By Al Pote, For January 5, 2010

The 71st Decatur USBC BA Open Championship will be contested on January 16-17 and 23-24 at Spare Time Lanes. The annual city tournament has become an opportunity for new players to emerge and for veterans to make another run at area honors.

The cost is $20 per series, with a $5 optional scratch entry, where bowlers will be able to cash on both the scratch and handicap sides. This is the second year for the optional scratch competition, a format which has been in place in the State championship and other larger events, such as the Central Illinois tournament.

The Saturday squad times are noon and 3:30, while the Sunday tournament shifts are at 9am and 1pm. For more information, interested bowlers can call Ben Holman at 876-1714, or Phil Sturgeon at 864-9256.

At the same time, the Decatur USBC WBA is unveiling a new annual tournament, the Decatur Women's 500-Club championship, to be held January 16-17 at Spare Time Lanes.

"There are a lot of bowlers who work hard and get really close (to 600), and the Women's Board wanted to have something for them," said Trinity Bush, the 2009 Hall of Fame recipient who is part of the 500-Club committee.

The membership drive started in the second half of 2009, and as of today there are 25 paid members. There is a one-time fee of $5 and a yearly dues payment of $3. The only necessary item to produce is a certified record of a three game series of 500-or-better.

The format is based on the successful local and national 600-Club organizations. The new tournament weekend will have the look and feel of its predecessor, with two squads each day. The only difference is the meeting day, as the 500-Club will hold its gathering between the Saturday squads.

Interested bowlers can register for singles and doubles or their individual choice. Both 500 and 600-Club members will be eligible for the 500-Club event, which is being held one week prior to the 600-Club tournament, currently scheduled for Jan. 23-24 at Pla-Mor Lanes.

The lightened league schedule did produce a few commendable scores. Joe Kelley (195 average) started his preparation for the city tournament with a 268 game and 716 series one week ago in the Five Man Cat League at Pla-Mor Lanes. The 64-year-old right-hander is on the Decatur USBC BA Board of Directors.

Teammates Jeff Meixner and Gary Schwartzle also closed out 2009 with top games of 268, but Meixner got the better of his higher-average comrade with a three-game total of 768 in Wednesday's E-Z Time League at Spare Time Lanes.

PERFECTION REFLECTION: One week after reaching the 300 mark for the first time in Decatur, Tyler Young displayed the same calmness in speaking of his feat as he shows on the lanes. The 16-year-old right-hander has generated many big numbers this season, but his best game of 2009, the first game of the day at Pla-Mor, was atypical for Young.

"It felt different because there was no league at Spare Time that day (Dec. 26), so I didn't have three games in before I went to Pla-Mor," Young said. "I really didn't do anything different in the last frame except I slowed down some."

Young went 300, 258 and 227 for a season-best 785 series. Young shot an 801 at the age of 13 in 2007, and he had also registered a 300 in a Bloomington tournament one year later.
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Final Results of the 2018-2019 Open Championships (City Tournament)

80th Annual Decatur USBC Open
Championship: Feb. 16-Mar. 10, 2019 - at Spare Time Lanes

Handicap Singles

  • Daniel Goebel - 793
  • Cory Hollis - 768
  • Michael Abel - 756

Scratch Singles

  • Phillip Barry - 747
  • Shawn Reed - 738
  • Jason Queen - 729

Handicap Doubles

  • Tom Adcock/Jason Queen - 1533
  • Garrett Strohl/Jarid Thompson - 1488
  • Bob Gray/Frank Bilyeu - 1458

Scratch Doubles

  • Tom Adcock/Jason Queen - 1533
  • Tim Frey/Phillip Barry - 1372
  • Patty Dodd/Bennie Holman - 1358

Handicap All Events

  • Cory Hollis - 2285
  • Bryson Poe - 2210
  • Jason Queen - 2168

Scratch All-Events

  • Jason Queen - 2168
  • Tim Frey - 2156
  • James Heckwine - 2113

Handicap Team

  • Nic Riley (Nic Riley, Ben McCoy, Michael Wilcox, Jon Alford, Phillip Barry) - 3634
  • Dad's Team - 3535
  • Bring Back Pla-Mor - 3406

Scratch Team

  • Nic Riley (Nic Riley, Ben McCoy, Michael Wilcox, Jon Alford, Phillip Barry) - 3567
  • Bring Back Pla-Mor - 3406
  • Balls Deep - 3187