Clutch finish helps Missouri bowler into Standard Singles lead at 2021 USBC Open Championships Article Image
By Cassidy Courey
USBC Communications

Tutor Caldwell of Stockton, Missouri, stepped up for his final frame of singles at the 2021 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships needing two strikes and eight pins to take the lead.

The 35-year tournament veteran delivered on all three shots to finish with a 696 series, three pins ahead of previous Standard Singles leader Erich Synstegard of Cottage Grove, Minnesota (693).

Not only did he handle the pressure of moment, Caldwell, a retired automotive worker, also must deal with an eye condition that makes it difficult to even see the arrows on the lane.

Caldwell started singles looking to maintain the momentum of a big finish in doubles, which included nine consecutive strikes and a 263 finale. Though it took a game to get going again, he reached the top singles spot with games of 205, 245 and 246.

The 68-year-old right-hander opened his last game with six consecutive strikes, before a 10 pin, which he failed to convert, stopped his run at perfection. He spared in his next two frames to set up the dramatic conclusion.

"I didn't even know it was going to take place," Caldwell said. "I didn't know what the scores were. I didn't pay attention."

Due to his condition, Caldwell has no straightaway vision in one eye, and it certainly has made the sport a little more challenging.

"It makes it tougher," said Caldwell, who made his tournament debut at the 1974 event in Indianapolis. "I've bowled so many years that I know my surroundings. As long as my arm swing is true, I'm fine."

Caldwell's performance also landed him in eighth place in Standard All-Events with a 1,865 total. His week at the South Point Bowling Plaza and South Point Bowling Center included a 614 series in doubles and 555 in team.

Charles Adler of Madison, Indiana, leads Standard All-Events with 2,035.

Caldwell now gets to head home with a lead for the first time and is sure to be the talk of Sunshine Lanes in Springfield, Missouri, for the foreseeable future.

Standard Singles and Standard All-Events include bowlers with entering tournament averages of 156-175.

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