New Yorker moves into singles lead at USBC Open

RENO, Nev. - Less than 15 hours after the top spot in Regular Singles changed hands for the first time in almost a month, Derek Magno of Cicero, N.Y., shook up the leaderboard at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships and claimed it for himself with a 788 series.

The 33-year-old right-hander rolled games of 289, 265 and 234 at the National Bowling Stadium on Monday to secure his place at the top of the standings. Justin Ziegler of Corona, Calif., took the lead Sunday night with 784, after it had gone unchanged since March 8, when Terrence Blevins of Chicago shot 783.

After struggling out of the gates, Magno made a ball change during the second game of doubles at the urging of one of his teammates, and that helped propel him in singles.

Magno entered the final frame needing a double to lock up the first 800 series of the 2014 USBC Open Championships, but a 7 pin stood on his first delivery. After covering the spare, he knocked down nine more pins to move into the lead.

"I actually made a ball change during the second game of doubles," said Magno, who made his 11th Open Championships appearance. "I was fighting the lanes for a game and a half. I made the right ball change, with the help of one of my teammates, and didn't look back from there."

Magno left the 2013 Open Championships, also at the NBS, with a share of the Regular Doubles lead with Joe Conti Jr. of Liverpool, N.Y., and ended up tied for third at the end of the tournament with a 1,403 total. He used that experience, continued practice at home on Sport Bowling-certified conditions and the knowledge of his teammates as he made his run this time.

"During the year, I practice and bowl on Sport patterns," Magno said. "So when I get here, I just feel comfortable. I'm not intimidated by the shot anymore. Plus, I'm bowling with guys who are teachers, so I'm still learning new things at 33 on how to bowl on this stuff."

Magno and his teammates made their presence felt at the NBS this week, moving into the top 10 in each event. Magno added 721 in team and 609 in doubles for a career-best 2,118 all-events total, which is fifth overall. That effort also helped Lakeview Lanes of Baldwinsville, N.Y., into fourth place in Team All-Events with 9,851.

The group's companion team, Ray Cyr's Pro Shop, moved into seventh place in Regular Team with a 3,315 effort. Baldwinsville's Art Alexander III moved into third place in Regular All-Events with 2,132, and he paired with T.J. Mento to take over fifth place in Regular Doubles with 1,352.

Tim Damerow of Waupun, Wis., leads Regular All-Events with 2,228, and his effort helped Janz's H.I. of Beaver Dam, Wis., into the Team All-Events lead with 10,363. Damerow and Beaver Dam's Joe Janz lead Regular Doubles with 1,378, while Motion Plus Lanes of Cudahy, Wis., leads Regular Team with a record score of 3,561.

Although Magno had hoped to finish off the 800 series, he's happy to once again be checking the leaderboards daily to see if his score can hold on until the conclusion of the 2014 event on July 13.

"I wanted to punch out for 810, but I'll take 788," Magno said. "Every time we come out here, we're looking to get that eagle. I would love that call (at the end of the tournament). As a bowler, this is the peak."

Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Open/Women's Championships page.

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