WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – Rebounding from a tough 2011-12 PBA Tour season and coping with the emotions resulting from his father’s recent passing, Walter Ray Williams Jr. persevered to win the PBA Don Carter Memorial Open presented by Ebonite Wednesday for his third career Senior Tour title.
Williams defeated Bo Goergen of Sanford, Mich., in the championship at Carter Family Bowl, 247-217, marking his first Senior Tour win since the Senior Mark Roth Allentown Open in May of 2011.
In the 2011-12 Tour season, the 52-year-old Hall of Famer’s record streak of 26 consecutive years making at least one TV finals appearance came to an end and he had a best finish of only 17th in the Shark Open. On Tuesday his father passed away after a lengthy illness.
“I’m not an emotional person but I’ll have to admit this was an emotional week for me,” said Williams. “It helped a great deal to have my family here not only for my dad but also to be here to watch me bowl.”
Even though the scores showed that Williams was dominant in match play, he felt fortunate to win all four of his matches Wednesday.
“On paper it looked easy but I can tell you that in a few of those matches my opponents bowled better than they scored,” said the PBA Tour all-time titles leader with 47 wins. “An example was Bo in the title match when he started with the first five (strikes) but then had a split in the sixth frame which gave me an opening.”
Williams’ win in the second tournament of the 2012 season comes off a fourth-place finish in last week’s season-opening Senior Sun Bowl In The Villages in The Villages, Fla.
“It was a great tournament and nice to win again,” Williams said. “It’s a confidence builder and now I just hope I can keep some momentum going and hope for a good Senior Tour season.
“The lanes play a little differently out here than they do on the regular tour but you still have to make good shots and when you don’t, you need to make the right adjustments. I just wasn’t throwing enough good shots last season on tour.”
In the semifinals, Williams defeated fellow Ocala resident Brian Brazeau, who was trying for his second Senior Tour title, 246-213. In the other semifinal, Goergen, trying for his first Senior Tour title, defeated Tim Kauble of Marion, Ohio, 190-165.
The next stop for the PBA Senior Tour will be the Senior Mooresville Classic presented by Columbia May 6-9 at George Pappas Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C.
PBA SENIOR DON CARTER MEMORIAL OPEN PRESENTED BY EBONITE
Carter Family Bowl, Winter Garden, Fla. Wednesday
Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla. ($7,500) def. Bo Goergen, Sanford, Mich. ($4,000), 247-217.
Semifinal Round (one-game matches, losers earn $2,700)
W.R. Williams def. Brian Brazeau, Ocala, Fla., 246-213.
Goergen def. Tim Kauble, Marion, Ohio, 190-165.
Round of 8 (best-of-three games, losers eliminated, $1,700 each)
Kauble def. Dale Eagle, Tavares, Fla., 2-1.
Goergen def. Kent Wagner, Palmetto, Fla., 2-0.
W.R. Williams def. Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., 2-0.
Brazeau def. Ricky Beck, Box Elder, S.D., 2-0.
Round of 16 (best-of-five games, losers eliminated, $1,300 each)
Eagle def. Bob Learn Jr., Erie, Pa., 3-2.
Kauble def. Tom Baker, King, N.C., 3-0.
Wagner def. Paul McCordic, Sugar Land, Texas, 3-0.
Goergen def. Peter Knopp, Germany, 3-1.
W.R. Williams def. Dave Sill, Titusville, Fla., 3-0.
Sullins def. Ron Proffitt, Brookville, Ohio, 3-2.
Beck def. Larry Popp, Marion, Ohio, 3-2.
Brazeau def. Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 3-2.
Round of 24 (best-of-five games, losers eliminated, $1,100 each)
Eagle def. Henson, Westerville, Ohio, 3-2.
Baker def. Mark Williams, Beaumont, Texas, 3-2.
Wagner def. Ron Mohr, Eagle River, Alaska, 3-1.
Knopp def. Ron Dixon, Boynton Beach, Fla., 3-1.
Sill def. Brian Cooper, Visalia, Calif., 3-2.
Sullins def. Steve Lickliter, Beckley, W. Va., 3-0.
Popp def. Bryan Goebel, Shawnee, Kan., 3-0.
Brazeau def. Sammy Ventura, Syracuse, N.Y., 3-0.
Round of 32 (best-of-five games, losers eliminated, $1,000 each)
Henson def. Keith Sharp, Orlando, Fla., 3-2.
Williams def. Kenny Parks, Hammond, Ind., 3-2.
Mohr def. Larry Lichstein, Ft. Myers, Fla., 3-1.
Dixon def. Randy Shewmake, Fort Worth, Texas, 3-0.
Licklighter def. Tony Majcher, Rolling Meadows, Ill., 3-1.
Popp def. Dave Bernhardt, Romeo, Mich., 3-1.
Sill def. Christopher Keane, New City, N.Y., 3-0.
Ventura def. Henry Gonzalez, Colorado Springs, 3-2.