Canadian bowler rolls 300 in debut at USBC Open Championships

LAS VEGAS – Every debut at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships has a story behind it, and for Taylor Maxner of St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, his tale for his trip to Las Vegas now has a little history tied to it.

The 32-year-old right-hander took a little longer to get comfortable during his first six games at the South Point Bowling Plaza on Friday and Saturday, but he was able to let his natural ability loose to start his singles set on the way to a perfect performance.

Maxner rolled the 14th 300 game of the 2024 USBC Open Championships, and he added games of 256 and 195 to conclude his tournament debut with a 751 series in singles competition.

The effort places Maxner in the top 25 in Regular Singles at the 2024 event, and he added sets of 584 in team and 535 in doubles for an all-events score of 1,870.

Joe Barket of Morro Bay, California, leads Regular Singles with an 806 series.

A new job allowed for a window of time for Maxner to make his tournament debut, and he knew he’d be in for a challenge with the tougher lane conditions associated with the Open Championships and a new venue at the Bowling Plaza.

He came in with certain expectations for himself, but the hardest part for him through a couple of sessions at the Bowlers Journal Championships and team and doubles competition at the Open Championships was getting loose.

As he made his way to singles competition, he finally was able to start executing like the way he planned.

“I wasn’t even seeing anything different (going into singles),” Maxner said. “I just kept telling myself to ‘loosen up, loosen up, loosen up.’ And, I finally loosened up. I did have a game plan and tried to wall it up for myself, and I guess it kind of worked, but I just finally loosened up.”

As the strikes started to add up in Game 1, the nerves did start to creep in for the final frame, but Maxner was able to put all three shots in the pocket.

“I was nervous, and I was shaking,” Maxner said. “All I was trying to do was throw it well. I thought the first two that hit light were pretty good, but I tugged the last one and got a little lucky.”

After a couple of early spares in Game 2, he delivered another stretch of seven consecutive strikes to put an 800 series and the lead in play, but a 10 pin in the sixth frame ended the run for each number.

“I knew I had a shot, and I probably should have switched balls but I didn’t think I was throwing the ball well enough. I was kind of scared to do that, and I do regret that,” Maxner said.

Although he’ll have to wait for his next shot at 800 on the tournament lanes, Maxner couldn’t help but enjoy the moment alongside his teammates and friends.

He’s also part of the tournament’s long and storied history with his perfect game, and he appreciates taking that back home.

“It was fun hearing them cheer and all that,” Maxner said. “They get on me, but it’s all good.

“I’m not really sure how it feels, and I haven’t processed it yet. I was just happy to throw it well for once. I’m going to keep trying to come to the tournament, and we’ll see if it works out.”

The 2024 Open Championships got underway Feb. 23 and will run through July 29 at the South Point Bowling Plaza. The tournament is scheduled to feature more than 11,000 teams and 55,000 bowlers making their way to compete in Las Vegas.

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