The 115 professional bowlers marked a record turnout for the event, northern California's only PBA tour stop, which Harvest Park Bowl has hosted for the last seven years.
"The climate for bowling in this town is very good and my entire staff, especially our manager Sherry MacEnzie, who organized the event, did a great job," said Harvest Park Bowl owner Jim Wangeman.
"This was voted by the pros as one of the top stops in the country. It was very good for the economy of Brentwood for the five days - we got great support from our customers, who all came out to see the top senior pros."
One of the semifinal match-ups pitted eventual champion Tom Baker against Sam Carter, who defeated Bob Brady in the round of 16 to advance to the tournament's final four.
"I knew I was going to have to bowl very well against Bob," said Carter. "Looking at his scores for the day, he didn't have a game under 226 and he finished second at the last stop of the tour."
Carter bowled well, sweeping the first two games of the best of three, but his good fortune didn't last, as Baker beat him to advance to the title round.
Baker advanced to the title match, a showdown with Mark Glover. Although Baker stumbled in the second frame, picking up a spare, he was given fresh life when Glover rolled a spare of his own in the fourth frame. Glover's 6-10, 4-7 split in the eighth frame opened the door for Baker, a native of King, N.C., to step right through to earn his sixth Senior Tour Championship.
"He pulled it inside a little bit and, fortunate for me, he got that big split and I threw the next one that kind of set the tone for the match," Baker said of the match's only open frame.
The event brought bowlers to Brentwood from all over the Bay Area, as local amateurs flocked to the Bowl, as Wangeman put it, "from Sacramento to Modesto and from Santa Rosa to San Jose."
While the local amateurs certainly did their share of travel in turning out to support the Senior Classic, their odometers have nothing on those of the RVs the pros and their families drive cross country from tour stop to tour stop.
It's more than competition that inspires bowlers to embark on these cross-country odysseys. For Sue and Ken Waters, it's the camaraderie that keeps them traveling all over the country from one bowling center to the other. "We're like a family," said Sue.
Ken participated in the Pro Am tournament as a guest, then told Sue that he'd like to try the tour. That was seven years ago. He's been traveling with the tour ever since.
"Within two weeks, we sold our SUV and bought a fifth-wheel and a truck," said Sue. The couple hasn't looked back. After their stay in Brentwood, the pair will travel with the tour to Reno and then on to Las Vegas.