Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Missy Makes History at the US Open

Last week, I competed in my first men's US Open event and it proved to be an exciting week. The US Open, one of the highest regarded Majors, was held at Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick, NJ. The lane condition for the tournament is known as being the most difficult out on the PBA Tour. Most long-time touring pros and newly exempt players refer to the week as "Hell Week" or "The Worst Week of Your Life."

I, hearing all of the talk about how grueling the week was and how difficult the pattern is, thought I was prepared for the worst. I must have bowled on something this ugly at some point in my career, seeing as in junior bowling many of the tournaments we competed on were flat and in collegiate and Team USA competition, the conditions can be rather tough too, let alone some of the patterns I've faced in professional tournaments. Well this...was NOTHING like that.

The first 10 minutes of the practice session, I seriously felt like a deer caught in headlights. I was astonished at just how difficult the pattern was. I practiced near Chris Barnes and Mika Koivuniemi and with Stuart Williams from England. Stu and I didn't hit the pocket for at least the first 5 minutes, if not 10 minutes into the practice session (and that didn't necessarily mean that we struck either.) It was shear brutality! Finally, I found a pretty decent look playing deep inside with a new 900 Global Black Eagle. From 10 and to the right was a pretty heavy out of bounds (my ball literally fell back away from the pocket even pointing the ball from there.) Inside was really the only place that I could get my ball to read the lanes correctly.

That proved to be true throughout all of qualifying. I started every block (even on the fresh), never playing right of 20 (4th arrow) with my eyes. I was playing a pretty tight line to the pocket, almost like an old fallback shot in the days of rubber bowling balls. Throughout qualifying, I used two Black Eagles and two Nuts (solids), one drilled pin down and the other drilled pin up.

During my first 6-game block of qualifying, I started out of the gates very well, shooting 240. I followed it with games of 198, 185, 171 and 197. So going into the last game, I was -9 for the day. Then the unthinkable happened...I started striking and striking and striking. I seriously felt like I was in a dream when I looked up at the scoring monitor and saw that I had the front 9 strikes. Now on the US Open pattern, I would have been thrilled to have the first 3 strikes to start the last game, let alone on track to shoot 300! I got up in the 10th frame and struck my first ball. Then I threw another good shot, but didn't quite catch it with my fingers and left a 5 pin for a 289 game! This put me at +80 for my first block, a great start to the grueling tournament.

My second block of qualifying, I bowled on the burn. For one of the three blocks of qualifying, the lanes were not re-oiled. I shot games of 192, 215, 223, 190, 203 and 215 for +38 for the block. I was extremely pleased with my consistency throughout the block. This put me at +118 for the overall tournament.

Then during my third and final block of qualifying, I shot games of 236, 181, 212, 204, 172 and 198 for +3, putting me at +121 for the overall tournament. I was well in the cut for the top 98 casher's round, which ended up taking -67, but my last block put me just out of the top 24 for the next cut.

Going into the casher's round, I was 32nd and needed to have a nice 8-game block to move up to the top 24. I started off really well, shooting 256 out of the gates. I followed it up with scores of 245, 172, 248, 211, 234, 184 and 211 for +161 for the block, putting me at +282 overall and propelling me into 9th place. I had no idea I had moved up to 9th place (because I don't like watching the scores) and I also was unaware of another important fact... No woman had ever made matchplay in the US Open before. That definitely made the day a lot sweeter.

However, there was still a lot of bowling to be had, as the tournament at this point was only half over. We bowled 8 more games of round robin match play later that same night and then bowled 16 games of round robin matchplay the next day.

My first match was definitely one of my most memorable matches of the tournament. I bowled against Pete Weber. The match came down to the final 9th and 10th frames. Pete opened in the 9th frame but then struck out in the 10th frame, forcing me to strike out to beat him. Knowing I needed to throw the ball pretty perfect, seeing as it was the US Open pattern, I went up and threw 3 great shots to beat him. It always feels good to strike when you need it, but this time it was a little sweeter knowing that I struck out to beat a Hall of Famer and someone who I admire and had grown up watching.

The rest of matchplay didn't go as well. I ended up with a 9-14-1 matchplay record, finishing 21st for the tournament. Congratulations to Pete Weber on an amazing 5th U.S. Open win! That 9th and 10th frame of the championship match was one of the best nail-biting and pure displays of pressure bowling, especially for a major, let alone to break his own father's record. Congrats again! :)

The day of the TV show, the bowling center held a junior and adult clinic in the morning. I, along with many of the pros, volunteered and did coaching and meet and greets with everyone that attended. It was a lot of fun!

Afterwards, my husband, best friend Scott and his husband Craig all went to New York City for a few days to relax and have a bit of a vacation. I had never really been to the City before, so I was super excited! We went to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the World Trade Center Memorial, 5th Avenue, Times Square, Central Park, the top of the Empire State Building and of course went and saw a Broadway show - Chicago! We all had so much fun and ate some delicious food! Check out the photos!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Missy on KFNS Talk Radio Tonight, Wed., February 22nd

Check out Missy LIVE on KFNS Talk Radio with Kenny Strode tonight, Wednesday, February 22nd at 7:25pm EST.

To listen to Missy's interview, visit and click Listen Live and then click on 590.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Missy Makes TV Show in Japan!

This week I competed in the DHC International Championships at Hakata Star Lanes in Fukuoka, Japan. The all-wood bowling center spans across three different floors with a total of 85 lanes. The entire tournament field was comprised of the top 84 men and top 84 women bowlers from all over the world, representing 12 different countries.

We bowled 9 games of qualifying, in three 3-game blocks. I shot 668, 710 and 673 for +251 overall and was leading the tournament going into the semifinals. The field was then cut to the top 24 men and top 24 women. We then bowled 6 more games of semifinals.

During the semifinals, I struggled a bit and grinded out a 607 and 603 series, shooting 230 my last game to secure a spot in the shoot-out match. The shootout match consisted of players in positions 4-9. We bowled a one-game match, with the highest score advancing to the TV stepladder finals. Players seeded in positions 1-3 automatically qualified for the TV show.

In the shootout match, I bowled against Carol Gianotti from Australia, Wendy Macpherson, Zandra Aziela from Malaysia, Mari Kimura from Japan and Maki Nakano from Japan. I started out strong, striking in the first 4 frames, but a couple of the other women were also striking, keeping the match very close. I ended up needing to strike and 9 spare in the 10th frame to advance and I struck out, shooting 267 to secure the final spot on the TV show.

On the men's side, Zulmazran Zulkifli shot 298 to secure the final spot in the shootout match, over Chris Barnes, Mike Fagan, Dan Maclelland, Kyung-sin Park from Korea and Shota Kawazoe from Japan.

For the TV show, four lanes were constructed in an amazing arena setting inside the bowling center building. The arena was packed and the setting couldn't have been more fun to compete in. The introductions to the finals were very cool as well with laser lights and sound and other light effects going on while each player was introduced and walked down a "red carpet"-esque catwalk down to the lanes.

On the TV show, I bowled against Eun-hee Jeon from Korea. The match was very tight throughtout. I couldn't carry very well, leaving many 10 pins and one 7 pin. However, it came down to the 10th frame and I could have doubled to lock her out. Sadly to report, I did not throw the ball well, missing the headpin and converting the spare to force her to get the first strike in the 10th frame. She went up and doubled to beat me 224 to 206, thus finishing 4th place overall in the tournament. Cherie Tan of Singapore went on to win the title over Malaysia's Dayang Khairuniza.

On the men's side, Tommy Jones defeated Mika Koivuniemi 290 to 204 to capture the title. Congratulations to both Tommy and Cherie!

For complete results of both the men and women's finals, click here.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Missy Headed Back to Japan

Missy Parkin will compete in the DHC International Championships this week in Fukuoka, Japan at Hakata Star Lanes. The event is part of the World Bowling Tour, in which Missy plans to bowl several of the events this year.

Check out how Missy is doing in the event all week. Click here!