Georgia bowler shoots 10th perfect game of 2019 USBC Open Championships

By Matt Cannizzaro and Daniel Farish
USBC Communications

LAS VEGAS - A large crowd gathered behind lanes 49 and 50 at the South Point Bowling Plaza on Tuesday morning, and while the fans initially might've come to see three Professional Women's Bowling Association standouts take their shots at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, it was Jason Vantroost of Oakwood, Georgia, who got them to stay.

Vantroost stole the spotlight when he began stringing strikes during his first game of singles, and he didn't stop until he'd finished off the 10th perfect game of this year's USBC Open Championships.

After being away from the sport for a decade, the 36-year-old right-hander first competed at the Open Championships during the 2018 event in Syracuse, New York, and he never expected to find success so soon after returning to the lanes, or in such star-studded company.

"I started looking at 300 after about the eighth frame, and that's when the nerves kicked in," Vantroost said. "I just kept telling myself to breathe, and I knew if I stayed slow, I would make the shot I needed to make."

Following the excitement of the 300, Vantroost shot just 183 in his second game of singles Tuesday, before getting lined up and striking in eight of the next nine frames on the way to a 255 finish and 738 series. Mitch Beasley of Clarksville, Tennessee, leads Regular Singles this year with 812.

Vantroost competed in the 2019 Open Championships as a member of the 44-team group put together by Captain's Club member Arman Prescott Jr. of Conifer, Colorado, which also included PWBA members Sandra Andersson, Verity Crawley, Daria Pajak, Diana Zavjalova and Tannya Roumimper.

His doubles partner Tuesday was Pajak, a 26-year-old right-hander from Poland, who owns one PWBA Tour title and also made her second visit to the Open Championships.

Despite bowling on the 7 a.m. squad, there was quite a crowd formed behind their lanes, thanks to the popularity the PWBA has gained since its revival in 2015. The crowd then grew, thanks to Vantroost's performance.

"I enjoy bowling with big names and really good bowlers, but to get to bowl on the same pair as Verity and Diana, and to bowl doubles with Daria, was just awesome," Vantroost said. "I knew I needed to calm down after bowling so poorly in doubles, so I made a ball change and just focused on making good shots."

He rolled a 537 series in doubles, while Pajak added a 684 set to give the duo a 1,221 total. He added a 506 series in team for a 1,781 all-events total.

While Vantroost may have been disappointed with his overall performance, he also understands the importance of his accomplishment.

"This was absolutely wild," said Vantroost, who bowls regularly at Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment Center in Buford, Georgia. "I'm disappointed I didn't throw it well all nine games, but this is a memory I will always have. I'll never forget this."

Zavjalova, a first-time participant, led the PWBA contingent this year at the Open Championships with a 1,940 all-events total and was followed by Crawley (1,889), Pajak (1,824), Andersson (1,792) and Roumimper (1,736).

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