The PBA Southwest Region Killeen Open is underway at Hallmark Lanes for its 18th season, and Houston’s Shawn Maldonado led the way with a 221.62 average as the field was trimmed to 29 for today’s competition.

The field consisted of members of the Professional Bowlers Tour as well as local bowlers from the Greater Killeen-Fort Hood USBC Association.

Bowlers competed in two squads Saturday for eight games of qualifying.

‘A’ Squad started the event with Miguel Lopez, of Wichita, Kan., leading the group, averaging 216.62.

Nathan Bohr, also of Wichita and a three- time winner of the event, was sixth with a 204.75 average. Bohr captured the event in 2005, 2009 and 2010.

‘B’ Squad began to roll at 2:30 p.m. and, after eight games, Kurt Gengelbach of Carrollton was among the leaders at 221.

Last year’s winner, Joe Findling of Mesquite, was fifth with a 212.28 average.

Taking the 29th and final spot was former major league pitcher John Burkett of Southlake. He had an average of 200.37.

Burkett compiled 166 wins, 1,766 strikeouts and a 4.31 ERA in the majors. He pitched from 1987 to 2003 with the San Francisco Giants, Florida Marlins, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox.

Russell Brown, Sr., a member of the Greater Killeen-Fort Hood USBC and a former member of the youth leagues of Killeen, was the only local to make the cut. Brown qualified in 26th place with an average of 200.62.

Action continues today at 8 a.m.

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