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Arkansas bowler celebrates 50 consecutive years at USBC Open Championships


Ken Fitzgerald Jr. of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, knew his 50th appearance at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships was going to be exciting and memorable, but he never imagined his day in the spotlight would end with a run at the top of the leaderboard.

Shortly after being honored on the lanes at the Oncenter Convention Center in Syracuse, New York, on June 12, Fitzgerald and his Fiesta Bowl 2 teammates entered their final frame with a shot at the lead in Classified Team.

Fitzgerald (featured photo), a 74-year-old right-hander, had the pleasure of anchoring the group, and although they came up a few pins short, it’s always fun to be in the mix on the biggest stage in bowling.

“I noticed they seemed pretty intent behind me when I threw that first ball in the 10th frame,” Fitzgerald said. “I knew we were shooting a pretty good score, and I saw what the score was. I had to nail that 10 pin, and I did. Then, I tried to bury one in there. You do the best you can. That’s all you can do. It was a lot of fun.”

Fiesta Bowl 2 (right), which now is third overall, posted games of 737, 840 and 832 for a 2,409 total. Simon Landon led the way with a 529 series and was followed by Fitzgerald (504), Josh Wall (503), Patrick Keyorian (442) and Rick Donovan (431).

The highlights of Fitzgerald’s five decades at the Open Championships have been dozens of scenic trips and the opportunity to meet countless bowlers from around the country.

This year’s visit to Syracuse ended with sets of 466 in singles and 436 in doubles for a 1,406 all-events total. In 50 appearances on the championship lanes, Fitzgerald has knocked down 77,489 pins for a 174.5 career average.

California team celebrates family and success at Oncenter Convention Center

The members of Team “Beav” (pictured above) of Oceanside, California, used the 2018 USBC Open Championships in Syracuse as an opportunity for a vacation and a chance to compete in the sport they enjoy doing together as a family.

As the 107-day tournament rolls toward its July 8 conclusion, the team is hoping to come away with the ultimate souvenirs – their own Eagle trophies.

Eagles are given to each winner at the Open Championships, and Team “Beav” now is at the top of the standings in Classified Team with a 2,449 total, which came June 14 on games of 807, 798 and 844. Really??? of Katy, Texas, previously held the lead with 2,414.

Maurice Anderson led the way for Team “Beav” with a 529 series and was followed by Vanessa Beaver (503), Victoria Beaver (483), Leonard Beaver (480) and Bermadel Hagen (453). Together, the five have combined for 19 appearances on the championship lanes.

Classified Team at the Open Championships is for five-player teams with combined entering averages of 900 and below.

Reigning Regular Singles champion won’t repeat at USBC Open Championships

Ron Jacobson (pictured aboveof Jupiter, Florida, came into the 2018 USBC Open Championships looking to become the first person in the tournament’s 115-year history to repeat as the Regular Singles champion.

There was a lot of anticipation heading into the title defense, which began with a special march to the lanes June 16 at the Oncenter Convention Center, followed by the presentation of his championship watch.

Though Jacobson’s 579 singles series June 17 in Syracuse won’t be enough to repeat as champion, the 57-year-old right-hander is leaving town happy after being able to celebrate his accomplishment with friends and family.

“I never imagined I would win an Open Championships title,” said Jacobson, who made his 15th appearance this year and rolled games of 205, 160 and 214 in his title defense. “Now, I get to look forward to being announced as a celebrity prior to the start of the squad for every year I bowl going forward, which is pretty cool.”

Cotie Holbek (right) of Burlington, Wisconsin, leads Regular Singles this year with 802, the lone 800 through nearly three months of competition.

Jacobson’s 2018 Open Championships campaign included a 553 series in doubles and 525 effort in team for a 1,657 all-events total.

A look ahead

Joseph Pursel Jr. of Hellertown, Pennsylvania, will be in Syracuse this week to celebrate two milestones on the tournament lanes – 60 years of USBC Open Championships participation and 100,000 pins toppled on the biggest stage in bowling.

Pursel will hit the lanes at the Oncenter Convention Center on June 24 at 11 a.m. Eastern, needing just 294 pins to become the 22nd bowler in tournament history, and second this year, to eclipse the 100,000-pin mark. USBC Hall of Famer Gordy Baer of Tinley Park, Illinois, reached the milestone in April.

Pursel also will be the second bowler in 2018 to make his 60th march to the lanes. Donald Granberry Jr. of St. Louis achieved the feat earlier this month, while Paul Gustke of Sarasota, Florida, is scheduled to add his name to the list June 26 at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Through 2017, the 60-Year Club at the Open Championships included 22 bowlers.

For more information on the Open Championships, click here.

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2018 USBC Open Championships – Regular Division

Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall

(Combined averages of 1,046 and above)
1, S & B Pro Shop 1 (Bill Orlikowski, Andrew Burke, Marcus McClain, Ryan Mouw, Kurt Pilon), Warren, Mich., 3,322. 2, Higgy’s Aquarium, Westerville, Ohio, 3,300. 3, The Locker Guy 1, Owatonna, Minn., 3,279. 4, Red Carpet Lanes, Greenfield, Wis., 3,277. 5, Lodge Lane Too, Orlando, Fla., 3,248. 6, Team NABR, Fairport, N.Y., 3,217. 7, Shox City, Lawrence, Kan., 3,216. 8, 4 Revs & 1 Cripple, Ontario, Canada, 3,213. 9, The Shim Reapers, Franklin, Wis., 3,206. 10, #TeamWhenYo, Rochester, N.Y., 3,190.

(Combined averages of 419 and above)
1, Richard Eighme, Waterloo, Iowa/AJ Chapman, St. Paul, Minn., 1,457. 2, Alex Ouellette, Linwood, Mich./Justin Neiman, Macomb, Mich., 1,456. 3, Steve Kloempken, Pleasant View, Utah/David Haynes, Las Vegas, 1,453. 4, Francois Louw, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa/Michael Mak, Hong Kong, 1,437. 5, Matt Tomsu/Jay Watts, Omaha, Neb., 1,421. 6, Mitchell Katic, Kissimmee, Fla./Tyler James, Deltona, Fla., 1,416. 7, Dan Chambers/Steven Nava, Hopkins, Minn., 1,412. 8, Chad Svendsen, Monroe, Wis./Jonathan Schalow, Evansville, Wis., 1,403. 9(tie), David O’Sullivan, Maitland, Fla./Sean Riccardi, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Peter Stone/Andrew Stone, Bloomington Ill., 1,402.

(Averages of 210 and above)
1, Cotie Holbek, Burlington, Wis., 802. 2, Chris Hill, Franklin, Wis., 795. 3, Brenden Sramek, Bellevue, Neb., 790. 4, Rick Justice, Lawton, Okla., 786. 5, Lennie Boresch Jr., Kenosha, Wis., 784. 6, Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 781. 7, Rameses Chambers, Kansas City, Mo., 771. 8, Chad Oachs, Mankato, Minn., 770. 9. Vernon Peterson, Winter Haven, Fla., 766. 10, Josh Johnson, Callahan, Fla., 766.

(Averages of 210 and above)
1, Kurt Pilon, Warren, Mich., 2,186. 2, Josh Johnson, Callahan, Fla., 2,181. 3, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 2,164. 4, AJ Chapman, St. Paul, Minn., 2,147. 5(tie), Jonathan Schalow, Evansville, Wis., and Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 2,146. 7, Francois Louw, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, 2,131. 8, Russ Wilson, Lawrence, Kan., 2,130. 9, David Labinski, South Milwaukee, Wis., 2,129. 10, Chad Oachs, Mankato, Minn., 2,118.

Team All-Events
(Combined all-events totals of all five team members)
1, Red Carpet Lanes (Christopher Pierson, David Labinski, Ken Duffield, Chas Maas, David Beres), Greenfield, Wis., 10,252. 2, Higgy’s Aquarium, Westerville, Ohio, 10,011 3, Lawn Lanes 8, Burbank, Ill., 10,006. 4, Brian Brazeau Pro Shop, Ocala, Fla., 9,959. 5, Maxxx Revs Pro Shop 1, Peoria, Ill., 9,882. 6, Shox City, Lawrence, Kan., 9,805. 7, StormEBI, Cincinnati, 9,772. 8, #TeamWhenYo, Rochester, N.Y., 9,741. 9, Team NABR, Fairport, N.Y., 9,735. 10, S & B Pro Shop 1, Warren, Mich., 9,708.

2018 USBC Open Championships – Standard Division

Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall

(Combined averages of 901-1,045)
1, The Bowlers ER Tres (Tracy Anderson, Jason, Intravaia, Jannard Remo, Bill Shaw, Daniel Luncsford), Park Ridge, Ill., 2,843. 2, AJ’s Boys & Grandkids, Sparta, Mich., 2,735. 3, Mel’s Diner, Calmar, Iowa, 2,720. 4, Pla-Mor Lanes 5, Coldwater, Ohio, 2,719. 5, Manassas VA Team 3, Manassas, Va., 2,718. 6, Eastman, Jonesborough, Tenn., 2,717. 7, R&G Ag. 2, Grand Forks, N.D., 2,708. 8, Let’s Roll, Simpsonville, S.C., 2,704. 9, Pollard’s Bowl 5/Volidco, Versailles, Ind., 2,703. 10, J&B Mechanical 2, Schaumburg, Ill., 2,700.

(Combined averages of 361-418)
1, Jeffrey Krywcum/Michael Krywcum, Buffalo, N.Y., 1,203. 2, David Stettnichs, Madison, S.D./Aaron Stettnichs, Rock Rapids, Iowa, 1,192. 3, Geoffrey Raasch/Darrell Raasch, Houston, Texas., 1,189. 4, Brian Hall, Blaine, Minn./Robert Pfeifer, Coon Rapids, Minn., 1,188. 5, Jack LittleRaven, Clinton, Okla./Stephen Kelley, Moore, Okla., 1,186. 6, Joseph Ortega/Richard Ciessau, Chicago, 1,174. 7, Ed Sauer/Thomas Shea, Billings, Mont., 1,172. 8, Mark Pifer, Covington, Va./Jerry Byer, Eagle Rock, Va., 1,171. 9, Darin Chinavare, Stafford, Va./Steve Kuykendall, Oakland, Calif., 1,170. 10(tie), Bradley Ziegenhagen, Hutchinson, Minn./Brad Brueggemeier, Watertown, Minn., and Fellow Lewis, Charlotte, N.C./Tyrone Brewington, Goldsboro, N.C., 1,169.

(Averages of 181-209)
1, Ted Rybialek, South Elgin, Ill., 707. 2, Rob Pierson, Miles City, Mont., 706. 3, Neil Vitale, Benton Harbor, Mich., 694. 4, Alex Houston, Rochester, Minn., 686. 5, Lauren Pixley, Modesto, Calif., 678. 6, Robert Tuchek, Alliance, Neb., 667. 7, Kevin Cotterman, Sidney, Ohio., 666. 8(tie), Wendy Inscho, Roseville, Mich., and Sheldon Fettig, Killdeer, N.D., 657. 10, William LaRock, Lansing, N.Y., 655.

(Averages of 181-209)
1, Alex Houston, Rochester, Minn., 1,855. 2, Jesse Gibson, Vincennes, Ind., 1,822. 3, Tyrone Brewington, Goldsboro, N.C., 1,811. 4, Steve Kuykendall, Oakland, Calif., 1,800. 5, Mike Menge, Cleveland, 1,798. 6, Jon Lee, Alexandria, Minn., 1,795. 7, John Albrecht, Oak Creek, Wis., 1,794. 8, Michael Krywcum, Buffalo, N.Y., 1,788. 9, Lauren Pixley, Modesto, Calif., 1,786. 10, William Gibboney, Powder Springs, Ga., 1,783.

2018 USBC Open Championships – Classified Division

Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall

(Combined averages of 900 and below)
1, Team “Beav” (Bermadel Hagen, Victoria Beaver, Leonard Beaver, Vanessa Beaver, Maurice Anderson), Oceanside, Calif., 2,449. 2, Really???, Katy, Texas, 2,414. 3, Fiesta Bowl 2, Hanover Park, Ill., 2,409. 4, NYC Rollers in Motion, Bronx, N.Y., 2,399. 5, 2 Legit 2 Split, Mount Ayr, Iowa, 2,386. 6, Silver Bullets, Palm Coast, Fla., 2,381. 7, Bowling World 7, Owens Cross Roads, Ala., 2,340. 8, Knights and More, Aiken, S.C., 2,338. 9, Sarge’s Pin Killers 9, Las Cruces, N.M., 2,336. 10, OSNM1, South Holland, Ill., 2,334.

(Combined averages of 360 and below)
1, Jessica Archer, Portland, Maine/Edward Cotter, Levant, Maine, 1,116. 2, Adam Valentinas, Palos Park, Ill./Daniel Hartmont, Orland Park, Ill., 1,097. 3, Robert Johnson, Stansbury Park, Utah/Kenneth Poulsen, West Valley City, Utah, 1,082. 4, Jennifer Geimer, Miami Shores, Fla./Doug Romanik, Miami, 1,077. 5, Larry Pizzini, Boerne, Texas/Woodrow Gearhart, San Antonio, 1,073. 6, Norman Bentley/Richard Stone, Hoosick Falls, N.Y., 1,072. 7, James Pfeiffer, Camanche, Iowa/Randall Prokopec, Wauconda, Ill., 1,063. 8, Jennifer Pitti, Lakeland, Calif./Mike Lee, Los Angeles, 1,059. 9, Sandy Gray, Lake View, N.Y./Donald Dorsheimer, Fredonia, N.Y., 1057 10, Butch Booker, Clarissa, Minn./Marvin Cole, Long Prairie, Minn., 1,056.

(Averages of 180 and below)
1, Jochen Rehbein, Lindenfels, Germany, 622. 2, Juan Cavazos, Clinton, Iowa, 617. 3, Miriam Beckles, Ajax, Ont., 611. 4, Larry Roundtree, Lakeland, Fla., 608. 5, Jeannie Hockenberry, Natrona Heights, Pa., 604. 6(tie), Isaac Wake, Versailles, Ind., and Darren Robitaille, Grove, Okla., 602. 8, Rocky Martin, Enosburg Falls, Vt., 597. 9, Joe Rybialek, South Elgin, Ill., 594. 10 (tie), Meggan McCarthy, Waukegan, Ill., and Terry Smith, Chicago, 591.

(Averages of 180 and below)
1, Isaac Wake, Versailles, Ind., 1,754. 2, Jochen Rehbein, Lindenfels, Germany, 1,718. 3, William Michalski, Syracuse, N.Y., 1,693. 4(tie), Joe Rybialek, South Elgin, Ill., and Pat Anderson, Cut Bank, Mont., 1,656. 6, Bryon Monnier, Brandt, S.D., 1,627. 7(tie), Esau Hernandez, Kissimmee, Fla., Jeannette Anderson, Burns, Wyo., and Juanita Holt, Bronx, N.Y., 1,614. 10, Arthur Villareal, Taylor, Mich., 1,607.

Herbert Bickel

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