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Bowling News USA - December 14, 2011 The Schlemer Report - PBA World Championship: Don Carter Division

I’m sure some of you out there were beginning to think this day would never come. I mean with all the news and excitement of MLB free agents and trades (so long Mr. Pujols) and the NBA blocking Chris Paul from leaving the Hornets like every day; there leaves little to no time for the most important behind the scenes information in the entire sports world to surface and get noticed. That’s right I am referring to the Schlemer Report. I know it seems like an eternity since the last report, and well, I guess it has been. No need to worry though, the World Series of Bowling was completed last month and we taped a total of 12 shows that will air throughout the remainder of the PBA season. Trust me, there will be more than plenty to share of the Storm Nation from week to week from all those shows. With that, I am done rambling, time to get down to business.

Last week was the first of four PBA World Championship divisional shows that will collectively establish the four finalists for the Finals show that will air January 15, 2012. Each divisional show will consist of four bowlers and they will compete using the “eliminator” format. Just like on last week’s show, everyone bowls and the low score is eliminated each game until there is only one player remaining. Those remaining players will come back on the Finals show to determine who will take home the season’s first major title. Just to give you a little more insight, of the 16 players that made the World Championship shows, 13 of them used Storm or Roto Grip, or a combination of both. Needless to say it was a busy WSOB. Luckily I had the assistance of PBA Hall of Famer and longtime PBA Tour Rep, Del Ballard, as he and I joined forces to create a “Dynamic Duo” if you will. If you are a diehard fan and have searched out all the results, then you know how busy we actually were. If you like the excitement of surprise then be sure to tune in and watch each show and log on here after to get my perspective of the event. Like I said, we were definitely busy to say the least.

The Don Carter divisional show could best be described as an international invasion. Jack Jurek, the lone American, found himself matched up against three of the top international players in the world: Stu Williams, Dom Barrett, and Osku Palermaa. Stu was the high qualifier of the group and was awarded the selection of the lane condition. After mulling it over for a bit, Stu decided on the pattern he had the most success on in the bowling center, the Viper. He felt his game matched on this pattern better than the other three and that he would have the upper hand. To a degree his thinking was quite good; however, he forgot that the new “elimination” format should have been more of a factor in his final decision. You see, there was no reward for matching up on the condition right away. That is where Osku comes in. During practice before the show, Osku knew he would eventually have to move left and hook the lane. Now even though Dom can move in and hook it as well, he doesn’t have the ability to loft it as much as Osku. Osku’s concern was trying to force the others out of their comfort zone by playing as close to them on the lane as he could without taking himself out of play. Call it defense, call it offense, bottom line was that his idea and game plan worked out exactly as he hoped. There was no guarantee it would work, but he committed to it and made it happen.

Jack Jurek’s ball choice was a brand new out of the box, stacked under ring, Anarchy with no hole. We drilled this specifically for the show after the designated practice session. Jack had a decent look with an Anarchy he used on last year’s Masters’ show and throughout the WSOB, but I felt we needed a fresh one. Although he didn’t score as well as he had hoped, he had a good look before the show and unfortunately, as he himself mentioned in the interview during the show, he mentally got in his own way that first game.

Stu’s ball choices were two different Victory Road Solids. Both had the same layout with the pin over the bridge layout and the CG kicked a little with no hole. One was older and had more oil and games on it and the other we drilled early in the WSOB. Both of those balls were in play until Osku absolutely wrecked the condition and forced him to start moving every shot and he just never caught up the changes. In fact, Stu even pulled out his old trusty Second Dimension that has a million games on it and has more oil in it than the Exxon Valdez. Even that read the friction entirely too strong and Stu was left shaking his head.

Dom Barrett by far had the best look early on and he used a different ball on each lane in order to see the lanes as closely as possible. He used a Nomad Dagger on the left lane and a Shooting Star on the right. He felt that with the way he was playing them, he needed cleaner on the left lane and early yet smooth on the right. After the first game the right lane transitioned for him and with his practice shots between games, we decided the Marvel Pearl read the right lane better, and the Dagger was still good on the left. Again, he had a great look until the middle of the last game. Osku had done enough damage with the Prodigy and Hy-Road that even thought he was moving every shot the final game, Dom just couldn’t get ahead of the oil moving around. Osku by then had shuffled through multiple balls and elected to use the Hy-Road and just kept throwing it harder and harder to keep it on line. In the end it proved to be the difference maker for sure.


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