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Bowling News USA - April 14, 2011 The Schlemer Report - Dick Weber Playoffs Show #3

Last week’s third television installment of the Dick Weber playoffs brought plenty of excitement and drama. The Storm Nation was well represented again. In match one, free agents Steve Jaros and Randy Weiss got things rolling by both using Storm. From the start of practice, both players felt the lanes were a little different than they were on the telecasts they bowled on earlier in the day. You see, these first three shows of the Dick Weber Playoffs that have been airing the last few weeks were taped in one day. That being said, we knew going in there was bound to be some differences in the condition; especially since the TV lights were on the entire day beating down on the heads and warming up the lane surface. Because the lane surface was so warm that late in the day, the front part of the lane seemed to hook much earlier than it had all day. However, there wasn’t enough friction to move in and circle the lane. Both Steve and Randy felt they needed to use stronger balls and try to play near the track area. Both tried moving in, but could miss the head pin right and if the ball did get back to the head pin, it was a bucket or 2-8-10. So, the decision of both was to use a strong enough ball and keep it on line through the fronts by staying more firm and up the back of the ball. For Steve, he felt his best option was the pin down, out of the box oil glazed Marvel he used early in each of the qualifying rounds throughout the week.

Jaros could stay firm and up the back of it without it rolling too early and it definitely seemed to carry the best of all his options at the start. He came out like gangbusters throwing four of the first five strikes, while Randy came out at a slower pace. So slow in fact, that he elected to change to a Roto Grip Rising Star in the fourth frame to try to keep pace with Steve. With Randy’s ball roll, the pin down, hole down Anarchy read the friction too early and when he tried to give it room, it just wasn’t enough. His thinking behind the switch was to play the same part of the lane but with much less core and cover. Turns out his thinking was a good choice.

The match really turned when Steve left the 7-10 coming out of the commercial break on the right lane; this sent him in a downward spiral. The next time up on the right lane, he tried to move a little deeper to get the ball to push a little farther down the lane – boy did it ever. A 2-8-10 was the result and in the meantime, Randy caught a couple breaks that only compounded the situation. If that wasn’t enough, Steve had to finish on the right lane where he opened the previous two frames. After moving a little left, he decided to move just a pinch back to the right to make sure the ball read the lane and didn’t push too far. Unfortunately, the move (even though it was good logical) once again resulted in an almost impossible split – the 4-10. If he converted it, he would have still needed count to win in order to make the LIVE show next week. Instead, it is television rookie Randy Weiss moving on.

In match number two, it was free agent Jack Jurek returning armed with a couple Anarchys yet again. If you can remember back a few weeks to the USBC Masters, Jack used an Anarchy with the pin in the ring finger, mass bias kicked out, and an extra hole down. Then, on show number two of the four show Playoffs, Jack again used an Anarchy; this time it was a pin over the ring finger, mass bias kicked right with a large extra hole on his axis. Jack had both of these Anarchys and two others for a total of four as possible options along with a Marvel and Victory Road. Of all the balls he had to choose from, the Anarchy with the pin over the bridge with the mass bias kicked just a little with no extra hole definitely was his best option. He too felt like Steve and Randy in the fact that the front part of the lane hooked a little earlier and if he moved in just a little, he could washout or bucket with ease. Not quite the type of reaction you are looking for when trying to win on TV. That is why if you watched the show you heard me tell him to try and loft it farther onto the lane to make sure the ball didn’t roll too early in that spot. Even to the disagreement of color commentator Randy Pedersen, my comment gave Jack the key in his head to make sure he didn’t set the ball down too early. Sometimes it is better to over exaggerate an adjustment to make sure that you leave more room for error. In Jack’s case, more often than not, his misses and bad shots are the ones he sets down too early and does not get his hand in the right spot at the point of release. We both knew that setting it down early was going to be even more of a penalty than usual. That is why I mentioned the loft in order for him to remember to follow through completely and get the ball out onto the lane. In all, the plan worked. The first frame was chalked up to nerves and the rest of the game was solid until the tenth. Jack stepped up first with the chance to strike out and lock out his opponent – easier said than done. He stepped up and got a little fast with his push-away, which resulted in him pulling the ball from the top of his back swing just enough to miss his target a pinch left resulting in the 3-4-6-7 split.

In the grand finale, it was the two handed thunder from down under Jason Belmonte squaring off with Chris Barnes. By the time, Belmo took the lanes there had been plenty of traffic for the day. It was the third show of the day, so keep in mind all the bowling, the lights beating down, and the lanes being stripped and oiled for all three telecasts; mix in Belmo’s high rev rate and anything was possible. Which is the exact reason why Belmo felt he was better suited playing each lane differently with a different ball. The left lane had broken down so spotty that from inside one ball would hook and one would sail past the head pin. In order to eliminate this “over-under” reaction, Belmo felt it was best to use his Prodigy with the pin two inches under the thumb in order to play hard and straight around second arrow. The right lane however was completely different. Belmo tried hard and straight, but every shot missed the head pin to the right. He felt his only option was to move deep inside with a ball that would turn the corner strong. Each ball he tried that with did not clear the front part of the lane and either rolled too soon and did not carry, or would not even make it to the breakpoint down lane. That is reason why the Hy-Road looked the best. The out of box, slightly used hybrid cover with the pin up, no extra hole drilling gave him the length and a little pop down the lane he wanted to see. Belmo’s first few frames were shaky as he was battling nerves to start. As it turned out, the slow start didn’t seem to affect him too terribly much as his opponent started strike, spare, strike, spare before stringing some strikes. The lead wasn’t too much for Belmo to overcome as he caught a five bagger after the two open frames start to pull within a few pins through seven frames. The eighth frame proved to be the deciding frame as Belmo stepped up on the right lane and left the 2-8. Earlier in the match, he tripped the 2-pin late to carry the double in the fourth. So, it was no surprise that a 2-8 combination showed up later in the game. Oh well, what can you do, that’s how the pins fall, or in this case, don’t fall.

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April, 2011