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Bowling News USA - February 2, 2011 The Schlemer Report - Earl Anthony Memorial Classic

Last week we found ourselves at the home of Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl and host of the event for the second consecutive year. This was the first of three events named after bowling legends. In a few weeks, we have the Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship in Buffalo, NY. Then the season concludes with the Dick Weber Playoffs in Indianapolis, IN. If you ask me, all the PBA events should be named after legends of our sport like Hall of Famers Carmen Salvino, Johnny Petraglia, Don Carter, or the original Mr.900, Glenn Allison. If it were not for those guys, the PBA would not have made it this long.

Onto the good stuff...last week we battled the Earl Anthony pattern. What makes this pattern unique is the fact that oil pattern actually widens as it gets farther down the lane. Allow me to explain… in the first 25 feet, the majority of the oil is from the 12 board to 12 board. Then as you get farther down the lane to the end of the 40-foot pattern, the majority of the oil is then spread from the 8 board to 8 board. It is almost as if the pattern is applied in reverse. Usually your normal house shot is exactly the opposite. This gives you more room for error down lane. In the instance of the Earl Anthony pattern, that is not the case at all. The idea behind this pattern was to put a higher importance on shot making; thus not making it easy for even the best players of our sport. I have to say that is exactly what happened for the second straight year.

All four finalists on this year’s telecast showed you at home how they played the lanes throughout the week. The only difference was three of the four elected to use a different ball than they had used to make the show. The only player to stick to the ball that got him there was Pete Weber. Even though the lanes were a little different as expected on the TV pair due to the lights and dust particles that come along with building the set each week, Pete still felt the pin up Marvel with 2000 Abralon by hand, was the ball for him. I suggested a pin up 2Fast with 4000 Abralon by hand, which we drilled earlier in the week as an option for when the front part of the lane started to hook early, but he felt the Marvel was still his best option. To be honest I even suggested a ball change again during the commercial break of his match because I could see that the Marvel was just too strong of a ball for what was out there. Yet Pete still felt he had made a couple of bad shots and that it was not the ball. In times like that, I try not to force the issue of a ball change. I merely make my suggestion as to what I see. I do not see the lane the same way that Pete or Patrick Allen do. They see the lane through how they are throwing the ball and I see the lane how their ball is reacting. Sometime we match up and sometimes we do not.

As I said, what I see and what the player sees are two different things. Prime example of this was, Patrick Allen. In warm-up before the show, Patrick felt that the pin up Anarchy he used all week just was not rolling the same as it did during the week. He felt that there was more friction in the middle part of the lane thus forcing him to either throw the Anarchy harder or forcing him deeper inside. Patrick did not want to do either one. He elected to use less aggressive balls and stay in the same part of the lane he had played all week. I agreed and did not see an issue with his decision. As his first match progressed and  he switched between a pin up Reign with 1000 Abralon by hand and a pin down Hy-Road with 2000 Abralon by hand, I could see that there was going to come a time when those balls would not match up as well. This would result in him not scoring as well. Unfortunately, that time came in the worst spot of all, the title match. Even after some practice shots just before the title match and some discussion, the Hy-Road still did not look bad; but I felt that there had to be a better option available. Then as fate would have it, he too gave me the same answer Pete did the match prior. “It’s not the ball, it’s me. I just have to make good shots.” Well my friends the rest as we say is history. It just goes to show that even the best bowlers in the world, no matter how well they execute their shots or think they have it figured out; they still do not always make the right decisions.

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February, 2011