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Bowling News USA - April 20, 2011 Matt Weggen Rides the Anarchy™ to USBC Open Championships Lead...

RENO, Nev. - Matt Weggen of Muscatine, Iowa, struggled in past trips to the National Bowling Stadium, but he quickly made up for it at the 2011 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships when he accomplished something that no bowler in tournament history has ever done.

Weggen started his day by tossing games of 269, 258 and 279 for an 806 series in doubles. He continued that momentum in singles with games of 279, 290 and 257 for an 826 series and became the first USBC Open Championships bowler to toss back-to-back 800s on the tournament lanes. He added a 636 series in team for a career-best 2,268 all-events total.

Weggen used a Storm Anarchy for the back to back 800 series.

The 31-year-old right-hander's record performance helped him into the top spot in Regular Singles and Regular All-Events. The last person to win both events in one year was John Janawicz of Winter Haven, Fla., in 2004. Edward Rede of El Paso, Texas, previously held the lead singles lead with 814, while Ray Edwards of Middle Island, N.Y., led all-events with 2,258.

In three previous trips to the National Bowling Stadium, Weggen averaged 199.1, which included a 1,655 all-events total in 2007. This year, he notched 89 clean frames and averaged 252 on his way into the record books. Only a 4-6-7-10 split kept him from 90 clean frames, a record set by Jeff Richgels of Oregon, Wis., en route to the Regular All-Events title in 1997.

"It's just unbelievable," said Weggen, who made his 10th Open Championships appearance. "You set goals for yourself, but you never dream of doing anything like this. I average about 230 at home, and my goal is to always shoot 2,000 or better. I've shot 1,900 several times, but never 2,000, until today."

Weggen is just the third bowler to own two career 800 series on the tournament lanes, joining Matt McNiel of Chanhassen, Minn. (822 doubles, 2011; 806 singles, 2010) and John Socha of Oak Creek, Wis. (847 singles, 1997; 809 singles, 2002).

After his team event, Weggen knew he needed to change his game plan for doubles and singles and arrived at the Stadium early to get a glimpse of how the bowlers were playing the lanes he'd be bowling on.

"In team, I think I was a little too far out, and left a lot 10 pins and 7 pins," said Weggen, who bowls league at Plamor Lanes. "Today, I got here early and watched the squad in front of us and decided to start with my feet farther left. My timing felt good, and I caught a few good breaks. It's one thing to have a game plan, but to go out there and execute for six games without anything rattling you is the thing I'm most proud of."

When Weggen made the move from doubles to singles, he had to deal with the challenge of understanding a new pair of lanes. After a few shots, however, he picked up right where he left off.

"I told myself to not lose the feel," Weggen said. "Fortunately, I was the second bowler on the pair, and the first guy missed the headpin to the right. That got me thinking about immediately making a small move to the right and trusting it to get a good read. I wasn't necessarily worried about striking. I struck, but I could tell the 10 pin wanted to stand. Overall, I probably played that pair about five boards right with my feet but kept the same target. Fortunately, I started with a turkey and went on from there."

Already in exclusive company, Weggen is excited about the possibility of matching Janawicz's two-title performance at the Stadium in 2004.

"That's what we come here for," Weggen said. "This tournament, in my opinion, judges how you fit in against the rest of the scratch bowlers. To go out there and do that, even if I don't compare to this ever again, just knowing I can compete at that type of level and knowing I have a chance to win, is indescribable. I called my wife, and she was speechless. I thought she hung up on me. My dad actually watched on the webcams, which meant a lot to me. Regardless of what happens, I will be extremely happy."

Presenting sponsors for the 2011 USBC Open Championships are Circus Circus, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno. 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.

(courtesy: Roseman)

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April, 2011