Lincoln’s Rick Miller is one of the best bowlers in Lincoln bowling history, and he is not slowing down. He recently won $1,500 and his sixth Bud Light Match games title, topping an 80-player field at the 32nd event at Sun Valley Lanes.
Max Jensen, Bill Straub, Bill Koehler and Bill Hoppe are among the Lincoln bowlers that have succeeded nationally in the past. Miller is joining the ranks of the elite and etching his name into Lincoln bowling lore with his success.
Rick qualified fifth in the six-game qualifying round with an average of 234 to earn a place in the 10-man finals. Kamron Doyle of Wichita State University was the qualifying leader with an average of 251, which won him an additional $100 as high qualifier, and teammate Wesley Low (last year’s champion) was the final qualifier with an average of 224.
The only other Lincolnite to make the finals was Mike Cigelman, qualifying eighth with an average of 229. The finals consisted of nine head-to-head matches with a final position round game to determine the champion. Each win in the head-to-head was worth an additional 30 bonus points. The totals from the qualifying round were dropped, with each bowler starting over with zero pins.
Asked if this was a tournament he focuses on winning each year, Miller said this was a tournament he looks forward to because it is in his house and always has a great field of young, talented bowlers that are hungry to knock off the region's best.
From 190 to 280
In Rick’s first game of the finals he bowled a 190; he improved to 280 the next game. Asked to compare the two, he said he decided to get the ball into an earlier roll because of the tightness of the condition. He said he thought it was going to be a long day because he started on the low end and was not able to hook the ball. He felt the high end had more back-end hook and the finals were on the high end of the house.
He added that he loves having college bowlers compete in this event because he knows he has to step up his game. Many of the nation's best amateur bowlers have contracts with ball manufacturers, but Rick has never been offered a contract.
Many college kids are able to get balls for free or discounted rates from manufacturers, but Rick has to buy his own equipment. With the success he's had, you would think he would have a ball contract by now; maybe this is something is in his future.
In match play, Rick had a 7-3 record and earned 210 bonus pins, allowing him to win by 179 pins over runner-up Kamron Doyle, who shot a 242 game in the position round to pass teammate Wes Low and move into second. Mike Cigelman ended up 10th to win $250. Other Lincoln cashers were Aaron Schroeder-16th/$122.50 and Mark Porter-20th/$105.
In the second-chance tournament (for bowlers who did not make the finals), Lincoln’s David Schilke won $200 and Dwyane DaMoude finished fifth for $25. They competed in knockout style two 5-frame game matches to determine the champion, with half the field knocked out after each two-game match.
Rick Miller $1,500
Kamron Doyle $750
Wesley Low $575
Mike Snell $450
Ryan Powers $362.50
Jay Watts $362.50
Nick Pate $325
Sean Rangel $300
Keith Ubert $275
Mike Cigelman $250