Ohio team cruises into lead at 2016 USBC Open Championships

Matt Cannizzaro
USBC Communications
Published: March 14, 2016 | Bowl.com
RENO, Nev. – Robert A. Bures of Mentor, Ohio, loves bowling, and nearly four decades ago, he reached the pinnacle of the sport by claiming a doubles title at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships.

Bures has passed on his passion for bowling to his son, Robert J. Bures, and their first trip down Center Aisle together in 2011 always will be a highlight, too.

In the years since, they’ve been able to surround themselves with a close-knit team that may as well be family, and they all found success together Monday at the National Bowling Stadium as they moved into the lead in Regular Team with a 3,202 total.

Their Wickliffe Lanes team opened with games of 1,024 and 1,153 and cruised into the top spot with a 1,025 finish, passing 5 ICT Bowlers of Johnston, Iowa, which previously held the lead with 3,128.

“We’ve got some younger guys in the group, and they love to bowl as much as I do, so we really have a lot of fun together,” said Robert A. Bures, a 1980 Regular Doubles champion with Ron Thacker, who made his 37th USBC Open Championships appearance. “They’re good enough that they don’t really need any guidance, but when a situation comes up, I offer whatever advice I can.”

Matthew Zitnik, an 11-time Open Championships participant, led the effort for Wickliffe Lanes with a 669 series and was followed by Robert J. Bures (666), Jason Bowles (649), Robert A. Bures (623) and Larry Strell, who made his 41st march down Center Aisle (595). Bowles and the younger Bures each competed for the fifth time.

Even with doubles and singles at the Open Championships still ahead of them Tuesday morning, the teammates already have made the most of their time in Reno by bowling in multiple squads at the Bowlers Journal Championships presented by USBC, competing in The Forty Frame Game and building a strategy for their team event during a practice session on the Showcase Lanes.

The practice session gave them a look at the 38-foot team-event oil pattern, while the Bowlers Journal Championships, also held on the Showcase Lanes at the high-end of the 78 lanes on the facility’s fourth floor, features the 39-foot doubles and singles lane condition.

The Forty Frame Game is being held inside the Kingpin Club on the ground floor of the NBS.

“Bowling on the Showcase Lanes definitely helped us come up with a strategy because it gave us a chance to see the lane condition, and then all we had to do was make small adjustments once we got to our lanes because there were some differences,” Robert J. Bures said. “It’s really a great feeling being in the lead, and I hope it can hold up for a while.”

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