LAS VEGAS - Brian Brazeau of Ocala, Fla., had one goal in mind during the past three days, and that was to make it into match play at the 2009 United States Bowling Congress Senior Masters.
The 52-year-old right-hander was the tournament leader after two rounds and turned in another solid performance at South Point Bowling Center on Wednesday to maintain his lead and earn top-qualifier honors with a 3,449 total after 15 games, an average of 229.93.
Brazeau was consistent during qualifying with blocks of 1,152, 1,164 and 1,133 and finished 174 pins ahead of Tom Carter of Rockford, Ill., who is second with 3,275. Terry Leong of Henderson, Nev., and Mike Henry of Brunswick, Ohio, tied for third with 3,210.
Larry Reynolds of Frisco, Texas, and 2007 USBC Senior Masters runner-up Shannon Starnes of Fort Worth, Texas, tied for 63rd place and will bowl one game Thursday morning to decide who will earn the final spot in match play.
"The feeling right now is two-fold," said Brazeau, who will take on No. 61 Jay Aono of Boise, Idaho, in his opening match Thursday morning. "Obviously, I feel confident going into tomorrow, but unfortunately, all of those extra pins are gone now. Hopefully, I can continue bowling as well as I have been."
All 338 Senior Masters competitors bowled 15 qualifying games over three days, and now the top 63 will join defending champion Kenny Parks of Hammond, Ind., (seeded 32nd) in the double-elimination match-play bracket.
"The lanes definitely look tough, but I'm really looking forward to getting out there and trying to make some good shots," said Parks, who defeated two-time defending champion Tom Baker of King, N.C., to win the 2008 Senior Masters. "Since I didn't get to bowl in qualifying this week, I'm still not sure what I'm going to do, but I'm anxious to get on the lanes and give it my best."
During qualifying, Brazeau didn't have to change much in his game plan, but knows he has other options moving forward.
"I started where I was yesterday and stayed with what I was doing once we started scoring because I had a pretty good rhythm," Brazeau said. "But I did drill up two balls like I said I was going to, and I threw them in practice just to make sure I could get out of them and they did what I thought they would. Tomorrow, I'm going to stick with the same plan. I just want to keep my focus, try to get lined up and continue making quality shots."
With one Professional Bowlers Association Senior Tour title under his belt, Brazeau knows what it takes to win, but now he must survive the tournament's grueling format. Having reached his initial goal, he now will focus on one match at a time.
"There are a lot of great bowlers out there, and now it's like this tournament starts all over again," Brazeau said. "I'm just looking at it that I made the cut, and that's that. Anything can happen tomorrow, but I'm looking forward to it."
Match play will begin Thursday morning at 8 a.m. PDT, and all matches will consist of three games, with total pins determining the winners. The tournament champion will take home a $17,000 top prize.
For more information on the USBC Senior Masters, visit bowl.com.
United States Bowling Congress
The United States Bowling Congress, as the national governing body, ensures the integrity and protects the future of the sport, provides programs and services to nearly 2.5 million adult and youth members and enhances the bowling experience.
2009 USBC Senior Masters
At South Point Bowling Center, Las Vegas
Qualifying Round 3
(15 games; All cashers)
1, Brian Brazeau, Ocala, Fla., 3,449;
2, Tom Carter, Rockford, Ill., 3,275;
3 (tie), Mike Henry, Brunswick, Ohio, and Terry Leong, Henderson, Nev., 3,210;
5, Jeff Suma, Auburn Hills, Mich., 3,208;
6, Ziggy Czaja, Fontana, Calif., 3,199.
7, Harry Sullins, Chesterfield, Mich., 3,182;
8 (tie), Keith Kolozsi, Las Vegas, and Marc Scherlis, Littleton, Colo., 3,175;
10, Hugh Miller, Marcos Island, Wash., 3,172;
11, Vinnie Atria, Louisville, Ky., 3,161;
12, Darwin Wimer, Mesquite, Nev., 3,152.
13, Don Sylvia, Orlando, Fla., 3,146;
14, Les Shirwindt, Las Vegas, 3,136;
15, Marv Sargent, Temecula, Calif., 3,133;
16, Wayne Webb, Sacramento, Calif., 3,131;
17, Michael Karch, Edgewood, Wash., 3,127;
18, Ron Mohr, Eagle River, Alaska, 3,126.
19, Bob Chamberlain, The Villages, Fla., 3,124;
20, Ron De Groat, Las Vegas, 3,120;
21, Sam Ventura, Syracuse, N.Y., 3,116;
22, Tom Baker, King, N.C., 3,110;
23, Brian Voss, Kennesaw, Ga., 3,106;
24, Danny Carbone, Broomfield, Colo., 3,100.
25, Dennis Psaropoulos, Lake Worth, Fla., 3,096;
26, Rod Mclean, N. Las Vegas, 3,095;
27, Gary Skidmore, Albuquerque, N.M., 3,092;
28 (tie), William Anthony, Converse, Texas, and Ross Packard, San Jose, Calif., 3,090; 30, Max Shellabarger, Ogden, Utah, 3,089.
31, Ted Staikoff, Black Hawk, S.D., 3,086;
32, Kenny Parks, Hammond, Ind. (Seeded No. 32 for match play);
33, Ronald Boroff, Mansfield, Texas, 3,084;
34, Sal Bongiorno, Hollywood, Fla., 3,080;
35, Michael La Rocca, New Hudson, Mich., 3,078;
36, Mark Williams, Beaumont, Texas, 3,075;
37, Bob Handley, Winter Park, Fla., 3,070.
38, Steve Wright, Cypress, Texas, 3,068;
39, Kevin Foley, Reno, Nev., 3,064;
40, Warren Nelson, Las Vegas, 3,063;
41, Nick Morgan, Sacramento, Calif., 3,062;
42, John Cocchi, Las Vegas, 3,059;
43, Joe Staton, Alta Loma, Calif., 3,054.
44, Ernie Schlegel, Vancouver, Wash., 3,053;
45, Jim Murtishaw, Menifee, Calif., 3,051;
46, Kent Wagner, Palmetto, Fla., 3,047;
47 (tie), Dale Traber, Cederburg, Wis., and Scott Weston, Auburn, Mich., 3,046;
49, Robert Faragon, Schenectady, N.Y., 3,045.
50 (tie), John Muller, Gervais, Ore., and Mark Van Meter, Albuquerque, N.M., 3,044;
52 (tie), Mark Estes, Grapevine, Texas, 3,043 and Leo Plaia, Metairie, La., 3,043;
54, Scott Hansel, Stockton, Calif., 3,040;
55, Jim King, New Braunfels, Texas, 3,039;
56 (tie), Donald Breihan, Columbia, S.C., and Roger Kossert, Lithia, Fla., 3,038.
58 (tie), Barry Gurney, West Hills, Calif., and Norm Palomares, San Francisco, 3,029; 60, Rick Talley, Enid, Okla., 3,025;
61, Jay Aono, Boise, Idaho, 3,024;
62, Keith Sharp, Orlando, Fla., 3,024;
63, John Di Santis, Wilmington, Del., 3,021;
*64 (tie), Larry Reynolds, Frisco, Texas, and Shannon Starnes, Fort Worth, Texas, 3,017.
*Reynolds and Starnes will bowl one game Thursday morning to determine who will earn the final spot in match play.
(Places 65-85 receive $900)
66, Greg Shields, Independence, Mo., 3,015;
67, Garry Blanton, Owensboro, Ky., 3,014;
68, Pete Mc Cordic, Katy, Texas, 3,011;
69, Brad Newhouse, Henderson, Nev., 3,010;
70, Matt Surina, Everett, Wash., 3,007;
71, Mike Dias, Lafayette, Colo., 3,004.
72, Christopher Keane, New City, N.Y., 2,998;
73, Tony Maresca, Mesa, Ariz., 2,996;
74 (tie), Bruce Hall, Palo Alto, Calif., Craig Kisro, Granada Hills, Calif., and Steve Kiss, Clackmas, Ore., 2,995;
77, George Lord, Mulberry, Fla., 2,993;
78, Thomas Howison, Chillicothe, Ohio, 2,992.
79 (tie), Dave Sill, Cary, Ill., and Charlie Tapp, Portage, Mich., 2,990;
81, Toby Contreras, Raytown, Mo., 2,989;
82 (tie), Frank De Filippo, Las Vegas, and Gregory Waldon, Sun City West, Ariz., 2,988; 84, Bob Knipple, Long Beach, Calif., 2,985;
85, Michael Lucente, Warren, Mich., 2,984.
300 games: Ziggy Czaja