The 26-year-old right-hander (featured photo) shrugged off a slow start at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kansas, on his way to an eight-game total of 1,956 to bring his overall score to 3,779, a 236.19 average. Prather sits 225 pins ahead of Greg Ostrander of Freehold, New Jersey, who remained in second place with a 3,554 total.
After leading Friday’s opening round, Prather struggled to find the right feel with his equipment to start Saturday’s block, kicking off the round with a 169 game. He quickly resolved the issue, averaging more than 255 for his final seven games.
“During Game 1, I really didn’t have a great feel in the ball,” Prather (left) said. “I was struggling and between (interchangeable) thumbs and tape. I didn’t throw a good shot until about the seventh frame, and that’s when I realized I was in the wrong ball. Even if I threw it well, I wasn’t going to strike, so I talked it over with Mike (DeVaney) and got into the right ball. From there, I just tried to keep making the right adjustments.”
Prather credits his run the last several weeks, which includes a pair of third-place finishes and a fifth-place showing at the Professional Bowlers Association Fall Swing in Owasso, Oklahoma, to the work he’s put in on his mental game and the ability to quickly bounce back after an errant shot or frame.
He’s also been able to create different reactions with his ball roll this week while combating the 37- and 40-foot oil patterns featured during the first two rounds of qualifying. He’s still unsure of his plan of attack on Sunday’s 47-foot lane condition, but Prather has time and a sizeable lead on his side.
Competitors in the field will compete on three different lane conditions during the first three rounds of qualifying. A fourth oil pattern will be introduced for Monday’s cashers’ round and be used for the remainder of the tournament.
“The angles I’ve played each day weren’t very different, but it was more about ball selection and how the ball came off my hand,” Prather said. “Today, I was able to use more rotation to get it to go through the pins, while I really had to focus on rolling it yesterday, since the pattern was so short and flat. I think tomorrow will be very interesting. I didn’t have a great look in practice. Luckily, I don’t bowl until late in the afternoon. I’ll have all day to watch, and I think that will help a lot.”
After Sunday’s final round, the field will be cut to the top 36 players for the cashers’ round, which will include 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. Match play resumes Tuesday at 11 a.m. Eastern with the final two blocks, including a position round. The five finalists will be determined by total pinfall, including bonus pins, for 56 games.
The stepladder finals will take place Oct. 31 and air live on CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. Eastern, awarding the champion the $30,000 top prize and coveted green jacket.
The U.S. Open is the fourth and final major championship on the 2018 PBA Tour schedule and is conducted jointly by the United States Bowling Congress and Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America.
Each round of the 2018 U.S. Open leading up to the stepladder finals will be broadcast live on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame on FloBowling.
For more information on the U.S. Open, click here.
Kristopher Prather leads opening round at 2018 U.S. Open
Pre-Tournament Qualifier solidifies field at 2018 U.S. Open
Rhino Page excited to defend title at U.S. Open
2018 U.S. Open to feature several lane patterns, fresh oil for each squad
2018 PBA Tour Schedule & Champions
Players with position, hometown and 16-game total; w-woman, n-non-PBA member.
1, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 3,779. 2, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 3,554. 3, Dom Barrett, England, 3,527. 4, Jason Sterner, Covington, Ga., 3,483. 5, AJ Chapman, Wichita, Kan., 3,480. 6, Yannaphon Larp-apharat, Thailand, 3,450.
7, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 3,443. 8, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 3,425. 9, Stuart Williams, England, 3,414. 10, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 3,411. 11, n-David Simard, Canada, 3,410. 12, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 3,385.
13, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 3,378. 14, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 3,374. 15, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 3,366. 16, Richie Teece, England, 3,355. 17(tie), Jakob Butturff, Chandler, Ariz., and Matthew Ogle, Louisville, Ky., 3,353.
19, Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz., 3,350. 20, Matt O’Grady, Rahway, N.J., 3,342. 21(tie), Shawn Maldonado, Houston, and Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 3,339. 23(tie), n-Alex Hoskins, Pocatello, Idaho, and Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 3,330.
25, n-Brandon Biondo, Carpentersville, Ill., 3,324. 26, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 3,322. 27, Mitch Hupe, Canada, 3,321. 28(tie), Jari Ratia, Finland, and Rafiq Ismail, Malaysia, 3,318. 30(tie), Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, and n-Patrick Hanrahan, Wichita, Kan., 3,313.
32, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 3,308. 33, Nathan Bohr, Austin, Texas, 3,300. 34, n-Brent Boho, Colgate, Wis., 3,297. 35, Pontus Andersson, Sweden, 3,294. 36, Brad Miller, Lee’s Summit, Mo., 3,293. 37, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 3,292.
38, n-Dallas Leong, Las Vegas, 3,285. 39, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3,280. 40(tie), Aaron Lorincz, Center Line, Mich., and BJ Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 3,278. 42, Graham Fach, Canada, 3,276. 43, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 3,272.
44(tie), AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., and Cameron Weier, Tacoma, Wash., 3,268. 46, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 3,262. 47, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 3,259. 48(tie), w-Daria Pajak, Poland, David Beres, Waukesha, Wis., and n-Tom Adcock, Decatur, Ill., 3,258.
51, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 3,255. 52, Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 3,253. 53, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 3,252. 54, Michael Tang, San Francisco, 3,249. 55, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 3,241. 56, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 3,240.
57, Daniel Fransson, Sweden, 3,228. 58, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 3,227. 59(tie), Andres Gomez, Colombia, and Gregory Thompson Jr., Tempe, Ariz., 3,226. 61, n-Jacob Kersten, Wichita, Kan., 3,222. 62, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 3,219.
63, Mike Coffey, Melbourne, Fla., 3,218. 64, Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 3,209. 65, Tim Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., 3,205. 66, n-Wesley Low, Palmdale, Calif., 3,201. 67, Kamron Doyle, Brentwood, Tenn., 3,199. 68, w-Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 3,194.
69, Brandon Curtis, Manson, N.C., 3,193. 70, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 3,192. 71, Charlie Brown Jr., Grandville, Mich., 3,190. 72(tie), Tom Daugherty, Tampa, Fla., and n-Daniel Hanson, Tacoma, Wash., 3,186. 74(tie), Francois Louw, South Africa, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, and Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 3,180.
77, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 3,173. 78(tie), Zach Wilkins, Canada, and Austin Boulds, Creal Springs, Ill., 3,171. 80, Sam Cooley, Australia, 3,170. 81, Curt Dupre IV, Destrehan, La., 3,166. 82, David Haynes, Las Vegas, 3,160.
83, Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., 3,150. 84, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 3,149. 85, Kenneth Ryan, Morganville, N.J., 3,148. 86, Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., 3,146. 87, James Hall, Daphne, Ala., 3,143. 88, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 3,138.
89, n-Cotie Holbek, Burlington, Wis., 3,134. 90, Darren Tang, San Francisco, 3,129. 91, Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 3,125. 92, Matt Kuba, Chicago Ridge, Ill., 3,124. 93(tie), n-Bryan Dragotta, Selden, N.Y., and Roger Petrin, Taylor, Mich., 3,120.
95, Joe Bailey, Wooster, Ohio, 3,117. 96, Chris Gibbons, Madison, Wis., 3,116. 97, n-Joshua Link, Billings, Mont., 3,112. 98(tie), n-Michael Mak, Hong Kong, and Alex George, Wichita, Kan., 3,111. 100, Chris Polizzi, Spring Hill, Fla., 3,109.
101, Nathan Michalowski, Burlington, Wis., 3,108. 102, Brett Cooper, Denver, 3,105. 103, Nicholas Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 3,104. 104, n-Duane Kilts, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 3,103. 105, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 3,102. 106, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 3,095.
107, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 3,083. 108, Craig Tuholski, Troutdale, Ore., 3,081. 109, n-Joshua Schneider, Fond du Lac, Wis., 3,079. 110, Kevin Fanter, Maize, Kan., 3,078. 111, n-Chris Szczepaniak, Wyandotte, Mich., 3,076. 112, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 3,073.
113, n-Cortez Schenck, Phoenix, 3,071. 114, Humberto Vazquez, Mexico, 3,047. 115, n-Thomas McNeal, Seattle, 3,038. 116, Kim Bolleby, Thailand, 3,036. 117, n-Jacob Boresch, Kenosha, Wis., 3,032. 118, n-Adrian Anderson, Roseburg, Ore., 3,030.
119(tie), Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, and Kyle Mayberry, Mechanicsburg, Ohio, 3,028. 121, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 3,017. 122, Daria Kovalova, Wichita, Kan., 3,015. 123, n-Spencer Robarge, Springfield, Mo., 3,013. 124, n-Joseph Grondin, San Pedro, Calif., 3,007.
125, n-Briley Haugh, Faribault, Minn., 3,006. 126, Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., 2,997. 127, n-Greg Young, Viera, Fla., 2,994. 128, Joshua Roca, Wichita, Kan., 2,968. 129, John Furey, Howell, N.J., 2,965. 130, n-Kennon McFalls, Gastonia, N.C., 2,964.
131, Trey Ford III, Bartlesville, Okla., 2,958. 132, n-Jared Armstrong, Louisville, Ky., 2,935. 133, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 2,928. 134, n-Scott Hill, Belleville, Ill., 2,898. 135, Charles Clifford Jr., Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., 2,887. 136, n-Justin Hromek, Towanda, Kan., 2,873.
137, Robert Lawrence, Austin, Texas, 2,838. 138, n-Bryan Hahlen, Greenwood, S.C., 2,836. 139, n-Richard Paul, Winton, Calif., 2,830. 140, n-Nicholas Scelfo, Millstone, N.J., 2,824.
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