Date Posted: May 10th, 2023
Written by Justin Hauser for bowl.com
Reno, Nev. – Taking a break from the sport of bowling is sometimes needed to have a full state-of-mind reset. For Brandon Martin of Rochester, New York, a few years to focus on his career was exactly what the doctor ordered to bring his love for the sport back to life.
Martin, a former collegiate bowler at Wichita State University, had taken a step back to focus on his career in financial services at Fidelity Investments but still competed at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships each year with a strong group, featuring USBC and Professional Women’s Bowling Association Hall of Famer Carolyn Dorin-Ballard.
“I am just now starting to take a stab at bowling competitively and seriously again,” said Martin, who made his sixth appearance at the Open Championships. “I have continued to bowl nationals each year since my junior year (in college) with this group, but the last few years or so my focus wasn’t entirely on bowling, as work came first.”
On Tuesday at the National Bowling Stadium, Martin became just the fourth bowler at the 2023 event to shoot a 300 game, and the second to achieve the feat in singles competition.
He was able to roll the honor score during Game 1 of the set, giving him a hot start with hopes to tackle the lead in Regular Singles of 775 by Kyle Luckett of Indianapolis.
Although he slowed down with games of 205 and 179 for a 684 series, he still had earned his spot in the tournament’s record book for his perfect performance.
“My teammates and I broke down the lanes really well, which allowed for the shape I was able to get going into singles,” Martin said. “Once I got to the seventh was when I started to think my reaction was good enough to actually finish off the game.”
The 28-year-old right-hander stepped up in the 10th frame with the nervous feeling every bowler has with the first nine strikes, but he was able to complete the perfect game as if he had done it a million times before.
“I was nervous for sure and was really up there with the goal to make the best shots possible and hopefully knock them all down,” Martin said.
Martin was most excited about now having the distinction of being added to a short list of bowlers who have a 300 game at the Open Championships.
“Knowing I was able to shoot 300 at the Open Championships and being able to see my name as a celebrity every year I bowl is just surreal to me,” said Martin, who also had 652 in team and 622 in doubles for a 1,958 all-events total. “This is a moment I will forever cherish.”
The Regular Division features bowlers with entering averages of 176 and above.
The 2023 Open Championships kicked off March 4 and will conclude July 24. The 143-day tournament will feature more than 9,700 five-player teams and nearly 50,000 bowlers making their way to compete in The Biggest Little City in the World.
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