Fort Pierce Regional

Here is my report of the PBA regional tournament held at Fort Pierce Lanes in Fort Pierce, Florida.

Fort Pierce is about 150 miles north of Miami on the eastern coast of Florida. I believe that Fort Pierce has been hosting a PBA regional tournament for 28 years which is the longest stop of any regional tournaments.

There were 3 squads with around 140 players. I was on the 'C' squad. The new modified 'D' pattern was being used. The old 'D' pattern was normally the most challenging of the 5 patterns used. The modified 'D' pattern should be a bit higher scoring, but it depends on the surface how the well the players bowl on it. After the first 2 squads it looked like around even was going to make the cut to the top 24 while +36 would be around 16th with 4 players being +100. I used a reactive ball (#4543)No Photo for the block. I started the first game playing up 12 at the arrows going out to around 7. I started with a double, but a missed 4-9 and chopped 6-10 in the 5th and 6th frames set me back. I threw a turkey in the 10th for a 190. After a missed 2-8-10 in the 5th frame in the 2nd game I moved from 14 to around 9. I managed a turkey with the help of a cross over strike to shoot 200. I decided to move farther right in the 3rd game and played up 5 out to around 3. I started with a 4 bagger and then had a turkey to shoot 241. In the 4th game I started with a double and finished with a 4 bagger after a missed 4-7-10 for a 214. In the 5th game I was only able to manage one double while I had a 4-6-7 to shoot 194. I continued to struggle with taps in the 6th game as I shot 195 with no opens or doubles despite only missing the pocket twice. The pins cooperated better in game 7 as I had a 4 bagger and a double with a missed 3-6-9-10 for 221. In the last game of the block I finally managed a bunch of strikes as I had 10 of them for a very nice 268. I ended up being in 6th place with +123 after the 8 games. The cut to the top 24 was even while 16th did end up being +36. The low to cash was -49.

On the 2nd day, the synthetic approaches were very tacky. I decided to throw the ball very slow and use my plastic ball (#4288)No Photo so that I wouldn't fall over. I was trying to play around 7 at the arrows going out to around 5. I had 2 doubles, but missed the 2-8 to shoot 197. In the 2nd game I had another double, but missed the 3-10 in the 10th frame for a 193. Game 3 was not very good as I had trouble hitting the pocket. Fortunately I only had one open when I missed the 2-4-5-8 for a 180. The 4th game was a bit better as I had a double to shoot 205. In game 5 I had a rip 7-10 and a double at the end of the game to shoot 192. Some of the players didn't have much trouble with the approaches, but I would say that it affected most of the players quite a bit. The cut number for 16th place dropped to -18. I dropped to 8th place for my +90 finish. Jason Couch, using his plastic ball for strikes, ended up leading qualifying with +303.

In the qualifying games I had 70 strikes out of 146 shots. I had 2 strikes while missing the pocket, a cross over in the 2nd game and another cross over in the 9th game. I missed the pocket 41 times. My strike % on pocket shots was 68 out of 105 pocket shots or 65%. I had 10 opens. 6 were splits (4-9, 2-8-10, 4-7-10, 4-6-7, 3-10, rip 7-10) and 4 missed spares (6-10, 3-6-9-10, 2-8, 2-4-5-8). I did a pretty good on my spares as I picked up the 2-8 four times and the 2-4-5-7-8.

My round of 16 match was against Tom Daugherty. Tom has bowled out on tour with some limited success and throws the ball without the use of his thumb. We had also crossed together in the 2nd round of qualifying. Tom was using the middle part of the lane going out to around 6 or 8 while I was hooking the ball from 10 going out to around 4 with a reactive ball (#4543). I had a rip 7-10 in the 2nd while Tom fouled but picked up the spare. Tom then had a double while I had a turkey in frames 4 through 6. Tom picked up the 9-10 in the 7th frame and doubled in the 8th and 9th. Tom finished first shooting a 218 which was enough to win the game as I ended up striking out for a 217. In the 2nd game I started with a 4 bagger while Tom was having trouble striking. In the fact the only strike Tom threw the 2nd game was in the 2nd frame when he tripped out the 2-8-10. I had a solid 4-7-9 in the 5th frame for an open. When Tom left the 4-6 in the 9th frame for an open I had the game won. I ended up winning the 2nd game 200-166 after I opened in the 10th on a high hit while leaving the 4-7-10. Tom also opened in the 10th on a 2-4-8-10. The last game was all mine as I started with the front 8 strikes before leaving a solid 9. Tom had a couple of early opens and I won the 3rd game 268-178 to win the match.

The round of 8 was against Jason Couch. Jason had bowled very well in the qualifying rounds and I expected more of the same from him. I played a similar line against Jason as I did against Tom after the 2nd frame. Jason was using his plastic ball up the 1st arrow. I chopped the 6-10 in the 2nd frame while Jason started with 2 spares. We both started striking in the 3rd frame. We matched strikes until the 10th frame when I left a 4-6 on my fill ball. Jason needed the first strike and good count to win the first game. He threw 3 great shots for 2 strikes and a 7 pin to win 278-265. The 2nd game started out alright as I had a double and then a 4 pin. I then slipped and threw the ball in the gutter as I fouled. I made the spare, but went left on my next shot leaving a 6 pin for a spare. Jason had a turkey in frames 3 - 5. I doubled before leaving back to back 4 pins. Jason struck out in the 10th frame to lock up the game and match 227-216. Even though I bowled a good match, I was out bowled by Jason as he bowled great. I ended up finishing tied for 5th place which isn't bad, but not quite as high as I would like.

In the elimination matches I had 39 strikes out of 57 shots. I had no strikes while missing the pocket. I missed the pocket 10 times in the 5 games.
My strike % on pocket shots was 39 out of 47 pocket shots or 83%.
I had 4 opens, 3 splits (a rip 7-10, 4-7-9, 4-7-10) and missed the 6-10. I didn't have any difficult spares.

In the elimination matches against me, my opponents had 30 strikes out of 57 shots. They had 1 strike while missing the pocket, Tom had a tripped 2-8-10 in the 2nd game. They missed the pocket 17 times.
Their strike % on pocket shots was 29 out of 40 pocket shots or 73%.
They had 4 opens, 3 splits (4-6, 3-10, 2-4-8-10) and one missed spare (1-2-4-6-10). Tom picked up the full rack when he fouled in the 1st game. Tom also picked up the 9-10 and the 1-2-4-6-10.

Walter Ray