By Michael Valanzano
This is it, 16 left, only 5 go to the show!! I think this is going to be one of the strongest fields, and best shows in recent memories. What happened today at Carolier? Well, 2 of the best amateurs in the world, John Janacwiz and Matt McNeil were sent packing. The other big match was the Mike Machuga/Jason Belmonte match. Choogs needed 2 in the 10th and count to guarantee him a spot in the show. Unfortunately he did not do that, and Jason Belmonte was guaranteed a spot on the telecast. His match with Stu Williams was for seeding, and Belmonte won the match, making him the top seed, and making Stu the 2nd seed. So now we have 4 guys left, for 3 spots. Mika, Parker, Wes, and Machuga. Again, Mike Machuga bowled great all week, but came up short in the shoot out, and was the low man, and was eliminated and finished 6th in the Masters. So now we’re set, and this is going to be my opinions and thoughts on tomorrow’s show.
The opening match: Major Mika against Parker Bohn III. Personally, I have to give ALL the credit in the world to Mika. He lost his 1st round match and was thrown into the losers bracket. Mika had to claw his way thru the losers bracket, NO breaks, that is a LOT of bowling, a lot of strain on the body. Parker did not get to enter the losers bracket until this morning, when Belmonte sent him there. I got to watch Mika closely this week, and his look is great. He is able to play the pattern out, and his adjustments are made with loft and speed, he never really got in deep until late on the burn squad. He is able to play around the 1st arrow which is his comfort. But then there is New Jersey’s favorite son, Parker Bohn III. PB3 is going to try to become the first bowler since Norm Duke to win 2 majors in the same season. He is also trying to join an elite group of bowlers who have won the Masters multiple times. This match may be the best match of the show. Both bowlers know how to win, and know how to win on the big stage in the majors. Prediction here…. I know this is a brash statement, but I think whoever wins this match, is going to run the ladder. Give me Parker in the opening match, 248-235
Match 2, steps in Wes Malott in the #3 seed. Wes has always struggled in majors. He led the field at the US Open in 2007, and lost to Weber in the title match right here at Carolier. Wes just looked uncomfortable. He has made the show at the World Championships and at the T of C, and for some reason, I think it is mental with him. I think Wes is going to be so pumped up to get his first major, that he is going to lose his focus and that is going to be the death of him. Now IF my prediction is right, he will be bowling Parker in the 2nd match. Now Parker has 1 huge advantage, he has the left side of the lane ALL TO HIMSELF where Wes has to be, but also be around where Belmonte and Stu Williams is playing. Give me Parker again, 228-184
Semi Final Match, Stu Williams. Making his 1st telecast in a major, the nerves are going to more than likely be high for Stu. Can the man with basically no follow thru become the 1st man from England to win a major title? He is going to have to stay cool and not let the lights and the cameras interfere with the job at hand. If he is bowling Parker, he is going to have to bring his “A” game. Parker would be coming off 2 wins, he is going to have the hometown fans behind him, and he is going to have the left side ALL to himself. Give me Parker 233-218
Title Match: Rematch of the World Championship. Belmonte vs Parker. I think we all know where I am going with this one. I am not a fan of Belmonte, and I am NOT a fan of the 2 handed style AT ALL. Personally, as I have said in the past, give me the traditional guys against the 2 handers any day of the week. It has shown in the majors. Belmo has made several shows in majors, and has not found the winners circle. Last year at the US Open, then at the T of C, he can’t get it done in the majors. Yes, the motto is you keep getting there and you’ll win one of them eventually. Yea, ask Ryan Shafer how he feels about that statement. I said in the 1st blog I wrote this week, I predicted a Weber/Bohn title match. Well, Pete is probably back in St. Ann by now and I think Parker will be there but bowling Belmo. I think Belmo is going to be in his comfort zone, in deep around the 4th or 5th arrow. The only thing I can think of hurting Belmo in this match could be the traffic that the other righties on the show are producing and bad carry. If he is playing THAT deep, pin carry is going to hurt him. I know Carolier like the back of my hand since I have been bowling there for almost 20 years now. Carry is always bad there, and the deeper you play, the worse the carry. I can see Belmo somehow finding a way to shoot 248, but I can see my man, my friend and my coach Parker Bohn III stepping up and throwing the 1st hit in the 10th to beat him. Give me Parker winning the title, 267-248. And that will more than likely make Parker the favorite for Player of the Year.
So to recap, my prediction for the show:
3rd- Stu Williams
Winner- Bohn III
From Carolier Lanes in rainy, damp New Jersey…. Good night bowling fans!!
Mike Valanzano, 29 from NJ. Bowled for Morehead State University and has competed and had success at all levels of this game, he is the holder of 21 300 games, 10 800 series, with a high of 856 (with an open frame). Mike is married to his wonderful wife Lynda and have a baby girl, Daniella. Some of Mike’s interests, he’s a HUGE New York Mets fan, he loves poker, traveling, and fine dining. He is also a big advocate of zumba classes. Mike has one of the largest video collections of old bowling shows anywhere. He has every amateur bowling show ever aired and has a wide collection of numerous PBA, Sr PBA, LPBT shows from the 1950’s thru today.