Columbia 300 News


1/11/17

Matt Russo Captures National Amateur Championship

By Chris Hester

After working all week to qualify as the number one seed in the US National Amateur Championship step-ladder, it all came down to just one mark in the tenth frame.

At least, that’s what Russo believed.

“I took a quick glance at the scoreboard before bowling the tenth frame and I thought I needed a mark,” Russo said.  “As it turned out I only needed good count which I was able to reach by getting eight on the first ball.”

Russo, using his Columbia300 Raw Urge, cruised out to an early lead when he struck in five of the first seven frames and put himself in a great position to win.

“No matter the frame in that entire match, I continued to stick to the process and breathe,” he said. “That mindset gave me success all week and I wasn't going to change that now.”

With his eight count on the first shot of the tenth, Russo locked up the title and went on to win the final match 212 to 197.

After finishing sixth during the first day of qualifying, Russo vaulted into the lead during day two and never relinquished that lead the rest of the way.

“It means so much to me to win the US Amateur Championship,” he said.  “All the hard work and dedication I have put into bowling has truly paid off. This is as big as it gets for an Amateur bowler and to be able to say I am a US Amateur Champion is amazing.”

 Russo, the stand-out collegiate bowler at Webber International, told us how much it means for him to be part of Team USA again this year. 

“Ever since I was young, it was a dream of mine to make Junior Team USA, and I accomplished that in 2016,” he said.  “In 2017, not only did I make Junior Team USA, but I made Team USA. The feeling is very hard to describe.  I never would have thought that I would make the men's Team USA this early in my life.”