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Californian leads senior qualifying

Hobo Boothe rolled a 300 game and took the lead after the first day of qualifying at the $85,000 Pinellas Suncoast Pinwheel PBA Senior Open at Seminole Lanes on Sunday.

The 240-man field, split into two squads, bowls eight more games today beginning at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. The top 32 qualifiers move on to match play Tuesday and Wednesday morning, with the five-man stepladder finals scheduled for Wednesday night.

"I used one ball, found one line and stuck with it all the way," Boothe said after toppling 1,941 pins through eight games. Boothe, of Canoga Park, Calif., has finished third twice this year, his second on the senior tour.

Wil Strickland of Cincinnati, another second-year pro, was second at 1,907.

Dick Weber, the only player to win titles in five decades, was third at 1,856. The St. Louis legend has won six senior events and leads in senior career earnings with more than $155,000. Weber is a member of the PBA and ABC halls of fame and is a PBA charter member.

Bill Beach of Sharon, Pa., winner of a national and a senior title, was fourth, five pins behind Weber. David Tuell Jr. of Tacoma, Wash., a third-year pro, was fifth.

Three super seniors (pros over 60) were in the top 10 _ Weber, Beach and Tommy Tuttle of King, N.C.

John Handegard, the 1991 Senior Player of the Year from Thousand Oaks, Calif., was 12th at 1,797.

St. Petersburg's Steve Hobelmann, a first-year pro, was the highest Suncoast scorer Sunday, tied for 32nd with a 1,733 pinfall. Don Douglas of Clearwater was 51st at 1,703, and Harry Beierlein, also from Clearwater, was 67th at 1,681.