Day 1: PBA Springfield Classic 2023
February 9, 2023 - This week, we are bowling on the 34 foot wolf pattern with 3-6 game blocks. Today is the first block, break for lunch, and right back on the lanes. Traditionally, this pattern is medium scoring and gets really messy in the middle or end of blocks from all of the volume and all of the players using urethane. My plan starting the first block was to use my pin down purple urethane as long as possible. I know the game plan eliminates many low games and will allow me to see scoring pace and make a judgment call.
We started out well with 230... Good start, my plan is working! I had one really bad shot stayed on line and wrapped a 10 pin. This helped me relax right away and I started to get really comfortable. Which is a constant struggle I have had recently.
Game 2 seemed to be very stress less as I stayed in the purple and cruised to 240. The only disappointment was it could have been 260 and I was unable to close out the game. No biggie, keep chugging along.
Game 3, I made the switch to the low-end and it felt like a brand new pattern. My ball didn’t want to hook at all and I struggled to get the 10 and 7 pin out. I had a game plan of staying aggressive so I didn’t want to get too soft and I kept moving right into the friction. I never succeeded and bowled 190 there.
I decided to switch to reactive after the 190 and struggled to get the ball through the pins the right way, which is frustrating to say the least. Through 5 frames I hadn’t struck at all. My ball rep, Dino, suggested the Black Widow Ghost (if you are starting to see a trend that this might be the go to ball on a lot of patterns, so do I) and I was fortunate enough to strike out. The rest of the block, unfortunately, was not so kind. Games 5 and 6, I followed pairs of players throwing plastic to start. This pushed the oil very far down the lane. In theory, with it being shorter the plastic should of given me more hold . What I should have done was went to the quicker response ball from there and let the ball hit that carry down like a wall directing it to the pocket. Instead, I tried to out-smart the room and kept 2 pinning.
I ended the first block with +124 and only a few pins out of the 22 man cut.
After lunch, I came back feeling really comfortable and confident. I loved my fresh game plan and felt I could make some adjustments for when I went to reactive. Always learn from your previous failures and successes to be better in the future.
Unfortunately, game one the purple urethane just hooked too early and I had to throw reactive the first game after 2 shots. I used my Legion Solid that Mike Wolf drilled for me. It gave me everything I could ask for during game one and after 2 awful frames with the purple, I struck the next 5 with the Legion Solid. I got fast in the 8th and left a 2-8 being so far right and I got the ball too far right in the gutter... My worst trend of the day was leaving a 2 pin with any other combination and wasn’t sure how to attempt it. In the 10th on that same lane I got too steep and threw my first ball in the gutter and turned that game into 189. I still felt really good even though I turned really good game into bad one. I bowled really well the next 2 games with my Paradox Black and got to 100 over for the day.
I loved my look for sure but unfortunately just like block one. I made the turn down to the low end and lost my reaction completely. I tried many tools from firm and straight to soft hooking it. Ultimately, it resulted in 70 under the last 3 including a 140 the last game (a straight face plant) that buried me mid-pack.
I would give myself a D for the day. I had all of the tools and the ball reaction and game plan to be successful and just straight failed. Subpar execution and terrible spare shooting just added to the negative. Tomorrow is a new day and I will clean up my choices and have a fresh mind set. Ultimately, I am only 100 out with 6 games to go. If I can get to +225 for this block I think I will get it!