INDIANAPOLIS - On paper, Andrew Anderson of Holly, Michigan, had a memorable and successful 2021 on the lanes, but a frustrating finish to the year made him realize some changes were needed.
Even though it meant missing one of his favorite events, and ultimately a spot on Team USA for 2022, he feels the decision to take some time away from the lanes has him in a much better mental state this week at the 2022 U.S. Open.
Anderson's physical game appears to be on-point in the new year, too.
Through two days of competition at Woodland Bowl, the 26-year-old right-hander is the overall leader at the second major of the 2022 Professional Bowlers Association Tour season.
He left the venue Wednesday afternoon proud of the progress he has made, both with his mental game and in conquering a lane condition that has challenged him in the past.
Anderson entered Wednesday's second round third in the 108-player standings, and though he averaged 10 pins less on the day's 37-foot oil pattern, his 1,682 eight-game total was a victory in itself. His 16-game total is 3,443, a 215.19 average.
"We expect the U.S. Open to be a grind, and it's living up to that," said Anderson, who posted a 1,761 total on Tuesday's 45-foot lane condition. "I'm really happy with my bowling so far. I've bowled on the U.S. Open patterns for a few years now, and ones like today's flat pattern have beaten me up. I came in aggressive today because I wasn't going to let it get me this year, and it didn't. I'm really proud of that, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the event."
EJ Tackett of nearby Bluffton, Indiana, is second with a 3,434 total and followed by left-hander Wesley Low Jr. of Palmdale, California (3,415), Australia's Jason Belmonte (3,413) and Ronnie Russell of Marion, Indiana (3,404).
Defending champion Chris Via of Blacklick, Ohio, finished the second day of qualifying in 38th place with a 3,202 total, a 200.13 average.
Even when compared to 2018, when he won two PBA Tour titles and was named PBA Player of the Year, Anderson's 2021 was a very well-rounded effort.
The year included a doubles title on the PBA Tour, a victory at the 2021 PBA Strike Derby presented by Pabst Blue Ribbon, a Regular Singles title at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships and a pair of gold medals in international competition with Team USA.
However, trying to ride the wave of success had Anderson on the lanes almost every weekend. Not only was he trying to maintain his momentum, he also was trying to be the bowler he was three seasons earlier, and it led to him getting burned out.
"It's easy to get burned out when you're competing every weekend," Anderson said. "People are used to the PBA Tour schedule, but when that's not going on, most of us are competing in other events or practicing. I don't take many weekends off, and I felt like I was working so hard to get back to what I was in 2018 from a physical standpoint, that I didn't take the time I needed mentally to sustain that. Physically, I feel like I'm as good as ever and ready to compete at the highest level, but mentally, I feel like I took a step back."
Anderson closed 2021 with a pair of Team USA events in Colombia and the United Arab Emirates. Once again, he was honored for the opportunity, but he didn't feel his contributions lived up to his capabilities.
He left the PANAM Bowling Elite Championships in Colombia with a team gold medal and was part of a trios win at the 2021 International Bowling Federation Super World Championships in Dubai, but his feelings about the experiences were mixed.
Feeling burned out led to frustration, challenges in being able to attack the lanes and just poor execution at times. Realizing after that he needed some time away was a sign of maturity, even if it meant missing the 2022 USBC Team USA Trials in January.
"I needed a change," Anderson said. "As successful as 2021 was, it wasn't up to my expectations as far as the whole year. I also wish the Team USA events would've gone better. I didn't bowl well and didn't help the team very much, but I'm hoping to get back on track this year in every aspect."
Anderson arrived in Indianapolis this week refreshed, motivated and excited for one of the most prestigious events in bowling. He feels prepared and sharp and is confident in his understanding of the new brand of bowling balls in his bags.
He knows there are things about the 2018 version of himself he'd like to continue doing, but he also knows that being successful will include a balance of strong fundamentals, patience and mental clarity.
In 2018, he felt he was a very aggressive bowler, but in the years since, he'd describe himself as a nervous bowler trying to force results.
"Overall, I had a great 2021, which included the doubles title with Kris (Prather) and the Eagle in Las Vegas," Anderson said. "I was successful. It wasn't from a lack of success that I needed change. It was strictly mental. Professional athletes more and more are coming out about how important mental health is, and bowlers should do the same. Physically, I'm as good as ever and ready to compete, and I think that will show. My main goal for this year is to grow in the other aspects."
Anderson has experienced major success on the PBA Tour, winning the 2018 USBC Masters, and earning a green jacket at the U.S. Open also is something he'd like to accomplish. But, he knows he can't get too far ahead of himself, with only 16 of the week's 56 games complete, and two of the four oil patterns yet to come.
This week, the competitors will face a variety of conditions ranging from 37 to 45 feet.
All rounds of qualifying and match play are being broadcast live at BowlTV.com, and the event will conclude with a five-player stepladder live on FS1 on Sunday at 5 p.m. Eastern.
Competition at the 2022 U.S. Open will continue Thursday with the final round of qualifying for the full field, this time on a 41-foot oil pattern.
Bowling originally was scheduled to get underway at 8 a.m. EST, but a delayed start has been planned due to inclement weather in the area. The new start time will be 10 a.m. EST, and any additional changes will be posted on BOWL.com and across USBC's social media channels.
All 108 entrants are bowling 24 games over three days, before the field is cut to the top 36 for the eight-game Cashers' Round on a fourth oil pattern. After 32 games, total pinfall will determine the 24 bowlers for round-robin match play, and 56-game totals, including 30 bonus pins for each win in match play, will determine Sunday's finalists.
This year's champion will take home a $100,000 top prize, the custom U.S. Open trophy and the green jacket. The last time the event awarded a six-figure prize to the champion was 2009.
The field this week in Indianapolis is made of up the sport's top performers in recent seasons. It includes the leaders on the PBA Tour points list, Team USA and Junior Team members, top performers at USBC events and PBA majors, and those who advanced from an on-site pre-tournament qualifier earlier Sunday.
The 2022 U.S. Open is a collaborative effort between USBC and the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America. The total prize fund for the event will be $282,000.
For more information about the U.S. Open, visit BOWL.com/USOpen.
2022 U.S. Open
At Woodland Bowl
ROUND 2 QUALIFYING
1, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 3,443. 2, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 3,434. 3, Wesley Low Jr., Palmdale, Calif., 3,415. 4, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 3,413. 5, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 3,404. 6, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 3,402.
7, Wes Malott, Fort Wayne, Ind., 3,375. 8, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 3,351. 9, Francois Lavoie, Wichita, Kan., 3,349. 10, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 3,333. 11, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 3,330. 12(tie), Zach Wilkins, Canada, and Anthony Simonsen, Las Vegas, 3,316.
14, Benjamin Martinez, Mexico, 3,299. 15, Patrick Hanrahan, Wichita, Kan., 3,293. 16, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 3,288. 17, Sam Cooley, Australia, 3,284. 18, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 3,273.
19, Kevin McCune, Munster, Ind., 3,270. 20(tie), Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., and Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 3,257. 22, Daniel Farish, Louisville, Ky., 3,255. 23, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 3,248. 24, Trevor Roberts, Tampa, Fla., 3,246.
25, DJ Archer, Houston, 3,243. 26(tie), Toby Sambueno, Las Vegas, and David Stouffer (a), Lehigh Acres, Fla., 3,237. 28, Kim Bolleby, Sweden, 3,236. 29, Franklin Snodgrass (a), Sterling Heights, Mich., 3,234. 30, Kristopher Prather, Romeoville, Ill., 3,230.
31, Spencer Robarge (a), Springfield, Mo., 3,227. 32, Matt Ogle, Louisville, Ky., 3,224. 33, Bryan Hahlen (a), Greenwood, S.C., 3,223. 34, Matthew Kuba, Tinley Park, Ill., 3,220. 35, Dan Higgins (a), Lewis Center, Ohio, 3,218. 36, Nathan Bohr, Round Rock, Texas, 3,211.
37, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 3,209. 38, Chris Via, Blacklick, Ohio, 3,202. 39, Tyrell Ingalls (a), Loganville, Ga., 3,200. 40, Chad Roberts (a), Reynoldsburg, Ohio, 3,198. 41, Jason Sterner, Rochester, N.Y., 3,197. 42, Brent Boho, Indianapolis, 3,192.
43, Shawn Maldonado, Sugarland, Texas, 3,190. 44(tie), Thomas Larsen, Denmark, Ryan Ciminelli, Lancaster, S.C., and Nathan Ruest-Lajoie (a), Canada, 3,185. 47, Thomas Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 3,174. 48(tie), Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., and Brad Miller, Lee's Summit, Mo., 3,171.
50, Mitch Hupé, Lockport, Ill., 3,168. 51, Matthew Sanders (a), Evansville, Ind., 3,164. 52, Michael Davidson, Versailles, Ohio, 3,162. 53(tie), Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, and Dominic Barrett, England, 3,161.
55, Brandon Caruso (a), Channahon, Ill., 3,154. 56, Maria José Rodriguez, Colombia, 3,146. 57, Charlie Brown Jr., Grandville, Mich., 3,137. 58, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 3,134. 59, Richard Allen, Lexington, S.C., 3,129. 60, Chris Barnes, Denton, Texas, 3,124.
61, AJ Chapman, Lewisville, Texas, 3,120. 62, Richard Teece, England, 3,117. 63, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 3,111. 64, Arturo Quintero, Mexico, 3,110. 65, Michael Tang, Pickerington, Ohio, 3,109. 66, Benjamin Sobel (a), Columbus, Ohio, 3,103.
67(tie), Deo Benard, Keller, Texas, Darren Tang, Las Vegas, and Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 3,102. 70, Stuart Williams, Pflugerville, Texas, 3,097. 71, Brenden Sramek, Bettendorf, Iowa, 3,093. 72, Jillian Martin (n), Stow, Ohio, 3,091.
73, Solomon Salama (a), Beverly Hills, Calif., 3,088. 74, Cristian Azcona, Clermont, Fla., 3,081. 75, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 3,079. 76, Graham Fach, Canada, 3,071. 77, Zach Weidman, Indianapolis, 3,065. 78, Joey Ocello (a), Neptune, N.J., 3,057.
79, Michael Martell, West Babylon, N.Y., 3,055. 80, Perry Crowell IV (a), St. Clair Shores, Mich., 3,049. 81, Nolan White (a), Carlisle, Ohio, 3,041. 82, Brandon Roscoe, Bradenton, Fla., 3,038. 83, Briley Haugh (a), Faribault, Minn., 3,031. 84(tie), Blake Demore, Springfield, Mo., and Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 3,030.
86(tie), Alec Keplinger (a), Coldwater, Mich., and Michael Moore, Orlando, Fla., 3,029. 88, Timothy Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., 3,023. 89, Matthew Zweig, Scottsdale, Ariz., 3,022. 90, William Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 3,021.
91, Timothy Gruendler, St. Louis, 3,009. 92, Keven Williams, Battlefield, Mo., 2,989. 93, Peyton Smith (a), Loganville, Ga., 2,987. 94, Brian Hall, Macedon, N.Y., 2,964. 95, Anthony Neuer, Milton, Pa., 2,958. 96(tie), Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., and Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 2,957.
98, Christopher Sloan, Ireland, 2,949. 99, Bailey Mavrick, Peru, Ind., 2,938. 100, Brandon Runk, Milton, Pa., 2,937. 101, Zac Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 2,916. 102, Zachary Doty (a), Nassau, N.Y., 2,909.
103, Tom Hess, Granger, Iowa, 2,888. 104, Ryan Stubblefield (a), St. Charles, Mo., 2,884. 105, Ryan Mouw (a), Muskegon, Mich., 2,867. 106, Matt Russo, Fairview Heights, Ill., 2,866. 107, Tim Stampe (a), Denmark, 2,801. 108, Cerell Cardines (a), Las Vegas, 2,761.