Monday, July 10, 2017

The PWBA Florida Tour Stops


The past week and a half I have spent in Florida competing on the PWBA Tour. Our first stop was held in Orlando at Boardwalk Bowl hosted by past PWBA champion Kendra Gaines.

During this stop, we bowled on a very unique  37' pattern. Check it out!



During the 1st block of qualifying, I used my New Hammer Diesel with 1000 grit surface for most of the block, playing straight up 7,  staying out the entire block, just making minor adjustments. 

I shot games of 215, 232, 208 and 228. I then switched to a pin down Scandal Pearl and shot 195 and then switched to a Game Breaker 2 Phenom Pearl for 222 for +100 overall. This put me in 8th position after round 1. 



We then headed out to lunch and got caught in a pretty ugly Florida summer thunderstorm. With a 3 second walk/run from the entrance of the restaurant until the front door, we got completely soaked. Funny now, but not so funny then.



During the night block it was a definite grind! The lanes are always a little different after every strip and re-oil, as they tend to get a little tighter and flatter. I started off with my Columbia 300 Impulse Solid and shot 175. I then switched to my Hammer Diesel and shot 187, 225, 182, 184 and then ended with a big 279 to get me to +132 and in 12th place.


In the Casher's Round, I used a pin Down Tyrant the entire block. I had a good line to the pocket, but I struggled with carry and shot 190, 204 and 179. I then struck out 8th, 9th and 10th for 199 and 213. Being 13th going into the last game, I knew I needed a big game to make the top 12 for match play. I made 12 great shots and bowled a 247 the last game to be the 12th and final qualifier by 3 pins. 



Unfortunately match play didn't go as well, as I couldn't seem to win matches. I went 1-5 shooting +56 scratch and came in 11th place in the tournament. I would have liked to at least make it to the group stepladder for a chance at the TV show, but still a great week overall.



HUGE thank you to Kendra Gaines and the staff of Boardwalk Bowl for the gracious hospitality! Can't wait to head back there again next year! 

I ended up staying in Florida in between the two stops and got a chance to hang out with my good friend John Janawicz (JJ.) On Sunday, I visited the Kennedy Space Center for the 1st time. I went because they had a rocket launch that night, but the launch got cancelled with 10 seconds before takeoff. A big bummer indeed!




On the 4th of July, JJ and I went to Disney Springs for lunch, did a little shopping and then headed to the Disney Polynesian Resort to watch the amazing fireworks from the Magic Kingdom. 





I was also able to practice at the KEGEL Training Center one of the days. This is an amazing facility with some crazy technology. I highly recommend checking it out if you're ever in the area. 


The next leg of the PWBA Tour visited Seminole Lanes in St. Petersburg/Clearwater. This week we bowled on another unique pattern that some say looks like the number 4, and I think resembles a bad game of Tetris. The pattern ended up producing some pretty high scores.



The first block, I used my Scandal with 1000 grit and played far to the right. You had to keep the ball close to the gutter all week. The only problem was that as the pattern developed and more games were bowled, you couldn't move left because there was a cliff of oil. So you had to find the right ball to smoothen out the dry to the right and not over-skid in the oil. I shot 224 game 1 and then switched to my Tyrant and shot 201 and 234. I struggled the next game shooting 171. I then switched to a Paradox Pearl and shot 225 and 195 for +50 overall, which put me in 28th place.



The next block, they did not re-oil the lanes, so we bowled on the burn lanes from the morning. As I previously mentioned, they definitely got a bit tricky. I started off using a newly drilled Dark Legend Solid with the pin above my middle finger and put polish on it. I also had worn a little wrist support that helps me to roll the ball more and I took it off for the second set to help project my ball further down the lane. I shot 200, 258, 191 and 190, changing speeds to compensate for each lane. 

I then, started lofting the ball over the heads with speed to get a better reaction and shot 197. Going into the last game, I knew I needed a good game to make the cut as I was currently in 30th position. I continued with the loft and threw the ball extremely well to shoot 224 for +60 on the block and +110 overall and ended up making the cut which took +89. 

I knew I would need a monster set to make the top 12. Unfortunately things didn't go my way and I ended up coming in 32nd place. Although, I definitely would have liked to do better, I am still glad that I cashed in the event.

BIG thank you to the Kraus family and all of the staff at Seminole Lanes for another wonderful event! 

Super happy for one of my tour roommates Danielle McEwan for making back-to-back TV shows. 



Now time to enjoy being home for a few days before heading to Rochester, NY later this week.

Until then! 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Go Bowling PWBA Players Championship


This past week, I traveled to Green Bay, WI for the Go Bowling PWBA Players Championship held at Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley. I was happy to be able to bring my hubby along and show him a little bit of the area.

We arrived late on Tuesday night. Having most of the day Wednesday prior to the practice session, I took Drew to Titletown Brew Pub, which is one of the most popular brew pubs in the country. Built inside of an old train depot, the decor is fabulous, food is amazing, and I highly recommend the home-brewed sno cap root beer.



After lunch, we ventured to Bay Beach and stopped by the amusement park and took a stroll along the bay. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get in a tour of Lambeau Field.




We then had our practice session, followed by a unique pro-am event, in which we did cosmic bowling. That was a first for me! I had so much fun bowling, especially with my friends from the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau.

This week, the oil pattern wasn't posted for the event. The format for this week was also slightly different. We bowled three 6-game blocks of qualifying. The field was then cut to the top 16 for round robin match play, with the winner of each match earning 30 bonus pins. After all 32 games, the top 4 would make the LIVE TV show.

The next morning, we started our first 6 games of qualifying. I struggled game 1, shooting 154. I then switched to my New Hammer Diesel and shot 209. The lanes broke down quickly and I then switched to a newly drilled pin down Hammer Scandal Pearl and shot 192, 194, 205 and 196 for -50, which put me in 43rd place overall. Unfortunately my carry percentage wasn't great, so it was hard for me to make up for the bad start.



The next round, I started with my Hammer Diesel and shot 198. I then switched to my Scandal Pearl for a 176 and 199. I struggled game 4 to find a line and shot 169. I then switched to a pin down Phenom Pearl and shot 179 and 210 for -119 overall, which dropped me down to 44th place. Definitely a frustrating day, but at least I was able to end it o a positive note.




The next morning, I knew I needed to execute and shoot a big block just to cash, let alone have an outside chase of making the top 18 cut. Going into the final block of qualifying, the current cut to the top 18, was +32. I started off on the high end of the bowling center and used my Hammer Diesel to shoot 246 game 1. I then had to make the turn to the low end of the bowling center and shot 206 and 204. I followed it up with a 247 game. 

My scores put me close to the top 18 cut, needing two good games to finish off the block. The lanes started to transition and I switched to my Phenom Pearl and shot 185 leaving a stone 8 pin my second shot in the 10th, which cost me a double and 10 extra pins. 

My last game, I bowled really well, but didn't carry enough shooting 210 for +98 for the block. This put me at -21 overall. I ended up coming in 24th, cashing in the tournament, but missing the cut to the top 18 by 25 pins.



This week was a great lesson in never giving up. I was 151 pins out of making the cut and 58 pins away from cashing when the day started. With some great execution and confidence in my ability, I was able to pull everything together and make a great comeback. I am very proud of that.

HUGE thank you to Dave and Matt, amazing proprietors from Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley and Joel from the GGCVB for all of their hard work and gracious hospitality during the Go Bowling PWBA Players Championship! It's always a pleasure to visit Green Bay!

This week also marks the last stop for my Malaysian friends. Very sad to see them go, especially my old roomie Shalin Zulkifli. 



Time to head home for a few days, rest and relax and then it's on to Orlando! #PWBA  







Monday, June 12, 2017

The Pepsi PWBA Lincoln Open


This past week, I travelled to Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln, Nebraska for the Pepsi PWBA Lincoln Open.






This week, we competed on a demanding 36' pattern. There were 78 bowlers at this event with a max of 80. 



Even though we were bowling on a short pattern, the extreme outside part of the lane was out of bounds/unplayable. That's what also added to the difficulty of this pattern, as that is usually the part of the lane you should be playing on such short patterns. 

I decided to play it safer, keeping the ball controlled and used my Black Hammer Urethane with 500 grit playing straight up 9 board to start and shot games of 200, 245 and 168. I then began lofting my Urethane ball to get it cleaner through the heads and shot 223 and 197 before switching to my Columbia 300 Eruption Pro Orange for 184. This put me at +17 overall and in 13th position, only missing one makeable spare  (a washout.)




After a short break, we came back to bowl the 2nd block of qualifying. I again started with my Urethane ball shooting 202. Unfortunately, many played the lanes further inside to start, making the pattern change faster and get ugly pretty quick. I really struggled the remainder of the block shooting 159, 184, 199, 178 and 170 for -91 total. This squeaked me into the Casher's Round ending up in 29th place. It took - 114 to make the cut to the top 32.



Needing a big block in the Casher's Round, I decided to go with a different strategy. I used my New Hammer Diesel and opened up my angles quite a bit, getting the ball quickly to the right, allowing the ball to roll off the dry. I must admit this is definitely not my A game, as I prefer a straighter angle to the pocket. 

The strategy seemed to work as I shot 206 and 232 to start. However, the lanes transitioned and I couldn't quite figure them out after that. I ended up shooting 171, 193, 145 and 192 for -152 overall, which kept me in 29th position for the tournament. 




Although I definitely would have liked to bowl better, I am still happy with cashing considering I haven't cashed at this event the prior 2 years. 

Thank you to the 2017 BPAA Proprietor of the Year John Losito and the entire staff of Sun Valley Lanes for the gracious hospitality! It has been a pleasure bowling here the first 3 seasons. 

Congratulations to Li Jane Sin from Malaysia, Thashaina Seraus from Aruba and Kelly Kulick and Liz Johnson for making the TV show.

Be sure to tune in to CBS Sports Network on Tuesday nights at 8 pm EST to watch the stepladder finals of this season's events.

Time for a quick trip home before heading to our next PWBA Tour Stop in Detroit, Michigan. And....last but not least...

Here's a little secret that I can finally let all of you in on....Baby Parkin will be arriving in December 2017. Drew and I are ecstatic! And YES, I will be bowling the entire 2017 PWBA Tour Season. 




Monday, June 5, 2017

The PWBA Wichita Open




This past week, I travelled to NorthRock Lanes in Wichita, Kansas for the Midwest segment of the PWBA Tour. 

Having just missed the cut at this event the past two seasons, I was determined to change things this time around.

I flew out early Thursday morning and made it in time for the Thursday afternoon practice session. I also bowled in the pro-am that evening with a great group of junior and adult bowlers. 

Prior to the start of the pro-am, we had a little silly competition amongst the pros. Every pro had to go up to the foul line with a ball in their hand. We had no idea what was going on. We then were asked to face the audience and throw the ball granny style between our legs, backwards. Well seeing as I have actually never done this before, I was concerned at knocking down any pins at all. 

We all threw the ball at the same time, highest pin fall remained. I actually knocked down 9 pins to my surprise. There were 3 or 4 people left. So we went again. I knocked down 6 pins and tied with one other bowler for the highest pinfall. We both then threw it in the gutter and needed to go again for the tie breaker. I again knocked down 9 pins and won my pair free frozen custard! A great way to start the night! 

The next day, we bowled our qualifying squads. For those that haven't actually attended one of our tour events, I'd like to give you a little more insight into our daily schedule for each standard event week.

There's an optional morning practice session from 9-10am on Fridays. I opted to get extra sleep and skip it this week. We then bowl 6 games of qualifying starting at noon, so a late breakfast/early lunch is what we eat beforehand. 

As in many weeks, we had another awesome turnout - 101 bowlers, so there were 4 and some 5 pros on a pair. This makes for LONG qualifying blocks. We got done bowling around 4pm, which gives you about an hour for a quick late lunch/early dinner (and that's if you're not drilling a bowling ball in between squads, which takes more time since we have to work out all of our own equipment.) 

We then bowl another 6-game qualifying block at 6pm, which usually gets done around 10pm. By the time we get done, I might have a quick snack, if at all and then it's off to sleep. Then if you make the cut to the top 32, it's a very quick turnaround as we have to bowl at 8:30am the next morning. 

That next morning, it's another 6 games of the Casher's Round before cutting to the top 12 for matchplay. Then another 6 games of matchplay, followed by the stepladder finals. So all of this makes for a lot of bowling in a very short amount of time. Just a little more in depth look into our lives every weekend. 

This week, we bowled on a rather interesting/difficult 42' pattern using ice oil. 



I started off using a lot of surface (360 grit) on my Track Heat Xtreme, playing far to the right, pointing the ball. I shot games of 215 and 204. I then switched to my Track Mako and shot 182, 210 and 225. Unfortunately, the last game I struggled only shooting 159 for -5 overall, which put me in 21st place. 



The next block, they did not re-oil the lanes so we bowled on the burn. I completely changed strategies and jumped deep inside using my Columbia 300 Tyrant and shot 237 and 201. I then struggled again leaving a couple of pocket splits and shot 159. I brought it back with a 227, 182 and 221 for +22 total, which moved me into 16th place overall. The cut to the top 32 was -31. 



The next morning, I needed a good block to jump into the top 12. I was only 33 pins back when the day started. I again started off using my Track Heat Xtreme with surface and played right and shot 223. Unfortunately, when I moved to the next pair, I struggled to get lined up and started off with 3 splits and opens in a row. I ended up striking out in the 10th for 156. I then switched to my Track Mako shooting a clean 194. 

Not having a great reaction, I decided to jump inside and shot 186, 211 and 205. I didn't throw the ball stellar in the Casher's Round and with the demanding conditions, that wasn't going to make the cut. I ended up -3 overall which put me in 20th place in the tournament. It took +60 to make the cut to match play. 



Even though I would have liked to do better, I'm still happy with the fact that I bowled better at this event than the previous years. 

Thank you to Kathy Desocio and the staff of NorthRock Lanes for their continued support of women's bowling! 

Congratulations to Malaysians Siti Rahman and Li Jane Sin as well as Colombian Juliana Franco and Liz Johnson for making the TV show! On to Lincoln! 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The 2017 USBC Queens

Last week, we had our first Major of the 2017 PWBA season - The USBC Queens in Baton Rouge, LA.

This week I was lucky enough to be joined with my hubby Drew and my in-laws. I always love having support at the tournaments! Prior to the start of the event, we did some sightseeing. We visited Oak Alley Plantation, Dr. Wagner's Honey Island Swamp Tour, walked around New Orleans and went on a jazz dinner cruise on the steamboat Natchez along the Mississippi River.






This week, we competed on a 41' pattern using fire oil.



The format for the Queens consists of three 5-game blocks of qualifying. The field is then cut to the top 63 bowlers plus last year's champion Bernice Lim. Those 64 bowlers are then placed into a bracket with a double elimination format. Each match consists of 3 games total pins to determine the winner. This year, there were 162 bowers that participated in the USBC Queens tournament.

I was on the very first squad of qualifying for the tournament. I used my Columbia300 Impulse Solid to shoot games of 225 and 224. I then switched to my trusty Oath and shot 226, 257 and then hit a bad pair my last game shooting 180 for +112 overall. After all 3 squads of qualifying, this put me in 11th place overall.


My next block, I again bowled on the fresh. I started with the same ball - the Impulse Solid and shot 208, 183 and then switched to my Oath and shot 259, 235 and used my Hammer Scandal Pearl the last game to shoot 224 for +109 on the day and +221 overall. This bumped me up to 3rd place overall.


My final round of qualifying, I bowled on the burn squad, meaning that the lanes were not re-oiled after the previous squad bowled on them. I started with my Hammer Scandal Pearl and shot 238, 255, 206, 231 and switched to my Cyborg Pearl the last game and ended with a 183. I shot +113 for the day and +334 overall which put me in 4th place overall. The cut to matchplay was +21.


In my first match, I faced Aumi Guerra from the Dominican Republic. Interesting history between Aumi and I...the year I won the Queens in 2011, I also faced Aumi in the first round of match play. I was down 80 pins going into the last game and shot 290 to come back and win the match and then went on to win the entire tournament.

This year, I started the match shooting only 203 using my Track Mako to her 212. Being down 9 pins, I switched to my Oath, but again lost more ground the second game shooting 211 to her 237. I was down 35 pins going into the final game. I stuck with my Oath and started stringing strikes. It came down to the 10th frame. I needed to throw the first strike in the 10th to win the match. I threw it well and struck and ended up shooting 237 to her 186 for a 651-635 victory.


My next match, I faced collegiate standout and Team USA Member Stephanie Schwartz and we bowled on the burn. I used my Oath and shot a clean 215 to her 224. I then shot a clean 219 to her 197. I was down 13 pins going into the last game. Unfortunately, my look started going away and her look got significantly better. She started stringing strikes and it was all she wrote, as she went on to shoot 255 to my 187 for a 676 victory over my 621, sending me into the contenders bracket.

Being put in the contender's bracket in the 1st or 2nd round is pretty detrimental. You have to bowl a ton of matches to get to the TV show since bowlers keep getting thrown into the contenders bracket from the winners bracket each round. It's also win or go home, as once you loose in the contenders bracket, you are out of the tournament.

I had to bowl my first match in the contenders bracket that evening. I faced Hall of Famer Leanne Hulsenburg on the burn. I knew I was going to have to bowl well, not only because it was Leanne, but also because she was most likely going to be able to open up the lanes, since they were not re-oiled and create a better shot than I could. I started off shooting a clean 213 using my Oath to her 203. The next game, I made a gutsy move and decided to stay right and throw it firm, balling down to my Game Breaker 2 Phenom Pearl and shot a clean 215 to her 243.  I was down 18 pins going into the last game and ended up stringing strikes for a clean 244. The match came down to the 10th frame and I managed to win 672 to 661.



The next morning, I faced collegiate player Jessica Mellott. I sanded my Columbia 300 Impulse Solid and shot a clean 245 to her 194. I stuck with the same ball throughout and shot 222 to her 206. She then started stringing strikes the last game, but luckily I also continued striking shooting 233 to her 256 for a 700-656 win.


My next match, we again bowled on the burn and I faced newly wed and Team USA Teammate Josie Earnest-Barnes. I knew this match would be very tough as Josie was 3rd after qualifying and we were the top 2 highest seeded players still alive in the tournament.

I was able to start off with my Impulse Solid and shot 245 to her 249. The second game, I switched to  a pin down Columbia 300 Tyrant, swinging it a little with a little slower ball speed on the left lane and stayed with a more direct line, harder to the right with my Impulse Solid on the right lane. I managed to shoot 245 to her 236. I was up 5 pins going into the final game. The match came down to the 9th and 10th frame. I needed to strike in both the 9th and first shot in the 10th to lock her out. I threw both shots well, striking and ended up winning the match 716-690.



In my next match, I faced Clara Guerrero. I started with my Ebonite Game Breaker 2 Phenom, but quickly switched back to my Impulse Solid and shot 224 to Clara's 247. The next game, I shot a clean 247 to her 202. I was up 22 pins going into the last game and continued striking to shoot another clean 247 to her 194 for a 718 win over her 643.



In my next match, I faced another heavy hitter - Danielle McEwan. Throughout the match, I used my Columbia 300 Impulse Solid and shot 224 to her 225. The next game, I shot 201 to her 208. I was down 8 pins going into the final game. Danielle and I were both striking and it came down to the 8th, 9th and 10th frame. I needed to strike in the 8th, 9th, first shot in the 10th and get good count my 2nd shot in the 10th to lock her out. Those shots were some of the best I've thrown under pressure, as I pured each one off my hand. I ended up shooting 268 to her 224 to win 693-657. Check out my twitter account to see the last shots of that match @missyparkin


In my next match, I faced Singaporean lefty Cherie Tan. I didn't throw the ball very well in the first game and was having some troubles on the right lane. I only shot 167 to her 189. In the next match, I shot 211 to her 215. I was down 26 pins going into the final game. I started stringing strikes but a stubborn 10 pin and 9 pin in between strikes ended my winning streak. I shot 225 to her 245 to lose 603 to 649.

I ended up in 7th place overall for the tournament. If I had won that match, I would have made it to the contenders elimination match, where 4 bowlers bowl 3 games against each other and the top 3 players advance to the TV show. 

Hopefully everyone was able to watch the USBC Queens on CBS Sports Network. Congratulations to  Team C300 teammate Diana Zavjalova on winning her 2nd Queens title!

Now time for a little rest on this holiday weekend before heading out to our next stop in Wichita, Kansas. Until then!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Stop #3 -The PWBA Fountain Valley Open


This past week, the PWBA came close to my home for the PWBA Fountain Valley Open at Fountain Bowl in Southern California.


Prior to the start of the event, Scott Norton had some of us over for a little get together, which was a lot of fun!



Also this week, just before the practice session, we had a PWBA photo shoot.




It was nice to be able to sleep in my own bed this week. However, the best thing about the event being so close to home, was that a ton of my family, friends customers and lessons came out to cheer me on. My family called it “my entourage.” I’m sure the entire bowling center thought I was shooting 300 every game with the abundance of cheering. LOL! It was amazing to be able to compete in front of them!

This week, we competed on a 38’ pattern using Curve oil. Seeing as this bowling center tends to hook pretty good already, I knew there would definitely be some friction.



I ended up struggling to start game 1, shooting only 162 (my lowest qualifying game of the season thus far.) But then I quickly turned it around shooting 203 and then completely switched strategies. I was playing further inside, trying to be soft and let it float off my hand (not my strong suite.) So instead, I switched to my Game Breaker 2 Phenom Pearl, moved back right and threw it hard to play a straighter line. This definitely paid off as I then shot 214, 238, 227 and 209 for +55 overall. This put me in 12th place.


The next qualifying block, I decided to start with my Game Breaker 2 Phenom again throwing the ball harder with a straighter line. This also paid off, as I strung 10 in-a-row for a 267 game 1. Then followed it up with a 211, 217 and 236 before hitting a horrible pair and shooting 145 with 5 splits.  I brought it back the last game and ended the night with a 245 to be +176 and in 4th place overall.



Going into the casher’s round, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what I needed to do on the lanes. Unfortunately, the fronts burned up quicker and the backends got tighter and the line that I had been playing completely stopped working. I struggled all block to find the correct line/ball combo. Unfortunately, this cost me making the cut to the top 12 for matchplay. I ended up finishing tied for 15th place overall in the 3rd stop of the PWBA season.

Although I missed my ultimate goal of making match play, I am still very pleased with how I bowled all week. I only missed 3 makeable spares – a 2,8 spare a 3,10 baby split and a washout that I went around.

Thank you to Gary Foreman and the entire staff at Fountain Bowl for the gracious hospitality!  HUGE thank you to everyone that came out to cheer me on! That meant more than you’ll ever know!

On to Baton Rouge for our 1st major of the year - the USBC Queens. Time to grab another tiara!


For full tournament results, click here.