Sunday, July 24, 2011

900 Global Wins GEICO PBA Team Shootout, Manufacturers Cup

Click here for the full story

If you missed all of the action, the GEICO Team Shootout will re-air multiple half hour shows on ESPN 2 during the following dates and times:

-Saturday, July 9 at 1 p.m.
-Sunday, July 17 at 1 p.m.
-Saturday, July 23 at noon
-Sunday, July 24 at 1:30 p.m.
-Sunday, July 31 at 2 p.m.
-Saturday, Aug. 6 at 1 p.m. All times are Eastern.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

U.S. Women's Open in Dallas, TX

Last month, I bowled in the Women's U.S. Open in Dallas, Texas. The event was the most highly anticipated women's bowling tournament of the year.

Qualifying consisted of three 8-game blocks. However, the catch was that there were three squads per day and the tournament only oiled the lanes once, in the morning. So you had to bowl one squad on the fresh oil, one squad on the burn condition and one squad on the double-burn condition.

As it worked out, I was scheduled to bowl my first squad on the double-burn condition. With the lanes already playing inside of 4th arrow to start, I knew this squad would be the one that could either break you or make you in the event. The scores from the first two squads of qualifying were SUPER high, especially for a U.S. Open oil pattern. The current leader for the day, after only 8 games was nearly +400, averaging 249.25 So knowing that I needed to somehow score on this super burnt condition, definitely didn't help matters when I started out of the gates shooting games of 167, 215, 170 and 178.

Finally switching to my new AMF OMG Pearl, I was able to get the ball down the lane and get it to recover on the backend and open up the lane a little bit. I ended up shooting 229, 279, 203 and 208 for +49 for the eight-game block, which wasn't bad for how I had started, but wasn't great for the scoring pace of tournament. I was in 124th place out of 286 bowlers, a field which presented the highest amount of entries into the prestigious tournament.

The next day, I bowled on the burn condition. Figuring out the lanes much quicker, I shot games of 189, 247, 246, 201, 225, 237, 258 and 258 for +261 for the block and +310 overall, ending the day in 48th place overall.

My last day of qualifying was finally on the fresh oil and most of the scores had been coming off of that squad. Needing to make the top 32 for the next cut, I knew I needed to throw a lot of strikes. I used my Bank for most of the morning, then switched to my 900 Global Nuts towards the end of the block. I shot games of 247, 222, 190, 223, 246, 246, 258 and 247 for +279 for the block and +589 overall and ended up in 25th place overall, making the next cut to the top 32.

The next morning, we bowled 8 more games in the semifinal round. The cut would then be made to the top 16 bowlers, for 16 games of round robin matchplay. With the scoring pace staying high, I knew I needed to strike a lot in order to advance to matchplay. Making matters worse, after only one frame of the first game, both my favorite ball (a 900 Global Bank, which I used to win the Queens tournament) and my spare ball got chewed up by the lanes in an unfortunate mishap. My spare ball was still usable, but my poor Bank was definitely not. I was forced to switch balls and couldn't use the ball which I had used for most of the fresh oil block. I still managed to shoot games of 231, 195, 202, 251, 247, 180, 219 and 257 for +182 for the block, but it ended up not being enough, as I finished tied for 20th and missed the cut to match play by 70 pins.

I stuck around the Dallas area and attended Bowl Expo functions, both as a pro shop owner and as a 900 Global staffer. It's always nice to attend Bowl Expo and see all of the neat new things that the bowling industry has come up with. I also visited the Hall of Fame and saw the newly opened 50 years of Women's Bowling exhibit. Check out my idol and favorite female bowler in the above photos!

However, the week ended on a high note, as I attended the televised finals of the U.S. Women's Open. The finals - bowling lanes constructed on the 50 yard line of Cowboys stadium - was by far the biggest stage women's bowling has ever been on. The atmosphere, sheer excitement and number of spectators made for one amazing TV show! Congratulations to Leanne Hulsenberg for winning the prestigious tournament, a title that the Hall of Famer had yet to achieve. Job well done! :) And I think everyone would agree that her little son Baron stole the show at the end!

Enjoy the photos!