Misura, Butturff take doubles lead at 2024 Bowlers Journal Championships

LAS VEGAS – Cory Misura of Oviedo, Florida, and Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Arizona, combined to average 258 at the South Point Bowling Center to roll to the top spot in Open Doubles at the 2024 Bowlers Journal Championships, posting a 1,548 total.

Butturff led the effort with games of 268, 245 and 279 for a 792 series, which also currently places him in a tie for fifth place in Open Singles, and Misura fired 210, 290 and 256 for a 756 set.

Tony Bennett of Worcester, Massachusetts, and Aaron Major of Taunton, Massachusetts, previously held the lead with 1,508.

Butturff, an eight-time winner on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour and the 2019 United States Bowling Congress Masters champion, has rolled his fair share of big scores at the South Point Bowling Center, including past trips for the Bowlers Journal Championships.

The 30-year-old left-hander finished as the runner-up in Open Singles during the 2019 event after posting an 827 series. In a later session that year, he fired 857 while competing in a doubles block.

His 792 marked his second session at the Bowlers Journal Championships in 2024, and he was able to settle in and get comfortable on his second pair.

“The first set, I had 670 with 180 the first game – not the best start but I made sure to finish it out,” Butturff said. “In the second set, I stuck with the same game plan and felt more confident playing straighter on that pair and just tried to stay ahead of the moves. Thankfully, I was able to pull off something special.

“I was able to play a lot straighter using a lot of surface, which is really rare for me at that center, because it usually hooks a lot more than the (South Point Bowling) Plaza.”

Misura, a 32-year-old right-hander and past collegiate bowler at Webber International University, was competing in his first set during the big run in doubles. He was able to take advantage of his pair by using a reactive ball, as others used urethane.

Misura and Butturff also competed on different pairs while being matched up in doubles.

“That was my first set after getting off the airplane,” Misura said. “The other guys were throwing urethane, but I decided to go against that. I used the biggest ball in my bag, chalked up a bit, and it had a nice even roll to the pocket for all three games. On the right side, there weren’t too many moves. With the whole group throwing urethane to the left of me, I could play straighter and just roll up the back of it harder.

“I knew we were right there after I shot 290, because we were both at 500. I knew we had a shot. It was there, we had to go get it.”

The energy from their teammates while going for the top score was a theme not only during their doubles set at the Bowlers Journal Championships, but throughout the week in Las Vegas.

It carried over to the group’s time at the USBC Open Championships, which featured a 300 game in team competition courtesy of Bob Benton of Huntersville, North Carolina, and the members of Before the 1st Frame #4 taking the lead in Regular Team with a 3,373 total.

“We had a bunch of people from our group there, and they basically kept the hype going for us,” Butturff said. “I think we feed off that energy. If they know someone in the group is going for a number, they’re behind them and keep the hype going.”

Now, they’ll see if the score is enough to hold onto the top spot with less than three weeks left of competition at the 2024 Bowlers Journal Championships. The final squads will take place July 28.

“Winning is always the goal, so this is an awesome feeling – especially in a national event like this,” Misura said.

After several close calls in the past few editions of the Bowlers Journal Championships, Butturff hopes this score will be the one to help him collect his first title at the event.

“Competing against thousands and thousands of bowlers, being able to take the lead against this many doubles teams is amazing,” said Butturff, who also has top fives at the Bowlers Journal Championships in 2018 (tied for fourth in Open Singles, fourth in Open Doubles), 2019 (fifth in Open Doubles) and 2021 (second in Open Singles). “It’s definitely been one of those things I’ve wanted to check off the bucket list.”

The 2024 Open Championships got underway Feb. 23 and will run through July 29 at 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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