California Bowling Writers

March 22, 2008

by Matt Cannizzaro (USBC Open Championships Media Relations)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - With a little luck of the Irish from his doubles partner, Ricky Meneley of Santa Maria, Calif., nearly rolled two 300 games at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships on Monday.

Meneley, who usually bowls in the tournament around St. Patrick's Day, started his second game of doubles with eight consecutive strikes before a solid 8 pin ended his run. He finished the game with 269 and rebounded with 12 straight strikes for the fifth perfect game of the year and a 773 series at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

"I got lined up at the end of the first game and then had the first eight with one lucky break," Meneley said. "The 8 pin didn't bother me because I knew I was throwing good shots, and that's all that matters. But I never expected to come back and shoot 300 the next game."

Meneley's effort also was enough to help him and Patrick Smart of Santa Maria, Calif., into second place in Regular Doubles with a 1,404 total. Todd Koehler of Appleton, Minn., and Doug Blood of Montevideo, Minn., lead with 1,444.

Meneley added 635 in team and 569 in singles for a 1,977 all-events total, while Smart had 703 in singles, 631 in doubles and 620 in team for 1,954.

"We've been bowling together for a few years in various events, and this is the best we've done," Smart said. "This is the most prestigious tournament we bowl in, and leaving in second place is a big stepping stone for us as doubles partners. We are familiar enough with each other's games to line up off of each other, and that experience paid off today."

Meneley, a network administrator by trade, is no stranger to top-level competition. The 41-year-old right-hander owns five Professional Bowlers Association regional titles and was the PBA West Region Player of the Year in 1999. He also was the first bowler to roll a USBC Sport-certified 300 game at Rancho Bowl in Santa Maria, which is managed by Smart.

"To me, watching him shoot 300 was the highlight of the day," said Smart, a 51-year-old right-hander. "I've seen him shoot 300 before on a Sport condition, but today was the best I've seen him throw the ball."

Presenting sponsors for the 2008 USBC Open Championships are Eldorado Hotel Casino, Silver Legacy Resort Casino and Circus Circus Reno in Reno, Nev. Other participating sponsors are Kegel, official lane maintenance provider; Brunswick, capital equipment supplier; Storm Products, Inc.; Roto Grip, official sponsor of the Roto Grip Sport Bowling Challenge; Isleta Casino & Resort; Santa Ana Star Casino, the official brackets sponsor; Rainbow Ryders, the exclusive hot air balloon company of the 2008 Open Championships; and Sandia Resort & Casino.

For more information on the USBC Open Championships, visit

At Albuquerque Convention Center, Albuquerque, N.M.