The PBA50 Northern California Classic at Harvest Park Bowl is set for May 25-28.
Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams, Jr., who owns the PBA Tour all-time career titles mark of 47, will be trying for a record 15th career PBA50 Tour title.
If successful, he will hold the all-time titles lead for both of PBA’s national tours. Williams is currently tied at 14 with fellow Hall of Famer John Handegard for most PBA50 Tour titles.
Williams, a former Stockton resident who now lives in Oxford, Florida, is no stranger to winning at Harvest Park Bowl, having taken Northern California Classic titles in 2012 and 2013.
Williams started the 2019 season with wins in the season-opening PBA50 Johnny Petraglia BVL Open and PBA50 National Championship for his third career PBA50 major title, before his streak ended after a win in the PBA50 Mooresville Open. He fell short of a record-tying fourth consecutive PBA50 Tour title with an eighth-place finish in the PBA Hamilton Lanes & Entertainment Center Open.
“It’s a matter of everything coming together, especially because the PBA50 Tour continues to get better and better,” said Williams. “When I started the season, I certainly couldn’t have predicted getting the crazy start that I did. Last season, for example, I was in a good position to win, but finished second three times. Before the start of this season, I didn’t think winning a 15th title was within reach, but now it’s certainly possible. You never know when the next win will come.”
PBA Hall of Famer Ron Mohr will defend his Northern California Classic title at Harvest Park Bowl. The 62-year-old Mohr, who also won in 2011, handed Williams one of his three runner-up finishes in 2018 with a come-from-behind 237-218 title match victory for his 10th career PBA50 Tour title.
Other notables entered in the Northern California Classic are Haugen, who finished third in 2018, and PBA hall of famers Bryan Goebel, Amleto Monacelli (2015 and 2017 Northern California Classic winner), Parker Bohn III, Tom Baker (2014 winner) and Norm Duke.
Williams currently leads the PBA50 Tour points list with 18,930 points — 10,330 ahead of Haugen’s 8,660.
The fifth stop of the 2019 season starts with an eight-game qualifier on Sunday, May 26, with squads at 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., followed by a second-round qualifier on May 27. Cashers and match-play rounds begin at 8 a.m. on May 28, which will determine the top-five players for the stepladder finals at 6:30 p.m. The practice session is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 25, with pro-am squads scheduled for 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
For more information on the professional tournament, visit pba.com/Tours/Senior. For more information on the pro-am, visit https://harvestparkbowl.com/leagues/tournaments/pro-am-tournament/.
– Submitted by Jerry Schneider