You don’t just walk into the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships and win the team or team all-events titles.
Along with talent and mental toughness, it requires preparation, a game plan and execution.
John Gaines, long one of the country’s top non-touring pros, has won three Eagles and his comments after putting himself into position to win a fourth show that he and his teammates know exactly what it takes.
Gaines and his Lodge Lanes Too (they were Team Gaines 2 when they took over fourth in team on Tuesday) team had a stellar day in minor events Wednesday at the Baton Rouge River Center, edging past Milwaukee’s Five Horsemen for the team all-events lead, 9,744-9,731.
“A lot of information was exchanged between doubles and singles, and Jeff Ussery from our companion team was spot on with what he told us about the pair they were on, which is the main reason we got off to such a strong start in singles,” Gaines said in this USBC news release. “I don’t know if what we got is enough, but we did what we could. All five guys shot 1,900, and that’s a pretty solid effort. You can’t win unless you leave with the lead, and we did that.”
Gaines led Lodge Lanes Too with 1,994, one-time Eagle winner Mitch Jabczenski added 1,961), two-time Eagle winner John Janawicz 1,940, month-old PBA Tour champion Scott Newell 1,930, and former Team USA member Vernon Peterson 1,919.
Gaines told USBC he started preparing for the tournament as soon as last year’s ended, and Lodge Lanes Too and companion team Hammerbowling.com have been communicating and preparing for months, including a team practice session en route to Baton Rouge and another at the site’s Showcase Lanes.
“There were quite a few emails and phone calls,” Gaines said in the release. “Anytime someone practiced at home, there was a call or email about what they saw or what ball and surface they used. That helped us narrow things down, and the closer it got, the more often we talked.”
More illuminating quotes and details are in the release.