Jim Zima bowling column: Brian Thyes back in Major form, rolls 858 series

12:24 AM, Jan. 21, 2013  |  Comments
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After a 15-year absence, Brian Thyes has returned to the Green Bay bowling scene and is making his presence felt in a big way.

Thyes authored an 858 series in the Green Bay Major at Willow Creek Lanes earlier this month, the only 800 series registered in the league this season.

The score also is tied for highest series of the season in the Green Bay-Bay Area USBC Bowling Association. Aaron Bisick rolled his 858 on Dec. 6 in the Ten High Hardball Busters League at Riviera Lanes.

The 50-year-old Thyes, who was elected to the GBBA Hall of Fame in 2007, left Green Bay in 1998 and moved to Suring, where he took over as owner and proprietor of Suring Lanes, which he still runs today.

This year, he decided to make the 60-mile trip from Suring to Green Bay once a week to compete in the Major.

"I had an opportunity to come back and visit family and bowl with my brother (Hall of Famer Tim Thyes), so it's kind of a family night and night off from the (Suring) lanes," Thyes said.

The opportunity was to join the Marty Brice Construction team, replacing Alex Young. Young won the league average title the last four seasons while leading the Brice team to the league championship in five of the last six seasons, including last season.

Thyes is no newcomer to average or league titles in the Major. He was a member of the Century Lanes team that won the title in the 1988-89 season and he won the average title in the 1990-91 season with a 224-50 mark.

In addition, he finished second to Scott Weber in the 1995-96 season with a 224-36 and third in the Century Lanes championship season with a 217.

Prior to leaving the GBBA in 1998, Thyes had recorded eight 800 series and 15 perfect games in the association.

Thyes isn't sure how many 800s or 300s he has in his career.

"I really don't keep track of those things," he said, "but I would guess around 75 (300s) and 40 (800s), including Green Bay, tournaments all over and Suring. I would guess I have about 20 800s and 40 300s here (Suring).

Thyes also had excelled in the United States Bowling Congress National tournament, where he was 17th on the tournament career average list for bowlers who have participated in more than 20 national tournaments.

His top finish in the USBC singles event was second in the 1993 tournament in Tulsa, Okla. He also was a member of the Franklin Wisconsin Dunham Sports team that posted the record for scratch team single (1,266) and placed third in the team event in 2000 in Albuquerque, N.M.

Thyes spent three years on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour, winning regional titles in St. Charles, Mo., and Troy, Mich. Seven of his career 300 games came on the tour.

Thyes had knee surgery about three years ago which slowed him down for awhile and caused him to miss the last several USBC events.

"I didn't bowl regular for awhile and am just getting back in form," he said. "I guess I have to have the knee replaced down the line. It's just about getting older."

In talking about his return to the Major, he said, "The first six or seven weeks it was a struggle, but the last five or six weeks I have been coming around."

Asked if he thought it was possible to top the 858 series this year, he said, "It would be nice, but that was one of those dream nights where everything goes right. You hope to do it again, but you don't know. You go out every night trying to shoot a 700, and if you get close to an 800 it's great.

"The most important thing is the team (Marty Brice). We're doing well and won (the division) in the first half."

Thyes, who is averaging 221 in the Major, said replacing Young is not an easy task.

"At first I put a lot of pressure on myself not to let them (Marty Brice) go a notch down, but now I am getting more comfortable," he said.

Women's association tourney: The Green Bay Area USBC Women's Bowling Association Tournament kicks off its doubles and singles portions Saturday at the Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley Saturday.

Squads are scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Feb. 2 and Feb. 3.

The team event that started last weekend has squads scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Feb. 2.

Entries are accepted until 1 hour before the squad starts.

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