:30 p.m. - A Squad qualifying (6 games)
(Top 25 percent of the field advances to match play)

Friday, June 14
8 a.m. - Match Play Round 1 (6 games)
Noon - Match Play Round 2 (6 games)
(Top five advance to stepladder finals)
4 p.m. - Stepladder Finals

HISTORY OF PBA SENIOR U.S. OPEN WINNERS

2018   Mika Koivuniemi
2017   Michael Haugen Jr.
2016   Pete Weber
2015   Pete Weber
2014   Norm Duke
2013   Amleto Monacelli
2012   Amleto Monacelli
2011   Ron Mohr
2010   Mark Williams
2009   Wayne Webb
2008   Wayne Webb
2007   n-Rick Minier
2006   Tom Baker
2005   Tom Baker
2004   David Ozio
2003   Dave Soutar

n-non-member

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