By Michael Valanzano
Day 3 from Carolier, and the action has not let up at all. Coming out of nowhere to lead the field after qualifying is Wes Malott. Now the rule of thumb in the majors is that the fresh always plays a little harder than the burn block, well that might not have been 100% true today. Wes was on the lanes first today, on the fresh, and he, yea, well he struck, and he struck a lot. Wes ended up +247 for the block, and brought his 15 game total to +518, not too shabby. Right behind him is Todd Book. Book made 1 show in 2007 so he has experience under the lights. Let me tell you something, he gets on it. Todd has been using the same Defiant Soul all week, and he’s in with it, and he is putting some paw in it. In 3rd place is some guy name Pete Weber?? Never heard of him. No, I’m kidding. I watched Pete a lot tonight, and let me tell you this, in this blogger’s opinion, Pete is the greatest bowler to EVER throw a bowling ball, no matter if he is lefty, righty, 1 hander, 2 hander, Pete Weber is the greatest bowler to EVER lace up a pair of bowling shoes. Carolier Lanes is a split level, 82 lanes in total. And the crowds tonight, they went to where Weber was. Normally when the PBA is at Carolier you have to kind of navigate your way around the back areas, tonight was not the case because everyone in the center was behind Pete’s pair. Pete in the 4th game was on lanes 53-54 which is the 3rd pair downstairs. People were overflowing on the steps, guys were standing on chairs, you could not see anything on the lanes, but you knew what he did by the crowd’s reaction. He needed a double in the 10th of game 5 to take the lead, unfortunately it did not happen. The Masters is the only major this man does not own, and I will tell you this, he looks sharp, he looks hungry, and I still think that you will be seeing Pete Sunday on ESPN. One other bowler who did not struggle today was Chris Barnes. Barney just started the “burn” block with the front 17, yea, hang in there Chris. He shot 793 for his 1st 3 games, to boost him up. He finished the block at +222 over and qualified 8th at +421. Chris is also looking to complete the super slam this week with a win in the Masters.
Here are some other facts about the 64 bowlers that made match play:
50 of the 64 bowlers are PBA members
29 of the 64 have a PBA National Title
4 of the 64 are in the PBA Hall of Fame (including Doug Kent who will be inducted this year)
9 of the 64 are former PBA Players of the Year
Locally, Jeff Kubasak and Dan Dunleavy both made match play, congrats to them. We had some other local guys cash this week. Walter McKnight, Casey Creutz, Tommy Dakouvanos, and Ryan Friend, congrats to them. It is always good to see the local guys who take a week off of work to hit the lanes against the best in the world steal a check from those guys. As promised, I will have a full interview with a certain local bowler that I have been following all week. He took a week off of his 9-5 job to bowl the Masters. How did he prep for it, how did he conquer the nerves of bowling with the best in the world?? You don’t want to miss this one.
Lastly, some interesting matchups in the 1st round of the bracket…. http://scores.bowl.com/2013-Masters/2013MastersBrackets.pdf
IF, Weber and Parker Bohn III both win their opening matches, they will bowl each other in the 2nd round of the winner’s bracket. I did pick them to be bowling for the title Sunday. Well I still have hope. If you wanted to watch 1 opening round match tomorrow morning, I would suggest watching the Marshall Kent/John Janawicz match. Talk about 2 heavyweights in the world of bowling!!! My God can those 2 play the game. Also a rematch from the Plastic Ball Tournament from a few years back. Can Jason Belmonte get revenge for a loss he suffered in a roll off to the pride of Long Island Brian Ziesig? Ziesig, being from Long Island, about an hour or so away has a big crowd at Carolier pulling for him. I like Ziesig to get another win against the one they call Belmo.
Predictions for the show: I am not looking at the bracket, but if I had to pick my final 5 for the show Sunday, here they are, again, don’t know if it is possible, but here are my 5, in no particular order:
From Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick, NJ…. 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.