Classified champion makes Regular Division debut at USBC Open Championships


    United States

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

    Almost a year ago, Shawn Fisher of Albuquerque, N.M., showed the bowling world exactly what practice and dedication can accomplish when he took home the Classified Singles title from the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships in Corpus Christi, Texas.

    This year, the 23-year-old right-hander returned to the tournament lanes at the USBC Open Championships unable to defend his title because the Classified Division is open only to bowlers who average 180 or less, and since his win, Fisher has improved to well beyond that mark.

    "Coming in and being announced as a champion was pretty overwhelming, and it was just an unforgettable experience," said Fisher, who shot 231, 237 and 216 for 684 in his championship performance at the American Bank Center Exhibit Hall in 2006. "I've only been bowling for a few years now, so even though my title was in the Classified Division, it's still really special to me."

    In his Regular Division debut this week, Fisher posted 622 in singles, 545 in doubles and 529 in team for a 1,696 all-events total at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.

    "My personal goal was to break 600 twice, and unfortunately I fell short, but I still feel like I accomplished something," Fisher said. "Of course, it would have been nice to shoot 300 or take the lead again, but I wanted to be realistic in my expectations."

    Continuing his training on and off the lanes, Fisher prepared for his fourth Open Championships appearance this year by working with coaches who have experience dealing with the pressure that comes with competing at the highest levels of the game.

    "Last year, I learned to be a better bowler by practicing every day for a few hours at a time, which was expensive, but paid off," said Fisher who worked with local pros Paul Yoder and Mike Miller, both of whom have seen their names atop the Open Championships leaderboard. "This year, I spent a few months trying to learn how to strengthen my mental game because I had to expect there would be some added stress this time around."

    Prior to bowling in this year's event, Fisher even took the opportunity to test his abilities on some of the more difficult lane conditions offered in a PBA Experience league.

    "Getting the chance to bowl on the conditions that the professionals compete on was an eye-opener," said Fisher, who added another milestone early this year with his first 300 game. "The oil patterns force you to be very precise just like at the Open Championships, and it definitely helped my confidence."

    Next year, the tournament will celebrate its 105th year with a return trip to Fisher's hometown, where he hopes to ease some of the pressures that most bowlers deal with when they make the annual trip. When the tournament made its first trip to Albuquerque in 2000, Fisher wasn't even a USBC member.

    "I think next year is going to be a lot easier for me," Fisher said. "I won't have to deal with all of the travel arrangements or sleeping in a hotel room. Plus, all of the defending champion jitters should be gone by then."

    New Yorker slides into third at USBC Open Championships

    In only his second venture to the USBC Open Championships, former collegiate standout Ryan Kretchmer of Rochester, N.Y., proved he still can strike with the best bowlers in the country when he moved into third place in Regular All-Events on Tuesday.

    The 32-year-old right hander posted 729 in singles, 727 in team and 685 in doubles for a 2,141 all-events total at the National Bowling Stadium. Ken Abner of Cincinnati leads with 2,174.

    Despite his strong final numbers, Kretchmer didn't get off to a great start this year, recording back-to-back open frames to begin the event.

    "I've been to the stadium before, but I was still a little nervous after we marched out for team event," said Kretchmer, who was named National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association Rookie of the Year while at the University of Nebraska during the 1995-96 season. "My first two frames of the tournament were splits, which I didn't convert, but I managed to settle down after that."

    Having no idea what the top score was, Kretchmer never felt any pressure on the tournament lanes.

    "I was actually more concerned with getting away for a few days and having a good time with some friends then I was about bowling well," said Kretchmer, whose only other Open Championships appearance came at the 1999 event in Syracuse, N.Y. "I didn't really set any goals for myself and I certainly didn't check the leaderboard before or during the trip. I was really surprised to find out that my score was in the top three."

    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, Browning Pontiac (Steve Fehr, George Gohagan III, Ken Jessee, Jon Murph, Ken Abner), Eminence, Ky., 3,358. 2, Forgey Sports Medicine, Vancouver, Wash., 3,308. 3, Red Carpet Lanes, Waukesha, Wis., 3,287. 4, S & B Pro Shop 1, Troy, Mich., 3,280. 5, Smith Barney 1, Madison, Wis., 3,261. 6, Wichita Bowling Supply, Wichita, Kan., 3,259. 7, MoRich Enterprises, Ocala, Fla., 3,249. 8, Rick Starbuck's Pro Shop, Dayton, Ohio, 3,233. 9, Vic Telemarketing 2, Westfield, Mass., 3,218. 10, My Bowling Shop 2, Dallas, 3,212.

    1, Derek Eoff, Greenfield, Wis./Richard Volhard, Rothschild, Wis., 1,467. 2, Ken Duffield, Madison, Wis./Chris Pounders, Sun Prairie, Wis., 1,463. 3, Mike Shady, Fairview, Pa./Marc McDowell, Madison, Wis., 1,437. 4, David Ewald, Macomb, Mich./Nicholas Wissinger, Utica, Mich., 1,434. 5, Alex Cavagnaro, N. Massapequa, N.Y./Mark Hugo, Windsor Locks, Conn., 1,430. 6, Darren Jones, Waldorf, Md./William Blaney III, Indian Head, Md., 1,424. 7, Charles Hall Jr., Elk Grove Village, Ill./Mike Thomka, Wood Dale, Ill., 1,416. 8, Michael Steil, Wheeling, Ill./Craig Brown, Elgin, Ill., 1,411. 9, Brian Hoffman, Mount Horeb, Wis./Jay Heinzelman, Madison, Wis., 1,408. 10, James Augustine, Grand Forks, N.D./Ron Zutz, Warren, Minn., 1,402.

    1, Chip Aki, Nicholasville, Ky., 814. 2, Ken Jessee, Huber Heights, Ohio, 793. 3, Andrew Udahl, Elk Grove, Calif., 792. 4 (tie), Chad Gutzman, Mount Pleasant, Mich., and Robert Daugherty, Dayton, Ohio, 783. 6, Harry Banks Jr., Coal City, Ill., 782. 7, Ronnie Russell, Indianapolis, 780. 8, Justin Smith, Bluffton, S.C., 774. 9, Ted Pritts, Frisco, Texas, 773. 10, Michael Barron, Monroe, Mich., 770.

    1, Ken Abner, Cincinnati, 2,174. 2, David Beres, Waukesha, Wis., 2,164. 3, Ryan Kretchmer, Rochester, N.Y., 2,141. 4, Mike Shady, Fairview, Pa., 2,126. 5, Dede Davidson, Buellton, Calif., 2,118. 6, Mike Miller, Rio Rancho, N.M., 2,114. 7 (tie), Douglas Stone, Troy, Ohio and Robert Wacker, Harker Heights, Texas, 2,107. 9, Ken Duffield, Madison, Wis., 2,106. 10, Robert Spigner, Vernon Hills, Ill., 2,104.

    Team All-Events
    1, Browning Pontiac (Steve Fehr, George Gohagan III, Ken Jessee, Jon Murph, Ken Abner), Eminence, Ky., 10,071. 2, Smith Barney 1, Madison, Wis., 10,040. 3, Tom's Rhinoplasty, Newton, Iowa, 9,764. 4, S & B Pro Shop 2, Troy, Mich., 9,762. 5, Team USA Support 5, Omaha, Neb., 9,755. 6, The BRD House 1, Dayton, Ohio, 9,723. 7, Lakeview Lanes, Fulton, N.Y., 9,676. 8, Vic Telemarketing 2, Westfield, Mass., 9,654. 9, MoRich Enterprises, Ocala, Fla., 9,652. 10, Choice Staff Personnel, Cincinnati, 9,621.


    1, Roberts Repair (Dave Schmidt, Jerry Roberts, Rich Bucheit, Rick Rambo, Felix Salinas Jr.), Pontiac, Ill., 2,845. 2, Pfeifer Printing, Champlin, Minn., 2,820. 3, Moeller Plastering, St. George, Utah, 2,747. 4, Winkeljohn Printing, Celina, Ohio, 2,743. 5, Galaxy-Dew's Crew, Kinston, N.C., 2,737. 6, Lake County Rollers 1, Clarissa, Minn., 2,719. 7, Eagle's, Albany, Ore., 2,714. 8, The Insurance Center 1, Valentine, Neb., 2,711. 9, Boone's Bunch, Mission Hills, Calif., 2,710. 10, Sportsman Bowling Club 3, Cerritos, Calif., 2,704.

    1, Larry Harvanko, Champlin, Minn./Brett Pfeifer, Minneapolis, 1,232. 2, Felix Fines/Paul Magaoay Jr., Sacramento, Calif., 1,230. 3, Michael DiPaolo, Eighty Four, Pa./Donald Hughes, West Newton, Pa., 1,186. 4 (tie), Frank Goff Jr./Issac Vidaurri, Kingsville, Texas, and Gary Noteboom, New Holland, S.D./Eric Noteboom, Valentine, Neb., 1,181. 6, John Bassi/Michael Malgrat, Key West, Fla., 1,174. 7, Jonathan Carter, Seven Springs, N.C./Freddie Marshall, Kinston, N.C., 1,173. 8, Ralph Johnson/Dave Dahl, Ada, Minn., 1,170. 9 (tie), Dave Engelkes, Arnolds Park, Iowa/Greg Rolling, Spirit Lake, Iowa, and Jeff Wirth/Patrick Peterson, Kearney, Neb., 1,167.

    1, Lenny Boogaard, Osakis, Minn., 673. 2, Matt Klenke, Coldwater, Ohio, 671. 3, Ken Varner, Lexington, N.C., 664. 4, Rand Syverson, Onamia, Minn., 660. 5, Victor Martinez, Plainfield, Ill., 658. 6, Tim Frank, Hastings, Neb., 656. 7, Todd Guidry, Lafayette, La., 653. 8, Don Manhalter, Sterling, Colo., 652. 9, Robert Stephens, San Francisco, 650. 10, Joseph Paussa, Baldwinsville, N.Y., 649.

    1, Larry Harvanko, Champlin, Minn., 1,836. 2, Todd Guidry, Lafayette, La., 1,824. 3, Michael Tieden, Blaine, Minn., 1,809. 4, Van Vasquez, Longmont, Colo., 1,795. 5, Leroy Hayes, Cambridge, Neb., 1,794. 6, Frank Kostik, Ruffs Dale, Pa., 1,789. 7, Lenny Boogaard, Osakis, Minn., 1,779. 8, Anthony Kastle, Wilmington, N.C., 1,776. 9, Tate Ziglar, Lexington, N.C., 1,770. 10 (tie), Arthur Lewis, Oakland, Calif., and Mike Godfrey, Meade, Kan., 1,762.