Eric Forkel, one of the top bowlers to come out of the San Fernando Valley, is riding a lot of momentum as he takes part in the United States Bowling Congress Senior Masters tournament this week at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas.
The lefthanded Forkel placed 11th this month in the Suncoast Professional Bowlers Assn. Senior U.S. Open, earning $1,850.
Forkel, a Henderson, Nev., resident who was a longtime San Fernando Valley resident and Van Nuys High graduate, surged from 19th to 11th on his final day of PBA Senior competition at Suncoast Bowling Center in Las Vegas.
It was the second straight strong showing for the 53-year-old Forkel in the PBA Senior completion, having placed fourth in 2013.
“It was a bit tougher this year,” Forkel said. “[Norm] Duke and [Brian] Voss weren’t here last year and the same with [Pete] Weber.
“[This time] it was just a ‘Who’s Who’ of Hall-of-Famers. Just a Murderers’ Row. I was happy when I beat Voss and Weber back to back in my block. That was pretty much my highlight.”
Weber went on to finish second in the PBA Senior tournament, losing to Duke in the championship match. Duke became the first player to win a U.S. Open title on both the PBA and PBA50 Tours.
After the first two qualifying rounds of the USBC event, Forkel is 24th and in strong position to advance to Thursday’s match play competition of 64 players. He was 23rd after Monday’s first round of qualifying.
Wednesday marks the third and final round of qualifying. The tournament ends Friday with match play and stepladder finals.
Forkel said he is hopeful of an impressive finish in the tournament, citing the need to “get good breaks” and “make good shots under pressure.”