Pro Series Event #2 – Random Draw Doubles
September 15th, 2012 – Lakeside Lanes – Manchester, Nh.
God, I love Lakeside. I love being up there. I love the atmosphere. I love the action. What more could you want from a bowling alley? Maybe having 90+ bowlers storm the place for a Pro Series event. To add to that, it’s the random draw doubles!
The random draw doubles is great tournament. Everyone bowls five strings. The top 64 qualifiers are then thrown into a pile. Then a name is drawn. That person then picks their partner. Their partner select their first opponent and the opponent then selects his partner. After all the selections are made, there is a 32 team knockout. It’s a tough tournament having about five boxes to create chemistry with someone you may have never bowled with.
I started out as the lead bowler on lane 4, and I had a great, great group of bowlers near me. I bowled with legend Bob Caliri – I mean he has a shot named for him. How cool is that? I also bowled with up and coming Billy Bloom a HUGE advocate and coach for the Candlepins for Kids. Lane three had another CP4K leader in Robbie Taylor, Jesse Jaques bowling second and Ryan “I don’t throw strikes” Lehr bowing third.
I hate being the lead bowler, and I hate being on the right for the first string too. Such as life in these tournaments. I know Lakeside I should do great right? Well, first string was a total struggle. I will say this much, I thought the approaches were STELLAR compared to my practice post a week earlier. It must be a busy place as it wasn’t nearly as slippery as I thought it was going to be which gave me some great confidence starting the day. I know that I was fighting it a little in the first string, I think I was try too hard to just be perfect, and I didn’t need to be. I limped home at 108 for the first string, but luckily the misery ends there.
Second string I figured the place out for that day’s conditions and I bowled great – getting the marks that I needed to and capitalizing on breaks that I got. When I moved one lane to my right, I managed to bowl against my Lakeside nemesis, Jimbo Ayotte. We were able to feed off each other, and in that second string I managed to match him when he threw a strike. Even Jimbo will admit mine were crushers compared to him, and again, he brings out the best in me in that building. I finished with a 139 and took some real pressure of my first string.
The rest of the day was mostly smooth sailing. Third string I followed with a 119, just on the outside of the top ten in the 1 PM shift at 366. My last two strings shot me into the top ten for that shift closing out my day with a 126 and a 124 for a 616 series. Maybe doing the early shift was the trick for me. Things just worked for me that day, and I am thankful for it.
The later shift passed uneventfully however this exchange took place between fellow EC author Frank De Luca, bowler Chris Sacchetti, and me toward the end of the shift.
Frank: Chris said he’s not giving you an interview because you didn’t ask him first.
Rich: Really, I didn’t see him over the summer before the first event.
Frank: Whatever he said he’s not going to do it.
Rich: I’ll talk to him.
Rich: You really won’t give me an interview?
Chris: No way. You took too long to ask me. Just for that I’m going to give you stupid answers.
Rich: Wow, okay, then forget it. I don’t want to interview you . I’ll talk to someone else.
Chris: I’m just busting them on you. I’ll do it for you, I’m still going to give stupid answers though.
At this point Chris started off his second half of the fifth string with an insta-smash hammer. Nick “Mr 210″ Norcross walked over to us – and said to Frank and I quote – “Chris is going to throw a double – now!” Promptly Chris dropped another bomb and Frank’s reaction was priceless as he asked me about Nick. I didn’t hear him since Frank was standing in between us. Needless to say, it was the perfect timing. Frank just kept saying “Did you hear him say that Chris was going to throw a double? Come on you must have heard him!”
I screamed to Chris “If you want that interview, you have to throw a triple!” Yeah, I probably SHOULDN’T have said that, another crusher and he tripled. I followed that up with, well, now you need a four-bagger! Chris didn’t get the four-bagger, so he didn’t get his interview, but he will, I’m sure. I can’t wait – and since he’s a ham he can’t wait either.
The three-bagger did propel Chris into first overall with a 704. I think that’s two events in a row that he qualified first overall. Good job!
The qualifying round over, I waited patiently for the random draw portion. I qualified 21st overall which was my 2nd best finish at a Pro Series event (in 2010 at the last tournament at Fairway Lanes in Natick I finished 9th individually with a 639). I hear more and more names being called, and I realize that the first 32 bowlers have been selected and that I was in the next batch.
As time passed, I heard the name Joe Rocheleau. Joe then selected Pro Series king Craig Holbrook. Craig’s turn to select and opponent. “Rich Limone”. Wow, okay. I walked up to the counter and said “I’m signing someone’s death warrant with this selection!” I heard some various chuckles, and then I picked my partner – Bob Whitcomb! The immediate reaction near the table from Mark Ricci was awesome – “You might to rethink that death warrant with that pick!”
I think the thing that makes it MORE amazing is that fact I was talking to Richie Myrick earlier in the tournament. I told him about how at the Fairway tournament I was bowling next to Bobby Whit, and he said he would gladly bowl a tournament with me in the future. I thought I hit the lottery! I couldn’t believe it! Well, I picked him on this day, I thought it was fate after talking about it an hour earlier.
Needless to say, fate wasn’t on our side. We missed shots, we didn’t capitalize on our breaks, and they outbowled us completely. It was great to get paired with a hall of famer against his doubles partner and hall of famer, but I feel like I let myself down with how well I bowled earlier in the day. The one good about our match is we were bowling next to Frank De Luca and Shawn Baker. They were in a BATTLE with Dave Godwin and Mark Gregory. Baker had a string for the ages – but I will let Frank tell you about it.
Overall it was a great day and congratulations to Evan Mazzaferro and Brian Purdy!
Thanks to Tim, and Ali, and Shane, and yeah, I guess Bob too from Lakeside lanes!
A full tournament recap will be following soon!
UPDATE: I just got this an email from Dan Gauthier – Former Candlepin for Kids contestants were 8-0 at making the cut. Current hosts (me and Rob [Taylor]) were 0-2. Hmm, are all the students better than the masters?