Bowling News USA - January 1, 2012 The Schlemer Report - PBA World Championship: Johnny Petraglia Division
So far we are through three of four televised divisional finals of this season’s PBA World Championships. With only one divisional show remaining, it is definitely apparent that the Storm Nation showed up with full intentions of bringing home the first major of the year.
Heading into the Johnny Petraglia Division finals, it was overall tournament leader Sean Rash who had the luxury of selecting the lane condition for this show. Since his most successful round was on the Scorpion pattern, he decided he would take his chances and see if he could out strike the others. Good thinking, although his plan almost backfired. The 41-foot Scorpion pattern has always been a multiple angle pattern. Meaning, the key factor is the lane surface itself and how much friction shows through as the games go on. Since this pattern has some volume, it allows the high rev players to move in rather quickly while still having hold as they keep moving in. On the other end of the spectrum, if the lane surface allows it, players can attack this pattern up the boards and in some cases play out by the gutter and use the pattern length and volume as hold. Up in the bowling center at South Point, where there is plenty of built in lane friction, the high rev players were able to start around 17 and move in quickly and score from the start. While the less rev players had to fend for themselves out between the eight and ten boards. If they got outside of that on some pairs they could miss the head pin right or left. Again, the lane surface dictated how the players could attack.
In the arena, the lane surface was definitely the key factor for PDW. As you witnessed on the show, the newer lane surface allowed PDW to bust out the Pete Weber of old, play the slower ball speed with more hand rotation, and use the lane condition and surface as hold. Upstairs in the bowling center he definitely did not have that luxury. In fact, upstairs we had to really work hard to keep his hand behind the ball so that it would not read too early and force him to move in too far too quickly. The balls he used up in the center were either too early or too long. That is why I elected to drill him a brand new Anarchy and crack the shell a little with a 2000 Abralon by hand. To say it looked good was an understatement. Honestly, as he was warming up before the show, I felt he might have a chance at 300. With the other guys playing just right of him with more surface, he miss room down lane kept opening up more and more with each passing shot.
Besides PDW, the Storm Nation was also represented in game one by free agent Nathan Bohr. All in all his television debut went pretty well; so well in fact, his losing score was more than enough to advance on any other divisional show. That is how the ball rolls sometimes. Just like Pete, the lane surface was a big factor for Nathan as well. As I mentioned earlier, the Scorpion pattern can be played from various angles - lane surface permitting. This lane surface was definitely permitting. In the practice session the day before the show, Nathan told me his look was so good from out there he didn’t want anyone else to know he had it. I told him he definitely didn’t have to worry about Pete because he liked the look from in and I told him I doubted Rash would venture out that far right. Sure enough, that is exactly how it shaped up on the show. Nathan had a great look and no one was near him as expected. His only obstacle would be as I anticipated, himself. I thought in his first career PBA telecast he definitely made a great showing. We both agreed the Prodigy gave him the best look and that he just had to make good shots, which he did for the most part. Only a couple shots got away from him on his way to his 236 game. Now I have to be honest, if you would have told me prior to that show that 236 would get bounced game one, I would have said no way. Wow did that first game look like league play.
Into the second game, PDW was still feeling the flow and had a great look with the fresh pin down Anarchy. In that first game, he never had to move his feet or his eyes. In fact, it wasn’t until the end of game two that he finally had to move his feet. All was still good. And then it happened. Between the second game and third games, there was a short break and the guys took a few practice shots. Can you say flat ten, make a move, ring ten, make another move flat ten? I knew you could. I told Pete that I wasn’t digging the look of the Anarchy and had him toss a pin down Frantic. To me, it was definitely the better of the two and if he was going to keep striking he couldn’t get forced too much farther left than he was. He insisted that Anarchy got him that far and he had confidence in it. I can only make suggestions in these situations as I have done for over 10 years. I said alright that’s cool, but first sign of struggle don’t hesitate to change to the pin down Frantic. Unfortunately the words “too little, too late” come to mind. By the time Pete got done trying to make the Anarchy strike, it was already middle of the game and he was down in the match. Although it got a lot closer at the end, there just weren’t enough frames to complete the comeback.