2018 USBC OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS IN SYRACUSE TO BEGIN ONE WEEK EARLIER

August 30, 2017

ARLINGTON, Texas – With teams quickly filling the schedule for the 2018 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships in Syracuse, New York, USBC will add another week to the competition, so more bowlers can experience competing in the national event.

To meet the extra requests for squad times, the 2018 USBC Open Championships will begin its run at the Oncenter Convention Center on March 24, a week earlier than previously scheduled.

“We hoped the captains and competitors would be excited about traveling east and returning to Syracuse, and we got some confirmation of that early in the registration process,” USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy said. “We initially shortened the duration of the event, hoping the days would be full and action-packed, but we made sure there was flexibility to add days, if necessary.”

The 2018 tournament will last for 107 days, concluding July 8. The custom-built 48-lane venue also will play host to the USBC Masters from April 8-15, reuniting the two events for the first time since 2011.

The extra week will allow more than 600 additional five-player teams to enjoy the Open Championships experience, increasing the overall capacity to more than 8,300 teams.

The Open Championships last was held in Syracuse in 1999, and the upcoming return will mark the fifth time the event has traveled to Salt City. It also was held there in 1935, 1958 and 1973.

The transformation of the Oncenter Convention Center will get underway Dec. 11 and include vendor and office space, scale room and squad room, locker and concessions areas and seating for hundreds of friends, family and bowling fans.

The entry deadline for the event now will be March 24 to coincide with the start of competition. It previously was listed as March 31.

Captains can enter here or call the tournament office at 888-910-2695.

Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Open Championships Facebook page.

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WORLD BOWLING TOUR RANKINGS TIGHTEN FOLLOWING MALMO STOP

August 30, 2017

Dear friends of World Bowling,

Please see attached and below:

Press release

 

WORLD BOWLING TOUR RANKINGS TIGHTEN FOLLOWING MALMO STOP

LAUSANNE, August 30th – Following the conclusion of the World Bowling Tour Malmo stop (also known as the Storm Lucky Larsen Masters) which saw Jason Belmonte triumph over a field of 450 players from 22 countries, the men’s and women’s World Bowling Rankings have tightened in competition.

Still leading the field for the men is USA’s Marshall Kent after his Oklahoma Open win on 273 points, ahead of England’s Dominic Barret on 249, despite neither having competed in Malmo.  Yet Sweden’s Martin Larsen, Australia’s Jason Belmonte and Anthony Simonsen from the USA all competed at the event winning points that have put them hot on the heels of the number one and two ranked players.  Larsen remains in third position on 227, Belmonte jumps to fourth on 220 and Simonsen is bumped down to fifth on 216.

We see a similar trend in the Women’s rankings where by USA athletes Danielle McEwan and Liz Johnson maintain their lead but with far fewer points difference than before the Malmo stop.  McEwan now leads on 445 to Johnson’s 230 and Colombia’s Anggie Ramirez, a new entry into the top 10, makes third position on 228 points.  Other new entries to the top ten women’s lists are USA’s Liz Kuhlkin in 5th position, Ingelimar Beasley from Venezuela in 8th position and Sweden’s Jenny Wegner in 10th.

The top 10 Men’s & Women’s Rankings are as follows:

Men’s Ranking

1.

Kent

Marshall

USA

273

2.

Barrett

Dominic

England

249

3.

Larsen

Martin

Sweden

227

4.

Belmonte

Jason

Australia

220

5.

Simonsen

Anthony

USA

216

6.

Tackett

EJ

USA

203

7.

Svensson

Jesper

Sweden

190

8.

Williams

Stuart

England

188

9.

Larsen

Thomas

Denmark

177

10.

Rash

Sean

USA

172

Women’s Ranking

1.

McEwan

Danielle

USA

445

2.

Johnson

Liz

USA

230

3.

Ramirez Perea

Anggie

Colombia

228

4.

Ng

Shayna

Singapore

186

5.

Kuhlkin

Liz

USA

176

6.

Zavjalova

Diana

Latvia

155

7.

Tan

Cherie

Singapore

142

8.

Beasley

Ingelimar

Venezuela

140

9.

Wegner

Jenny

Sweden

122

10.

Tan

Jazreel

Singapore

117

The next stop on the World Bowling Tour will be Bangkok from September 30th to October 6th.

About The World Bowling Tour: The World Bowling Tour is sanctioned by World Bowling, the governing body for the sport of bowling.  The tour is the premier international bowling series that is hosted in numerous, unique cities around the globe.  Men and women compete for points to earn places on The World Bowling Tour rankings.  The points system is based on a continuous two-year cycle, where points include every event from the previous two year format.

For more information on World Bowling or the World Bowling Tour, visit WorldBowling.org or please contact:

Megan Tidbury, PR & Marketing Director

Telephone: +41 78 830 3651; Email: megan@worldbowling.org

Megan Tidbury

PR & Marketing Director

World Bowling Logo

World Bowling Lausanne
Maison du Sport International
Avenue de Rhodanie 54, Lausanne 1007
+41 78 830 3651
megan@worldbowling.org
www.worldbowling.org
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USBC OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS BIGGEST FAN ENJOYS LAS VEGAS

July 13, 2017

By Matt Cannizzaro and Brian Hirsch
USBC Communications

LAS VEGAS – 
Antonio Zapata of San Antonio may not be in contention for an Eagle this year at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, but he felt like a champion as he helped lead a recent team squad to the lanes at the South Point Bowling Plaza.

Zapata, who is 15 years old and wheelchair-bound, definitely is one of the tournament’s biggest fans, and his love and support for the event can be felt by everyone he encounters. 

Each year, he looks forward to attending the USBC Open Championships with his mother, Danielle Rabidas, and grandfather, Richard Rabidas, who have attended four and 23 tournaments, respectively. It was their squad he escorted to the lanes at the Bowling Plaza.

“This is my first time to the South Point Bowling Plaza, and it is very overwhelming,” Zapata said. “I cannot believe how large the bowling area is.”

Zapata has been to almost every tournament since 2003, watching, cheering and even doing a little coaching. 

He also has had the pleasure of meeting countless bowlers and staff from all over the world, and he treasures the opportunity to reconnect with many of those friends during his annual trip to the event.

“In the years we come to bowl and don’t bring Antonio, everyone asks where he is,” Danielle Rabidas said. “The staff and other bowlers look forward to seeing him every year, and it means a lot to us.”

Being in Las Vegas for the 2017 Open Championships turned out to be more special than Zapata ever could’ve expected, as Professional Bowlers Association stars Chris Barnes and Jason Belmonte also were competing, giving him the chance to meet the duo. 

“This year is awesome,” Zapata said.

As he got older, Zapata needed a wheelchair that would better suit his needs, but it came with a $25,000 price tag. With the help of friends and bowlers, the family was able to raise more than $9,000 through a GoFundMe page, and that helped offset the total cost.

A self-proclaimed 300 average bowler on his iPad video game, Zapata also likes to knock down some actual pins when he gets the chance and often finds time to go bowling with his Special Olympics teammates.

ZapataAntonio2017OCForWeb250x140Before leaving The Entertainment Capital of the World following their 2017 Open Championships campaign, Zapata and his family planned to enjoy some of the sights Las Vegas has to offer. 

Among the must-see places were M&M World, World of Coca-Cola and the world-famous Fremont Street Experience. 

Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Open Championships Facebook page.

FLORIDA BOWLER SURGES INTO LEAD AT 2017 USBC OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

July 12, 2017

By Matt Cannizzaro and Brian Hirsch
USBC Communications

LAS VEGAS – 
Thorsten Przychocki of Sebring, Florida, may be checking the online leaderboard a few times over the next few days as the new leader in Standard Singles at the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships

The 20-year-old right-hander, a collegiate bowler and student at McKendree University, needed a mark and good count in his final frame Tuesday at the South Point Bowling Plaza, and he delivered, finishing with a 704 series. Charles Theobald of Minot, North Dakota, previously held the lead with 696. 

Przychocki left the 2-4-5 combination on the first offering of his last frame, but he picked up the spare and struck on his fill ball to secure the top spot. The performance included games of 211, 269 and 224.

“While yesterday in the team event did not go the way I wanted, there were a lot of nerves, and things did not really kick in until the last game,” said Przychocki, a first-time participant at the USBC Open Championships. “I was able to use a ball I got from a friend, and that was basically the only ball I threw at the (Bowlers Journal Championships presented by USBC) and out here for all three events.”

Przychocki added sets of 673 in doubles and 520 in team to finish his tournament debut in second place in Standard All-Events with a 1,897 total. Rusty Johnston of Canyon, Texas, leads with 1,915.

Living just 30 minutes away from the Kegel Training Center in sunny Florida, allowed Przychocki the opportunity to work on his game with the staff at the training center in preparation for his first Open Championships. 

Bowling collegiately under the watchful eyes of the McKendree coaching staff, which includes director of bowling Bryan O’Keefe, head men’s bowling coach Dennis Knepper and Shannon O’Keefe, the head women’s bowling coach, also has helped Przychocki improve his game.

Now, with just a few squads left before the July 16 conclusion of the 2017 Open Championships, he is the guy to beat. 

There still will be many competitors headed to the Bowling Plaza looking to take the lead away from him, but Przychocki can’t help but consider the possibility of seeing his name on a championship banner at next year’s tournament in Syracuse, New York. 

“Hopefully the week will not be too stressful, but in the end, it will be what it is, and I feel good about it,” Przychocki said. “This is very exciting. I haven’t really done much in the way of a career, yet, and it was great to throw some scores and have something to show for all the work. Adding an Eagle would be wonderful. The O’Keefes are a huge part of the success we all have at McKendree, but you cannot forget about Dennis. They all prepare you for everything and mold you into what you can be, not what they want you to be.” 

The final doubles and singles squad of the 2017 Open Championships will hit the lanes at the Bowling Plaza on July 16 at noon Eastern.

Standard Singles and All-Events include bowlers with entering averages of 181-209. 

Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Open Championships Facebook page.

GEORGIA BOWLERS FIND SUCCESS AT 2017 USBC OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

July 8, 2017

By Matt Cannizzaro and Brian Hirsch
USBC Communications

LAS VEGAS – With less than 10 days left at the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, Dustin Keener of Cleveland, Georgia, and John Carter of Toccoa, Georgia, secured the top spot in Classified Doubles with a 1,133 total Friday night.

The performance marked the second lead change in Classified Doubles this week at the South Point Bowling Plaza and included a 611 series from Keener, a USBC Open Championships first-timer.

Carter, a 60-year-old right-hander whose debut came at the 2016 event, added a 522 series Friday as he and Keener passed previous leaders, Tony Jeppesen and Carlos Soto of Roosevelt, Utah, who previously held the top spot with 1,114.

Keener and Carter may only have a combined three years of Open Championships experience, but they are very familiar with the significance of what they accomplished. They’re also going to have a close eye or two on the leaderboards as the 149-day run of the 2017 event approaches its July 16 conclusion.

“We are going to have everyone we know checking the website to see if we are still at the top, and this is going to be a very long and stressful week,” said Keener and Carter. “If this holds up, we cannot wait for next year to see a banner with our names on it. What an accomplishment that would be.”

Keener’s performance included games of 168, 243 and 200, while Carter added 167, 169 and 186, and it was just a continuation of the success they found with their team Thursday night.

The two helped Carters Royal of Cleveland, Georgia, into second place in Classified Team with a 2,526 total, 43 pins shy of Scotty’s 8 of Alexandria, Minnesota, which leads with 2,569.

“We had a great shot in team, but I opened the first four frames of Game 1 and the last six of Game 3,” said Keener, a 32-year-old right-hander. “I was pretty disappointed. I felt like I sunk the ship.”

Carter’s momentum continued in singles, where he rolled games of 222, 177 and 204 for a 603 series, moving him into sixth place in Classified Singles.

With his 521 set in team, he closed his sophomore campaign at the Open Championships just outside the top 10 in Classified All-Events with a 1,646 total. Keener finished his debut with 477 in singles and 444 in team for 1,532.

Wiley Collins of Winter Springs, Florida, leads Classified Singles this year at the Bowling Plaza, while Nick Stenberg of Big Timber, Montana, leads Classified All-Events with 1,733.

“Dustin told me he added wrong (in doubles), so knowing we did it is a great feeling,” Carter said. “I thought we were going to miss again. Since I thought we both had to shoot a 200 game, and I didn’t do my part, I hoped we’d at least get to the top five.”

A decade ago, a pair of teammates from the same area of Georgia earned back-to-back Classified All-Events titles. Kirby Lomax of Gainesville, Georgia, got the job done in 2006, while Samuel Murray of Toccoa secured the win in 2007.

Regardless of how things turn out score-wise this year, Keener and Carter, who regularly bowl at Toccoa’s Rose Lanes Bowling Center, intend to make the Open Championships an annual tradition.

“We were excited about bowling and interested in checking it all out, as it is definitely a different setting than anything we had bowled in before,” Carter said. “We will be coming out every year. We love to travel and see different places.”

The Classified Division is for bowlers with entering averages of 180 and below. Classified Doubles includes pairs with combined entering averages of 360 and below.

The 2017 Open Championships kicked off Feb. 18.

Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Open Championships Facebook page.

ILLINOIS BOWLER JOINS 50-YEAR CLUB AT 2017 USBC OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

June 27, 2017

By Matt Cannizzaro and Brian Hirsch
USBC Communications 

LAS VEGAS –
 The 2017 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships soon will come to a close at the South Point Bowling Plaza, but before the pin decks go dark, there was time to welcome one more bowler into the event’s 50-Year Club. 

Jim Gochis of Ivanhoe, Illinois, became the newest member of the elite club Monday as he made his way to the championship lanes with his wife, Betty, and their grandchildren, James and Jordyn, by his side. He was the 21st and final competitor to reach five decades of participation this year.

The 79-year-old received a plaque, chevron and diamond lapel pin to commemorate his milestone appearance at the USBC Open Championships. His tournament career began at the 1967 event in Miami.

“I got choked up, and it was very hard to hold back the emotions and tears.” said Gochis, a bowling proprietor. “The book on me is all about persistence, and once I start something, I just keep on going until it’s done.”

Gochis and his family are the owners of Sunset Bowl in Waukegan, Illinois, and Fair Haven Lanes in Mundelein, Illinois, both 24-lane centers. He can be found at almost any time, either checking payroll or cleaning a table for the next family to enjoy its time bowling. 

“My wife is the one that deserves the credit for putting up with things over the last 50 years like joining me at (Professional Bowlers Association) stops and the Open Championships.” Gochis said. “I have been an athlete all my life. Bowling was, for me, something that still was there when I couldn’t do the other sports. I was fortunate when I turned 50 and was able to join the PBA Tour. I didn’t win anything out there, but I met a lot of guys who still are great friends of mine today.”

Gochis’ dedication to bowling has earned him spots in the Lake County USBC, Chicagoland USBC and Illinois State USBC Halls of Fame. 

This year at the South Point Bowling Plaza, Gochis rolled sets of 459 in doubles, 446 in team and 410 in singles for a 1,315 all-events total. In 50 years on the tournament lanes, he has knocked down 84,616 pins for a career average of 188.

Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Open Championships Facebook page

PAST CHAMPION AND SON SHARE USBC OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS EXPERIENCE IN LAS VEGAS

June 20, 2017

By Matt Cannizzaro and Brian Hirsch
USBC Communications

LAS VEGAS – A lifetime of individual success on the lanes has helped Frank Massengale Jr. of Hixson, Tennessee, and his son, Chris Massengale of Chattanooga, Tennessee, earn a special place in the United States Bowling Congress record book, while a recent visit to the South Point Bowling Plaza offered an unforgettable experience.

The two own the USBC marks for career 300 games and 800 series by a father and son, with nearly 200 perfect games and more than 150 800s between them, but this week’s trip to the 2017 USBC Open Championships marked the first time the two have competed together on the biggest stage in bowling.

In fact, the two have very limited participation records at the premier event for USBC members, combining for just nine tournament appearances, including 2017.

Frank Massengale, now 51, made his Open Championships debut at the 1991 event in Toledo, Ohio, and found instant success, helping Tri-State Lanes of Chattanooga to the Regular Team title. Despite the immediate glory, he didn’t return again until 1997 and added appearances in 2003 and 2005.

Chris Massengale competed in the tournament for the first time in 2011 and returned in 2012 and 2015.

Some health issues in recent years delayed their first tandem outing on the championship lanes, but the chance to make that happen in 2017 was a priority.

“I guess it was more of a financial decision to miss many of the tournaments, and the main reason I am here today is to have the chance to bowl with my son for the first time at Nationals,” Frank Massengale said. “I ended up having a heart attack in 2013 and was not able to make it to the tournament that year or in 2014. That is the reason that I am here today. Finally getting to bowl in this tournament with my son is the most important thing to me right now.”

Frank Massengale has enjoyed success on the lanes at all levels of the sport.

In 1988, at 22, he found himself as the top amateur at the U.S. Open, finishing in the top 25. He also has finished in the top eight at the Hoinke Super Classic, is a two-time Southern Match Game champion and is a member of the team that owns the second-highest three-game team series in USBC history, a 3,937 effort posted in 2009.

His dedication to the sport has earned him spots in three halls of fame in his home state – Chattanooga Area, Chattanooga Sports and Tennessee State USBC Bowling Association Halls of Fame.

Growing up in a bowling family truly is special. The young bowlers learn the sounds and smells associated with the bowling center and grow up in its surroundings. When the time comes for them to get out on their own, it’s a special moment for the parents, but what about the children?

“Growing up in a bowling center is what I did my whole life,” Chris Massengale said. “No matter if he was bowling in a local tournament or one farther away. I remember first-hand when my dad won the Southern Match Game tournament and even going to some Professional Bowlers Association tournaments as well. I’ve had the pleasure of watching him do what he loves to do since I was 5 years old.”

Chris was there to witness the greatest victories and hardest defeats his father had. He learned from both and has been able to use those experiences to find his own path and success on the lanes.

Also like his father, life’s responsibilities, including a child of his own, have limited his participation in the Open Championships.

“Mainly the jobs I had in the past made it really hard to take a few days off to come out and bowl,” said Chris, a 29-year-old right-hander. “Now, I have a 4-year-old, and he is the top priority.”

Chris definitely has been shown and given all the tools needed to succeeded in the sport. He also understands the significance of the Open Championships and the win his father experienced in 1991.

Getting to bowl together at the world’s largest participatory sport events has been a long time coming, not only on the same team, but as doubles partners as well.

“The 300 record for me, just means there are big shoes to fill, and every time I see or hear that my dad has the first nine strikes, there is no doubt in my mind he is going to put the next three balls right where they need to be,” Chris Massengale said. “The 800s, that’s even harder to do, as you need to average 266 to get there. You have to get up each time and throw a quality shot and hope for a little luck, too.”

This week at the South Point Bowling Plaza, Frank Massengale set the pace with sets of 596 in singles, 555 in team and 522 in doubles for a 1,673 all-events total. Chris has 596 in singles, 567 in doubles and 486 in team for 1,649. The two posted a 1,089 total in their Open Championships doubles debut.

Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Open Championships Facebook page.

#USBCOPEN SPOTLIGHT – VOLUME 8

June 19, 2017

 

By Brian Hirsch
USBC Communications

LAS VEGAS – 
During the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, we will have the opportunity to meet and speak with more than 50,000 bowlers from all over the world. 

Some are well-known, some are yet-to-be-known, but all of them have personal stories to tell and memories to share about their time at the USBC Open Championships.

In the past, we’ve caught up some of the bowlers for an online feature called On The Lanes, where we asked them all the same 12 questions to see how the answers might vary based on different generations, skill levels and experience.

On The Lanes deviates from our traditional news-sharing format, but it offers different insight into the competitors at the Open Championships.

We’re adding yet another option in 2017 and introducing a question-and-answer format for some of our most interesting bowlers to see how they got started, where they came from and what their Las Vegas experience was like.

In this edition of the #USBCOpen Spotlight, we will get to know more about Char Hammel of Las Vegas. 

In a city that is home to lot of big names in the bowling world, when it comes to the top senior players, you hear names like Ron Mohr, Mike Monyak and Paul Renteria, and you have to include Hammel on that list. 

The 62-year-old right-hander, is a seasoned bowler herself, big wins to her credit, including the 2006 National Golden Ladies and 2010 USBC Senior Queens. She owns one 800 series (802) and more than 20 perfect games. 

Hammel can and does compete in the highest level in leagues and tournaments. She recently finished in a tie for seventh place at the 2017 USBC Senior Queens in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

You often can find her on the lanes as a league bowler in multiple scratch leagues at the nearby South Point Bowling Center, just a short walk from the South Point Bowling Plaza, home of the 2017 USBC Open Championships. 

Off the lanes, this devoted wife takes care of her husband, Mark, once a promising Southern California bowler, who rolled 26 perfect games before being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Anytime Hammel is on the lanes, it’s likely Mark will be nearby to support her.

Hammel recently completed her 2017 Open Championships campaign on a tandem of challenging lane conditions, where shot making is key. She posted scores of 628 in team, 564 in singles and 532 in doubles for a 1,724 all-events total.

Learn more about Char Hammel now!

USBC – What are some of your bowling-related achievements and career highlights?

CH – 
Claimed the 2006 National Golden Ladies Classic title and a win at the 2010 USBC Senior Queens. That year, they had 101 entries. A great career at the Senior Queens includes a handful of top-five finishes: 2011(second), 2012 (third after leading qualifying), 2014 (fourth) and 2015 (fifth).

USBC – What balls are in your bowling bag?

CH –
Sure Lock, Dare Devil Trick, Dare Devil Pearl, Torrent, Haywire, Hyroad Pearl, Mix

USBC – What four players would join you on your Open Championships dream team?

CH –
Kelly Kulick, Danielle McEwan, Liz Johnson, Verity Crawley

USBC – Who is your favorite bowler of all-time?

CH –
It’s a tie, please don’t make me pick between Norm Duke and Kelly Kulick.

USBC – What do you believe are the keys to success at the Open Championships?

CH – 
Patience. The shot is going to be challenging. Make your spares – you may need a B spare game. Make sure your helmet is strapped on tight. Getting too frustrated only makes competing that much more difficult. However, I haven’t been what one would consider to be real successful at the OC yet, but I do love the challenge of the event.

USBC – What is your most embarrassing moment at the Open Championships, or anywhere?

CH –
Last night, in the team event, I had a good start in Game 1 and went spare, triple, then sent a shot wide, and it came back to the pocket for a 7-10 split. My next shot went wider – right in the channel for a 0-9. 

USBC – Who challenges you the most on the lanes, and how so?

CH –
Without a doubt it’s my husband, Mark. He never sugar coats anything. When I make a poor shot, he always knows, which means if I didn’t realize it I will soon, LOL. He’s my best friend, coach, mentor and my biggest fan/supporter. MS stole bowling from him 20 years ago. I’m blessed to have him in my life and share this sport we both love.

Click here to see the 2017 #USBCOpen Spotlight – Volume 7 with Barb Spigner of Vernon Hill, Illinois.

Click here to see the 2017 #USBCOpen Spotlight – Volume 6 with Teata Semiz of Hopatcong, New Jersey.

Click here to see the 2017 #USBCOpen Spotlight – Volume 5 with Martina Beckel of Frankfurt, Germany.

Click here to see the 2017 #USBCOpen Spotlight – Volume 4 with Mitzi and Doug Forde, who got married on the lanes at the 2017 Open Championships.

Click here to see the 2017 #USBCOpen Spotlight – Volume 3 with Peggy Walden of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Click here to see the 2017 #USBCOpen Spotlight – Volume 2 with the OC’s Brian Hirsch.

Click here to see the 2017 #USBCOpen Spotlight – Volume 1 with Sweden’s Pontus Andersson and Markus Jansson.

Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Open Championships Facebook page

OREGON BOWLERS CONNECT FOR 300 GAMES AT 2017 USBC OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

June 12, 2017

By Aaron Smith and Brian Hirsch
USBC Communications

LAS VEGAS – 
In any sport, the ability to take advantage when an opportunity presents itself is a key to finding continued success.

A pair of Oregon bowlers did that this weekend at the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, as Kevin Croucher of Grants Pass, Oregon, and Thomas Ault Jr. of Portland, Oregon, added their names to the short list of competitors who have recorded 300 games this year at the South Point Bowling Plaza.

For the past week, Croucher has showcased his ability on the lanes in Las Vegas by advancing to the stepladder finals of the 2017 Super Senior Classic and making the cut into match play at the USBC Senior Masters, both at the nearby Sam’s Town Bowling Center.

The 61-year-old right-hander then made his way to the Bowling Plaza, where a combination of skill and a little luck, earned him a place in the USBC Open Championships record book.

While making his run at the seventh perfect game of the 2017 event, Croucher capitalized on a Brooklyn strike on his 11th offering. He followed the fortunate break with a shot that left little doubt he’d become the owner of a 300 on bowling’s biggest stage.

The 300 came between games of 188 and 175 for a 663 series and helped Sign Producers of Winter Garden, Florida, to a 2,860 total. Team NABR of Fairport, New York, leads Regular Team with 3,266.

Croucher had a game plan coming into Saturday, but despite just three strikes in the opening game, he stuck with it and adjusted his ball speed.

“I used urethane the first game, and the idea was to use urethane the entire time,” said Croucher, who made his 15th Open Championships appearance. “I couldn’t carry the first game, so I slowed it down a little bit to help create some carry. I’ve had a lot of 300s, so I was just trying to repeat my shot. On the 11th one, I missed left and got lucky. I wanted to come back and put the last one in the pocket, and I made a good shot.”

Croucher, the 2007 Professional Bowlers Association Tour Senior Decatur Open champion, now is looking forward to the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open, presented by Storm, which kicks off Monday with the opening round of qualifying at Las Vegas’ Suncoast Bowling Center.

“It’s been a long week, but I have no complaints,” said Croucher, who finished fourth at the Super Senior Classic and tied for 49th at the Senior Masters. “I’ve been able to find some success at each event, and I’m throwing the ball pretty well. Adding the 300 was cool, and I hope this run continues at the U.S. Open.”

AultThomasJr2017OCForWeb250x140Once you find success at the Open Championships, you want to relive that moment year after year. 

In Ault’s case, it took nine years to get back into the spotlight, but it was well worth the wait for the 40-year-old right-hander. 

Joining Croucher in the record book also required some luck for Ault, however, as it took a last-second trip of the 9 pin to cap off the eighth 300 of the 2017 Open Championships.

Ault, a Regular Team champion at the 2008 tournament in Albuquerque, New Mexico, excelled individually this year, sandwiching his perfect effort between games of 193 and 243 for a 736 singles series. He added 700 in team and 633 in doubles for a career-best 2,069 all-events total, which is tied for 10th place in Regular All-Events this year.

“I wish I had a better first game in singles, but I was able to shoot a 730 series with a 190 first game,” said Ault, who made his 15th Open Championships appearance. “The transition was very awkward between doubles and singles. I was throwing two different balls on the pair. It was a telltale sign of the carrydown on the right lane compared to the left one.”

When Ault’s team rallied together in 2008, there was a sense of camaraderie and the chance to share that moment, but the path to individual success is a little different, even with friends and teammates there for support.

“I started thinking about that in the seventh or eighth frame and felt like a pitcher going for a no-no (no-hitter), and my teammates on the pair and the pair next to ours, were just staying away,” said Ault, a five-time Professional Bowlers Association regional champion who regularly bowls at Portland’s KingPins Family Entertainment Center. “They did not say anything to me and just let me stay with my pre-shot routine until that game was over and I was able to deliver two and a half good shots that all carried.”

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IDAHO DUO TIES FOR CLASSIFIED DOUBLES LEAD AT 2017 USBC OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

June 10, 2017

By Aaron Smith and Brian Hirsch
USBC Communications

LAS VEGAS – Ted Fleming of Mountain Home, Idaho, spends most of his days needing precise information in order to complete his job as a magistrate judge in Elmore County, Idaho.

While in Las Vegas this week for the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, Fleming and his doubles partner, Paul Davis of Emmett, Idaho, were better off not having the facts as they approached the Classified Doubles lead at the South Point Bowling Plaza.

Both Fleming and Davis were working on doubles heading into the final frame. After each spared to start the 10th, count on their fill balls would determine whether or not they could get to the lead.

Davis stepped up first and toppled nine pins, and, though Fleming missed his target to the right, he was able to knock over seven pins, leaving the 1-2-4 combination standing, but getting just enough to secure a share of the lead with a 1,105 total.

FlemingTedDavisPaul2017OCForWeb250x140Fleming, a 38-year-old right-hander, led the way with games of 179, 181 and 211 for a 571 series, and Davis, a 68-year-old right-hander, added 149, 201 and 184 for 534.

They now share the top spot with the father-and-daughter team of Bud Olriksen of Las Vegas and Ashley Olriksen of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

Fleming and Davis were unaware of the leading total, and the surprise of the news was enough to make each wonder what might have happened if they had known how close they were to the top of the standings.

“Getting the news was really exciting,” said Davis, who made his second USBC Open Championships appearance. “It’s great that we didn’t know how close we were, otherwise we might have found a way to somehow screw it up.”

The pair, as well as their entire group, now are excited to see if they can bring a share of the title back home to Emmett’s KT Lanes. With less than six weeks remaining at the 2017 Open Championships, they will be keeping a close watch on the online leaderboards in hopes of seeing their names on championship banner at the 2018 event in Syracuse, New York.

“We come from a small 10-lane center, and for all they do for us, it would be great to hang a banner there,” said Fleming, who also made his second trip to the event. “It would be unbelievable to honor our community and KT Lanes in that way. We will be watching the leaderboard from here on out every chance we can.”

Classified Doubles includes bowlers with combined entering averages of 360 and below.

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