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.
We recently heard from Derwin Pitre, a former Team USA member (2000-01) and 24-time USBC Open Championships participant, who is a 2010 Team All-Events champion.
Pitre first earned a spot in the tournament record books when he fired a 300 game at the 1992 even in Corpus Christi, Texas. It was the only perfect game in the team event that year. Then, at the 2001 tournament in Reno, Nev., he became the sixth person in tournament history to roll multiple 300s. He is one of 24 bowlers to own that distinction.
The Louisiana native found himself back in the spotlight in 2010 as he teamed with defending Regular Singles champion Bo Goergen and Northern Lanes Pro Shop to take home the Team All-Events title with a score of 10,284.
Pitre also has found success outside the Open Championships. He owns one Professional Bowlers Association regional title and has won countless local tournaments. As a member of Team USA, he claimed gold and silver medals at the 2001 Pan American Bowling Confederation (PABCON) Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
With the 2012 Open Championships practically in his backyard, Pitre has made many visits to the Baton Rouge River Center this year to check out the action on the 48 tournament lanes. The 2012 tournament kicked off Feb. 11 and will run for 151 consecutive days until July 10.
Pitre recently took his own shot at more Open Championships glory.
This year, he shot 667 in doubles, 632 in singles and 548 in team for a 1,847 all-events total. In 24 tournament appearances, he has maintained a career average of 209.3.
HOMETOWN: Lafayette, La.
OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS APPEARANCES: 24
OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS TITLES: 1
BOWLING BALL WEIGHT: 15
FAVORITE BRAND OF BOWLING BALLS: Storm
ONE all-time favorite host city: Las Vegas
TWO best Open Championships memories: 1. my first 300 at the Open Championships in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1992 and finding out it was the only one in team that year; 2. taking over Team All-Events lead in Reno, Nev., in 2010 and then finding out we won an eagle
THREE keys to success at the Open Championships: 1. minimize mistakes/open frames; 2. stay focused; 3. teamwork
FOURgettable Open Championships moment: None that I can say I regret.
FIVE bowlers in history on your Open Championships fantasy all-star team: Pete Weber, Del Ballard Jr., Dick Weber, Earl Anthony and Jason Couch
SIX bowling balls currently in your Open Championships arsenal: (All Storm) Hyroad, Marvel, Crossroad, Original Thunder Road Solid, Frantic, 2 Fast
SEVEN cities you'd like to see the Open Championships go to/return to: Baton Rouge, La.; Las Vegas; Mobile, Ala.; Dallas; Phoenix; New Orleans; Miami
EIGHT favorite bowling balls ever: Storm Original Thunder Road Pearl, Storm X-Factor, Storm Bolt, Storm Hyroad, Storm Atomic Charge, Ebonite Black Turbo, AMF Black Angle, Brunswick Zone (original)
NINE other current/eligible bowlers you would choose to join you on your ideal pair of companion teams at the Open Championships: To be honest, I would like the nine guys I bowled with when winning my first eagle in 2010 (Dan MacLelland, Bo Goergen, Dale Hofmeister, J.R. Raymond), plus our companion team.
TEN seconds or less, who is your favorite bowler of all-time?: Dick Weber
ELEVEN strikes in a row to start a game at the Open Championships, what's going through your head?: One more shot.
TWELVE years from now, where do you hope to be in your bowling career?: Still being competitive and have a couple more eagles!