Walter Ray Williams Jr. begins PBA50 Player of the Year title defense


    2014 PBA50 Tour #1

    Xtra Frame to provide live coverage of PBA50 Tour season-opening Pasco County Open April 13-15 in New Port Richey, Fla.

    2013PBA50WalterRayWilliams2.jpgWith a new crop of PBA Tour talent becoming eligible for the PBA50 Tour in 2014, the road to a third consecutive Player of the Year crown won't get any easier for two-time defending PBA50 Tour Player of the Year Walter Ray Williams Jr.

    Williams (pictured left) heads an all-star list of more than 160 players ages 50 and over who are entered in the season-opening PBA50 Tour Pasco County Open April 12-15 at Lane Glo Bowl in New Port Richey, Fla.

    All qualifying and match play rounds of the tournament will be covered live on PBA's exclusive online bowling channel, Xtra Frame.

    2014PBALeagueQF3NormDuke.jpg2013EBT14ParkerBohn.jpgAs the 2014 season gets underway, Williams will again face challenges from his two closest rivals in 2013, fellow Hall of Famers Pete Weber and Amleto Monacelli who are among 10 Hall of Famers in the field including newly-eligible PBA50 challengers Norm Duke (left) and Parker Bohn III (right).

    Williams, the winner of a record 47 PBA Tour titles and a record seven PBA Player of the Year crowns, got his 2013 PBA50 season off to a good start with a third-place finish in the Pasco County Open and went on to win three titles during the season, bringing his PBA50 Tour career total to seven.

    Along with his three titles, he had two thirds and two fourths including fourth in the Senior U.S. Open. With his legendary career of accomplishment on the PBA Tour carrying over to the PBA50 Tour, Williams is still able to find challenges to stay motivated.

    "I still love competing," Williams said. "I'm one of those lucky people who loves what they do and I've been able to make a living doing it. I haven't lost the desire."

    2013PBA50FinalAmletoMonacelli.jpg2014PBALeagueSF1PeteWeber.jpgDespite competing in only six tournaments in 2013, Weber (left), a 37-time winner on the PBA Tour, made an immediate impact in 2013, earning PBA50 Rookie of the Year honors thanks to winning two titles including his first major in the USBC Senior Masters.

    Monacelli (right), a 19-time winner on the PBA Tour, successfully defended his PBA Senior U.S. Open title in Las Vegas in 2013 for his second career PBA50 Tour title. Other top finishes during the season included two seconds, two fifth and two-eighth-place finishes.

    "With the competition looking to be even tougher this season, it would be an awesome accomplishment to repeat as (PBA50) Player of the Year," Williams said. "I'm pretty confident heading into the new season. I bowled well in the (USBC Masters in February) and I bowled well in a couple regionals recently.

    "My practice routine is still pretty much the same, working on repeating shots, practicing on different lane conditions, different parts of the lane and making spares."

    2013PBA50TomBaker.jpgHall of Famer Tom Baker (right), also entered in the Pasco County Open, holds the record for PBA50 Player of the Year honors with four consecutive crowns from 2005 to 2008.

    Williams, Weber and Monacelli were rewarded for their 2013 seasons by qualifying for the first PBA50 Finals which were conducted as part of World Series of Bowling V. Williams won the title by defeating Monacelli in the championship match 224-204.

    Throughout the 2014 PBA50 Tour season, players will again be competing for three berths in the end-of-season PBA50 Tour Finals which will be conducted at a site and date to be determined. The three berths will be based on Player of the Year points which are earned for championship round finishes.

    2013PBA50BobLearn.jpgFive-time PBA Tour champion Bob Learn Jr. (right) is the Pasco County Open defending champion. Last season he overcame a sprained lower back suffered half way through the tournament to defeat Hall of Famer Wayne Webb in the championship match, 226-206.

    Pasco County Open competition begins on Sunday April 13 with qualifying rounds at 10 a.m. ET. Qualifying continues on April 14. After 16 games, the field will be cut to the top 40 for single-elimination match play competition on April 15.

    Match play continues all day Tuesday with championship rounds to begin at 7 p.m. Practice and pro-ams will be conducted on Saturday, April 12.


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    2014 PBA50 Tour Schedule & Champions


    PBA50 Pasco County Open

    Lane Glo Bowl in New Port Richey, Fla. (April 12-15, 2014)

    (All times Eastern)

    Saturday, April 12, 2014
    9 a.m. – Noon - Practice
    1, 3 and 5:30 p.m. - Pro-Am squads

    Sunday, April 13, 2014
    10 a.m. – A squad qualifying (8 games)
    4 p.m. – B squad qualifying (8 games)

    Monday, April 14, 2014
    10 a.m. – B Squad qualifying (8 games)
    4 p.m. – A squad qualifying (8 games)
    Field cut to top 40

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014
    Single-elimination match play:
    10 a.m. – Round One: best of three games, qualifiers 25-40
    11:30 a.m. – Round Two: best of three games, Round One winners plus qualifiers 17-24
    2 p.m. – Round Three: best of five games, Round Two winners plus qualifiers 9-16
    4 p.m. – Round of 16: best of five games, Round Three winners plus qualifiers 1-8
    7 p.m. – Round of 8: best of three games, followed immediately by one-game semifinal round and one-game championship match