Texas team perched atop leaderboard at 2016 USBC Open

USBC Communications
Published: March 31, 2016 | Bowl.com
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By Matt Cannizzaro and Jessica Gilgor
USBC Communications

RENO, Nev. – In case people really didn’t know who Eddie Byrd was, they now will, after the 42-year-old right-hander showed off his skills Thursday at the National Bowling Stadium and lifted his team to the top of the standings at the 2016 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships.

Byrd rolled games of 214, 247 and 288 for a 749 series, and Who’s Eddie Byrd? of Fort Worth, Texas, now leads Regular Team with a 3,241 total, which included team games of 1,083, 1,028 and 1,130. Wickliffe Lanes of Mentor, Ohio, previously held the lead with 3,202.

The star-studded performance for Who’s Eddie Byrd? also featured Brett Sterley (671), senior standout and the lone left-hander of the two-team group Jim Stephens (617), USBC Hall of Famer Lynda Barnes (604) and 2015 Professional Women’s Bowling Association Rookie of the Year Stefanie Johnson (600).

“We knew we had a chance when we were 110 over after two games and needed less than 1,100 to take the lead,” said Byrd, who made his 19th USBC Open Championships appearance. “We just try to have fun and stay relaxed. Since Lynda, Stefanie and I have bowled together before, the camaraderie is there, and it worked out well with Brett and Jim, who came on at the last minute.”

The other half of the group also bowled well as two-time Professional Bowlers Association Tour champion Lonnie Waliczek tossed a 649 set to lead Fort Worth’s Over The Hill into fifth place with a 3,132 total.

Waliczek was followed by 2004 PBA Rookie of the Year Chris Johnson (643), 1999 PBA Rookie of the Year Paul Fleming (628), three time PBA Tour champion Justin Hromek (608) and USBC Hall of Famer Rick Steelsmith (604).

Both teams will be back on the lanes at the NBS across two double and singles squads Friday, with competition starting at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Pacific.

The members of Wickliffe Lanes also lead Regular Doubles (1,341), Regular Singles (815), Regular All-Events (2,122) and Team All-Events, which is sum of all five bowlers’ all-events totals (9,598).

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