New leaders in three Regular Division events at USBC Open Championships


    United States

    Four bowlers reach milestones at the 112th Championships; Colorado's Erick Villagomez fifth to roll 300 game at El Paso Convention Center; doubles champions won't repeat in 2015

    2015USBCOCMattMcNiel.jpgIt was a high-scoring week at the 2015 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, with new leaders emerging in Regular All-Events, Regular Doubles and Regular Singles.

    Three-time USBC Open Championships titlist Matt McNiel (pictured right) of Prior Lake, Minnesota, put himself in position to claim his third Regular All-Events title since 2010.

    The 29-year-old left-hander rolled sets of 765 in singles, 734 in doubles and 727 in team for a 2,226 all-events total (247.33 average) at the El Paso Convention Center. Rob Gotchall of Clarksville, Tennessee, previously held the lead with 2,181.

    2015USBCOCMarkSleeperAnthonySimonsen.jpgAlong with all-events wins in 2010 and 2012, McNiel claimed the 2012 Regular Doubles title with Charles Vashaw of Deephaven, Minnesota. McNiel is the only bowler in tournament history with three 800 series on the championship lanes (806 in 2010, 822 in 2011 and 847 in 2012) and one of 28 competitors with multiple 300s.

    Mark Sleeper Jr. of Kaufman, Texas, and two-hander Anthony Simonsen of Princeton, Texas (left, l-r), took over the top spot in Regular Doubles with a 1,409 total (234.83 average) on April 29. McNiel and Vashaw made a run, too, but settled into second place with 1,403.

    2015USBCOCRonnieSparks.jpgJeremy Sonnenfeld, a 2001 Team All-Events champion, and Tom Woodworth of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, previously held the lead with 1,372.

    On May 2, former Team USA member Ronnie Sparks Jr. (right) of Redford, Michigan, took the lead in Regular Singles with a 793 series.

    The 27-year-old right-hander threw 29 strikes on the way to games of 278, 246 and 269, including a clutch 10th-frame strike that locked up the top spot. Scott Endersbe of Waite Park, Minnesota, previously held the lead with 785.


    Four bowlers reach milestones at 2015 USBC Open Championships

    2015USBCOCClintonZavakos.jpgClinton Zavakos (left) of Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, celebrated his 61st USBC Open Championships appearance by toppling his 100,000th pin on the tournament lanes May 2, while three others joined the 50-Year Club.

    Zavakos, a 78-year-old right-hander, entered the 2015 tournament at the El Paso Convention Center needing just 941 pins to reach the plateau, and he got there with a nine-count in his final frame of doubles.

    2015USBCOCFranEighme.jpgHe finished his 2015 tournament campaign with 527 in singles, 502 in team and 460 in doubles for a 1,489 all-events total. He increased his career pinfall to 100,548 for a career average of 185.1.

    Fran Eighme (right) of Waterloo, Iowa, and Terry Brenneman of Dover, Pennsylvania, joined the event's 50-Year Club on May 3, and George Fisher of Des Moines, Iowa, added his name to the 50-year list May 5.

    2015USBCOCTerryBrenneman.jpgEighme, a 70-year-old right-hander, got to share the experience with his son, Rich, who made his 30th tournament appearance. Eighme finished with 522 in singles, 521 in doubles and 517 in team for a 1,560 all-events total and increased his career pinfall to 86,935.

    Brenneman (left), 68, shot 582 in doubles, 487 in singles and 480 in team for a 1,549 all-events total. In 50 appearances, Brenneman has knocked down 80,584 pins.

    Fisher hit the lanes for the 5 p.m. team squad May 5, and a recap of his performance will be posted at the conclusion of his 2015 tournament campaign.


    Colorado's Erick Villagomez fifth to roll 300 game at El Paso Convention Center

    2015USBCOCErickVillagomez.jpgErick Villagomez (pictured) of Denver tossed the fifth perfect game of the 2015 USBC Open Championships at the El Paso Convention Center on May 3.

    The 25-year-old right-hander had the 12 strikes in his final game of doubles after games of 214 and 192 for a 706 series. He teamed with Al Taylor of El Paso, who added a 482 series for a 1,188 total.

    Villagomez added sets of 654 in team and 619 in singles for a 1,979 all-events total, falling just shy of eclipsing the 2,000-plateau for the second consecutive year. He has averaged more than 222 at the event over past two years, including a career-best 2,033 total at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada, in 2014.


    Doubles champions won't repeat in 2015

    2015USBCOCClarkandCarlPoelzer.jpgDefending Regular Doubles champions Clark and Carl Poelzer (l-r) of Arden Hills, Minnesota, will not repeat in 2015 after posting a 1,170 total at the El Paso Convention Center on April 29. Clark, 63, led the way with a 586 series, while 31-year-old Carl contributed a 584.

    On the way to the top of the doubles standings at the 2014 USBC Open Championships at National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada, Carl posted a 761 series and Clark added 704 to their 1,465 winning-total.


    A look ahead

    Four bowlers will enter the 50-Year Club this week at the USBC Open Championships. Ernie Beltz of Georgetown, Texas, will be the first to arrive at the El Paso Convention Center, and he'll make his 50th march down Center Aisle on May 8.

    Fred Gordon of Cumberland Foreside, Maine, and Charles Tredway Sr. of Chester, New Jersey, will share the spotlight May 10 as they celebrate their 50th appearances during the same squad, while Skip Hintz of Cape Coral, Florida, adds his name to the list May 12.


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    2015 USBC Open Championships - Regular Division

    Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall

    1, Team NABR (Adam Barta, Scott Pohl, Brian Waliczek, Mike Rose Jr., Rob Gotchall), West Henrietta, N.Y., 3,368. 2, Junior Team USA Support 1, Las Vegas, 3,359. 3, Linds Lakers 1, Brooklyn Park, Minn., 3,297. 4, Fran's Pro Shop-Maple Lanes, Waterloo, Iowa, 3,236. 5, Hashtag Team Dole, Cleveland, 3,231. 6, Bowling With Leverage Pro Shop, Peoria, Ariz., 3,211. 7, Calumet College of St. Joseph, Whiting, Ind., 3,195. 8, Cambridge 2, O'Fallon, Ill., 3,184. 9, Coach K Scholarship, Pleasant View, Utah, 3,178. 10, Train Wreck, Castle Rock, Colo., 3,172.

    1, Anthony Simonsen, Princeton, Texas/Mark Sleeper Jr., Kaufman, Texas, 1,409. 2, Matt McNiel, Prior Lake, Minn./Charles Vashaw, Deephaven, Minn., 1,403. 3, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J./Brian O'Mara, Rochester, N.Y., 1,376. 4, Tom Woodworth/Jeremy Sonnenfeld, Sioux Falls, S.D., 1,372. 5, James Hansen, Anchorage, Alaska/Ron Mohr, North Las Vegas, 1,370. 6, Phil Karwoski Jr./Phil Karwoski Sr., Lake Worth, Fla., 1,357. 7(tie), Rich Abboud, Omaha, Neb./Jeff Nimke, Oshkosh, Wis., and Tony Manna, Papillion, Neb./Dave Axon, Bellevue, Neb., 1,352. 9, Michael McCormick, Brookston, Ind./Steve Hartman, West Lafayette, Ind., 1,338. 10(tie), Ray Huffman, III, Glenford, Ohio/Robert Murgatroyd, Zanesville, Ohio, and Dan Langer, Owatonna, Minn./Sam Sylvester, Hugo, Minn., 1,337.

    1, Ronnie Sparks Jr., Redford, Mich., 793. 2, Scott Endersbe, Waite Park, Minn., 785. 3, Chad Oachs, Mankato, Minn., 772. 4, Matthew Tuckfield, Orlando, Fla., 771. 5, Jason Tom, Mechanicsburg, Ohio, 770. 6, Matt McNiel, Prior Lake, Minn., 765. 7, Darrell Guertin, Shrewsbury, Mass., 762. 8, Ron Nelson Jr., Bridgeview, Ill., 761. 9, Charlie Brown Jr., Grandville, Mich., 759. 10, Dave Beres, Greenfield, Wis., 754.

    1, Matt McNiel, Prior Lake, Minn., 2,226. 2, Rob Gotchall, Clarksville, Tenn., 2,181. 3, Chad Maas, Waukesha, Wis., 2,152. 4, Ronnie Sparks Jr., Redford, Mich., 2,118. 5, Ron Nelson Jr., Bridgeview, Ill., 2,100. 6, Erik Vermilyea, Las Vegas, 2,083. 7, Steve Hartman, West Lafayette, Ind., 2,074. 8(tie), Matt Smallin, Glenburn, N.D., and Jason Tom, Mechanicsburg, Ohio, 2,062. 10, Shannon Buchan, Waterloo, Iowa, 2,061.

    Team All-Events
    1, Junior Team USA Support 1 (Matthew Tuckfield, Anthony LaCaze, Steve Novak, Jeffrey Mersch, Erik Vermilyea), Las Vegas, 10,064. 2, Team NABR, West Henrietta, N.Y., 9,886. 3, Train Wreck, Castle Rock, Colo., 9,749. 4, Motion Plus, Greenfield, Wis., 9,669. 5, Linds Lakers 1, Brooklyn Park, Minn., 9,614. 6, S.B.I., Oregon, Wis., 9,584. 7, Cambridge 1, O'Fallon, Ill., 9,500. 8, S&B Pro Shop 1, Clinton Township, Mich., 9,437. 9, ND Storm, Mandan, N.D., 9,393. 10, Crankers Aren't Us, Aurora, Colo., 9,382.


    2015 USBC Open Championships - Classified Division

    Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall

    1, Scotty's 3 (Brady Erdmann, Jed Lye, Marshall Lagred, Tyler Grabow, Alan Iverson), Alexandria, Minn., 2,676. 2, Scotty's 4, Alexandria, Minn., 2,646. 3, Rails Bar and Grill, Eagle Grove, Iowa, 2,597. 4, T-Rays, Jamestown, N.D., 2,533. 5, Lani Ohana, Kaneohe, Hawaii, 2,532. 6, Lake Country Rollers 2, Clarissa, Minn., 2,530. 7, Scotty's 1, Alexandria, Minn., 2,527. 8, Minnesota Select Sires 1, Fergus Falls, Minn., 2,526. 9, Kirkmeyer Electric, Hobbs, N.M., 2,509. 10, Stri King 1, Hannaford, N.D., 2,506.

    1, Mike Heck, Browns Valley, Minn./Darin Ziemer, Fargo, N.D., 1,161. 2, Donald Holtz, Hutchinson, Minn./Gary Holtz, Litchfield, Minn., 1,153. 3, Ryan Burmester/David Burmester, Hampton, Iowa, 1,126. 4, Courtney Johnston/Eric Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 1,116. 5, Bruce Huikko, South Haven Minn./Leslie Huikko, Buffalo, Minn., 1,115. 6, Sterling Minke Jr., Columbus, Ohio/Sterling Minke Sr., Englewood, Fla., 1,111. 7, Cecilia Lung/Joseph Lung, Monterey Park, Calif., 1,106. 8, Michael Thielen/Darrell Pedersen, Eagle Grove, Iowa, 1,105. 9, Sharon Nelson, Mesa, Ariz./Missy Price, Harrisburg, S.D., 1,100. 10(tie), Bill King/Mark Bylander, Vergas, Minn., Jerome Elliott/Phyllis Elliott, Garner, N.C., and Alan Miller, Eunice, N.M./Hugo Naegele, Hobbs, N.M., 1,097.

    1, Marshal Lagred, Starbuck, Minn., 636. 2, Jim Conkle, Pentwater, Mich., 628. 3, Donald Holtz, Hutchinson, Minn., 620. 4(tie), Michael Thielen, Eagle Grove, Iowa and Jack Berrier, Bascom, Ohio, 610. 6, Billy Dedek, Amarillo, Texas, 605. 7, Jere Goff, Ormond Beach, Fla., 603. 8, Mark Bearman, Webster, S.D., 601. 9, Steven Gentzler, East Berlin, Pa., 600. 10, Roger Thomas, Lewistown, Mont., 594.

    1, Marshal Lagred, Starbuck, Minn., 1,734. 2, Michael Thielen, Eagle Grove, Iowa, 1,712. 3, Darrell Pedersen, Eagle Grove, Iowa, 1,689. 4, Shea Branch, Dallas, 1,687. 5, Randy Miskovic, Lansing, Ill., 1,669. 6, Donald Holtz, Hutchinson, Minn., 1,663. 7, Joseph Whittaker, Provo, Utah, 1,660. 8, Bryan Herald, Chapman, Neb., 1,659. 9, Nathan Erickson, Melrose, Mont., 1,657. 10, Dale Huling, Las Vegas, 1,647.