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Bowler Eric Forkel moves into match play in USBC Senior Masters

Eric Forkel is one of the top bowlers to come out of the San Fernando Valley.
Eric Forkel is one of the top bowlers to come out of the San Fernando Valley.Courtesy of Eric Forkel

Left-handed Eric Forkel blasted into match play Wednesday at the United States Bowling Congress Senior Masters at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas.

Forkel, one of the top bowlers to come out of the San Fernando Valley, finished the third and final round of qualifying in 33rd place. His 15-game total was 3,255 (217 average).

Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., was the top qualifier of the 310 top senior bowlers age 50 and older with a score of 3,553, an average of 236.8.

The top 64 bowlers during the qualifying round advanced to the double-elimination match-play competition, which begins Thursday morning.

Williams took top qualifying honors with a sizzling final round during which he averaged 249 in five games. Jack Jurek of Lackawanna, N.Y., qualified second at 3,540 and Brian Voss of Centennial, Colo., was third at 3,534.

Jim Starks of San Bernardino was the top qualifier from California, finishing fourth at 3,445.

Forkel, a Henderson, Nev., resident who was a longtime San Fernando Valley resident and Van Nuys High graduate, was 23rd after the first round of qualifying and 24th after the second round.

The 53-year-old Forkel, a charismatic and colorful bowler, has been one of the top performers in the West Coast Senior Tour with 19 titles.

Forkel trails only Kevin Gannon (43), Vaughn Doody (35), Ross Packard (24) and Barry Asher (21).

The Senior Masters tournament ends Friday with match play and stepladder finals.