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Regular Singles gets new leader at 2017 USBC Open Championships


Ron Jacobson of Jupiter, Florida, never pictured himself as being the player in position to win a title at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, but rather as a supportive teammate ready to help others succeed.

The focus changed for Jacobson during his singles set at the 2017 event in Las Vegas as the path to the pocket became clear for the 56-year-old right-hander. He went on to take the lead in Regular Singles with an 804 series.

Jacobson (above) rolled games of 269, 258 and 277 at the South Point Bowling Plaza on June 25 to edge his way into the top spot, surpassing the 802 total posted by Matt Gasn of Clarksville, Tennessee, and Steve De Kerf Jr. of Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin.

Gasn (left) and De Kerf (below right) had shared the top spot for nearly three months, rolling their 800 series March 25 and March 31, respectively.

Needing 275 in his final game for a share of the lead, Jacobson started with a spare before connecting for strikes on his next eight deliveries to set up the 10th frame. He rolled his ninth consecutive strike to start the 10th and secured enough for the outright lead, despite leaving the 3-6 combination on his second shot. He was unable to convert the spare, leaving the 6 pin standing.

“Going into the final game, my attitude was that I needed them all,” said Jacobson, who made his 14th USBC Open Championships appearance and added sets of 656 in team and 564 in doubles for a 2,024 all-events total.

“After the first one in the 10th, I went back, tried to calm myself down and took some extra time. I was nervous, no doubt about it, and ended up pulling it. I thought I needed that one, but that’s when Larry Brande came running up to me to let me know I had got it. I almost started to cry.”

Defending champions make run at South Point Bowling Plaza

Defending Team All-Events champion Higgy’s Aquarium of Westerville, Ohio (above), handled the nerves, pressure and extra attention very well this week at the South Point Bowling Plaza and made a run at a second consecutive title.

The group closed with a strong singles showing June 23 and came within 30 pins of a shot at becoming the first team since 1998 to win back-to-back Team All-Events titles at the USBC Open Championships.

Higgy’s Aquarium settled into second place in the 2017 standings with a 9,930 total, just shy of Team NABR of Fairport, New York, which leads with 9,957.

The last team to successfully defend a Team All-Events title at the Open Championships was Lodge Lanes of Belleville, Michigan, which won in 1997 and 1998.

Joe Bailey led the way this year for Higgy’s Aquarium with a 2,106 all-events total, which is fifth in Regular All-Events, and he was joined by Josh Conner (2,083), Dan Higgins (2,046), Chad Roberts (1,917) and Tony Carson (1,778).

The teammates averaged more than 238 during an amazing singles run at the Bowling Plaza.

Higgins led the surge with games of 236, 289 and 256 for a 781 total, which moved him into the top five in Regular Singles. Bailey added 748 and was followed by Roberts (746), Conner (703) and Carson (593).

Illinois bowler celebrates 50 years at USBC Open Championships

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

The 79-year-old (pictured above with his family), whose tournament career began at the 1967 event in Miami, was the 21st and final bowler to reach the five-decade mark this year at the South Point Bowling Plaza. He received a plaque, chevron and diamond lapel pin to commemorate the achievement.

This year, Gochis rolled sets of 459 in doubles, 446 in team and 410 in singles for a 1,315 all-events total. In 50 years on the tournament lanes, he has knocked down 84,616 pins for a career average of 188.

A look ahead

There’s only a few weeks left at the 2017 USBC Open Championships.

The event’s 149-day run at the South Point Bowling Plaza will conclude July 16. Competition began Feb. 18.

By tournament end, more than 10,000 teams will have hit the lanes at the Bowling Plaza.

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, Jugs Bowling Center, Sylvania, Ohio, 3,212. 9, Lodge Lanes Kids, Orlando, Fla., 3,207. 10, Kruse’s Pro Shop, Fargo, N.D., 3,198.

(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, George Gohagan III, Houston/Fero Williams, Hyattsville, Md., 1,390. 10, Charles Richey, Concord, N.C./Steve Arehart, Chesapeake, Va., 1,385.

(Averages of 210 and above)
1, Ron Jacobson, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., 804. 2(tie), Matt Gasn, Clarksville, Tenn., and Steve De Kerf Jr., Sheboygan Falls, Wis., 802. 4, Dan Higgins, Westerville, Ohio, 781. 5, Adam Barta, Girard, Ohio, 776. 6(tie), Austin Gratzer, University Place, Wash., and Patrick Girard, Quebec City, 773. 8, Curt Dupre IV, Metairie, La., 772. 9, Tommy Barnwell, Peoria Heights, Ill., 771. 10(tie), Sam Sylvester, Hugo, Minn., and Todd Lathrop, Colchester, Conn., 770.

(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, Joe Bailey, Doylestown, Ohio, 2,106. 6, Todd Lathrop, Colchester, Conn., 2,105. 7, Chris Gibbons, Madison, Wis., 2,102. 8, Mike Reasoner, Hazlet, N.J., 2,093. 9(tie), Stuart Williams, Phoenix, and Curt Dupre IV, Metairie, La., 2,090.

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, Higgy’s Aquarium, Westerville, Ohio, 9,930. 3, Rose Bowl Lanes, Rochester, N.Y., 9,867. 4, Turbo Grips 3, Chesterfield, Mich., 9,833. 5, Bowlers Connection 1, Carpentersville, Ill., 9,813. 6, Vanilla Salsa, Roseville, Calif., 9,743. 7, BowlU 1, Lockport, N.Y., 9,710. 8, BowlU 2, Blasdell, N.Y., 9,692. 9, Lodge Lanes Kids, Orlando, Fla., 9,668. 10, A&M Affiliates 1, Minneapolis, 9,646.

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(tie), Gary Burton, Xenia, Ohio, and James King, Edmonds, Wash., 673. 8, Earl Bowe, Bahamas, 667. 9(tie), Dan Contreras, Raytown, Mo., and Brennan Nett, Kiel, Wis., 665.

(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, Williams Labedz, Lansing, Ill., 1,817. 7, Chhaty Sar, Columbia, Mo., 1,813. 8, Timothy Hagar, Celina, Ohio, 1,809. 9, Steven Ireland, Selma, Ind., 1,805. 10, Mike Thielen, Eagle Grove, Iowa, 1,801.

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, Wilmer Arquillo, Newark, Calif./Hermen Rodriguez, Union City, Calif., 1,093. 8, Cari Wiest/Larry Wald, Wishek, N.D., 1,091. 9, Dalton Mortenson/Jessica Mortenson, Moorhead, Minn., 1,083. 10, Linda Dawyot, Visalia, Calif./Jim Dick, Fresno, Calif., 1,078.

(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, Megan Fernandes, Los Angeles, 600. 6, Gary Pettway, Sweetwater, Tenn., 598. 7, Melvin Reynolds, North Ridgeville, Ohio, 596. 8, Rory Hanlon, Las Vegas, 592. 9, Efrain Rodriguez, New York, N.Y., 590. 10(tie), James Lee, North Platte, Neb., and Katey Reed, Miles City, Mont., 589.

(Averages of 180 and below)
1, Nick Stenberg, Big Timber, Mont., 1,733. 2, Gary Pettway, Sweetwater, Tenn., 1,704. 3, Damon Helgevold, Osceola, Iowa, 1,696. 4, Matt Buchholz, Ellensburg, Wash., 1,693. 5, Cody Maier, Spring Creek, Nev., 1,686. 6, Josh Wall, Eastview, Ky., 1,678. 7, Susan Elliott, Warren, Mich., 1,664. 8, Phuoc Tran, West Covina, Calif., 1,661. 9, Robert Beaty, Houston, 1,658. 10, Alicia Graham, Bastrop, Texas, 1,651.

Herbert Bickel

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