2020 OC Bracket Challenge - Record Moments

BOWL.com Article Image
Welcome to the opening-round of the 2020 OC Bracket Challenge!

To read more about the Challenge, click HERE.

We're kicking things off with a look at our "Record Moments" quadrant, where we'll revisit some incredible OC performances.

We've got details for each match, along with some insight and picks from the OC public relations staff and some special guests.

Remember to visit the official USBC Open Championships Facebook page Facebook.com/USBCOpenChamp) each day to cast your votes for each match!

Artistic Expressions 1's 3,720 vs. Turbo Grips shooting 1,318 (both records, both in 2014)

- Artistic Expressions 1 of Oklahoma City rolled games of 1,255, 1,188 and 1,277 at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada, to blow by the previous leader and record of 3,561. The record performance included Ted Pritts (768), Pete Thomas (758), Xeno Garcia (752), Jimmy McMartin (736) and Anthony Lavery-Spahr (706).

The three highest team scores in tournament history - 3,720, 3,561 and 3,551 all were rolled at the NBS in 2014.

- Team Turbo Grips of Fort Wayne, Indiana, turned in a 1,318 team game, also at the NBS in 2014, that included Terry Rohrer (298), George Palumbo (268), Kent Wagner (266), JR Raymond (258) and Zeke Bayt (228). They finished seventh in Regular Team with a 3,511 total, one of nine scores about 3,500.

The high-scoring 2014 event also saw the three highest team games in tournament history - 1,318, 1,299 and 1,285.


Matt Cannizzaro (OC PR Manager since 2005):
Artistic Expressions 1
Why: There are so many factors in success at the Open Championships, and that is magnified when considering that the team event includes 10 bowlers on a pair of lanes over three games. The way the group held it together, communicated, executed and raised the bar by such a margin still is unfathomable.

Daniel Farish (OC PR Specialist since 2019): Artistic Expressions 1
Why: In my almost 34 years on this planet, I've never seen a scratch total north of 3,600. Not in a league setting, a local tournament and certainly not the Open Championships. To think that these guys were able to break down a demanding pattern into something that scorable is simply amazing.


Duane Hagen (OC Tournament Director since 2008):
Artistic Expressions 1
Why: Artistic Expressions is the pick here because this effort did not simply set a new benchmark, they obliterated the previous record by nearly 200 pins. Also impressive, this team featured a mix of vastly different styles and angles of attack during the performance.

Fran Piraino (longtime bowling writer and historian in Syracuse area): Artistic Expressions 1
Why: Although Turbo Grips record-setting team game performance is outstanding, Artistic Expressions 1 gets my vote because of the exceptional teamwork involved. To have five individuals each post a 700 series on the national stage is a remarkable feat.

Bob Johnson (Bowlers Journal International):
Artistic Expression 1
Why: Bowling has become such an equipment and technology driven game that it's no longer possible to compare scores from different eras or even different years. But, in this comparison of feats achieved in the same year on the same conditions, a three-game team series trumps a single team game.

Bob Hart (USBC Hall of Famer/reaching 65 years of OC participation in 2020): Artistic Expressions 1
Why: The score 3,720 is still the highest team score ever bowled at the Open Championships. The pressure as the team closed in on the record had to be intense. The team responded with the highest score of the series, a 1,277 game.

Fifteen games by the team, versus five games by Turbo Grips in the 1,318 game iced my decision.

Doug Shellum (Open Championships and Minnesota bowling historian, 31-time OC participant): Artistic Impressions 1
Why: Think of having not one, but two, high 1,200 scores in the same team set at the OC and not anywhere near the record book. Team Turbo Grips fantastic set of 3,511 was seventh or 209 pins behind Artistic Expressions 1.

John Janawicz and Lodge Lanes Too shooting 3,538 in 2013 vs. Pollard's Bowl shooting 10,425 in 1996

- As the anchor for the talented Lodge Lanes Too team of Orlando, Florida, longtime Team USA member John Janawicz delivered three clutch strikes to secure the lead in Regular Team and break the tournament's then-oldest scoring record by a single pin.

Lodge Lanes Too finished with a 3,538 total, topping the previous mark of 3,537, posted by Bruegger's Bagels at the 1993 event in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Janawicz and his teammates (Mitch Jabczenski, Scott Newell, Vernon Peterson, John Gaines) went on to claim the team title in 2013, though their record was topped three times the following year, also at the National Bowling Stadium.

- Four eventual USBC Hall of Famers came together in 1996 for the highest Team All-Events score in Open Championships history, a number that now is the event's longest-standing scoring record.

The 10,425 effort included Ron Pollard (2,107), Rick Pollard (2,104), Don Scudder (2,097), Bill Spigner (2,068) and Jerry Kessler (2,049). Scudder also won Regular Singles that year in Salt Lake City with an 823 series.

All but Kessler are USBC Hall of Famers, while the quintet now has combined for 189 years of participation at the Open Championships.


Matt Cannizzaro: Pollard's Bowl
Why: Team All-Events is the ultimate test of endurance and versatility, where almost everything has to go right for five bowlers across 45 games (nine each) and at least three different pairs of lanes (prior to 2017). To average more than 230 as a group in the challenging OC environment - WOW.

Daniel Farish: Pollard's Bowl
Why: Having grown up in the sport of bowling, one of the things I didn't have to learn during my first year as a PR Specialist is how difficult it is to win the Team All-Events title. While one bad game from one bowler won't hurt the effort, missing one of the many transitions that occurs on the lanes throughout the 45 games can destroy the effort. There is a reason this is the longest standing scoring record at the OC.


Duane Hagen:
Pollards Bowl
Why: The overall consistency of this performance is incredible, with all players achieving all-events totals within a 58 pins of each other, over nine games. Perhaps a contributing factor to this milestone standing for more than two decades - the challenge of getting all five competitors to perform with such a consistently high level for all three events.

Fran Piraino: Pollard's Bowl
Why: The 10K plateau is a big milestone at any OC, and what Pollard's Bowl was able to accomplish in Salt Lake City beats out Lodge Lanes Too. The hall-of-fame star power of Pollard's lineup combined, with their huge three-game total, is impressive.

Bob Johnson: Pollard's Bowl
Why: Records still matter, and records that stand the test of time matter even more. The Pollard's Bowl record has remained the number for all teams to beat for nearly a quarter-century, a fact made even more unfathomable in an era when two teams often work together on a pair of lanes to carve out an advantageous shot.

Bob Hart: Pollard's Bowl
Why: Team All-Events in my opinion is the ultimate test of a five-man team competition. The Pollard five, with consistent scoring individually with those all-events scores over 45 games, was amazing (a 231.6 average per man). This score of 10,425 pins is still a record today.
Lodge Lanes 3,538 was the record at the time in 2013 but has since been broken. Forty-five games Team All-Events versus fifteen games in the team event was a factor in my decision.

Doug Shellum: Pollard's Bowl
Why: Volume 4, No. 6. of the ABC Bulletin on Nov. 30, 1937, featured an article about Charlie Vance's idea (a new and upcoming member of the Executive Committee) of having a Team All-Events, to then Secretary Baumgarten. It took 10 years or so, and in 1947, it became something to shoot for.

To me, the combined scores of five individuals is really hard to achieve. Also, in 1996, we still switched pairs in doubles and singles. Side note: I was part of an awesome team in 1989 that tied the 10-year all-events record early in the national tournament and had my picture taken with the all-events trophy! Needless to say, it was beat countless times throughout the run of the 1989 tournament!

Match 3
Ron Vokes 857/2,321 vs. Brenda Padilla's doubles record and title and 2,132 AE total

- Relatively unknown on the national stage and almost a quarter century into his Open Championships career, Ron Vokes had a dream performance at the 2009 event in Las Vegas, tossing a record 30 consecutive strikes on the way to an 857 singles series.

The near-record finish helped the 49-year-old right-hander become the first bowler in OC history to eclipse the 2,300 all-events plateau. He finished with a 2,321 total, 42 pins better than the previous mark of 2,279, rolled by Stephen Hardy in 2002.

Though Vokes was edged for the singles title, he held on to win Regular All-Events. His record was beaten one year to the day later by left-hander Matt McNiel (2,326).

- Also in Las Vegas in 2009, Brenda Padilla rallied back from a mediocre team event (571) and averaged more than 260 during doubles and singles to splash her name all over the OC record book.

Her 776 doubles series helped her and eventual husband, Stephen, to the Regular Doubles title with a record score of 1,566. He contributed a 790 series, as they topped the previous record by 22 pins. New Jersey's Jonathan Masur and Jeffrey Butler set the bar in 2007 with a 1,544 performance.

Padilla's strike frenzy continued in singles, where she rolled a perfect game en route to a 785 series. Her 2,132 all-events still is a tournament record for women at the Open Championships.


Matt Cannizzaro:
Ron Vokes
Why: Not that watching Padilla's success wasn't inspirational, but there was just something special about seeing an OC journeyman (it was his 24th event) toss 30 consecutive strikes on way to beating his previous best by almost 400 pins and becoming the first to reach 2,300.

Daniel Farish: Brenda Padilla
Why: Two things impress me about this effort in 2009. First, Brenda and Stephen took what they learned in team event and applied it perfectly to their doubles performance. Neither one of them blinked in their six combined games and set a record in the process. Secondly, Brenda kept that momentum going in singles, besting her doubles score by nine pins AND shooting 300. What a day.


Duane Hagen:
Ron Vokes
Why: This was a tough one, but something about 30 strikes in a row and the 857, when singles places you a bit on an island for motivation, means I need to give this one to Ron by the slimmest of margins.

Fran Piraino: Brenda Padilla
Why: Padilla's performance resonates with me on a number of levels. Besides setting an OC doubles record with her husband (which still stands), Padilla deservedly earned celebrity status for rolling a perfect game, while also setting a AE tournament record for women at the Open Championships.

Bob Johnson: Ron Vokes
Why: Although Padilla's all-events total is a record for women at the OC, this is an OPEN tournament, so the nod here, by a nose, goes to Vokes for getting to the 2,300 plateau - a previously unthought-of score - first.

Bob Hart: Ron Vokes
Why: This was a tough one! Brenda shared a record score on the way to the doubles title with 1,566 with her husband. She contributed 776 and bowled a 300 in singles. In the individual all-events, her score of 2,132 is still a record for women. This is most certainly an outstanding performance.

Ron Vokes' all-events score of 2,321 was the first time a bowler broke the 2,300 mark, creating a record at that time. In the process, he also finished second in singles with a score of 857.

As I stated, this was a tough decision. I went back and forth several times. They are both winners in my book, and this match could've easily been a draw. My final decision was based on the fact that Ron's all-events was the highest nine-game score of the entire tournament and 189 pins higher than Brenda's nine game score.

Doug Shellum: Brenda Padilla
Why: On this one, I used "phone a friend." I called Mike Erickson of Bloomington, Minnesota, another historian of the tournament, and we concluded that a lot of records were broken in 2009 and that Brenda's comeback after her team event was just amazing!

Still, I am an excited when I manage a to get a double, and I cannot imagine stringing 30 in a row! Impressive, Ron!

Match 4
Bo Goergen's 862 in 2009 vs. Matt McNiel's 2,326 in 2010

- When Ron Vokes left the Open Championships lanes in 2009 after shooting 857 in singles on the way to a record 2,321 all-events total, many thought his wait for two Eagles was just a formality, despite the higher-than-usual leading scores at Cashman Center.

Bo Goergen, also 49 at the time, was days removed from just missing an exemption on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour, and, despite a nagging ankle injury, he was able to continue his recent momentum and make a run at Vokes in singles.

Goergen's 31st tournament appearance got progressively better with each set, as he shot 628 in team and 700 in doubles. Singles started with 11 consecutive strikes and included 32 strikes overall on the way to games of 299, 299 and 264 for an 862 series. He held on to win the singles crown.

- Matt McNiel, a 24-year-old left-hander, wasted no time breaking what bowlers and fans believed to be an untouchable Open Championships record, when he lit up the lanes at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada, in 2010 for a 2,326 all-events total.

McNiel had 88 clean frames in sets of 806 in singles, 780 in team and 740 in doubles. His overall performance was five pins better than the mark Ron Vokes set a year earlier in Las Vegas.

McNiel went on to win the Regular All-Events title for the first of his four career victories at the OC, and his 2,326 total still is a tournament record.


Matt Cannizzaro:
Matt McNiel
Why: McNiel's dominance over nine games in 2010 was jaw-dropping. Seeing him collapse in complete exhaustion after finishing and finding out he broke the all-events record is a moment I'll vividly remember forever.

Daniel Farish: Bo Goergen
Why: Stringing strikes in a high-scoring environment isn't as easy as most bowlers think it is. It's a skill set, just like grinding out 200+ games on sport patterns. For Bo to start his singles set, knowing he could miss two, MAYBE three times...and then do just that, is amazing. For Bo to step up in the third frame of the final game, knowing he couldn't miss in the next ten shots...and then not miss, is even more amazing.


Duane Hagen:
Matt McNiel
Why: The consistency of the all-events record, which still stands today, accomplished in the era of "no fresh oil" for every squad, coupled by following the performance with additional victories, McNiel gets the nod here.

Fran Piraino: Matt McNiel
Why: Goergen put up an incredible number, but I'm going with McNiel. To be able to maintain that type of high-scoring consistency over a pressure-packed two days in three events on bowling's biggest stage is amazing.

Bob Johnson: Matt McNiel
Why: While Goergen's performance for three games was super impressive, McNiel's showing over nine games was equally so. The 88 clean frames might seem like an unbelievable achievement, but keep in mind that you can't roll an all-spare game while shooting 300. Seriously, this pick is based purely on an amazing nine-game achievement, trumping an amazing three-game set.

Bob Hart: Matt McNiel
Why: Matt's individual all-events score of 2,326 is still a record. That alone was the main factor of my decision. Noteworthy was the fact that he only had two open frames over the course of nine games or 90 frames.

Bo's score of 299, 299 and 264 for an 862 series was high in the singles. I hate to add to the disappointment of two 299s, and in more cases than not, this performance would get my nod.

Matt's all-events record, and the fact that individual AE is made up of nine games versus Bo's singles, made up of three games, clinched my decision.

Doug Shellum: Matt McNiel
Why: I get excited when I make it to the third or fourth frame in team and I am clean yet. I cannot imagine running a set of 88 clean frames. Having a record three 800s in the Open Championships is impressive as well!

"BO KNOWS" was and advertising campaign for Nike in 1989 and 1990 for Bo Jackson and it fits here. A great set by Bo, too, though!

For more information about the Open Championships or to register for 2020 (Sept. 12-Nov. 22) or 2021 (March 6-July 18), click HERE.