New Jersey bowler shoots 298 at USBC Open Championships


    United States

    National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev. (Feb. 17 - June 30, 2007)

    Although Franklin Mercer of Teaneck, N.J., is naturally left-handed, his Army buddies were able to convince him that the bowling center where they were teaching him to bowl didn't have any left-handed balls.

    The 61-year-old was forced to bowl with his right hand, and that technique paid off more than 40 years later as he rolled a 298 game at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships on Wednesday.

    "My friends were all right-handed and told me there were no left-handed balls in the whole place, so I just did what they were doing," said Mercer, who learned to bowl when he was 18 years old and stationed in Fort Carson, Colo. "I've been doing it that way ever since, and today it paid off."

    Mercer's bid at perfection came in his final game of singles after games of 158 and 191, and helped him to a 647 series at the National Bowling Stadium. After 11 consecutive strikes, an 8-10 split stood between him and the fifth perfect game of this year's event. He added 565 in team and 422 in singles to round out his second Open Championships appearance with a 1,634 all-events total.

    "I was more worried about not making a bad shot instead of paying attention to my line," said Mercer, a storage administrator for JPMorgan Chase. "Earlier I was just lining up and letting it go. But I knew that last shot wasn't a good one as soon as I released it. I took two deep breaths first, but just didn't have enough on the ball."

    Presenting sponsors for the 2007 USBC Open Championships are Eldorado, Silver Legacy and Circus Circus Hotel/Casinos in Reno, Nev. Other participating sponsors are Kegel, official lane maintenance provider, Sands Regency Casino and Hotel, official brackets sponsor and supporting sponsors Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa and Harrah's Casino and Hotel.

    Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfalls:


    1, Vic Telemarketing 2 (Brian Boghosian, Ron Nelson Jr., Bill Webb, Bryan O'Keefe, Chris Viale), Westfield, Mass., 3,218. 2, Tom's Rhinoplasty, Newton, Iowa, 3,203. 3, Warrior Lanes, Des Moines, Iowa, 3,191. 4, Team U S A, St. Louis, Mo., 3,167. 5, Team Boroff, Mansfield, Texas, 3,125. 6, Mark Weller Pro Shop, Coldwater, Mich., 3,123. 7, Lawn Lanes 2, Burbank, Ill., 3,118. 8, Hi Score North Starz 1, Minneapolis, 3,112. 9, Ten Pin Alley 2, Madison, Wis., 3,108. 10, Chilton Billiard Supply, Wichita, Kan., 3,100.

    1, Derek Eoff, Greenfield, Wis./Richard Volhard, Rothschild, Wis., 1,467. 2, Ken Duffield, Madison, Wis./Chris Pounders, Sun Prairie, Wis., 1,463. 3, Brian Hoffman, Mount Horeb, Wis./Jay Heinzelman, Madison, Wis., 1,408. 4, James Augustine, Grand Forks, N.D./Ron Zutz, Warren, Minn., 1,402. 5, Tim Reinke/Darin Zanke, New Ulm, Minn., 1,393. 6, Chad Pierce, Flowery Branch, Ga./Randy Russell, Monroe, Ga., 1,386. 7, George Kontos, Joliet, Ill./Paul Nicholas, Romeoville, Ill., 1,371. 8, Jake Monto, Walbridge, Ohio/Nick Stone, Toledo, Ohio, 1,367. 9, Jeffrey Chambers/Josh Weatherall, Lockport, N.Y., 1,365. 10, Thomas Hinz, Joliet, Ill./Harry Banks Jr., Coal City, Ill., 1,359.

    1, Andrew Udahl, Elk Grove, Calif., 792. 2, Harry Banks Jr., Coal City, Ill., 782. 3, Greg Brooks, Sturtevant, Wis., 758. 4, Mike Miller, Rio Rancho, N.M., 739. 5, Dewey Whitecotton, Hayden, Colo., 730. 6, David Johnson, Fallon, Nev., 729. 7 (tie), Dede Davidson, Buellton, Calif., and Dave Downard, Auburndale, Fla., 727. 9 (tie), Ed Oakes, Winter Park, Fla., and Bob Rosenau, Redding, Calif., 726.

    1, Dede Davidson, Buellton, Calif., 2,118. 2, Mike Miller, Rio Rancho, N.M., 2,114. 3, Ken Duffield, Madison, Wis., 2,106. 4, Robert Spigner, Vernon Hills, Ill., 2,104. 5, Bill Webb, Enfield, Conn., 2,095. 6, Curtis Odom, Coldwater, Mich., 2,089. 7, Derek Eoff, Greenfield, Wis., 2,075. 8, Harry Banks Jr. Coal City, Ill., 2,066. 9, Andrew Udahl, Elk Grove, Calif., 2,064. 10 (tie), Brian Hoffman, Mount Horeb, Wis., and John Pretari, Wyandotte, Mich., 2,058.

    Team All-Events
    1, Tom's Rhinoplasty (Dick Lankford, Eric Arnold, Jason Hale, Michael Miller, Matt Smith), Newton, Iowa, 9,764. 2, Vic Telemarketing 2, Westfield, Mass., 9,654. 3, Team Dirty, Madison, Wis., 9,619. 4, Team U S A, St. Louis, Mo., 9,554. 5, Clone Huskers, Greenfield, Wis., 9,536. 6, Waynedale Bakery, Fort Wayne, Ind., 9,477. 7, Vic Telemarketing 3, Westfield, Mass., 9,451. 8, Joliet Town/Country Lanes 2, Joliet, Ill., 9,422. 9, Ricardo's, Columbus, Ohio, 9,330. 10, Divine Builders 1, Carmichael, Calif., 9,293.


    1, Galaxy-Dew's Crew (Dalton Kennedy, James Baker, Michael Eubanks, David Whitfield, Bob Poole), Kinston, N.C., 2,737. 2, Lake County Rollers 1, Clarissa, Minn., 2,719. 3, H & J Chevrolet, Kerman, Calif., 2,696. 4, Steel City Strikers, Rostraver, Pa., 2,675. 5, Coral Lanes, Miller, S.D., 2,671. 6, R&S Stevens Seed, Clarion, Iowa, 2,651. 7, Plattsburg Bowl, Plattsburg, Mo., 2,648. 8, Suburban Lanes, Meade, Kan., 2,638. 9 (tie), Melody Farms Dairy 3, Lincoln Park, Mich., and Ainokea 2, Honolulu, 2,624.

    1, Michael DiPaolo, Eighty Four, Pa./Donald Hughes, West Newton, Pa., 1,186. 2, Frank Goff Jr. and Issac Vidaurri, Kingsville, Texas, 1,181. 3, Jonathan Carter, Seven Springs, N.C./Freddie Marshall, Kinston, N.C., 1,173. 4, Ralph Johnson/Dave Dahl, Ada, Minn., 1,170. 5, Dave Engelkes, Arnolds Park, Iowa/Greg Rolling, Spirit Lake, Iowa, 1,167. 6, Tom Holland, Dayton, Minn./Ronald Mead, Rogers, Minn., 1,156. 7, Mike Lovelace/Neil Zink, Fargo, N.D., 1,154. 8, Troy Drath, Altura, Minn./Alan Schroeder, Mount Vernon, S.D., 1,153. 9 (tie), Rodney Richardson/Terry Hahn, Laramie, Wyo., and Jack Raymond, Sandy, Utah/Wayne Inman, Salt Lake City, 1,151.

    1, Ken Varner, Lexington, N.C., 664. 2, Rand Syverson, Onamia, Minn., 660. 3, Robert Stephens, San Francisco, 650. 4, Ron Hester, Lexington, N.C., 635. 5, Marvin Clark, Aransas Pass, Texas, 631. 6, Ted Spiliopoulos, Chicago, 622. 7, Anthony Coples, Kinston, N.C., 619. 8, Matthew Russell, Plainfield, Ill., 618. 9, Cory Schmidtman, Watervliet, Mich., 614. 10, Tommy Nelson, Southaven, Miss., 612.

    1, Michael Tieden, Blaine, Minn., 1,809. 2, Anthony Kastle, Wilmington, N.C., 1,776. 3, Tate Ziglar, Lexington, N.C., 1,770. 4, Mike Godfrey, Meade, Kan., 1,762. 5, Marvin Clark, Aransas Pass, Texas, 1,751. 6, Donald Hughes, West Newton, Pa., 1,750. 7, Ken Varner, Lexington, N.C., 1,725. 8, Martin Rovella, Hollister, Calif., 1,723. 9, Bernie Schmitt, Big Lake, Minn., 1,722. 10, Harold Schroeder, Gibbon, Minn., 1,720.