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Three-time PBA Tour champion Eugene McCune emerged as the top qualifier at the 2019 USBC Senior Masters on Thursday night.
Moving up the leaderboard every round, McCune finally found his way to the top after the third round of qualifying with a 15-game total of 3,510, a 234 average, at Sam’s Town in Las Vegas.
McCune leads a group of 64 players into the double-elimination match-play bracket, which gets underway Friday. The event concludes with the stepladder finals Sunday at 10 a.m. Pacific.
McCune put up his best qualifying total of the tournament in Thursday’s final round on the burn with 1,208. He had games of 268, 191, 300, 226 and 223 to help him move from seventh to first.
In the first round, McCune totaled 1,127 on the fresh and followed it up with 1,175 on the double burn in the second round.
PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke earned the second seed in the bracket with a strong finish to qualifying. Duke had a 3,484 qualifying total and bowled his best block of the tournament on fresh Thursday with 1,194.
Defending champion Chris Warren crushed the burn in the third round for 1,292 to finish qualifying with 3,480 and earn the third seed. Blaine Weninger was fourth with 3,440, while Parker Bohn III was fifth with 3,410.
Walter Ray Williams Jr., the top contender for PBA50 Player of the Year this season, had a big drop down the standings. After sitting in eighth place after the second round, Williams shot just 991 on the burn in the third round to drop to 36th place with 3,489.
The final spots in the bracket went to Alvin Lou and Alan Frederick, who tied for 63rd place with 3,218. Both players advanced because Warren finished amongst the top 64, making the cut position 64th place.
The Senior Masters bracket can be found here.