Missouri team moves into lead at USBC Open Championships


    United States

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

    So many teams come to the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships with well-planned strategies that dictate how they are going to play the lanes and break down the oil pattern as a team, but it takes a talented and experienced squad to abandon those plans at the last minute and regroup quickly enough to make a run at the team title.

    Barney's 1 of Rogersville, Mo., did just that at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., on Tuesday when the lanes seems to be hooking more than anticipated right from the start. No strategy proved to be the perfect strategy as the group posted games of 1,109, 1,063 and 1,196 to claim the top spot in Regular Team with 3,368. Defending champion Browning Pontiac of Eminence, Ky., previously held the lead with 3,358.

    "We all expected the lanes to play a lot tighter than they did, and our strategy was to break them down by throwing balls between 8-11 during the first few minutes of practice, but they just hooked too much for that, so we decided to abandon the whole idea and just try to get lined up," said Ron Dixon, who led the team with 795. "We migrated inside a little bit, and a couple of us were able to line up off each other, but for the most part, we all just decided to play our A games."

    One-time Denny's Professional Bowlers Association Tour titlist Joe Firpo ended the night with four consecutive strikes and a 685 series to help Barney's 1 into the lead and was followed by Tony Yarbrough (670), Stan Garner (635) and Chuck Gardner (583).

    Garner was a late addition to the team and stepped in for two-time Denny's PBA Tour champion Del Warren, who was still in Florida after helping run the 2007 World Ranking Masters this week at the Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Fla.

    "I think everyone of us is genuinely happy about the way we each performed tonight, and all of the scores had an equal impact on the end result," said Dixon, who made his ninth USBC Open Championships appearance. "We all gave 100 percent and it was truly a team performance. We knew coming in that we were still a championship-caliber team, and we wanted to prove it to ourselves and the bowling community."

    Dixon, who prefers to play a little bit straighter, quickly found his comfort zone and only moved two boards all night. He was able to change his grip as the night went on, which allowed him to stay in the same area without the ball overreacting.

    "I wanted to stay where I was because my carry was so good," Dixon said. "And when I was stringing the strikes, it took some pressure off the other guys and gave them time to find their grooves. That's what team bowling is all about."

    Sadly, Dixon bowled with a heavy heart Tuesday after losing his stepfather to cancer a week earlier, but he gained inspiration from being so close to his stepfather's battle. The 45-year-old pro shop owner also is motivated by the prestige and recognition that comes with a win at the Open Championships.

    "After watching what my stepfather went through, I figured that if he could fight like he did, then something like this would seem like a piece of cake," Dixon said. "And I am such a supporter of the USBC that to win an eagle would be an indescribable feeling. It truly is one of my focuses each bowling season, and I'm excited and proud that I was able to help put my team in position to win a title here."

    California bowler shoots 800 at USBC Open Championships

    Despite an injured bicep that kept him off the lanes for nearly two weeks before his trip to the USBC Open Championships, David Wilk of Upland, Calif., battled through the discomfort and rolled the fourth 800 series of this year's event at the National Bowling Stadium.

    The 54-year-old right-hander posted games 280, 245 and 279 on the way to an 804 series and second place in Regular Singles. Wilk struck on 32 of 36 opportunities, with his only blemish along the way being a 4-9 split in the eighth frame of the second game. Chip Aki of Nicholasville, Ky., leads with 814.

    "Coming out here, I wasn't sure if I was going to have a good shot, and until the singles set, I didn't," said Wilk, who made his 24th Open Championships appearance and had 653 in team and 579 in doubles for a 2,036 all-events total. "I went through all six of my balls trying to find something during team and shot a lucky 650, but never got a feel for what I was going to do today. I had no ball reaction during doubles, but toward the end of the set I really started to feel nice and comfortable. Then I went to the next pair for singles and it was just there."

    Missouri bowler rolls first-career 300 at USBC Open Championships

    Brian Ash of Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., marveled at the enormity of the National Bowling Stadium, appreciated the teams that traveled from Germany and Switzerland to participate in the event and even studied the rules so he would not do anything wrong in his USBC Open Championships debut, but he never could've anticipated rolling the first certified 300 game of his career on the tournament lanes.

    After a 167 start, the 35-year-old left-hander tossed 12 consecutive strikes and recorded the fourth perfect game in less than 24 hours. It was the third 300 in team this year and the 18th overall. He finished with 165 for a 632 series.

    "I was really looking forward to bowling in this tournament for the first time, but there was no way I could've imagined anything like this," said Ash, who bowled in three leagues this season. "After six strikes, I was really hoping people didn't start avoiding me. After eight, I thought I might have a chance at 300. And people always tell me that the 10th one is the toughest, so I was happy when I got that one, but to be honest, taking that first step on the 12th shot was probably the hardest."

    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, Barney's 1, Rogersville, Mo., (Tony Yarbrough, Ron Dixon, Chuck Gardner, Stan Garner, Joe Firpo), 3,368. 2, Browning Pontiac, Eminence, Ky., 3,358. 3, Forgey Sports Medicine, Vancouver, Wash., 3,308. 4, Red Carpet Lanes, Waukesha, Wis., 3,287. 5, S & B Pro Shop 1, Troy, Mich., 3,280. 6, Smith Barney 1, Madison, Wis., 3,261. 7, Wichita Bowling Supply, Wichita, Kan., 3,259. 8, MoRich Enterprises, Ocala, Fla., 3,249. 9, One Part Bacon, Buffalo Grove, Ill., 3,240. 10, Rick Starbuck's Pro Shop, Dayton, Ohio, 3,233.

    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, David Wilk, Upland, Calif., 804. 3, Ken Jessee, Huber Heights, Ohio, 793. 4, Andrew Udahl, Elk Grove, Calif., 792. 5, Mike Rose Jr., West Henrietta, N.Y., 787. 6 (tie), Chad Gutzman, Mount Pleasant, Mich., and Robert Daugherty, Dayton, Ohio, 783. 8 (tie), Kurt Fay, Hudsonville, Mich., and Harry Banks Jr., Coal City, Ill., 782. 10 (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.