Finishing fourth after Monday’s first eight-game round with a 1,854 pinfall total, Williams notched 1,936 Tuesday, bowling games of 279, 237, 259, 229, 204, 225, 235 and 268. His 3,790 16-game pinfall in qualifying secures a 118-pin lead over first-round leader Hugh Miller of Seattle in second with 3,672.
Williams is looking to improve on his two previous appearances in the Senior Northern California Classic – a seventh-place finish in 2011 and 17th in 2010.
“I’ve qualified pretty well here but haven’t done as well in match play,” said the 52-year-old Hall of Famer from Ocala, Fla. “It’s a little frustrating to bowl well in qualifying and then not finish it off in match play. But I have a good look and now I hope I can take advantage of that in match play.
“The lanes were playing pretty similar to yesterday,” Williams added. “I just made a one board adjustment to the right at the beginning of the block and then moved in a little as the block went on and was able to keep the good ball reaction.”
Williams, the PBA Tour’s all-time career titles leader, won his third career Senior Tour title earlier this season at the PBA Senior Don Carter Memorial. He finished second in the recent Etonic PBA Senior U.S. Open, losing to fellow Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli 255-247 in the title match.
“For the most part the lanes have played consistently all season,” said Williams. “That has allowed me to use the same ball for the most part for the last three tournaments, and I’ve had to make only a few tweaks in my adjustments overall.”
Williams led 24 players who advanced to Wednesday’s match play. Rounding out the top eight were amateur Sam Carter of BenLomond, Calif., 3,650; amateur Mark McCreary of Livermore, 3,646; Dale Traber of Cedar, Wis., 3,631; Wayne Webb of Columbus, Ohio, 3,587; Kevin Croucher of Grants Pass, Ore., 3,580; and Christopher Keane of New City, N.Y., 3,575.
Round of 8 match play begins Wednesday at 8 a.m.; championship rounds get underway at 5 p.m.
– Contributed by Jerry Schneider/PBA