Monday, March 30, 2015

Missy Ventures to Munich for Euro Challenge

Last week, I competed in the Bruswick Euro Challenge at Dream Bowl Palace in Munich, Germany as part of the World Bowling Tour/European Bowling Tour.

After a very short week at home (after competing in the Middle East), I hopped the pond again, but this time to Europe. I was very excited for the week ahead and happy to be competing in the Euro Challenge once again.

The Brunswick Euro Challenge consists of 6 games of qualifying in a beat the board type of format. You can re-enter as many times as you'd like. The top 52 bowlers make the cut with the top 12 earning a bye into the second round of the finals. There was also an early bird special qualifying which advanced the top 8 bowlers from the first 6 squads that had not already qualified in the main cut. Women again received 8 pins of handicap per game.

After a long flight, I decided to combat the jet lag by bowling a squad since it was part of the early bird special qualifying. I bowled decent shooting games of 224, 201, 220, 189, 206 and 226 for +66 scratch, which wouldn't be enough for the cut, but definitely gave me some ideas on how the lanes would be playing.

The next day, I again bowled another squad as it was the last day for the early bird qualifying. I started out very well shooting games of 243, 226, 223, 224, 202 and ended on a rather sour note shooting 185. Overall this put me at +103 scratch (+151 with handicap), which would be very close for making the early bird cut. I used my Columbia 300 N'Sane Antics as well as my Hammer Red Legend for the entire block.

The following day, was the highlight of my trip. Anyone that really knows me, knows that I have a fascination with castles, specifically medieval and a HUGE love for Disney. With that said, one castle has been on my bucket list for a VERY long time - Neuschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian Alps. This castle built in the 1800s inspired Walt Disney when he built Sleeping Beauty's Castle inside Disneyland and Cinderella's castle inside Disney World.

After a trolley, subway and train ride, we arrived 2.5 hours later at the magnificent little town which housed the amazing castle perched up on the mountain. What made the trip even more fun was that Kelly and I had a big group of bowlers that came along for the adventure - Sean Rash, Tom Hess, Jason Sterner, Danielle McEwan and Marshall Kent.

We took a horse-drawn carriage up to the castle and took a tour of the inside. The castle was never fully completed as the King died during the construction. After the tour, we ventured to a bridge that was above a waterfall and had amazing views of the castle in its entirety. The path was a little icy, but that definitely didn't stop us from going to see the views. We were also able to see King Ludwig II's summer home as well. The castle was definitely everything I imagined it would be and more!

The next day, I bowled another squad, as I was still not sure if my scores from the early bird would be enough. I shot games of 220, 204, 235, 221, 191 and then experimented the last game a bit. Although my scores were't higher, I did learn a few things for the finals. I again used the same bowling balls, as well as my Ebonite Code of Honor.

The next day, I took the day off from bowling as it looked like my scores would hold up from the early bird. I ventured to downtown Munich and watched the glockenspiel clock that performs every day at noon. I ventured to the famous Hofbrauhaus to see the crazy beer hall. I also visited a few churches and climbed 304 stairs to the top of St. Peter's church for some amazing views of Munich.

Inside the Hofbrauhaus 
View from the top of St. Peter's Church 

The finals were the next day. The first round of the finals consisted of 6 games from scratch with 52 total bowlers competing, with the top 16 advancing to the next round. I bowled very well shooting games of 235, 242, 224, 203, 198 and 230 for +132 scratch and came in 7th for that round. I again used my Columbia 300 N'Sane Antics and Hammer Red Legend the entire block.

The 2nd round of the finals consisted of 28 bowlers (16 that advanced as well as the top 12 from the qualifying rounds). We bowled another 6 games from scratch with the top 8 advancing to the next round. I didn't have a great look to start and ended up playing the lanes wrong to start out, luckily I brought it back and ended much better. Although I didn't advance to the next round, I still had a great tournament coming in 17th place overall.

BIG congratulations to C300 Teammate Josh Blanchard for leading qualifying and the finals and going on to win the Brunswick Euro Challenge, earning his first National PBA title. #letsbowl #TeamC300

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Missy Bowls 2015 Bahrain Open

This past week, I travelled from Doha, Qatar to Manama, Bahrain to compete in the 2015 Bahrain Open. The format for the tournament was similar to that of last week in Qatar. We bowled two 6-game qualifying blocks and the top 27 in the general standings made the finals, plus the top lady and two top Bahraini bowlers.

I bowled the second squad of the tournament and was very pleased that I shot +93 scratch with very consistent scores. I shot games of 265, 190, 223, 194, 194, and 227 using my Columbia 300 Disorder and N'Sane Antics. The bowling center in Bahrain had 12 lanes and some of the pairs proved to be very tricky. So to be that consistent, I was pleased.

Day two, the lanes played completely different and I struggled to get lined up most of the block. I shot -31 scratch and eventually found success using my Track LX16.  Overall that left me at +63 scratch. In Bahrain, women receive 7 pins of handicap per game, so including handicap I was +146.

We then had two days off to roam around Bahrain and do some sightseeing. On the first day off, I went to Hard Rock cafe, as I collect shirts from all of the ones I've been to. Later, Kelly Kulick and I had the unique opportunity to get signed on to the US Naval base and go to the USO celebrity concert. It was amazing! We got to see Andrew Luck, Wee Man, Miss America and Phillip Phillips to name a few. Phillip Phillips performed a few of his songs and he was incredible!

The next day, we had quite the adventure as we travelled to the Camel Farm.

Later we stopped by the local craft center to watch locals hand-make pottery, shawls, boats, jewelry and more. After a yummy lunch, we then visited the Grand Mosque. We had a very informative guided tour of the gorgeous mosque.

That night, I found out I was on the bubble for the cut. With even one game to go, it was too close for comfort. It ended up coming down to the 10th frame of the last squad before I knew that I has barley squeaked in.

The next day we bowled the finals of the tournament. The finals were separated into blocks of 12 people bowling 6 games, with the top 6 scores then advancing to the next round. The lanes were again different and I struggled to quickly get lined up. I shot games of 177, 182, 236, 194, 225 and 196 for +10 scratch. I ended up just missing the cut by 20 pins. Although I was disappointed, I still had qualified for the finals and all in all it was an ok week.

I am now heading back home for one week before venturing back across the pond for one more World Bowling Tour stop in Munich, Germany. Til then...