By Matt Cannizzaro and David Waswo
LAS VEGAS -
Douglas Heimos of St. Louis helped end the third day of competition at the 2021
United States Bowling Congress Open Championships
with a little excitement by firing the event's third perfect game and leaving the South Point Bowling Center leading in two events.
The performance Monday night also served as a tutorial for his doubles partner, first-time participant Dakoda Phelps of Festus, Missouri, about how business should be handled on the biggest stage in bowling, especially when not getting out to the best start in a challenging environment.
After opening their 2021 USBC Open Championships campaigns with games of 153 and 164, respectively, the two got progressively better with each game and really found their strides when the competition shifted from the team event at the South Point Bowling Plaza to doubles and singles at the Bowling Center.
Heimos, who made his 11th tournament appearance, tossed the first 700 series of his tournament career, a 710 set, while Phelps added a 619 series for a 1,329 total and the lead in Regular Doubles. Eddie Souza of San Bruno, California, and Steven DePoy of Jackson, Michigan, previously held the lead with 1,283.
In singles, Heimos posted games of 222 and 212, before connecting on his final 12 shots for the third 300 in two days of doubles and singles squads. The first two were rolled by Tim West of Westport, Connecticut, and Jeffrey Sisson of Marion, Ohio, also in singles, on Sunday.
Sisson leads Regular Singles with 736, and Heimos, a 35-year-old right-hander, settled in two pins back with 734. West is fourth at 725.
Though Heimos fell short in singles, the big finish helped him surge to the top of the Regular All-Events standings with a career-best 2,120 total for his nine games. He had 676 in team Sunday. Cory Jackson of Raleigh, North Carolina, who is third in Regular Singles with 732, previously held the all-events lead with 2,039.
"I started slow in team and had some trouble with the approaches, but I got my footing in Game 2 and shot 246 and 277 to close out my team set," said Heimos, whose high all-events total entering the year was a 1,986 effort at nearby Cashman Center in 2009.
In fact, the four best sets of his career have come in Las Vegas. He had 1,815 at the South Point Bowling Plaza in 2017 and 1,755 there in 2019.
The 2021 tournament marks the first time competition at the Open Championships has been held across two venues, and that just adds another level of uniqueness to Phelps' debut on the tournament lanes.
The 21-year-old rookie, who works the front desk at St. Charles Lanes in St. Charles, Missouri, admits they may have let some pins get away late in doubles, but the experience was memorable overall.
His first appearance also included 679 in singles and 548 in team for a 1,846 total.
Competition at the 2021 Open Championships kicked off Saturday and will run daily for 79 consecutive days, concluding July 18.
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