Virginia bowler rolls first 300 of 2019 USBC Open Championships

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LAS VEGAS - Shortly before making his United States Bowling Congress Open Championships debut in 2014, Darryl Carreon of Woodbridge, Virginia, found a pair of pants on the clearance rack he couldn't pass up, even though they didn't fit quite right.

Five years later, those pants have proven to be worth far more than their discounted price, and even though Carreon can't remember where he got them, he'll never forget the success he's had while wearing them on the biggest stage in bowling.

The 34-year-old right-hander, and his lucky pants, made their way into the USBC Open Championships record book Friday as Carreon put the finishing touches on the first perfect game of this year's event at the South Point Bowling Plaza.

The feat also earned him the distinction of being the 31st competitor in 116 years of Open Championships competition to roll multiple 300s on the championship lanes. His first came at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada, during his 2014 debut.

"Obviously, the environment itself is one thing, but I don't know that I even can compare the two 300s," Carreon said. "To be able to do it once, let alone again, is not something I ever could've expected to happen. I'll admit it, I caught a few breaks this time, but when the conditions are tough, you have to take advantage of those."

Friday's 300 came in the first game of his 2019 Open Championships campaign, and Carreon followed the perfect start with scores of 212 and 154 for a 666 series. He helped NoVA Bowls 1 to a 2,846 total, which is just outside the top 50 this year in the Regular Team standings.

Last time around, also in the team event, Carreon posted games of 188, 268 and 300 to start his tournament career with a 756 set.

Since it's still pretty early in the 2019 tournament, which kicked off March 9, Carreon and his teammates used the lack of feedback they've heard about this year's oil patterns to their advantage. They simply approached things with an open mind and employed the same basic strategies that have helped them find continued success in recent years.

From a personal standpoint, Carreon made sure to focus on one shot at a time, he took advantage of some breaks as they came and he stayed relaxed by repeating a song in his head.

"I knew I couldn't get too far ahead of myself, and I wanted to take it one shot at a time," said Carreon, who would not disclose the title of the song he was singing on the lanes Friday. "After I got the ninth one, I did have to tell myself to relax. Once I threw the first on in the 10th, I knew if I could keep my feet under me, I had a good chance to finish it off."

Carreon now owns two of the 875 perfect games in tournament history, and being one of the few to toss 12 consecutive strikes more than once is tough for him to fathom. The inaugural event was held in 1901, and the first 300 was rolled by Philadelphia's William Knox in 1913.

"Even being an accountant, I can't even put the odds into perspective," said Carreon who does his league bowling at Bowl America Shirley in Alexandria, Virginia, and The Lanes at Fort Meade in Fort Meade, Maryland. "It's unbelievable and incredibly humbling, and I'm almost speechless. There's so many people to thank, especially the guys on the pair with me. We come in with a plan and work together. It is a team game, even if this is an individual accomplishment."

The group will be back on the lanes for doubles and singles Saturday morning at 10 a.m. Eastern.

Carreon will have six chances to become the fourth bowler with multiple 300s in a single Open Championships, which also would make him the third bowler in history with three perfect games at the event.

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