By Lucas Wiseman, USBC Communications
LAS VEGAS - Wayne Webb of Grove City, Ohio, was ready to withdraw with a left knee injury even before the 2010 United States Bowling Congress Masters started. Now he's one of four undefeated players in match play heading into the final day.
Webb is joined in the winners bracket by Henry Gonzalez of Colorado Springs, Colo., Pete McCordic of Katy, Texas, and Peter Knopp of Germany. The four players will hit the lanes again Friday at 9:15 a.m. PDT, just three wins away from the $16,000 top prize at the South Point Hotel and Casino Bowling Center.
Webb, a 20-time Professional Bowlers Association national champion and two-time Senior U.S. Open winner, injured his left knee last week at the 2010 Senior U.S. Open, but it didn't keep him from rolling to four consecutive victories Thursday.
"It still doesn't feel good, but with pain pills and a knee brace, it doesn't bother me that much," said Webb, who stayed in the winners bracket with a 682-623 win over Marv Sargent in the fourth round. "Everything is looking good at this point. When I threw it good today, I struck. At the beginning of the week, I didn't have that. So maybe I've found something."
Webb will take on Gonzalez in the morning, while McCordic will try to be the first bowler to take down top seed Knopp, who stayed alive in the winners bracket with an overtime victory against Robert Harvey of Boise, Idaho.
Knopp and Harvey finished tied at 606 in the fourth round with Knopp coming out on top 188-161 in the one-game roll-off.
In the losers bracket, eight bowlers remain in the hunt, including reigning PBA Player of the Year Walter Ray Williams Jr., who is looking to win his second senior title in his first year on the Senior PBA Tour.
Williams lost his opening match to Hugh Miller of Mercer Island, Wash., 674-648, but then rattled off five consecutive victories in the losers bracket. He finished the day with a dominating 782-661 victory in a rematch with Miller.
"The last four matches I threw it better and actually started carrying," Williams said. "There's still a long way to go. All of these guys are capable of beating me."
All 297 Senior Masters competitors bowled 15 qualifying games over three days before the field was cut to the top 63, who joined defending champion Dale Traber of Cedarburg, Wis., in the double-elimination match-play bracket.
Traber won his first match before being sent into the losers bracket, where he eventually lost his second match to 2008 Senior Masters champion Kenny Parks of Hammond, Ind., 677-554.
Match play continues Friday at 8 a.m. Pacific. All matches consist of three games, with total pins determining the winners. Competition will continue throughout the day, and the championship match is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Pacific.