RENO, Nev. -- Concord's Merlin Ng, 49, nearly became the fourth bowler to roll two perfect games in the same tournament, as he started the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships on May 24 with a 300 -- 12 consecutive strikes -- then rolled a 299 two games later at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno.
He left only the 2 pin standing in his final strike attempt.
"I was very nervous," Ng said.
"I have shot 300 before, but this is the Stadium. My teammates gave me all the courage and confidence. They said to stick with what I normally do and just throw the ball, and that really helped. I was so proud, and I can't believe I did it."
The other bowlers to roll two 300s in one tournament are David Ferguson of Austin, Texas in 2006, Kyle McCrackin of Wichita, Kan. in 2002 and Ron Bahr of Topeka, Kan. in 2003.
Bahr is the only bowler in 111 years of USBC Open Championships competition to toss back-to-back 300s, which he did on the way to an 837 series and the Regular Singles title.
After starting his second game with two consecutive strikes, Ng found it tough to move as the 43-foot Sport-certified pattern began to transition. He made a ball change and moved farther left with his teammates to get back on track.
"I should have moved deeper with everybody else," Ng said.
"I saw it, but I didn't do it. I thought I could play tighter, since I started so well. But that's the game."
Ng's 300 was the 27th of this year's Open Championships, and his 299 was the seventh rolled at the NBS during the 2014 event. Although he didn't finish off that game, he was happy his team's game plan had worked out.
"On the last shot, I dropped the ball," Ng said.
"I was still nervous. Our game plan worked pretty well. Everybody started throwing the ball from about 10 out to five, so we dried it up to create some area."