Lusby’s Matt Kerzic and La Plata’s Michael Mann Sr. delivered a pressure-packed shot to take the lead in Standard Doubles at the 2023 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships.
They completed the task and moved into the lead with a combined score of 1,183. Kerzic led the performance with games of 159, 229, and 247 for a 635 series. Mann fired games of 167, 177, and 204 for a 548 set. Glenn Francis and Joey Lankford of Silver City, New Mexico, had taken the lead earlier in the tournament with a score of 1,165.
Kerzic and Mann were bowling doubles at the Open Championships for the first time but had been competing together at the tournament as part of a six-team group from Maryland. They knew the lead was in play heading into the ninth frame, and both players were able to strike. Kerzic added a seventh consecutive strike to start the 10th, while Mann maintained his clean game with a cover of the 2-5-7 to take over the top spot.
The pair may have started slow Saturday, but Kerzic found his look in the middle of Game 2, recording a stretch of six consecutive strikes. Mann leaned on his teammate for some advice in hopes of finding a similar look in Game 3, which helped lead to an exciting finish for both bowlers.
Although they’re unsure if the score will hold long enough for their own trophy presentation at the 2024 event in Las Vegas, they will enjoy the moment and know they performed when they needed it most. Standard Doubles features bowlers with combined entering averages of 311-350.
The 2023 Open Championships kicked off on March 4 and will conclude on July 24. The 143-day tournament will feature more than 9,700 five-player teams and nearly 50,000 bowlers making their way to compete in The Biggest Little City in the World.