Two perfect games highlight high-scoring second day at 2021 USBC Open Championships

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LAS VEGAS - As could be expected early in any event, there has been a lot of leaderboard movement over the first two days at the 2021 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships.

The first day of doubles and singles competition at the South Point Bowling Center on Sunday also yielded the first two perfect games of the young tournament, which will run for 79 consecutive days from May 1-July 18.

Tim West of Westport, Connecticut, connected for the first 300 of 2021 during his second game of singles Sunday morning, and Jeffrey Sisson of Marion, Ohio, followed suit later in the day during his opening game of singles.

Since 2015, the most 300s in a year was 13, and that came in Syracuse, New York, in 2018. The record for perfect games in a single Open Championships is 64, accomplished at the 2002 event in Billings, Montana.

Coming into the 2021 USBC Open Championships, West was feeling very confident in his game, as he had been bowling well at home in a league that features Sport-compliant lane conditions and in local events that utilize more challenging oil patterns, which is a good way to keep his skills sharp for the similar challenge he can expect to face on the tournament lanes.

After a slow start during team and doubles, the 55-year-old right-hander found his groove sparing the 4-6-7-10 split for the first time during his first game of singles.

"That definitely calmed the nerves a bit," West said. "I spared that and realized my ball speed was a bit higher than normal, so I went ahead and slowed everything down."

Of course, shooting 300 at home is far different than conquering the environment at the Open Championships. The prestige of the accomplishment Sunday at South Point was not lost on West, a seven-time tournament participant.

"I've shot 300 at home, but it doesn't compare to this" West said. "Today, though, my legs were wobbly, and the level of intensity was much higher. I finally understood that urge to let out a scream of joy and accomplishment."

West's 300 came between games of 181 and 244 for a 725 series, which was good enough to briefly earn him the top spot in the standings. His weekend included sets of 580 in doubles and 553 in team for a career best 1,858 all-events total.

By end of the day, West was passed twice in the Regular Singles standings, first by Cory Jackson of Raleigh, North Carolina, who posted games of 222, 233 and 277 for a 732 series.

Jackson added 670 in team and 637 in doubles, and while his singles score later was passed by Sisson, his 2,039 all-events score was nearly 120 pins better than anyone else who competed this weekend.

SissonJeffrey2021OCForWeb300x174On the way to the top of the Regular Singles standings, Sisson followed his perfect start with games of 192 and 244 for a 736 total. He improved each set along the way and finished his ninth tournament appearance with a career-best 1,921 total.

The nerves also were noticeable for Sisson during his run into the record book.

"I have thrown over 100 perfect games and never been nervous until this one," Sisson said. "I also can't believe I am leaving town in the singles lead."

Also at the Bowling Center, Eddie Souza of San Bruno, California, and Steven DePoy of Jackson, Michigan, found instant chemistry on the lanes, finishing their first appearance as partners as the Regular Doubles leaders with a 1,283 total.

Souza contributed a 662 series to the performance, and DePoy added 621. The keys to their success included making the right ball changes and making their spares.

In the team event, being held at the South Point Bowling Plaza, the home all Open Championships competition in 2017 and 2019, new leaders emerged in all three average-based divisions.

StateFarm2021OCForWeb300x174In the Classified Division, for teams with combined entering averages of 775 and below, State Farm of Mazeppa, Minnesota, eclipsed the 2019 winning score, surging into the top spot with a 2,673 total.

Tiffany Kiffmeyer led the effort with a 630 series and was joined by Martin Rude (556), Nathan Peters (520), Ty Schulz (497) and Kelsey Schulz (470).

Part of the same group, Sly Mongoose raised the bar in Regular Team with 3,102. Robert Livingston contributed a 691 series and was followed by Jeff Kiffmeyer (630), Darik Rude (623), Benjamin Witt (612) and Andy Rude (546).

After some leapfrogging throughout the day across the four team squads, RPM 1 of Elgin, Illinois, settled into the lead in Standard Team with a 2,814 total, improving each game with scores of 882, 940 and 992.

Brett Golabek led the way for RPM 1 with a 643 series and was followed by John Mundt (585), Matthew Weimer (553), John Witkowski (521) and Steve Mundt (512).RPM1OC2021ForWeb300x169

For a few minutes earlier, RPM 2 owned the Standard Team lead with 2,797.

The 2021 Open Championships marks the first time in 117 years of tournament history the event is being held across two bowling centers.

Since 2013, the tournament has featured two lane conditions - one for team competition and one for doubles/singles - and that's true again in 2021.

Competition will continue daily from 7 a.m. until approximately midnight, while welcoming more than 7,700 teams and more than 38,000 bowlers.

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