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Bowling News USA - April 6, 2011 The Schlemer Report - Dick Weber Playoffs Show #2

Sunday’s show was the second installment of this year’s Dick Weber Playoffs. Staffer Jason Belmonte, plus free agents Jack Jurek and Lonnie Waliczek represented the Storm Nation. All three players bowled well all week in order to make it to the top three in their respected group. It was Jurek who got things rolling in the Midwest group in match number one. Like I mentioned last week the exempt players were placed into the separate groups based on the PBA National point list. So even though Jurek lives and bowls in the Eastern region, he was placed into the Midwest group. His lowest qualifying position was fourth in the first round in his group. After that, he qualified second, first, first, and first in the rounds after. All week he used an arsenal consisting of three Anarchys, a Victory Road, a Nomad Dagger, and a Rising Star. It was almost the same group of balls he used a few weeks prior to make the USBC Masters telecast where he finished second. The difference here was that two of the three Anarchys he used were different from the ones he used at the Masters and the Rising Star was a new addition to his bag. The other coincidence between the Playoffs and Masters was Jack Jurek’s plan of attack. If you watched Sunday and can remember the Masters telecast, Jack played the lanes where he is most comfortable, right around third arrow. In practice before the show the lanes were much tighter than they had been all week. Luckily for Jack his two opponents both had a high rev rate and both used a little surface to open the lane up. This move proved costly for them and worked out great for Jack as they helped blend the lane out faster and allowed him to use one of the Anarchys he used all week.

In match number two, staffer Jason Belmonte had his hands full with his opponents. He used a brand new 2Furious we drilled specifically for the show as a ‘just in case’ ball. Throughout the week, he used a combination of a pin under the thumb Prodigy, a Hy-Road, and a Victory Road. Belmo was seeded into the fourth round due to his high point total for the season. He only had to bowl 12 total games to make it to the telecast while Jack Jurek had to bowl 39 games to make it to the show. There was definitely an advantage to earning points throughout the season to get the three byes. Anyway, the thinking behind drilling a 2Furious for the show was due to the number of players on the show. There were a total of nine players on the show and plenty of revs. My concern was that even though Belmo had a good look with the Prodigy, it would possibly read too early due with the low RG core and the layout. I also thought that the shiny balls he used would read too late or react too violently. So the high RG core with a solid coverstock seemed like the logical answer and it turned out to be the perfect option. Even with a couple of bad shots mixed in, Belmo by far had the best reaction of the three in his group. Unforced errors were the only thing that kept the match even close. Not to mention him sticking throwing at the 10-pin in the tenth which added even more drama.

In the final match of the show, it was free agent Lonnie Waliczek who tried his best to formulate the Storm sweep. Unfortunately an untimely 7-10 ended all hope as he too like Belmo had the best reaction of the three in his group. From game 12 of the opening round through the show, Lonnie used the same Tropical Heat Hybrid. The entire event he was able to start each round more direct with the Topical Heat and then move left as the lanes transitioned. The thing that was critical in allowing this to happen was the fact that the West/Northwest group broke the lanes down together and made the moves more subtle and gradual. Like I mentioned in last week’s report it was this group that scored 100 or more pins higher than any other group each round. Even with a handful of players with higher rev rates mixed in the group, they all played within five to eight boards of each other the entire way through which proved to be the key. Other groups had players playing 12 to 15 boards apart at any given time. The telecast however was a different story. By the time Lonnie and the others got on the lanes there was a total of six games bowled plus practice. The transition of the lane condition was far from uniform like it had been all week for Lonnie. However, once he moved deep enough inside and got his ball speed slow enough, he felt he found a good combination to win. I have to say even Lonnie’s shot in the ninth frame was well executed. Sometimes even if you throw it the best you possibly can, you don’t always come out on top. It is just the nature of the game.

All right my friends and faithful followers of the Storm Nation be sure to tune in next Sunday as Jason Belmonte, Jack Jurek, and Randy Weiss try to advance to the final LIVE show on April 17. The end is drawing near; only two shows remain until the PBA season comes to a close.


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April, 2011