TV Show day from Carolier Lanes:

By Mike Valanzano

The stage was set, 5 bowlers all vying for a major championship. Here are my thoughts from the telecast:

Opening Match: I figured this was going to be the best match of the show, Mika vs Parker. Both major championship winners, both former Masters champions. Now as I said earlier, I thought whoever won the 1st match would run the ladder and win the title. So Mika started off yanked his 1st shot and left the 6-10, made the spare. Up steps the pride of New Jersey, Parker Bohn III, and he had the entire place in his corner yesterday. What did PB3 do, ho hum, front 8 at one of the greatest bowlers in the world. Now, he did throw 1 bad shot that was right on the headpin and got a break, but he just high flushed 7 out of the front 8. Now to Mika’s credit, he went shot for shot with him. He left that 10pin on a string of strikes, and that proved to be the decider. Parker got up in the 10th, knowing what he needed, and he threw 2 of the best shots in a big spot I’ve seen that man throw ever. Parker had 2 things going for him going into the 2nd match, he was all alone on the left side and he had the crowd on his side. He was a tough out.

In comes Wes Malott. The man did not shoot a series under 700 all week in match play, he probably had the best look of any of the righties this week. Wes had a game plan, that plan was to strike, get loud, and try to get the heavily Parker biased crowd to his side. It kind of worked. Wes threw it great all week, and threw it great on the show. Parker went thru a little transition, and Chuck Gardner even said it. You saw the carrydown by that weak 7 he left, and that light 10pin. Wes gave him a chance when he missed that 3-6-10, and like the hall of famer he is, he got up, threw the double and got himself right back in the match. But kudos to Wes, he had a chance to still shut Parker out, and he did exactly that. That match was really good, one of the best TV matches I’ve seen in a long time

Semi Final, Beef Stu Williams coming in to bowl the Big Nasty. When I saw Stu pick up his ball for the 1st frame, I knew he was losing. I was at Carolier all week long, and Stu threw the Disturbed all week long, probably different layouts, but everytime I saw him, he had a Disturbed in his hand. Forgetting the block on the burn, Stu was playing them REAL straight, maybe around 9-10 board and just rolling it, man did he have some heavy roll on that ball. Now comes Sunday, and he’s playing left of Malott?!?! Really Stu?? REALLY?!?!?! And not to mention, he’s throwing a Crossroad, and the Disturbed are on the ball return to the right of the TV pair. He was out of his element, and did not look comfortable in the match. Maybe it was the lights? Maybe it was the pressure of bowling for a major? Maybe it was the fact that he played a part of the lane that he never saw ALL week long?? Wes just grinded away and did enough to win 202-185.

Now enter Belmonte. Ever since Belmo joined the PBA, they wanted him to win a title in the worst way possible. He won, what is next? We need him to win a major. Well you can only be a bridesmaid so many times before you become the bride. Belmote was due, and today was his day. But again, that 2 handed style an just be too much ball sometimes. Look at those ring 10s he left in the match, the angle of his ball, plus the speed, and the revs, you are going to get rapped. And sometimes, I think the downfall to Belmo is when a match is close and he really gets on one, the carry is not going to be there because of ALL the power he puts on a bowling ball. But again, he showed why he is one of the best in the world, he threw all 3 in the 10th frame to force Wes to do the same. Now not that I am an expert about this game or anything, but when Wes balked, I said to the person sitting next to me, “Belmo just won the Masters”. I have all the respect for Wes, and think he’s a fantastic bowler, but there was NO WAY he was getting up after balking to throw 3 in the 10th, to win the Masters. His 1st shot in the 10th was awful. He grabbed that shot at the bottom SO bad, he was lucky to trip the 4. Now granted, the right lane was a little tricky, and he had to be perfect on that lane. Unfortunately for Wes he went thru the beak and the match is over, Belmo wins his 1st major.

How would I rate this show? This was one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. This show had a lot of storylines. Mika losing his opening match and attempting to win the tournament by bowling the most amount of games out of anyone during the week. Parker trying to win back to back majors and winning in front of his hometown fans. Wes trying to win his 1st major and get back on track. Stu Williams trying to become the first English bowler to ever win a major on the PBA Tour. And finally Belmote. 6 telecasts in the majors and he finally broke thru to bring home the hardware. This by far was the best show of the year.

A note to the PBA… we need more shows like this. We need the step ladder format, we don’t need to see 1 game with 2 guys and you win the tournament. NO!!!! We want to see 5 guys on the show, we want to see that!! We want to see the different styles, different balls, different ways to play the lanes This show was exciting, everyone was into it!!!  I wish I could work for the PBA in an effort to enhance the telecasts because I have some great ideas and know what the bowlers want to see. I wish them the best in the future.

For the last time this week, from Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick, NJ, goodbye 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.