LAS VEGAS –Chris Barnes of Denton, Texas is in a familiar position after winning the No.1 seed for the 2021 Finals United States Senior Bowling Masters, but his perspective from the top of the stepladder is very different from the last time he was there.
USBC and Professional Bowler Association Hall of Fame is nearly a decade older than the last time he managed to navigate the double-elimination format, also used in the USBC Masters, lossless. Her sons grew up and went to college. His sister, Laura Sullivan, won’t know how it goes.
Barnes has already won just about everything a bowler can win, but a victory on Sunday would close an emotional year in a memorable way, while still allowing him to redeem himself in a format he has failed in the past.
“It’s been a tough year with my sister who died of lung cancer, and I missed some tournaments during that time, but when something like that happens the bowling part doesn’t even matter.” said Barnes. “It puts some things in perspective. I love being here and competing, and she also loved bowling. I have her initials on my shoes, so she will always be a part of it.”
The 2021 USBC Senior Masters Stepladder Final will be broadcast live on BowlTV Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST and the winner will take home a first prize of $ 20,000.
In the Winners Bracket’s final game on Saturday in Sam’s Town, Barnes defeated two-time Masters champion Doug Kent of Newark, New York, 656-639, to take first place. Kent, also a USBC and PBA Hall of Fame member, will step into the stepladder as the second seed.
The two will be joined on the show by No.3 Pete Weber from St. Ann, Missouri, No.4 Tom Hess from Granger, Iowa, and No.5 Donnie Hogue from Akron, Ohio.
The three advanced to the final by fighting through the elimination group and then surviving a four-player, three-game shootout on Saturday night.
Weber opened the final game with nine straight catches, before a 9 he ended his run in the perfect second game of the week. He finished with the highest score of the round, a streak of 727, to take third place.
The USBC and PBA Hall of Famer are looking to become the first three-time Senior Masters winner and take home the 2021 PBA50 Player of the Year award. He has two PBA50 wins this season, and his Senior Masters titles. came in 2013 and 2016.
Hess and Hogue had 667 and 650, respectively. David Leverage of Peoria, Ariz., Shot 644 and was eliminated, finishing sixth overall.
In the final quarter, Hess delivered three goals to claim his spot. Hogue also struck on his first shot, which forced Leverage to score for fifth place on the stepladder. He left the combination 3-6-10 on his first offer and cut pin 3 to fail.
Hess qualified for the shootout by surviving a streak of four one-ball roll-offs with Dan Knowlton of Dade City, Fla., Who missed a 4-pin bowling after a strike in his final quarter to force a tie of 679. Hess struck four in a row in overtime, while Knowlton was 2 on his last attempt.
The total three-game pinch determined the winner of each match in the 64-player double-elimination match-play and final shootout, while the championship round will be single-match matches.
As the seed in the double-elimination event, Barnes will need to be beaten twice to be denied his first major PBA50 title and the second victory of his rookie PBA50 campaign. He won the PBA50 Cup in July for his first senior title. He also has 19 victories on the PBA Tour.
The nuance of the format due to the finals being broadcast live, rather than on national television, is something Barnes did not experience the three times he was the No.1 seed for the Championship round in the Masters.
He failed every opportunity, losing to Walter Ray Williams Jr. in 2004 and 2010 and Mike Fagan in 2012.
“I’ve led the Masters three times and couldn’t finish it, but this time it’s a little different with the double elimination,” said Barnes. “I’m actually pretty lucky to be here. Dino (Castillo) was lucky enough to pull me aside and let me shoot. Tom Hess and I fought after that. Then I had a really good ball reaction in the game before bowling Doug, who I consider the most versatile guy of my time.
Barnes qualified eighth in games this week, averaging 219.27 in 15 games, then averaging over 232 in his six wins. His 6-0 record included wins over Kent, Hess and Hogue.
The 2021 Senior Masters kicked off with 223 competitors vying for one of 63 free spots in the group with defending champion Amleto Monacelli of Venezuela, and matches unfolded throughout the day on Friday and Saturday.
Monacelli lost his opener to Tim Mack of Indianapolis (700-670) and went on to win twice in the Elimination Bracket, before losing to Brad Angelo of Lockport, New York, 729-652. Angelo entered the week as a favorite for PBA50 Rookie of the Year and a contender for the PBA50 Player of the Year 2021 award.
Monacelli finished tied for 25th in their title defense. Angelo finished tied for 13th.
Along with the possibility of a major title to end the PBA50 Tour season, Barnes also has a chance to win both awards, but these are things he is keen to forget. Hess is in the same situation.
“I’ve heard that Brad has all of the numbers and scenarios listed, so I know there are other implications, but all I can do is focus on what I can control and game that I have in front of me, ”said Barnes. “There was definitely a point where I found myself wrapped up in all of these kinds of things and not really focused on the task at hand. These are all side benefits. There are bigger issues at stake. and more stuff on my mind, and I certainly wouldn’t be in this position without great people, especially during such a difficult year. “
Senior teachers and Classic super senior, won Monday by Monacelli, are held together for the fifth time at the 56-track Sam’s Town Bowling Center, a routine that began in 2016.