Houston bowler finds perfection at 2014 USBC Open

RENO, Nev. - Steven Miller of Houston made several ball changes before matching up perfectly at the 2014 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships.

The 30-year-old right-hander got stronger as his team event at the National Bowling Stadium progressed and rolled games of 174 and 216 before connecting on his final 12 deliveries for a 300 game and 690 series. It was the 31st perfect game of this year's event.

Miller tried two different bowling balls before settling on the only 16-pound ball he brought with him to The Biggest Little City in the World. His efforts Saturday helped Miller's Brew to a 2,178 total in the Classified Team event. Scotty's 1 of Alexandria, Minn., leads with 2,843.

"The first game, I tried out a new ball," said Miller, who made his ninth USBC Open Championships appearance. "In the second game, I switched to something I was more comfortable with, and about midway through that game I switched to the ball I used the rest of the way. I felt really comfortable with it, and it's the only 16 pound ball I use."

As the NBS grew quiet in his final frame, Miller did his best to focus on the task at hand.

"I actually did not pay attention to the crowd behind us," said Miller, who bowls regularly at Houston's Emerald Bowl. "I got up there and threw each ball like it was the first ball of the day. I was very nervous on the last ball, and felt like I tugged it."

The final shot held line for Miller and sent all 10 pins back. The first person to greet him after the 300 was in the books was his mother, Sally Miller.

"It means a lot that she got to see it," Miller said. "It's the first 300 she has seen me throw. My dad had seen all of them, but he passed away about five years ago. He definitely was looking down on me today. Having my mom here tops it off."

Miller now has earned his spot in the tournament's record books and looks forward to hearing his name announced when the tournament visits El Paso, Texas, next year for the first time in 112 years of Open Championships history.

"I always liked hearing people getting announced for their years of bowling and hoped to one day become one of those bowlers who gets announced for 30 or 40 years," Miller said. "Now that I'll be recognized for this, it puts a big smile on my face. It's a great feeling."

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Presenting sponsors for the 2014 USBC Open Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno.