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24th Malta Open Championships
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Higgins helped Higgy’s Aquarium (pictured above) to the Team All-Events title with a 10,041 total, marking only the 59th time in 113 years of tournament history the 10,000-pinfall mark has been surpassed. It was the third such time in four years for a Higgins-captained team, and they claimed the victory by more than 300 pins.
The list of Regular Division winners includes BowersBowlingTour.com of Wichita, Kansas (team), Christopher Hill of Franklin, Wisconsin, and Greg Thomas of Irmo, South Carolina (doubles), Robert J. Bures of Painesville, Ohio (singles), and Brandon Novak of Chillicothe, Ohio (all-events).
Chad Roberts led the way for Higgy’s Aquarium with a 2,122 all-events total June 17, which is tied for fourth place in Regular All-Events this year, and he was joined by Joshua Conner (2,074), Joe Bailey (1,995), Higgins (1,928) and Tony Carson (1,922).
“My teammates have been blowing up my phone all day waiting for the tournament to be done, and we’re so relieved and excited right now,” said Higgins, who made his 20th USBC Open Championships appearance and also helped Higgy’s Aquarium to a runner-up effort in Regular Team. “It’s unbelievable. To get the official word and eventually get to see the guys get the eagles and awards will be priceless.”
The team gained momentum in a 1,004 and 1,178 start, before closing with the highest team game of this year’s event, 1,195, to catapult into the top spot.
After grinding through the opening game on the 38-foot team oil pattern, leadoff bowler Zach Rhoades made a pivotal move left to be more in his comfort zone, which yielded 19 strikes and games of 278 and 265 for a 725 series.
Kristopher Prather, the Regular Singles runner-up in his NBS debut in 2011, led the way for BowersBowlingTour.com this year with a 732 series and was followed by Rhoades, Mitch Hupe (674), Brent Bowers (630) and Justin Zwaschka (616).
“For me, as cliche‚ as it sounds, this really is a dream come true,” said Bowers, a 28-year-old right-hander and the veteran of the group with seven tournament appearances. “For a couple of the guys, it still hasn’t sunk in, but the realization of what we accomplished is a process. It may even take until we get to hold onto those eagles to make it believable, but we couldn’t be happier or more proud.”
The 27-year-old right-hander needed two strikes in his final frame to secure the top spot, and he delivered three flush strikes to cap off a 260 game and 742 singles series. He preceded the memorable finale with sets of 703 in doubles and 688 in team.
Since his tournament debut at the National Bowling Stadium in 2007, Novak had rolled just one set below 575 but hadn’t been able to get past the 700 mark until his June 17 breakout performance.
“I have been bowling in this tournament for 10 years and was hoping for the moment I could bowl well enough on the big stage,” Novak said. “I knew what I needed that day, and I couldn’t shake the nerves for anything. I took deep breaths and told myself to make the best shots I could. The result was two of the biggest shots of my career, for sure.”
The 28-year-old right-hander rolled games of 279, 278 and 258 just 10 days into the event, which kicked off March 5. It ended up being one of two 800s at the NBS this year, with the other belonging to Regular Singles runner-up Matt Gilman of Pembroke Pines, Florida (814).
Bures’ father, Robert A. Bures, is a 1980 Regular Doubles champion at the Open Championships, so having a chance to continue the tradition is special for the Bures family.
“I’ve been waiting for a long time, and now I’m relieved and excited at the same time,” said Bures, who also finished tied for fourth in Regular All-Events (2,122), seventh in Team All-Events (9,598) and 10th in Regular Team (3,202).
“To win at the Open Championships is amazing, and to be in an even smaller club with my father is very special. I know he feels the same way. It also was great for me to have him there to be a part of it.”
Thomas led the duo with a 720 series at the NBS, while Hill contributed 681.
“I’m very happy, especially for my teammate, friends and family,” said Thomas, a 48-year-old right-hander who made his 35th tournament appearance. “This is something I’ve always wanted to win.”
The two claimed the crown with a 1,155 total posted March 24. Hjelm, who also cracked the top 10 in Classified All-Events, led the pair with a 586 series, while Sundby added a 569 set.
Hjelm, a 42-year-old right-hander, made his Open Championships debut this year. Sundby competed for the ninth time.
Classified Team was decided May 31 as U of O Alumni of Tualatin, Oregon, rolled games of 923, 911 and 876 for a 2,710 total.
Darrin Allen set the pace for U of O Alumni with a 579 series and was followed by his father, Don Allen (558), John Lorenz (551), Todd Vrooman (516) and Vrooman’s father, Dean Vrooman (506).
The 2016 Open Championships marked the event’s record 13th trip to The Biggest Little City in the World and 10th visit to the National Bowling Stadium. This year’s event featured 8,063 teams competing for a prize fund of nearly $4 million.
The tournament featured seven perfect games, four 299s and two 298s, while an additional 15 bowlers tossed 11 consecutive strikes.
Also during the 2016 event, a record 19 bowlers celebrated 50 years of participation, two bowlers reached 60 years of competition, one bowler was honored for hitting the 65-year mark and two competitors added their names to the short list of bowlers who have knocked down 100,000 pins on the championship lanes.
The 2017 Open Championships will make its debut at the South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, which played host to the USBC Women’s Championships and USBC Mixed in 2016.
For more information on the Open Championships, click here.
Disqualifications due to unreported Sport averages
Days winding down at 2016 USBC Open Championships
Illinois competitor secures Classified All-Events lead
Ohio team takes lead in Team All-Events
Young team takes the lead in Regular Team and Team All-Events
Ohio’s John Sroka reaches 50 years at 2016 USBC Open Championships
USBC Hall of Famer Bob Hart reaches 60 years at 2016 USBC Open Championships
USBC Hall of Famer Glenn Allison reaches 65 years at 2016 USBC Open Championships
David Cirigliano leads team, ties Open Championships record
Indiana’s Robert Teeters reaches two milestones
Defending champions Sparks, McNiel won’t repeat in 2016
Three bowlers reach 50 years at 2016 USBC Open Championships
Past champion Tim Janz rolls first 300 of 2016 USBC Open Championships
Past champions Mills, Heilman tie for Regular Doubles lead
Defending Team All-Events champion Junior Team USA Support 1 makes run
First-timer David Hjelm leads two events
Ohio bowler Jack Glick celebrates 50 years
Sylvester Thiel ties participation record with 71st appearance
Ohio teammates lead every event at USBC Open Championships
2016 USBC Open Championships gets going in Reno
Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall. Note: All standings are unofficial and pending final verification.
1, BowersBowlingTour.com (Zach Rhoades, Justin Zwaschka, Mitch Hupe, Brent Bowers, Kristopher Prather), Wichita, Kan., 3,377. 2, Higgy’s Aquarium, Westerville, Ohio, 3,329. 3, Bowling Dynamics.com, Phoenix, 3,300. 4, Vandaniker 1, Chatsworth, Calif., 3,266. 5, The Bowling Shops 1, Highland Village, Texas, 3,259. 6, Who’s Eddie Byrd?, Fort Worth, Texas, 3,241. 7, HornswogglerS, Staten Island, N.Y., 3,237. 8, Simmons Team Sports, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., 3,224. 9, S&B Pro Shop 1, Clinton Township, Mich., 3,216. 10, Wickliffe Lanes, Mentor, Ohio, 3,202.
1, Greg Thomas, Irmo, S.C./Christopher Hill, Franklin, Wis., 1,401. 2, Chad Roberts, Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Daniel Higgins, Westerville, Ohio, 1,395. 3, Diante Fields, Indianapolis/Matt Freiberg, Las Vegas, 1,377. 4, Kyle Vick/Jason Munkberg, Redding, Calif., 1,367. 5, Ted Rosenquist Jr., Valparaiso, Ind./James Capps, Kenosha, Wis., 1,365. 6, Joshua Powers/Ryan Powers, Portage, Mich., 1,356. 7, Michael Markis, Tafton, Pa./Shea Bittenbender, St. Charles, Mo., 1,353. 8, Andrew Jordan, Columbus, Ohio/Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 1.342. 9(tie), Matthew Zitnik, Mayfield Heights, Ohio/Jason Bowles, Euclid, Ohio, Nick Heilman/Andy Mills, La Crosse, Wis., and Ted Pritts, Little Elm, Texas/Jimmy McMartin, Midwest City, Okla., 1,341.
1, Robert J. Bures, Painesville, Ohio, 815. 2, Matthew Gilman, Pembroke Pines, Fla., 814. 3, Matt Smallin, Glenburn, N.D., 785. 4, Michael Klimpel, Rosemount, Minn., 781. 5, Camden Rokita, Springfield, Ill., 779. 6, Steve Smith, San Diego, 776. 7, Jacob Genz, Rock Island, Ill., 772. 8, Tim Janz, Beaver Dam, Wis., 770. 9, Jimmy Clark, Topsham, Maine, 767. 10, Daniel Vick, Pittsford, N.Y., 765.
1, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 2,133. 2, Jim Hosier, Wayne, N.J., 2.132. 3, Jakob Butturff, Chandler, Ariz., 2,124. 4(tie), Robert J. Bures, Painesville, Ohio, and Chad Roberts, Reynoldsburg, Ohio, 2,122. 6, David Cirigliano, Phoenix, 2,097. 7, Joe Massey, Flora, Ind., 2,086. 8, Casey Creutz, Carteret, N.J., 2,077. 9, Justin Crumley, Washington, Mo., 2,075. 10, Joshua Conner, Columbus, Ohio, 2,074.
1, Higgy’s Aquarium (Chad Roberts, Joshua Conner, Tony Carson, Robert Bailey, Daniel Higgins), Westerville, Ohio, 10,041. 2, BowersBowlingTour.com, Wichita, Kansas, 9,730. 3, HornswogglerS, Staten Island, N.Y., 9,719. 4, Bowling Dynamics.com, Phoenix, 9,710. 5, Junior Team USA Support 1, Eagan, Minn., 9,672. 6, Crankers Arn’t Us, Aurora, Colo., 9,599. 7, Wickliffe Lanes, Mentor, Ohio, 9,598. 8, S&B Pro Shop 1, Clinton Township, Mich., 9,587. 9, Linds Lakers 1, Brooklyn Park, Minn., 9,582. 10, Artistic Expressions 1, Oklahoma City, 9,572.
Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall. Note: All standings are unofficial and pending final verification.
1, U of O Alumni (Dean Vrooman, John Lorenz, Don Allen, Darrin Allen, Todd Vrooman), Tualatin, Ore., 2,710. 2, Yeah Spare IV, Sacramento, Calif., 2,656. 3, Cash Gas Co. LLC, Ava, Mo., 2,632. 4, Bay Area Express 8, San Mateo, Calif., 2,618. 5, Expo II, Hodges, S.C., 2,610. 6, T-Rays, Jamestown, N.D., 2,607. 7, Anderson 2, Anderson, S.C., 2,600. 8, Team Bazinga, Las Vegas, 2,582. 9, Scotty’s 3, Alexandria, Minn., 2,570. 10, Bowling Dynamics Sport 3, Glendale, Ariz., 2,563.
1, David Hjelm, Wheaton, Minn./Gary Sundby Jr., Dalton, Minn., 1,155. 2, Eric Douglass, Goldfield, Iowa/Mike Thielen, Eagle Grove, Iowa, 1,147. 3, Cassandra Tatum, Neptune, N.J./David Jenkins III, Tinton Falls, N.J., 1,119. 4, Randy Robinson/Crystal Forkner, Higginsville, Mo., 1,118. 5, Kathy Yourkavitch/Jerome Jackson, Kutztown, Pa., 1,117. 6, Hasnat Ahmad, Fairfax, Va./David Hsu, Great Falls, Va., 1,112. 7(tie), Nicholas Razink, Benson, Minn./Tyler Grabow, Twin Brooks, S.D., Mandy Quaas, Hutchinson, Minn./Jeremy Quaas, New Hope, Minn., Tom Trecha, Owosso, Mich./Elbert Sidel Jr., Morrice, Mich., and Cleofe Aragon/Wilson Silva, San Mateo, Calif., 1,111.
1, Chet Wigal III, Groveport, Ohio, 661. 2, Edward Huddleston, Atwater, Calif., 658. 3, David Kettell, Lindenhurst, N.Y., 644. 4, Allan Johnson, Hawley, Minn., 627. 5, Matt Tschann, Paynesville, Minn., 626. 6, Willie Kemp, Santa Fe, Texas, 617. 7(tie), Andrew Hall, Safety Harbor, Fla., and Andrew Phillips, Salinas, Calif., 614. 9(tie), Joseph Rhinehart, Albany, Ore., John Keiper, Libertyville, Iowa, and Leonard Flores III, San Antonio, 613.
1, Trudy Koberlein, Georgetown, Texas, 1,754. 2, Andrew Phillips, Salinas, Calif., 1,737. 3, Joseph Rhinehart, Albany, Ore., 1,735. 4, Bryan Herald, Chapman, Neb., 1,728. 5, Anthony Carey, Fountain, Colo., 1,717. 6(tie), David Hjelm, Wheaton, Minn., and Robert Benjamin, Downers Grove, Ill., 1,713. 8, John McReady, Woodridge, Ill., 1,708. 9, George Kolstad, West St. Paul, Minn., 1,700. 10, Ben Chan, Elk Grove, Calif., 1,698.
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