The final stop of the PBA Women's Series season couldn't have been at a better venue - Lava Lanes in Medford, Ore. for the Earl Anthony Medford Classic.
The management and staff at Lava Lanes always treat the PBA and its bowlers with the utmost hospitality during the week of kegeling. Pro-ams are always full, fans are abundant, TV crews and newspaper reporters are on hand everyday (and the catered food is appreciated immensely).
If you have never witnessed a PBA event in Medford, it is definitely a sight to see and an event to partake in. Even the Tour Qualifying Round (TQR) is packed with eager fans, who await the yearly event.
And of course, the event couldn't be named after a better individual and ambassador to the sport of bowling - Earl Anthony. As it has now been announced, Earl Anthony was voted "THE" Greatest Player in the PBA Tour's 50 years of existence.
This was also the first year that the PBA Women's Series ventured to Medford and to commemorate the occasion, the center hosted an all women's series special pro-am event on Tuesday night. The pro-am was packed and locals were excited to see the women come to Medford. I heard a lot of "We love watching the women bowl!" and "We're so excited to see you gals come to town!" comments from all.
The entire week the grand stand bleachers were full and many familiar pro-am participants cheered us on. I was lucky enough to be scheduled for two pro-ams that week (one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday), so prior to the start of qualifying on Thursday, I had plenty of fans to cheer me on, which was greatly appreciated!
I was also interviewed on Tuesday afternoon during the unofficial practice session and was featured on the afternoon and late-night NBC local news station.
Although I was sick the entire week, I still had a lot of fun!
The most difficult thing about the week was by far the oil pattern. The Earl Anthony pattern was a newly designed pattern and was probably the most difficult pattern I have competed on in a VERY long time. (Although you couldn't tell by watching Wes Malott bowl on it, who averaged 225.69 for the entire event.)
The pattern was pretty flat, demanding accuracy and extremely good execution. Even nailing the target but throwing it a touch slow or hard would make the ball react dramatically different and resulted in missing the pocket more often than not. (If you watched the telecast of the TV show, you can see this first hand by Tommy Jones' ball reaction in the championship match.)
I bowled really well in qualifying, finishing out the 14 games at +4 and in 5th place. However, match play the next day was another story. I couldn't seem to get anything going and didn't throw the ball that well, resulting in only winning 2 out of 9 matches and finishing in 9th place overall.
It was very sad to realize that it was our last PBA Women's Series event of the season. All of us girls really created a close bond and it was awesome to travel and compete alongside the men the entire season.
Stay tuned for a recap of the PBA Women's Series season and be sure to check out the PBA Women's Series Showdown presented by USBC that will air on ESPN April 12 from 1-3 p.m. EST.
In between the Reno mixed doubles event and the Medford stop, my dad (who was traveling with me) and I decided to spend a few days in San Francisco with my best friend and fellow bowler Scott Norton. Scott is attending law school at UC Hastings in San Francisco and was just a few days shy of starting his last semester.
So my dad and I had a lot of fun doing touristy stuff around the Bay area. For starters, my dad has always wanted to go to Alcatraz, so we booked a tour and took a boat across the bay to "The Rock." If you ever have the chance, I highly recommend going there. It's crazy to hear about how the isolated island was used not only for a jail of the most highly acclaimed criminals but also originally as a fort and later as an American Indian activist site.
We definitely had our fair share of good food too! What's amazing about San Fran is that every store and restaurant is privately owned and is not part of a chain. So you are able to eat a variety of really good food. We had Thai, seafood at the wharf, Chinese in China town, Greek, Indian and Scott's famous tacos.
While in China town, we happened to do some shopping too. I love going to China town because of the shear rare things you can find. It was also fun to just window shop in some of the unique stores.
All in all it was great trip and a good way to relax for a few days in between tournaments.
Even though the National Bowling Stadium Championship was not a PBA Women's Series event, I decided to partake in the fun of a dual pattern event and bowl the TQR.
After many games from the mixed doubles tournament and getting done fairly late (10 p.m. the night before), I woke up early the next morning to bowl. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get enough sleep and wasn't fully awake until game two. I missed four (yes four!) spares in the first two games of the TQR. (And I don't miss spares usually.) And I managed to use the incorrect bowling ball on both of the PBA oil patterns (Shark and Cheetah) for the first game.
However, after game two I remembered how to bowl again and ended up at +93 for the seven games. I fell just short of cashing and making the cut into the tournament.
Although I didn't make it into the tournament, it was still a good week overall.
I also participated in a Vise video shoot for product promotional purposes. For those of you that haven't tried the new IT product, Vise skin tape or Vise triple roller bags, see your local pro shop operator for more information on these great products!
And...if you missed the TV finals of the National Bowling Stadium Championship, check out the final shoot that cost WRW Jr. another title. I don't know about you, but I though that shot was a flat 10 pin forcing a tie (NOT an 8-10!). Check out the footage.
First off, as many of you have noticed, I am no longer blogging on pba.com but will continue my version of Missy's Memo through this blog on my website. So please visit often and check out the pics and videos that always accompany the entries.
OK as for the tournament...The Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles Championship held at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., was a great return of both men and women professional bowlers teaming together for an unforgettable event.
In this unique event, 32 women were brought into the exempt field, comprising of current exempt women's series competitors and top finishers at the PBA Women's Tour Trials (which was held simultaneously with the USBC Women's U.S. Open in August of 2008).
The 32 women and 64 men bowled 14 games of qualifying in their separate divisions and upon completion were both cut to 16 players. Players were then teamed together, with number one position in the men's division paired with number one in the women's and so. Teams kept half of their total pinfall going into the baker match play finals.
For those of you who are not familiar with the baker format, it means that each doubles team bowls one game together; another words each player bowls five frames of the game, rotating back-and-forth between players.
After qualifying, I was paired with exempt player Ken Abner. We started out on fire and overall bowled really well throughout the 16 games of baker match play. With a couple of breaks in the day and another win (each win received 30 bonus pins), Ken and I would have been on the TV show on Sunday. We shot a huge 255 the final position round game to jump from 10th to 6th place and only 54 pins behind the fifth and final position for the TV show.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Ken Abner, be on the lookout for him this season! Abner is extremely talented and led the PBA Central Regional in points in 2007-2008, thus earning his first career exemption. Abner also secured Player of the Year honors in his region. He currently made 7 out of 10 match play appearances this season on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour. For more on Abner, click here.
For complete results of the Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles Championship, click here.
Check out the TV show finals for the Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles Championship on ESPN, Sunday, Feb. 1st at 2 p.m. EST
I definitely had a lot of fun this holiday season. I think being away from home makes you realize the things that are really important in life - family and friends. I spent a lot of time with my family and friends throughout the break.
In between Christmas and New Year, I took my nephews to Universal Studios to see my sister, Cindy in the Grinchmas parade. The park also had an entire Whooville Christmas area setup, complete with real snow for the kids to play in. So of course my nephews had fun throwing snow balls and playing around in it. The best part was seeing my sister dressed up as a Whoo and in stilts. My nephews didn't even recognize her.
On New Year's Day my entire family went bowling. It was really fun. Everyone in my family bowls, but it's hard to get all of us together and to the bowling center. We all managed to show up and bowled for about 2 hours before heading over to my Aunt's house for her stellar traditional dinner of chili and cornbread.
I hope all of you had an equally memorable holidays!
Stay tuned for the Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles Championship in Reno, Nev. which starts this Monday with qualifying.