Kevin Croucher of Grants Pass, OR, averaged 239.6 to lead the 227-player field after first-round qualifying Monday in the Professional Bowlers Association Senior U.S. Open presented by the Suncoast at the Suncoast Bowling Center in Las Vegas, NV. Croucher, winner of the 2007 Senior Decatur (IL) Open for his lone Senior Tour title, had a 1,438 six-game pinfall total with games of 216, 243, 222, 257, 233 and 267, and had only one open frame which came in the third game. “You want to get as many pins as you can in the later blocks because they are generally higher scoring,” said Croucher, bowling in the final block of the day. “Bowling the second or third block you can take advantage of the shot that develops when the lanes burn out. You just need to make all your spares and strike as much as possible.” Rounding out the top five after first-day qualifying were Bo Goergen of Sanford, MI, 1,424; Junichi Yajima, Japan, 1,421; Dale Traber, Cedarburg, WI, 1,416 and Hugh Miller, Seattle, 1,396. Croucher, whose best Senior U.S. Open finish was sixth which also came in 2007, has had a disappointing start to the 2011 season and decided to take some time off to work on his game which proved productive as he discovered a flaw in his delivery. “I went back home and thanks to being able to use video I noticed that I was pulling up dramatically at the line,” said the 55-year-old bowling proprietor. “You could see it right away and I was able to fix it simply by staying down at the line. Had I not been able to see it on video I don’t know how long it would have taken me to figure it out.” In what is considered the toughest test on the Senior Tour, all players will bowl two more six-game qualifying rounds Tuesday and Wednesday after which the field will be cut to the top quarter of the field for another nine-game qualifying round Thursday morning. The field will then be cut to the top 24 players for three eight-game round-robin match play rounds conducted Thursday and Friday to determine the top four for the stepladder finals scheduled for Friday at 3:30 p.m. PT. Bowling fans can check out coverage of the match play portions of the Senior U.S. Open on pba.com’s Xtra Frame video service.