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Bowling News USA - February 22, 2012 The Schlemer Report - Scorpion Open

The international invasion continued this past week as Storm staffer, Dom Barrett, of England rose to the occasion to collect his first career PBA National Title. Armed with a Roto Grip Critical Theory and a Storm Marvel Pearl, he definitely saved his best for last. In practice before the show, Dom, Del Ballard, and I all agreed the best chance he was going to have to win was to stay as close to Sean Rash on the lanes as possible. Meaning, he needed to either play the exact same line, or play just left of Sean. This way he could keep better tabs on the oil transitions as they happened. You see what happens when you get high rev rate players such as Rash, or say Jason Belmonte, or Osku Palermaa, the lane oil moves around and disappears at a much faster rate than when you have players with fewer revs. Dom himself is closer to high rev than less rev, which only made sense to play the lanes how he did.

As the first game got rolling, it was easy to see that free agent Patrick Allen was not going to be much of a factor. Unfortunately for him, the arena lane installation at the South Point did not favor the left side. Not one left hander had a great look on any of the shows due to the topography lane to lane on the left side. Sad to say I know, but it was the truth. So PA knew he had an uphill battle before he started and well, he came out on the losing end of the battle. Because lane to lane was so different for him, he even entertained the idea of using a different ball on each lane. But he never got around to it. He felt to start that he wanted to try and stick to one ball on both lanes. He opted to start with the Marvel Pearl. Ugh, wrong answer; it quickly became too much ball. That is why on a whim, I had him drill a 2Fast just in case he felt he need something cleaner yet not super skid whippy down lane. It was close, but as we all know, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. His opening score of 173 was not enough to sneak past Dave Wodka, who managed a mere 177. While Dom posted 207 with the Critical Theory and Rash had 217.

In the warm-up after game one, we knew we needed a better ball option for Dom. The Critical Theory looked alright, but just seemed to be a bit strong as the 41-foot Scorpion pattern slowly disintegrated. That was when we decided that we still needed a fast revving pearl ball, but with a little less core. BAM, we got into the Marvel Pearl and it was just the look we needed. Again, as Dom threw shots he knew that he didn’t want to let onto the others where he could play on the lanes with the Marvel Pearl. We decided that we wanted to try and save that move and adjustment for the title match so that no one would get a crazy idea and try and destroy the potential spot for Dom to play later. Executed to a tee, Wodka was out of the way early so we knew that it would be the battle of angles on the lane with Dom and Rash.

By the end of practice before the title match, both players made the adjustment to move even farther left and it was like a new pattern appeared. Each came out striking like it was their job after the high game to that point was a mere 221. Which if you would have told me after the second game that Dom would manage 247 for the title game, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. But, as we all know in bowling and life in general, we can never be too quick to judge. The crafty Englishmen saved his best for last and ultimately forced the hand of his opponent.

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February, 2012