Illinois bowler celebrates birthday with 300 at USBC Open

By Jessica Gilgor
USBC Communications 

RENO, Nev. -
Brian Davis Sr. of Peoria, Ill., flew into Reno on his 40th birthday to compete at the 2014 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, and he left with a birthday present he wasn't expecting.

In his first game of singles, he connected on 12 consecutive shots for the seventh perfect game of this year's event at the National Bowling Stadium. It was the second 300 on the 40-foot Sport Bowling-certified doubles and singles oil pattern.

"I threw that last ball really well," said Davis, a right-hander, who bowls regularly at Peoria's Landmark Lanes. "It was the most nervous I have ever been throwing a 300."

Davis added games of 257 and 202 for a 759 total, his first 700 series in nine USBC Open Championships appearances. He is ninth in Regular Singles, while his doubles partner, Steven Taylor of Deer Creek, Ill., is eighth with 763. Jeff Grego of Fort Wayne, Ind., leads with 798.

After making his Open Championships debut at the 1999 tournament in Syracuse, N.Y., Davis took a step back from the big stage. His game wasn't exactly where he wanted it to be, and he was focused on his family.

Eight years later, Davis re-emerged at the NBS for the 2007 event, and he gives Taylor a lot of credit for getting him back into the sport.

"We've been bowling together for eight years, and we bowl well together," Davis said. "He knows my game more than anyone, and I take a lot of advice from him."

The two combined for a 1,282 doubles total Saturday night, before the pins really started to fall. As Davis was making his run in singles, Taylor posted games of 248, 248 and 267.

Davis had 695 in doubles and 621 in team for a 2,075 all-events total, also a career-best, while Taylor finished his 17th trip to the tournament with 666 in team and 587 in doubles for 2,016. Tim Damerow of Waupun, Wis., leads Regular All-Events with 2,228.

"I'm not sure what it is about this environment, but I am comfortable here," said Davis, who owns a Wingstop restaurant in Peoria. "This is my favorite building to bowl in."

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Presenting sponsors for the 2014 USBC Open Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno.