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Bowling News USA - December 14, 2010 The Schlemer Report - Chameleon Championship

Well my friends another week has come and gone. We are now officially three weeks through the WSOB in Las Vegas. For the third straight week, the Storm nation has been present on TV but we have yet to find that winning way. Fear not faithful followers, more good action is yet to come in the weeks to follow. Nevertheless, in the mean time I will fill you in on what transpired this week at the Chameleon Championship.

Team Storm was led by two-handed staffer, Osku Palermaa of Finland – you may have seen him on last season’s trick shot completion throwing a ball over a bar stool 25 down the lane. If not be sure to check it out on YouTube, it was an incredible display of his brute strength. Anyway, meanwhile back at the ranch, Osku led the Storm charge and qualified fifth for the telecast. Fellow two-handed  and Storm staffer, Jason Belmonte qualified for match play in the ninth position and went on to miss the television finals by a mere 15 pins. Storm Regional Sales Manager, Tyler Jensen finished third after qualifying, but because of a torn thumb, he ended up 12th after match play. His thumb was not quite ready for the 60 games of qualifying followed by the two sets of nine-game match play rounds.

In qualifying all three Storm staffers used a variety of balls to make the cut to the top 16. Then in match play, it was a very different scenario. Each was able to narrow it down to only a couple balls. Osku used a pin up Special Agent and a pin up Hy-Road. Jason used a pin up Tropical Heat hybrid and a pin down Tropical Heat hybrid. While Tyler used a pin-down 2Furious until a couple games to go when his thumb tore open and he had to switch to using his left hand. The reason the guys used fewer balls was to keep out of trouble and avoid any low games. The scoring pace on the right side was pretty low and the one person they could not worry about was the lone lefty in the field, Scott Norton. He went from 13th to first in the nine games of match play; he made the condition look easy.

Ultimately, Osku and Jason both were able to take the condition out of play by their ability to throw the ball hard with a lot of loft. In instances like this, both can throw it far down the lane in the air thus not allowing their ball to over or under react on the condition. This is not always an advantage for them though; sometimes this ability confuses them and can cause them to make poor ball choices and play the lanes wrong.

On the show, the right-handers discussed how they could break the oil pattern down to give themselves a better chance to beat Scott; unfortunately, the lanes did not break down as planned. About half way through the practice, all four of the right-handers started trying different balls with different surfaces from different angles. This caused the oil to move around more than it would have if they had stuck together on their group idea. All of them are there to win, yet sometimes they lose sight on what the best way to accomplish that is. Osku fell into the same trap as all the others. He felt he could make the Hy-Road work; but in the end, it was probably not his best option. I tried to get him to try some other balls from different angles, but he felt as though that was his best option. All I can do is try and suggest and help the best I can, in the end, the bowlers still make the final decision. 

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