Oklahoma bowler rolls 802 set at Open Championships

RENO, Nev. - John Ricalde of Del City, Okla., brought a new ball with him to the 2014 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, and he found quick success Monday, kicking off his 11th tournament appearance with an 802 series.

The 44-year-old right-hander rolled games of 279, 280 and 243 for the second 800 series of this year's event, and he helped Mazzio's of Edmond, Okla., to a 3,168 team set. Motion Plus Lanes of Cudahy, Wis., leads Regular Team with a record 3,561.

Ricalde admitted to being nervous after his first two games, but he was able to settle down and soon found himself in position to double in the 10th frame to secure his place in the USBC Open Championships record books.

"My heart was a pounding a bit, and I threw a couple of quick shots at the beginning of the third game," said Ricalde, who works as a manager at Mazzio's Pizza. "Once I settled down, I was OK. In the 10th, I just wanted to make sure I stayed down, got through the ball and hopefully let it do the work."

Ricalde had USBC Hall of Famer Anne Marie Duggan drill him some new equipment before his departure to The Biggest Little City in the World, and he worked closely with his teammates to open up the 43-foot Sport Bowling-certified team oil pattern.

"I want to thank Anne Marie for drilling that ball before I came out here," Ricalde said. "It was my very first set on the ball. I also want to thank my teammates. We all worked really hard to open up the lanes. They all helped out and did well, and I just got the benefit of it. I really appreciate all my bowling friends."

In his previous Open Championships appearances, Ricalde had recorded a high set of 693, and he definitely understands the difficulty of performing on the big stage. He was humbled to add his name to the tournament's rich history.

"I'm very excited and overwhelmed," Ricalde said. "This is the best. To roll a set like this at the Open Championships is a great accomplishment.

Earlier in the day, Randy Bowers of Riverside, Calif., and Matt Kirkham of Rochester, Minn., also turned in memorable performances on the championship lanes.

Bowers started his final game of singles with 11 consecutive strikes, before leaving an 8 pin on his final delivery for the second 299 of the 2014 event. He started with games of 214 and 173 for a 686 series and finished the 2014 tournament with a 1,752 all-events total.

Kirkham opened his singles set with games of 278 and 277, and he had a shot to take the singles lead heading into ninth frame of his final game. He closed with a 219 game for a 774 series, which is sixth in Regular Singles. Jeff Grego of Fort Wayne, Ind., leads with 798.

Graham Fach of Urbana, Ohio, rolled the first 800 of the 2014 event during his team event, putting together games of 290, 246 and 300. There have been nine perfect games this year at the National Bowling Stadium.

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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.