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How good are pro senior bowlers? Pretty darn good.

Ray Torres put on a dominating show in a senior tournament in Ventura.
Ray Torres put on a dominating show in a senior tournament in Ventura.
Fred Eisenhammer

This story originally ran on June 10, 2012. It is being updated with a postscript.

In case you missed it, Amleto Monacelli of Venezuela claimed the title of the Professional Bowlers Assn. Senior U.S. Open on Friday night at the Suncoast Bowling Center in Las Vegas.

The 50-year-old Monacelli blasted a 255 in the championship match to defeat Walter Ray Williams Jr., who bowled a 247.

Those are impressive scores and expect more of the same when the Senior Tour holds the season’s second major with the United States Bowling Congress Senior Masters.

Another indication of the caliber of senior pro bowlers was presented during a West Coast Senior Tour stop May 26 at Mission Hills Bowl in Mission Hills.

Dick Sanders, the WCST owner and director, had expected the Mission Hills players needed to bowl in the range of 215 to 220 to qualify for the finals.

It turns out that the fourth and final qualifier, Kevin Gannon of Lakewood, rolled 1,855 for his eight games, or an average of 231.9. Rod Tramp of Porterville was the top qualifier with a 1,924 score or a sparkling 240.5 average. John Sowell of Vista, the eventual tournament champion, qualified second with a 1,881 (235.1 average) and Don Blatchford of Santa Monica qualified third with a 1,878 (234.8 average).

Seven of the 23 pro bowlers averaged at least 220 and 11 averaged at least 215 during the qualifying round. Eighteen averaged at least 200 and the 19th, Don Ketterling of Westlake Village, finished just a smidge under 200 by rolling 1,598 for the eight games, averaging 199.75.

In his four games in the finals, Sowell maintained his expert pace by averaging 236.3, including the second-to-last round of the finals when he smoked the competition with a 279 game.

Postscript: In Saturday’s WCST 60-and-older tournament at Buena Lanes in Ventura, the pro senior bowlers put on a blistering show.

Right-hander Ray Torres of Thousand Palms (shown in photo) was smoking hot en route to claiming his second straight WCST title. The 63-year-old Torres was the top qualifier with a 249.3 average and then raised his game in the double-elimination finals by winning all four of his matches with an average of 250.

Gannon, a left-hander, finished second and he was no slouch either. He blasted a 300 game and averaged 228.6 when he qualified fourth.

Stan Winters of Simi Valley averaged a potent 242.3 to finish second in the qualifying.
Of the 34 entrants, 25 averaged at least 200 during the qualifying round.

That’s a big-time field.

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