Third time's the charm for Texan at 2014 USBC Open

RENO, Nev. - For nearly two decades, the National Bowling Stadium has been a destination for competitive bowlers, and the one-of-a-kind venue has been the site of countless memories and highlights during nine visits from the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships.

One of the most exciting features USBC Open Championships bowlers can experience at the NBS is when the string of Xs on the scoreboard changes to red after a bowler starts a game with seven consecutive strikes.

Jon Pokorny of Converse, Texas, experienced that excitement twice during the 2013 Open Championships, but neither opportunity panned out. This year, though, he was able to finish the job as he rolled the 29th perfect game at the NBS this year during his first game of singles Friday night.

The 31-year-old right-hander started singles with 12 consecutive strikes and added games of 191 and 210 for a 701 series. Louis Jenkins Jr. of Warr Acres, Okla., leads Regular Singles with 826.

Pokorny credited his teammates and their efforts in working together to open up the 40-foot Sport-certified condition. He also benefitted from a Brooklyn strike on his 11th delivery but was able to refocus and throw a perfect shot to close out the 300.

"Our team broke down the pair really well, so I was able to get left and wheel on it," said Pokorny, who made his sixth Open Championships appearance and added sets of 649 in team and 558 in doubles for a 1,908 all-events total. "Crossing over absolutely took some of the pressure off. I was able to step back and settle my nerves. Striking on the final shot was one of the greatest feelings I've ever felt. It's something I'll never, ever forget."

At the 2013 event, also at the Stadium, Pokorny started the final game of his team event with eight strikes, and he opened doubles the next day with seven more. Those experiences helped inspire him in 2014.

"This is my second year going red," Pokorny said. "Last year, I had the front eight and seven. I told my pro shop operator that shooting 300 at the Open Championships would be one of the greatest things ever, and I was able to do it."

Pokorny and his teammates definitely put in the time and effort to succeed on the championship lanes.

The members of of San Antonio practiced weekly on the Open Championships conditions for nearly three months, and that also helped them into the top 15 in Regular Team with a 3,433 total Thursday. Motion Plus Lanes of Cudahy, Wis., leads with a record score of 3,561.

Pokorny was joined in the team effort by Steven Weber (751), Matt Cabanski (706), Eric Martinez (675) and Robert Klann (652).

"We practiced on the patterns on Thursday nights for right around three months," Pokorny said. "It was really helpful because they actually ended up playing a little tighter back home. So when we got here, we felt like we had a more room, and that helped with the confidence."

Just prior to Pokorny making his move into the record books, Joshua Schmehl of Seaford, Del., and Casey Irvin of Selbyville, Del., made their own run at the Regular Doubles lead, before settling into sixth place with 1,423. Clark and Carl Poelzer of Arden Hills, Minn., hold the top spot with 1,465.

Schmehl led the way with a 743 series, while Irvin added a 680 set.

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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.