Hi all - thought I'd give you a report of what I saw yesterday from the Cambridge Credit Classic.
First of all, the scores were not particularly high for most people. The lanes were difficult, but I do not think they were as difficult as the scores would lead people to think. I almost made the cut and I was only +9.
The pin carry was exceptionally tough. If I had struck on only half of the solid 10-pins I left, I would have been +150 easily. There were very few messengers and since it was tough to get the 10 out, there were many times where a bowler would go spare, spare, strike instead of strike strike strike.
I hit the pocket pretty well. I left my share of splits when I threw bad shots, but I can't say I left any more than anyone else did. I figure I left about 20 10-pins and I made 18 of them (one of the misses was in the fill ball of the very last game). and those were the only two makeable spares I missed the entire 9 games. The problem was that if you leave a few splits, it was very difficult to throw a double to make up for it. You had to have the right speed and entry angle to get the ball to carry. A few people had it, most didn't.
There were generally two ways to hit the pocket. There was a shot around the 6 or 7 board and you could either play straight up it or hook it out to it. We bowled on the morning squad and I was +9 putting me in 32nd place. I thought it was going to be close to make the cut. In fact, with 3 games left in the B squad, 64th was +11 so I thought I still had a really good chance.
Then the lanes ot a bit easier for their squad and the high scores came. Since the afternoon squad generally has more hold in the middle of the lane due to stripping not 100% effective in the afternoon (it's a general thing - can't get all the oil off the lanes in that short a time), the lanes near the end had a nice shot on the 5th arrow and they had some area both right and left. Scores shot up and the cut went up to +30.
I had figured it would be somewhere between +15 and +25 so I was close.
I crossed with Jason Couch and Kurt Pilon. Kurt bowled very well and still only managed +40 or so, giving you an idea of how tough they were. Couch was hovering around -10 all day, and then he just gave up the last game for whatever reason I don't even want to guess and shot 158 the last game. All he needed was 230 or 240 and he wasn't even trying. I needed 260 or 270 the last game and I gave it everything I had and pulled out a 256 my last game to get back to plus. Thought there was a chance it might be enough, but I ended up needing 277. Oh well. Once I figure out how to score better the first three games and stay out of trouble when the lanes are at their toughest, I will improve a lot, I know that.
Robert Smith was dead. He shot 160 out of the gate and was playing the lanes totally wrong. In the beginning when he should have been on the right he was inside, and then in the later part of the block when he would have had a great shot inside he was on the gutter. I do not know why he chose to do this, but I just call it a strategic mistake. On the PBA Tour, most everyone is talented enough to do well. What separates the winners from the losers is who makes the best tactical decisions of where to play the lanes, especially coming out of the gate.
If anyone has any questions I can try to answer them as best I can.
"One day I am going to be the most powerful Jedi ever!"
Algebra for Prebowlers:
15X + 21EX = 900