Patient Iowa bowler shoots 300 at 2016 USBC Open Championships

By Matt Cannizzaro and Christian Seaborn
USBC Communications

RENO, Nev. -
When Andy Shutt of Waukee, Iowa, made his United States Bowling Congress Open Championships debut in 2002, he had no idea what to expect, but seven years in a dual role as a competitor and an employee at one of the on-site pro shops quickly got him up to speed.

The 34-year-old right-hander had a chance to see and hear first-hand about some of the tournament's most memorable moments, including a record 64 perfect games at that 2002 event in Billings, Montana, and he was there to see a few of his co-workers and friends find success on the championship lanes along the way, too.

At the National Bowling Stadium on Saturday, it was Shutt's time to shine, and he added his name to the USBC Open Championships record book with the fifth perfect game of the 2016 event.

The flawless effort came in his first game of singles and was followed by 225 and 198 for a 723 series, which is just inside the top 50 this year. Robert J. Bures of Painesville, Ohio, leads Regular Singles with 815, the only 800 of the 2016 event.

"When I attended my first tournament, I really didn't know what to expect from the whole experience, but working in the booth helped me learn a great deal about the tournament and the sport of bowling," said Shutt, who now has competed in 15 consecutive events. "I got to see a lot of big scores over the years, and I hoped one day it would be my turn. I just didn't know this would be the year."

Along with experience and knowledge, Shutt's time in the Brunswick booth also helped grow lasting friendships, and he considers two of his former booth mates integral parts of his success at the NBS this weekend.

"Jason Guest and I are partners in a pro shop, Bowlers Connection in Des Moines, Iowa, which we launched in 2006, and Jason Poli has been my doubles partner forever," Shutt said. "They are the two most important people in my bowling life and certainly factors in this achievement."

Guest provided a blueprint for success with a 300 of his own at the 2009 tournament in Las Vegas, which came a year after their booth co-worker, Jay Futrell, claimed Regular Team and Regular All-Events titles in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

At the time, the booth was operated by Doug Heim of Niagara Falls, New York, a regular face at the event for a long time, who set the bar in 1983 with a Regular Team title in his hometown.

It wasn't until late in his run Saturday that Shutt started to feel the magnitude of the situation, but a break in the 10th frame and the magic of his lucky shirt, provided by another former booth co-worker, Scott Wohlwend, helped him seal the deal.

"I wasn't nervous until the seventh and eighth frames, and then I needed a little bit of luck in getting the 4 pin out on the second shot in 10th," said Shutt, who bowls regularly at Bowlerama Lanes in Des Moines. "The last ball was perfect, and this feels absolutely incredible."

Shutt added 609 in doubles and 587 in team for a 1,919 all-events total, and he and Poli finished with 1,208 in doubles this year.

Shutt also credited the rest of his dedicated team in is performance, and that group includes Bryan Bowers, Dustin Kimmes and Michael Klimpel.

Klimpel, who shot 300 at the 2010 Open Championships, also at the NBS, made his own run Saturday at the lead in Regular Singles, posting games of 256, 258 and 267 for a 781 total, which is third overall. The effort helped him bounce back from a slow start, and he finished with a 1,877 all-events total, including 562 in team and 534 in doubles.

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