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TNBA Nationals and Memorial Day Classic

After the year my team and I had at the 2013 TNBA Nationals, we wanted a repeat of our success in 2014. We had managed to win the scratch and handicap in both men’s and mixed 5-man team events.

This year, the tournament is being held at Skore Lanes and Super Bowl in the suburbs of Detroit, MI. Our first event was the men’s team event. The problem with this, and we didn’t realize it until the next day, was that this was the only squad that was not re-oiled for. According to USBC rules, every bowler must fairly compete on the same condition unless stated that they do not re-oil for certain squads, which they did not state. That is something we should have caught earlier and brought up the day of, so I consider that lesson learned. We still managed to bowl a decent 3200-plus, but when you consider our goal was to hit 3600, it is still disappointing. 

The next day we were able to shoot a solid 3500-plus for our mixed team that has since been passed by 19 pins. Dan and I were also able to put up a decent doubles score of 1430-plus. It was a decent showing, but definitely not as good as we did the year before. 

After finishing up the singles and doubles squad, I headed straight over to Grand Rapids to bowl the 5th Annual Memorial Day $10k Classic put on by the Eaton family at Spectrum Lanes. I had previously bowled the tournament in 2012 and finished in the top 8. At this time they had only paid $7500 for first and have since increased it to $10,000. Each year the tournament has been competed on the Kegel Middle Road pattern, which is one of my favorite patterns because it is scorable if you are in the correct zone with the correct ball. If you do not have those two variables, you can feel completely lost. This is what I think an ideal house shot pattern should play like. They should reward good shots, punish bad shots, and still be soft enough for all skill levels to compete on.

I was able to qualify in 48th by shooting games of 211, 225, 217, and 218. Qualifying was won by Terry Rohrer and Rob Gotchall with a score of 992. The top 64 bowlers came back for bracket style match play consisting of 2-game total pins matches.

My first match was a close match against Jodi Woessner, who is one of the most accomplished women’s bowlers in the country. It was low scoring and a few breaks that fell my way gave me a small edge when all was said and done. The next round, I faced Jerry Penxa Jr. and was able to ride and early lead to the win. The next match was probably my toughest because I dug myself a 40 pin hole going into the second game. I had to make a gamble and it paid off. Stringing the first 8 strikes, I was able to defeat Trey Raynes and move forward to the round of 8.

Throughout the weekend I was having issues dealing with the extremely sticky approaches, giving me some serious knee pain. My next opponent, Shane Dufresne, was also dealing with this and was having leg pain. I was able to edge him out in the battle of the injured. 

In the round of 4, my opponent was Blake Demore, a former Wichita State bowler and a tough opponent. I was able to get an early lead on him, but he made a late push down the stretch. I had a few late mistakes that opened the door, but due to my early advantage, I was able to secure my spot in the finals against my good friend Josh Conner.

For the finals, we had to bowl on a fresh pair that had been sitting for some time making it a little flatter than normal. We had both struggled early, making some mistakes, but it was close after the first game. In game two, I was able to find something early and stretch out a sizable lead. Josh managed to find something late, but by that time, the match was pretty much over. 

This is by far my biggest victory of my career and a huge needed boost of confidence! I would like to thank the Eaton family and everyone at Spectrum Lanes for putting on a great tournament that continues to grow each year.

Throughout the tournament, I used a combination of 3 different Motiv Covert Revolts. As many people know, this is by far my favorite ball because I can manipulate it to do whatever I want. It is also versatile enough to be drilled different was to get vastly different ball motions. There was one match that I had to use a Primal Rage because the lane had been broken down by a two-hander. That meant I had to get way inside and create quick motion down lane. The key for me was getting the ball to read the mid-lane and controlling the strong down lane motion. 

This coming weekend I have the Shootout at the Fort in Fort Wayne, IN. That is where I will continue my mission of Furthering the Lanes!

USBC Open Championships and More!

After what felt like the longest rut in my bowling career, this trip to Reno for the Open Championships, or “OC”, is exactly what I needed. Not only is in the national championships for bowlers, but it is a tournament that most bowlers, including myself, look forward to participating in every year. This is because I feel every year I have gotten better and going into the OC confident can really snowball into high scores!

The best part about OC week when you are going in on a low, there are several side events you can bowl while you are there to get the kinks out before you shoe up for the main event. The other beneficial part for me is that I have a great team to rely on to pick me up. Team “Higgy’s Crew”, consisting of myself, Rocio Restrepo, Joe Hostetler, Tony Carson, and captain Dan Higgins, decided to come back after shooting 10,000 plus for team all-events the previous year. 

As seen in the picture below, my arsenal consisted of an Arctic Sniper, Cruel Intent, Covert Revolt, Thrash Frenzy,Sigma Sting, and an Apex Ascent. By going with these, I wanted to make sure I had enough options from top to bottom to cover every ball motion. That being said, I would have taken out the Apex and the Sting and replaced them with a pin down Revolt and a pin up Primal Rage. I think the drilling on the Sting ended up being too weak and the Apex’s core was a little too weak for the shot that is required out there, for my game at least. I am still learning the strengths and weaknesses of my Motiv arsenal, however I am becoming more and more confident every tournament!

Our team had decent showing in the Bowler’s Journal and BTM side events, even having, Tony Carson sitting first and second in Doubles at the Above180.com event and Dan Higgins hitting the Strike-It-Rich pot at the Bowler’s Journal event. 

Going into the team event, we had a great game plan in breaking down the shot around second arrow and moving in from there. I started with the Cruel Intent and didn’t change from it the entire set. That ball allows me to keep my angles tighter and still carry the corner pins. I felt uncomfortable and stiff to start game one and it took until the tenth frame to loosen up. once I did, I was able to finish off the set with a 687. The team also shot a decent 3387, although we did give away a good amount of pins at the beginning of game one and in the tenth frame of game three. We didn’t dig too much of a hole for team all-events, but we had a lot of work to do in the minors.

For doubles, Dan Higgins and I felt we had a really good chance to surpass the 1470 mark and take the lead. We started in the same zone with the same equipment as the team event, but we had to make sure that our break point was a couple boards farther right because the minors pattern was 3 ft. shorter than the team pattern. We started decent, but felt like we hit a road bump when I had opened on a double and Dan had spared twice on a double in the seventh and eighth frame of game 2. After that we pushed our way to a total of 1380 which was good enough for 12th (currently 13th). Singles went a little better, but my carry the final game was not ideal. I was throwing the Thrash Frenzy the whole block and it gave me a clean and controllable angle, but I missed a ball change last game. I still ended with a respectable 711 and an all-events score of 2071.

I also got to spend some time with some great people. BLACKOUT!!!! There are some big tournaments coming up and I’m starting to really learn these Motiv Bowling balls! Time to continue Furthering the Lanes!

Update and Motiv Venom Shock Review!

After a very disappointing month of February, the month of March and the beginning of April have been a lot better. I was able to rebound and start over fresh. It started by rethinking about the fact that even the best bowler of all time, Walter Ray Williams Jr., only won less than 6 percent of the tournaments he entered. There are times as a bowler that when we go into a tournament, we try to have the mentality that we expect to win ever tournament, but we forget the fact that we lose over 95% of the tournaments we will enter in our lifetime. Being a good winner is one thing, but being a good loser and learning from that is even more important.

That being said, I was able to bowl 4 tournaments over the past 5 weeks. I wasn’t able to defend my title at the TNBA Central Rhodman, but I was able to take away some positive aspects of my game and I was able to learn from a few mistakes that I made in the cashers round of the event.

The next week I bowled the Ohio State Tournament and was able to put up an all-events score of 2,076. During the event I used three different Motiv Covert Revolts during the entire event; a pin down with a weight hole that controlled the fresh backends, a pin down with no weight hole that I went to in order to get more continuation once the previous Revolt started laboring down lane, and a pin up with a weight hole up to give me length through the heads while still controlling the down lane motion. This ball is by far the most versatile ball I have ever thrown.

Following that, I took a few weeks off to clear my head and get the drive back again. When there are small doubts in your mind, they create big faults in your game. After that, I was ready to get back on the lanes to compete again.

I bowled the NWOTBA in New Bremen, OH and ended up leading qualifying. I threw a combination of 2 Revolts during qualifying. In the first round of the finals, I was matched up with a former Wichita State bowler, AJ Demond, who gave me all I could ask for in the match. I was able to beat him and take the top seed for the step ladder. In the end, Brandon Welever found a way to double in the eighth and ninth frame and take the victory.

This past weekend I bowled the Lex Lanes Baker Doubles Tournament with Dan Higgins. We threw some great shots all tournament long, but there are just some days that the pins just don’t fall.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had so many people ask me about the newest Motiv release, the Venom Shock. It is a perfect ball for when you need a bit more length than what the Revolt gives you. It also has a bit more backend. The core has a lower differential so it creates more angle. It also can give you a quality motion on the fresh that will still allow for good carry when the volume is not high enough for the Revolt.

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The ball also looks great! The NeoMark graphics offset the two-toned purple coverstock nicely! It will look amazing on the shelf and even better inside of a black and orange 3-ball roller!

Get Motivated and continue Furthering the Lanes!

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!

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