Historic 2021 USBC Open Championships conclude in Las Vegas


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[Reprinted from USBC's bowl.com Web site]

LAS VEGAS - The 2021 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships will be remembered for a lot of things, including its historical significance and noteworthy performances.

The tournament was back in action after a pandemic-forced one-year hiatus, welcoming approximately 38,000 bowlers on more than 7,600 five-player teams to South Point for 79 days of competition from May 1-July 18. Redemption was a prevailing theme, both for the event itself and for some of the newest champions, and one of the sport's breakout stars turned in a near-record performance on the final day of competition.

The 2021 edition was the 117th running of the USBC Open Championships and marked the first time in history competition was split across two venues. All team bowling was held at the 60-lane South Point Bowling Plaza, while the doubles and singles action took place at the 64-lane South Point Bowling Center. All scores from the 2021 Open Championships are unofficial and pending verification.

Among this year's 32 expected champions is the red-hot Chris Via of Blacklick, Ohio, who bowled on the last team squad of the year July 17 and the final doubles and singles squad July 18. The 29-year-old two-hander became the third competitor in tournament history to surpass the 2,300 mark in all-events, and he missed the all-time mark by just 23 pins.

Via, who won the 2021 U.S. Open in April, kicked off his seventh Open Championships appearance with an 825 series in team. It was the first 800 in team competition this year and the second 800 overall. He added 710 in doubles and 768 in singles for a 2,303 total. Sean Rash of Montgomery, Illinois, previously held the lead in Regular All-Events this year with 2,264.

The first to break 2,300 was 2009 Regular All-Events winner Ron Vokes of Racine, Wisconsin, who shot 2,321. A year later, left-hander Matt McNiel of Minneapolis claimed the first of his four Eagles with a 2,326 performance.

In the team event, three bowlers who saw the winner's circle within reach in 2019 got redemption in the same venue where their Eagle hopes fell short. The cancellation of the 2020 Open Championships due to COVID-19 may have given North Carolina's Chris Hans, Brian Locke and Kyle Troup an extra year to ponder the what-ifs surrounding their sixth-place team finish in 2019, but they were able to turn their disappointment into motivation.

In that performance, Hans didn't deliver what he felt the team deserved, so he worked hard to make sure that didn't happen in 2021. Their return to the South Point Bowling Plaza on July 2 turned out much better, as the trio helped Before the 1st Frame 1 of Battleboro, North Carolina, to a 3,400 total and the Regular Team title on games of 1,063, 1,155 and 1,182.

Troup, an eight-time PBA Tour champion and a member of Team USA, led the 2021 surge with a 757 series and was followed by Dylan Macon (697), Hans (676), Locke (652) and Dennis Killough (618).

The Regular Doubles title this year will go to a pair of repeat winners, Chris Pierson of West Bend, Wisconsin, and David Labinski of Milwaukee, whose first victory together at the Open Championships came in Team All-Events in 2018.

The 2021 Regular Singles front-runner, Andrew Anderson of Holly, Michigan, had the longest wait of all the Regular Division leaders. The 26-year-old right-hander and seven-time Open Championships participant filled his final frame May 25 to lock up the first 800 series of the tournament, and then the long wait began to see if his 802 series was enough for his second win on the tournament lanes. He had games of 269, 277 and 256.

Anderson's first victory didn't come at the Open Championships, though. It was at the 2018 USBC Masters, which shared the Open Championships stage that year for the first time since 2011. Between wins, Anderson still managed to find the spotlight at The Big Show, rolling a perfect game in singles at the 2019 Open Championships. He's now one of 37 bowlers in tournament history with a 300 game and 800 series on the championship lanes.

In the Standard Division, which debuted at the South Point Bowling Plaza in 2017, it was a year for record performances, as new marks were reached in a handful of categories.

Proformance Team 2 of Clermont, Florida, moved into the lead in Standard Team on July 6 with a performance that included games of 950 and 1,026, before a then-record 1,110 finale helped the team to the highest total in four years of Standard competition (3,086). The effort was led by Billy Standridge, who finished with a 713 series on the strength of a 278 final game. He was joined by Charles Piker (687), Duane Podgorski (618), Sal Trevino (569) and Deanne Walsh (499).

The Standard Doubles standings are topped by William Matovina of Clearwater, Florida, and Christopher Davis of Winter Haven, Florida, with a 1,266 total.
Matovina, 46, led the effort June 6 with a 635 series, while Davis, also 46, added a 631 set.

Mark Wojtusiak, a 55-year-old right-hander from Chandler, Arizona, set the pace in Standard Singles with a 711 series June 15. He rolled games of 219, 216 and 276 for the best singles series of his 17 years at the Open Championships.

Charles Adler of Madison, Indiana, a 57-year-old right-hander, got out to a fast start and led the Standard All-Events race with sets of 729 in team, 678 in doubles and 628 in singles for a 2,035 total. It was the best of his five Open Championships appearances by nearly 300 pins.

The Standard Division includes bowlers with entering tournament averages of 156-175, doubles pairs with combined entering averages of 311-350 and teams with combined averages of 776-875.

During the run of the 2021 Open Championships, there were 20 perfect games, 12 299s and five 298s, while 25 additional bowlers rolled 11 consecutive strikes.

In 2022, the Open Championships will return to South Point, and all competition again will be held at the South Point Bowling Plaza. It will be the tournament's sixth trip to Las Vegas and fourth visit to South Point. It will be the third time in history the event has been held in the same host city in back-to-back years.


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2021 USBC OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS (Division leaders with hometown and pinfall)

(NOTE: All standings are unofficial and pending final verification)


Team (Combined averages of 876 and above)
1, Before the 1st Frame 1 (Chris Hans, Brian Locke, Dylan Macon, Dennis Killough, Kyle Troup), Battleboro, N.C., 3,400. 2, Bowlers Headquarters, Muskego, Wis., 3,368. 3, The Bowlers Shoppe 1, St. Louis, 3,352. 4, Bowlers Connection 1, Carpentersville, Ill., 3,348. 5, Ansara Restaurant Group 4, Clinton Township, Mich., 3,343. 6, K and J Finishing 1, Carpentersville, Ill., 3,321. 7, Nestle Crunch Bar, Las Vegas, 3,316. 8, They Say We're Built Different, Sanford, Mich., 3,301. 9, Turbo Grips 2, Chesterfield Township, Mich., 3,292. 10, Nicholas J's Pro Shop 2, La Crosse, Wis., 3,287.

Doubles (Combined averages of 351 and above)
1, Chris Pierson, West Bend, Wis./David Labinski, Milwaukee, 1,466. 2, Kevin Bienko, Kenmore, N.Y./Chad Mee, Hamburg, N.Y., 1,462. 3, Perry Crowell IV, Hoquiam, Wash./Jeffrey Mastny, Arlington, Neb., 1,453. 4, Gregory Young, Rockledge, Fla./Aaron Ruiz, Nashville, Tenn., 1,447. 5, Chad Svendsen, Monroe, Wis./Jonathan Schalow, Beloit, Wis., 1,436. 6, Brian Burkhardt, St. Louis/Rick Gatlin, Eureka, Mo., 1,431. 7, Alex Aguiar, Dartmouth, Mass./Michael Fagan, Minneapolis, 1,430. 8, Andrew Cain, Phoenix/Daniel Bock, Albert Lea, Minn., 1,426. 9, Mark Heninger, Lee's Summit, Mo./Jeff Campbell II, Amarillo, Texas, 1,419. 10, Christopher Wiley, Freeport, Ill./Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., 1,417.

Singles (Averages of 176 and above)
1, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 802. 2, Rick Schafer, Arvada, Colo., 799. 3, David Haynes, Las Vegas, 793. 4, David Reaume, St. Clair Shores, Mich., 791. 5, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 786. 6, Aaron Lorincz, Center Line, Mich., 785. 7, Robert Harmon, Jackson, Calif., 784. 8, Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 780. 9, Ronnie Sparks Jr., Redford, Mich., 779. 10, Justin Zwaschka, Kechi, Kan., 777.

All-Events (Averages of 176 and above)
1, Chris Via, Blacklick, Ohio, 2,303. 2, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 2,264. 3, Kevin Bienko, Kenmore, N.Y., 2,226. 4, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 2,203. 5, Michael Martell, Brooklyn, N.Y., 2,194. 6, Marvin Hale, Newbury Park, Calif., 2,181. 7, E.J. Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 2,179. 8, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 2,168. 9, Perry Crowell IV, Hoquiam, Wash., 2,166. 10, Todd Fenske, Wausau, Wis., 2,161.

Team All-Events (Combined all-events totals of all five team members)
1, Bowl U (Andrew Herbert, Joseph DiNardo, Ryan Reese, Kevin Bienko, Chad Mee), Kenmore, N.Y., 9,958. 2, K and J Finishing 1, Carpentersville, Ill., 9,927. 3, Crawford's Pro Shop, Redding, Calif., 9,897. 4, Bowlers Headquarters, Muskego, Wis., 9,887. 5, Care Bears, Melissa, Texas, 9,882. 6, They Say We're Built Different, Sanford, Mich., 9,834. 7, Striking Edge Pro Shop, Wausau, Wis., 9,831. 8, Mento Produce, Syracuse, N.Y., 9,802. 9, Bowers Bowling Tour Remix, Bel Aire, Kan., 9,775. 10, Nestle Crunch Bar, Las Vegas, 9,772.


Team (Combined averages of 776-875)
1, Proformance Team 2 (Deanne Walsh, Sal Trevino, Billy Standridge, Duane Podgorski, Charles Piker), Clermont, Fla., 3,086. 2(tie), Steve Calyore Team 2, Naples, Fla. and Him Bowling Events 7, Chula Vista, Calif., 2,994. 4, Tug N Tap 2, Lorain, Ohio, 2,957. 5, RXRET AZ, Tucson, Ariz., 2,927. 6, Maximum Effort, Clarksville, Tenn., 2,915. 7, Seven Pin Pro Shop 3, Omaha, Neb., 2,904. 8, Plaza Lanes, St. Charles, Mo., 2,900. 9, North End Pub, Crawfordsville, Ind., 2,878. 10, Fanatics 2, Sarasota, Fla., 2,876.

Doubles (Combined averages of 311-350)
1, William Matovina, Clearwater, Fla./Christopher Davis, Winter Haven, Fla., 1,266. 2, Scott Floyd Jr./Rick Carrigan Sr., Evanston, Wyo., 1,261. 3, Joseph Didion Sr., Greenwood, Ind./Brandon Didion, Indianapolis, 1,257. 4, Richard Mills, Palatine, Ill./Glenn Mills, Hoffman Estates, Ill., 1,240. 5, Richard La Crue, Morrison, Colo./Ernie Lloyd, Centennial, Colo., 1,229. 6, Richard Geiersbach/Bill Fish, Schaumburg, Ill., 1,227. 7(tie), Pare DeBoe, Huber Heights, Ohio/Tim Brown, New Carlisle, Ohio, Todd Montgomery, Woodland, Calif./Tina Bennett, Dunnigan, Calif., and Jeffrey Janssen, Duncan, Okla./Robert Dunaway, Decatur, Texas, 1,226. 10, Greg Clark/Samuel Clark, Maryville, Ill., 1,223.

Singles (Averages of 156-175)
1, Mark Wojtusiak, Chandler, Ariz., 711. 2, Chris Lytle, Kearney, Neb., 706. 3, Travis Hicks, Riverside, Calif., 703. 4, Tutor Caldwell, Stockton, Mo., 696. 5, Erich Synstegard, Cottage Grove, Minn., 693. 6(tie), Adam Whitesel, Lewiston, Pa., and Bob Evans, Olmsted Falls, Ohio, 692. 8(tie), Ryan O'Leary, St. Paul, Minn., and Justin Alves, Springfield, Mass., 690. 10, Kurt Brockman, Penn Yan, N.Y., 688.

All-Events (Averages of 156-175)
1, Charles Adler, Madison, Ind., 2,035. 2, Michael Hamilton, Davenport, Iowa, 1,942. 3, Tim Pounds, Shawnee, Kan., 1,924. 4, Chris Rodriguez, Kansas City, Kan., 1,922. 5, Erich Synstegard, Cottage Grove, Minn., 1,910. 6, Kerry Krizan, Fort Myers, Fla., 1,904. 7, Brent Oestreich, Conroe, Texas, 1,894. 8, Phillip Butzky, Michigan City, Ind., 1,884. 9, Rachel Schalow, Greenfield, Wis., 1,877. 10, Brian Trubiro, Las Vegas, 1,876.


Team (Combined averages of 775 and below)
1, Mile Hy Rollers (Albert Flis, Kevin Fullmer, Brian Stwalley, Norman Roderick, John Martinac), Denver, 2,702. 2, Bowling Friends, Ventura, Calif., 2,683. 3, Stars & Strikes 23, Conifer, Colo., 2,631. 4, High Five, Fort Lupton, Colo., 2,624. 5, The Rookies, Ogden, Utah, 2,593. 6, Depot, Alexandria, Minn., 2,589. 7, Zodiac Force Strikers, Sumter, S.C., 2,588. 8, Fred Hadd Team 1, Rapid City, S.D., 2,578. 9, Kulshan Brewery, Bellingham, Wash., 2,576. 10, Last Place, Idaho Falls, Idaho, 2,574.

Doubles (Combined averages of 310 and below)
1, Sonia Holguin/Thomas Holguin, Northlake, Texas, 1,211. 2, Ron Terry/Dustin Terry, Nevada, Mo., 1,160. 3, Daniel Thoele, Arlington, Minn./James Lang, Courtland, Minn., 1,145. 4, Sandra Pizzini/Jean Maxwell, Boerne, Texas, 1,131. 5, Johnny Anderson/Blaine Pierce, Richfield, Utah, 1,125. 6, Jeffery Holland, Hanford, Calif./Adam Hunter, Fresno, Calif., 1,110. 7, David Lane/Kelli Lane, Sparta, Mich., 1,109. 8, Lauren Hull/Jeffrey Hull, Akron, Ohio, 1,104. 9(tie), Kent Traphagen, Laughlin, Nev./Tom Boronkas, Bullhead City, Ariz., and Glenda Andrews/Erik Hamilton, Chicago, 1,100.

Singles (Averages of 155 and below)
1, Barry Mortimeyer, Roseville, Calif., 674. 2, Ryan Goeringer, Highland, Utah, 636. 3, Howard Sharp, Maytown, Pa., 635. 4, Ron Hawkins, Washougal, Wash., 619. 5, Tim Pierzchalski, Burlington, Conn., 615. 6, Isaac Ortolani, Clinton, Utah, 613. 7, Michael Martinez, Cicero, Ill., 610. 8(tie), David Niles, Florence, Ariz., and Matthew Larson, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 607. 10, Elodous Chan, Diamond Bar, Calif., 606.

All-Events (Averages of 155 and below)
1, Michael Martinez, Cicero, Ill., 1,800. 2, Austin Eastman, Sioux Falls, S.D., 1,758. 3, Bryce Libtow, Waterford, Mich., 1,735. 4, Clifton Grant, Jackson, Miss., 1,730. 5, Lindsey Anderson, Mabank, Texas, 1,721. 6, Robert Pentheny, Conyers, Ga., 1,720. 7, Ardie Moreland, Vallejo, Calif., 1,716. 8, Dennis Albani, El Mirage, Ariz., 1,710. 9, Chris Turner, Ottawa, Kan., 1,701. 10, Tim Pierzchalski, Burlington, Conn., 1,700.