RENO, Nev. - After missing the 2010 USBC Open Championships because of work obligations, Richard Jenkins of Las Vegas made his return to the tournament lanes a memorable one with a perfect game at the National Bowling Stadium on Thursday.
The 32-year-old right-hander struggled in team and doubles, but made a move and a ball change early in singles that helped him string together 15 consecutive strikes, which included the record-setting 33rd 300 of the 2011 Open Championships. The effort came between games of 193 and 225 for a 718 singles series. Matt Weggen of Muscatine, Iowa, leads Regular Singles with 826.
In six previous visits to the Stadium, the most 300s in a single year was 32 in 2010. Overall, 176 of the 732 perfect games in tournament history have come at the 78-lane bowling Mecca.
"It's the clich‚ of all clich‚s, but you just can't believe something like this, even after it's done," said Jenkins, who made his fifth Open Championships appearance. "I made a move in singles and told myself to stay committed. I just tried to shut my mind off and let it happen. This is unbelievable."
Jenkins struggled on his home turf at the 2009 Open Championships in Las Vegas, but he continues to work hard on both his physical game and his understanding of the intricacies of the sport. He actually paid his money and had every intention of competing in the 2010 tournament, but his job fixing video games in the Las Vegas area made that impossible.
"This year, everything worked out how I planned, and I was able to make it," said Jenkins, who rolled two other 300 games this season and sharpens his skills at The Orleans Bowling Center. "They don't even have a word to describe how this feels, but incredible is the closest I can come up with. This is one of the things you always dream of doing at this tournament and in this venue. It's like hitting a small jackpot."
Jenkins added 569 in doubles and 556 in team for a 1,843 all-events total.
Click here to watch video highlights from the 2011 Open Championships.
Presenting sponsors for the 2011 USBC Open Championships are Circus Circus, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno. Other sponsors include Sands Regency Casino Hotel, official brackets sponsor, Kegel, official lane maintenance provider, Humana, official registration sponsor, US Steltronic, official scoring system, and supporting sponsors Storm Bowling Products, UPS, Nationwide Insurance, Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa, Harrah's Reno Casino and Hotel and Peppermill Hotel Casino.