FAIRBORN — While there will be a new champion at the PBA50 Tour’s Fairborn Central Classic, presented by Roto Grip, a quality field ensures that the new champ will definitely have to earn the win.
Thirty nine world-class bowlers are entered for the third annual Fairborn Central Classic, which begins on July 1 with the finals set for July 3 at Fairborn’s Bowl 10 Lanes.
Of the entries, eight of them are currently ranked among the PBA50 Tour’s top 50 bowlers in points. Six of that number are ranked in the top 20, including current points leader and three-time 2019 tour winner Walter Ray Williams, Jr., 59, of Oxford, Fla.
Do a Google search for “Best PBA bowler in the world,” and Williams Jr.’s name will pop up. A seven-time PBA Tour Player of the Year, Williams has the most PBA Tour titles of any bowler with 47, and he is currently tied for first in career PBA50 titles with 14. He leads the PBA50 Tour points standings with three victories so far this season.
In all, bowlers are entered from Ohio, New York, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Kentucky and Florida. Several bowlers who will be at Bowl 10 are negotiating their way through busy airports to get here from the recent Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open, which recently finished up in Las Vegas.
The Senior U.S. Open tournament runner up, Dayton’s Brian Kretzer, is among the entrants for the Fairborn Central Classic. Kretzer recently earned $6,000 in prize money, after placing second among a talented field of 161 bowlers.
Williams is listed at 23rd in the Senior Open’s final standings. Current No. 9-ranked PBA50 Tour bowler Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y. was fifth in Las Vegas. Shafer, a good friend of Kretzer’s, returns to the Classic tournament again this year.
Defending Classic champion Michael Haugen of Phoenix was at the Senior U.S. Open (finishing 16th), but has not been listed on the Fairborn Classic entry list as of 8 p.m. Friday night, June 28. Inaugural Classic winner Paul McCardic of Sugarland, Texas is not entered as well.
Other Fairborn Classic entrants in the current PBA50 Tour top 50 in points are: No. 23 Tony Johnson of Canton; No. 25 Don Herrington of Ballston Lake, N.Y.; No. 36 John Marsala of St. Louis, Mo.; and No. 42 William Peters of Dayton.
There will be a two-hour practice session from 4-6 p.m. on Monday, with the annual Pro-Am events scheduled to be held at 7 p.m.
Tuesday’s top 16 bowlers will advance to Wednesday’s July 3 10-game round robin match play portion of the tournament, with the top four bowlers advancing to the Wednesday match play and finals rounds.
PRO-AM EVENTS MONDAY: Williams Jr., Kretzer and No. 19-ranked Harry Sullins are among the PBA50 Tour bowlers listed to participate in the Fairborn Classic Adult and Youth Pro Am bowling events on Monday, July 1 at Bowl 10. Last year’s tournament runner up, Ron Proffit of Brookville, participated in the Youth Pro-Am in 2018. Proffit is entered in this year’s Classic.
Contact Bowl 10 at 937-878-9521 for more entry information and to register.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123. Click on the PBA50 Tour link on the PBA.com website to learn more about the senior bowling series and the Fairborn Classic.