By Kevin Albarez
In the coming months, we'll talk with some of the best-known bowlers at the USBC Open Championships and get their thoughts on their time at the tournament and what it takes to succeed on the championship lanes.
This week, we heard from John Martorella Sr., a four-time Open Championships participant, who became the 19th person to roll a 900 series on April 12, 2012. It was the 20th of 21 USBC-approved 900s.
Martorella's family has owned Domm's Bowling Center in Rochester, N.Y., since 1971, and he co-manages the 16-lane establishment with his father, Joe, a Rochester Bowling Association Hall of Famer, and his brother, Frank. The 28-year-old right-hander has enjoyed many successes on the lanes and owns 15 300s to go along with six sets of 800 or higher.
His career-best at the Open Championships was last year in Reno, Nev., with sets of 704 in singles, 655 in doubles and 642 in team for a 2,001 all-events total. His father won a Regular Team title at the 1971 event in Detroit.
Martorella recently tried to again find some magic as he hit the lanes at the Baton Rouge River Center for the 2012 Open Championships on May 2-3.
This year, he shot 621 in singles, 596 in singles and 596 in team for a 1,813 all-events total. In four Open Championships appearances, he has maintained a career average of 203.8.
HOMETOWN: Rochester, N.Y.
OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS APPEARANCES: 4
OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS TITLES: 0
BOWLING BALL WEIGHT: 16 lbs.
FAVORITE BRAND OF BOWLING BALLS: Hammer
ONE all-time favorite host city: Las Vegas
TWO best Open Championships memories: 1. shooting a 2,001 all-events total in 2011; 2. walking down Center Aisle for the first time in Las Vegas in 2009
THREE keys to success at the Open Championships: 1. practice; 2. make good shots; 3. keep your head on right!
FOURgettable Open Championships moment: Being so nervous during the first few frames for the past four years.
FIVE bowlers in history on your Open Championships fantasy all-star team: Pete Weber, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Mika Koivuniemi, Dougie Fresh (Doug Kent), Ryan Kretchmer
SIX bowling balls currently in your Open Championships arsenal: Hammer Black Widow Venom, Roto Grip Cell, MoRich Insane Leverage, Ebonite Boom, Columbia 300 Ti Messenger.
SEVEN cities you'd like to see the Open Championships go to/return to: Las Vegas; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Orlando, Fla.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Miami; Daytona Beach, Fla.; Tampa, Fla.
EIGHT favorite bowling balls ever: Hammer Black Widow Pearl, Blue Hammer, Brunswick Rhino, Brunswick Zone, AMF Whiplash, Hammer Black Widow Venom, Roto Grip Cell, MoRich Insane Leverage
NINE other current/eligible bowlers you would choose to join you on your ideal pair of companion teams at the Open Championships: I wouldn't mind bowling with anyone. It's mostly about having fun out there and not always about winning. Eventually, I would like to come out here with my son, Johnny Jr.
TEN seconds or less, who is your favorite bowler of all-time?: Danny Wiseman
ELEVEN strikes in a row to start a game at the Open Championships, what's going through your head?: Stay focused, keep my eyes glued to the target and stay loose.
TWELVE years from now, where do you hope to be in your bowling career?: I hope to still be bowling league with my friends and be able to still travel western New York to compete in tournaments.