New Yorker gets off to perfect start at Junior Gold Championships

    07/08/08

    USBC Youth

    Sunnybrook Lanes, Sterling Lanes and Century Bowl in Detroit, Mich., USA (June 5-11, 2008)

    2008JuniorGoldAdamChase.jpg As the players around him stopped bowling, Adam Chase of Seaford, N.Y., felt the pressure begin to grow. With nothing but strikes to begin the first game of the 2008 United States Bowling Congress Junior Gold Championships, Chase was the center of attention.

    Three clutch, flush strikes later, Chase celebrated his first 300 game on USBC Sport Bowling lane conditions and was off to a perfect start to his opening qualifying round at Sterling Lanes in suburban Detroit on Monday. He finished the six-game block with 1,316, an average of 219 per game.

    "I noticed the pairs around me stopping, but I didn't want to look behind me because I figured it would make me even more nervous," said Chase, a 20-year-old who bowls collegiately for St. John's University. "I definitely felt the extra pressure when everyone stopped and was watching. I'm much more comfortable when everyone else just keeps bowling."

    Chase became just the sixth bowler to record a perfect game in the Junior Gold Championships since 2000 when the event switched to Sport Bowling compliant lane conditions, which put an emphasis on shot making and spare shooting.

    "I was quite a bit nervous and shaking in the last frame," Chase said. "I've had 18 300 games before this one but to do it here is pretty special. You've got a tough shot, all the bowlers and a great atmosphere."

    Even though Chase entered this year's Junior Gold confident after his best finish in five tries last year when he took 75th place, he didn't have a good feel for the lanes until the last moments of practice.

    "I really wasn't that lined up in practice until the last couple minutes and then I figured it out," Chase said. "Once I found my line, I got some confidence and just kept going with it."

    After the perfect game, Chase said he struggled a bit to keep the nerves and excitement in check and fired games of 176 and 160. However, he rebounded with 233, 214 and 233 in his final three games.

    "I know I'm good enough to make Junior Team USA, and I kind of showed that a little bit today," Chase said. "I just want to keep it going through the rest of the week."

    2008JuniorGoldLogo.jpg The 11th annual Junior Gold Championships, which is being held at Sunnybrook Lanes, Sterling Lanes and Century Bowl, features a field of more than 1,700 of the best youth bowlers in the country competing for $100,000 in scholarships and spots on Junior Team USA.

    The top four finishers who are U.S. citizens in the male and female divisions will earn automatic spots on Junior Team USA, serving as United States representatives in international competition in 2009. The National Selection Committee will choose four additional Junior Gold competitors, two males and two females, to join the 2009 team.

    Qualifying continues Tuesday with the second of three six-game qualifying rounds. After 18 games, the top 105 males and 57 females (including all ties) will advance to the semifinals.

    The semifinalists bowl 12 additional games on Thursday to determine the top 16 males and top 16 females who compete in the finals. The remaining bowlers compete in 16 games of match play Friday with the top male and top female declared U.S. Junior Amateur champions.