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If his first day is any indication, Buffalo's Tom Baker is going to be a huge success on the PBA Senior Tour.

Baker, the only Senior Tour bowler who is also exempt on the PBA Tour, shot a 1,957 for eight games to lead the first day of qualifying Sunday in the PBA Senior Empire State Open in Latham.

Baker started out hot, averaging 253.60 in his first five games.

"It was fun out there but I've got a lot of people telling me I'm going to have a lot of success out here and I'm going to be stealing money. It was a little hard to concentrate with people saying things like that," said Baker, who earned a five-year PBA Tour exemption by winning last season's 2004 PBA World Championship. "I still have to bowl."

Baker finished the day with a 237 to hold off five-time Senior Tour titlist Johnny Petraglia, who is second with 1,902.

All 145 bowlers will return today for an additional eight games of qualifying.

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