Wisconsin bowlers on top at USBC Open Championships


    United States

    National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., United States (Feb. 20 - July 5, 2010)

    2010USBCOCJimLarsenButchLuther.jpgBowlers from Wisconsin won three titles at last year's United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, and Butch Luther (r.) of Franksville, Wis., and Jim Larsen (l.) of Racine, Wis., did their best to continue the Badger State's dominance at the 2010 event.

    The two right-handers teamed up to shoot 1,294 and take the Regular Doubles lead at the National Bowling Stadium on Saturday. While they were surging into the top spot, Steve Stone of Kenosha, Wis., and Gary Wolf of Pleasant Prairie, Wis., were four lanes away making a run of their own, but fell short and finished with 1,267. Larry Pratt of Raymore, Mo., and Greg Benefield of Lee's Summit, Mo., previously held the lead with 1,255.

    Luther, 65, and Larsen, 44, made their second consecutive appearance together on the tournament lanes and were glad to bounce back from a disappointing team event. Larsen led the pair with games of 246, 224 and 245 for a 715 series, while Luther contributed 201, 189 and 189 for a 579 set.

    "I had a good look today, and the ball set up really nicely," said Larsen, who made his fifth USBC Open Championships appearance and shot 505 in team Friday. "This feels great, and even though it's only the second week, I get to say I was in the lead at one point in the tournament."

    The new leaders bowl league together on Monday nights and often share the lanes with fellow Racine bowler, Ron Vokes, who claimed the 2009 Regular All-Events title with a record-score of 2,321. Luther and Larsen have their equipment drilled by Lennie Boresch Jr. of Kenosha, who was a member of the Linds Limited team that claimed the 2009 Regular Team and Team All-Events titles.

    "We're the first ones from our area to come out here, so they're all going to want to know what we did and how we played the lanes," said Larsen, who added 571 in singles for a 1,791 all-events effort. "But it's hard to give advice because everyone's games are different."

    If anyone asks Luther for advice, he has 42 years of Open Championships experience to draw on, which includes a third-place all-events finish at the 1971 event in Detroit. That same year, he also claimed three gold medals (eight-player, five-player and all events) at the World Championships in Milwaukee.

    As he continues his Open Championships career, Luther has two goals he'd like to accomplish on the championship lanes- maintain a career average above 200 and knock down 100,000 pins. He finished his 2010 campaign with 612 in singles and 541 in team for a 1,732 all events total. In his career, Luther has knocked down 74,697 pins for an average of 199.19.

    "When you bowl as bad as we did in team, you come in a lot more relaxed and just hope to do better," Luther said. "We already knew we probably weren't going to win all-events, so we just focused on having a good time and getting all we could get. We never even thought about our score putting us in the lead, so this is pretty exciting."

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    2010USBCOCLogo_small.jpg Presenting sponsors for the 2010 USBC Open Championships are Circus Circus, Eldorado and Silver Legacy Hotel/Casinos in Reno, Nev. Other sponsors include Sands Regency Casino Hotel, official brackets sponsor, Kegel, official lane maintenance provider, US Steltronic, official scoring system, and supporting sponsors Storm Bowling Products, UPS, Nationwide Insurance, Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa, Harrah's Reno Casino and Hotel and Peppermill Hotel Casino.


    107th USBC Open Championships

    National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., United States (Feb. 20 - July 5, 2010)


    Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfalls


    1, Pandorum (Leigh Trostel, Darin Belsito, Settee Johnson, Mark McClung, Justin Gibbons), Buford, Ga., 3,063. 2, CMS Concrete 2, Nashua, N.H., 3,049. 3, Macanudos, Auburn, Ga., 2,961. 4, Dr. Hooks Pro Shop, Kalamazoo, Mich., 2,928. 5, Bountiful Gardens, Hamlet, N.C., 2,926. 6, TEXA Tonka Lanes-GRN1, Minneapolis, 2,900. 7, Fourinox, Green Bay, Wis., 2,897. 8, Key Awards 1, Allen Park, Mich., 2,892. 9, Final Touch 2, Stow, Ohio, 2,877. 10, M R B 2, Bloomington, Ill., 2,866.

    1, Jim Larsen, Racine, Wis./Butch Luther, Franksville, Wis., 1,294. 2, Steve Stone, Kenosha, Wis./Gary Wolf, Pleasant Prairie, Wis., 1,267. 3, Larry Pratt, Raymore, Mo./Greg Benefield, Lee's Summit, Mo., 1,255. 4, Scott Hartnell/Derek Hartnell, Kenosha, Wis., 1,251. 5, Gene Ennis, Mathis, Texas/Chris Jones, Knoxville, Tenn., 1,239. 6, Justin Gibbons, Lawrenceville, Ga./Leigh Trostel, Cumming, Ga., 1,237. 7, Warren Blankenship, Ardmore, Okla./Billy Langford, Lone Grove, Okla., 1,235. 8, Jayme Bargholz, Wakefield, Neb./Doug Rose, Wayne, Neb., 1,234. 9, Ronald Wescott, Stockbridge, Vt./Todd Reichenberge, Barre, Vt., 1,227. 10, Chris Galovits, Oak Creek, Wis./Ed Seliga, Kenosha, Wis., 1,217.

    1, Steven Vance, Stone Mountain, Ga., 729. 2, Steve Blanchet, Lawrence, Mass., 715. 3, Darin Belsito, Oakwood, Ga., 705. 4, Dan Smith, Lawrenceville, Ga., 685. 5, John Gibbons, Atlanta, 682. 6, Kelvin Wiggins, Rocky Mount, N.C., 678. 7, Michael Walther, Sartell, Minn., 676. 8 (tie), Ed Ilano, Auburn, Ga., and James Hale, Allen, Texas, 671. 10, Daniel Rohnke, Keller, Texas, 663.

    1, William Banks, Laurel Hill, N.C., 1,986. 2, Justin Gibbons, Lawrenceville, Ga., 1,939. 3, Steve Blanchet, Lawrence, Mass., 1,920. 4, Steven Vance, Stone Mountain, Ga., 1,913. 5, Brandon Martin, Ardmore, Okla., 1,899. 6, Dan Smith, Lawrenceville, Ga., 1,897. 7, Kevin Reinhardt, Schaumburg, Ill., 1,889. 8, Russell Michaud, Hudson, N.H., 1,880. 9, Ryan Utterback, Clinton, Ill., 1,871. 10, Dean Reed, Ottawa, Ohio, 1,870.

    Team All-Events
    1, Big Dogs 2, (Doug Vergouven, James Kent Jr., Jim Anderson, Larry Pratt, Greg Benefield), Lee's Summit, Mo., 8,857. 2, Pandorum, Buford, Ga., 8,852. 3 (tie), Macanudos, Auburn, Ga. and CMS Concrete 2, Nashua, N.H., 8,809. 5, Dr. Hooks Pro Shop, Kalamazoo, Mich., 8,680. 6, Bountiful Gardens, Hamlet, N.C., 8,668. 7, Highland Lanes 2, Ottawa, Ohio, 8,511. 8, Central Vermonters, Worcester, Vt., 8,474. 9, M R B 2, Bloomington, Ill., 8,410. 10, TEXA Tonka Lanes-GRN1, Minneapolis, 8,400.



    1, Stuart Bowl 3 (Brian Allsup, Julie Wahman, Jeff Henderson, Gregg Wahman, Gregg Wahman, Jr.), Stuart, Iowa, 2,573. 2, 3 Jokers & 2 Queens, Buford, Ga., 2,536. 3, Stuart Bowl Pro Shop, Stuart, Iowa, 2,519. 4, Hoops, Salisbury, Md., 2,472. 5, Stuart Bowl 1, Stuart, Iowa, 2,466. 6, Steel City Strikers, Eighty Four, P.A., 2,458. 7, Fairbault Food, Cokato, Minn., 2,451. 8, We Ken Two, Carrington, N.D., 2,446. 9, Robin Hood Lanes 2, Bothell, Wash., 2,426. 10, Doug's Tax Service, Corning, Ga., 2,424.

    1, Christine and Stephen Stewart, South Elgin, Ill., 1,098. 2, Charles Horstmann, Howard Lake, Minn./Jesse Carlson, Belle Plaine, Minn., 1,079. 3, Gary Hagemann/Ann Horstmann, Howard Lake, Minn., 1,066. 4, Ron Gillham, Bartlett, Neb./Dale Hixson, Ewing, Neb., 1,059. 5, Prentiss Cross/Judi Spencer, Waco, Texas, 1,056. 6, John Albaugh, Colorado Springs, Colo./Charles Albaugh, Smithton, Pa., 1,054. 7, Ron Carlson, Cokato, Minn./Rick Carlson, Delano, Minn., 1,052. 8, Mark Bowen/Chris Rozaieski, Salisbury, Md., 1,048. 9, Kathryn Haferkamp, Clifton, Texas/Steve Wade, Waco, Texas, 1,047. 10, Loren Howard, Grand Forks, N.D./Michael Kvislen, Finley, N.D., 1,046.

    1, Ryan Goettsch, Galva, Iowa, 618. 2, Julie Wahman, Dexter, Iowa, 591. 3, Randy Baucom, Des Moines, Wash., 581. 4 (tie), Dale Hixson, Ewing, Neb., Lee Baird, Brownwood, Texas, and Larry Grafreed, Chicago, 570. 7, Jessica Morrow, Red Wing, Minn., 567. 8, Daniel Phillips, Payette, Idaho, 564. 9, Rodney Jantzi, Shelton, Neb., 564. 10, Mike McCurdy, Bridgewater, Iowa, 561.

    1, Ryan Goettsch, Galva, Iowa, 1,702. 2, Lee Baird, Brownwood, Texas, 1,648. 3, Steve Wade, Waco, Texas, 1,615. 4, Terry Gruchalla, Jamestown, N.D., 1,605. 5, Joel Olson, Greenfield, Iowa, 1,601. 6, Dale Hixson, Ewing, Neb., 1,594. 7, John Albaugh, Colorado Springs, Colo., 1,586. 8, Jesse Downing, Kenosha, Wis., 1,578. 9 (tie), Jon Pelletier, South Elgin, Ill., and Dave Bost, Knoxville, Tenn., 1,567.