Maryland bowler perfect at 2014 USBC Open

RENO, Nev. - Robert McFadden of Bel Air, Md., describes himself as a laid-back guy who travels to the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships each year for the competition and camaraderie and to have a good time on and off the lanes.

The 42-year-old right-hander got all of that and more at the National Bowling Stadium on Tuesday as he rolled the 11th perfect game of this year's event.

He accomplished the feat in his final game of doubles, making him the eighth Maryland bowler in 111 years of Open Championships competition to achieve perfection. There have been 814 perfect games logged on the championship lanes since USBC Hall of Famer William Knox of Philadelphia rolled the first in 1913.

"I've shot 300 before, so getting seven or eight strikes in a row usually isn't a big deal," said McFadden, who started doubles with games of 203 and 184 on the way to a career-best 687 series. "Was I nervous today? Absolutely. I'm just thankful I was given the one chance to do this and was able to finish it off. Doing it at Nationals and at the National Bowling Stadium is incredible."

Although he's been to 14 Open Championships, including 12 consecutive since 2003, McFadden recently considered calling it quits to pursue other things. He quickly changed his mind after Tuesday's success and now looks forward to being announced in the squad room and on the lanes for the rest of his tournament career.

"To have my name announced every year from now on is good enough for me - even better than any ring or award," McFadden said. "I really do love coming out every year, no matter where the tournament is, but before I came out this time, I told my wife I was thinking about making this my last tournament. But after this, I'll be back for quite a long time."

Bowling always has been a family affair for McFadden, whose father, Richard McFadden Sr., is in multiple Maryland halls of fame, and he looks forward to introducing his own son, Dustin, to the Open Championships in a few years. Right now, Dustin is 17 years old and about a year and a half of competitive bowling away from his debut on the biggest stage in bowling.

McFadden doesn't usually set any goals for himself when he hits the lanes at the Open Championships. He just plans to bowl the best he can and have fun.

This time, the highest series of his tournament career propelled him to his best all-events finish - by a single pin. He added a 633 series in team and 542 in singles for a 1,862 total, all with a bowling ball almost as old as his son.

"I come to have a good time and because I have such a love and respect for the game," said McFadden, who bowls league at Forest Hill Lanes in Forest Hill, Md. "I didn't even realize this was my best set and all-events total. It's definitely nice to have a great year, and now that I've had some success, maybe next year I can score even better."

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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.