By Kevin Albarez
In the coming months, we'll talk with some of the best-known bowlers at the USBC Open Championships and get their thoughts on their time at the tournament and what it takes to succeed on the championship lanes.
This week, we heard from three-time Open Championships winner Don Scudder Jr., who made his 38th consecutive trip down Center Aisle at the Baton Rouge River Center on May 21.
The 60-year-old right-hander found his way into the spotlight at the Open Championships by winning the Regular Team title at the 1982 event in Baltimore. Then, 14 years later, Scudder found himself as part of a record-setting team.
Scudder rolled a 300 game en route to an 823 series and the 1996 Regular Singles title. His career-high all-events total of 2,097 helped Pollard's Bowl of Versailles, Ind., to the Team All-Events crown with a record score of 10,425.
The USBC Hall of Famer also has found success away from the United States as a three-time Costa Rican national champion in 2001, 2002 and 2004.
This year at the Open Championships, Scudder shot 635 in doubles, 588 in team and 552 in singles for a 1,775 all-events total. In 38 tournament appearances, he has maintained a career average of 203.59.
OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS APPEARANCES: 38
OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS TITLES: 3
BOWLING BALL WEIGHT: 15
FAVORITE BRAND OF BOWLING BALLS: Storm
ONE all-time favorite host city: Salt Lake City
TWO best Open Championships memories: 1. winning my first title in Baltimore in 1982 - we bowled on the last shift on the last night of the tournament; 2. winning singles and Team All-Events titles in Salt Lake City - we set Team All-Events record, which still stands today.
THREE keys to success at the Open Championships: 1. patience; 2. practice, practice, practice; 3. being at the right place at the right time
FOURgettable Open Championships moment: shooting 1,618 all-events in Reno, Nev., with a bad wrist. The rest of the team bowled great.
FIVE bowlers in history on your Open Championships fantasy all-star team: I bowl with them now (Alan Runkel, Bill Spigner, Rick Pollard and Dave Welage). I love my team and would not change a thing.
SIX bowling balls currently in your Open Championships arsenal: Hammer Infection, Storm Nano, Storm Marvel and a spare ball
SEVEN cities you'd like to see the Open Championships go to/return to: Baltimore; Louisville, Ky.; Cincinnati; Tampa, Fla.; Las Vegas; Jacksonville, Fla.; Knoxville, Tenn.
EIGHT favorite bowling balls ever: Yellow Dot, Brunswick LT 48, AMF Angle, AMF Ultra Angle, Columbia Aftershock, Ebonite Omega, Storm Nano and Roto Grip Bandit
NINE other current/eligible bowlers you would choose to join you on your ideal pair of companion teams at the Open Championships: Linds Lakers and Nicholas J's Pro Shop 2, which shot that marvelous 3,401 set this year at the Open Championships. They had to bowl awesome. I tip my hat to them.
TEN seconds or less, who is your favorite bowler of all-time?: Easy, Earl Anthony.
ELEVEN strikes in a row to start a game at the Open Championships, what's going through your head?: Let your training take you to the promise land. Don't force it, and just let it happen.
TWELVE years from now, where do you hope to be in your bowling career?: I am 60 now, so I hope to be alive at 72, LOL. Seriously, it will be my 50th consecutive tournament. That has always been my dream.