Raymond (pictured above) rolled an eight-game block of 1,878 at Flamingo Bowl to pace the field, averaging 234.75. England’s Dom Barrett, the 2015 runner-up, is second with 1,837, and Team USA member Nick Pate of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, is third with 1,779.
Defending champion Francois Lavoie of Canada is in 58th place with 1,631.
After experiencing a tough stretch on the lanes, Raymond took some time away before starting his preparation for the 2017 event.
“This was a big confidence boost, since I had been bowling pretty poorly for the last few months,” said Raymond, a titlist at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships.
“I took some time off and didn’t start again until about three or four weeks ago, knowing these events were coming up. I spent a lot of time just working on my mental and physical game, and it really helped a lot today.”
Raymond minimized mistakes throughout his block on the burn, recording just one game under 220. Each competitor at the 2017 event will have one qualifying block on each of the three phases of the 43-foot lane condition – fresh, burn and double-burn.
Participants also experienced a new transition from warm-up to the beginning of competition at the 2017 event. The number of competition lanes is limited to 24, allowing bowlers to visit the same lanes and see them the same amount of times during qualifying. Competitors are not allowed to practice on the competition lanes, so 14 lanes are dedicated for warm-up prior to the start of their squads.
“Today was more or less about having a grind focus,” Raymond said. “Not having the chance to practice on the pairs beforehand changed the mentality a bit, so it was more about making quality shots, staying clean for as long as I could and just seeing what happened from there. I did a good job staying clean throughout the block and only had two opens, which was pretty hard to do on this pattern, since it’s not easy out there.”
Qualifying will continue Saturday with the second round, starting at 8 a.m. Eastern.
After 24 games over three days, the field will be cut to the top fourth (36 players) for Monday’s cashers’ round, which will consist of an additional eight games to determine the 24 players for round-robin match play.
Match play will begin Monday at 6 p.m. Eastern with the first of three eight-game rounds and resume Tuesday at 10 a.m. Eastern, concluding with a position round. The five finalists for the stepladder finals will be determined by total pinfall, including bonus pins, for 56 games.
The stepladder finals will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network on Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. The champion will earn the $30,000 top prize and coveted green jacket.
The U.S. Open is the fourth of five major championships on the 2017 Professional Bowlers Association Tour schedule and is conducted jointly by the USBC and Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America.
Each round of the 2017 U.S. Open leading up to the stepladder finals will be broadcast live on Xtra Frame, the exclusive online bowling channel for the PBA.
For more information on the U.S. Open, click here.
Players with position, hometown and 8-game total
1, JR Raymond, Saginaw, Mich., 1,878. 2, Dominic Barrett, United Kingdom, 1,837. 3, Nicholas Pate (a), Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 1,779. 4, Jeffery Evans, Supply, N.C., 1,777. 5, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 1,776. 6, AJ Chapman (a), Wichita, Kan., 1,760.
7, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 1,757. 8, DJ Archer, Kingwood, Texas, 1,752. 9, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 1,748. 10(tie), Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., and Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 1,745. 12, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 1,733.
13, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 1,731. 14, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 1,729. 15, Andres Gomez, Hollywood, Fla., 1,726. 16(tie), Dan MacLelland (a), Canada, and Cortez Schenk (a), Phoenix, 1,725. 18, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 1,724.
19, Chris Via (a), Springfield, Ohio, 1,722. 20, John Szczerbinski, North Tonawanda, N.Y., 1,720. 21, Dino Castillo, Highland Village, Texas, 1,718. 22(tie), Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., and Michael Markis, Tafton, Pa., 1,717. 24, Kevin Donovan, Painted Post, N.Y., 1,714.
25, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 1,708. 26, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 1,705. 27, Pontus Andersson, Sweden, 1,702. 28, Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., 1,700. 29(tie), Francois Louw, South Africa, and Brett Cunningham, Clay, N.Y., 1,696.
31, Arturo Quintero, Mexico, 1,695. 32, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., 1,691. 33, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 1,690. 34, Mike Wolfe, Floyd Knobs, Ind., 1,681. 35, Timothy Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., 1,680. 36, Jason Sterner, Rockledge, Fla., 1,677.
37, BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 1,676. 38, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 1,673. 39(tie), Sam Cooley, Australia, and David Haynes, Las Vegas, 1,672. 41, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 1,669. 42(tie), Michael Kissel (a), East Islip, N.Y., and Jonathan Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., 1,661.
44, Stuart Williams, Phoenix, 1,658. 45(tie), Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., and Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 1,656. 47, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 1,655. 48, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 1,653.
49, Matt O’Grady, South Amboy, N.J., 1,650. 50, Mike Rose Jr. (a), Fairport, N.Y., 1,648. 51(tie), Justin Crumley (a), Wichita, Kan., and Nathan Bohr, Austin, Texas, 1,646. 53, Myles Duty, Modesto, Calif., 1,643. 54, Michael Tang, San Francisco, 1,642.
55(tie), Richard Teece, England, and Graham Fach, Canada, 1,637. 57, Brian LeClair, Delmar, N.Y., 1,634. 58, Francois Lavoie, Wichita, Kan., 1,631. 59, Joe Bailey (a), Doylestown, Ohio, 1,630. 60, Matt Russo, Millstone Township, N.J., 1,629.
61, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 1,628. 62, Cheuk Yin Michael Mak (a), Japan, 1,627. 63, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 1,625. 64, Gary Faulkner Jr., Sanford, Fla., 1,623. 65, Walter Ray Williams Jr, Oxford, Fla., 1,622. 66(tie), Shota Kawazoe, Japan, and Chad Roberts (a), Reynoldsburg, Ohio, and Matt Ogle, Louisville, Ky., 1,618.
69, Mik Stampe, Denmark, 1,616. 70, Zachary Doty (a), Nassau, N.Y., 1,610. 71, Timothy Gillick, Ansonia, Conn., 1,609. 72, Daniel Hanson (a), Tacoma, Wash., 1,608.
73(tie), Yousif Falah (a), Bahrain, and Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 1,603. 75, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 1,602. 76(tie), Collin Smith (a), Huron, S.D., and Kyle Sherman (a), O’Fallon, Mo., and Kamron Doyle (a), Brentwood, Tenn., 1,601.
79, Anthony Pepe, East Elmhurst, N.Y., 1,595. 80, Kyle Bigelow, Troy, Ohio, 1,594. 81, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 1,593. 82, Daniel Vick (a), Pittsford, N.Y., 1,591. 83, Matthew Sanders (a), Evansville, Ind., 1,589. 84(tie), Tom Sorce, Richmond, Va., and Zach Wilkins (a), Canada, 1,585.
86, Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., 1,584. 87(tie), Jesper Svensson, Sweden, and Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 1,583. 89, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 1,582. 90, Chris Arcaro, Carolina Beach, N.C., 1,579.
91, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 1,576. 92, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 1,574. 93, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 1,570. 94(tie), Brad Miller, Raytown, Mo., and Jesper Agerbo (a), Denmark, 1,568. 96, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 1,565.
97, Robert Bures (a), Painesville, Ohio, 1,564. 98, Thomas Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 1,562. 99, John Furey, East Windsor, N.J., 1,561. 100(tie), Andrew Cain, Phoenix, and Kenneth Ryan (a), Farmingdale, N.J., 1,559. 102, Alex Cavagnaro, North Massapequa, N.Y., 1,555.
103, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Little Elm, Texas, 1,553. 104, Liz Johnson, Palatine, Ill., 1,551. 105(tie), Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, and Brandon Biondo (a), Carpentersville, Ill., 1,550. 107(tie), Rocio Restrepo, Louisville, Ohio, and AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 1,548.
109, James Rutledge (a), Lincoln, Neb., 1,547. 110, Dave Wodka, Beavercreek, Ohio, 1,536. 111, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 1,535. 112, Matt Dzikiewicz (a), Rocky Hill, Conn., 1,531. 113, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 1,529. 114, Casey Creutz (a), Carteret, N.J., 1,524.
115, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 1,521. 116(tie), Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., and Darren Tang, San Francisco, 1,520. 118, Andrew Graff, Las Vegas, 1,516. 119, Trevor Roberts, Tampa, Fla., 1,515. 120, Alex Aguiar (a), Dartmouth, Mass., 1,509.
121, Nick Kruml (a), Downers Grove, Ill., 1,506. 122, Brandon Runk (a), Enola, Pa., 1,505. 123(tie), Cameron Weier, Tacoma, Wash., and David Cirigliano, Phoenix, 1,503. 125, Jacob Yazell (a), Lexington, Ky., 1,502. 126(tie), Ryan Galli, Binghamton, N.Y., and Darren Andretta, New Hyde Park, N.Y., 1,500.
128, Aaron Lorincz, Belleville, Mich., 1,498. 129, Patrick Allen, South Salem, N.Y., 1,487. 130, Dallas Leong (a), Las Vegas, 1,480. 131, William Hasiotis (a), Rochester, N.Y., 1,465. 132, Ashton Maxwell (a), Babson Park, Fla., 1,458.
133(tie), Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., and Steven Arehart, Chesapeake, Va., 1,452. 135, Brandon Boyer (a), Hudson Falls, N.Y., 1,446. 136, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 1,443. 137, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 1,441. 138, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 1,436.
139, Markus Jansson, Sweden, 1,429. 140, Joshua Anderson (a), Muscatine, Iowa, 1,421. 141, Ryan Graywacz, Canastota, N.Y., 1,406. 142, John Petraglia, Jackson, N.J., 1,339. 143, Joe Massey (a), Flora, Ind., 1,302.
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