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Bowling News USA - April 14, 2011 2011 USBC Open Championships Update

Three teams battled for the Regular Team lead at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships on April 9, and the showdown produced the two highest team scores rolled in seven visits to the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.

Brian Brazeau Pro Shop of Ocala, Fla., claimed the top spot with a 3,439 effort, followed closely by Cambridge 1 of Feeding Hills, Mass., with 3,410. The third contender, Pam's Boys 1 of Salem, Ore., settled into fourth place with 3,371. Janz H I of Beaver Dam, Wis., previously held the lead with 3,407.

Prior to Saturday night, the highest team score at the 16-year-old Stadium was 3,408, rolled by Bowlers Edge Pro Shop of Neenah, Wis. on the way to the Regular Team title in 2010. Lava Lanes of Medford, Ore., posted the only other 3,400 in Stadium history with a 3,405 title-winning effort in 2007.

Brian Brazeau Pro Shop had games of 1,149, 1,150 and 1,140. Jace Peterson paced the team with a 747 series and was followed by 2008 Regular Doubles champion Dennis Rakauskas (731), Rich Abboud (688), three-time Open Championships winner John Socha (665) and team captain Brian Brazeau (608).

Cambridge 1 posted games of 1,067, 1,130 and 1,213 and was led by Bill Webb, who rolled a 748 series. He was followed by Team USA member Shannon O'Keefe (692), Ron Nelson Jr. (673), Team USA assistant coach Bryan O'Keefe (653) and Chris Viale (644).

Pam's Boys 1 of Salem, Ore., made its run at the lead with games of 1,098, 1,191 and 1,082. The effort included Don Woolard (746), Richard Goosmann (697), PBA Senior Tour champion Kevin Croucher (679), Garret Bell (640) and Rick Satter (609).

The last time more than one team in the same year broke the 3,400 mark was 2009, when three teams accomplished the feat. That year, eventual winner Linds Limited of Milwaukee (right; 3,449) and runner-up Sack Toe of Sacramento, Calif. (3,427), bowled on the same team squad just 10 lanes apart.

Coming up short motivates Massachusetts team

After falling just short of the Regular Team lead, Cambridge 1 of Feeding Hills, Mass. , stepped up in doubles and singles to claim the top spot in Team All-Events on April 10. With a 10,023 total, Cambridge 1 passed DAPP Embroidery of Grand Prairie, Texas, which set the bar high early with a 9,911 effort on March 6.

More than 9,000 viewers tuned in to see Shannon and Bryan O'Keefe bowl doubles and singles live on as they helped Cambridge 1 into the Team All-Events lead.

"Last night was unbelievable," said Shannon O'Keefe, who made her third Open Championships appearance. "We did a great job of breaking the lanes down as a team, and as the games went on, it felt like we were bowling league, which is always fun. It got better and better as we went along. This is incredible. Our team squad was really strong, and we were happy to pull off 3,400. Since we didn't take the lead last night, our goal was to come out and get Team All-Events."

Team All-Events includes the combined all-events totals of all five team members. Bill Webb led the way for Cambridge 1 with a 2,097 all-events total and was followed by Bryan O'Keefe (2,033), Chris Viale (1,975), Ron Nelson Jr. (1,972) and Shannon O'Keefe (1,952).

Brian Brazeau Pro Shop also made a run in Team All-Events on Sunday, but a disappointing singles event left the group in fourth place with 9,749.

A look ahead

There are two exciting live stream broadcasts scheduled from the USBC Open Championships this week.

First will be the bowlers of S&B Pro Shop 1 of Clinton Township, Mich., on April 14. While the team rosters have been shuffled over the years, and one team will be bowling on each team squad, the talented group always is in the title hunt.

The featured team will include Fred Bauss, Joe Krajenke, Joe Jozwik, Jason Lewis and Jay Lang. Bauss and Krajenke teamed up to win Regular Team in 2004, while Lang was a Regular Team champion in 1997 and a Team All-Events winner in 1999.

The week's second broadcast will be defending Regular All-Events champion Matt McNiel, who will put his title on the line April 17-18. His doubles and singles competition will be shown live on at 8:30 p.m. Eastern on April 18. The 25-year-old left-hander took home the 2010 all-events crown with a record score of 2,326.

Also this week, five bowlers will add their names to the record books as they compete in the Open Championships for the 50th time.

Erwin Wenzlaff will become the 135th member of the 50-Year Club on April 13 and will be followed by Gene Kirkham (April 14), Mike Schmid (April 17), Bob Martin (April 18) and Mel Brydl (April 19).

Presenting sponsors for the 2011 USBC Open Championships are Circus Circus, Eldorado Hotel Casino and Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno, Nev. Other sponsors include Sands Regency Casino Hotel, official brackets sponsor, Kegel, official lane maintenance provider, Humana, official registration sponsor, US Steltronic, official scoring system, and supporting sponsors Storm Bowling Products, UPS, Nationwide Insurance, Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa, Harrah's Reno Casino and Hotel and Peppermill Hotel Casino.


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April, 2011