Arizona bowler joins father in record books at OC

RENO, Nev. - Michael Tountas of Tucson, Ariz., shared a special moment with his father, United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Pete Tountas, when they finished ninth in doubles at the 1988 USBC Open Championships in Jacksonville, Fla., and they were able to add to their family legacy this year in Reno.

The two now officially are part of the championship record books after Michael put together 12 consecutive strikes during his team event Monday at the National Bowling Stadium for the 30th perfect game of this year's Open Championships.

Pete Tountas is a three-time Professional Bowlers Association Tour titlist, and his success on bowling's biggest stage includes a victory over fellow hall of famer Buzz Fazio at the 1968 USBC Masters and a Regular Team title in 1976.

The younger Tountas, a 47-year-old right-hander, added games of 247 and 212 for a career-best 759 series to help Tucson Storm to a 3,139 series. Motion Plus Lanes of Cudahy, Wis., leads Regular Team with a record score of 3,561.

Tountas had a good look on the 43-foot Sport-certified pattern right from the start and kept the momentum going into the second game.

"The first game went pretty well, and I was very comfortable out there," said Tountas, who made his 22nd Open Championships appearance. "I had a great ball reaction and a good line, and I really didn't start to think about it until the strikes turned red after seven in a row. The tough part was staying focused."

The three-time PBA regional champion maintained his composure until the final ball, and he dedicated that delivery to his own son as he sent all 10 pins back.

"I was all good until the last ball - that was hard to throw," Tountas said. "I told myself that my son would never let me live it down if I didn't shoot 300, so I told myself it was for him. After I struck, which surprised me, it all hit in. It was pretty awesome because a lot of people were behind me cheering. It's something I'll remember forever."

After finishing his set at the 78-lane NBS, Tountas made sure to call his father to let him know the good news.

"He was still up, and he couldn't believe it," Tountas said. "He was pretty proud. He has an eagle and is in the USBC Hall of Fame, but he doesn't have a 300 here, so I one-upped him there."

Tountas will return to the lanes Tuesday night for doubles and singles and hopes to find the right look once again. No matter how he finishes, though, he still will have a memory that lasts a lifetime.

"It's a pretty cool feat," Tountas said. "It's an honor to have done so well and be recognized for it at this tournament. Winning an eagle is one of my top goals at this event, and that's not easy to do, so I'm pretty happy to have shot 300. Even if I shoot a couple of 500s tomorrow, it'll still be the best tournament ever."

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