300 highlights exciting squad at 2014 USBC Open Championships

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By Matt Cannizzaro and Jessica Gilgor

RENO, Nev. -
After three games of high scores and a few more close calls Saturday at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, the afternoon ended with Tom Ojanen of Duluth, Minn., standing alone in the spotlight.

The 34-year-old right-hander stole the show with the third perfect game of the 2014 event at the National Bowling Stadium and helped Country Lanes North 1 of Otsego, Minn., into ninth place in Regular Team with a 3,213 total. Storm Products Inc. of Brigham City, Utah, leads with 3,341.

"The 12th ball was perfect," said Ojanen, who made his 18th consecutive USBC Open Championships appearance. "The one in the 11th was a little to the right, but it hooked back. The last one was 10 in the pit. All those other 300 games you get in league - that's nothing. This is cool."

Ojanen added games of 165 and 216 for a 681 series and was joined by Ryan Savoy (701), Eric Kuschner (640), Brady Savoy (600) and Mike Bellefeuille (591). The group improved each game, shooting 1,006, 1,064 and 1,143.

"We have been practicing at home together," Ojanen said. "It paid off, and both of our teams shot over 3,200."

Two other bowlers made runs at perfection Saturday, before their strings ended at nine consecutive strikes, and three more teams from the 46-team squad cracked the top 10, including Country Lanes North 2, which moved into fifth place with 3,276.

Todd VanSleet started the day with nine strikes, before a 9 pin ended his run, and he set the pace for Country Lanes North 2 with a 730 series. He was followed by Tyler Haedrich (669), Todd Sorenson (645), Alex Kuschner (632) and Michael Higgins (600).

Mid-CityLanes2014OC250x140Mid-City Lanes of Staatsburg, N.Y., led by Professional Bowlers Association standouts Steve and Dave Ferraro, had a shot at the lead heading into the final frame but came up just short, moving into third place with 3,316.

Steve, a two-time PBA50 Tour champion, led the way with a 695 series. Dave, a nine-time PBA Tour winner and No. 36 on the list of the 50 Greatest Players in PBA History, was close behind with 690 and was followed by John Ferraro (660), David Meyer (647) and Michael Zarnick (624).

King Pin Lanes of Central Square, N.Y., added to the scoring barrage and moved into a tie for 10th place with 3,195, while Mid-City Lanes II just missed the top 10 with 3,169.

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Presenting sponsors for the 2014 USBC Open Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno.