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Update from the last few weeks!

A lot has happened in the last 4 weeks and not all of it has been good.

Let’s start with the TAT in Las Vegas. This was my first time out in Vegas and the weather out there was beautiful! It was nice to get out of the Ohio winter for a change. I was able to get out on to the Vegas strip as well as eat at some new restaurants with some great friends! I also met some amazing people that showed me just how great our bowling community really is! This was also a week that was made possible by Harvey Johnson. I could never thank him enough for that! Also, congrats to Alex Aguiar for absolutely dominating the week and taking home the $20,000 first place prize!

As for the bowling, it was very up and down. I had some days that I bowled really well and some days that were a bit of a struggle. For the trip, I brought out an arsenal that consisted of 2 Covert revolts, a Sigma Sting, a Primal Rage, a Tribal, and a spare ball. The Revolts got the most use, but I did find a lot of instances where the Fusion Pearl coverstock on the Sting and Primal Rage came in handy. The big difference from the west coast to the east coast is that out west, they like to play the fresh left to right and open up the lanes early on. What this does it create a different transition then I am used to. The only good thing that came out of that week was I will be able to be in the “Returning Non Finalist” division next time I bowl…sadly. 

I had a 3 day stay back home and then Zeke Bayt and I left for our 10 day excursion to the TNBA Reed-Hawthorne in Cleveland and the USBC Masters in New Jersey. I had a very par weekend in Cleveland as I was having trouble turning my decent games into great games. I was however able to bowl some big games down the stretch to jump into the casher’s cut and finish with a 27th place finish. Considering how I was executing, that’s not a bad finish and gave me a small amount of confidence going into the Masters, especially since I was going to be able to start using the new Venom Shock. During the TNBA, the Covert Revolt was the only ball going down the lane as I used the pin down on the fresh and the pin up on the transition/burn. Congrats to Vernon Peterson for notching another big title onto his ever growing resume!

After making the long 8 hour drive from Cleveland to New Jersey, with a slight pit stop in Lamar, PA, it was time for the Masters week! I had a 2 hour practice session on Monday and most of the Motiv team was on that practice squad. I found a few lines that I liked with several different balls. My first squad on Tuesday was on the burn. I had found a zone on the outside during practice that I thought would hold up through at least the first 2 games, but it had gone away in a hurry and I managed to limp to a 190-plus game. After that I jumped in with the Venom Shock (#purpleball) and was able to find a great line to the pocket, as long as I made sure to keep up with the transition. I finished the block at 78 over with a 278 shot in game 3. 

My next 2 blocks were on the fresh and I just could get anything going. I was committed to playing right as I felt that’s where my best shot was, but I just couldn’t seem to get anything going. I was executing poorly and didn’t catch many breaks in order to loosen up my arm swing. My best look was with a trio of Covert Revolts (Pin down w/hole, pin down no hole, pin up w/hole). They gave me strong mid-lane read without overreacting at the break-point. 

After those 3 tournaments, I knew the changes I was making in my game weren’t going to cut it against the best in the world. So I went back to what I was doing and tried to make some smaller changes, adjustments that would help me maintain my leverage and balance going into my release. The first tournament I tried it in was the Erie $4k Scratch Classic, a tournament that I finished 2nd in the previous year. I was noticing a big change in how my first ball was looking. It was coming off my hand great and I was able to keep my balance and leverage more easily! The probably was it had affected my spare shot in that the ball was getting off my hand too fast. I ended up finishing in the 9-16 spot and created a solid platform in which to build upon. Congrats to Eric Cornog for winning on a very demanding condition!

I put in the work on Monday and Tuesday morning and shot 802 Tuesday night at league with the Venom Shock! That ball game me a backend motion that no one else on the pair was able to create! 

Then on Thursday, I put together of a set of 844 with my favorite pin down Covert Revolt! This ball is the best benchmark ball I have ever thrown!

Now for the updates! I am looking into creating a website where I will be posting my blogs, doing arsenal building videos, as well as other tips and suggestion videos. There will also be sections where I do tournament recaps, extended ball reviews and breakdowns, along with many more features!

Another update is that I have picked up a workout regimen to get my body in better shape to bowl the longer formats and days. I have noticed that my legs and back were starting to strain on the longer days, so that’s something I am looking at improving! Stay tuned for a good deal of changes while I continue Furthering the Lanes!

Update and Big Changes!

It has been a while since the last update and a lot has changed! Let’s start with the tournament side of things.

Just after the beginning of the new year, I bowled 2 tournaments that didn’t go very well. The Bradley Open was probably the biggest tournament in January and paid $10k for first. I bowled well in the sweepers, but I don’t think I could have bowled any worse in the main event! The other event was the Jr/Jr/Sr event at Colonial 77 Lanes. The team barely missed the cut, but I bowled awful! There was some serious need for me to practice and make some big changes!

This is where the first big change comes in to play. I am now a part of the Motiv Bowling staff! It’s a change that I thought about for a while and hopefully will bring me ever growing success! My current arsenal is 2 Primal Rages, 2 Sigma Stings, 1 Covert Revolt (AMAZING!!!), 1 Tribal, and 1 Tank. I will be modifying the arsenal as I slowly learn the equipment, so I will keep the blog up to date!

Recently I have been bowling 10x better! I haven’t had a set under 720! Motiv recently released the new Covert Revolt and it has been amazing! This past weekend I bowled in the QFM Team Tournament at the Palace Lanes, and the Revolt (See picture below) was more than useful. It worked on both sets and all 6 games. 

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Coming up I have a huge month of February. I have the TAT in Vegas, followed by the TNBA in Cleveland, then straight to Jersey for the Masters. Hopefully the new Bro-tive bowling balls give me a big month and I can continue this hot streak while I push forward in Furthering The Lanes!

New Years 2014 Update!

After taking a few weeks off for the holiday, here is a little update on everything that has been going on, along with some exciting things that are coming for 2014!

At the Lex Lanes singles tournament, I bowled pretty well, but it was a day where the breaks just didn’t go my way. I had one open frame in 4 games with the only open being a 7-10 split. I ended up missing the cut by less than 5 pins. Even though that is a tough pill to swallow, that’s something that you just can’t get you down. I refocused and regrouped to finish the Shawnee Lanes tournament the following day in 4-6th losing in the semi-finals. 

The following week we had the final night of the first half for each of my scratch leagues. We had a chance to finish third in the first league, but we struggled and enough happened to have 2 teams barely go around us. Thursday was a different story as we had to overcome a 9 point deficit and did so. We had put the pressure on early and didn’t let up. In doing so, we ended up winning the round.

I also bowled the Holiday Doubles in St. Louis with Brandon Novak this past weekend. This tournament has been growing and growing every year and has even sold out months in advance for the last 3 years. It has also grown big enough in demand that Inside Bowling has streamed it for the past 3 years! We had qualified in 8th, but fell to 12th after the 4 game semi-finals round on Sunday morning, but still got us into the top 12 for the upcoming 12 games of round-robin match-play. We started slow for the finals, but began to pick up pace in the middle and towards the end. We did have some bad luck through the block as we shot great games only to have teams shoot just a bit higher. That is what kept us in contention for the top 5, but didn’t allow us to challenge for the lead. We eventually took 8th place after a weekend of 25 games! I enjoyed bowling the tournament very much as it was a great tournament ran by Jerry Anderson and his staff at Red Bird Lanes and streamed all weekend by Mike Flanagan and his crew at Inside Bowling. I got to see some people that I don’t get to see very often and have some great laughs with Harvey Johnson and Zeke Bayt per usual!

As for 2014, there will be some big changes and developments! This is going to be the year that I try to help both myself grow in the bowling world and help bowling itself grow in popularity again! Zeke Bayt (2013 USBC Singles Champion) and myself have begun to create a website that will not only deliver fun and informative videos using my new GoPro Hero3+ camera, but we will also be writing articles about our travels, our training/conditioning, and ball reviews for our current arsenals. I will also be trying to cover and recap as many tournaments as I can. Maybe from time-to-time, we will also be getting some guest writers to add additional content! 

That is not the only thing on the dock for 2014, but it is by far the most exciting one! Stay tuned for all of the changes and developments as there are definitely more to come! 

 

Also, I told John Heath that I would definitely blog about him along with George Gohagan III…so here it is!

Recap of the last few weeks

It has been way too long since my last blog! During that time, I took two weekends off from tournaments as I just needed a break. I had been traveling and bowling multi-day tournaments that I needed to recharge my mental batteries.

Oddly enough, after that, I got into a little rut. I had not been bowling well in my leagues, but not bowling bad. I knew what I wanted my ball to do, but I just couldn’t seem to execute it. I decided I needed to change up my routine a bit. Before this, I had been practicing very heavily, but it had not been showing in my league results, just tournament results. What I decided to do was give my body a change and play some different sports as practice. The goal of doing this was to get some different muscles a chance to be used. If you keep the same routine over and over, your growth can plateau over time. Also, I had read a post by a highly accredited bowling coach, Rick Benoit, saying that every bowler should also play other sports to fully understand the maximum athleticism of their body. Playing different sports can allow you to find different ways to create leverage, help you increase flexibility, and can open up your mind to different knowledge bases.

So I played soccer to work on agility and leg conditioning, and also played disc golf to work on using different arm muscles as well as finding different ways to use my body to create leverage/power. Apparently its working because just in the last 2 weeks alone, I have finished 2nd once and 4th twice in 3 separate tournaments along with shooting 2 300 games! Things my finally be starting to click! At those tournaments, Jimmy Johnson was able to win the Thanksgiving tournament at Gahanna Lanes, Todd Book defeated me to win the Zack Keller Memorial Tournament, and Ben Davis was able to out-strike everyone to win the Portsmouth Master this past weekend during a very high scoring event.

This growth hasn’t come without struggles though. I did not bowl my best at the TNBA Central Regional Handicap Tournament, a tournament that my team and I won in the Mixed Team category the previous year. I also struggled to capitalize on breaks during a doubles tournament where scores were relatively higher.

I will continue to play more sports to keep my body ever growing and developing as I am liking the direction I am going. I am also becoming more confident in what I want for my arsenal. The ball motions that I currently have are almost exactly what I need when it comes to versatility. I am figuring out exactly which layouts and surfaces work for each type of ball, at least for my game.

Another big thing that happened was I finally drilled my own ball on my own, in terms of laying the ball out and putting the holes in the ball. I’ve always been able to lay equipment out, but never was able to drill it myself. Drilling my own equipment is something I have always wanted to do. A big thanks to Greg VanGundy of Ye Olde Pro Shoppe for teaching me everything!

December will be an important month as there are some decent sized tournaments coming up. Time to buckle down and get back to the winners circle! Each new development in my game will only push me forward in my goal of Furthering The Lanes!

Bud Light Challenge 2013

The Bud Light Challenge is one of my favorite weekends of the year! It’s hosted by some great people in Kelvin Parker, Dave Werner, and the rest of their team. This event is so special is because they run it like true professionals. They hold a Friday doubles tournament on the main event shot with the winning team receiving $1500. On Saturday is the Main Event held on a VERY demanding shot, with the winner in this taking home $5000. Sunday is an eliminator style tournament where they use a different oil pattern, and it pays out $2000 to the winner. 

I rode up to Buffalo, NY with Dan Higgins, who would also be my doubles partner for Friday. Last year we won the doubles event and we were returning to defend out title. Knowing the shot before hand was a heavy volume pattern that was 39 ft. and almost a flat ratio, I had brought some strong symmetrical balls to combat this. A Smack Down, Oath, Pursuit-S, Eruption Pro, 400A SE, Gamebreaker, and my trusty Jet Black Taboo were the balls of choice.

Friday did not go as planned. From the beginning, we just didn’t find the right match up for the 3 game set, but I was able to shoot a 235 that was good enough to win a nice jackpot. The doubles was won by Brian Dennis, who had beaten me the previous year in the Sunday Eliminator, and his partner Bryson Rogers. Dan and I spent the rest of the night talking over dinner with Adam Barta and Tony Carson about the best way to tackle the Main Event pattern for Saturday.

I woke up Saturday and felt great about my game plan! Depending on whether the backends were tighter or the same as the night before, I would throw the Oath or the Smack Down, respectively. I actually started throwing the pin down Oath and stuck with that for the first 2-3 games. After that, the Oath wasn’t finishing as hard, so I went to my pin up Pursuit-S that was still as strong in the mid-lane, but reacted a bit more down lane. This ball allowed me to move in deeper and not worry about getting the ball back to the pocket.

I didn’t have any trouble until game 5. I was even going into that game sitting comfortably in the cut and I thought I had a good idea at how the pattern was transitioning. Then we made the turn from the high end to the low end. I couldn’t figure out where the oil shim or the hook was. I also didn’t execute very well at all that game. It was like I completely forget how to bowl! I limped my way to an agonizing 134 game. I was so deflated. In a tournament like this with the type of shot they put out, any pair can give you as much trouble as I had during that game. I knew if I regrouped the next game and threw 10 good shot, I would make the cut. I did just that, trusting all of my moves and popped off a 255 game to jump into the cut. I also have to give credit to Dan for keeping me focused and giving me a small suggestion on where to adjust. The cut ended up being a tie at minus 34, with Jackie Carbonetto striking in the 10th to win the roll off against Matt O’Grady.

The way match play works is the top 31 make the cut with the leader getting a one round bye. Positions 2-31 randomly draw their matches each round, no bracket style play. My first match was against Tim Pfeifer, who struggled to find any groove during our 2-game total pins match, and I moved on the next round. I then drew Tony Carson, who had an issue of getting the ball to push down lane as the lanes were really drying up. After grinding through that match, in the round of 8 I got matched up with Brian Walizcek, who had been on fire during his first 2 matches. I had less than a 20 pin deficit going in to the second game, as I had left a split in the 9th frame while working on a double during the first game. Through the first half of the second game, I had all but eliminated the deficit, actually taking a slight lead at one point. However, fate would not be kind as I must have missed an adjustment and again split in the 9th on a double. This would prove costly as Walizcek would step up in the 10th and get the first strike in the 10th to shut me out. He would then go on to finish 2nd as Vernon Peterson would eventually take the win and $5000. The remaining finishers were Mike Chontos in 3rd and Jeff Fehr in 4th. 

What makes this weekend different from others is that it is an event and compared to being just a tournament. Not only do they have the 3 separate tournaments, but they also hold their infamous after party on Saturday night at the bowl. There are drinks to be had, great comradery, karaoke, a fund dice game called “Left, Right, Center”, and much more. There’s usually the inevitable pot game bowled, but that’s what happens when you get that many of the top amateurs in one place at one time.

Sunday for some reason seem to go my way. Since I had a few drinks on Saturday night, I had bowled the first squad on Sunday to get all of the cobwebs out. They way the Sunday eliminator works is they run 2 qualifying squads and take 1 in 6 off of each squad. After I re-entered and made the finals off of the second squad, I joined the field of 18 bowlers to bowl in the elimination finals. The finals involved 1 game rounds that cut the field in half each time (18 to 10 to 5 to 3 to 1). The first round I comfortably made it through. The next rounds, however, were a different story. I had put myself in a position each time to make it through I just needed some help from the other bowlers so that my score would allow me to make it in the following round. It must have been my lucky day as, I did make it through and was determined to take advantage of my luck in the final match…and take advantage of it I did! 

Since scores were so low, all I tried to do was stay clean and maybe catch a lucky double somewhere to beat my fellow finalist, Jacob Kent and Steve Novak. Going into the 10th frame, all I needed was a mark to take the title…and then, it happened! I had thrown what I thought was a perfect shot, and the ball hit like it was a 6 lbs ball, leaving a flat pocket 4-10 split. I made sure to get one for count and hope that my luck hadn’t run out. When Novak failed to strike in his first shot, I knew I had secured the victory and the honor of being the only bowler to win the Sunday event twice, as I my previous 2 attempts had garnered a 1st place and 2nd place, respectively. 

I feel that the event was an overall success for me! As always, Kelvin Parker, David Werner, and the rest of their team put on a spectacular event. The event was run smooth and with the amount of side action they had, there were no hiccups in that at all! Every tournament should take note in what they do as they should be the model of success for how events should run. 

On to next week in Detroit where I’m bowling an event run by Brian Regan. There is where I will continue with my goal of Furthering The Lanes!

Full Circle Sports Trios and the ORANGE BALL!

I had such a blast bowling with Rocio Restrepo and Joe Hostetler this past weekend! We bowled as a team and never gave up. We never had one single game under 600…we also never had a game over 700, so I’d say we were pretty consistent on the whole!

We were near the top for the whole tournament, but just had a slow start in our step ladder match and fell to a good team in Mike Clark Jr., Novella Daniels, and Mike King. Also congrats to the winners Steven Meyer, Sarah Germano, and Dan Vick! They bowled great all weekend!

I also had a great evening going to dinner at Maggiano’s with the Barta family, Pat Desjardins, Kayla Bandy, and my amazing girlfriend Heather. It’s always a bonus to have her at tournaments to support me!

As for equipment and the lane pattern, it played really tight to the right and hooked if you tried to play left…pretty much what you want in a tough shot. Since I tried to stay clean for the first game and a half, I started each block with my seasoned Jet Black Taboo that I take everywhere with me. I then switched to my new Columbia 300 Eruption Pro, #emergencyorange! This ball is drilled below my bridge and is absolutely AMAZING! It’s clean through the heads and turns hard down lane! Its Ebonite Internationals answer to the Storm’s IQ Tour line, as it has angle and roll at the same time!

This next week I will be putting in some solid practice time in as one of the biggest amateur tournaments is this coming weekend, the Bud Light Challenge! Last year Dan Higgins and I won the Friday Night Doubles and me finished 2nd in the Sunday Eliminator (as I also won the previous year). As for the Main Event on Saturday, last year I missed cut by 1 pin after going crush 9, spare, crush 9 in the 10th of the last game. The previous year, I missed by less than 20. This year, I’m looking for redemption. I am also looking to complete my Bud Light Challenge portfolio and win the Main Event. 3 crystal trophies from an event this big would be nice to have!

I will be updating my blog each day this week to document my preparation! You can’t win the big events without putting in the effort and desire! Time to hit the lanes and continue in my dream of Furthering The Lanes!

Match Play Morning

Mornings have always been the hardest for me…. always have and always will be. There’s no fighting the fact that I’m not a morning person, but waking up and having a chance at $4k makes that 6:30a.m. wake-up call a bit easier.

Yesterday went well as I shot 794 for the first 3 then cooled out a bit to finish with a 6-game total of 1462. That was enough to make the top 32 for match play. It looked like it was going to be another lefty weekend on a house shot, but Steve Zimmer from Louisville, KY ended up leading the qualifying field at a little over 1600! A score that also had a 300 in game 3! There were at least 4 300’s that I know of yesterday.

Today is double elimination match play and I’m bringing a trifecta of Hammer balls (Jet Black Taboo, Absolut Curve, and Arson Pearl) to work my way to the title!

Time to head to Ashland to continue Furthering the Lanes!

European experiences outside of the lanes!

First off, let say that Europe is AMAZING! The food is different and delicious, the sites are gorgeous, and the people are different in many ways to those in America.

That being said, this was my first time overseas and it was an absolute blast! The flight over was long, but I tried to stay up as late as I could to fight the jet lag that I would still inevitably get. I couldn’t sleep, I was exhausted all day long, and I felt sick for the first 5 days. Eventually I got over the jet lag and was able to enjoy the trip. image

The food at the Bowling National Center (BNC) in Bratislava, Slovakia was unlike any food in American centers. They had Pesto Pasta, gourmet burgers, gnocchi dishes, stuffed chicken, and much more. The other good thing about the BNC was that bottled water cost 1.40 Euros, but beer cost only 1.30 Euros! The other thing that was different about Europe was that if you order water, you automatically get sparkling water. Everything over there is carbonated. You have to order “Still” water or “No Gas” in order to get our “regular” water. At Plus Bowling in Vienna, they had ribs, wiener schnitzel, goulash, and spaghetti bolognese. Just a little bit different than American centers, right? I did however find one drink that grew on me at Plus Bowling in Vienna and I will definitely miss it, Almdudler. It’s a carbonated, spiced apple drink from Austria…so good!image

The sights and sounds were exactly as I expected them to be…gorgeous! In Bratislava, we got to see the center (downtown) which had many historical buildings, cobblestone roads, gates to the old town, a castle, and the main palace where the government works. Something different that you won’t see in America, we got to see 2 open door weddings take place. Even the modern buildings looked like the architects took great pride in designing, and this includes the malls and schools. I’m also pretty sure we saw a dead guy lying on a bench, but that’s something I would really like to forget!

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Vienna was riddled with churches and narrow roads. The Cathedrals are so much better to see in person! They tower so high, and if you can believe it, delve below the earth as well. The biggest one in Vienna is St. Stephen’s Cathedral, thus the one we deemed most important to visit. The inside is absolutely massive and an impeccable work of art. While there, we took a tour of the catacombs that contained many of the late cardinals and bishops along with some of their kin. The most disturbing section was the deepest part where remains of hundreds of victims of the plague as well as normal deaths that were entombed below the cathedral.

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Now to the most important part of the trip to me; the people! I was not sure what I expected form the people in Europe, but I can tell you that I expected to hear was “Stupid American” at least once or twice. What I found was that the people exceeded anything I could have imagined! They were friendly and talkative both on and off the lanes. Being an American or a new person was no concern to them. What I really liked was their view on life. It was something about them just wanting to enjoy life and have a good time that drew me towards them. They look towards the future, but don’t forget to really enjoy the now. I think this is something that Americans have slowly lost view of. It was the main thing I brought with me.

The other point that really impressed me about them was their view on bowling. They really treat it as a sport and not just a game or hobby. Many of the countries have clubs or organizations that each of the bowlers belong to. These clubs participate in their national leagues that bowl for pride and pride alone! Leagues also take precedent over the European tour as well. If there is a match, you don’t bowl the tour, you bowl the match…period! There is a video by the International Art of Bowling, found HERE, that highlights the Swedish League. It is possibly the most infamous league in the world. Bowlers like Jason Belmonte and Tommy Jones have even flown to Sweden to bowl in it.

Overall, it was definitely an eye opening experience. I got to see different countries, different cultures, and a somewhat different way to view life. It is something that I would definitely do again in the drop of a dime. I will absolutely use all of these experiences to help me in my quest of Furthering The Lanes!

Ball reviews from my 2013 Columbia 300 Vienna Open and BNC Open trip!

Now that my European adventure is over, I thought I’d do a little something different to sum up the trip. Don’t worry, I’m still going to do a blog about the actual trip and the people I met, but instead of giving a play-by-play of the Vienna Open event, I’m going to review, in a way, each ball that I used over there and how I put them into play.

My arsenal for the trip was 6 EBI products and included the Columbia 300 Antics, Smack Down, and Vow; the Hammer Jet Black Taboo; and the Ebonite Source and Gamebreaker. I won’t be talking about the Gamebreaker because I never actually put it into play. Below is a picture of the arsenal minus the Vow.

First was the Smack Down, which I used as a benchmark type ball. It was the first ball down the lane each day and gave me a read of the volume and where the ball was seeing the end of the pattern. EVERY bowler should have a ball that is used for this purpose! This ball also got some use when I needed to control the backend and stay close to the friction while still being able to be aggressive. It was drilled pin above my bridge with a very slight kick of the CG.

The Antics was a great ball that I could go to when the backend of the Smack Down wasn’t enough, but I still needed the ball to read the midlane strong. It was drilled identical to my Smack Down and allowed me to go from ball-to-ball with no hesitation. I also got use out of this ball when I needed to bump in and open up the lane to get away from certain pairs that had a lot of over-under reaction. To get away from that, I needed a ball that wouldn’t jump off the spot and would also read in oil.

My favorite ball of the weekend was the Jet Black Taboo! This thing was clean through the heads, read the midlane consistently, and created a really controllable backend. Whether I needed to play to the right or move left and slowly open up the pattern, this thing was perfect! It worked as a great go to when I was lost. Very trustworthy ball!

My clean angular ball was the Source, but it didn’t get much use as the only high friction surface we saw had Twister pins, and those don’t fall very well with angular balls. It did come in handy at the BNC when I needed to stay right with the friction when there was some carry down. It’s really useful to create angle, but not go through the break point.

The final ball that got plenty of use at the Vienna Open was the Vow, and this ball was a life saver! I didn’t use it until the final day, but it had a strong enough core to read the midlane, had a clean cover to push through the high friction surface, and a perfect drilling (identical to the Antics and Smack Down) to read the backends without snapping too much. If I was in the right zone, this ball would minimize my misses and it saved me so many pins through the finals!

Overall, I was very happy with my arsenal! The ball I would add would be another strong pearl with maybe a bit more length than the Vow, but just as much controllable angle. The solid coverstock on the Gamebreaker did not compliment the Vienna lane surface and was too weak and tame down lane at the BNC.

There are some new releases from the EBI brands (Ebonite, Columbia 300, Track, and Hammer) coming in October and November that look really good! Maybe I will add those to my arsenal and create an even more dangerous bag of tricks to further the lanes with! 

Also, make sure you take some time every day to try and convert a non believer to the beautiful world of bowling! Let’s grow the sport we all love!

2013 BNC Open and Bratislava Recap

The trip to Bratislava, Slovakia for the 2013 BNC Open is in the books and for a first stab at the European Bowling Tour (EBT), I would call it a success! Now, time to go back to last week and cover where the last blog left off…

I bowled a second squad on Friday morning and I can honestly say that it had a little bit of everything in it! I had a great start and great finish, but somewhere in the middle I seemed to have a mental lapse…something you can not let happen when you are bowling against the best bowlers in the world! I shot a 141 for game 4 and missed 4 single pin spares, something I haven’t done in far too many years. I didn’t let it bother me, though, as I bounced back with a 259 in game 5. Recovering from a serious setup back sports is one of the hardest things to do, so I felt very proud of myself for doing so. 

I used my Columbia 300 Smack Down at 1000 grit as the shot was very touch from the start and the extra surface allowed the ball to slow down on the backend. I changed to at Hammer Jet Black Taboo once I saw the Smack Down laboring down lane.

After the squad, Matt Climer and I met up with 3 new friends we have met while we’ve been here, Ty Treddenbarger and Tanner Spacey of the United States and Christopher Sloan from Ireland, and went into the center of Bratislava for some site-seeing. We got to see a little bit of history, a little bit of the local culture, and we even got to see 2 weddings! 

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The finals took place on Sunday and started with Final Step 1. That consisted of each of the 64 finalist bowling 4 additional games that will be added to their 6-game qualifying score in order to gather a 10-game total pin score. I got into a grove from the beginning and fired a total of 1019 for my 4 games with an 802 total for games 2-4. This bumped me up from 36th to 4th, which was huge since the top 8 got a bye to the Final Step 3. 

The Final Step 3 was a bit of a disappointment as I just couldn’t get into a grove. The lanes felt a bit different and I could only muster a total of 815 for 4, which was good enough for a 13th place finish and 1,200 Euro for my troubles. Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III captured his first EBT title and a cool 7,000 Euro for winning! Joonas Jehkinen (FIN), Mika Koivuniemi (FIN), Tobias Burding (GER), Dominic Barrett (ENG), and Pontus Andersson (SWE) rounded out the top 6, respectively. Full results can be found here.

Overall it was an experience that was definitely worth the trip! I have met so many amazing people that see bowling for the true sport that it is! National teams and league club teams show so much pride for their respective teams. I spent a few hours talking with bowlers from Sweden about the infamous Swedish League and they bowl for pride alone, no money involved! They will even miss EBT stops just to bowl a league match! Americans can definitely learn a lot from European bowlers on how we can change our mentality towards bowling. They have such a positive outlook towards our beautiful game that I will do everything in my power to bring this back with me to continue in my lifelong goal of Furthering The Lanes!

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