Oregon bowler fires milestone 300 at USBC Open Championships


    United States

    2011USBCOCMichaelBarber.jpgMichael Barber (pictured left) of Gresham, Ore., has enjoyed bowling success at the local and state level, and he experienced a breakout performance at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships on June 26 that earned him a special place in the tournament record books.

    The 49-year-old left-hander got off to a slow start this year at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., but found his rhythm in singles. He opened with a 227 game before stringing together 12 consecutive strikes for the 51st perfect game of the 2011 tournament and the 750th in 108 years of USBC Open Championships competition.

    "This feels fantastic," said Barber, who made his eighth Open Championships appearance and finished singles with a 171 game for a career-best 698 series. "This is something I strive for every time I come here. I got one in league, city and state tournaments. This is the next level."

    When Barber found out the true significance of his achievement, he was surprised there haven't been more 300s in the tournament's long history. Although the event was contested for the first time in 1901, the first perfect game didn't come until 1913 when William Knox of Philadelphia got the job done in singles.

    "This means I belong to 750 of the best bowlers that have ever participated at this tournament," said Barber, who bowls league at Mount Hood Lanes in Gresham, Ore., and finished his 2011 tournament campaign with 540 in doubles and 536 in team for a 1,777 all-events total. "It's remarkable. I would have thought the number would be higher than that."

    2011USBCOCBillKaelin.jpgFour other bowlers also shot 300 at the Open Championships this week.

    Bill Kaelin (right) of Virginia Beach, Va., made the most of a second opportunity at perfection when he rolled the 48th perfect game of the 2011 tournament on June 24.

    Kaelin shot 299 in his second game of singles, and his 202 start left him in seventh place in Regular Singles with 801. He became the 30th bowler in history to roll both a 300 game and 800 series on the tournament lanes, while Ron Bahr of Topeka, Kan., the 2003 Regular Singles champion (837) remains the only bowler with back-to-back 300s. Matt Weggen of Muscatine, Iowa, leads Regular Singles this year with 826.

    "I didn't really miss the pocket the first game, but I decided to move left and tried to get a little bit softer, and once I moved in, the shot was right there for me," said Kaelin, who made his 24th consecutive tournament appearance.

    "At the end of the second game, I wanted to make a good shot, but I pulled it. I had some adrenaline and was a little jittery. The 299 would've been a career highlight in itself, and I never thought about doing anything more. I try not to think about too much when I'm out there."

    Team USA member and first-time Open Championships participant Jarret Mizo of Honolulu also made a run at back-to-back 300s when he closed doubles with 12 consecutive strikes and started singles with 11 more before a 4 pin ended his run.

    The 24-year-old right-hander finished with a 738 doubles series and teamed with Daniel Miyamoto of Mililani, Hawaii, for a 1,375 total. Mizo's singles effort included games of 299, 209 and 228 for a 736 series, and he added 620 in team for a 2,094 all-events total.

    2011USBCOCAnthonyPepe.jpg"I was really relaxed when we switched pairs for singles," Mizo said. "We watched the people who were there before us and saw they were playing in about the same area. I just made a small move, and the shot was still there. I stayed relaxed until the 10th frame when I realized I had a real chance at back-to-back 300s. I've never done that before."

    Anthony Pepe (left) of East Elmhurst, N.Y., struck 29 times on the way to games of 247, 248 and 300 for a career-best 795 series. He and Alex Cavagnaro of Lindenhurst, N.Y., moved into third place in Regular Doubles with a 1,482 total. Brandon Tarabek and Chad Reiffer of Grand Rapids, Mich., lead with 1,497.

    The 23-year-old left-hander had the 49th perfect game of the 2011 Open Championships.

    2011USBCOCRichardRathjenJr.jpg"On the final shot, I was really nervous," said Pepe, who made his third tournament appearance and added 672 in team and 651 in singles for a 2,118 all-events total. "I told myself I really needed to get the last one. Once I saw all 10 go down, it felt like a big weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. When you achieve something like this, in this type of environment, there are no words to describe the feeling."

    Richard Rathjen Jr. (right) of Naples, Fla., shot 300 in his final game of singles June 26 after starting with games of 201 and 219. His 720 singles set was a career-best, and he added 641 in team and 636 in doubles for a 1,997 all-events total, also his highest in 19 tournament appearances. His 300 was the 50th of the 2011 event.

    "This is a feeling I've never felt before," said Rathjen, a 34-year-old right-hander who made his tournament debut at the 1993 event in Tulsa, Okla., and hasn't missed a year since. "I can't believe I was so emotional. I've shot several 300s, so it's not like I haven't been there before. I've just never been there at this tournament or in an environment like this."

    This year's 52 perfect games is the second-most in tournament history behind the 2002 event in Billings, Mont., where there were 64.

    George Palumbo of Henderson, Nev., a 30-year-old right-hander, and Farron Falls of La Mirada, Calif., a 51-year-old right-hander, also rolled 299 games this week.


    Missouri bowler rolls 800 series at National Bowling Stadium

    2011USBCOCMarcHeninger.jpgMarc Heninger (pictured) of Kansas City, Mo., added his name to the list of 800 shooters at the 2011 USBC Open Championships when he posted games of 278, 245 and 280 for an 803 series during doubles June 23. It was one of a record 16 800s at this year's event.

    "It feels great," said Heninger, who made his sixth Open Championships appearance and teamed with Eric VanHoozier of Leavenworth, Kan., for a 1,412 doubles total. "In my wildest dreams, I never would have imagined this would happen to me. I was just telling my wife last night that the highest game I've ever shot here at the tournament was 279, and my highest series was 726. I finished with 278 last night in team, and then I come out of the gate with 278 again today. I couldn't have imagined anything better."

    The 25-year-old right-hander added 670 in team and 565 in doubles for a career-best 2,038 all-events total.


    A look ahead

    The 2011 USBC Open Championships will conclude its 122-day run on July 3 when the last of more than 64,000 bowlers finish up on the tournament lanes.

    The 2011 event was the tournament's record 10th trip to Reno and seventh visit to the one-of-a-kind National Bowling Stadium. It also marked the first time a city has hosted the tournament in consecutive years. This year's event featured 12,837 five-player teams.

    2011USBCOCLogo.jpg Presenting sponsors for the 2011 USBC Open Championships are Circus Circus, Eldorado Hotel Casino and Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno, Nev. Other sponsors include Sands Regency Casino Hotel, official brackets sponsor, Kegel, official lane maintenance provider, Humana, official registration sponsor, 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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    108th USBC Open Championships

    National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., USA (March 4 - July 3, 2011)


    Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall


    1, Turbo 2 N 1 Grips 1 (Marc McDowell, Steve Richter, Jeff Richgels, Gail Myers Jr., Mike Shady), Madison, Wis., 3,473. 2, Brian Brazeau Pro Shop, Ocala, Fla., 3,439. 3, Pollards Bowl, Versailles, Ind,. 3,420. 4, Pepsi ONE, Rochester, Minn., 3,415. 5, Cambridge 1, Feeding Hills, Mass., 3,410. 6, Janzs H I, Beaver Dam, Wis., 3,407. 7, Ah Go On, Bellmore, N.Y., 3,406. 8, Fox Bowl 1, Wheaton, Ill., 3,387. 9, Huikkos Wizards 2, Buffalo, Minn., 3,382. 10, 900 Global Indy, Indianapolis, 3,381.

    1, Brandon Tarabek/Chad Reiffer, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1,497. 2, George Rowan/Rod Singer, Columbus, Ohio, 1,494. 3, Anthony Pepe, East Elmhurst, N.Y./Alex Cavagnaro, Lindenhurst, N.Y., 1,482. 4, Ron Dixon, Boynton Beach, Fla./Joe Firpo, Tucker, Ga., 1,477. 5, Marc Scherlis, Littleton, Colo./Marv Sargent, Temecula, Calif., 1,473. 6, Erik Hohlbein, Renton, Wash./Shawn Copeland, Milwaukie, Ore., 1,466. 7, Terry Taylor, Bedford, Texas/Chris Hibbitts II, Fort Worth, Texas, 1,465. 8, Pat McCarthy, West Haven, Conn./Tony DeLucia, East Haven, Conn., 1,463. 9, Justin Medina/Jeremy Medina, Sana Fe, N.M., 1,458. 10 (tie), Dustin Baker/Matt Voeltz, West Jordan, Utah and Aaron Walsh/Don Simmons, Amarillo, Texas, 1,458.

    1, Matt Weggen, Muscatine, Iowa, 826. 2, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., 818. 3 (tie), Chris LaSpina, Garnerville, N.Y. and Edward Rede, El Paso, Texas, 814. 5, Adam Cardwell, Woodbury, Minn., 807. 6, John Szczerbinski, Wichita, Kan., 805. 7, Bill Kaelin, Virginia Beach, Va., 801. 8, Toby Sambueno, Aiea, Hawaii, 797. 9, Jeff Piroozshad, Coral Springs, Fla., 794. 10, Taylor Coggins, Burleson, Tex., 793.

    1, Matt Weggen, Muscatine, Iowa, 2,268. 2, Raymond Edwards, Middle Island, N.Y., 2,258. 3, Matt McNiel, Chanhassen, Minn., 2,241. 4, T.J. Schmidt, Osceola, Ind., 2,232. 5, Rick D. Lawrence, Waxahachie, Texas, 2,213. 6, Marty Jobin, Hermantown, Minn., 2,211. 7, Mike Rose Jr., West Henrietta, N.Y., 2,206. 8, Keith Aderholt, Millstadt, Ill., 2,204. 9, Ryan May, Sinking Spring, Pa., 2,196. 10, Kelly Bonta, Wichita, Kan., 2,177.

    Team All-Events
    1, K & K Bowling Services 5 (Les Shirwindt, Kyle King, Chris Klerk, Adam Ishman, Andrew Cain), Las Vegas, 10,283. 2, Fox Bowl 1, Wheaton, Ill., 10,242. 3, Linds Lakers 1, Minneapolis, 10,076. 4, Winning Edge Pro Shop 2, Springfield, Mo., 10,051. 5, Turbo 2 N 1 Grips 1, Madison, Wis., 10,031. 6, Classic Lanes Menomonee Falls, Waukesha, Wis., 10,030. 7, Linds Cedarvale 2, Eagan, Minn., 10,027. 8, Cambridge 1, Feeding Hills, Mass., 10,023. 9, Winning Edge Pro Shop 2, Springfield, Mo., 10,014. 10, Ballards Bwlg Solution 2, Keller, Texas, 9,951.



    Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall


    1, Paradise Lanes (Nick Cornelison, Glen Hurt, Toby Sanchez, Shane Hartman, Matt Landis), Walden, Colo., 2,910. 2, Shears Sports, Montpelier, Idaho, 2,898. 3, Chasers Pub LV 2, Las Vegas, 2,799. 4, Garden Center Lanes 3, Alexandria, Minn., 2,794. 5, Chasers Pub LV 3, Las Vegas, 2,786. 6, Kenns Pro Shop, Frankfort, Ill., 2,780. 7, Just Bowl, Castro Valley, Calif., 2,760. 8, Out Of Control 1, Stafford, Va., 2,739. 9, Strickly Hookin, Chicago, 2,737. 10, Chupa Me, San Antonio, 2,733.

    1, Velvet Anderson, Norco, Calif./Gary Weldon, Temple City, Calif., 1,223. 2, Dennis Combs/Susan Combs, Howard, Ohio, 1,213. 3, James D'Arcy, Van Nuys, Calif./David Bore, Canoga Park, Calif., 1,207. 4, Jeff Matesa, Graham, Wash./Tony Renggli, University Place, Wash., 1,202. 5, Giselle Lagandaon/Charles Lagandaon, Daly City, Calif., 1.190. 6, Paula Elsdon/Bob Elsdon, Tacoma, Wash., 1,188. 7, Tom Matlock/DerekDonathan, Tahlequah, Okla., 1,186. 8 (tie), Richard Anderson, Julesburg, Colo./Dan Ford, Chappell, Neb., Bill King, Vergas, Minn./Mark Kemper, Frazee, Minn., and Raymond Szutu, Lafayette, Calif.,/Nathan Szutu, Concord, Calif., 1,180.

    1, Glen Brown, Renton, Wash., 690. 2, Raymond Wilga, Troy, Mo., 686. 3 (tie), Robert Petersen, Crystal Lake, Ill., and Scott Blaisdell, Malad, Idaho, 680. 5, Miguel Sanchez, Chicago, 677. 6, James Nichols, Waynesboro, Pa., 669. 7 (tie), Dennis Redmond, Hampton, Va., and Bill Allison, Romeoville, Ill., 665. 9, Jennifer Spotanski, Scheller, Ill., 656. 10, Mike Jessen, Gower, Mo., 650.

    1, Miguel Sanchez, Chicago, 1,853. 2, Mark Bylander, Vergas, Minn., 1,842. 3, Ray Green, Strasburg, Colo., 1,832. 4, Scott Blaisdell, Malad, Idaho, 1,830. 5, Raymond Wilga, Troy, Mo., 1,829. 6, Dennis Gutierrez Sr., San Antonio, 1,825. 7, Mike Jessen, Gower, Mo., 1,815. 8, William Larsen, Montpelier, Idaho, 1,802. 9, Mathew Whitehead, Scottsboro, Ala., 1,796. 10, Glen Brown, Renton, Wash., 1,790.