Monday, March 16, 2009

Illinois' LeCaze Tops Three Events In Las Vegas

Former collegiate bowling standout Anthony LaCaze of Glen Ellyn, Ill., enjoyed a whirlwind of success while in Las Vegas for the 2009 USBC Open Championships this week and now tops the leaderboards at three different tournaments.

The 26-year-old right-hander led Junior Team USA Support of Orlando, Fla., into the lead in Regular Team at the Open Championships on Wednesday (3,236) and returned to the lanes at Cashman Center on Thursday to help the group into the top spot in Team All-Events with a 9,846 total.

LaCaze also found individual success at the Open Championships as he moved into fourth place in Regular All-Events with 2,110 and 10th place in Regular Singles with 740.

His good fortune carried over to the nearby USBC/Storm Bowlers Journal Championships, where he is leading Open Singles with 942 and teamed up with Steve Novak of Bay City, Mich., to grab the Open Doubles lead with 1,785.

"I've been throwing the ball really well all week long," said LaCaze, who made his eighth Open Championships appearance and also grabbed the Regular Singles lead at the BTM Tournament, another side event being held in Las Vegas. "This is by far the best I've shot here at the Open."

LaCaze had 725 in team and 645 in doubles and topped his previous high all-events total by 227 pins. Former Team USA member Erik Vermilyea added 2,008 for Junior Team USA Support and was followed by Novak (1,980), former Junior Team USA member Jeffrey Mersch (1,944) and first-time participant Amanda Vermilyea (1,804), who also is a former member of Team USA and Junior Team USA.

"Leaving here in first place feels good," said LaCaze, who recently became the first amateur to make a Lumber Liquidators Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour telecast after advancing out of the weekly Tour Qualifying Round (TQR). "There are still a lot of good bowlers to come out here, but we bowled well, and we're hoping to stay close to the top."

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