Standard All-Events, Classified Singles get new leaders at 2019 USBC Open Championships

By Matt Cannizzaro and Regina Daniel
USBC Communications

After completing his team event at the 2019 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, Paul Mooney of Sandy Springs, Georgia, wondered out loud about how cool it would be to bowl well enough during doubles and singles to get himself into the lead in Standard All-Events.

By the time singles came around, he would need to post the highest set of his eight USBC Open Championships appearances, but Mooney was up to the task Monday at the South Point Bowling Plaza.

The 43-year-old right-hander rolled games of 197, 214 and 227 for a 638 series and cruised to the top of the all-events standings with a 1,799 total, a career-best by 70 pins. The effort included a 604 series in doubles and 557 in team.

Mooney's best series entering the 2019 event was a 619 set rolled in doubles during his tournament debut in Syracuse, New York, in 1999.

"When you come to Nationals, you always have that thought about taking the lead, but most of us are just regular league bowlers," Mooney said. "Yesterday, after team, I checked out the standings and said 'wouldn't it be cool if I could average 620 tomorrow,' and I did."

A few lanes away at the Bowling Plaza, another eight-time tournament veteran was putting together a memorable set of his own.

Bill Vianco of Delphi, Indiana, tossed games of 227, 198 and 213 for a Classified Singles-leading 638 series, the first 600 series of his tournament career.

John Slott of Comstock Park, Michigan, previously held the lead in Standard All-Events with 1,786, while Robert McKinzie of Liberty, Missouri, topped the Classified Singles standings with 624.

A heart monitor technician who currently lives in Atlanta, Mooney and his teammates were pumped up and became increasingly more excited with each passing frame. After he rolled his final shot of the set, it was difficult to determine who was happier about his success.

Along with a great competitive experience, the Open Championships also gives Mooney and his teammates a chance to enjoy different parts of the country. Members of the group bowl league, state tournament and the Open Championships together.

"It's always a fun vacation, wherever it is, and something my friends and I can do together," Mooney said. "It's always tough, but fair, and I think that's a great thing."

Mooney also credits his ball drillers and some fresh equipment for his performance at the Bowling Plaza this week.

"When you have a ball that fits well and rolls well, the rest is up to you," said Mooney, who bowls league at Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment Center in Cumming, Georgia. "This is amazing. I never thought I'd be doing this. Nothing could top it."

Vianco, 58, added sets of 516 in doubles and 503 in team for a career-best 1,657 all-events total, which is fifth this year in Classified All-Events. Larry Meyers of Renwick, Iowa, leads with 1,707.

The Standard Division at the Open Championships includes bowlers with entering tournament averages of 156-175, and the Classified Division includes bowlers with averages of 155 and below.

Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Open Championships Facebook page.