By Jessica Gilgor
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 PBA50 Tour bowler John Conroy, who was in Reno for his 16th Open Championships appearance April 14-15.
Conroy joined the Professional Bowlers Association in 2009 and was named PBA East Region Rookie of the Year for the 2009-2010 season. In March, he was named the PBA50 East Region Player of the Year.
The 51-year-old, who has spent the last 28 years as a paramedic, recently was awarded the American Ambulance Association's highest honor, the Star of Life Award, for his work in the field. This includes being a first responder to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center North Tower.
This year at the Open Championships, he shot 643 in doubles, 628 in singles and 595 in team for a 1,866 all-events total. In 16 Open Championships appearances, he has a career average of 202.8.
HOMETOWN: Mahopac, N.Y.
OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS APPEARANCES: 16
OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS TITLES: 0
BOWLING BALL WEIGHT: 15
FAVORITE BRAND OF BOWLING BALLS: Storm/Roto Grip now. All-time, Track.
ONE all-time favorite host city: Las Vegas
TWO best Open Championships memories: 1. Finishing 17th in doubles with Chun Bae - we had a couple of late 4-9s, or we felt we could have won; 2. Finishing top 50 in my first team event in Reno
THREE keys to success at the Open Championships: 1. be prepared mentally; 2. be prepared physically; 3. make spares
FOURgettable Open Championships moment: Bowling in Syracuse, one I could drive to, with a 101-degree fever
FIVE bowlers in history on your Open Championships fantasy all-star team: Mark Roth, Pete Weber, Dick Weber, Norm Duke and Johnny Petraglia
SIX bowling balls currently in your Open Championships arsenal: Storm IQ Fusion, Roto Grip Uproar, Roto Grip Deranged, Roto Grip Asylum, Roto Grip Hyper Cell and Brunswick TZone
SEVEN cities you'd like to see the Open Championships go to/return to: Las Vegas; Albuquerque, N.M; Syracuse, N.Y.; San Diego; Orlando, Fla.; St. Louis and Phoenix
EIGHT favorite bowling balls ever: Track Triton Elite, Hammer Cherry Vibe, Ebonite Pin Slasher, pre-urethane Roto Grip RC5, urethane Blue Hammer, Ebonite TurboX, Ebonite Black Turbo and Brunswick Absolute Inferno
NINE other current/eligible bowlers you would choose to join you on your ideal pair of companion teams at the Open Championships: Chun Bae, Jeff Richgels, Ray Edwards, Doug Kent, Michael Conroy, Steve Ferraro, Jeff Voght, Bill Webb and Tim Gillick
TEN seconds or less, who is your favorite bowler of all-time?: Mark Roth
ELEVEN strikes in a row to start a game at the Open Championships, what's going through your head?: You did it three times in PBA, so just let it flow and don't fall.
TWELVE years from now, where do you hope to be in your bowling career?: I hope to win a PBA50 national stop and learn how to coach better.