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.
Fleming, 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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