SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The benefit of bowling on the last day of a tournament that spans many months is not having to endure the wait to see if your score will hold up.
Mitch Hupé of Towanda, Kansas, only had hours to wait to see if he was going to be the Open Singles champion at the 2018 Bowlers Journal Championships presented by the United States Bowling Congress. He bowled early on the final day of competition and rolled games of 257, 257 and 279 for a 793 series.
The longtime member of Team Canada and a 2015 Intercollegiate Team Championships titlist with Wichita State topped the longstanding mark of 791, set by Jason Bowles of Strongsville, Ohio, on March 24, the second day of the 107-day event.
Hupé will receive $8,000 for the victory, and he headlines a talented group of champions this year at AMF Strike 'N Spare Lanes, just a short distance from the Oncenter Convention Center, which hosted the USBC Open Championships from March 24-July 8.
The 23-year-old right-hander, who also is a Regular Team champion at the Open Championships (2016), claimed an additional $1,000 for topping the Dual Entry standings, too. The special no-cost feature at the Bowlers Journal Championships includes all competitors who choose to use their three-game totals for singles and doubles at the same time.
"I wanted to put up a good score but wasn't necessarily chasing the lead," said Hupé, whose set helped him to a third-place finish in Open Doubles with Kevin Bienko (653) with a 1,446 total. "I started the last game with a spare, so I had a long way to go. Luckily, I got the first strike in the 10th. Our main focus coming out here is performing well at the Open Championships, and we could have done better there, but I'm very happy to win the Bowlers Journal."
The Open Doubles title at the 2018 Bowlers Journal Championships went to a pair of New Jersey bowlers, Jim Hosier of Wayne, New Jersey, and Matthew O'Grady, Rahway, New Jersey, who combined for a 1,452 total during the first week of June.
O'Grady, who made headlines earlier in the year when he won the 2018 Professional Bowlers Association Tournament of Champions for his first PBA Tour title, led the doubles effort at AMF Strike 'N Spare Lanes with a 782 series, while Hosier added a 670 set.
The victory earned the pair $8,000 to share and kept the momentum going for O'Grady, a 31-year-old right-hander and former Junior Team USA member. His 782 set also tied him for fourth place in Open Singles and third place in the Dual Entry standings.
"I've known Jim for a good 15 years, and I've always looked up to him as a tremendous bowler," O'Grady said. "He's always been an awesome competitor, so I know anytime I team with him, we have a pretty good chance at doing well because he's always bringing the fire. You have a little less pressure to perform when you know your doubles partner is really, really good. It's definitely been a good year so far, and I hope to keep it going."
Warren Eales, a 59-year-old right-hander from Chandler, Arizona, also rode some momentum into the Salt City, following his win at the season-opening 2018 PBA50 Lucas Magazine Classic in New Port Richey, Florida, and he managed to claim a pair of senior titles at the 2018 Bowlers Journal Championships.
Eales rolled games of 269, 259 and 253 for a 781 series, which earned him the top spot in Senior Singles, and he teamed with Sam Ventura, a 59-year-old right-hander from Norwich, New York, to take the Senior Doubles title, also with a 1,452 total. Ventura contributed a 671 series on games of 212, 235 and 224.
"It has been quite a spring," said Eales, who will take home $3,000 for the singles win and will share $1,600 with Ventura for the doubles victory. "With the quality of players who bowl the Bowlers Journal, to have the chance to win two titles is a great accomplishment, and I'm happy to have held on. I've been fortunate to have three enormous accomplishments now in a very short period of time, so it shows that perseverance really pays off."
Additional individual winners at the 2018 Bowlers Journal Championships included USBC Hall of Famer Gus Yannaras of Waukesha, Wisconsin, in Super Senior Singles with a 735 set and Isaac Wake of Versailles, Indiana, in the 209 & Under Handicap Singles event with a 683 performance.
Wake also topped the standings in Classified All-Events this year at the Open Championships with a 1,754 nine-game total.
The top prize in both Super Senior Singles and 209 & Under Handicap Singles is $2,000.
Handicap Doubles at AMF Strike 'N Spare this year was won by Herman Glenn of Lake Wales, Florida, and Larry Klemme of Sebring, Florida, with a 1,276 total, worth $1,400.
Competitors at the 2018 event also had the opportunity to take home some extra prize money by entering three different jackpots - Clean Frame Jackpot, High Game Jackpot and Strike-It-Rich Jackpot. Each features a prize-fund style payout.
A total of 15 players were able to navigate three games across three different pairs without an open frame to claim a portion of the top prize in the Clean Frame Jackpot, while one of the three bowlers who rolled 300 games in 2018, Matt Staninger of Highland, Indiana, was entered in the High Game Jackpot.
Eight competitors were able to deliver strikes in each of the designated nine frames to share the top payout in the Strike-It-Rich Jackpot.
Winners in the Clean Frame Jackpot will get $820, while the top spots in the High Game Jackpot and Strike-It-Rich Jackpot will pay $7,000 and $1,400, respectively, to each competitor.
For complete standings from the 2018 Bowlers Journal Championships, visit BOWL.com/OpenChamp.
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