Even with a 6-7 split, Rhino Page rolled the second-highest target score in Beat the Champions history with a 778 at Rolling Lanes in Countryside.
Liz Kuhlkin gave the women league bowlers in the 58th BTC some breathing room with a 664.
“Only part I looked at on the sheet and saw Del Ballard, my ball rep, and saw [587 in 1987] and I figured I better do better than that or otherwise he might fire me,’’ Page said.
No worries. Page opened with back-to-back 255s, then closed with a 268 to pass Pete Weber (771, 2007) for the second highest men’s target. Robert Lawrence rolled the highest target (815) and highest game (299) in 1992 at the Chicagoland Bowling Proprietors Association’s charity event.
Kuhlkin opened with 257 on nine strikes and two spares and looked like she could challenge Tennelle Grijalva-Milligan’s high target (758, 2000).
“The way it started I thought I might shoot a high 700, but transition happened,’’ Kuhlkin said.
She had 7-10 splits in the sixth and 10th frames in the second game to roll a 190.
“Transition came and I was a little surprised how quickly it came,’’ Kuhlkin said. “I could have definitely afforded to have a ball with surface, but I did not. I basically brought my two favorite balls and they are both shiny.’’
In the third game, Kuhlkin picked up a 2-10 split and finished with a 217.
“It was really cool because I don’t pick it up very often and it was on TV,’’ Kuhlkin said.
She left 10 lone 10-pins, sparing all except the final ball in Game 1.
“She was a spare machine, that is why she is a U.S. Open Champion,’’ Page said.
Page’s only real glitch was a 6-7 split in the fourth frame of Game 2.
“I’m not used to bowling on house shots,’’ Page said. “Instincts told me before I split that I should move, but I was scared to.’’
BTC has raised $2,872,914.93 in the last 57 years.