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Bowling News USA - March 23, 2012 Andrew Kleutgen Uses Storm Frantic En Route To Singles Lead At USBC Open Championships

The USBC Open Championships are more than just a big team event.  As Andrew Kleutgen of Wild Rose, WI. can tell you, its three tournaments in one.  He shot a woeful 483 (187-121-175) in doubles and then fired off a 785 (219-276-290) to take the lead in singles, 12 pins more than prior leader Ryan Whitney.

USBC's Matt Cannizzaro and Emil Williams explained what happened during the live webcast Tuesday morning of Bill Lillard's minor events. Kleutgen, Cannizzaro said in an email, "had footing issues in doubles. Broke a heel off. Fouled a bunch of times. Fixed his heel, got his footing and made a ball change for singles. Teammates helped him shake if off and refocus."

That is an amazing amount of mental toughness from Andrew, who used a Storm FRANTIC in singles. Kleutgen, a powerful 22-year-old right hander, also had 541 (193-169-179) in team for 1,809 in all-events.

His Open Championships all-events totals the past three years were 1,987, 1,889 and 1,692, so a big score is no surprise. But the way he did it certainly is. According to the USBC, Kleutgen fouled twice and even fell on the lane at one point during doubles, before a new heel and "a pep talk from longtime friend and doubles partner, Mike Cole, helped him rebound" in singles.

“It’s unreal,” Kleutgen said in the release. “I had no idea I was bowling that good. It’s really great and just an awesome feeling. At first, I told myself the tournament was over, and I had wasted my money. But Mike told me to forget about it and get lined up for singles, so I pulled out another ball and got lined up. He really calmed me down.

“Doubles was rough. I was bowling well to begin the set, and then my heel fell off. I tried to put it back on, and it just wouldn’t stay. I fell twice, and I fouled twice. After that, I wasn’t comfortable at all. And, to top it all off, my thumb sleeve came out.

“I looked at (singles) as a whole new tournament. Once doubles was over, it was a new tournament. I made the switch to an older heel from another pair of shoes. I was able to put it past me and start fresh. I really had no idea I was close. I was actually a little upset with myself because I knew I could have shot 800. I just can’t describe the feeling right now. It’s great.”

Meanwhile, Storm 1 of Mandan, N.D. went into second in team on Monday with 3,227 (1,000-1,201-1,026). Travis Hersrud led with 667, Matt Smallin added 647, Dave Schick 642, Randy Peterson 639, and Eric Kempel 632.

For more information on the USBC Open Championships and to see how Kleutgen's score holds up, visit bowl.com.


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March, 2012