|20TH HEAD OF THE MON|
|1.||Walter Ray Williams Jr||15||2||686||892||76.91|
|4.||Kurt Von Kleist Jr||11||4||572||754||75.86|
|9.||Robert E Jones||8||7||487||786||61.96|
The Head of the Mon horseshoe pitching tournament was this last weekend (Memorial Day). There were 16 players in the top men's class. There was a good representation of the top players from the East. The schedule was originally scheduled for 8 games on Sunday and the final 7 games on Monday. However after the 4th game was finished some very dark clouds came over the area and it looked like the sky was going to open up. So the courts were covered and several players left the area. However it didn't rain and in fact Ron Kuchcinski and Kurt Von Kleist completed their game. |
The players finally all showed up and we went out to start the 5th game when the rain actually came down. Play was suspended until the next day. There were plenty of courts so it was decided by a majority of the players to finish the round robin with 35 point games starting at 10 am instead of the 1 pm original schedule. That meant 11 games.
I started the first day OK with all 4 games in the 70% range, the last 3 being in the high 70's. Not bad, but not great by my standards. I also managed to win all 4 games with 2 games being come from behind games against the Hankins' brothers. Shannon Foster was pitching the highest average but Tony Hankins beat him so he had one loss. Mandell Procter was leading all winner pack with the highest average followed by Kurt Von Kleist, myself and Rick Cale, the defending champion of the tournament.
On Monday I started kind of slow again but won my first 4 games. The last 3 hovering a pinch under 80%. My 5th game was against John Mathys. I had a large lead against him and he came back and beat me. Which was kind of funny because Tony Hankins did about the exact same thing to John the game before. I didn't feel great about that loss, but I knew that would make it a tough road ahead. The next game I had a slow start and then finished strong to have my highest game of the tournament, 82%. Normally I can throw games much higher than that, but for some reason I just wasn't able to pitch an entire game.
Then the next game I had no clue how to pitch and had my worst game of the tournament with a 59.5% game and lost to Mandell Proctor. This wasn't good. I had 2 losses and still had several tough players to play. I managed to get a big lead on Kurt Von Kleist and hang on to win against him. Then against Shannon Foster I was very fortunate to pitch a decent game and sneak out a win 35 to 34. My last double to win the game had a shoe which was on by less than 1/8". Next I played Rick Cale and basically pitched my best game of the tournament as Rick also pitched a good game as the game went 94 shoes with the win going my way. The last game of the round robin left me with Elbert Shifflett. Elbert had his worst game of the tournament while I pitched a pretty decent game even though it was short.
With a couple of games to go there was an outside chance of a 5 or 6 way tie, but it only ended up in a 3 way tie. Shannon had the high average and even though he was still playing his game Mandell and I started our game. If for some reason Shannon would have lost then the game Mandell and I were having would have been for first place instead of the right to play him for the title. Shannon did win his game not to long after we started our match. Mandell had a really poor start and didn't get going until the very end of the game after I had a pretty sizable lead.
I started very well against Shannon and after some lead changes I had a 25 to 19 lead. Then Shannon reeled off 12 points to have a 31 to 25 lead on me. Then he double missed and the score was tied. Then he missed again and I had a 34 to 31 lead. Another double by me and Shannon again missed to give me the tournament win. Shannon didn't pitch his best against me, if he had he would have won (I think). He out averaged me by about 5%. I was fortunate to have beaten not only once, but twice. This gives me a little bit more confidence, but I am still a little bit disappointed on my overall average. I know that I can do much better.