Missy Comes in 3rd in PWBA Lubbock Sports Open
By Missy Parkin
This past week, I competed in the 2nd PWBA Tour stop – the PWBA Lubbock Sports Open in Lubbock, TX.
Coming off of last week’s stepladder finals, I felt great going into this week. This week, we competed on a 40 foot pattern with higher volume, so a few feet shorter than Sacramento’s 44 foot pattern. Each week, we find out the pattern just before our Thursday afternoon practice session. Here it is.
In the first block of qualifying, I started out of the gates strong, shooting 279 (and I was on the live stream pair.) I followed that up shooting very steady with games of 197, 196, 226, 218 and 235 for +151 using my New Hammer Red Legend Solid.
We then had a short break and came back for 6 more games of qualifying later that afternoon. The 2nd block the lanes were definitely flatter and more difficult in my opinion. I shot games of 215, 204, 207 and then hit the end pair 39-40. To say I struggled a lot was an understatement. I tried a variety of bowling balls and angles and couldn’t seem to stay clean shooting 137 game 4. I then brought it back shooting 199 and 259 to end the block at +21 shooting +172 overall for the 12 games of qualifying. Luckily 39-40 were out of play during match play.
I qualified 2nd going into the top 16 round robin match play finals, behind Singapore’s Jazreel Tan who was dominating the field at +297. We then bowled 16 games all on Saturday to determine who would advance to the top 4 stepladder finals. The winner of each match received 30 bonus pins and 15 pins for a tie. So again, winning matches was key.
In the first 8 games of match play, I won 5 out of 8 matches and used my Hammer Red Legend Solid, Ebonite Warrior and Hammer Red Legend. With 8 more games of match play to go, I was currently in 3rd place for the stepladder finals and not very far in the top 4 cut.
I knew I needed a big set and definitely needed to win matches. I shot very steady my next 8 games of matchplay and had won 4 out of 7 matches going into the position round match. I shot a huge game 5 – a 268 to jump me into 2nd place and only 100 pins back from Jazreel Tan who had remained in 1st place. 100 pins sounds like a lot, but I knew I would be facing her in game 7 of matchplay and also in the final position round, so winning both matches would get me within 40 pins, which was doable. Unfortunately, game 6 and game 7, I lost both matches by less than 5 pins, making the gap between 1st and 2nd pretty big.
I was 2nd seed going into the final position round and needed to win my match and shoot a decent game to stay the No. 2 seed. Stefanie Johnson had picked up some ground and was only 46 pins behind me. With not a great look on the position round pair and using my Hammer Red Legend on the left lane and Ebonite Warrior on the right lane, I managed to string a few strikes together to defeat Jazreel 204-202 in the position round and secure my spot as the No. 2 seed.
Here are the Top 4 for the stepladder finals (from right to left):
Leader – Jazreel Tan, 2nd – Missy Parkin, 3rd – Stefanie Johnson and 4th – Danielle McEwan
The stepladder finals were bowled again on the same pair as my position round game. Although I will admit that was not my favorite pair in the house, I was still very confident going into the stepladder finals, especially after a great performance during last week’s stepladder finals in Sacramento. I faced fellow EBI staffer Stefanie Johnson, who had defeated Danielle McEwan in the opening match 233-159.
After practicing on the pair prior to the start of the stepladder finals and even prior to my match, I thought I had a good look. Well that quickly changed as I couldn’t get my ball to face up correctly and had to change balls 3 times during the match. Even though I ended up shooting 158, I will say that is probably the best 150 game I’ve ever bowled. I made a lot of great shots, I just couldn’t get my ball to face up correctly.
I’m definitely disappointed with my 3rd place finish this week. I know that I did improve some things from last week’s 3rd place finish in Sacramento. Last week, I had some crazy spare issues during match play. This week, I bowled much better at my spares and in 29 games, I missed one single pin (which is still unacceptable, but definitely better than the previous week.) I also bowled more consistent overall and am throwing the ball better physically as well.
Although I still have some things to work on and am still seeking that 1st PWBA title, I am pleased with making back-to-back stepladder finals and feel confident going into next week’s tournament in Wichita, Kansas. Congratulations to Singapore’s Jazreel Tan on winning the PWBA Lubbock Sports Open!