Kentucky bowler new leader at 2014 Bowlers Journal

By Matt Cannizzaro and Jessica Gilgor
USBC Communications

RENO, Nev. -
Some of the best performances of Matt Ogle's United States Bowling Congress Open Championships career have come at the National Bowling Stadium, so it was no surprise when he started stringing strikes at the Storm Bowlers Journal Championships presented by USBC, which also is being held at the one-of-a-kind facility.

The 29-year-old right-hander has averaged 215.5 in five USBC Open Championships appearances at the NBS from 2007-2013, and he credits the unique stadium atmosphere with helping him step up his game.

This year, the Shepherdsville, Ky., resident again took advantage of the opportunity to bowl in a second tournament under the same high ceilings, and he cruised into the top spot in Open Singles at the Bowlers Journal Championships with games of 256, 268 and 278 for an 802 series. Steven Badovinac of Parker, Colo., previously held the lead with 780.

"Because of the atmosphere, it makes it feel 10 times better than if it was at a regular bowling center," Ogle said. "It's a good feeling."

As he progressed farther into his final game Monday night, Ogle found himself more focused on shooting an 800 series than he was on taking the lead.

"I knew I needed at least a double," said Ogle, who was bowling in his third squad at the Bowlers Journal. "When I got the first one, I felt and knew I would get the second one. When I finished with 278, they told me I took the lead."

Even after 24 hours, the shock and awe of the accomplishment still hadn't worn off for Ogle, who regularly bowls at Executive Strikes & Spares in Louisville, Ky.

"It didn't really set in until today," Ogle said. "I couldn't believe that it happened. This stuff really never happens to me. I usually bowl well enough to cash but not enough to win."

Ogle's confidence and momentum carried over to his 12th Open Championships appearance, and he kicked off this year's campaign with a 712 series in his team event Tuesday.

Now, he's focused on another solid performance Wednesday night in doubles and singles, which features the same 40-foot Sport-certified lane condition being used at the Bowlers Journal Championships.

The 2014 event marks the second time in nearly seven decades of partnership that the Open Championships and Bowlers Journal have been held in the same building. As in 2013, the Open Championships is using lanes 1-64 at the NBS, and the Bowlers Journal is being contested on lanes 69-78.

Both tournaments opened on Feb. 28 and will conclude July 13 after 136 days of competition.

Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Open/Women's Championships page.

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