ELKHART – Signature Lanes welcomed in some of the top bowlers in the country Sunday.
The field for the PBA50 National Championship event, which runs Monday through Wednesday, took part in practice sessions Sunday morning and then in three Pro-Am events later in the day.
The tournament, from which the proceeds raised will benefit Riley Hospital for Children, features a star-studded field of 82 bowlers ages 50 and over.
Headlining the event is Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. The 56-year old from Oxford, Florida, has won 99 total PBA titles in his illustrious career and has collected over four million dollars in career earnings. Williams, who is also one of the top horseshoe pitchers in the country, won the opening PBA50 Tour event this year and is hoping to make history by winning the final one of the season this week.
The field also includes Parker Bohn II, a 38-time PBA winner, along with Norm Duke and Hall of Famers Tom Baker and Dale Eagle.
Pete Weber, who like Williams has 99 PBA titles to his credit, was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to a hip injury. Weber, the won of PBA legend Dick Weber, won six PBA50 events this season and was the 2015 Tour Player of the Year.
Competition begins Monday at 8 a.m. with Qualifying Round 1, which consists of eight games, for half the field. The other half will have its qualifying round at 3 p.m. Monday. Qualifying Round 2, which is also eight games, is again at 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
The final day of action Wednesday features the Cashers Round at 8:30 a.m. with match play at noon and at 3 p.m. The stepladder finals will begin at 7 p.m.
Admission to the tournament is $25 for Monday and Tuesday and $50 for Wednesday. Parking is $2 with all proceeds going to Riley Hospital for Children.
There are also carnival rides and a concert (for which admission is $10) each night featuring area bands.
The National Championship event, the first-ever of its kind in Elkhart, will be televised by the Bowling Channel and also streamed on the internet by XtraFrame.tv.