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 Kent Lowe, the bowling columnist for The Advocate in Baton Rouge, La., who made his first trip down Center Aisle on July 1.
Lowe received his Bachelor of Arts in communications from Louisiana State University-Shreveport (La.) in 1979 and his Masters in journalism from LSU (Baton Rouge) in 1982.
After graduating from LSU, Lowe returned home to Shreveport to become the publicity director at Louisiana Downs racetrack as well as a general sports correspondent and bowling columnist for the Shreveport Times.
In 1988, Lowe was given the opportunity to become a sports information director at LSU, where he is the primary media contact for men's basketball and women's golf. His role gave him an opportunity to cut down the nets in 2006 as the men's basketball team reached the Final Four for the first time in 20 seasons.
Lowe also can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network as the color analyst for the LSU softball team.
When the USBC Women's Open Championships, formerly the Women's International Bowling Congress Championship Tournament, came to Baton Rouge in 1993, Lowe got his start at The Advocate. He has produced weekly bowling columns ever since, to go along with 10 years in the Shreveport area before his move.
Lowe is a former president and current treasurer of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. He was inducted into the Greater Baton Rouge USBC Hall of Fame in 2005 for his contributions to the advancement of bowling in the area.
Though he did not compete in the Open Championships when it made its historic first trip to Louisiana and Baton Rouge in 2005, he was not going to miss that opportunity again.
With the 151-day tournament almost over, Lowe tried to leave his mark in the Baton Rouge River Center. He shot 490 in singles, 472 in doubles and 432 in team for a 1,394 all-events total. He's already talking about attending next year's event at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.
HOMETOWN: native of Shreveport, La.; has lived in Baton Rouge since 1988
OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS APPEARANCES: This is my first.
OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS TITLES: 0
BOWLING BALL WEIGHT: 14
FAVORITE BRAND OF BOWLING BALLS: Track
ONE all-time favorite host city: Baton Rouge, La.
TWO best Open Championships memories: As a writer in 2005 and 2012, it's about the people you meet. Some just in casual conversations, some for stories ... Jim Cripps, The Backwards Bowler; Bill Lillard, one of the nicest men I've ever met ... Can't forget meeting and visiting with Dick Weber at the 2005 opening ceremonies. He wouldn't let me call him "Mr. Weber." - and he passed away the next day.
THREE keys to success at the Open Championships: 1. don't trip on the Center Aisle; 2. enjoy the moment; 3. Hey go for it, you have nothing to lose.
FOURgettable Open Championships moment: If July 1, I do trip on the center aisle.
FIVE bowlers in history on your Open Championships fantasy all-star team: Dick Weber, Bill Lillard, Jeff Richgels, CDB and Matt McNiel
SIX bowling balls currently in your Open Championships arsenal: Track 503T, Track 300A, Columbia White Dot
SEVEN cities you'd like to see the Open Championships go to/return to: Baton Rouge in 2020 or 2021 would be a nice idea.
EIGHT favorite bowling balls ever: I can't even name eight bowling balls I'd consider my favorite of all time, but the Columbia 300 Yellow Dot was the one I used for years when I was much younger. I've never had a three-ball bag until recently.
NINE other current/eligible bowlers you would choose to join you on your ideal pair of companion teams at the Open Championships: All of Jeff Richgels' team, Matt McNiel, The Backwards Bowler, Matt Cannizzaro, Emil Williams Jr.
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?: I've had 10 once, with the entire house watching. I almost couldn't pick the ball up. I pulled it left. If I ever got to 11 here, I would just be hoping to keep the 12th shot somewhere on the lane.
TWELVE years from now, where do you hope to be in your bowling career?: At 66, I would like to hope I would still be bowling. I hope I would have a small role in writing or being involved in the sport. Bowling writers for daily papers are almost extinct. August will be the end of 20 years with The Advocate, and almost 30 years overall. It's been a good run, and to have the chance to cover two national youth events, one Women's Championships and two Open Championships is not bad at all.