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!