Sunday, December 19, 2010
I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. As 2010 comes to a close, I thought I'd reflect on the past year - the good, the bad and the ugly.
Let's start with the positives..Definitely topping the list would be getting married to my wonderful husband Drew Parkin on September 18, 2010. Although the wedding planning process was a bit stressful at times and was definitely more difficult that I had expected, the day turned out to be absolutely perfect, as we got married on a yacht in Newport Beach Harbor at sunset.
Next would have to be our unforgettable honeymoon throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, where we visited Italy, Greece, Turkey and Egypt. This past year also marked a few milestones, as I was able to visit a few places that were on my "Top 10 List" of places I had never been to, but wanted to see - Rome, the pyramids in Egypt and the Big island of Hawaii, as well as my favorite place in the world - Venice, Italy!
We also ended out the year adding two additions to our family - a black kitty named Gizmo and a Basset Hound/Golden Retriever mix puppy named Shelby. Both of which are keeping us busy!
Positives in the bowling world definitely peaked with the USBC Queens tournament that was held in April of 2010 in El Paso, Texas. The USBC Queens tournament is one of the hardest TV shows to qualify for primarily due to the difficult format. After qualifying, it all comes down to winning the three-game total pins matches in the double-elimination style bracket, and you definitely want to stay in the winners bracket to improve your chances of making the show. I had some very grueling and close matches throughout the event, but definitely my toughest match had to be against Carolyn Dorin-Ballard. It was the deciding match to see who would make the TV show and with both of us being pretty lined up, our scores were high and striking was at a premium! The entire three-game match came down to the 9th and 10th frame to see who would move on. Carolyn threw a nasty split in the 9th and I filled frames in the 9th and 10th to advance to the TV show finals. We'll discuss the actual TV show later...
The next "good" aspect of 2010 was being invited to compete in the LBO Stop #5 Open in Tokyo, Japan in October of 2010. With a rocky start in the tournament, I came on the final day, bowling very well in the semifinals winning 7 out of 8 matches in the round robin match play format, advancing to 2nd place for the TV show finals. On the TV show, I first bowled Japanese star Hiroko Shimizu and won 236 to 220. Then in the championship match I lost to Shannon Pluhowsky, who threw the front 8 strikes to win the title. So I ended up in 2nd place overall in the tournament, earning a nice paycheck in the process.
The bad...that would probably have to do with my struggle at the beginning part of the year with my pulled groin muscle injury which I incurred during the 2009 Women's U.S. Open. Unfortunately that injury takes a long time to heal and the fact that I was forced to then bowl on it for a month straight during the 2009 World Series of Bowling, right after I had injured it, I'm sure didn't help matters. The nagging injury proved to be a little disheartening and gave me a little setback for the start of 2010.
And the ugly...that's an easy one...who could forget the USBC Queens TV show. Needing only a mark to move on to the semifinal match, I went up and threw what I thought to be a perfect shot off my hand, only to be faced with the dreaded pocket 7-10 split to loose to Kelly Kulick. I will say, that if I was given the opportunity to do it all over again, I wouldn't do change a thing. It was just a very unlucky break at a very inopportune time.
So what does 2011 have in store for me?...We'll have to wait and see...
Monday, November 29, 2010
I hope everyone enjoyed a VERY happy Thanksgiving! The weekend before the festive holiday and shopping madness, Scott Norton and I competed in the local PCB Mission Hills Mixed Doubles tournament at Mission Hills Bowl from November 20-21.
The mixed doubles tournaments are always fun and usually draw some pretty big names and great competition. On Saturday, we bowled on A squad for our 9 games of qualifying. I was pretty steady all day and mostly used the new AMF Shred It, shooting games of: 229, 276, 215, 215, 222, 215, 244, 222 and 223 for +261. Scott shot games of 188, 248, 225, 279, 257, 189, 279, 248 and 245 for +358. So combined we were +619 and in first place after both squads of qualifying. The field was then cut to the top 12 teams for Sunday's competition.
On Sunday, we bowled 12 games of round robin matchplay. Each individual game win was worth 10 bonus pins and the team game win was worth 30 bonus pins for a possible 50 extra pins each game. So you can see how important it was to win matches.
During the first 6 matches, we struggled a bit, earning only 160 bonus pins and had dropped to 4th place. The good news was that we were only 100 pins out of first place. We weren't necessarily bowling bad either, we just had some pretty big scores shot at us and couldn't win the needed bonus pins.
We started out strong the next set, each shooting 268 for a nice 536 team game and winning all 50 bonus pins. But we again had some trouble, losing the next three straight matches. We ended up shooting a decent last game to finish in 5th place overall in the tournament. Wendy Macpherson and Dave Wodka won the event in an exciting and very close position round match against Michael Haugen Jr. and Caycee Landers. Congrats to all of the finalists!
Monday, November 8, 2010
As previously posted (and for those who either don't speak/read Japanese or weren't able to keep up with the late night LIVE streaming) I was invited to compete in the Ladies Bowling Organization (LBO) Ladies Bowling Tour Stop #5 in Tokyo, Japan over Halloween weekend.
On Friday, during the first day of qualifying, we bowled 6 games, then took a lunch break and bowled 6 more games. I didn't throw the ball that well, as I was suffering from the rather hot bowling center conditions and couldn't quite get the ball off my hand well. (However, the scores were VERY high, and I still managed to score well.) I shot 258, 182, 223, 212, 246, 255, 231, 258, 189, 246, 201 and 208 for +309, using my Bounty Hunter Pearl all day, and was in 4th place.
The field was then cut to the top 14 players. The next day we bowled 14 games of round robin match play, with 30 bonus pins awarded for each game win. I decided to change the surface on my Bank and polish it a little, which made it work much better and I was able to use it for most of the day. I started off well, shooting 217, 239, and 237, winning the first 3 matches. Then it was all downhill, as I had trouble winning matches with everyone shooting really high scores at me. I shot 200, 216, 241 and 195 and lost every match. The next set of 7 games, I shot 233 and won. Then I shot 184, 217 and 219 and lost all 3 games. I finally figured some things out, switching to my Profit and shot 245 and won, 224 and lost and ended the day with a 223 win. So even after a disastrous matchplay record of 6 and 8, I was still in 4th place and made it to the top 8 finals for Sunday.
On Sunday prior to bowling the finals, the main sponsor of LBO - DHC - a major makeup and health/beauty brand, came out and did our hair and makeup for bowling that day. It was a lot of fun and I always LOVE getting pampered! SO I really enjoyed the whole experience.
We then bowled 8 games of round robin match play and then they cut to the top 5 for the TV show stepladder finals. I had my game face on that day and came out of the gates with a 245, 259, 229 and 236, winning all of the matches. I then lost my only match of the day to Shannon Pluhowsky - 211 to 224. I then proceeded to win the rest of my matches, including the crucial position round match with scores of 256, 257 and 246. I had moved into 2nd place and was only 30 pins short of the top seed spot for the TV show.
The first match of the TV show, Mai Takasaka defeated Tomomi Shibata 237 to 191. The next match, Mai faced Japanese sensation Hiroko Shimizu and Hiroko won, 236 to 220. In the semifinal match, I then faced the fierce left-hander Hiroko and defeated her using the Bank, shooting 247-233.
The final match, I bowled Shannon Pluhowsky for the title and the nearly $50,000 prize. Shannon just kept striking, throwing the front 7 strikes at me, meanwhile I faced some carry issues and couldn't knock down 10 pins. Shannon ended up winning 255-195. There was also a HUGE prize for shooting a 300 game on TV and we all were cheering for Shannon to do it. If she had strung 12 strikes in-a-row, she would have won $300,000! Just crazy!
When all was said and done, I finished 2nd in the tournament and came home with a nice paycheck. I had an amazing time in Japan, as Shannon and I stayed in Japan two extra days to do some sightseeing. We went to Asakusa one day in Tokyo and the other day we went to Tokyo Disney Sea, which was a lot of fun! I was able to get my Disney fix, even all the way in Japan!
Regarding the entire tournament and organization, I must say that I am VERY impressed with the professionalism and respect displayed by each of the competitors, staff and the entire organization. Just to give you an example, the players all wore matching suits and nice dress shoes whenever in the bowling center and not bowling.
Each day of the tournament, we had an official opening ceremonies, where each player was individually introduced and then following the introductions, Shannon and I were usually interviewed prior to the start of practice. Also, at the beginning and end of competition every day, we went out to the foul line and gave a courtesy bow to all fans in attendance. Then, immediately following competition every day, ALL signed autographs and took pictures with the fans, making the event VERY fan friendly! And there were plenty of fans to fill the bowling center each day, with stadium type seating all along the concourse, which made it even more fun to compete!
Speaking of the fans, many had thunder sticks, similar to what we would see at sporting events. So the bowling center was definitely loud whenever a favorite bowler would strike or spare.
Another noteworthy positive of the LBO tour is the fact that each bowler is individually recognized in some way, by either the way they dress, a nickname, etc., making it even easier for fans to connect with that bowler and choose bowlers to route for. And each bowler has a character drawing of themselves that is then sold on merchandise such as program books, pins, t-shirts, fans, etc. And it's all very girly and super cute! All of the girls either wear skirts or shorts and matching shirts. And all of the bowling attire is very girly and attractive. Plus the official color of LBO is pink! So you can never go wrong with that!
All in all, I was very honored to be invited to compete in this inaugural tour season for LBO and hope to be back again next year!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I am currently in Japan and will begin competing in the Ladies Bowling Organization of Japan (LBO) Ladies International Open starting tomorrow, Friday, October 29th through Sunday, October 31st.
The tournament will be held at Strikers Nishi-Funa Bowl in Funabashi, Chiba, Japan (just outside of downtown Tokyo).
The format for the tournament is 6 games of qualifying in the morning on Friday, then we take a break for lunch and bowl 6 more games of qualifying. After the 12 game total, they will cut to the top 14 bowlers.
On Saturday, we will bowl 14 games of round robin match play with 30 bonus pins being awarded for each game win and 15 bonus pins awarded for any ties. After the 26 game total (including bonus pins), they will cut to the top 8 finalists.
On Sunday, we will bowl 8 games of round robin match play(again with bonus pins) and after the 34 game total, they will cut to the top 5 for a TV stepladder final. The tournament will be televised in Japan.
To Watch LIVE streaming of the tournament, please visit http://www.lbo.or.jp/
There's a LIVE streaming screen on the right hand side and you can click on it to make it bigger. The website is in Japanese, but you can access the live streaming easily.
www.bowlingdigital.com should be posting scores and updates for the tournament.
After a nice three-week honeymoon, it's back to work and that means A LOT of bowling is my future!
This past weekend, I bowled in the PBA West Region Spalding G Wathen Memorial Open, held in Fresno, California. We competed on the high scoring Cheetah pattern, and boy was it ever high scoring!
Even though I practiced every day since returning home from the honeymoon (for a little over one week), I was definitely rusty while bowling this weekend. That's exactly why I wanted to compete because I have MUCH bigger events coming up real soon.
So after a not so stellar start (compared to the high scoring pace of the field) - 204, 200, 235, 236 and 214 - I was +89 after 5 games. I started the tournament using my Bounty Hunter Pearl, but after the fast carry-down we encountered, that ball quickly got thrown back in the bag, as it was going too long. We had to play far right on the lane, and the further right and harder you could play, the better you were going to score. i.e. Wayne Garber averaged about 260 for the first 5 games. So I switched to my Bank, which I had polished up for the tournament. It worked a lot better and was more predictable, and I ended up using this ball for the majority of the day.
Then in game 6, I completely fell apart! I missed two single spares (which is definitely not like me!) and I also left a 2-8-10. Needless to say, this game didn't go too well and I shot 161! And lost A LOT of ground on the cut and the cash number. So with two games left, I was +50 and way out of the top 8 cut to match play and still pretty far out of the top 18 cash spot.
So the last two games, I decided to switch balls to my Profit, which has a strong arc, compared to the skid/snap reaction of my Bank. I ended up bowling MUCH better! It also helped that I finally figured out what I was physically doing wrong and was able to start physically throwing the ball a million times better!
So the 7th game, I shot 248 and was +98 and within reach of the cash number. The top 8 cut was already +200 with one game to go. The last game, we hit a little bit of a weird pair (that's always nice and seems to be inevitable when you need a big game). So I got lined up towards the middle of the game and starting stringing strikes together until a stubborn 9 pin stood up in the 7th frame. I then struck out from the 8th frame on and shot 222 to be +120 overall. The cash spot ended up being +127, so I missed cashing by 7 pins. The cut to the top 8 was +255.
Even though I didn't cash in the regional, I did figure out some key physical game factors and also was able to get in some great competitive practice to get ready for my next BIG tournament - The LBO Ladies International Open in Tokyo, Japan.
The tournament in Japan starts on Friday, October 29th and ends on Sunday, October 31st. If you are interested in keeping up with the scores as I compete, please visit: www.bowlingdigital.com (You may have to click on the Asia section.)
Friday, September 24, 2010
First my apologies, for the lack of blogging in these last few months. As I've already explained in previous blogs, it was hugely due to the major planning of my recent wedding.
For those of you that have ever been married or have ever been involved in the planning process of a wedding, you know how big a feat it is to accomplish! I too used to think, "how hard could it really be?!" Well, I sure found out! It's funny that the littlest things (that you usually don't think about), such as placecards and seating charts to favors and matching cake ribbons, can assume so much of your daily life leading up to that one special and perfect day! And boy oh boy does that day go bye sooooooooooooo very fast!!!
So to answer the million dollar question (which I'm sure you've discovered by now), I am changing my name to Missy Parkin. I hope you all like the new website! Any and all comments are welcome, so feel free to email me or comment on the blog.
Also, I wanted to share with all of you a little bit about our BIG day...
Drew Parkin and I were married on Saturday, September 18th aboard the yacht "Athena" in Newport Beach Harbor in Orange County, California. Our wedding and reception took place aboard the yacht, as it cruised around the gorgeous million dollar houses, harbor seals, and popular balboa island amusement attractions, all night long. And to top it all off, it was a sunny Southern California day with a beautiful sunset, which made for some amazing photos! At the end of the evening, we had a surprise in store for our guests...Drew and I made a unique exit via a white gondola, which circled the yacht a couple of times before taking us on a private mini cruise. The entire wedding was just like a fairytale come true!
Enjoy the photos!
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
With the wedding quickly approaching, I know I have been neglecting my poor blog. So here's an update as far as my bowling is concered...
I have been keeping things a little low-key as far as bowling a ton of tournaments this summer. However, a few weeks ago, I was a little bored on a Saturday and wanted to get away from the wedding planning, so I decided to bowl a quick 6-gamer at Yorba Linda Bowl. We bowled on the Kegel winding road pattern, and the lanes were pretty difficult. I love tough patterns! And this pattern proved to be so, but if you threw the ball well and made a good shot, it went right in the pocket and usually carried. If you didn't throw a good shot, then the odds of leaving a nasty spare or split were pretty high. I ended up shooting +62 for the 6-game block and won the tournament. I also won a few sidepots and block pots, so it ended up being a nice night!
Then last weekend, I bowled the JAT Alumni Reunion tournament at Classic Lanes in Norco. The event was awesome! The Junior Amateur Tour is the scratch junior tournament club that I grew up bowling in and is also where I really learned a lot of key elements that have helped me get my career to the place it is today. During the reunion tournament, I saw so many friends and fellow competitors that I haven't seen in over 10-15 years. It was amazing to see all of the old photos, reminis and just have fun!
The tournament format was 6 games of qualifying, with the top 16 making matchplay. Scott Norton and I lead the 6 games of qualifying with +98. Then we were paired up, bracket style for matchplay, in a single elimination, best of 3 format. I bowled Scott Kraye and won the first game, but then lost the next 2 games, thus being eliminated from the tournament. I was however, the high woman in the field and did earn a nice check for that.
Then, this past weekend, I bowled the PCB Trios event at Fountain Bowl. A lot of bowlers from Arizona, Las Vegas and Northern California came out to bowl the tournament and there were 21 teams total. Now the teams comprised of one man, one woman and one bowler over the age of 45. So I bowled with my best friend Scott Norton and local bowler Eddie Katz.
Well the scores were VERY high for the tournament, as we bowled on the house shot. However, after two games, Scott and I were making the lanes look like the US Open pattern. (Needless to say we weren't having fun!) Our team was -20 total, after 2 games and we were in dead last.
So then Scott and I decided to show up and bowl and give our partner Eddie some help (who had been trying to hold Scott and I up). For the next 7 games, we ended up shooting: 637, 705, 716, 709, 613, 689 and 670 as a team, putting us at +519 overall and making the final 6th position into matchplay. Individually, we bowled pretty even. Eddie shot +177, Scott shot +149 and I shot +193 for the 9-game block. Most of the day, I used the new 900 Global Missing Link.
On Sunday, we bowled 6 games of head-to-head matchplay, with 10 bonus pins for each individual win and 30 bonus pins for the team game win. We shot games of 666, 738, 729, 760, 669 and 666, winning 170 bonus pins. On Sunday, I used my Bounty Hunter Pearl for most of the day, and even had the front 9 with it, until a stubborn 10 pin got in the way. Although fellow teammate Scott Norton, strung all 12 in-a-row shooting a perfect 300 during game 4 of macthplay. Those scores skyrocketed us into a 2nd place finish overall in the tournament.
Til next time...
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
First, I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone that bowled, supported and/or sponsored our PBA Regional event and pro-am held at Saddleback Lanes. With this being our first PBA Regional event, we were thrilled by the number of professionals, pro-am participants and spectators that helped make the event a big success and we only hope that the event will be bigger and better next year!
As far as my personal performance in the PBA Saddleback Lanes Regional goes...I must say that it is MUCH easier just showing up and bowling. Even though my fiance, Drew was the official host and did most of the leg-work for the event, I still helped out in many regards and I will say that it's A LOT of work! So big props to anyone that hosts a tournament. Please remember that these people put in hours and hours to make the event possible, so give them the gratitude and respect that they deserve!
So...I actually did bowl the practice session this week, seeing as I didn't have to travel 6 hours to the event. I bowled bright and early on Saturday morning, being on A squad and didn't quite wake up for a few games. I physically bowled just okay and finally started throwing the ball well towards the end of the day, which was a good thing because I was close to the projected cut number. My last game, needing a pretty big score to secure a solid spot in the finals, I struck out and shot 244 to be +152 for the 8 games. The cut for the semi's ended up being +101.
That night we had an awesome pro-am event, complete with karaoke in the bar, a house full of pro-am participants and lots of pros showing their skills out on the lanes.
On Sunday morning, we bowled 5 more games of qualifying. I threw the ball a lot better on Sunday and shot +138 for the next 5 games, putting me +290 overall. I qualified in 14th place for the top 16 single-elimination matchplay finals.
The first match I was paired up against Ben Laughlin from Phoenix, Ariz., a former PBA West Region Bowler of the Year and former PBA exempt player. The first round of matchplay is best 3 out of 5 games. I won the first game, 201-175. Ben won the second game 247-228. Then in game 3, it was a high scoring match, but I had a few carry issues in some key frames, so Ben prevailed 257-236. Then in game 4, a must win situation for myself, I needed to strike my first ball in the 10th frame to move on to game 5. I went up, threw the ball perfect off of my hand, loved the shot, but a stubborn 10 pin stood up. So I lost 202-203, coming in 13th place overall in the tournament.
Thanks again to everyone who came out and bowled, supported and/or sponsored the event! We can't wait until next year!
Monday, June 21, 2010
Saddleback Lanes in Mission Viejo, Calif. will be hosting a PBA regional event and Pro-am tournament on July 9-11th. The event marks the first time in over 10 years that a PBA event has been held at this center. Saddleback Lanes is the bowling center that I practice and give lessons at, as well as the site for my father's pro shop.
The practice session will be on Friday, July 9th from 1-3pm. Tournament competition for the PBA Regional begins at 8am on Saturday, July 10th with A squad and then B squad will take the lanes at 2pm. The finals will conclude on Sunday, July 11th, starting at 8am.
The PBA Pro-am event will take place on Saturday night, July 10th at 7pm. The format is 3 games of 9-pin No-Tap and each participant will be able to bowl with 6 different PBA pros. Cost is $79 for adults with the option of upgrading to a bowling ball package for $179, which includes a 900 Global Bounty Hunter Pearl. Junior and Senior bowlers pay an entry fee of $59, with an optional bowling ball package of $139, which includes a 900 Global Link S30. Winner of the adult pro-am will win $300. Winner of the Junior pro-am will earn $100 scholarship and the senior pro-am winner will take home $100. Please contact Saddleback Lanes at (949) 586-5300 for more information or to sign up.
All of the PBA events throughout the weekend will be free for spectators.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
This past weekend, I bowled the 2010 USBC Open Championships in Reno, Nev.
We drove the nice 9 hour drive in to Reno on Thursday and arrived just in time for the 2nd half of the NBA Finals game and watched the Lakers win the championship. To be completely honest, I'm not a huge basketball fan, but when it's the playoffs, I will watch and cheer for the Lakers.
On Friday, a few of my teammates and I decided to bowl the side events- the Bowlers Journal and BTM tourneys, at the Grand Sierra. I didn't post any stellar scores at either event and really used the tourneys as practice and warm up for the next two days.
Friday night was a lot of fun, as our whole team stayed up until midnight because fellow teammate Bryan Norton turned 21. So we naturally embarrassed him a little bit and sang him "Happy Birthday" right in front of all of the pit tables and then he proceeded to play some blackjack.
Saturday night we bowled team event. Our lanes were kind of squirelly and changed quite a bit throughout the 3 games, but by the end, they had opened up nicely if you could keep up with the moves about every 3-4 frames.
I shot 198, 211 and 220 for a 629 series and our team shot 2954.
Then on Sunday (Father's Day), we bowled doubles and singles. I got to bowl with my dad which is always a lot of fun! In doubles, I shot 166, 225 and 205 and we shot 1139 as a team. My dad actually bowled pretty well, he just didn't score very well and wasn't getting any breaks.
Then in singles, I shot 228, 200 and 206 for a 634 series and had 1859 for all-events. So it wasn't one of my better years, but we all still had fun and that's what it's all about!
I know it's been forever since my last post and I thoroughly apologize! All of the wedding planning has been eating up all of my free time!
During the end of May, I bowled in the Black Oak Casino PBA Regional event in Tuolumne, Calif. The scores were super high, as we competed on the Viper Oil pattern.
For the 8 games of qualifying, I was +377, averaging 247.12 for the 8 game block and was in 4th place after both A and B squads.
The next day, we bowled 5 more games of semis. I shot another +165 over for that five games, being +542 overall and was seeded third for matchplay.
My first match, I faced Scott Kraye. This match came down to a final game five finish, after an unusual decision made by my opponent in game 4. Needing 8 pins to win and 7 to tie, he decided to pick up his spare and throw it straight at the headpin for count. He then proceeded to miss the headpin, leaving 6 pins. So I actually won game 4 by a single pin.
Game 5 came down to the wire, as I was ahead the whole game. Then Kraye struck out 8th, 9th and 10th to force me to mark in the 10th frame (a very similar situation to the Queens TV show match). So I went up and made a good shot and left another pocket split!!! And again lost. So needless to say, after a few bad breaks in-a-row in some crucial situations, I took a couple of weeks off from bowling to clear my head a bit.
I finished 10th overall in the tournament.
Friday, May 7, 2010
This week all of the ladies and I are in Fort Worth, Texas at Cityview Lanes for the 2010 Women's U.S. Open.
We are bowling three 8-game blocks of qualifying, with the field then being cut to the top 24. We will then bowl 24 games of round robin matchplay over two days. The top 5 TV show finals will be determined by the 48 games of total pinfall, plus the bonus pins for matchplay. Each match win is worth 30 extra bonus pins.
For complete coverage and to watch live streaming, check out www.bowl.com
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Tune in to ESPN 2 to watch Missy Bellinder LIVE in the USBC Queens tournament on Wednesday, April 28th at 5pm PST. Missy is the No. 3 seed in the tournament, after some huge scores and great matches in the matchplay portion of the tournament.
The Queens TV show begins with No. 5 seed, contender's bracket winner, Michelle Feldman facing No. 4 seed Kelly Kulick. The winner facing Missy. No. 2 seed is USBC Hall of Famer Anne Marie Duggan, with the top seed going to fellow Orange County, Calif. native Tennelle Milligan.
For complete results and videos, visit The Queens homepage on www.bowl.com
Friday, April 23, 2010
Hello from El Paso!
Great food, lots of wind and a whole lot of bowling sums up the city of El Paso, Texas. Being able to see Juarez, Mexico from my hotel room, is a little on the strange side. I actually had no idea just how close the border was to downtown El Paso, which boasts the El Paso Convention Center, site of the 2010 USBC Women's Championships and 2010 USBC Queens tournament.
Yep, the Rio Grande and border are just blocks away (or though it seems) from the tournament site. High above on the hills of Mexico are white rocks spelling out -
La Biblia es la verdad
(Translating - Juarez, the Bible is the Truth, read it!) I was pretty interested to figure out what was on that mountain, as I could only make out the words through using my zoomed in camera, despite the windy conditions almost toppling me over.
My dad and I decided to make a road trip out of the tournaments, making the 12 hour drive from Southern California to The Lone Star state. Although we hit some cross wind and nearly missed a dust storm, it was mostly smooth sailing all the way.
So far, I have bowled all of the events for the Women's Championship- team, doubles and singles. Last night, we bowled team event, comprised of myself, Lynda Barnes, Tennelle Milligan, Lisa Pawlak and Missy Klug. (I must say I'm definitely not used to bowling with another Missy because it just isn't that common of a name; so i did a lot of double takes throughout the two days when someone would yell "Missy".)
We bowled very well in team event, despite the rather high scoring pace, shooting 3345 (+345) for the three games. We shot very consistent games of 1109, 1119 and 1117. I personally wasn't as consistent, shooting 203, 278 and 192 for a 673 series.
Then today in the doubles event I was paired up with long-time friend Lisa Pawlak. We shot 1280 as a team and I shot games of 245, 221 and 228 for a 694 series.
Then we bowled singles and everyone on our team bowled really well! If that would have been our team scores, we would have killed them! LOL! I shot 199, 257 and 258 for a 714 series. Fellow teammate Tennelle Milligan is currently leading singles with a 779 and my doubles partner Lisa shot 745.
So for all-events, that put me at 2081 (+281) for nine games. Scores aren't up-to-date yet, so I'm not sure where that puts me and my teammates on the leader board. But seeing as the tournament isn't over for a few months, I'll just have to wait and see.
Tomorrow begins the 2010 USBC Queens tournament. Check out www.bowl.com for complete coverage. Til then...
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I just wanted to let everyone know that 900 Global and AMF will be showcasing the latest and greatest products from each line in a special "Dare to Compare" Day to be held at Saddleback Lanes this Friday, April 2nd from 5-7pm. Cost to attend the event is $20.
Another words, you will be able to "test drive" the following bowling balls before purchasing them:
900 Global -
Bounty Hunter Pearl
So come on out and see what these great products can do for your game! Special bowling ball prices will be available on this day only.
Precision Pro Shop
(located inside Saddleback Lanes)
25402 Marguerite Parkway
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Yesterday, I subbed in the Friday morning 590 Classic scratch league at Linbrook Bowl. It definitely proved to be a good start to the day, as I shot 266 my first game (with the front 7). I then proceeded to shot 300 the next game, using my 900 Global Bounty Hunter Pearl! This marked my 20th 300 game!
The lanes got a little tricky the 3rd game and with no carry and a stubborn pocket 4-9 split in the 9th frame, I only managed a 205, missing another 800 series.
The last game (this league bowls 4 games a week), I switched to by 900 Global Break Out, moved left and opened up the lanes, shooting 236 the final game for a 1007 series.
Be sure to check out the Bounty Hunter Pearl and all of 900 Global's equipment at www.900global.com
Til next time....
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Last weekend, I competed in Orange County Tournament. Although the event is all handicap now (and I usually steer clear of non-scratch events, I still find this tournament a fun source of competitive practice. I've bowled with the same group of ladies since I turned adult at age 18. I call them "My Moms" (seeing as they all have kids around my age) and I think they all have adopted me as their daughter. Although our team changed a bit this year, we still had a lot of fun and bowled really well! Original team member, Virginia Norton and I paired with new members Rachel Hickenbottom and Samantha Jimenez, who just turned adult this season.
We decided to bowl all three events - singles, doubles and team - all on the same day. Each event consists of three games and the tournament runs over a few weekends. At the end, total pins in each event wins.
We bowled doubles and singles first at Valley View Lanes. Oh the memories at this bowling center... This center brought me into the world of adult bowling, as it used to host a big ladies scratch league, which I bowled every year after turning adult. However, sadly to say, the league folded around 2004.
We bowled doubles event first, and I was paired with Virginia Norton. I shot games of 259, 255 (with the front 7 both games) and then 222 the last game for a 736 series. Virginia shot games of 216, 212 and 187 for a 615 series. Combined we shot 1351 and were unofficially in 1st place.
Singles was my lowest set (as it usually is for some reason), as we switched pairs and I shot games of 225, 203 and 244 for a 672 series. Both sets, I used my Bounty Hunter and was able to open up the lanes, moving inside of everyone and hooking it out to the dry, allowing me to create some area.
Then in the afternoon, we bowled at Irvine Lanes for team event. I had never bowled at this center before, except to practice once or twice. Well we started with a BANG, shooting 997 the first game for our four person team. I shot 268 (with the front 8 using my Bounty Hunter Pearl), Virginia shot 205, Rachel shot 224 and our rookie Samantha shot a perfect 300! Our second game we shot 887, as I shot 238. And our last game, we ended with a 874, as I shot 257. So in total, we shot 2758 for our team of four ladies. I shot 763 in team event, which put me at 2171 for all events.
Unofficially, we are in 1st place for team event. Virginia and I are in 1st place for doubles event and I am in 1st place for all events.
Not bad for a team of scratch bowlers who just wanted to have some fun...
Sunday, February 21, 2010
This week, the PBA and PBA Women's Series ventured to Denver, Colo. for the PBA Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles event held at Brunswick Zone Wheat Ridge.
The event marked the last PBA Women's Series event for the 2009-2010 PBA Tour season. With 32 women competitors and 64 men comprising the field, the bowlers competed 14 games of qualifying separately.
We bowled 7 games of qualifying the first day, and I personally struggled and had yet another roller coaster block. Not being lined up well to start, I shot 173, 202 and then a disastrous 148. Finally switching to the Bounty Hunter Pearl, throwing it very slow and playing very straight and inside, I shot 209, 209, 254 and then hit a bad pair for a 184 finish. I ended the day at -21 and was 42 pins out of the top 16 cut.
The next day, we came back for our final 7 game block of qualifying. After making several surface adjustments on my bowling balls (i.e. sand blasting quite a few), I had a much better second block. I used the Clutch Solid all day and played the tightest line inside, keeping my ball speed down as much as possible. I had started with the wrong ball the first few frames, leaving a pair of splits, then switching to the correct ball and shooting 183, 224, 207, 238, 267 (with the front 8), 229 and 201 for +128 overall and shooting +149 for the block. This block rocketed me to 7th place.
With the women finishing the 14 games of qualifying first, it was then a waiting game to see which of the men would finish in 7th, thus being paired with me for the duration of the tournament. That bowler ended up being exempt player Steve Harmon.
The next day we bowled 16 games of round robin baker match play, meaning that we alternated each frame to complete the game. Steve anchored for the most part, as his look on the lanes was MUCH better than mine. Unfortunately, we struggled to win matches and with 30 bonus pins on the line, that proved to be devastating. We only won 5 out of 16 matches, although one win was against the dominating team of Jason Belmonte and Michelle Feldman. We finished 13th overall.
A few side notes and reflections for the season...
Although this was the first season that I failed to make a TV show for the women's series, I am not totally disappointed. I was badly injured for the majority of the World Series of Bowling, which comprised 5 out of our 7 stops. And I still managed to just fall short of the TV show for the PBA Women's World Championship, coming in 3rd place overall.
I'm not entirely sure if the World Series of Bowling concept is such a good idea, simply due to the fact that we only competed in one bowling center the entire time. This highly favors any bowler whose natural game matches up with that center's characteristics. No matter what pattern that was put out, those bowlers were still going to have the advantage. I think that the concept would have been better if the tour went to somewhere like Las Vegas and competed at a different bowling center every week, but still remained in the same city for an extended period of time.
Another change for this season, was the complete separation of the men and women bowlers each tournament. The women either bowled at completely different times or as in the World Series of Bowling, competed in a completely different area (the Arena Bay) than the men, making it more difficult for fans to watch both the men and women. Prior to this season, the women competed qualifying mixed in with the men and shared paddocks/ball workout areas. This year, everything has been separated between the men and the women, which in a way feels a little like the women have been pushed aside. I will say that having our own paddock and work out area was definitely a plus, but the rest was a little disheartening.
Lastly, I'd like to thank the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) for it's continued support of women's bowling! Without USBC we wouldn't have had the PBA Women's Series for the last three seasons.
I do have one HUGE favor... anyone who is happy seeing the women back in action on TV, can you please send an email or write a letter to USBC stating that fact. In these hard times, you never know what next year brings and bowling needs to not lose professional women's bowling again. Please pass this along to all of your friends.
United States Bowling Congress
Attn: Jeff Boje
621 Six Flags Drive
Arlington, TX 76011
Monday, February 15, 2010
Over February 5-7, I competed in the only regional that is relatively close to my house - the PBA Del Rosa Regional. We bowled on the Viper pattern. However, the scoring paced proved to mimic more of a house shot, as it took +178 to make the semi's.
Many touring pros bowled the event, as the regional fell inbetween the Dick Weber Open and the USBC Masters, which added a nice touch. The regional is always a great event to bowl in because of the great job done by Del Rosa Lanes Owner Nicole Ellison and Manager Dave Wodka.
On Sunday, the top 37 bowlers came back for 5 more games of semi's and then the field was cut to the top 16 for single elimination match play.
In the 8 games of qualifying, I shot +320, using the 900 Global Break Out and was in 4th place overall. The next day, we bowled 5 more games of semi's. I shot +220, using the Bounty Hunter Pearl for those 5 games and ended up in 2nd place overall at +540, averaging 241.6 for the tournament.
In the top 16 match play finals, I was seeded against 15th seed Vance Sisk. In the Round of 16, it's a best 3 out of 5 single elimination format. With the lanes re-oiled, I couldn't seem to get matched up. In the first game, I lost 184-248. I then switched balls, moved left and slowed it down, but still lost 242-269. In game 3, I decided to throw it hard and straight and play outside. This theory proved to be better, as I came back to win 233-184. However, in game 4, I again lost my look and eventually lost 211-234.
I ended up in 10th place in the tournament, as Patrick Allen captured the title.
This week, I'm bowling in the PBA Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles event in Denver, Colo. Check out pba.com for results and to watch live on Xtra Frame.
Til next time...
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
This past week, I competed in the PBA Dick Weber Open in Fountain Valley, Calif. Making the event more special is not only the fact that the event is named after one of bowling's "Greats"- Dick Weber, but also the fact that this event marks the only PBA National Tour event that is close to home.
With many friends and family in attendance, I wanted to have a good showing at the tournament. With this tournament being only my second event back at almost 100% after my leg injury, I still had high expectations.
We bowled three 5-games blocks of qualifying. The first day, everyone bowled two squads - one block on freshly oiled lanes and one on the burn (meaning that the lanes weren't re-oiled after one squad).
I bowled on the fresh first, and had the most roller coaster block I think I've ever had. I started out strong shooting 199 and 235, which was good considering the scores were lower. Then I had a mental lapse and absolutely made the wrong decisions with some ball changes. Everything I tried resulted in a split or washout, as I shot 161 and 139! Yes 139! I finally got lined up in the 10th frame of the 139 and was upset at my self enough that I decided I wasn't going to miss the next game. I ended the block with a nice 248 game, leaving me at -18 for the 5 games.
Then we had a LONG break and came back for the night block on the burn. Keep in mind that the lanes started out the day hooking pretty good, so by the time the other squad finished and we started on the burn, I was already playing 20 at the arrows (to start). So you can imagine all of the guys lofting the left gutter cap by the end of this block.
I bowled really well on the burn, shooting 225, 213, 244, 177 and 199. By the end of that block, they got pretty nasty. I was already walking around the ball return on the right lane, throwing it hard and trying to loft it. So the last game I even decided to go to my plastic ball on the right lane and struck for a key turkey to save the game. I ended the day at +40 overall.
The next day, we came back for our final qualifying block and everyone bowled on the fresh. I knew I needed to shoot about +120 to make matchplay, which was the goal. I made a bad decision to start and started out playing the wrong part of the lane with the wrong ball, ultimately shooting 164 my first game. Not the start I had hoped for!
I then switched balls and angles to play straighter up the track and had a much better reaction. I then shot 246, 199 and 246. Going in to the last game, I needed a BIG game to jump into the matchplay number. I ended up on a bad pair and grinded out a 181 to finish the block. I ended the tournament in 42nd place overall at +76, cashing in the event, but missing the top 24 match play.
All-in-all it was a good week. I bowled pretty good, had our first guests stay at our new house and had a successful house warming party. Til the next event...
It's been a little over a week since Kelly Kulick became the 1st woman to win a PBA tournament and not only win, but defeat one of bowling's great players, in a MAJOR event.
I was on hand that week at the Tournament of Champions held at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas, Nev. I was consequently in town to cheer on my best friend Scott Norton, who earned a berth into the prestigious tournament through winning the Regional Players Invitational (RPI) in early December. (The win also grants Scott an exemption on the PBA tour for next year.)
I attended the qualifying rounds of the event, mostly cheering on my friend, but every once in a while going to check on Kelly. She was amazing that week - very confident, throwing the ball very well and had a happy demeanor throughout the competition. The other real treat was that her mother had flown in to watch her bowl and was on hand the entire week.
Now, for those of you that aren't aware, women have NEVER been able to bowl in the PBA Tournament of Champions. This year, the PBA decided to change that rule by awarding a berth into the T of C to the winner of the PBA Women's World Championship, which was held at the World Series of Bowling this past summer in Detroit. Kulick defeated Shannon Pluhowsky for the title. (On a side note... Kelly defeated "yours truly" in the round of 4 to make it to the TV show.)
Now back to the T of C...if you watched even one block of that tournament, it was pretty obvious who had the fans. The bleachers were always full behind her lanes and cheers galore could be heard anywhere in the center if she simply knocked down all 10 pins. The entire atmosphere was one to remember and I'm sure one Kelly will never forget.
Everyone either saw, heard or read about the TV show. Kelly was poised and determined. No one was going to beat her that title match. And as a result, she is now touring the country, going from talk show to talk show, interview to interview, and hopefully changing the public's view on our sport and getting more respect for what we do on a daily basis. Congrats to Kelly for making history and reinvigorating the sport we all love!
Monday, January 18, 2010
First, I want to apologize for my lack of blogging. I hope to keep my blog more current now that the PBA tour is back in action.
So, let's talk about this past week and the demanding lane conditions at the Earl Anthony Memorial Classic...
Fortunately for me, this year the PBA Tour opened up the second half of the season in Dublin, Calif. So that meant a 6 hour drive up to Northern California as opposed to another plane trip. To break up the monotony of making the same boring drive up the center of California, my fiancee and I choose to take the scenic and much LONGER route up Hwy 1.
If you've never had the opportunity to travel up or down the coast of California via Hwy 1, it's definitely a trip you want to take some time in your life. Much of the journey is up steep cliffs, 20 mph turns, but the view is absolutely gorgeous - huge cliffs right alongside crashing waves from the ocean. We made a few stops along the way. We first drove around Morro Bay and saw the HUGE rock protruding out of the ground around the bay and into the ocean. We also stopped at an elephant seal safe haven and saw the magnificent creatures lying on the beach, flopping around on the sand and playing in the water. The amazing part was that little elephant seal pups had been born not that long ago, so there were numerous baby seals on the beach nursing from their mothers. We also managed to stop at an inlet that takes you on a small hike to a gorgeous waterfall and then finally made it into Dublin, Calif. after passing Monterey Bay and the 17 mile drive of Pebble Beach.
Well, last year when we competed on the grueling Earl Anthony lane condition in Medford, Oregon, it proved to be challenging, but nothing compares to how the pattern played this year at Dublin Bowl.
I have had the pleasure of bowling in some PBA regional tournaments at Dublin Bowl in the past, and there was always one common denominator - the lanes were always HARD! The conditions, no matter what pattern was put out, always relied on repeating shots - making good first shots and picking up your spares. So with the combination of a tough pattern combined with a naturally tough bowling center, I knew we were going to be in for a grind out shot. And that was saying it mildly!
With this tournament being the first full blown tour stop that I had competed in since the World Series of Bowling, I was concerned about my leg holding up through the entire event.
In the off season, I spent most of my 3 1/2 months rehabbing my leg and working out on a bike, trying to recover from a pulled groin muscle at the Women's U.S. Open in August. I bowled a few tournaments, one of which I re-hurt my leg at in October. So after injuring my leg again, I decided to stick with more rehab and less bowling. I finally started throwing the ball like my old self only one week before the Earl Anthony Memorial Classic. Although I didn't get in much practice, I still felt really good throwing the ball and was pretty confident that I would bowl well at the Tour Stop, having success at Dublin Bowl in the past.
However, my assumption proved to be wrong as carry problems combined with a tough tough pattern just didn't match up for me this week.
The first day, I shot -81 for 7 games and that was one of the most grueling days of bowling for me. I actually bowled really well, but couldn't seem to knock the 10 pin down. Then every little mistake was multiplied as I would split or leave a washout for barely missing the target or throwing the ball a little slower or harder. So when you split once or twice a game and can't seem to get a double, that's going to make for some low scores. We've all been there.
So I made some surface adjustments and was ready to start striking the next day. Well, the next day I didn't really throw the ball that well. I struck a little more when I did hit the pocket, but I just wasn't throwing the ball consistently well the entire day. And on a pattern like the Earl Anthony pattern, you can't afford to have one of those days. So I ended up shooting -102 for the day and ended up in 14th at -183 overall. I can't tell you how long it's been since I've shot that much in the negative, but I know I wasn't the only one.
However despite the low scores, I did have one very BIG positive out of the week. I bowled all 14 games and my leg never bothered me once. So that is great news! Now I can start to practice more and get geared up for the Dick Weber Open at Fountain Bowl in Fountain Valley, Calif.