Iowa bowler leads two events at 2019 USBC Open Championships

By Matt Cannizzaro and Makinzey Marracco
USBC Communications

Bowlers at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships strive to see their names ahead of the rest on the leaderboards.

It's a tall task to outdistance tens of thousands of fellow competitors, and success can sneak up before the bowlers realize they're on the brink of taking the lead.

That happened to Larry Meyers of Renwick, Iowa, on Wednesday as he made his tournament debut even more memorable by taking the lead in Classified Singles and Classified All-Events at the 2019 event.

The 66-year-old right-hander shot 212, 210 and 190 at the South Point Bowling Plaza for a personal-best 612 series. He needed a mark in his final frame to secure the top spot, and he delivered a strike on his first offering to get there.

He added 565 in doubles and 530 in team for a 1,707 for all-events total.

Paul Westerhold of La Habra, California, previously held the lead in Classified Singles with 606, while Wesley Straight of Cooperstown, North Dakota, topped the Classified All-Events standings with 1,673.

Straight's time at the top was short-lived, however, as he took the lead just minutes before Meyers finished his final game.

While he has bowled in many other tournaments in the past, Meyers decided to switch things up this year by participating in the USBC Open Championships, and his New Cooperative teammates helped make the experience enjoyable.

"It was nice, and it has been a lot of fun," Meyers said.

Meyers and his wife, who accompanied him to Las Vegas, will head home Thursday after celebrating his success.

StraightWesley2019OCForWeb250x140Straight, a 33-year-old right-hander, made his second Open Championships appearance overall, and first since 2008. His performance included sets of 603 in team, 547 in doubles and 523 in singles.

Straight's teammates were thrilled with his success, and they were chanting his name throughout the Bowling Plaza as the rest of the squad was finishing up.

"The lanes are more difficult at home," Straight said. "But I think that helped me to be more prepared for this tournament."

Though sometimes unexpected, success is sweet, and the two bowlers will return home after accomplishing something not many can say they achieved at the Open Championships.

Meyers now must wait to see if his scores will be enough to hold on for a coveted Eagle trophy or two. His performance came just five days into this year's 122-day event, which will conclude July 8.

The Classified Division is for bowlers with entering averages of 155 and below.

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