Simonsen connects for 300 at 2022 USBC Open Championships

BOWL.com Article Image
LAS VEGAS - Despite being just 25 years old, Anthony Simonsen of Las Vegas has accomplished more than most bowlers do in a lifetime.

He's won 10 Professional Bowlers Association Tour titles, including four majors. He captured both the U.S. Open and United States Bowling Congress Masters earlier this year, becoming the first to win both in the same year since USBC and PBA Hall of Famer Mike Aulby achieved the feat in 1989.

He also won a coveted Eagle at the USBC Open Championships at the age of 18 when he teamed with Mark Sleeper Jr. of Kaufman, Texas, to win Regular Doubles at the 2015 tournament in El Paso, Texas.

Nevertheless, despite a few close calls, something important was missing from Simonsen's impressive bowling resume, a perfect game at the Open Championships.

That all changed Saturday night when Simonsen connected for 300 during his final game of team at the South Point Bowling Plaza.

"I've had a couple of close opportunities in this event in years past, so to seal the deal is pretty sweet," Simonsen said. "The first ball in the 10th wasn't very good, but I figured if that one struck, I could make a couple that were a little bit better and shoot 300."

Despite the perfect ending, it took Simonsen a little while to settle in and find his way on the championship lanes. He began the night with 199, which, while steady, was not exactly the start he was hoping for. Things continued to look less-than-ideal when he began Game 2 with a five-count split.

"Coming into this, I hadn't watched any teams bowl, so I didn't really have an idea of how the lanes were going to play," Simonsen said. "But after a few frames of hanging out, I made a little move, and once I did that, I was really able to open things up."

And open up they did. After a spare in the second frame of Game 2, Simonsen rattled off nine out of the last 10 strikes to finish with 265. He then connected on all 12 shots in Game 3, giving him strikes on 21 of his final 22 shots en route to the 300 and a 764 series.

That set was tops for Bay Area Pro Shop - Motiv of San Jose, California, which put up games of 1,044, 1,162, and 1,167 to finish with 3,373, which moved the group into eighth place in Regular Team. Storm Products Inc. 1 of Alva, Florida, sits in first place with 3,486.

Simonsen hadn't originally planned to bowl with the Bay Area Pro Shop teams as he had intended to bowl closer to the end of the tournament. However, he was more than happy with his choice when all was said and done as the group was still in contention for the Regular Team lead heading into the final frames.

"I was supposed to bowl in mid-July, but there was a little bit of miscommunication, so I was just sort of waiting around to see if anybody I knew was coming through to bowl," Simonsen said. "I saw a Facebook post saying that they needed somebody, and I knew I had a friend of mine with the group, so I decided to jump in and bowl.

"Since I wasn't planning on bowling yet, I hadn't really paid attention to what the top scores were coming into this. Then about the sixth or seventh frame of the last game, somebody said that we still had a shot, so it was fun getting to be with these guys and make a run like that."

Kevin Jones was next for Bay Area Pro Shop - Motiv with 676 and was followed by Derek Quon (669), Raymond Ledesma (635) and Roman Dacasin (629).

Returning for doubles and singles Sunday, Simonsen grinded his way to 610 in doubles before heating up again in singles, shooting 255, 256 and 263 to finish with 774, which moved him into a tie for 16th place in Regular Singles.

His nine-game total of 2,148 placed Simonsen in 26th place in Regular All-Events.

Scott Patke of Lansing, Michigan, leads Regular Singles with 835, and three-time Eagle winner Brian Waliczek of Frankenmuth, Michigan, leads Regular All-Events with 2,241.

Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Open Championships page.