The 1st official PWBA Stop - The USBC Queens
This week I travelled back to Green Bay, WI for the USBC Queens, which marked the first stop on the new PWBA Tour. It definitely was much warmer than my previous visit in February when it was a brisk -20 (the coldest weather I've ever been in.)
The week started with a ton of photo shoots, a practice session, the first official meeting for the PWBA as well as our 1st official pro-am. With all of the excitement of the new tour and positive energy surrounding the event, I just knew it would be a great week.
|First PWBA Pro-am|
|First Official PWBA Meeting|
For the Queens, we bowled on a 42' pattern with heavy volume using the Kegel fire oil. During the first block of qualifying, I bowled very consistent and was happy with my execution shooting games of 247, 226, 201, 213 and 197 for +84. I used my Columbia 300 Disorder, Ebonite Game Breaker 2 and Code of Honor as well as my Track LX16, which put me in 29th overall.
Day 2 of qualifying we bowled on the burn, meaning they did not re-oil the lanes after the first squad. I again bowled well shooting games of 259, 223, 221, 225 and 216 using my Track LX16 and Game Breaker 2. This put me at +228 as I jumped up into 10th place overall.
The final day of qualifying we bowled another 5 games on the fresh. They definitely played flatter and tighter and I struggled to carry consistently but still managed to shoot +7 for the day for +235 overall and qualified in 17th going into match play.
During qualifying we managed to have some free time and tour Lambeau Field, the Home of the Green Bay Packers. The tour was awesome, as we were able to go inside one of the stadium's biggest suites and also were able to go through the same tunnel the players go through every game. Although I'm not a Packers fan, it was still pretty awesome to hear all of the history and stories about the team.
After qualifying, the field was then cut to the top 63 players, plus last year's defending champion Maria Jose Rodriguez. This is where the tournament really begins. The format is 3-game total pin fall matches with a double elimination format.
In my first round of match play I faced Hall of Famer Anne Marie Duggan. I came out swinging, stringing strikes for a clean 259 and then followed it up with a 205 and was up 46 pins going into the last game. I shot a clean 218 to win 681-617.
In my next match, I faced Jodi Woessner on the burn. I unfortunately did not have a good look on the pair and struggled a lot only shooting 573 to her nice 700 series.
Unfortunately the name of the game is to stay in the winner's bracket as long as possible. Since I was thrown into the contenders bracket early, I knew I would have a long road ahead of me.
In the first round of the contenders bracket, I faced Mariana Ayala from Puerto Rico. We again had to bowl on the burn and not wanting to make the same mistakes, I changed my strategy playing further inside with a Columbia 300 Mad Antics.
The match was close. Game one I shot a clean 210 and she shot 202. The 2nd game she came back and shot 229 and I shot 211 and was down 9 pins going into the last game. Not having a great look on the lanes, I managed to stay clean and needed to mark in the 10th frame to win the match. I luckily made a good guess, moved in the 10th and threw a great shot to strike and win in the close match of 616-604.
The next day, I faced Brenda Padilla. Having a different strategy in mind, I decided to try and break down the lanes far to the right and create some room using a lot of surface. This unfortunately didn't entirely work as I created a good shot but couldn't find a ball that would go through the pins correctly to carry. I never missed the pocket and shot 184 (with a pocket 7-10.) I then managed to string a few strikes together for a 221. I was down 48 pins going into the final game. Knowing I needed a big game, I never missed the pocket but the carry fairy was nowhere to be found, as I shot a clean 216 and lost the match 645-621.
Although I am disappointed with my finish at the USBC Queens this year, I am very happy with how well I am throwing the ball. I'm excited to be home for a bit, work on my game and then bowl the rest of the PWBA Tour this summer.
BIG congratulations to the newest USBC Hall of Famer Liz Johnson for winning the 2015 USBC Queens.
Until next time...