LAS VEGAS - Team USA member Bryanna Coté‚ of Red Rock, Arizona, and her husband, Randy, initially had no idea they'd be bowling on the opening squad of the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, and they're now the bowlers to beat after two days of competition at the South Point Bowling Plaza.
Finding a time in the event that was convenient for 10 bowlers landed them laneside for the event's opening festivities, and they kept the excitement going on the way into the top spot in every Regular Division event - team, doubles, singles and all-events.
Bryanna, who is coming off of a successful 2016 that included winning her first Professional Women's Bowling Association title, set the pace at the Bowling Plaza this weekend, shooting 675 in doubles, 663 in singles and 615 in team for a 1,953 all-events total.
She teamed with Randy (567) for a 1,242 doubles total, and the duo helped their Apparel EFX team to a 2,950 total.
"We didn't realize we were bowling on the opening squad until about a week ago," Bryanna Coté‚ said. "It was pretty entertaining, since I've never seen that side of the Open Championships. It was neat to see how it all starts, and I was kind of hoping to be picked as 'Josephine Bowler,' but maybe next year."
As a four-time Team USA member and former standout at the University of Central Missouri, Bryanna is used to being in the spotlight, but she expressed extreme pride in Randy's surge to the top of the singles standings.
Randy, the owner-operator of Apparel EFX, an apparel sponsor of the PWBA, struck nine times on the way to a 268 singles opener and added games of 212 and 235 for a 715 series, the first 700 of the 2017 USBC Open Championships.
"Toward the end of doubles, I started to see transition in the middle of the lane," said Randy Coté, who rolled a perfect game during the 2015 USBC Team USA Trials, also held in Las Vegas. "The ball stopped hooking, so I started to move farther left and chase the hold. If I needed to manipulate my roll from there, I relied on speed adjustments more than anything else. Our main goal was to just lead for a day, so to accomplish that was a lot of fun."
Randy added 593 in team for a 1,875 all-events effort in his eighth consecutive Open Championships.
This weekend was not the first time Bryanna found success at the Bowling Plaza, having led singles briefly last year at the 2016 USBC Women's Championships, before finishing tied for seventh place in Diamond Singles, but bowling well as a couple makes it a little sweeter.
"It's fun to bowl with my husband, and to say we've led together here is pretty cool," said Bryanna Coté, who made her ninth Open Championships appearance. "I know I don't want to bowl with anybody else, and I don't think he does either."
The Regular Division at the Open Championships is for bowlers with entering averages of 210 and above, doubles pairs with combined averages of 419 and above and teams with combined average of 1,046 and higher.
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