Lakeland Regional

This is my report from the PBA South Region Classic Products Open at beautiful Orange Bowl in Lakeland, FL. Dana Hensen was our host.

There were 2 squads of players and I was on the 'A' squad. After the 8 games of qualifying the top 24 from the 'A' & 'B' squads combined advance to the 2nd round of qualifying for an additional 5 games. The players are then cut to the top 16 from the 13 games of qualifying where they will start the head to head best of 3 games elimination matches. The oil pattern was 'A2'. This is a slightly more difficult patter.. Sometimes I am able to play an extreme outside angle, but I decided to start playing the first round of competition around 20 at the arrows using decent speed going out to about 10. I used a reactive ball (#4543)No Photo. I scrapped out a 204 first game with a late turkey. I again struggled in the 2nd game missing the pocket on 5 of my first 7 shots having an open in the 7th when I missed the 2-4-10. I struck out from the 8th frame to bail out a 207. I had moved to the right and was now playing a bit more direct going from 16 out to around 9. I caught a good break in the 3rd frame when I pulled the shot left to cross over for a strike and a 4 bagger. I added a double to shoot 237 for one of my best bowled games of the day. In the 4th game I struggled again, but chopped the 2-4-5-8 and missed the 4-6-7 with no doubles for a 173. In the 5th game I decided to move back left and start hooking the ball more. Unfortunately I missed a 2-4-10 in the 4th frame, a rip 7-10 in the 6th and a 4-6 in the 8th. I did strike out to bail out a 181. With the early projected cut to the top 24 sitting at around +30, I wasn't looking very good at +1. But I in the 6th game, I only missed the pocket once and that was when I went a bit light leaving the 4-8. I started with a double and had a finishing 5 bagger to shoot 245. The 7th game was another good game as I started with a double and adding a 4 bagger. I then threw a couple of bad shots in the 8th and 10th frames. I converted a washout in the 8th, but missed the 7-10 in the 10th when the 4 tripped out on a high hit for a 223. The 8th game was another good game as I started with a turkey and having a late 5 bagger to shoot 253. I qualified with +123 which was 2nd on the 'A' squad behind Richard Church who I crossed with. Mike Machuga at +259 for the 8 games playing right up the channel. The cut to the top 24 ended up being +9 while 16th was +43.

On the 2nd day of qualifying I started playing closer to the 3rd arrow. I started the first game with a turkey before missing the 1-10 washout. I then doubled with the help of a cross over strike. I then missed the 3-9-10 leaving the 3 pin on the spare attempt. In the 10th frame I missed the 2-8-10 to shoot a disappointing 185. I struggled again in the 2nd game as I missed the 2-8 and a 10 pin with a turkey for a 190. I decided to move out in the 3rd game and play a much more direct line to the pocket going up 7 out to around 6. I had a 5 bagger and a turkey for a very nice 257. In the 4th game I finished with a 5 bagger after chopping the 6-10 in the 7th for a 216.. After a turkey in the 5th game I missed the 6-7-10 and the 4-6-7-10 in the 7th and 9th frames to end up with a 188. I finished the qualifying in 5th place with +159. It took +43 to make the top 16 while Mike Machuga struggled a bit in the 2nd round to finish with +234 to lead qualifying.

In the first 2 rounds of qualifying I had 82 strikes out of 145 shots. I missed the pocket 42 times. I had 4 strikes while missing the pocket, a tripped 2 in the 1st game, a cross over in the 3rd and 9th game, with a tripped 4-7-10 in the 10th game.

My strike percentage on pocket shots was 78 strikes out of 103 pocket shots or 76%.
I had 16 opens over the 15 games, 11 splits (4-6-7, 2-4-10, 4-6-7, 2-4-10, rip 7-10, 4-6, 7-10, 3-9-10, 2-8-10, 6-7-10, 4-6-7-10) and 5 spares (2-4-5-8, 1-10, 2-8, 10, 6-10). I picked up some 'difficult' spares, 2-4-8, 2-8, a couple of 2-4-5, 2-8, 2-4-5-8, 1-2-8, 1-2-4-10, and a 2-8.

My round of 16 match was against John Gaines as he qualified 12th. He struggled in the first game as he missed the pocket 7 times. But he only had one open, the 4-6-7 split while he picked up the 3-6-9, 1-2-4, 3-6-10, and 2-10 with no opens for 174. I missed the 1-2-4-10 in the 3rd frame followed by a 5 bagger which was helped by a cross over strike in the 6th frame. I then chopped the 3 off of the 3-6-10 in the 9th to end up with a 207. John started the 2nd game with a missed 2-6-10 while I had an opening double. John went through the nose in the 3rd frame for a strike and start a string of strikes. I went high in the 5th frame and the 7th frame for a 6-10 and a 3-6-10. In the 7th frame, John threw a great shot for another strike, but it was quite obvious that he had hurt himself. It turned out that he re-injured a pulled a groin muscle which had bothered him about a year ago. However, John continued to throw good shots as he struck out even though he tripped the 2-8 in the 2nd shot of the 10th frame to shoot 267 to my 217. I bowled a much better game in the 3rd game as John's injuring bothered him more. I had a 6 bagger with the help of a nose strike in the 5th frame followed by a tripped 4-9 strike. John tripped the 2-8 for a strike, but it was by itself. I ended up winning the game 248-183. Hopefully John's injury will heal quickly, but I know from experience that those injuries don't heal very quickly.

In the round of 8 I bowled against Duane 'Poky' Podgorski, the local pro shop operator who happens to be a non member. Poky had a big crowd cheering him on. I started the match going up 7 with a particle ball (#0183) . He started the 1st game with 2 opens when he missed the 6-7-10 and the 2-4-10 splits. He also missed the 1-2-8-10 in the 5th frame while I had an early double. Poky finished with a late 4 bagger when he crossed over for a strike on his 2nd shot in the 10th to shoot 192. I needed a mark in the 10th frame to win the game and struck out for a 216. Poky missed the 4-6-7 in the 3rd frame while I chopped the 4-7 in the 5th. Poky was able to get a double at the end of the game while I wasn't and he won 191-186. In the 3rd game Poky was having trouble on the left lane as he left the 4-6-7 and the 4-6-7-10 in the 2nd and 6th frames. However he had a turkey in between those splits with the help of a cross over strike in the 4th. I switched to a reactive ball (#4543) for the 3rd game and moved a bit left with a pinch more arc playing 8. Meanwhile I was having trouble getting 2 consecutive strikes. Poky had a turkey in the 7th to 9th frames to shoot 209. I finally doubled in the 8th and 9th frames to set up the 10th frame. I needed the first strike in the 10th frame to win the game and match and went a bit light for the first strike as I struck out for a 225.

I bowled Mike Machuga in the round of 4 match. He made a great finish to win his round of 16 match and won his 2nd match after being soundly beat in the first game of that match. I played up 7 and 8 with a particle ball (#0183). Mike started the match by missing a 10 pin. He had trouble hitting the pocket on the left lane on his next 3 shots while I managed a double in the middle of the game.. I doubled in the 10th frame and left a 2-4-5-8 on my fill ball to allow Mike room to beat me. Mike threw his worst shot on the right lane of the game in the 10th frame when he left the 3-6-9-10 and I won 212-180. In the 2nd game I started with a 6 bagger before leaving the 2-4-8 which I spared.. Mike finally started striking in the 5th frame and struck until his 2nd shot of the 10th when he left a solid 10. I doubled in the 8th and 9th frame so I needed a mark in the 10th frame to win the game and match. I struck on my first shot and missed the head pin on my 2nd to win 264-249. Mike bowled very well over the weekend and I was fortunate that I bowled my best game of the tournament against him.

In the championship match I bowled against R. D. Miller, Jr. R. D. has been on tour for a few years and is improving every year. I started the match playing up 7 with a particle ball (#0183), but after the first 4 frames I switched to a more reactive ball (#4543) after I left a 4-6 and a 2-8-10. I also moved out to 2-3. R. D. started with bucket, but started throwing better shots as he finally got a turkey with the help of a cross over strike. Meanwhile I finally doubled, but then missed the 2-4-8 in the 8th frame. I again switched balls to a more reactive ball (#2156) and proceeded to throw another double. R. D. made the 1-2-4-10 in the 8th and ended up winning the 1st game 212-178. In the 2nd game R. D. missed a 9 pin in the 3rd frame before getting a double. I had a 6 bagger starting in the 4th frame with the help of a really light strike in the 5th frame. R. D. struck out from the 8th frame with a tripped 2-4-5-8 strike on his 2nd shot in the 10th frame. I ended up winning the 2nd game 248-226. In the 3rd game I missed the 3-6-7-10 in the 4th frame. R. D. had a double with help of a cross over strike in the 3rd followed by a 4-6-7-10. He crossed over in the 5th but wasn't able to double up on it. I finally doubled in the 6th and 7th before leaving a 9 pin when I tripped the 4 in the 8th frame. R. D. left the 2-8 in the 8th frame, the 1-2-6-8 in the 9th frame which were both spared and the 2-5 in the 10th which he chopped. I had tripped the 4-7-10 in the 9th frame for strike so when R. D. opened in the 10th frame I just needed some pins to win the game and the match. I struck and won 204-175.. It was kind of an ugly match, but on a tough condition, that sometimes happens.. I bowled pretty decent, but as normal for this format I got some nice breaks to win the tournament.

In the elimination matches I had 73 strikes out of 124 shots. I missed the pocket 31 times. I had 6 strikes while missing the pocket, a cross over strike in the 1st game against John Gaines, a nose strike in the 3rd game against John Gaines, a nose strike in the 2nd game against Duane Podgorski, a tripped 4-7-10 in the first game against R. D. Miller, a light strike in the 2nd game against R. D. Miller, and another tripped 4-7-10 in the 3rd game against R. D. Miller. My strike percentage on pocket shots was 67 strikes out of 93 pocket shots or 72%. I had 7 opens over the 11 games, 3 splits (4-6, 2-8-10, 3-6-7-10) and 4 spares (1-2-4-10, 3-6-10, 4-7, 2-4-8). I picked up some 'difficult' spares, 3-6-10, 2-5-8, 1-2-4, 2-4-8, and a 2-8.

In the elimination matches my opponents had 64 strikes out of 122 shots. They missed the pocket 56 times. They had 10 strikes while missing the pocket, John Gaines had a nose strike and a tripped 2-8 in the 2nd game. John also tripped the 2-8 in the 3rd game. Duane Podgorsky crossed over in the 1st game and a nose strike in the 3rd game. R. D. Miller, Jr. had a cross over in the 1st game, a cross over and a tripped 2-4-5-8 in the 2nd game and 2 cross over strikes in the 3rd game.

Their strike percentage on pocket shots was 54 strikes out of 66 pocket shots or 82%.
They had 14 opens over the 11 games, 9 splits (4-6-7, 2-6-10, 2-4-8-10, 6-7-10, 2-4-10, 4-6-7, 4-6-7, 4-6-7-10, 4-6-7-10) and 5 spares (1-2-8-10, 10, 3-6-9-10, 9, 2-5). They picked up some 'difficult' splits (2-10, 2-7) and spares (3-6-9, 1-2-4, three 3-6-10, 1-2-4-10, 3-6-10, 2-8, 2-4-5-8, 1-2-4-10, 2-8, 1-3-6-8).


Walter Ray