By Brian Hirsch
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.
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