|Walter Ray Williams (on right) with proprietor of Carter Family Bowl, Jim Carter (Photo courtesy PBA LLC)|
WINTER GARDEN, Fla. (May 2, 2012) - Rebounding from a tough 2011-12 Professional Bowlers Association Tour season and coping with the emotions resulting from his father's recent passing, Walter Ray Williams Jr. persevered to win the PBA Senior Don Carter Memorial Open presented by Ebonite for his third career Senior Tour title.
Williams defeated Bo Goergen of Sanford, Mich., in the championship at Carter Family Bowl, 247-217, marking his first Senior Tour win since the Senior Mark Roth Allentown Open in May of 2011.
In the 2011-12 Tour season, the 52-year-old Hall of Famer's record streak of 26 consecutive years making at least one TV finals appearance came to an end and he had a best finish of only 17th in the Shark Open. On Tuesday his father passed away after a lengthy illness.
"I'm not an emotional person but I'll have to admit this was an emotional week for me," said Williams. "It helped a great deal to have my family here not only for my dad but also to be here to watch me bowl."
Even though the scores showed that Williams was dominant in match play, he felt fortunate to win all four of his matches Wednesday.
"On paper it looked easy but I can tell you that in a few of those matches my opponents bowled better than they scored," said the PBA Tour all-time titles leader with 47 wins. "An example was Bo in the title match when he started with the first five (strikes) but then had a split in the sixth frame which gave me an opening."
Williams' win in the second tournament of the 2012 season comes off a fourth-place finish in last week's season-opening Senior Sun Bowl In The Villages (in Florida).
"It was a great tournament and nice to win again," Williams said. "It's a confidence builder and now I just hope I can keep some momentum going and hope for a good Senior Tour season.
"The lanes play a little differently out here than they do on the regular tour but you still have to make good shots and when you don't, you have to make the right adjustments. I just wasn't throwing enough good shots last season on tour."
In the semifinals, Williams defeated fellow Ocala resident Brian Brazeau, who was trying for his second Senior Tour title, 246-213. In the other semifinal, Goergen, who was trying for his first Senior Tour title, defeated Tim Kauble of Marion, Ohio, 190-165.
Williams won $7,500.00 for the tournament victory, while Goergan earned $4,000.00 for 2nd place. Brazeau and Kauble each won $2,700.00 as semi- finalists in the Final Four elmination round..
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