New leaders emerge in Senior Doubles at 2019 Bowlers Journal Championships

By Matt Cannizzaro and Daniel Farish
USBC Communications

It's only going to take few days of waiting for Robert Brown of Cody, Wyoming, and John Huber of Marshfield, Missouri, to find out if they will be among the champions at the 2019 Bowlers Journal Championships presented by the United States Bowling Congress.

Brown and Huber combined to shoot 1,359 on Saturday night at the South Point Bowling Center and landed at the top of the Senior Doubles standings. They passed previous leaders Phillip Spruill of San Francisco and Terry Leong of Henderson, Nevada, by six pins (1,353).

The new leaders were separated from one another by just five pins, led by Brown, who rolled games of 201, 235 and 246 for a 682 series. Huber added 264, 188 and 225 for a 677 set.

Both bowlers are in town for the 2019 USBC Open Championships, which is being held at the nearby South Point Bowling Plaza.

Brown, a 59-year old right-hander, is no stranger to the Bowlers Journal Championships, having claimed the 2017 Senior Doubles title with Billy Langford of Lone Grove, Oklahoma.

Before teaming with Huber on Saturday, Brown bowled a handful of singles sets, and one doubles set, at the 2019 Bowlers Journal, giving him an idea of how the oil pattern could be played.

"I bowled twice while I was in town earlier in the month, and then this week, Billy flew in from Oklahoma to see if we could win it again," said Brown, who finished 61st at the USBC Senior Masters and 68th at the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Senior U.S. Open in June, also in Las Vegas. "My familiarity with the center and ability to play outside really have helped me here."

For Huber, however, there was no prior experience or knowledge to fall back on when it came to participating in the Bowlers Journal Championships this week. The 2019 event was the first time he's ever bowled in it.

"I didn't really have a game plan," said Huber, who also made his Open Championships debut this week. "I just went with what I thought would work, and some good guesses."

The Bowlers Journal Championships is being contested on the same oil pattern as the doubles and singles events at the Open Championships, something Brown is hoping will help him as he prepares for those events on Monday.

"I actually drilled up a new ball for the doubles and singles at the Open Championships and thought I would use it over here (at the Bowlers Journal), and, obviously, it worked," Brown said. "I can only hope it does the same thing on Monday."

A win of this magnitude would top the list of accomplishments for Huber and put quite a stamp on his first visit to the Open Championships and Bowlers Journal Championships.

"This would be No. 1, no question," said Huber, a 57-year old right-hander. "I've never done anything like this before, so, yeah, this would be pretty cool."

Brown and Huber bowled on companion teams Sunday night at the Open Championships, with Brown leading his team, Red Baritone 1 of Missouri, to a 3,036 total with games of 236, 228 and 212 for a 676 series. This year marks Brown's 11th Open Championships appearance.

Huber rolled games of 177, 184 and 201 for a 566 series, which was the second-high series for Red Baritone 2, helping the team to a 2,704 total. Both teams competed in the Regular Division.

The Bowlers Journal Championships is in its 73rd year as the premier side event at the Open Championships. Both the Bowlers Journal Championships and Open Championships kicked off in March and will conclude later this week.

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