Former team champions take lead at USBC Open Championships


    United States

    Bowlers Edge Pro Shop shoots the highest team score ever at National Bowling Stadium

    2010USBCOCBowlersEdgeProShop.jpgSeven years after claiming the Regular Team title at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, Bowlers Edge Pro Shop (pictured left) of Neenah, Wis., is back on top at the storied event.

    With two new faces, the group cruised into the lead with games of 1,050, 1,115 and 1,243 for a 3,408 total, the highest team score in six trips to the National Bowling Stadium, which opened its doors in 1995. The previous high was 3,405, posted by Lava Lanes of Medford, Ore., on the way to the Regular Team title in 2007.

    Turbo 2-N-1 Grips 1 of Madison, Wis., previously held the lead at this year's event with 3,298, and now teams from Wisconsin hold four of the top five spots in Regular Team.

    "It is unbelievable," said Brad Kuhr, who was a member of the 2003 Regular Team champions and made his 19th USBC Open Championships appearance Thursday night. "To shoot 1,243 out here is unimaginable."

    Kuhr, and long-time teammate Jason Wendt, also a member of the winning team in 2003, struggled in the first game with 163 and 175, respectively, but relied on their teammates for help. The group made the necessary adjustments during the second game and carried that momentum into the finale, which was the eighth-highest game in 107 years of Open Championships competition.

    Wendt, who closed the night out with a 297 game, led the way for Bowlers Edge Pro Shop with a 727 series and was followed by 2003 Regular Team champion Timothy Rice (716), Kenny Kempf (675), Kuhr (653) and Dan Paul (637).

    "We started between the first and second arrows, and some of us struggled out there, Jason and I included," Kuhr said. "We were the two low bowlers the first game, and the last game, we were the high bowlers with 264 and 297. We knew staying out was not in our wheel house, but we stayed on course and jumped in at the right time."

    With the lead already clinched, no bowling going around him and the concourse behind lane 24 overflowing with spectators, Wendt stepped onto the approach looking for the fifth 300 game of the 2010 event, but his final shot sailed wide and left the 1-2-8 standing.

    "After I knew that we took the lead, I just wanted to get every pin I could in the 10th frame," said Wendt, who bowls regularly at Shoreview Lanes and made his 15th Open Championships appearance. "I threw the ball a little wide on the first ball of the 10th frame, but I got lucky and it carried. I knew the 11th one was pure off my hand, and it was a great shot. By the last ball, I already had tears coming down my face, and I threw it out the window. I probably should have waited to regroup a little bit, but the tears were flowing."

    BowlerEdgeProShop.jpgBowlers Edge Pro Shop has gone through a series of lineup changes since winning in 2003, (pictured left) but the three constants have been Kuhr, Wendt and Rice. Kuhr and Wendt have bowled together at the Open Championships for nine years and even live across the street from each other. When their eagle winning team, which included Rob Schuh and Ray Schrubbe, disbanded in 2005, they made sure they stuck together and began searching for new team members.

    "We had one of our members retire from the sport and another member left," Kuhr said. "We decided we were going to grab our good friends and try to form a new team. Our best finish with our new team was last year when we finished in 50th place. To win this year after all we have been through would be priceless."

    With the overwhelming presence of Wisconsin teams at the top of the leaderboard, it is clear that bowlers from the Badger State take this event seriously and rely on each other for feedback and tips.

    "Jeff Richgels (Turbo 2-N-1 Grips 1) texted us and said, 'we drew you the map, now you have to use it,'" Wendt said. "Everyone is unselfish in Wisconsin and willing to help each other out. We talked with Richgels, Linds (Limited) and Red Carpet Lanes and listened to their input about where to play, how to break it down and what equipment to choose."

    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, Bowlers Edge Pro Shop (Brad Kuhr, Timothy Rice, Dan Paul, Kenny Kempf, Jason Wendt), Neenah, Wis., 3,408. 2, Turbo 2-N-1 Grips 1, Madison, Wis., 3,298. 3, Red Carpet Lanes, Greenfield, Wis., 3,250. 4, Up An Adam, Coral Springs, Fla., 3,247. 5, Rob Bailey's Pro Shop 1, Sun Prairie, Wis., 3,202. 6, Design Wizards, Mandan, N.D., 3,159. 7, Don Johnson Memorial, Shepherdsville, Ky., 3,136. 8 (tie), Rip the Rack, Lake St. Louis, Mo., and Larry's Distributing, Grand Prairie, Texas, 3,131. 10, Bluebird Lanes, Orland Park, Ill., 3,122.

    1, Tom Milton, St. Petersburg, Fla./David Taylor, Seminole, Fla., 1,498. 2, Jeff Nimke, Oshkosh, Wis./Chad Maas, Brookfield, Wis., 1,480. 3, Kenneth Stephens, Frankfort, Ky./Randall Montoya, Albuquerque, N.M., 1,434. 4 (tie), Terry Hall, Rocklin, Calif./Andrew Udahl, Elk Grove, Calif., and Scott Helm, Hartford, Wis./Dave Beres, Greenfield, Wis., 1,421. 6, Mandy Wilson, Dayton, Ohio/Douglas Stone, Troy, Ohio, 1,419. 7 (tie), Jason Hale, Des Moines, Iowa/Matt Smith, Altoona, Iowa, and Lana Schwab, Lake Villa, Ill./Davey Rosen, Northbrook, Ill., 1,411. 9, Ryan Lever, New Berlin, Wis./Dale Traber, Cedarburg, Wis., 1,388. 10, Chris Johnson, Garland, Texas/Jay Ashbaugh, Round Rock, Texas, 1,382.

    1, Terrence Syring, Bay City, Mich., 833. 2, Jimmy Johnson, Pataskala, Ohio, 804. 3, Dan Gould, East Hampton, Mass., 783. 4, Barry Zimmerman, Grand Forks, N.D., 766. 5, George Kontos, Joliet, Ill., 760. 6, Christopher Webb, Racine, Wis., 755. 7. Jimmy Hilligas, Kettering, Ohio, 749. 8, Brian Himmler, Cincinnati, 748. 9, Larry Thompson Jr., Spring, Texas, 742. 10 (tie), Anthony Woollis, Lubbock, Texas, and Michael Bourcier, Rhinelander, Wis., 740.

    1, Terrence Syring, Bay City, Mich., 2,155. 2, Chad Maas, Brookfield, Wis., 2,141. 3, Jimmy Johnson, Pataskala, Ohio, 2,108. 4, Shannon Pluhowsky, Phoenix, 2,083. 5 (tie), Matt Smith, Altoona, Iowa, and George Kontos Joliet, Ill., 2,073. 7, Christopher Webb, Racine, Wis., 2,067. 8, Jeff Nimke, Oshkosh, Wis., 2,064. 9, Mandy Wilson, Dayton, Ohio, 2,059. 10, Marty Lavigne, Temperance, Mich., 2,049.

    Team All-Events
    1, Red Carpet Lanes (Jeff Nimke, Scott Helm, Steve Brinkman, Chad Maas, Dave Beres), Greenfield, Wis, 10,131. 2, Don Johnson Memorial, Shepherdsville, Ky., 9,813. 3, Turbo 2-N-1 Grips 1, Madison, Wis., 9,609. 4, Bluebird Lanes, Orland Park, Ill., 9,602. 5, Professional Image Center 1, Coffeyville, Kan., 9,599. 6, Linds Limited, Milwaukee, 9,598. 7, Design Wizards, Mandan, N.D., 9,578. 8, Rob Bailey's Pro Shop 2, Sun Prairie, Wis., 9,450. 9, Sign Producers 1, Winter Garden, Fla., 9,341. 10, Roto Grip, Brigham City, Utah, 9,279.



    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, Sportsman Bowling Club 5, Moreno Valley, Calif., 2,662. 7, Paradise Lanes, Walden, Colo., 2,648. 8, Red Carpet, West Union, Minn., 2,627. 9, Roadrunners, Las Cruces, N.M., 2,604. 10, Whitlow Furnace, Scobey, Mont., 2,602.

    1, Tyson Sims/Scott Wilcox, Georgetown, Idaho, 1,182. 2, John Bishop/Dan Mosteller, Tooele, Utah, 1,175. 3, Wayne Doney, Lamar, Colo./Jim Matusek, Hartland, Wis., 1,174. 4, Pat Fitzgibbons, Colorado Springs, Colo./Pete Fitzgibbons, Goodland, Kan., 1,173. 5, Greg Allen/Stacey Bauer, Ogallala, Neb., 1,166. 6, Joe McKee/Mark Nalan, Sheffield, Iowa, 1,155. 7, Walter Cook, Inverness, Fla./Stephen Liik, Homosassa, Fla., 1,153. 8, Holly Ventura, Harwood Heights, Ill./Bob Zurek, River Grove, Ill., 1,149. 9, Delmar Brownell/Dale Brownell, Spearfish, S.D., 1,148. 10, Scott Werner, Overland Park, Kan./Mark Klyn, Pella, Iowa, 1,145.

    1, David Garcez, Merced, Calif., 669. 2, Mark Plute, Montrose, Colo., 644. 3, Curt VanLaningham, Ogallala, Neb., 624. 4, Dan Dahlquist, Wheaton, Ill., 622. 5, Terrance Hall, Spanish Fork, Utah, 620. 6, Ryan Goettsch, Galva, Iowa, 618. 7, Ryan Burmester, Chandler, Ariz., 615. 8, Flor Crowley, Oxnard, Calif., 611. 9, Preston Cheeks, Brooklyn, N.Y., 609. 10, Ron Haren, Houston, 606.

    1, Richard Eisenhut, Downers Grove, Ill., 1,766. 2, Harry Berg, Eau Claire, Wis., 1,743. 3, Paul Daniels, Bonner, Mont., 1,739. 4, Jake Acuna, Pocatello, Idaho, 1,736. 5, John Stolarski, Waterford, Mich., 1,733. 6, Tom Sellers, Barstow, Calif., 1,732. 7, Preston Cheeks, Brooklyn, N.Y., 1,721. 8, Doug Boleyn, Waterloo, Iowa, 1,719. 9, Ken Hoffman, Durand, Ill., 1,718. 10, Pat Fitzgibbons, Colorado Springs, Colo., 1,712.