This year had a new venue for the USBC Masters ! Instead of traveling to the cold Midewest location of Milwaukee, WI (complete with a Brewer stadium finale), we instead moved west to Sin City - Las Vegas, NV for the third Major of the PBA Tour season.
The venue was also brand new - the Cashman Center, situated just North of the Downtown Las Vegas area. Sixty lanes were installed in the once home of a minor league baseball stadium- turned convention center. The Masters marked the first bowling event to take place inside the venue. Immediately following the completion of the Masters, the 60 bowling lanes will then be the site for the USBC Men's National Championships which will run through July '09. After which, the lanes will also house the Women's World Championships in late July.
There were 465 bowlers from all over the states and the world. Courtesy of the Megabuck tournaments completing in Las Vegas the weekend before the Masters, many international bowlers choose to stay and compete in the Masters.
The lanes proved to be difficult as usual, especially if you were rev challenged (like myself). If you saw the scores of the Masters and actually scrolled down low enough, then you saw that I bowled pretty terrible that week. My first block I shot a decent -7 on the burn shot (not re-oiled lanes).
It was a completely different story on the fresh the next day. Not only did I physically bowl about as bad as I could bowl (without missing single-pin spares), I also had no where to throw the ball. Meaning...no matter if I played hard and straight anywhere from 4-12 board or moved inside into 4th arrow or deeper and hooked the ball, nothing worked. So needless to say I left a lot of splits and hard spares.
However, this a good example that everyone has bad days and everyone gets into slumps, including the pros. So the next time you have a bad league night or struggle a little in a tournament, just remember that you are not alone. Try to think of ways that you could have bowled better and learn from every bowling outting, including the bad ones.
Even though the bowling didn't go as well as planned, it was still a fun week in Las Vegas. See the pictures above.