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Gary Faulkner Jr. led the way as the field for the 2019 U.S. Open was finalized Wednesday with a pre-tournament qualifier.
Faulkner, whose lone PBA Tour title came at the 2015 PBA World Championship, averaged 221 for eight games, totaling 1,768, at Victory Lanes in Mooresville, North Carolina. The top 53 players in the 66-player PTQ field advanced into the main event.
The lefty got out of the gates quick with games of 244, 223 and 259 and then cruised to the top spot with games of 177, 193, 213, 233 and 226.
"Yes, it's the PTQ, but I wanted to come out and treat it like it was the U.S. Open or Day 1 of qualifying, which means throwing every shot like you mean it and making the same changes and moves you would in those situations," Faulkner said in a USBC release. "Today was good for the confidence, and it gave me a chance to learn some tendencies of the center. Going through this definitely is different than just having a practice session, and it was really helpful."
Natahn Ruest-Lajoie qualified second with 1,724, Kim Bolleby was third with 1,715, Steven Arehart was fourth with 1,695 and PWBA star Verity Crawley was fifth with 1,663. For complete standings, click here.
The 53 advancing players join the 91 players who earned invitations or qualified directly for the main event. It took an average of 179.75 to make the cut through the PTQ.
The first round of full-field qualifying at the U.S. Open begins Friday at 8 a.m. Eastern live on FloBowling.