Tim Janz rolls first 300 of 2016 Open Championships

By Matt Cannizzaro and Jessica Gilgor
USBC Communications

RENO, Nev. -
Tim Janz of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and his teammates didn't quite get out to the start they were hoping for at the 2016 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, but things got progressively better and ended on a high note as Janz rolled the first perfect game of this year's event.

The 36-year-old right-hander also made a run at the top spot in Regular Singles on Friday before settling into fourth place with a 770 series on games of 253, 300 and 217. Robert J. Bures of Painesville, Ohio, leads with 815, the only other honor score of the 2016 tournament at the National Bowling Stadium.

Janz's perfect performance came on the 42nd day of the tournament and marked the latest date for the first 300 since the 1985 tournament in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when none of more than 40,000 bowlers were able to achieve the feat.

"I knew a few people had been close to 300, but I had no idea I was the first," said Janz, who made his 18th USBC Open Championships appearance. "Everybody was trying to keep me calm and not get too fast or too slow with my shots, even though a couple did. I was disappointed in the 10th frame with a couple of the shots, but I was happy with the final results. I've never felt that kind of relief in my life like after the last ball. It is still unbelievable."

Some ineffective equipment and strategic choices for Janz's Home Improvement in the first game of team left the group with a 778 opener and well off the pace they experienced at the National Bowling Stadium in 2014. That year, they claimed the Team All-Events title and a 10th-place finish in Regular Team.

Then, things clicked for the group Thursday, and the pins started to fall, leading to games of 1,058 and 1,052 for a 2,888 final tally.

In the second game of team, Andy Bunkoske rolled nine consecutive strikes on the way to a 266 game. Earlier Friday, 2014 Regular All-Events runner-up Tim Damerow of Waupun, Wisconsin, also made a run at perfection, stringing eight strikes in his second game of doubles before finishing with 265.

As Janz followed their lead, he realized he was feeling pressure he never did during the Team All-Events run in 2014. While they were there to help keep him focused, he was alone at the same time.

"The 300 was harder because it was the singles portion of it," said Janz, who bowls league at Beaver Dam's Tower Lanes. "With the Team All-Events, it was something we all had to contribute to, and it wasn't as much pressure on one person."

Even after the 300, Janz's solo time in the spotlight wasn't over, until his chance at the second 800 series of the year ended with a nine-count in the eighth frame of his final game. Overall, though, he was satisfied he was able to bounce back from disappointing start to his 2016 Open Championships campaign.

He finished the 2016 event with a 1,962 all-events total, which included 633 in doubles and 559 in team. Bures leads Regular All-Events with 2,122.
"In the year we won the Team All-Events, it was the same kind of thing - I didn't bowl well in team," Janz said. "I told myself it was the same thing that happened last time and should just stick with it and make good shots, and, hopefully, everything would fall my way. And, it did."

On the way to the title in 2014, Janz contributed a 2,026 all-events total, and he was joined by Damerow (2,228), Bunkoske (2,075), Joe Janz (2,030) and Randy Hupf (2,004) for a 10,363 total, still the fourth-highest in tournament history.

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