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Bowling News USA - May 23, 2011 Turbo 2-N-1 Grips Take Over Team Event Lead in Reno

(Pictured: Marc McDowell. Steve Richter, Jeff Richgels, Gail Myers Jr., Mike Shady)

This summer, Storm staffer Jeff Richgels of Oregon, Wis., will be enshrined in the USBC Hall of Fame, and now he's in position to add one more accolade to his resume after leading his team into the Regular Team lead at the USBC Open Championships on Friday night.

Turbo 2-N-1 Grips 1 needed a huge finish to grab the top spot and did so in dramatic fashion with a 1,281 finale, the highest team game in 108 years of Open Championships competition. The record score was preceded by games of 1,067 and 1,125 for a 3,473 total, the highest team score in seven visits to the National Bowling Stadium. Brian Brazeau Pro Shop of Ocala, Fla., previously held the lead with 3,439.

"This would be the most meaningful title for me," said Richgels, who already owns four titles in his 30-year Open Championships career. "I won the Resident Pro, and I've won two gold medals and four eagles, but this would be the most meaningful eagle I've won. Team is the most meaningful title you can win here."

Richgels used a Storm Virtual Gravity Nano™.

Richgels and his teammates took home the Team All-Events crown at the 2005 event in Baton Rouge, La., and have left the tournament with the lead more than once since, but have been unable to find the way back to the winner's circle.

Each defeat, including a second-place Team All-Events finish in 2009, just motivates them to work harder. It also helps that they have more than 100 years of Open Championships experience to turn to when it's time to make a shot under pressure.

"I will go to war with these four guys against anybody in their prime," Richgels said. "Gail Myers Jr. and Mike Shady are the most clutch guys I know. We're a team. No matter what happens, we never get down on each other. We always keep working together. We've always had this pressure that we need to win, and one time, we did win. Since then, we've been so relaxed. Tonight, is what team bowling is about. I just hope it holds on."

Shady, who has posted an all-events score of 1,900 or better in all 15 of his appearances on the tournament lanes, led the way for Turbo 2-N-1 Grips 1 on Friday with games of 247, 247 and 278 for a 772 series. He was followed by Myers (741), Richgels (685), Marc McDowell (655) and Steve Richter (620). Richgels and Richter also teamed to win the Regular Doubles title in 2005.

Richgels attributes much of his group's success to its companion team, Turbo 2-N-1 Grips 2. All 10 bowlers enter the event with team strategy in mind and work together for three games as the lanes transition. This year, Turbo 2-N-1 Grips 2 posted games of 1,007, 1,055 and 1,044 for a 3,106 total.

Dan Goepfert paced the team with a 657 series and was followed by Bret Faulkner (642), Thomas Howery (623), Michael Walters (603) and John Wittkowske (581). Howery's participation in the team event was a game-time decision. He spent most of the day nursing an injured back, and a substitute was on-hand in the event that he could not compete.

"You need 10 guys to win this tournament," Richgels said. "You've got to have all 10 guys out there working together. That's why I cared so much about Tommy. We're all 10 for one and one for 10. That's why I wanted to make sure they were covered tonight. It truly is a team effort, and we needed everyone."

The highest team game at the Open Championships before Friday was 1,266, rolled by Dunham Sporting Goods of Franklin, Wis., at the 2000 event in Albuquerque, N.M. That team included Myers and Shady.

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