Two of the premier events for senior bowlers, the International Training and Research Center Super Senior Classic and United States Bowling Congress Senior Masters, will be heading to Las Vegas starting Friday at Sam’s Town Bowling Center.
The ITRC Super Senior Classic, which will feature 125 of the top super seniors age 60 and older, will kick things off at Sam’s Town and run from June 17-19, while the USBC Senior Masters, welcoming more than 250 of the top senior players age 50 and older, will take place June 21-26.
USBC and Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli of Venezuela captured the 2015 USBC Senior Masters in dramatic fashion, defeating fellow hall of famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Missouri, twice in the true double-elimination format, 192-190 and 254-243, to win his third PBA50 major title (pictured above with the trophy).
As he looks for a repeat performance this year, the 2012 PBA50 Rookie of the Year already is in the midst of a successful 2016 season.
Monacelli recorded his 20th career PBA title at the DHC PBA Japan Invitational in January and collected his sixth PBA50 title earlier in June at the PBA50 Fountain Valley Open presented by Track after making some adjustments to the feel of his equipment.
“Right before the Senior U.S. Open, I was having some trouble with tendinitis in my hand,” said Monacelli, who finished fourth at the 2016 Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open presented by 900 Global and is a two-time champion at the event.
“At the same time, I noticed something was wrong with my grip, since my release wasn’t consistent. I was working with Dave Cirigliano in Phoenix, and he noticed the span on my middle finger was a little too long and that the pitches on my thumb didn’t match my flexibility, so we made a big change. It took about 16-20 games of practice to get used to it, but now everything feels fantastic. I made the show at the U.S. Open and won last week, so everything feels really good and consistent.”
All participants at the USBC Senior Masters will compete in three five-game qualifying blocks at Sam’s Town to determine the top 63 players, who will join Monacelli in the double-elimination match-play bracket. Match-play rounds will consist of three games with total pinfall determining who advances.
“The key at the Senior Masters will be my mental game,” said Monacelli, a two-time PBA Player of the Year. “I have to make sure not to put too much pressure on myself and just focus on what’s happening on the lanes, making the right changes at the right time and keeping my mental game steady and strong.”
The five players who advance through the bracket will make their way to the stepladder finals which will take place June 26 at 1 p.m. Eastern. The winner will take home $16,000. All rounds of the 2016 Senior Masters will be featured live on BOWL.com’s All rounds will be broadcast live on BOWL.com’s BowlTV.
The 2016 Super Senior Classic will feature the biggest field in the event’s four-year history, and defending champion Sam Maccarone (pictured right with the trophy) of Blackwood, New Jersey, has been preparing for his title defense by making a few successful stops on the PBA50 Tour.
“I bowled two stops in Florida and hit a regional on the way to North Carolina that I won,” said Maccarone, who captured the 2016 PBA50 Cherokee Lanes Canton South Open presented by Roto Grip in late April.
“I made the top five in North Carolina, and, now, I’m bowling the Brentwood, California, stop in hope that it gives me a little extra before I go in to defend, since I want to be on top of my game.”
Maccarone, the owner of two PBA titles and one PBA50 win, had open-heart surgery in October 2014 and returned to the hospital in February 2015 with inflammation around the lining of his heart before solidifying his comeback with his August win at Super Senior Classic, held at The Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
The 60-year-old right-hander won three matches in the stepladder after qualifying third, including a 248-182 victory over USBC Hall of Famer Tom Baker in the title match.
“Any win is an exciting moment as a bowler,” Maccarone said. “Coming off of heart surgery, I thought I was ready a lot earlier to come back than I actually was. I didn’t bowl too well in those first few events, so I kept working hard and put in the time. Winning the Super Senior Classic let me know I had made it back.”
All competitors at the ITRC Super Senior Classic will bowl 16 games of qualifying over two days starting Friday, before the field is cut to the top 25 percent for the cashers’ round. All advancers will bowl four additional games Sunday starting at 11 a.m. Eastern, which will determine the top five for the stepladder finals, based on their 20-game total pinfall. The winner of the 2016 Super Senior Classic will collect $6,500.
The cashers’ round and stepladder finals of the 2016 Super Senior Classic will be broadcast live on BowlTV.
The USBC Senior Championships also will makes its way to Las Vegas in 2016. The 2016 event, which welcomes bowlers who have qualified through their state’s senior tournaments, will take place at Sunset Station on Aug. 9-11.
For more information on the USBC Senior Masters, click here. To learn more about the ITRC Super Senior Classic, click here.
2016 PBA50 Tour Schedule & Champions