RENO, Nev. - Brandon Brilinski of Flint, Mich., took advantage of the new format at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships and catapulted into the Regular All-Events lead with a 2,103 total Tuesday.
The 30-year-old right-hander worked with his teammates to break down the USBC Sport Bowling lane conditions at the National Bowling Stadium, and their strategy helped him to sets of 739 in singles, 717 in doubles and 647 in team.
"I think I threw the ball really well, and it helps that we broke the lanes down a little better this year," said Brilinski, who is fourth in Regular Singles. "Everyone stuck with the plan. We all had burn balls we threw around 5-7 in practice, which created some bank for us. We made sure not to jump in too soon, and we followed it in slowly."
The changes at the USBC Open Championships this year include fresh oil for every squad and two different lane conditions - one for team and another for doubles and singles. Also new in 2013, doubles and singles are bowled on the same pair of lanes, now with six bowlers, compared to four in the past.
"Bowling all six games on the same pair is much better," Brilinski said. "You are able to create your own shot and control your own destiny."
Brilinski helped Aframe Awards 3 of Grand Blanc, Mich., to a 3,104 total and 10th place in Regular Team on Monday, but he struggled at times with his reaction on the 41-foot team oil pattern.
The doubles and singles pattern being two feet shorter made all the difference for Brilinski, who got at least nine pins on all but five shots Tuesday and marked in 59 of 60 frames.
"I had a good look on the longer pattern but didn't have as much room as I did today," said Brilinski, who made his fifth Open Championships appearance. "I was close in team, but I left a couple of 2-8-10s. I knew I'd have a better reaction on the shorter pattern, and I got away with some shots that might've been trouble on the team pattern."
Prior to heading to Reno, Brilinski studied the lane conditions he'd be facing and worked with his pro shop operator to build an arsenal that would help him succeed at the NBS this year.
Then, he relied on his own knowledge and experience to make key changes based on the reactions he was seeing. This included a ball change when his carry started to go away in the third game of doubles, and instinctively switching back to the original ball in his singles finale, which helped him to six strikes in the first seven frames and all but locked up the top spot on the leaderboard.
"It feels pretty good to be in the lead," said Brilinski, whose best all-events effort before Tuesday was 1,840 in 2012. "We studied the pattern and broke it down properly, and I was able to match up really well. Shooting 2,100 has always been a goal of mine, and I'm excited about that, but at the same time, I also feel like I left a lot out there."
Presenting sponsors for the 2013 USBC Open Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno.