U.S. Open (bowling)

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The U.S. Open is one of the four major tournaments in the Professional Bowlers Association. Despite its status as a PBA Tour major, the tournament is open to amateurs as well as PBA members. The U.S. Open is considered one of the most difficult tournaments to bowl in today, due to its long format (56 games from opening qualifying through the match play rounds) and demanding oil pattern, which differs from most oil patterns the PBA employs.[1]

Tournament history[edit]

With the exception of 1997 and 2014, the U.S. Open has been held in some form every year since 1942.

The first modern-day U.S. Open tournament in the PBA took place in 1971 and was won by Mike Limongello. Prior to 1971, this event was known as the BPAA All-Star. BPAA All-Star winners in the PBA era (1959–1970) were initially not credited with PBA titles for their victories. A rule change in 2008, however, retroactively awarded titles to the winners if they were PBA members at the time of their victories. With five wins, Pete Weber holds the most U.S. Open trophies of all time, one more than his father, Dick Weber, and Don Carter.[2]

The 1987 U.S. Open, sponsored by Seagram Wine Coolers, offered a then-record total purse of $500,000, and was the first PBA tournament to award a $100,000 winner's share.

Unable to find viable sponsorship, the U.S. Open was canceled for 2014, amid speculation that the tournament may not return at all.[3] However, the USBC and BPAA later reached a three-year agreement that brought the tournament back for 2015, 2016 and 2017.[4] The USBC and BPAA secured Bowlmor AMF, the largest operator of bowling centers in the world, as the title sponsor for 2015.[5] The 2015 tournament took place November 2–8 in Garland, Texas. The 2017 U.S. Open will be held in Liverpool, New York.[6]

Current defending champion[edit]

The 2016 U.S. Open was held at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, Nevada, with qualifying on November 4–8 and the live televised finals on November 9. François Lavoie, a Canadian native who bowled collegiately at Wichita State University, won from the #2 seed position, defeating Marshall Kent in the final match to win his first PBA Tour title and first major championship. Lavoie rolled a perfect 300 game in his semifinal match against Shawn Maldonado. It was the 26th televised 300 game in a PBA Tour event, and the first to be rolled in the finals of the U.S. Open.[7]

2016 Event[edit]

A five-player stepladder finals format was used.

  Match #1     Match #2     Match #3     Title match
                                     
    1 Marshall Kent 194
      2 François Lavoie 300     2 François Lavoie 228
      3 Anthony Simonsen 217     4 Shawn Maldonado 211  
  4 Shawn Maldonado 190     4 Shawn Maldonado 238  
  5 John Szczerbinski 188  
  • Prize Pool:
1. François Lavoie, Canada – $30,000+
2. Marshall Kent, USA – $15,000
3. Shawn Maldonado, USA – $12,000
4. Anthony Simonsen, USA – $10,000
5. John Szczerbinski, USA – $8,000

+ Lavoie earned a $10,000 bonus for his 300 game in the semifinal match.

Past champions[edit]

U.S. Open champions[edit]

Year Winner Runner-up Championship match score
1971 Mike Limongello Teata Semiz 194–186
1972 Don Johnson George Pappas 233–224
1973 Mike McGrath Earl Anthony 234–222
1974 Larry Laub Dave Davis 258–237
1975 Steve Neff Paul Colwell 279–217
1976 Paul Moser Jim Frazier 226–195
1977 Johnny Petraglia Bill Spigner 279–232
1978 Nelson Burton Jr. Jeff Mattingly 204–201
1979 Joe Berardi Earl Anthony 232–195
1980 Steve Martin Earl Anthony 248–222
1981 Marshall Holman Mark Roth 200–179
1982 Dave Husted Gil Sliker 255–180
1983 Gary Dickinson Steve Neff 214–202
1984 Mark Roth Guppy Troup 244–237
1985 Marshall Holman Wayne Webb 233–205
1986 Steve Cook Frank Ellenburg 245–211
1987 Del Ballard Jr. Pete Weber 247–209
1988 Pete Weber Marshall Holman 203–171
1989 Mike Aulby Jim Pencak 195–178
1990 Ron Palombi Jr. Amleto Monacelli 269–205
1991 Pete Weber Mark Thayer 289–184
1992 Robert Lawrence Scott Devers 226–221
1993 Del Ballard Jr. Walter Ray Williams Jr. 237–193
1994 Justin Hromek Parker Bohn III 267–230
1995 Dave Husted Paul Koehler 266–245
1996 Dave Husted George Brooks 216–214
1997 Not held
1998 Walter Ray Williams Jr. Tim Criss 221–189
1999 Bob Learn, Jr. Jason Couch 231–215
2000 Robert Smith Norm Duke 202–201
2001–02 Mika Koivuniemi Patrick Healey, Jr. 247–182
2002–03 Walter Ray Williams Jr. Michael Haugen Jr. 236–198
2003–04 Pete Weber Brian Voss 231–178
2004–05 Chris Barnes Patrick Allen 213–212
2005–06 Tommy Jones Ryan Shafer 237–223
2006–07 Pete Weber Wes Malott 210–204
2007–08 Norm Duke Mika Koivuniemi 224–216
2008–09 Mike Scroggins Norm Duke 191–173
2009–10 Bill O'Neill Mike Scroggins 267–207
2010–11 Norm Duke Mika Koivuniemi 225–216
2011–12 Pete Weber Mike Fagan 215–214
2012–13 Wes Malott Jason Belmonte 214–156
2014 Not held
2015 Ryan Ciminelli Dominic Barrett 236–223
2016 François Lavoie Marshall Kent 228–194

BPAA All-Star champions[edit]

  • 1942 – John Crimmons
  • 1943 – Connie Schwoegler
  • 1944 – Ned Day
  • 1945 – Buddy Bomar
  • 1946 – Joe Wilman
  • 1947 – Andy Varipapa
  • 1948 – Andy Varipapa
  • 1949 – Connie Schwoegler
  • 1950 – Junie McMahon
  • 1951 – Dick Hoover
  • 1952 – Junie McMahon
  • 1953 – Don Carter
  • 1954 – Don Carter
  • 1955 – Steve Nagy
  • 1956 – Bill Lilliard
  • 1957 – Don Carter
  • 1958 – Don Carter
  • 1959 – Billy Welu
  • 1960 – Harry Smith
  • 1961 – Bill Tucker
  • 1962 – Dick Weber
  • 1963 – Dick Weber
  • 1964 – Bob Strampe, Sr.
  • 1965 – Dick Weber
  • 1966 – Dick Weber
  • 1967 – Les Schissler
  • 1968 - Jim Stefanich
  • 1969 – Billy Hardwick
  • 1970 – Bobby Cooper

U.S. Open oil pattern[edit]

The U.S. Open featured what PBA.com describes as "the toughest lane oil design in all of bowling." The pattern is considered "flat," meaning equal amounts of oil are applied to every lane board.[2] (A typical lane condition allows more oil in the middle section of lane boards, and lesser amounts on the outer boards.)

Many claim the oil pattern was responsible for the lack of left-handed winners in this tournament, because there isn't enough ball traffic on the left side to create a "track area."[8] When Mike Scroggins won the 2009 event in North Brunswick, New Jersey, he became the first left-hander in 20 years (Mike Aulby, 1989) to earn a U.S. Open title. Aulby's win was on an oil pattern where oil was applied more heavily on the outer boards (that is, those closest to the gutters), to the point where the outer parts of the lanes were effectively unplayable. In all, left-handers accounted for six victories (McGrath [1973], Moser [1976], Petraglia [1977], Cook [1986], Aulby [1989], and Scroggins [2009]) and nine runner-up finishes (Anthony [1973, 1979, 1980], Davis [1974], Devers [1992], Bohn [1994], Couch [1999], Allen [2005], Scroggins [2010]) at the U.S. Open since 1971. It was also the only major title that left-hander and 43-time titleist Earl Anthony never won in his career, though he did finish runner-up three times.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "65th Denny's U.S. Open". PBA.com. Retrieved January 12, 2014. 
  2. ^ Vint, Bill. "Pete Weber Wins Record Fifth U.S. Open to Surpass Father Dick Weber and Don Carter." Article at www.pba.com on February 26, 2012. [1]
  3. ^ Richgels, Jeff (May 3, 2014). "BPAA cancels U.S. Opens for 2015". 
  4. ^ Wiseman, Lucas (May 9, 2014). "USBC, BPAA reach agreement to bring back U.S. Open". Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Bowlmor AMF becomes title sponsor for 2015 Bowling's U.S. Opens". bowlingdigital.com. December 12, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Central New York Bowling: Syracuse to host three upcoming national events". March 2, 2017. Retrieved March 2, 2017. 
  7. ^ Schneider, Jerry (November 9, 2016). "Canada’s Francois Lavoie Rolls Historic 300 on Way to 2016 U.S. Open Win". pba.com. Retrieved November 10, 2016. 
  8. ^ Pedersen, Randy. Transcript of 4/5/2009 U.S. Open broadcast on ESPN.

External links[edit]