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Former Team USA member Steve Smith took the lead Tuesday after the opening round of qualifying at the 2019 USBC Senior Masters.
Smith shot a five-game total of 1,238, a 247.60 average, to lead the field of 300 bowlers at Sam’s Town in Las Vegas in the second major of the PBA50 season.
After starting with games of 235, 256 and 202, Smith finished with his highest two games, 279 and 266, to take the lead heading into the second round. Smith bowled on the burn in the opening round.
All players will bowl 15 games of qualifying over three days. Each player will face the fresh, burn and double burn one time during their qualifying rounds.
John Dudak, a super senior, also competed on Tuesday’s burn squad and sits in second place with 1,212 after shooting games of 249, 200, 279, 226 and 258.
The next two players in the standings came from the double burn squad to close out the first round of qualifying with Pete Thomas shooting 1,204 and Stoney Baker firing 1,187. The highest player on the fresh squad was Joe Ciach with 1,184, good enough for fifth place.
Norm Duke, who has made the stepladder finals in all three PBA50 events he has bowled in this season, sits in 19th place with 1,148. Walter Ray Williams Jr., who has three wins and two other Top 10 finishes this season, ended the first round in a tie for 31st place with 1,123.
After 15 games of qualifying, the field will be cut down to the top 63 players plus defending champion Chris Warren for the double-elimination match-play bracket, which begins Friday. The stepladder finals of the event are Sunday at 10 a.m. Pacific.
Warren, who is bowling qualifying to try to earn the best seed possible, opened with 1,094, which put him in a tie for 50th place with Pete Weber.