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Defending champions won’t repeat at 2017 USBC Open Championships


The defending Regular Doubles and Regular Team champions were on the lanes at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships this week, putting their titles on the line at the South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas.

Greg Thomas of Irmo, South Carolina, and Christopher Hill of Franklin, Wisconsin (right, l-r), hit the lanes June 13 and fell short of a return to doubles glory at the USBC Open Championships, posting a 1,272 total, which is just outside the top 100 this year.

Hill, a 37-year-old right-hander, led the duo this year with a 699 series, while Thomas, a 48-year-old right-hander, added a 573 set. The roles were reversed in 2016, as Thomas set the pace with 720, and Hill contributed a 681 set, including a 296 game, to the 1,401 winning-effort.

The father-and-son duo of Vince and Brandon Biondo of Carpentersville, Illinois, leads Regular Doubles this year in Las Vegas with a 1,452 total.

BowersBowlingTour.com of Wichita, Kansas (above), also bowled well at the Bowling Plaza this week, rolling games of 1,017, 1,049 and 1,095 for a 3,161 total, but it wasn’t enough to catch Team NABR of Fairport, New York, which leads Regular Team this year with 3,266. The defending champions are tied for 16th place.

Zachary Rhoades‘ 645 series led the effort June 16 for BowersBowlingTour.com, while the rest of his teammates followed closely behind. Kris Prather, the runner-up in Regular Singles at the 2011 Open Championships, added 642, Justin Zwaschka finished with 638, and Brent Bowers and Mitch Hupé closed things out with 619 and 617, respectively.

The group claimed the Regular Team title in 2016 with a 3,377 total at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada.

“We had a good game plan and were able to get to the pocket on a regular basis, but they really got tricky,” said Bowers, the veteran of the group with eight tournament appearances.

“The transition really tricked some of us, and our spare shooting could have been better, but we’ll be back. That’s the beauty of this event. You bowl as many as you can and stay sharp in hope of being able to win a few. For us to win at such a young age, with me being the old guy at 29, I like our chances. We’re going to keep this group together and fight to be a perennial contender for these Eagles.”

Classified Singles gets new leader at South Point Bowling Plaza

Prior to his recent appearance at the USBC Open Championships, Wiley Collins (above) of Winter Springs, Florida, didn’t know much about the event.

Now, he’s in position to become a noteworthy part of the tournament’s storied history as the leader in Classified Singles with less than a month to go in the 149-day event.

Just a few days shy of a milestone birthday, the 49-year-old rookie rolled games of 202, 257 and 193 at the South Point Bowling Plaza on June 14 to catapult to the top of the standings with a 652 series. Robert Linder of Henderson, Colorado, previously held the lead with 634.

Collins needed a mark in his final frame to secure the lead, but he and his teammates had no idea how close he was to taking the top spot. He calmly closed with two strikes and a nine-count to finish his Open Championships debut in the spotlight.

“I didn’t even think about the possibility of taking the lead or consider that I’d gotten there,” said Collins, a security officer. “I was just out there bowling and having a good time. I loved the experience and sharing it with my friends and wife.”

It took some time for Collins to get acclimated to the Bowling Plaza and the biggest stage in bowling, and he opened his tournament career June 13 with a 475 series in team.

Doubles provided some challenges for Collins as well, as he posted games of 141, 168 and 103 for a 412 set, before everything finally fell into place. He finished his first Open Championships with a 1,539 all-events total.

Classified Singles includes bowlers with entering averages of 180 and below.

A look ahead

Jim Gochis of Ivanhoe, Illinois, will become the newest member of the 50-Year Club at the USBC Open Championships when he makes his milestone march to the lanes June 26.

The 79-year-old, whose tournament career began at the 1967 event in Miami, will be the 21st and final bowler to reach the five-decade mark this year at the South Point Bowling Plaza.

Gochis has averaged nearly 190 through 49 years of Open Championships competition, and his career highlights include a third-place team finish in Long Beach, California, in 1972.

For more information on the Open Championships, click here.

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2017 USBC Open Championships – Regular Division

Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall

(Combined averages of 1,046 and above)
1, Team NABR (Adam Barta, Anthony Pepe, Mike Rose Jr., Scott Pohl, Brian Waliczek), Fairport, N.Y., 3,266. 2, BowlingDynamics.com, Phoenix, 3,246. 3(tie), Shot Makers Pro Shop, Temperance, Mich., and Turbo Grips 4, Chesterfield, Mich., 3,240. 5, HoF Silver Lanes 1, New Hartford, Conn., 3,239. 6, Bowlers Connection 1, Carpentersville, Ill., 3,222. 7, Strike It Big 1, Sanford, Mich., 3,221. 8, Lodge Lanes Kids, Orlando, Fla., 3,207. 9, Kruse’s Pro Shop, Fargo, N.D., 3,198. 10, TJ’s Pro Shop, Beaver Dam, Wis., 3,191.

(Combined averages of 419 and above)
1, Vince Biondo/Brandon Biondo, Carpentersville, Ill., 1,452. 2, Mike Reasoner, Hazlet, N.J./John Nolen, Waterford, Mich., 1,431. 3, Andrew Herbert, Eden, N.Y./Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 1,428. 4, Jacob Kent/Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 1,425. 5, Tim Pfeifer, Oakdale, Pa./Chris Bardol, Brockport, N.Y., 1,417. 6, Justin Nieman, Macomb, Mich./Craig Nidiffer, New Boston, Mich., 1,411. 7, Ryan Zagar, Racine, Wis./Tylor Greene, Davison, Mich., 1,409. 8, Richard Graham, Lancaster, Pa./Andrew Carson, York, Pa., 1,395. 9, Charles Richey, Concord, N.C./Steve Arehart, Chesapeake, Va., 1,385. 10, Jeff Fehr/Kenny Abner, Cincinnati, 1,381.

(Averages of 210 and above)
1(tie), Matt Gasn, Clarksville, Tenn., and Steve De Kerf Jr., Sheboygan Falls, Wis., 802. 3, Adam Barta, Girard, Ohio, 776. 4(tie), Austin Gratzer, University Place, Wash., and Patrick Girard, Quebec City, 773. 6, Curt Dupre IV, Metairie, La., 772. 7, Tommy Barnwell, Peoria Heights, Ill., 771. 8(tie), Sam Sylvester, Hugo, Minn., and Todd Lathrop, Colchester, Conn., 770. 10(tie), Chris Curry, Indianapolis, and Marc Massie, Alexandria, Ky., 769.

(Averages of 210 and above)
1, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 2,176. 2, Jacob Boresch, Kenosha, Wis., 2,122. 3, Jakob Butturff, Chandler, Ariz., 2,110. 4, Brandon Biondo, Carpentersville, Ill., 2,108. 5, Todd Lathrop, Colchester, Conn., 2,105. 6, Chris Gibbons, Madison, Wis., 2,102. 7, Mike Reasoner, Hazlet, N.J., 2,093. 8(tie), Stuart Williams, Phoenix, and Curt Dupre IV, Metairie, La., 2,090. 10, Tyler James, Delton, Fla., 2,084.

Team All-Events
(Combined all-events totals of all five team members)
1, Team NABR (Adam Barta, Anthony Pepe, Scott Pohl, Michael Rose Jr., Brian Waliczek), Fairport, N.Y., 9,957. 2, Rose Bowl Lanes, Rochester, N.Y., 9,867. 3, Turbo Grips 3, Chesterfield, Mich., 9,833. 4, Bowlers Connection 1, Carpentersville, Ill., 9,813. 5, Vanilla Salsa, Roseville, Calif., 9,743. 6, BowlU 1, Lockport, N.Y., 9,710. 7, BowlU 2, Blasdell, N.Y., 9,692. 8, Lodge Lanes Kids, Orlando, Fla., 9,668. 9, A&M Affiliates 1, Minneapolis, 9,646. 10, BuddiesProShop.com 2, Naugatuck, Conn., 9,638.

2017 USBC Open Championships – Standard Division

Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall

(Combined averages of 901-1,045)
1, Minnesota Select Sires 1 (Arvid Strande, Carl Krause, Paul Buendiger, Scott Molnar, Andrew Kasten), Fergus, Minn., 2,922. 2, Mix em Up, Las Cruces, N.M., 2,867. 3, Chris’ Boys, Livingston, Mont., 2,778. 4, C.G. Misfits, Casa Grande, Ariz., 2,771. 5, General Distributors 2, Beavercreek, Ore., 2,748. 6, Scotty’s 3, Alexandria, Minn., 2,738. 7(tie), Aztec 4, Lacey, Wash., and Invazn, Columbia, Mo., 2,729. 9, Specialty Paint & Design, Billings, Mont., 2,719. 10, Livestream We Miss, Irmo, S.C., 2,717.

(Combined averages of 361-418)
1, Stuart Sheck, Germantown, Md./Robert Tonelli, Henderson, Nev., 1,236. 2, Timothy Larke, Royal Oak, Mich./Rick Larke, Lake Orion, Mich., 1,224. 3, Cole Schroyer, Canyon, Texas/Brandon Simmons, Amarillo, Texas, 1,214. 4, Alexander Cariello, Carol Stream, Ill./Ed Mousseau, East Amherst, N.Y., 1,202. 5, Douglas Turney/Brennan Nett, Kiel, Wis., 1,201. 6, Kaitlyn Schroyer, Stanton, Texas/Matthew Hoffman, Richmond, Texas, 1,198. 7, Thomas Fredrick/Mark Mallow, Watertown, Wis., 1,192. 8, Ramon Pagan/Raymond Haran, Chicago, 1,191. 9, Nicholas Frederick, Commerce, Mich./Zane Hollander, Las Vegas, 1,190. 10, Danny Smart, Shreveport, La./Jim Daubenheyer, Valparaiso, Ind., 1,188.

(Averages of 181-209)
1, Charlie Theobald, Minot, N.D., 696. 2(tie), Rusty Johnston, Austin, Texas, and Scott Williams, Aberdeen, Md., 681. 4, Nolen Fisher, Caldwell, Idaho, 677. 5, Larry Neb, Loveland, Colo., 674. 6, James King, Edmonds, Wash., 673. 7, Earl Bowe, Bahamas, 667. 8, Brennan Nett, Kiel, Wis., 665. 9, Jonathon Berg, Bismarck, N.D., 663. 10, Mark Schenking, Uncasville, Conn., 659.

(Averages of 181-209)
1, Rusty Johnston, Austin, Texas, 1,915. 2, Brennan Nett, Kiel, Wis., 1,865. 3, Larry Keel, Huntsville, Ala., 1,831. 4, Nolen Fisher, Caldwell, Idaho, 1,829. 5, Stephanie Sanders, Bakersfield, Calif., 1,826. 6, Chhaty Sar, Columbia, Mo., 1,813. 7, Timothy Hagar, Celina, Ohio, 1,809. 8, Steven Ireland, Selma, Ind., 1,805. 9, Mike Thielen, Eagle Grove, Iowa, 1,801. 10, Michael Kay, Bolingbrook, Ill., 1,799.

2017 USBC Open Championships – Classified Division

Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall

(Combined averages of 900 and below)
1, Scotty’s 8 (Chad Brandt, Ryan Dew, Bruce Corneliusen, Zach Hedine, Alan Iverson), Alexandria, Minn., 2,569. 2, Dusty’s Floor Covering, Twin Valley, Minn., 2,487. 3, Spray and Pray, Los Angeles, 2,486. 4, The Misfits No. 2, Maryville, Ill., 2,471. 5, Brant Construction, Spirit Lake, Iowa, 2,462. 6, WA Bowlers 7, Renton, Wash., 2,459. 7, Kutztown Fire 1, Kutztown, Pa., 2,456. 8, Decorah Auto Center, Calmar, Iowa, 2,437. 9, Wags N Whiskers, Livingston, Mont., 2,436. 10, TNBA OSNM I, South Holland, Ill., 2,426.

(Combined averages of 360 and below)
1(tie), Ashley Olriksen, Brooklyn Park, Minn./Bud Olriksen, Las Vegas, and Ted Fleming/Paul Davis, Emmett, Idaho, 1,105. 3(tie), Aaron Hagen/Brody Hagen, Benson, Minn., and Mark Nelson, Clitherall, Minn./Lynn Good, Battle Lake, Minn., 1,102. 5, Carol Cooper/Janeen Keywood, Pensacola, Fla., 1,099. 6, Lisa Figures/Timothy Allen, Katy, Texas, 1,098. 7, Cari Wiest/Larry Wald, Wishek, N.D., 1,091. 8, Dalton Mortenson/Jessica Mortenson, Moorhead, Minn., 1,083. 9, Linda Dawyot, Visalia, Calif./Jim Dick, Fresno, Calif., 1,078. 10, Bill Fairchild, Olive Branch, Miss./Bruce Johnson, Bartlett, Tenn., 1,074.

(Averages of 180 and below)
1, Wiley Collins, Winter Springs, Fla., 652. 2, Robert Linder, Henderson, Colo., 634. 3, Nick Stenberg, Big Timber, Mont., 621. 4, Michael Tengan, Hilo, Hawaii, 607. 5, Gary Pettway, Sweetwater, Tenn., 598. 6, Melvin Reynolds, North Ridgeville, Ohio, 596. 7, Rory Hanlon, Las Vegas, 592. 8, Efrain Rodriguez, New York, N.Y., 590. 9, James Lee, North Platte, Neb., 589. 10, Patrick Fitzgibbons, Lafayette, La., 588.

(Averages of 180 and below)
1, Nick Stenberg, Big Timber, Mont., 1,733. 2, Gary Pettway, Sweetwater, Tenn., 1,704. 3, Matt Buchholz, Ellensburg, Wash., 1,693. 4, Cody Maier, Spring Creek, Nev., 1,686. 5, Josh Wall, Eastview, Ky., 1,678. 6, Susan Elliott, Warren, Mich., 1,664. 7, Phuoc Tran, West Covina, Calif., 1,661. 8, Robert Beaty, Houston, 1,658. 9, Tina Wetzel, Elk Grove, Calif., 1,646. 10, Joel Willis, LaPlata, Md., 1,640.

Herbert Bickel

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