Michigan bowler able to focus, rolls 300 at 2014 USBC Open

By Jessica Gilgor
USBC Communications

RENO, Nev. -
By the time Christopher Smith of Madison Heights, Mich., started his third game at the 2014 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships on Wednesday, he wasn't too impressed with how his team event was going.

The 27-year-old right-hander opened the day with games of 180 and 195 before making an aggressive move to the left. The adjustment helped him finish with 12 consecutive strikes for the 17th perfect game of the 2014 USBC Open Championships and a 675 series.

"The first two games, I tried to play it too straight and too conservative," said Smith, who made his fifth Open Championships appearance. "I moved about five boards left and went from there."

After making the necessary adjustments, the strikes started lining up, and Smith's teammates helped keep things light on the lanes at the National Bowling Stadium.

"My teammates helped distract me," said Smith, who owns Out of Sight Pro Shop inside Universal Lanes in Madison Heights. "It was our usual messing around. It took out the thinking about what was going on."

When he stood on the approach for his final ball, Smith felt no pressure, even though bowlers around him had stopped bowling to watch his run at tournament history.

"I didn't even notice," Smith said. "When I get zoned in, I get tunnel vision. Someone could have stood next to me and I wouldn't have noticed."

Finding perfection on the tournament lanes came as a bit of a shock to Smith, whose demands at work have kept him off of the lanes. The lack of practice, however, didn't take away from the moment.

"My business partner, Marcus Giles III, and I didn't practice on the shot," Smith said. "We didn't have the time to be on the lanes as often as we probably should have, but shooting 300 on these lanes feels good. It's kind of shocking."

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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.