New Jersey duo breaks doubles record at USBC Open Championships


    United States

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

    2007USBCOCMasurButler.jpg There were more than just pins falling at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., on Monday night as Jonathan Masur of West Orange, N.J., and Jeffrey Butler of Garfield, N.J., combined to shoot 1,544, the highest doubles total in 104 years of competition at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships.

    Masur, a first-time participant at the USBC Open Championships, struck on 30 of 36 opportunities on the way to games of 279, 278 and 253 for an 810 series. Butler contributed 236, 253 and 245 for 734 and helped the pair topple the four-year-old doubles record of 1,540 set by Derek Sapp of Keokuk, Iowa, (857) and Sean Rash of Anchorage, Alaska, (683) in 2003.

    "We've bowled together for several years and know each other's game pretty well, which definitely helped us today," said Masur, a 23-year-old right-hander. "After we realized we both had a really good look and opened the set with 515, I felt like we had a good chance to put up a big number."

    The duo followed up the strong start with a 531 effort in game two and inched closer to Derek Eoff of Greenfield, Wis., and Richard Volhard of Rothschild, Wis., who previously held the Regular Doubles lead with 1,467. There was, however, a brief moment when it looked like the lead might slip away, but the duo refused to be unnerved by a few untimely missteps.

    "The key to everything was when I missed a 10-pin in the second frame of the third game, and Jonathan left a split on his next shot," said Butler, who was named National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association Rookie of the Year for the 2001-02 season while at Michigan State University. "After that, we both threw doubles to get back on track. We knew what we needed for the lead, but we definitely wanted more than that. Neither of us had any idea what the tournament record was, or that we were close, so it was quite a shock when we found out."

    In addition to talent and skill, the New Jersey pair made sure to bring strong mental games to offset their lack of Open Championships experience.

    "Even though we don't have a lot of experience with the Open Championships, we know what we're capable of when we're out on the lanes back home, and we brought that confidence with us," said Butler, 23, who made his third tournament appearance. "Our main concern was trying to get comfortable as quickly as possible in order to make good shots, and luckily, we were able to do that."

    Masur's 810 was the third 800 series of this year's event, and he added 631 in team and 595 in doubles to finish his Open Championships debut with a 2,036 all-events total. Butler had 638 in singles and 512 in team for 1,884.

    The new doubles mark is one of a handful of Open Championships records that have taken place in Reno. Others include the first 800 in tournament history by Lou Veit of Milwaukee (804) in 1977, the first 300 by a woman (Kristine Kropf, 2001), the highest singles set and highest overall series excluding the USBC Masters (John Janawicz, 858 in 2004), most teams (17,285) and most participants (91,425), both in 1995 when the Stadium opened its doors for the first time. This year also marks the tournament's record eighth trip to Reno.

    Three bowlers post perfect games at USBC Open Championships

    At the National Bowling Stadium on Monday night, three bowlers in three separate events added their names to the USBC Open Championships record books with 300 games, raising the total for the year to 17.

    The first 300 came during the team event when Bob Spence of Wilmington, Del., sandwiched 12 consecutive strikes between games of 176 and 180 for a 656 series. It was only the second perfect game posted in team this year.

    "This is so special to be able to shoot 300 here because I get to share the experience with my friends and family," said Spence, whose wife, Kimberly is the team's leadoff bowler and was first to congratulate him on the lanes. "I've had a tendency in the past to finish the job if I get the first strike in the 10th, so after I had that one I felt confident that it could happen."

    Next up was Gregory Hockmuth of Loves Park, Ill., who was trying to rebound from a disappointing performance in team Sunday, where he began this year's campaign with a 477 set.

    The 23-year-old right-hander did exactly what he set out to do when he opened his doubles set with 204 before posting his own 300 in game. He closed out doubles with 214 for a 718 series.

    Hockmuth nearly turned in a repeat performance just a short while later. After starting singles with 244, he rattled off nine consecutive strikes again, but settled for 279. He finished with 255 and a 778 series, landing just shy of the leaderboard in 11th place.

    "This is an amazing feeling that I can't really begin describe right now," said Hockmuth, who made his fifth Open Championships appearance. "It's like walking on air. I didn't really feel the pressure until the 10th frame and I realized I was stringing strikes again. At that point, I just got too excited and threw the shot before I was ready, but it still was an amazing run."

    Not to be outdone, Hockmuth's own teammate, David Buzzo of Davis Junction, Ill., decided to get in on the action and finished his second trip to the Open Championships with the third 300 of the night.

    Despite breaking 200 only once in his first eight games, the 42-year-old right-hander got lined up just in time and finished singles with 15 consecutive strikes, which helped him to games of 165, 187 and 300 for a 652 set.

    "This is such a relief after how I performed all weekend," said Buzzo, who added 581 in doubles and 513 in team for a 1,746 all-events total. "I actually felt like I had been rolling the ball well, and the results just weren't there. But it all came together in the end, so now I'm not leaving with a sour taste in my mouth."

    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, One Part Bacon, Buffalo Grove, Ill., 3,240. 9, Rick Starbuck's Pro Shop, Dayton, Ohio, 3,233. 10, Hall's Ultimate Pro Shop, Schenectady, N.Y., 3,224.

    1, Jeffrey Butler, Garfield, N.J./Jonathan Masur, West Orange, N.J., 1,544. 2, Derek Eoff, Greenfield, Wis./Richard Volhard, Rothschild, Wis., 1,467. 3, Ken Duffield, Madison, Wis./Chris Pounders, Sun Prairie, Wis., 1,463. 4, Mike Shady, Fairview, Pa./Marc McDowell, Madison, Wis., 1,437. 5, David Ewald, Macomb, Mich./Nicholas Wissinger, Utica, Mich., 1,434. 6, Alex Cavagnaro, N. Massapequa, N.Y./Mark Hugo, Windsor Locks, Conn., 1,430. 7, Darren Jones, Waldorf, Md./William Blaney III, Indian Head, Md., 1,424. 8, Charles Hall Jr., Elk Grove Village, Ill./Mike Thomka, Wood Dale, Ill., 1,416. 9, Michael Steil, Wheeling, Ill./Craig Brown, Elgin, Ill., 1,411. 10 (tie), Brian Hoffman, Mount Horeb, Wis./Jay Heinzelman, Madison, Wis., and Mike Gaither, Grain Valley, Mo./Bob Davidson, Mountlake Terrace, Wash., 1,408.

    1, Chip Aki, Nicholasville, Ky., 814. 2, Ken Jessee, Huber Heights, Ohio, 793. 3, Andrew Udahl, Elk Grove, Calif., 792. 4, Mike Rose Jr., West Henrietta, N.Y., 787. 5 (tie), Chad Gutzman, Mount Pleasant, Mich., and Robert Daugherty, Dayton, Ohio, 783. 7 (tie), Kurt Fay, Hudsonville, Mich., and Harry Banks Jr., Coal City, Ill., 782. 9 (tie), Ronnie Russell, Indianapolis, and James Coats, Upland, Calif., 780.

    1, Mike Rose Jr., West Henrietta, N.Y., 2,198. 2, Ken Abner, Cincinnati, 2,174. 3, David Beres, Waukesha, Wis., 2,164. 4, Ryan Kretchmer, Rochester, N.Y., 2,141. 5, Mike Gaither, Grain Valley, Mo., 2,134. 6, Shady, Fairview, Pa., 2,126. 7, Dede Davidson, Buellton, Calif., 2,118. 8, Jerry Brunette, Rochester, N.Y., 2,115. 9, Mike Miller, Rio Rancho, N.M., 2,114. 10 (tie), Douglas Stone, Troy, Ohio and Robert Wacker, Harker Heights, Texas, 2,107.

    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, Fiji Water, Rochester, N.Y., 9,751. 7, The BRD House 1, Dayton, Ohio, 9,723. 8, Lakeview Lanes, Fulton, N.Y., 9,676. 9, Vic Telemarketing 2, Westfield, Mass., 9,654. 10, MoRich Enterprises, Ocala, Fla., 9,652.


    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, Debbie Hillygus, Dayton, Nev./James Ridgley, Sparks, Nev., 1,194. 4, Todd Christensen, Moncks Corner, S.C./Daniel Vassar Sr., Tonasket, Wash., 1,190. 5, Michael DiPaolo, Eighty Four, Pa./Donald Hughes, West Newton, Pa., 1,186. 6 (tie), Frank Goff Jr./Issac Vidaurri, Kingsville, Texas, and Gary Noteboom, New Holland, S.D./Eric Noteboom, Valentine, Neb., 1,181. 8, Joe Galloway, Interlachen, Fla./Eddie Dubeck, Palatka, Fla., 1,180. 9, John Bassi/Michael Malgrat, Key West, Fla., 1,174. 10, Jonathan Carter, Seven Springs, N.C./Freddie Marshall, Kinston, N.C., 1,173.

    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 (tie), Van Vasquez, Longmont, Colo., and Bob Chung, Alameda, Calif., 1,795. 6, Leroy Hayes, Cambridge, Neb., 1,794. 7, Frank Kostik, Ruffs Dale, Pa., 1,789. 8, Lenny Boogaard, Osakis, Minn., 1,779. 9, Anthony Kastle, Wilmington, N.C., 1,776. 10, Tate Ziglar, Lexington, N.C., 1,770.