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Bowling News USA - February 16, 2011 The Schlemer Report - USBC Masters

The start of the Masters began with 256 bowlers from around the globe. From the beginning, we knew that the 39-foot pattern would play as it always does in the bowling stadium. In qualifying, the right-handers play inside third arrow and keep moving in. The left-handers play between first and second arrow. Then as the event progresses the right-handers slowly have to migrate back to the right and play a more direct line to the pocket due to the stripping and re-oiling of the lanes. This is what we call building pattern memory on the lane surface. Because of all the stripping and re-oiling, the lanes take on a new “structure”; thus causing the lane condition to play a little differently each round. Not to mention that the opposite ends of the bowling stadium play completely different.

At the start of the week, the balls of choice were more of the mid-line type balls. The Hy-Road, Victory Road, Reign Supreme, 2Fast, and 2Furious did not read the friction in the front part of the lane and did not over react on the back end. Then as the rounds went on and more bowlers were eliminated, the lane condition began to morph as it usually does into a ‘straighter is greater’ type of condition. The entire field starting using stronger and stronger balls as the days went on. Like I said this was all due to the amount of stripping and re-oiling that was done.

As expected later in the week we moved up the product line into stronger balls such as the Anarchy, Marvel, and the new Virtual Gravity Nano. Eventual winner and Storm regional staffer Tom Hess started the week using a variety of balls from a Hy-Road to a Marvel. After his opening round win against Lennie Boresch (649-634), Tom came to me and asked for a ball he could throw hard without having to worry about his speed. The answer was simple, the Virtual Gravity Nano. After he steamrolled Walter Ray in his second round match, we drilled a pin-down Nano to compliment the first pin-up Nano. Talk about a 1-2 punch. In the next couple of rounds, he destroyed Patrick Allen and then Tommy Jones. Then as the tournament progressed and the matches were bowled on the same pairs, the Nano was just too much ball. In Tom’s match against Chris Warren, he used the pin-up Nano and it was good, but toward the end, it was just entirely too much ball. Then in the final match of the winners’ bracket for the top seed, Tom had to switch all the way down to a Tropical Heat as the Nano and all the other balls were just too aggressive. 

Top seed and second place finisher, Jack Jurek used a similar game plan in his ball selection throughout his matches as well. In his opening round match against Storm’s Global Technical Advisor, Steve Kloempken, Jack was lined up with a pin in the middle finger Anarchy with no extra hole. He finished with 746 the first set and then beat Dino Castillo with 729 the next set. After a brief discussion on how the following day might play, Jack remembered he had a pin-up Anarchy in the locker room that would complement the one he used the first two matches. Sure enough that was the trick. He used the two Anarchys and if they began to hook a little too early he would switch to a pin-down Roto Grip Nomad Dagger. The three balls worked perfectly as he ended up having to use the Nomad Dagger the entire last match to earn the number one seed against Hess because the Anarchys were entirely too strong.

Fourth place finisher Mike DeVaney used a variety of balls the entire week. His arsenal included a Reign, Reign Supreme, Reign of Fire, 2Furious, and 2Fast on the Storm side. On the Roto Grip side he used a Mutant Cell and two different Nomad Daggers. These eight balls gave him the options he needed to play straight or get in and hook it. I know eight balls are a lot compared to Tom or Jack, but to narrow your options down to only a couple balls in the bowling stadium is a feat in itself. After DeVaney survived his final match to make the TV show, we discussed all his ball options and decided he would need some stronger balls drilled more stable that would allow him to play straighter. With that, I laid him out a fresh Roto Grip Mutant Cell, Theory, and a Storm Marvel. Of the three, the Marvel was definitely his best option come show time. Unfortunately a couple bad shots kept Mike from moving up the ladder to face Tom Hess.

As the release date draws near, be sure to stay on the lookout for the new Virtual Gravity Nano. This ball will compliment your arsenal in more ways than you can imagine. Not only does it strike like nothing else, it of course smells good as well. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to check with your local pro shop and get your name on the list to get this new gem when it hits the open market on March 1, 2011. And if for some silly reason you do not have a Nano before you adventure out to Reno for the USBC Open Championships, be sure to visit the Storm booth to get one. It is well worth the investment and your bowling scores will thank you.


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February, 2011