Here is my report of the PBA southern regional at Phenix City, Alabama. Proprietor and PBA member David Walters did a great job of getting sponsors for his regional tournament. Phenix City is across the river from Columbus, Georgia, which is about 100 miles south west of Atlanta.

There was a large field of almost 180 bowlers requiring 3 squads. I was on the 'C' squad and the oil pattern was the 'B' pattern, which isn't my favorite pattern despite my winning my last regional on it. I started the block using the ball which I finished the previous tournament with, a polished reactive ball (#0092). I started the block playing 17 at the arrows going out to around 8 or 9. I got a break in the first game as I crossed over for a strike in the 10th frame to shoot 228. I missed a 7 pin and chopped the 3-6 in the 2nd game to shoot 203. A 2-4-8-10 in the 3rd game kept my score down to a 191. A missed 2-4-8-10 and 2-8-10 plus 4 taps in the 4th game led to a disappointing 178. I switched to a different reactive ball in game 5 and was playing around the 5th arrow. 4 more taps in game 5 with no doubles led to a 192. In game 6 I missed an opening 2-10 split and a late 6-7-10. Thankfully I did pick up the 4-10 to go with one double for another disappointing game of 183. I was at -25 with 2 games to go and the current cut number was at +43. I didn't really do anything different the last two games, but the pins started to fall down as I shot my best 2 games of the day with 236 and 238 to get to +49. The last game I struck out from the 8th frame so I was really pleased with my finish. The cut number actually dropped down to +39 for 58th place. I was in 50th place, so I had my work cut out for me to make the top 16. For the 2nd round I decided to use a dull finished low particle ball (#0319). I played around the same part of the lane crossing about the same number of boards. My carry was much better the 2nd round as I had games of 228, 236, 212, 230 and 258. In the last game of the day it almost looked like I might be able to get a big game to sneak into the finals as I started with 7 strikes before leaving a weak 10 pin. It turned out that I would have needed a 310 the last game, but I was much happier about my bowling the 2nd day. The interesting thing is that I hit the pocket with about the same percentage, but my carry was much better the 2nd round.

In the first round I hit the pocket 71 times out of 92 shots for 77%.
I had 46 strikes with one of them being a cross over in the 10th frame of the 1st game for a pocket strike % of 63% (45 of 71).
I picked up all 18 of my 10 pins, 4 of 5 of my 7 pins, four 2 pins, three 6-10's, two 4 pins, a 2-4-8, 2-4-5-8, 9, 3-6-10 plus the 3-10 and 4-10 splits. I missed a 7 pin and chopped the 3-6 plus several splits, (two 2-4-8-10's, 2-10, 6-7-10, 2-8-10).

In the 2nd round I hit the pocket 44 times out of 57 shots for 77%.
I had 37 strikes out of 44 pocket shots with no missed pocket strikes for a strike pocket % of 84.
I had 3 opens, all being splits (4-6-7, 3-4-6-7 and a rip 7-10).
I picked up the rest of my spares which included four 2 pins, two 10's, two 3-6's, two 3-6-10's, a 3 pin, 4, 9, an 3-6-9-10.

I ended up in 22nd place at +213 while it took +265 to make the cut to the top 16. Oh well. The next regional that I am planning on bowling in is in Spring Hill, Florida at the end of July. My next few weeks I have horseshoe tournaments scheduled.

Walter Ray