New acquaintances take Classified Doubles lead at 2019 USBC Open Championships Aaron Smith March 25, 2019 LAS VEGAS - It has been said that one of the great aspects of the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships is the ability to meet bowlers from around the country and world.Matthew Walters of Englewood, Ohio, and Charles Hurst of Julesburg, Colorado, may have just met this week at the 2019 edition of the event at the South Point Bowling Plaza, but it didn't stop them from working together Monday to take the lead in Classified Doubles.Walters led the way to the top of the standings with games of 170, 200 and 192 for a 562 series, and Hurst rolled scores of 180, 185 and 176 for a 541 set help the duo to a 1,103 total.Hurst rolled a double in the 10th frame of the final game, and Walters filled 18 pins to push the pair ahead of previous leaders, Michael Rediske of Hokah, Minnesota, and Ronald Shelton of Waukon, Iowa (1,097).Although they hail from different parts of the United States, Walters and Hurst had a common thread that brought them together in Las Vegas."I bowl with his brother back in Dayton (Ohio)," said Walters, a 34-year-old right-hander who made his 12th USBC Open Championships appearance. "He put us together as a doubles team, and we just met for the first time yesterday during the team event. We moved into third place in Classified Team, so we thought if we bowled well again today, we'd have another shot at it."Walters and Hurst helped Dayton's The Bowlers Store No. 1 into the top three in Classified Team with a 2,533 score Sunday at South Point. Lynn Christianson Team 1 of Twin Valley, Minnesota, leads with 2,624.As they moved closer to the leading doubles total Monday, several members of their group in Las Vegas were crunching the numbers as they approached the final frame. Both Walters and Hurst admitted they didn't know exactly what they needed, but the encouragement from the stands let them know they were close.With Hurst's double and a single-pin spare from Walters, they just needed to topple 10 pins on their fill balls to secure the outright lead. Hurst took a simple look at his pair of strikes in the final frame."Just some lucky shots from an old fart," said Hurst, a 69-year-old right-hander making his seventh tournament appearance.Walters took a different perspective on his partner's performance."We knew if we made our spares, we'd have a shot to take the lead," Walters said. "Charles just kept on sparing for us and keeping us in it, and that was huge."Now, the new acquaintances will enjoy their time at the top of the standings."It always feels great when you take the lead," Hurst said. "It would be great if it held on, but it probably isn't likely to happen. But, it would be great."Classified Doubles features bowlers with combined entering averages of 310 and below.Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Open Championships Facebook page.