Florida bowler takes lead in Classified All-Events at 2022 Open Championships

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LAS VEGAS - Andrew Hall of Safety Harbor, Florida, continued the momentum from a perfect performance prior to his trip to the 2022 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships to take over the lead in Classified All-Events on Thursday at the South Point Bowling Plaza.

The 40-year-old right-hander turned in the top two sets of his 17-year career at the USBC Open Championships on the way to lead, rolling scores of 643 in team, 617 in doubles and 597 in singles for a 1,857 total.

Ronald Hilliard of Lancaster, California, had held the lead in Classified All-Events since March 16, the fourth day of the 2022 event, with 1,824. Hilliard stills holds the lead in Classified Singles with 665.

Hall had connected for his first 300 game as a youth bowler in 1998, but he had not repeated the feat until Sunday during his summer league.

"I've only had two," Hall said. "One as a youth, and now one as an adult, so it took me a while to get that other 300. It was the second week in our summer league, and everything has been working well."

Although he admitted he's better when he's coming in cold, the extra games helped Hall heat up early at South Point. His first five games at the 2022 event eclipsed 200 on Wednesday and Thursday, but things slightly slowed down in singles.

After 191 and 188 to start, he needed at least 185 in his final game for part of the all-events lead. He bounced back after an early open to record five consecutive strikes, starting in the fifth frame, to secure the top spot.

A split and open in his final frame cost him some pins as he finished with 218, but his all-events total is the highest in the Classified Division since Daniel Dabkowski of Columbia, South Carolina, posted the same score to win the title at the 2008 event in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Coming to the Open Championships has been a family experience for Hall since his debut, and he shared the lanes this week with his mother, Linda Spicer, and brother, Joseph Gallo.

His performance hit home, however, after the recent loss of his stepfather, John Spicer. Spicer had made 37 consecutive appearances at the event through 2019.

"It means a lot," Hall said. "I've always come out here with family, and my stepfather was a part of this for a very long time. He recently passed, so it was nice to do this in his honor. He would put everything together and get us all out here to the tournament, and now my mom has taken over."

Hall will head back to Florida and keep an eye on the leaderboard as the end of the 2022 event approaches next month, but he knows what it would mean to be able to take home a win alongside his family.

The 2022 event will finish its 129-day run at South Point on July 18.

"Just like anything, I'll go back to my daily routine and regular work schedule, but once a week I'll probably jump on and check everything," Hall said. "You can't really change anything, though. The outcome is the outcome, and you have to accept that. I've been coming out here for 17 years, and I've never done anything that's quite as exciting as this. It would be amazing if it held on."

Classified All-Events features bowlers with entering averages of 155 and below.

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