Sports

Walter Ray Williams will host two clinics Thursday at Secoma Lanes

Secoma Lanes will have bowling royalty throwing strikes in Federal Way starting Thursday, July 16.

Walter Ray Williams Jr. is coming to town to conduct two bowling clinics and to compete in the Professional Bowlers Association Regional Tour at Secoma Lanes July 17-19. Williams will be teaching two clinics at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Thursday. There will also be a pro-am tournament on Friday and Saturday, where close to 500 participants are expected to compete.

“It’s going to be exciting,” said Secoma Lanes’ bowling manager Mike Martin. “We have never had a PBA Regional event here at Secoma Lanes.”

Secoma Lanes attempted to host a PBA regional tournament last year, but things fell through.

“This year we started in September or October to get things together,” Martin said. “We are hoping to get 80 to 100 regional (professional) players at the tournament. If we don’t have that many, I will be very disappointed. We already have 400 players signed up for the pro-am.”

The most well-known, by far, will be Williams. The California native was recently voted the second greatest bowler in the 50-year history of the PBA and is a member of the PBA Hall of Fame.

Williams has won the tour’s Player of the Year award six times and his career earnings top the $4 million barrier. He has appeared on television 165 times and won at least one PBA event in 16 consecutive seasons.

Williams will be conducting a pair of clinics on Thursday and both sold out within a week, according to Martin.

The PBA Regional Tournament will be the marquee event celebrating Secoma Lanes’ 50th anniversary in Federal Way. The bowling center was opened in 1959 by Elroy “Rocky” Rockwell, who is still involved in the day-to-day operations of the bowling alley at 86 years old.

“This kind of tops off our 50th anniversary,” Martin said.

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