Anybody who has been following our daily Area Bowling reports can't help but have noticed the performances of Chris Gable at Abbott Lanes. Some of those numbers seem to jump off the page.
The 25-year-old former Lackawanna High bowler and Section VI all-star team member has shot some of the highest series, not only for this season, but all-time in Western New York.
In October, Gable shot 279-299-300 for a 878 as a sub in the BW's Cagney C2 Tuesday Night league at Abbott. He left a 4-pin in the middle game. He threatened the Western New York record 888 bowled by Bob Rudnick at Spare Time Lanes in 2006. That erased the 886 by Allie Brandt of Lockport in 1939. Terry Bennetti of Lockport shot an 878 in 2007.
Gable, who has worked in various jobs at Abbott Lanes for the last seven or eight years, has not been an overnight sensation. He averaged 233 in the Skip Wood Memorial and 231 in the Hammond Pro Shop/ Darin Tesmer Memorial League at Abbott last season and 233 as a sub in the Dick Robinson Insurance League. Gable averaged 222 in the WNY Sealcoat & Supplies League at AMF Airport.
This year his average has been in the high 230s most of the season.
Gable was overshadowed as a high school bowler and understands why. He came along at the same time as other teen phenoms, Chad Mee, Andy Herbert and Eric Michalski. Nevertheless he contributed an 1,174 total to the team that won the state intersectional championship for Section VI.
Gable credits any improvement in his game since then to just learning to be more consistent. A right-hander, Gable says he's always thrown a pronounced hook.
"This year I'm trying to cut down on the hook and go more straight up," he said. Gable has no personal coach. "My dad helps me here and there," he said
Gable bowls full-time in three leagues, two at Abbott and one at Airport, and subs in two other leagues at Abbott.
He has 17 300 games to his credit, including six this year. He remembers "four or five" 800 series this season.
Gable has never entered the Greater Buffalo USBC Association's premier event, the George A. Obenauer Masters, and said he has no plans to enter when it comes up in May. He say he intends to enter in 2019.
"The Obenauer is not in my plans for now for this year, but I might change my mind," he says.
Open Championship begins
The first of nearly 40,000 bowlers who will participate over the 3 1/2 months took to the lanes March 24 at the Oncenter in Syracuse for the start of the 2018 United States Bowling Congress Open Championship.
The opening ceremonies included the traditional first ball. It was thrown by Patrick VanWagenen of Kingston, who was bowling his first Open Championship. VanWagenen was chosen at random for the Joe Bowler honor of presiding over the opening of the national championship.
The Open returned to Syracuse for the first time since 1999 on 48 lanes set up in the city's convention center.
Kurt Pilon, 45, of Warren, Mich., took the early lead in Regular All-Events, averaging 243 over nine games for a 2,186. Even though it's early, Pilon's total stands a good chance of standing up. Brad Angelo of Lockport was last year's Regular All-Events winner with 2,176.
Pilon shot 763 in team, 752 in doubles and 671 in singles. Angelo's breakdown from 2017 was 735 in singles, 723 in doubles and 718 in team.
Participation records are set every year. One notable mark was set on opening day by Susan Martin, 61, of Reno, Nev. She became the first woman to bowl in 25 Open Championships. The tournament was male-only from its founding in 1901 until it the American Bowling Congress opened its membership to women in 1994. Martin was among the women bowling in the national tournament for the first time that year.
"This is exciting," Martin said. "I've wanted to accomplish certain things in my bowling career, and this is one of them. To get to 25 years, and be the first woman to do it, is pretty remarkable."
* Daemen College's women's team finished fourth in the East Coast Conference Championship last weekend in Port Jefferson Station on Long Island. The Wildcats turned in a dramatic comeback to make the final four. Trailing, 3-0, Chestnut Hill College in their Baker format best-of-seven quarterfinal series on Saturday, they rallied to win four straight games.
Earlier in the day, Coach David Zajac's Daemen team defeated Felician, 4-3, before losing to Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.), 4-0, in the winners bracket semifinal.
Sophomore Rachel Steele led Daemen with 16.9 pins per frame for 36 frames on the day.
A 4-3 loss to Adelphi elimated Daemen the next day.
* Reservation deadline is Monday for the Greater Buffalo USBC City Open. The tournament is at Kenmore Lanes April 24 to May 12.
Entries will close April 13 for the 46th annual GBUSBC Stan Kowalski Senior Singles at Broadway Sports Center April 21-22.
The Obenauer Masters will be at AMF Airport Lanes May 15-20.