Kansas bowlers lead in 3 'Open' events in Reno

Joe Keltner of Wichita, Kan., turned in a career-best performance at the 2013 USBC Open Championships as he and his teammates left the National Bowling Stadium in Reno leading in three events.

The 32-year-old right-hander put together sets of 736 in doubles, 735 in team and 683 in singles to secure the Regular All-Events lead with 2154. He and Chris Greene grabbed the lead in Regular Doubles with 1403, and their effort lifted Team Tilt of Lawrence, Kan., into the top spot in Team All-Events with a 10,065 total.

Team Tilt, the 2008 Regular Team winner and Team All-Events runner-up, includes Thomas Ault Jr. (2043), 2008 Regular All-Events titlist Jay Futrell (1977), Greene (1953) and Russ Wilson (1938). They are the 34th team in ABC/USBC Open Championships history to eclipse the 10,000 pinfall mark.

“It’s pretty surreal,” Keltner said. “The numbers seem pretty good right now, but there’s a lot of bowling left to go, so I’m not holding out for anything. I just bowled the best I could, but it would mean a whole lot if held up.

“It’s very humbling bowling with this group,” he added. “They all bowl so awesome. We have such a good connection. We all bowled in college together, and it’s so much more fun to bowl with everybody and have all 10 of us together.”

• Kelly Bonta of Wichita, Kan., and Verne Heidenreiter of Sheboygan Falls, Wis., rolled the second and third perfect games of the 2013 tournament on Sunday, and added their names to an even more elite page in the tournament record books: Both bowlers already owned 300s on the championship lanes, and thus became the 25th and 26th competitors to achieve the feat twice.

Bonta’s first taste of perfection at the Open Championships came at the 2007 event at the National Bowling Stadium, and the 47-year-old right-hander now is one of three bowlers with two perfectos at the NBS. This year’s 300 was followed by games of 248 and 228 for a Regular Singles-leading 776 series.

Heidenreiter’s first perfect game came in Knoxville, Tenn., in 2003 (the tournament’s 100th anniversary). This time, he rattled off 25 consecutive strikes on the way to games of 215, 300 and 279, nearly joining 2003 Regular Singles champion Ron Bahr of Topeka, Kan., as the only bowlers with back-to-back 300s. Heidenreiter, a 49-year-old right-hander, finished with a 794 series, the highest set in the team event this year.

Syl Thiel of Lake City, Minn., and USBC Hall of Famer Bill Lillard of Houston continued their marches toward history this past week.

Thiel, 90, is the active participation leader at the USBC Open Championships, and made his 68th tournament appearance on March 20. He is in pursuit of Bill Doehrman and USBC Hall of Famer Joe Norris, each of whom competed in 71 ABC/OpenChampionships.

Lillard, 85, is the event’s active pinfall leader, and made his 66th consecutive appearance on Monday. The eight-time eagle winner shot 485 in team, 478 in doubles and 456 in singles for a 1419 all-events total. His 121,434 career pinfall total is 2,336 pins shy of Norris, who tops the list with 123,770.

• The first of the defending Regular Division champions will be in Reno this week. Nicholas J’s Pro Shop 2 of La Crosse, Wis., claimed the 2012 Regular Team title with a 3401 total, and will put its title on the line Friday at 10 p.m. Eastern. The attempt for back-to-back team wins will be shown live on BowlTV.


Team Event

1, Breakpoint Pro Shop 2 (Greg McCullough, Eric George, Justin Schiffler, Barry Zimmerman, Jeff Smith), Sartell, Minn., 3,358. 2, Joliet Town and Country Lanes, Joliet, Ill., 3,346. 3, Towne and Country Lanes 1, Hartland, Wis., 3,328. 4, Team Tilt, Lawrence, Kan., 3,326. 5, National Bowling Stores, Flowery Branch, Ga., 3,288. 6, Rancho Bowl 1, Lompoc, Calif., 3,285. 7, Kingpin Lanes, Central Square, N.Y., 3,246. 8, Stars and Strikes 1, Channahon, Ill., 3,222. 9, ND Storm, Mandan, N.D., 3,197. 10, Reunited, Lawrence, Kan., 3,176.


1, Chris Greene/Joe Keltner, Wichita, Kan., 1,403. 2, Russ Wilson, Lawrence, Kan./Jay Futrell, Derby, Kan., 1,396. 3, Sean Greene, Stockbridge, Ga./Stephen Mohn, Norcross, Ga., 1,365. 4, Scott How, Oregon City, Ore./Thomas Ault Jr., Portland, Ore., 1,351. 5, Derek Hartnell, Wichita, Kan./Scott Hartnell, Kenosha, Wis., 1,341. 6, Camden Rokita, Springfield, Ill./Rick Coy, Taylorville, Ill., 1,323. 7(tie), Dave Gajewski, Oak Creek, Wis./Tony Buss, Milwaukee, and Keli Callahan, Las Vegas/Pierre Thiffeault, Fresno, Calif., 1,314. 9, James Gronwoldt/Mike Norby, LeRoy, Minn., 1,312. 10, Brian Shidler, Coldwater, Mich./Brent Ritchie, Madison, Wis., 1,303.


1, Kelly Bonta, Wichita, Kan., 776. 2, Greg Roberts, Oshkosh, Wis., 771. 3, Robert Young, Ontario, Canada, 769. 4, Bill Faerber, St. Cloud, Minn., 755. 5, Paul McCordic, Sugar Land, Texas, 748. 6, Kris George, Las Vegas, 745. 7, Jason Rasinske, Dimondale, Mich., 742. 8, Terry Fredrickson, Grand Island, Neb., 741. 9, Brandon Brilinski, Flint, Mich., 739. 10, Steven Schroekenthaler, Waukesha, Wis., 735.


1, Joe Keltner, Wichita, Kan., 2,154. 2, Brandon Brilinski, Flint, Mich., 2,103. 3, Scott How, Oregon City, Ore., 2,090. 4, Richard Thomas, Middleton, Wis., 2,051. 5, Steve Diederick, Wahpeton, N.D., 2,049. 6, Thomas Ault Jr., Portland, Ore., 2,043. 7, Camden Rokita, Springfield, Ill., 2,038. 8, Kris George, Las Vegas, 2,033. 9, Justin Ward, Lexington, Ky., 2,031. 10(tie), Kyle Taylor, Loveland, Colo., and Charles Podkul Jr., Whiting, Ind., 2,025.

Team All-Events

1, Team Tilt (Thomas Ault Jr., Russ Wilson, Chris Greene, Joe Keltner, Jay Futrell), Lawrence, Kan., 10,065. 2, Towne and Country Lanes 1, Hartland, Wis., 9,766. 3, ND Storm, Mandan, N.D., 9,553. 4, Kingpin Lanes, Central Square, N.Y., 9,521. 5, Joliet Town and Country Lanes, Joliet, Ill., 9,509. 6, Reunited, Lawrence, Kan., 9,506. 7, Ross Cottom Lanes 4, Johnston City, Ill., 9,444. 8, Breakpoint Pro Shop 2, Sartell, Minn., 9,408. 9, FSU Dogs, Fresno, Calif., 9,370. 10, Professional Image Center, Coffeyville, Kan., 9,356.