April 1, 2018
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Rameses Chambers of Kansas City, Missouri, and Rocky Martin of Enosburg Falls, Vermont, used strong finishes to take over the top spots in Regular and Classified Singles, respectively, Sunday at the 2018 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships.
Chambers, a 40-year-old two-hander, rolled games of 244, 279 and 248 for a 771 series at the Oncenter Convention Center, while Martin, a 39-year-old left-hander, used games of 192, 190 and 215 to finish with a 597 series.
Joshua Volk of Jamestown, New York, had raised the bar in Regular Singles on Saturday with a 744 set, and Mark Marohl of Sisseton, South Dakota, previously held the Classified lead with 568.
Chambers already had made his way into the headlines in Syracuse by rolling the first 300 game at the Bowlers Journal Championships presented by USBC on Friday at nearby Strike ‘N Spare Lanes.
The trip to the Bowlers Journal Championships gave Chambers a game plan heading into his time at the Oncenter Convention Center, as the Bowlers Journal features the same oil pattern being used for doubles and singles at the USBC Open Championships.
Though his doubles scores didn’t reflect it, he knew he had a chance to put together a strong set.
After his hot start in singles, Chambers delivered seven consecutive strikes late in his final game to help finish off the best performance of his 13 Open Championships appearances.
“They played a little tighter here compared to the Bowlers Journal, but it really gave me a great blueprint to what I needed to do in doubles and singles,” said Chambers, who added sets of 581 in doubles and 541 in team for a career-best 1,893 all-events total. “I knew I had a pretty decent look during doubles, and after I adjusted how far down I was looking at my break point, everything really clicked.”
The bowling ball Chambers used for his perfect game at the Bowlers Journal and big set in singles at the Open Championships almost didn’t make the trip to Syracuse with him.
But the bowling ball, and the experience, ended up being even more than he expected.
“The ball I used was the second-to-last ball I ended up selecting to bring here,” Chambers said. “When I got it, I wasn’t sure when I was going to be able to use it, but it seemed to work out pretty well here in singles. I’ve struggled so much at the Open Championships that I actually was dreading coming out here, but I love bowling with my teammates. I’m sure someone will shoot 800, but this is something I never thought would happen. It’s still a little surreal.”
Martin also recorded a career-best performance on the championship lanes Sunday to capture the Classified Singles lead, and he was able to hold off a late charge from another competitor during his squad.
Terry Smith of Chicago had the chance to double in his final frame to go around Martin’s total, but he left a 4 pin on his first shot and settled into second place with 591.
Martin, who made his seventh Open Championships appearance, posted a clean game to finish his set.
“This was my best showing so far,” Martin said. “I made a ball change and moved to a different spot on the approach, and everything really fell into place from there.”
Martin enjoys the opportunity to travel the country and meet new people through the event and now he hopes to be heading to the 2019 tournament in Las Vegas as the defending champion in the Classified Division.
“I’m very honored and happy to be in this position, and I can’t wait to do it again next year,” Martin said. “I’ll be keeping an eye on the scores for sure.”
Martin added sets of 421 in team and 403 in doubles for a 1,421 all-events total.
The Regular Division includes bowlers with entering averages of 210 and above, and the Classified Division features bowlers with entering averages of 180 and below.