Michigan duo takes Regular Doubles lead at 2019 USBC Open Championships

LAS VEGAS - Justin O'Hara of Belleville, Michigan, and Brad Smyth of Oxford, Michigan, know what a great team effort looks like at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, and they exhibited one of their own Sunday at the 2019 event on the way to the top spot in Regular Doubles.

O'Hara led the consistent effort at the South Point Bowling Plaza with games of 235, 220 and 225 for a 680 series, while Smyth added games of 203, 267 and 200 for a 670 set to give the pair a 1,350 total. Nicholas Postag of Santa Clara, California, and Nichole Hiraoka of Daly City, California, previously held the top spot with 1,273.

O'Hara and Smyth are part of the S and B Pro Shop contingent that has found continued success at the USBC Open Championships, which included both teams moving into the top five in Regular Team on Saturday.

S and B Pro Shop 1, the defending Regular Team champion, leads the 2019 event with a 3,254 total, while S and B Pro Shop 2 now sits in fifth place with 3,046.

The 10-player group prides itself on working together as a team, and that sentiment doesn't stop with the final ball of the team event.

"When we come to the (Open) Championships, it is a team event, even when you're bowling doubles and singles," said Smyth, who made his sixth Open Championships appearance. "It's all about working together and feeding off each other's energy."

O'Hara and Smyth were able to execute their strategy as well Sunday and stayed ahead of the moves in the early going.

"We had a game plan before we started on how we wanted to break them down," said O'Hara, who made his eighth tournament appearance. "We were able to stick with it and just make the moves off that. We saw some pretty good transition throughout the day, and they broke down in our favor. We didn't see too much over/under at first."

Sticking with the team mentality, O'Hara and Smyth will offer their guidance to the rest of their teammates, who will bowl during Sunday's final doubles and singles squad.

"They came out and watched us and saw what we did right and wrong," O'Hara said. "We will let them know what we saw and what we believe they can do to bowl just as well or better than we did."

Regardless of the final spot in the standings, O'Hara and Smyth were excited to be able to represent their team and find their way to the top of the leaderboard.

"It's awesome to get out there and put up a good score to start the tournament and represent S and B Pro Shop," Smyth said. "We have a great group of guys here, and we put together a great team effort."

O'Hara added sets of 686 in team and 548 in singles for a 1,914 all-events total, while Smyth rolled 600 in team and 513 in singles for 1,783.

Regular Doubles features bowlers with combined entering averages of 351 and above.

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