LAS VEGAS – The entertainment capital of the world is buzzing with excitement with bowling this weekend, and the main trio of events includes the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, Bowler’s Log Championships and USBC Masters.
All three tournaments provide competitive opportunities for bowlers of all ages and skill levels, as well as the ability to compete almost around the clock in a city where sleeping is traditionally optional.
At the USBC Open Championships, which kicked off less than a month into their 129-day run at South Point Bowling Plaza, William Young of Cortland, New York, posted the second perfect game of the event and the first in the team competition.
Just a few lanes away on Saturday afternoon, a surprising, but still dramatic, final streak saw the Parkway Bowl 1 team from Lakeside, Calif. climb to first place in the standard team standings with just two pins. with a total of 2,936.
At the Bowlers Journal Championships, taking place at the South Point Bowling Center, just steps from Bowling Plaza, Benjamin Sobel of Columbus, Ohio, and Nolan White of Franklin, Ohio, started the new day by taking the lead in the Open Doubles with a performance of 1,552.
Finally, across town at the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino, a field of more than 400 of the world’s best bowlers has been narrowed down to five finalists, who will compete for $100,000 on Sunday, live on FOX at 1 p.m. a.m. Eastern Time.
Young’s run through the record books came in his second game on Saturday, sandwiched between scores of 189 and 233 for a streak of 722. He helped Foster’s Plumbing 1 of Savannah, Tennessee to a 3-point total 111, which is just outside the top 20 in the regular team standings.
The 58-year-old right-hander is not new to pressure situations. In 2004, he bid for the pinnacle of bowling perfection – a 900 streak. He bowled 299, 299 and 300 sets for a career-best 898 set.
“It’s one of the best feelings ever,” Young said. “I had some good streaks, but it’s an accomplishment unlike anything I’ve done before. We have a great group and our target is always to shoot 3,000, which we still did this year. Just to have them there for me is fantastic.”
Before leaving the venue for the day, Young made sure to express his gratitude and pay tribute where it was due.
He personally thanked the Open Championships lane team for their hard work, and he paid tribute to his ball driller Dan Smith, who also works in one of the stands on site and predicted 300 weeks ago .
“Dan drills balls in Fulton, New York, when he’s not here, and he actually drilled this ball for me about two years ago,” Young said. “About two weeks ago he texted me which just said ‘300’. I texted back with a few question marks, and he replied ‘that’s my prediction for you, LOL’ He knows my game well enough to think that, and it came true. It’s just amazing.”
The top-300 of the 2022 Open Championships was double-rolled on March 25 by 73-year-old James Zaharis of Apalachin, New York, less than an hour from Cortland.
This year’s appearance at the championship lanes was Young’s 23rd career appearance and first since 2019, due to COVID-19 causing the 2020 tournament to be canceled and forcing many teams to miss the 2021 event.
In preparation for the 2020 edition in Reno, Nevada, Young and his teammates bought team jerseys he didn’t particularly like. He sat in his closet for two years, before making his South Point debut on Saturday. Now, maybe that’s his lucky shirt.
“Before the 2020 tournament, my captain, Merle Foster, sent me a picture of the jersey and told me that was what we were going to wear,” said Young, who plays at Ideal Bowling Center in Endicott, New York. “I said, ‘man, that’s an ugly shirt.’ Well, we didn’t go bowling that year, and we didn’t go bowling last year, so it’s been sitting in my cupboard until now. This is the first time I’ve wear it, and they’ll never let me hear the end of it.”
Young and his teammates will return to the lanes of South Point Bowling Plaza for doubles and singles Sunday at 1:30 p.m. EST.
The changing of the guard in the Standard team on Saturday was done with a little less fanfare, as the team members didn’t even realize they had taken the lead.
They said they thought they had played well, but they expected the top score to be a bit higher, when in fact their tally was the fifth best score in the Standard Division’s short history.
The division was added to the Open Championship landscape in 2017 and features teams with combined entry averages of 776-875.
Securing the lead came down to the last frame, with anchor Timothy Ursillo delivering a strike and a nine count to get just enough. He was working on a ninth-frame strike and needed to have the first in the 10th frame.
Parkway Bowl Team 1 finished with games of 921, 1,073 and 942, edging out Whitewater Cheated 3 of Appleton, Wis., which previously held the lead with 2,934.
Ryan Pastorino led the way to Parkway Bowl Team 1 with a streak of 624 and was followed by Kayla Ursillo (610), Timothy Ursillo (591), Matthew Green (557) and Jeffrey Green (554).
The group plays bowl league together in San Diego and has also shared open championship lanes for the past few years. That comfort and familiarity paid off on Saturday.
“It feels good to be in the lead,” Pastorino said. “We didn’t really realize that until the end, and maybe that was a good thing. It’s really exciting and a great way to start the event.”
Finally, White and Sobel tie all tournaments together.
Both were in Las Vegas to compete in the Masters but failed to qualify for the 64-man double-elimination match-play.
Making the most of their time in town, they took advantage of the new 12:30 team at the Bowlers Journal Championships and opened Saturday with big scores at the South Point Bowling Center.
Sobel, a 27-year-old right-hander, had sets of 257, 279 and 279 for a streak of 815, and White, a 25-year-old right-hander, added 235, 263 and 239 for a set of 737.
The two were catapulted to the top of the Open Doubles standings with a total of 1,552, the second-highest score since the event returned to a three-game format in 2013. In 2017, also at South Point Bowling Center, it took 1,601 to win. .
Sobel and White passed Matthew Anderson of Las Vegas and Ivan Miyasato of Clovis, Calif., who set the bar on day one of the 2022 tournament (March 11) with 1,527. Sobel’s effort Saturday morning also helped him to take second place in open singles behind Matt Zitnik of Mayfield Heights, Ohio, who leads with 822.
Earlier in the week, JT Cherpeski of Fairborn, Ohio pitched the second perfect game of the year en route to a 767 streak. He and White (656) had 1,423 in doubles.
White will now turn his attention to the Open Championships, where he will compete on Tuesday and Wednesday, and he will hit the lanes better prepared, as the Bowlers Journal Championships feature the same oil pattern used for doubles and singles at the Championships. open. .
Sobel opted out of all three tournaments in one trip, and will return to Las Vegas for his shot at the Open Championships later in the year. The competition will run every day until July 18.
For Las Vegas-area bowling fans, spectators are always welcome at the Open Championships and Bowlers Journal Championships, while seeing the conclusion of the Masters in person could provide a special treat for the area’s biggest bowling fans. .
Sunday’s championship round will feature USBC and Association of Professional Bowlers Hall of Famer Norm Duke of Clermont, Florida as the top seed.
He will be joined on the show by new Las Vegas resident Anthony Simonsen, No. 3 Brad Miller of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, No. 4 AJ Johnson of Oswego, Illinois and No. 5 Shawn Maldonado of Sugarland, Texas.
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