ARLINGTON, Texas - In the last few years, Brett Wolfe of Scottsdale, Ariz., has established himself as a dominant player at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships.
When the 35-year-old left-hander rolled a USBC Sport Bowling-record 886 series in the East Valley Open League at Brunswick Mesa Lanes in Mesa, Ariz., on Monday, the league was using the 2011 USBC Open Championships lane condition.
Wolfe rolled games of 298, 290 and 298 to top the previous record of 869, set by Mike Norris Jr. of Melvindale, Mich., in June 2010. The record is unofficial until the required paperwork has been filed and verified by USBC.
"It was just one of those nights where we were pretty loose and having a good time," said Wolfe, who won the USBC Masters as an amateur in 2002. "Everyone was really supportive and stuck around to watch and cheer me on, so it was a lot of fun."
Wolfe's league team includes new USBC President Andrew Cain and former Junior Team USA member Chris Klerk, who teamed up to win the Team All-Events title at the 2011 Open Championships at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.
The East Valley Open League has been bowling on the 2011 tournament pattern all season. It will transition to the 2012 lane condition after it is released on BowlTV as part of the 2012 Open Championships Kickoff Show. The live show from the Baton Rouge River Center in Baton Rouge, La., will air on youtube.com/BowlTV on Friday at 4 p.m. Eastern.
"This is my second year bowling in this league, which only uses the (Open Championships) patterns, and I have learned a lot about how to perform on this type of condition," Wolfe said. "It keeps you in that frame of mind all year long. You have to keep the ball in a very defined area and minimize mistakes, and having that week in and week out helps you stay focused when it's time to perform at Nationals."
When Wolfe hits the lanes in Baton Rouge on May 23, he'll do so as the tournament's three-year (238.33) and four-year (232.97) average leader. He finished seventh in Regular All-Events in 2009 and second in the same category in 2010 with scores of 2,147 and 2,245, respectively. He added a 300 to his resume in his first game of singles in 2011 on the way to a 2,043 all-events total.
Cain and Klerk will put their title on the line less than a week later as they compete on May 28-29.
Earlier this season, Wolfe established the Arizona state series record with a standard 886 set (286, 300, 300) at the 2011 Arizona State Open Championships at Phoenix's Brunswick Via Linda Lanes in June. The previous state record was 879 by John Vournas and Theo Douthit.
The Open Championships has been Sport-certified since 2008.