Wisconsin team rallies, takes lead at USBC Open Championships


    United States

    2010USBCOCTurbo2N1Grips1.jpgMore than 2,000 viewers tuned in to see Jeff Richgels of Oregon, Wis., and his Turbo 2-N-1 Grips 1 teammates take the Regular Team lead at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships on Friday night.

    Live streaming has become a regular feature from top-tier bowling events this year, and bowling fans across the globe looked on as the group got off to a slow start with a 967 game, but bounced back with 1,170 and 1,161 for a 3,298 total at the National Bowling Stadium. Up An Adam of Coral Springs, Fla., previously held the lead with 3,247.

    "After that first game, I was just hoping for 3,000, but I didn't know if we could get there after the hole we dug," said Richgels, who is a four-time titlist at the USBC Open Championships and made his 29th tournament appearance.

    "We were locked up and throwing the ball so badly the first game. I had so much adrenaline to start, and that's the worst thing that could happen during the team event. I really didn't think we were going to be able to do what we did, but then all of a sudden the lanes opened up at the end of the second game."

    The experienced team was plagued by bad shots and missed spares in the opening game, but turned to more than 100 years of Open Championships experience and found a way to strike. The five players threw 25 of a possible 30 strikes in the last four frames of the second game, and that momentum carried them into the top spot.

    Richgels led the way with a 716 series and was followed by Steve Richter (656), Marc McDowell (653), Mike Shady (644) and the tournament's lifetime average leader, Gail Myers Jr. (629).

    "The last 18 frames, I was the most relaxed I think I've ever been at Nationals," said Richgels, who helped the same team to the Team All-Events title in 2005. "Once that adrenaline went away, I couldn't believe how calm I was. We knew we weren't making good shots early, but if we kept fighting it, it would come together. I just can't believe we shot 3,298. Everybody got lined up and started making good shots, and we got the carry."

    Turbo 2-N-1 Grips 1 is in familiar territory but has learned that no score is safe until the end of the tournament's final squad. The group left last year's event in Las Vegas leading Regular Team, Regular Doubles and Team All-Events, but wasn't able to hold in any category.

    "Last year, I didn't think our team score would win, but I thought Team All-Events was a lock," said Richgels, the only bowler in tournament history to record 90 clean frames in a single tournament, which he accomplished on the way to the 1997 Regular All-Events title.

    "We know the Linds Limited guys really well, and they came in and bowled incredible. This year, I don't think we can win team. I don't think we deserve to. We made too many mistakes and left too many pins out there. But considering what we felt like at 9:30, this is fantastic, and I'm not disappointed."

    Up An Adam, which took the team lead just a few hours earlier, consisted of five former Professional Bowlers Association standouts who also were good friends and decided to put their talent to the test on bowling's biggest stage.

    The team was led by Adam Colton, who finished third at the 1994 USBC Masters (685), five-time PBA national titlist Bob Learn Jr. (675), two-time winner Rick Sajek (648), four-time champion Steve Wilson (623) and PBA regional standout Rick McDaniel (616).

    "A few of us bowl league together and have a blast, so we figured why not come out here and bowl since we still have some competitive juices flowing," said Colton, who bowls regularly at Greenacres Bowl and made his fourth tournament appearance. "Last year was our first year bowling together as a team, and this time, we came in a lot more confident and with a solid game plan."

    After a 1,076 start, the group had trouble with the transition happening on the lanes and struggled to a 994 second game. They bounced back with 1,177, the highest team game of this year's event.

    "Rick (Sajek) is the only one of us with an eagle (1981 Team All-Events), and that's one of the main things that's missing for the rest of us, so that's our main goal," said Colton, who won the Mini-Eliminator in 2001. "We're out here shooting for an eagle, and the fact that we've been friends for so long makes it that much more enjoyable."

    Up An Adam's sixth bowler, Mark Booke of Boca Raton, Fla., also joined in on the scoring barrage with a 720 series of his own during the evening team event.

    The 40-year-old right-hander opened with 215 before starting his second game with 11 consecutive strikes. His bid for the fifth 300 of the 2010 tournament came to an end when his final shot crept high and left a the 6-10 standing for the first 298 game of the year. He closed things out with 207.

    "I watched them bowl all three games earlier in the day and had a good read on what they were doing and tried to apply that to my own game plan," said Booke, a pro shop owner who made his sixth trip to the Open Championships.

    "I was a little tight since I was just subbing with people I didn't meet until we were in the squad room, but I had a good feel and felt like I was doing the right thing. I saw the lane starting to change and probably should've made a bigger move than I did. I really wanted the 300, so I was disappointed, but I was happy with my score overall. It's bittersweet."

    The excitement at the Open Championships is expected to continue throughout the weekend as Linds Limited of Milwaukee, the defending team and Team All-Events champion, hits the lanes at the National Bowling Stadium on Sunday night. The world will look on again as the group's attempt at becoming the first repeat team champion will be broadcast live through BOWL.com beginning at 8:30 p.m. PDT.

    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.


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    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, Turbo 2-N-1 Grips 1 (Marc McDowell, Steve Richter, Jeff Richgels, Gail Myers Jr., Mike Shady), Madison, Wis., 3,298. 2, Up An Adam, Coral Springs, Fla., 3,247. 3, Rob Bailey's Pro Shop 1, Sun Prairie, Wis., 3,202. 4, Design Wizards, Mandan, N.D., 3,159. 5, Rip the Rack, Lake St. Louis, Mo., 3,131. 6, Bluebird Lanes, Orland Park, Ill., 3,122. 7, Rob Bailey's Pro Shop 2, Sun Prairie, Wis., 3,102. 8, St. Charles Lanes, St. Charles, Mo., 3,085. 9, Central Saw and Mower, Racine, Wis., 3,081. 10, Bowlers Junction, Hemet, Calif., 3,080.

    1, Kenneth Stephens, Frankfort, Ky./Randall Montoya, Albuquerque, N.M., 1,434. 2, Terry Hall, Rocklin, Calif./Andrew Udahl, Elk Grove, Calif., 1,421. 3, Mandy Wilson, Dayton, Ohio/Douglas Stone, Troy, Ohio, 1,419. 4 (tie), Jason Hale, Des Moines, Iowa/Matt Smith, Altoona, Iowa, and Lana Schwab, Lake Villa, Ill./Davey Rosen, Northbrook, Ill., 1,411. 6, Brian Salapatek, Cortland, Ill./Anthony Jovanovich, DeKalb, Ill., 1,379. 7, Tony Buss, Milwaukee/Dave Gajewski, Franklin, Wis., 1,366. 8, Mark Henrichs, Edgar, Wis./Jim Moore, Mosinee, Wis., 1,362. 9, Megan Kelly, Huber Heights, Ohio/Shannon Pluhowsky, Phoenix, 1,361. 10, Sean Mason, Brookings, S.D./Ted Staikoff, Black Hawk, S.D., 1,357.

    1, Terrence Syring, Bay City, Mich., 833. 2, Barry Zimmerman, Grand Forks, N.D., 766. 3, George Kontos, Joliet, Ill., 760. 4, Jimmy Hilligas, Kettering, Ohio, 749. 5, Larry Thompson Jr., Spring, Texas, 742. 6 (tie), Anthony Woollis, Lubbock, Texas, and Michael Bourcier, Rhinelander, Wis., 740. 8, Hank Jordan, Lubbock, Texas, 739. 9, Tony Biondi, Orlando, Fla., 734. 10, Mike Kruse Jr., Vermillion, S.D., 731.

    1, Terrence Syring, Bay City, Mich., 2,155. 2, Shannon Pluhowsky, Phoenix, 2,083. 3 (tie), Matt Smith, Altoona, Iowa, and George Kontos Joliet, Ill., 2,073. 5, Mandy Wilson, Dayton, Ohio, 2,059. 6, Marty Lavigne, Temperance, Mich., 2,049. 7, Davey Rosen, Northbrook, Ill., 2,048. 8, Barry Zimmerman, Grand Forks, N.D., 2,044. 9, Bob Vandervorst, Mandan, N.D., 2,023. 10 (tie), Ray Struck, Orland Park, Ill., and Andrew Udahl, Elk Grove, Calif., 2,023.

    Team All-Events
    1, Bluebird Lanes (Dennis Campbell, Ron Davis, Michael Dugan, Robert Flaws, Ray Struck), Orland Park, Ill., 9,602. 2, Design Wizards, Mandan, N.D., 9,578. 3, Rob Bailey's Pro Shop 2, Sun Prairie, Wis., 9,450. 4, Sign Producers 1, Winter Garden, Fla., 9,341. 5, Roto Grip, Brigham City, Utah, 9,279. 6, Team USA, St. Louis, 9,223. 7 (tie), Bowlers Junction, Hemet, Calif., and Pilat Design Elite, Auburn, N.Y., 9,214. 9, South Point Pro Shop, Antioch, Ill., 9,200. 10, Davy's Pics Com, Glenview, Ill., 9,180.



    1, Huikko's Bowling Center 3 (Pam Strong, Ronda Bauman, Jeanne Schmid, Jeffrey Schmid, Dale Bauman), Buffalo, Minn., 2,730. 2, EWI/NPS/Denny's, Mentor, Ohio, 2,699. 3, Wothe Bait 1, Perham, Minn., 2,684. 4, Garden Center Lanes 2, Alexandria, Minn., 2,683. 5, Garden Center Lanes 3, Alexandria, Minn., 2,663. 6, Paradise Lanes, Walden, Colo., 2,648. 7, Red Carpet, West Union, Minn., 2,627. 8, Roadrunners, Las Cruces, N.M., 2,604. 9, Whitlow Furnace, Scobey, Mont., 2,602. 10, Garden Center Lanes 4, Alexandria, Minn., 2,600.

    1, Tyson Sims/Scott Wilcox, Georgetown, Idaho, 1,182. 2, John Bishop/Dan Mosteller, Tooele, Utah, 1,175. 3, Pat Fitzgibbons, Colorado Springs, Colo./Pete Fitzgibbons, Goodland, Kan., 1,173. 4, Greg Allen/Stacey Bauer, Ogallala, Neb., 1,166. 5, Holly Ventura, Harwood Heights, Ill./Bob Zurek, River Grove, Ill., 1,149. 6, Delmar Brownell/Dale Brownell, Spearfish, S.D., 1,148. 7, Scott Werner, Overland Park, Kan./Mark Klyn, Pella, Iowa, 1,145. 8, Tyler Grabow, Twin Brooks, S.D./Gary Jensen, Benson, Minn., 1,144. 9 (tie), Terry Crowther/Monte Gebhardt, Roundup, Mont., and Richard Anderson, Julesburg, Colo./Dan Ford, Chappell, Neb., 1,141.

    1, David Garcez, Merced, Calif., 669. 2, Mark Plute, Montrose, Colo., 644. 3, Curt VanLaningham, Ogallala, Neb., 624. 4, Ryan Goettsch, Galva, Iowa, 618. 5, Flor Crowley, Oxnard, Calif., 611. 6, Preston Cheeks, Brooklyn, N.Y., 609. 7, Robb Waynick, Dunbridge, Ohio, 605. 8, Ryan Fritchen, Dakota Dunes, S.D., 604. 9, Ethan Buser, York, Pa., 601. 10, Mike Brevik, Des Moines, Iowa, 600.

    1, Richard Eisenhut, Downers Grove, Ill., 1,766. 2, Paul Daniels, Bonner, Mont., 1,739. 3, Jake Acuna, Pocatello, Idaho, 1,736. 4, John Stolarski, Waterford, Mich., 1,733. 5, Tom Sellers, Barstow, Calif., 1,732. 6, Preston Cheeks, Brooklyn, N.Y., 1,721. 7, Doug Boleyn, Waterloo, Iowa, 1,719. 8, Ken Hoffman, Durand, Ill., 1,718. 9, Pat Fitzgibbons, Colorado Springs, Colo., 1,712. 10, Flor Crowley, Oxnard, Calif., 1,705.