Champions crowned at 2014 Bowlers Journal

RENO, Nev. - Hours prior to their record-setting performance at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, JR Raymond of Bay City, Mich., Zeke Bayt of Westerville, Ohio, and Terry Rohrer of Fort Wayne, Ind., re-wrote the Open Doubles standings at the Storm Bowlers Journal Championships presented by USBC, and they were able to hold onto the top three spots in the standings as the event concluded Sunday.

Rohrer started the June 20 run at the National Bowling Stadium with a 299 game, his second of the day at the Storm Bowlers Journal Championships. Raymond, a 2010 Team All-Events champion at the USBC Open Championships, finished the effort with a 300 game and led the group with a 779 series.

Bayt added a 755 set to catapult him and Raymond to the Open Doubles title with a 1,534 total, while Rohrer's 748 helped him and Raymond into second place with 1,527. Bayt and Rohrer finished third with 1,503.

Later that evening, the trio was joined by George Palumbo and Kent Wagner for their team event at the Open Championships, and they rolled the highest team game in 111 years of tournament history, 1,318.

"That day was ridiculous, and we may never have a day like that again," said Bayt, the 2013 Regular Singles champion at the Open Championships. "It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I'm sure we'll never forget. It means a lot to win with these guys. Anytime you can win something, it's special, but winning at the Bowlers Journal is pretty big."

Raymond's 779 just missed the top spot in Open Singles, which went to Matt Ogle of Shepherdsville, Ky., with the lone 800 series of the event, an 802 rolled June 23, to capture both the Open Singles title and the top spot on the Dual Entry standings.

Steven Badovinac of Parker, Colo., ended up second in both events with 780, while Raymond finished third. The Dual Entry prize fund is a bonus for bowlers who choose to use their three games for doubles and singles at the same time.

OgleMatt2014BJ465x262Ogle, a 29-year-old right-hander, rolled games of 256, 268 and 278 to secure the top spot.

"I've been counting down the days, hours and squads until the end," said Ogle, who made his 12th Open Championships appearance in 2014. "People have been asking every day if I was still in the lead, so I'm happy I came out with the title. This is probably the biggest accomplishment I've had. It was a great feeling overall, especially having it happen at the Stadium with my friends and dad supporting me."

The 68th edition of the Bowlers Journal once again saw a jump in entries as the event was held under the same roof as the Open Championships for the second consecutive year. The Open Championships was contested on lanes 1-64 at the NBS, while the Bowlers Journal was held on 69-78.

Also collecting individual titles at the Bowlers Journal were Dwight Burns of Tucson, Ariz., who posted a 769 series to capture the Senior Singles title, Curtis Dornath of Maricopa, Ariz., who paced Super Senior Singles with 724, and Tess Li of Henderson, Nev., who led the way in the 199 & Under Handicap Singles with 764.

Rick Hara of Darien, Ill., made it a second consecutive Senior Doubles crown at the Bowlers Journal, this time teaming with USBC Hall of Famer Rick Pollard of Versailles, Ind., for a 1,444 total. They took the title by a single pin.

Michele and Gary Graves of Tacoma, Wash., earned the Handicap Mixed Doubles title with a 1,433 effort, while Susan Schlink and Sue Anne Tae of Chicago landed in the top Women's Doubles spot with 1,345.

The Bowlers Journal offers participants a chance at some additional prize money with a trio of jackpots.

In the High Game Jackpot, Raymond, Mark James of Hannacroix, N.Y., and 2014 Open Championships Regular Doubles winner Clark Poelzer of Arden Hills, Minn., all rolled perfect games and will earn equal shares of the prize fund.

A total of 11 bowlers hit the Strike Jackpot, while 43 competitors will get a share the 30 Clean Jackpot.

Prize totals and final standings will be posted on as soon as they become available.

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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.