California team takes lead at USBC Open

LegendofDungHo2012LARGEBATON ROUGE, La. - Vayle Floria of Cerritos, Calif., shared many great moments with his college teammates, and now, more than a decade after graduating, they can add a United States Bowling Congress Open Championships memory to the list.

The 41-year-old left-hander and his Legend of Dung Ho teammates posted games of 1,037, 1,073 and 978 for a 3,088 total and moved into the top spot in Regular Team at the Baton Rouge River Center on Thursday. Seliga's Pro Shop of Kenosha, Wis., previously held the lead with 3,042.

Floria and John Mongillo competed collegiately at California State University-Fullerton from 1995-1999 and were coached by their USBC Open Championships teammate, Scott Poddig. The team also includes Douglas Svela, and recently-added 1992 Regular All-Events champion, Michael Tucker of Las Vegas.

"Several of us have bowled together for 15 years," said Floria, who made his 16th Open Championships appearance. "John and I bowled together in college, and Scott was our coach. We have known Mike for a long time, and he was our super sub this year. He is a past champion, and it helps to have someone like that on our team because he has had success here before. We always cash, but this is the best we've ever done."

Tucker led the team with a 648 series and was followed by Mongillo (629), Svela (619), Floria (615) and Poddig (577).

The Open Championships usually brings out the best in team bowling, and Floria believes his team maximized its efforts, despite not having a great look on the lanes at the start of the team event.

"It's pretty special today," said Floria, who was a second-team All-American in 1998. "It was a real team effort. We were all very consistent, and we maximized everything we had. No one bowler stood out. That's a satisfying feeling when you max out your talent."

Just a few lanes over, former Professional Bowlers Association standouts Rick Sajek, Adam Colton, Mark Booke, Paul Kohler and Steve Wilson kicked off the 2012 Open Championships live stream coverage on Bowl TV. To see the archived video, visit

Thousands of viewers tuned in to get a look at how the talented group was playing the challenging Sport-certified lane condition, and the team moved into seventh place in Regular Team with a 2,932 total.

The group's companion team, Don Carter Line of Broad Brook, Conn., was a surprise addition to the live coverage and finished with 2,964, which is fifth overall.

Don Carter Line includes USBC Hall of Famer Pete Couture, two-time Open Championships titlist Larry Lichstein, Michael Lichstein, who rolled a 299 game live on in 2010, PBA champion Ricky Ward and recent collegiate standout Brian Makan.

The next broadcast will take place March 10 at 9:30 p.m. Eastern when PBA Senior Tour players Mark Williams, Kevin Croucher and Bob Handley take to the lanes for their team event.

Sponsors for the 2012 USBC Open Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno. Other sponsors include the Belle of Baton Rouge, official brackets sponsor; Kegel, official lane maintenance provider; Humana, official registration sponsor; Bud Light and Budweiser, official beer sponsors; The Advocate, official publication sponsor; Brunswick, official lane provider; Steltronic, official scoring system; Storm Bowling Products and Nationwide Insurance.