Minnesota team returns to Classified lead at 2019 USBC Open Championships

LAS VEGAS - The members of Lynn Christianson Team 1 of Twin Valley, Minnesota, have found a spot at the top of the leaderboard during each of their visits to the South Point Bowling Plaza for the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships after taking the Classified Team lead Tuesday at the 60-lane venue.

Led by Corey Hanson's 568 series, the team produced a consistent effort on the way to games of 887, 885 and 852 for a 2,624 total. Roy Allen Team 2 of Blue Springs, Missouri, had held the lead with 2,580.

Hanson was joined in the effort by Jody Bueng (560), Doug Fugleberg (528), Lynn Christianson (501) and Ricky Crane (467).

The teammates also took the Classified Team lead in early March at the 2017 USBC Open Championships, the tournament's first trip to the Bowling Plaza, before ultimately settling into fourth place.

The group has developed chemistry on the lanes, having bowled together locally for approximately 15 years, and they like to keep things fun and simple when they're competing.

"We try to keep it light," said Christianson, who made his ninth tournament appearance. "We don't want anyone to go out there and get tense. If you miss a shot, you miss a shot. We just go out to have a good time. That's our goal - to relax, hit your spot and have some fun."

As the teammates moved closer to the lead Tuesday, they noticed the championship banners hanging at the Bowling Plaza and set their goal to surpass last year's winning total in the Classified Division.

Team "Beav" of Oceanside, California, captured the Classified Team title at the 2018 Open Championships in Syracuse, New York, with a 2,449 total.

The team easily surpassed that total, and although they've found a home away from home in Las Vegas, they hope to be celebrating next year as well at the 2020 event in Reno, Nevada.

"None of us are really big rev bowlers," Christianson said. "We rely on hitting our spots, trying to find a line that works and supporting each other the best we can. Coming into a tournament, you always want to bowl as well as you can, and if we can end up winning this year, we'd enjoy nothing more than picking up our Eagle in Reno."

The team will return to South Point on Wednesday for doubles and singles competition starting at 5:30 p.m. Eastern.

Classified Team consists of bowlers with combined entering averages of 775 and below.

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