The best senior bowlers in the world are headed to the Sam's Town Bowling Center in Las Vegas for the upcoming United States Bowling Congress Senior Masters and Super Senior Classic.
The Super Senior Classic, for USBC members age 60 and older, will hit the lanes first, with competition running Friday through Sunday. The 2017 USBC Senior Masters, open to USBC members 50 and older, will be held June 6-11.
USBC and Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Missouri, returns to defend his Senior Masters title. Last year, he took a nail-biting 266-263 win against Paul McCordic of Sugar Land, Texas, for the fifth of his record six titles during the 2016 PBA50 Tour season.
But, the 54-year-old right-hander doesn't quite have the same momentum heading into the 2017 event.
Weber recently was forced to withdraw from match play at the PBA50 Miller Lite Players Championship after tweaking his back, and the last two weeks have been about rest and light exercise.
"We've got back-to-back majors coming up, and I gear up for any majors," said Weber, who owns a record-tying 10 major wins on the PBA Tour and four major victories on the PBA50 Tour. "I haven't made a show yet this season, and I felt like something was off, so I've been working with my brother, Rich. He said he doesn't see anything wrong, so that tells me I'm throwing the ball well, at least."
Weber indeed has a proven track record in the majors, including finishing among the top 16 at the USBC Masters in Las Vegas in February, despite aggravating a nagging hip injury.
The 37-time PBA Tour champion, also a 10-time PBA50 Tour winner, is ready for the marathon return to Las Vegas, which will include the Senior Masters, an event many consider two tournaments in one, followed by the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open presented by Storm.
"It's a couple of big events coming up in the Masters and U.S. Open, and I know I can't focus on what I've done in the past or earlier this year," said Weber, one of six two-time winners at the Senior Masters. "I'll stay focused on what I have to do at that particular time, and when it comes to the bracket part of the Masters, it will only be about what I have to do in those three games."
The Senior Masters again will feature 15 games of qualifying over three days, before the field is cut to the top 63, plus Weber, who is guaranteed at least the No. 64 seed as the defending champion, for the traditional double-elimination match-play bracket. All matches prior to the stepladder will be three games, with total pinfall determining the winner.
All qualifying and match play rounds at the Senior Masters will be broadcast on BOWL.com's BowlTV, beginning Tuesday at 11 a.m. Eastern. The stepladder finals will take place June 11 at 1 p.m. Eastern.
At the Super Senior Classic, Japan's Junichi Yajima looks to defend his title. In 2016, he became the first international player to win the event.
The 2017 Super Senior Classic starts Friday at noon Eastern, with the cashers' round and round-robin match play being broadcast live on BowlTV beginning Saturday at noon Eastern. The stepladder finals will be broadcast live on BowlTV on Sunday at 2 p.m. Eastern.
The Super Senior Classic will feature a new format in 2017, mimicking what is being used on the Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour.
All competitors will bowl 12 games of qualifying Friday, before the field is cut to the top 25 percent for Saturday's six-game cashers' round. At the completion of 18 games, total pinfall will determine the 12 bowlers who will advance to round-robin match play Saturday afternoon.
Match-play competitors then will be divided into two groups - Group 1 will include the odd seeds, and Group 2 will include the even seeds - for six games of match play.
The leader of each group after 24 games, bonus pins from match play included, automatically will advance to the stepladder finals. The bowler with the higher pinfall total will be the top seed for the championship round, and the other will be No. 2.
The second, third and fourth bowlers in each group will advance to their respective group stepladders, with each winner also advancing to the finals. Seeding for the two spots will be based on average for the event.
For more information on USBC tournaments, visit BOWL.com/Tournaments.
United States Bowling Congress
The United States Bowling Congress serves as the national governing body of bowling as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). USBC conducts championship events nationwide including the largest participation sporting events in the world - the USBC Open and Women's Championships - and professional events such as the USBC Masters and USBC Queens.
Founded in 1895, today USBC and its 2,500 state and local associations proudly serve more than a million members. USBC is headquartered in Arlington, Texas, working toward a future for the sport. The online home for USBC is BOWL.com.