Local bowling fans are in for a big treat beginning this weekend.
Beginning Saturday, the 2017 UnitedHealthcare Professional Bowlers’ Association Sun Bowl in The Villages kicks off.
It will run through April 25 wrapping up with the advanced stepladder finals at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
160 of the best professional bowlers in the world are signed up to compete. Not only are the best bowlers America has to offer in the field, there are also bowlers representing Venezuela and Germany.
The field includes such popular bowlers as Pete Weber, Walter Ray Williams, Jr., Amletto Monacelli and Johnny Petraglia.
The local area will be represented by a contingent that includes Williams (Oxford), Chuck Richardson and Bob Chamberlain (The Villages), Doug Becker (Clermont), Adrain Eckworth and Nick Panicaro (Ocala), Mark Scime (Winter Garden), Joe Fulner III (Belleview), Dave Van Riet (Summerfield), Michael Owen (Gainesville), Bill Keenan, Jr. (Orlando), Darin Hayes (Wesley Chapel) and former Lady Lake resident Don Sylvia (Daytona Beach).
“We do this for our bowling community,” said Larry Ducat, owner of bowling operations in The Villages. “This is to show our appreciation to them.”
The field of bowlers are divided into two groups – the “A” and “B” groups.
Saturday, the tournament kicks off with an “A” and “B” practice session that is scheduled 9 a.m.-noon.
This is a very good time for fans to get pictures and autographs of the players.
Following the practice session, the Amber Bock Pro-Am Event will be played in two sessions – at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
The tournament gets started in earnest Sunday with the “A” squad rolling eight games of qualifying 9 a.m.-2:45 p.m.
The “B” squad follows with eight games of qualifying 3 p.m.-8:45 p.m.
On Monday, the two squads switch time slots for eight more qualifying games.
The top 32 qualifiers advance to Tuesday for eight games of modified, round-robin match play from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
The field is then cut to the top 16 for eight more games of modified, round-robin match play from 2-6 p.m.
The top five advance to the stepladder finals from 7 p.m-8:30 p.m.
Temporary bleachers have been installed at Spanish Springs Lanes to help with the seating.
“We have another good field. We have a full field plus a waiting list,” said PBA50 commissioner John Weber. “We are looking forward to coming to The Villages. The guys love coming to The Villages.”
There will be a moment of silence for the late Darrell Ducat, Larry Ducat’s father and business partner. Darrell Ducat passed away in February.
“We are going to have a moment of silence,” Larry Ducat said. “It will be more of a celebration of dad’s life. He enjoyed the game and he lived to be 91.”
Spanish Springs Lanes is located at 997 Alverez Avenue.
For more information call 750-9440.