2011 USBC Masters – Amatuer’s View – Day 3

Well. I think that word sums up the way my day went. I was hoping for +25 for 5 games. Needless to say, I didn’t quite get there. Though there were moments when I thought I would and then I lost focus and the bottom fell out. I know this is the PBA and things are very challenging, but as I’m finding out, there is some much more I don’t know.

I have been a coach for over 15 years and just a babe in the woods compared to some of these guys. There’s so much more to learn and do. This is not giving up, just a realization to a burning question of mine. I need more work to be ready for the PBA. I’m on the cusp, and there is a lot of work that needs to be accomplished to take that step. Now I go back tomorrow to do what I couldn’t do today and that is to piece together 5 of the best games I can bowl. That way I can leave Reno knowing that I gave everything I had and know where I stand among the elite.

I started out the first game and was doing well and then I ran into a 4-pin hiccup. Minor inconvenience and I put it behind me to finish with a 212. Which compared to my previous first games was a major improvement. We moved 14 lanes right and started again. This game I felt better and started with 5-in-a-row. I was able to keep this one clean and end with a 225. That put me at +37 and I was on top of the world. Well, there was one thing I forgot about being on top of the world, watch where you step.

The next game brought me abruptly back to reality. I started by missing a 6-pin. I told myself no problem it’s one frame and come back the next one. The next ball was in the pocket, but a little weak and left a 10-pin. I missed a little right and left the 10-pin. Now I’m starting with two opens and trying to find a way to keep myself from self-destructing. Too late, self-destruct sequence had been initiated and count down was commencing. I would open two more times missing the baby split (3-10) and chopping the 3-6 combination to finish with a 161. That put me at –2 after 3 games.

Determined to erase that disaster, I renewed my efforts and bowled a clean 222 game. Now I’m at +20 and thinking I might have a chance. Then I let my guard down again and went through one disaster after another.

I started my last game not being able to hit the broad side of a barn being super glued to it. I start by missing the 4-pin. Okay, relax and come back strong. My next shot is a touch outside and leaves me the 1-3-8-10, of which I pick up two pins. I’m able to pick-up a couple of spares and a strike until I get a little wide again and leave the 1-2-4-10. Again, I’m only able to add two pins to my score. I get up in the 7th really needing to put a decent score up and bury a strike. Trying to positively talk to myself, I get up in the 8th and ring a 10-pin. After making the 10-pin, I’m at 108 in the 7th working on a spare in the 8th. Knowing what I need, I bury another strike in the 9th. Getting the first two in the 10th would give me a shot at 180 and remaining on the plus side for the day. As fate would have it, I came around the ball a little and was a touch inside and left the 4-9 split and finished with a 156 game. Leaving me at –24 and tied for 71st place out of 126 bowlers. This is Squad A only and Squad B has yet to bowl.

As I put in my other posts and if you were keeping track, I had 9 opens. 4 of the opens were singles pins, one combination and some washouts. The multiple pin spares can be tricky, but to miss single pin spares. Single pin spares leave quite a bit behind. Those 4 spares are worth 44 pins. That could have put me at +20 and tied for 47th and only 5 pins off my goal and having to roll a 216 average for 5 games for a shot at the cut.

Realistically, being in 71st position out of 126, after Squad B I’m tied for 143. I guess I don’t believe in doing things the easy way. I still have my goal, that I feel is reasonable and to finish the tournament at +50. Based on last year’s cut for the top 65, it took +100 make the money round. Based on the pattern and my performance to date, I have averaged 194.

I am capable of bowling a 225 average and on league conditions I would give myself better than average odds. At the Masters, I think going after 215 for 5 games is going to test me. I’m going to do everything in my power to finish this tournament at +50. That would be a 205 average for 10 games and I’ll take it.

I will admit, I’ve had my chances and let them slip through my fingers. I’ll shoot for my goal and let the rest take care of itself. Good luck and good bowling.

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