Kloempken, Haynes take doubles lead at 2018 USBC Open Championships

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A strong doubles set at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships often includes a little give and take as both players look to find, and maintain, the right line.

USBC Hall of Famer Steve Kloempken of Pleasant View, Utah, provided the early fireworks Sunday in his doubles set with former Team USA member David Haynes of Las Vegas, while Haynes finished strong to push the pair to the top of the standings in Regular Doubles with a 1,453 total.

Kloempken, a two-time titlist at the USBC Open Championships and also a past member of Team USA, kickstarted the effort with the first perfect game of this year's 107-day event at the Oncenter Convention Center. The tournament began March 24.

The 47-year-old right-hander added games of 206 and 201 for a 707 series, and Haynes did the heavy lifting late in the set, following a 220 start with games of 268 and 258 for a 746 series. South Africa's Francois Louw and Hong Kong's Michael Mak previously held the top spot with 1,437.

Haynes and Kloempken were able to quickly match up and manage their moves in a similar fashion Sunday.

"The cool part about that set was that Steve and I had a pretty similar look," said Haynes, who made his 23rd Open Championships appearance. "We were able to talk through things and adjust pretty fast, because we were doing a lot of the same things. We made it through nearly the entire doubles set with nothing more than making ball changes for small differences as the lanes transitioned."

040818SteveKloempken_637Kloempken, a Team All-Events champion in 1993 and Regular All-Events winner in 2003, admitted his fast start was a bit of a surprise, but a bowling ball suggestion from his wife, Marcia, helped him create a special moment they'll remember each and every year. It also happened to be their wedding anniversary.

"It's pretty rare to shoot 300 in this arena, but to do it in Game 1 is definitely unexpected," said Kloempken, who made his 30th Open Championships appearance. "No matter what set it is, you have the nerves going, and you're just trying to make good shots and get lined up. I was fortunate to get comfortable and confident, and I was able to catch a few hits, too. Marcia is the best tour rep I know, and today is our 12th anniversary, so it really makes this moment extra special."

As past members of Team USA, Haynes and Kloempken will not be able to compete as doubles partners at the 2019 Open Championships in Las Vegas, so they hoped to make a run at the top of the standings this week in Syracuse. Now, they will have to wait until July 8 to see if their score is enough.

"We both knew there was a point tonight when we could win this," said Haynes, a 10-time Team USA member who helped the men's program to a gold medal in team at the 2006 World Bowling Championships, ending a 35-year title drought. "We still ended up with a great score, but not as much as we wanted, so we'll have to see what happens. We've bowled together for a long time, so we wanted to go out and try to put up as big of a number as we could. Winning an Eagle is one of my greatest goals, and I know how important this tournament is to Steve, so this would be huge."

Haynes and Kloempken finished their 2018 event by also helping Coach K Scholarship of Pleasant View into the top five of the Regular Team and Team All-Events standings.

CoachKScholarshipThe team, which includes 1981 co-Regular Doubles champion Ted Hannahs, Alex Hoskins and Ralph Solan, moved into fifth place in Regular Team on Saturday with a 3,139 total, and the group took over third place in Team All-Events on Sunday with 9,633.

S & B Pro Shop 1 of Warren, Michigan, leads both events with 3,322 and 9,708, respectively.

Hoskins, who finished third at the 2017 USBC Masters, led Coach K Scholarship with a 2,053 all-events total, which is fourth in Regular All-Events. Solan added 1,974 to the effort and was followed by Haynes (1,958), Kloempken (1,885) and Hannahs (1,763).

Kurt Pilon of Warren, Michigan, leads Regular All-Events with 2,186.

The Open Championships now will take a break to let the USBC Masters take over the 48-lane facility inside the Oncenter Convention Center, starting with the official practice sessions Monday.

The 2018 Masters will conclude Sunday with a live broadcast on ESPN at 1 p.m. Eastern, and competition at the Open Championships will resume Monday, April 16.