Friday at the River Center, my mind wandered from the USBC Open I was watching to what was and these days probably should be.
Three USBC Hall of Famers — all among the top women’s bowlers in history — and other female bowlers who have taken their shots as well at national and international competition were featured on a live webcast of team event action at the USBC Open.
Now the luck of the draw put them on lanes 1-2, and it was crowded down there, as who doesn’t want to watch people like Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Carol Gianotti, and Wendy McPherson throw the ball.
Then throw in well-known names like Dorin-Ballard’s sister, Cathy Dorin-Lizzi, Tennelle Milligan, Parker Bohn’s wife Leslie and Columbian powerhouse Rocio Restrepo, and you have an entertaining night that took one back to regionals at Circle Bowl and more importantly the national women’s tour that went defunct in 2003.
If the economy wasn’t so bad these days, I would be tempted to flat out say it’s a crime there is no national women’s tour of any length. But when you look at some of the prize money the PBA members are bowling for, it’s no wonder discussion of a women’s tour is a nonstarter.
Remember it was the USBC that basically presented the women’s PBA stops during the regular tour shows. It was a great idea, but expensive.
Now women’s bowling is basically down to two spots that you can pay attention to here in the states: the USBC Queen’s and the U.S. Women’s Open. The latter event is set to begin on Friday in Reno, and that’s exactly where the women headed after bowling Friday night and early Saturday morning.
The finals, bowled last year at Cowboys Stadium, will be bowled outside this year under the famed Reno arch. It’s a great publicity catch, but doesn’t get you any more than two tournaments a year.
Dorin-Ballard, who finished runner-up as the top qualifier in the Queen’s, looks ready to go after a clean set of 630 in the team event (no carry whatsoever) and a 683 in doubles that included a 278 game in which she started with the first nine strikes. Her all-events score was a strong 1,893 that left her just out of the top 500. Gianotti had a 254 game in team as part of a 646.
I’m 12 days from trying not to trip walking down the Center Aisle at the River Center, and Sunday I took the chance to practice on the pattern in the 1-2-3 tournament at Metro. Wow. Oh, dear.
OK, it wasn’t as bad as it started. In fact, by the end on a pair of lanes that had a little bit of action on them, I had managed a 485 series. The first game was a little scary with four big splits that resulted in 132. I shot 161 and 192 the last two games. But very I was concerned that twice the 3-6 spare was chopped, and the last minute hook when chasing a 10-pin was a concern. Am I ready to win the USBC Open? Ha.
But I feel like all the characteristics I have heard about are true. I am going to have to stand left to get it out enough not to break through the nose. But I wasn’t as far left as I could go, which is a good thing I think.
Almost stole the show
While the women were bowling, Blaine Adkins, bowling for a Dallas team, put in a shot at the tourney’s first perfect game since May 8 when he got the first 10 strikes. He pushed the 11th out a little bit wide, leaving the 2-4-5 and ending with a 287 game as part of a 662 set.
“I pushed it past the break point,” he said. “I knew it was in a little bit of trouble.”
Adkins was bowling his 11th game of the day after eight earlier in side tournaments at Metro. He finished with an all-events total of 1,866.
Honor roll scores
Andy Wheeler led the scoring with an 845 series that included a 300 game at Metro, while Mark Saale at All-Star had a 794 with a 299 game. Leading female bowler Lynnette Broussard at All-Star had a 300 game as part of a very nice 725 series. Kay Rawls led the Youth league bowlers with a 641, and Glenn Giro’s 685 (248) led he senior league bowlers.
In 2005 at the USBC Open here in Baton Rouge we were introduced to “The Backwards Bowler.” Television reports went viral, and he was back at the River Center over the weekend and we’ll have that for you on Friday.
Until then, good luck and good bowling.