LAS VEGAS – Canada’s Zach Wilkins averaged more than 238 on Friday to lead the first round of qualifying at the 2016 U.S. Open.
Wilkins rolled an eight-game total of 1,906 at the South Point Bowling Plaza and leads the field of 228 bowlers by 80 pins after the first of three days of qualifying. Ronnie Russell of Marion, Indiana, is second with 1,826 and Kristopher Prather of Milton, Florida, is third with 1,822.
Qualifying at the 2016 U.S. Open gives competitors the opportunity to navigate three different phases of the 42-foot oil pattern being used this week – the fresh, burn and double-burn. The oil pattern only is applied before the day’s opening squad.
Wilkins bowled on the burn squad, which yielded seven of the top 10 scores Friday.
“I really saw a lot of volume in the middle part of the lane, and I tried to use that to my advantage,” said Wilkins, who won gold medals in trios and all-events at the 2016 Pan American Bowling Confederation Adult Championships in Cali, Colombia, in September. “I kept my ball rolling a little more forward and used a ball with a slower response time, so if I missed right, I was able to bump off that friction, and if I missed in a little bit, the ball would give me a little bit of hold. I kind of had the best of both worlds today.
“I’m just going to try and do exactly what I did today – stay in the moment, stay in my routine and repeat shots. It’s 56 games, so one bad shot isn’t going to end your tournament. I hope to keep the momentum going.”
Defending champion Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, New York, is in 65th place with a 1,688 total.
The second qualifying round will begin Saturday at 11 a.m. Eastern. Each round of the 2016 U.S. Open leading up to the stepladder finals will be broadcast live on Xtra Frame, the exclusive online bowling channel for the Professional Bowlers Association.
All competitors at the 2016 U.S. Open will bowl 24 qualifying games over three days, before the field is cut to the top 57 for eight additional games. The 32-game pinfall totals will determine the 24 players for round-robin match play.
The top five, determined by total pinfall and bonus pins for 56 games, will advance to the stepladder finals, which will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 9.
The 2016 U.S. Open features a prize fund of more than $210,000, which includes $100,000 in added money. The 2016 champion will earn $30,000 and the coveted green jacket.
For more information on U.S. Open, visit BOWL.com/USOpen.
2016 U.S. OPEN
At South Point Bowling Plaza, Las Vegas
ROUND 1 QUALIFYING
1, Zach Wilkins (a), Canada, 1,906. 2, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 1,826. 3, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., 1,822. 4, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 1,820. 5, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 1,817. 6, Andres Gomez, Hollywood, Fla., 1,811.
7, Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 1,806. 8, Pontus Andersson (a), Sweden, 1,798. 9, Martin Paulsson (a), Sweden, 1,795. 10, Darren Tang (a), San Francisco, 1,789. 11, Francois Lavoie, Wichita, Kan., 1,788. 12, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 1,780.
13(tie), Arturo Quintero (a), Arlington, Texas, and Greg Thomas (a), Irmo, S.C., and John Szczerbinski, North Tonawanda, N.Y., 1,778. 16, Thomas Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 1,777. 17, Aaron Lorincz, Belleville, Mich., 1,775. 18, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 1,774.
19(tie), Stuart Williams, Phoenix, and Cameron Weier, Tacoma, Wash., 1,772. 21, Brad Miller, Raytown, Mo., 1,771. 22(tie), William Guszczo, Orland Park, Ill., and Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 1,767. 24, Kyle Sherman (a), O'Fallon, Mo., 1,766.
25, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 1,764. 26(tie), Dave Wodka, Beavercreek, Ohio, and Tommy Barna, Westminster, Md., 1,762. 28(tie), Sam Cooley, Australia, and Mitchell Katic (a), Orlando, Fla., 1,760. 30(tie), Martin Larsen, Sweden, and Shawn Maldonado, Houston, and Erin McCarthy, Omaha, Neb., 1,758.
33, Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., 1,754. 34, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 1,753. 35, Alex Cavagnaro, North Massapequa, N.Y., 1,751. 36, Noel Vazquez, Sacramento, Calif., 1,748.
37, Anthony Pepe, East Elmhurst, N.Y., 1,744. 38, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 1,743. 39, Cerell Cardines (a), Las Vegas, 1,738. 40(tie), Manuel Otalora, Cooper City, Fla., and Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 1,734. 42, Zeke Bayt (a), Westerville, Ohio, 1,733.
43, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 1,732. 44(tie), Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, and Osku Palermaa, Finland, 1,731. 46, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 1,730. 47, Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill., 1,725. 48, Jonathan Bower, Middletown, Pa., 1,721.
49, Steve Novak (a), Bay City, Mich., 1,718. 50, Paul Moor, United Kingdom, 1,714. 51(tie), Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., and Anthony Simonsen, Princeton, Texas, 1,713. 53(tie), Bob Learn Jr., Lake Worth, Fla., and Liz Kuhlkin, Schenectady, N.Y., 1,708.
55(tie), Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, and Nathan Bohr, Austin, Texas, 1,706. 57(tie), Jonathan Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., and DJ Archer, Kingwood, Texas, 1,704. 59, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Little Elm, Texas, 1,701. 60, Joachim Karlsson, Sweden, 1,699.
61, Walter Ray Williams Jr, Oxford, Fla., 1,696. 62, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 1,694. 63, Kyle King, Glendale, Ariz., 1,691. 64, Carlos Tobon (a), Plantation, Fla., 1,689. 65, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 1,688. 66, Shannon Buchan, Waterloo, Iowa, 1,687.
67(tie), Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., and Adam (AJ) Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 1,684. 69, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 1,682. 70, Cody Vaughn (a), Arvada, Colo., 1,681. 71, Peter Hellstrom (a), Sweden, 1,678. 72, Chris Via (a), Springfield, Ohio, 1,677.
73, Andrew Anderson (a), Henderson, Nev., 1,675. 74, Ryan Graywacz, Feeding Hills, Mass., 1,673. 75(tie), William 'BJ' Moore, Apex, N.C., and Kamron Doyle (a), Brentwood, Tenn., 1,672.