Winter Haven, FL
Here is my report of the Winter Haven #3 tournament held at Winter Haven, Florida on Dec 19th, 2003.

This last summer was probably my worst season as a horseshoe pitcher since I was 10 years old. For the first time I averaged under 70% and finished 17th at the World championships which was another low for me. I was so disappointed in how I did that I started to practice left handed. I even entered a tournament in early September in which I pitched with my left hand and averaged 60%! I broke my pinky when I was 13 and my wrist when I was 18, so I had pitched left handed before. I had played quite a few tournaments in California left handed and even averaged over 55% in a few of them, but this was my best tournament as a left handed.

Anyway, I practiced a couple of days both left and right handed and was doing very well in practice. It was a bit cold down here in Florida (low 60's) with about 15 mph winds, but I kept warm with extra clothes. There was 6 players in the top group. The games were 50 shoes in length with handicap since there was a 30% spread in the group. My first game was against Sheryll Card of Michigan. Unfortunately I had a really bad start but I did manage a decent finish while she struggled at the end of the game so I won the game 95-75. My 2nd game was against Hazel Ingles. She pitched a decent game while I struggled so she won 62-43. I pitched Jim Adcox in game 3 and he struggled while I pitched a so-so game and I won 70-57. Game 4 was against Glenn Brown of New York. Both Glenn and I struggled and I barely won 50-47. My last game of the day was against Howard Harrison who lives up in Indiana when he isn't visiting his daughter down here in Florida. Howard seems to normally pitch good games against me and this was no exception. Even though he started with a double miss he came back with a nice string of ringers. I also had a good start, but the last half of the game I didn't do nearly as well and Howard beat me 63-46. I ended up finishing in 3rd place. I am planning on going to Bradenton tomorrow morning and hopefully I can find a few more ringers. Unfortunately it is supposed to even colder (mid 50's).

Opponent,State	Score	My	Opp	Shoe	My	Opp	
		Ringers		Percentage
Sheryll Card, MI	95-75	37	18	50	74.0	36.0
Hazel Ingles, FL	43-62	31	26	50	62.0	52.0
Jim Adcox, FL	70-57	36	28	50	72.0	56.0
Glenn Brown, NY	50-47	32	21	50	64.0	42.0
H Harrison, IN	46-63	38	40	50	76.0	80.0
3 wins 2 losses 		174	133	250	69.6	53.2

The results of the tournament should be on this website

Walter Ray