Illinois bowler rolls seventh 300 of 2016 USBC Open

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By Matt Cannizzaro and Jessica Gilgor
USBC Communications

RENO, Nev. -
Jesse Buss of Belvidere, Illinois, is familiar with being in the spotlight, having been a member of the Wichita State bowling team that won the 2008 Intercollegiate Team Championships, and he made headlines on his own Saturday as he rolled the seventh perfect game of the 2016 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships.

The 300 came in the second game of his singles event at the National Bowling Stadium and was the result of a ball change following a 199 start. Buss finished his set with a 237 game for a 736 series. Robert J. Bures of Painesville, Ohio, leads Regular Singles with 815.

"It was a toss-up of using one ball over another," said Buss, a 31-year-old right-hander. "The fill ball my last game of doubles looked good, but it didn't carry during singles. So, I switched back to the ball I used for most of doubles, and it looked even better."

As the strikes started coming together, Buss found himself relying on his teammates, including former Wichita State teammate, Team USA member and 2013 Regular All-Events champion, John Szczerbinski of Tonawanda, New York, to keep him calm.

"The first nine were pretty easy going," said Buss, who made his 10th USBC Open Championships appearance. "My teammates and I were just continuing the normal chit-chat, making jokes and not making a big deal of what was happening."

Buss even found some friendly and beneficial competition during his run as teammate Charles Zelaya of Los Angeles opened the same game with five strikes.

"You use the other people around you, your teammates, to feed off of and push each other forward to see who can take it the longest," Buss said.

Buss and his High Five Gear teammates entered doubles and singles Saturday looking to make a run for the lead in Team All-Events after posting a 3,117 team score Friday night, but they added pressure after a disappointing overall doubles performance.

"We have a solid team that has been close multiple times, with multiple top-10 finishes in different events," said Buss, who owns three PBA Regional titles. "After doubles, we realized we had nothing to lose, and the mindset became more relaxed because it's now just you. Your doubles partner and teammates are no longer relying on you."

While Buss and his teammates may not be heading home with a chance at an eagle, it doesn't change their goal for future Open Championships.

"This is one of the tournaments everyone looks forward to competing in each year," Buss said. "It doesn't change my mindset. It's just one of those things that is really cool, knowing I'll be recognized every year."

Buss added a 668 in team and a 561 in doubles for a 1,965 all-events total at the NBS.

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