WORTH THE WAIT: Winners Announced As USBC Open and Women’s Championships Conclude
THEY SAY waiting is the hard part, and for many competitors in the recently concluded 2011 USBC Open and Women’s Championships the payoff was worth the wait.
With the 122-day Open Championships and 88-day Women’s Championships runs completed, champions in more than two dozen divisions were announced, including former Professional Women’s Bowling Association stars Michelle Feldman and Aleta Sill, Team USA member Shannon O’Keefe and recently inducted USBC Hall of Famer Jeff Richgels.
For some, like double-champion Matt Weggen and members of the Paradise Lanes of Walden, Colo., squad, the declaration of winners couldn’t have come soon enough. “You can probably tell how hard the wait was by how many times the [BOWL.com] website was hit,” said Shane Hartman of Open Championships Classified Division team champs Paradise Lanes, who, along with Glen Hurt, Toby Sanchez, Matt Landis and Nick Cornelison, posted 2,910 at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno at the end of March. “All five of us were on the site every day checking the scores. The last month was really difficult.”
The same interminable wait befell Weggen of Muscatine, Iowa, who became the first bowler in Open Championships history to roll back-to-back 800 series in early April. The nearly three-month wait, however, had a happy ending as Weggen’s 826 was good enough for the Regular Singles crown, and his 2,268 total (806 in doubles and 636 in teams) earned him the Regular All-Events title. With the twin eagles, the 31-year-old Weggen became the first bowler since 2004 (John Janawicz) to claim both titles in the same year. “I tried to tell myself not to worry about it,” said Weggen. “But as it got close, I probably checked [the website] more than I should have.”
Meanwhile, Richgels’ Hall of Fame bio will need a quick adjustment after he earned his fifth title in record-setting fashion. Richgels and his Turbo 2-N-1 Grips (Madison, Wis.) teammates rolled the highest team game in tournament history (1,281) en route to a 3,473 total in the Regular Team division. Richgels shared the team trophy with Mike Shady, Gail Meyers Jr., Marc McDowell and Steve Richter.
At the Women’s Championships held in Syracuse, N.Y., Feldman, of nearby Auburn, N.Y., teamed with USBC Hall of Famer Sill to add the Scratch Doubles title to her already impressive list of USBC crowns. Having already collected a pair of Classic Singles titles, a Classic Team crown and a Classic All-Events title, Feldman completed a grand slam of sorts by scoring 1,462 to earn the doubles championship with Sill.
The women’s Scratch All-Events crown was won by former PWBA champion Dede Davidson, who became the first woman in the tournament’s history to roll a 300 game and an 800 series. The 44-year-old rolled 800 in team, 746 in doubles (bolstered by her perfect game) and 653 in singles for a 2,199 all-events total.
And while former PWBA bowlers performed well in Syracuse, current Team USA stars earned a pair of titles as well. O’Keefe’s 766 series led the Shootin’ Nines of Indianapolis, who captured the Scratch Team championship with a 3,305 total. She was joined in the winner’s circle by teammates Brenda Mack, Keli Callahan, Amanda Beck and Jenifer Larson.
Team USA teammate Shannon Pluhowsky of Kettering, Ohio, rolled a 763 series to capture the Scratch Singles crown. “It’s really kind of surprising that for all the people who bowled in this event, I won singles,” said the 28-year-old, who also has a Women’s Championship team title to her credit.
The 2012 Open Championships will be held in Baton Rouge, La., while the 2012 Women’s Championships will be held at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev. Registration already is underway for both tournaments.
Permission granted by USBC/Luby Publishing