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Ohio Amateur Fero Williams Averages 248 to Take First Round Lead in Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open


NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Amateur Fero Williams of Fairfield, Ohio, averaged 248.17 to race away with the first round lead in the 68th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open at Brunswick Zone-Carolier Tuesday by 105 pins over a pair of South American players, Andres Gomez of Colombia and Ildemaro Ruiz of Venezuela.

Williams, a 30-year-old former Team USA member, rolled games of 269, 234, 268, 266, 194 and 258 on the most demanding lane conditions of the 2010-11 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season, finishing his opening round with a 1,489 total. Williams has never won a PBA title and an amateur has never won the U.S. Open.

“I want to win,” Williams said. “I didn’t come out here just to say I bowled with the great ones. Twenty years from now, it would be great to look back and say I won the U.S. Open. That’s what we all want as bowlers – to win a PBA title, to say that I was the best guy that one day.”

Williams has bowled in the U.S. Open the past six years, making the cashers’ round cut five times, but never finishing among the top 24. But he also has been learning.

“What I’ve learned bowling against the pros is take your time, stay calm, every shot is critical, relax and repeat shots,” Williams said. “When you’re an amateur, most of the conditions you bowl on are a lot softer. When you bowl these guys, you have to take your time and think about what you need to do. Patience is a virtue.”

Gomez and Ruiz, who averaged an impressive 230.67, were tied with 1,384 pinfall totals. Like Williams, both are also trying for their first PBA titles. Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., the winner of the 2010 PBA World Championship and runner-up in the 2011 PBA Tournament of Champions in January, was one pin behind Gomez and Ruiz.

All 383 players in the field will bowl two additional six-game qualifying rounds Wednesday and Thursday before the field is cut to the top 95 for an eight-game cashers’ round Friday morning. The top 24 after a total of 26 games will then advance to three eight-game round-robin match play rounds Friday night and Saturday.

The top six players after 50 games will advance to the unique six-player stepladder finals, starting with two games live on ESPN2 Saturday at 10 p.m. Eastern. Saturday’s winner will then join the top three finalists for Sunday’s championship round at 3 p.m. Eastern on ESPN. First prize in the event is $80,000.

68TH LUMBER LIQUIDATORS U.S. OPEN

Brunswick Zone-Carolier, North Brunswick, N.J., Tuesday

FIRST ROUND (after 6 games)

1, Fero Williams, Fairfield, Ohio, 1,489.
2, (tie) Andres Gomez, Colombia, and Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 1,384.
4, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 1,383.
5, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 1,367.

For more news, info and full standings for the US Open, please visit pba.com