This season, Sean Rash is blogging his life on the Denny's PBA Tour for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer website in Seattle, Wash. Follow his blog all season long on either www.seattle-pi.com or PBA.com.2008 Bayer Classic, El Paso, TX
By Sean Rash
Anytime I get to be at home, I feel grateful. I’m only home for two days, but I still get to sleep in my own bed for two nights. I bowled league on Monday night and had a blast showing off pictures from the Super Bowl and the concerts I got to go to. Not a bad night at league but we got smoked.
Tuesday was packing day and trying to get ready for El Paso. While I was at the Super Bowl, I had met some guys who work for Fox and Hound Restaurant, so I had set up a Pro-Am type deal at The Alley that night with them and seven of my friends. I didn’t even know Fox and Hound’s headquarters were in Wichita. We started at 7 p.m. that night and went until 10 p.m. We would have gone out, but we got a nice little weather storm that night. It was so bad I didn’t think I was going to fly out for El Paso in the morning.
I want to say thanks to Jim and Steve at Fox and Hound for a great time.
Wednesday was travel day this week and a after a couple of quick flights I was in El Paso. Now, this place is literally in Mexico and as far away as you can be. If you don’t speak Spanish, you don’t get around much, they say. I checked in at the hotel and relaxed before I headed to practice. Practice session was pretty good overall. I was able to use anywhere from Ultra Zones to Vapor Zones to our new ball, the Avalanche. I then had dinner with Tom Baker and Rick Benoit and it was time to call it a night.
Thursday I saw some good things for me on the lanes. The first round I used an Ultra Zone that I drilled up the night before and found myself leading after seven games. For those who know me, I normally don’t have a lot of success on the Shark pattern but for some reason, everything was clicking. Going into the second block, I knew I would be able to experiment and get ready for match play. After the second block, I was in fifth place and was able to try a lot of knew things. I went to dinner with “The Bakes” after we knew we both made it and it was time for sleep. Bowling 14 games really take a toll on the body. I needed to get back to the room and stretch and work out and ice the knee.
Friday morning I felt like I never got any sleep. I had to bowl Mitch Beasley in the Round of 32. I ended up winning the match, 4-1, and was heading back to the room to rest. I also had a lot of emails to catch up on. You can really get bogged down, too, if you have to stay in the bowl all day.
I didn’t know who I was going to bowl until I got back either. I ended up having to bowl Riga Kalfas in the Round of 16. Riga beat Mike Fagan in a pretty good match, I heard.
What a match. If you would’ve watched in person, you would have said I didn’t deserve a PBA card. I shot 150, 150, 160 my first three games and looked as if I was going home. The good thing about our format is that you have to lose four games. I came back and won the next four games to win the match, 4-3.
The next match was one everyone wanted to see. I was getting to bowl my mentor, Chris Barnes, the hottest player on Tour. Chris had made seven shows coming into the week and was throwing it pretty good. As you read in my blog last week, he puts himself in the situation to win more then anyone else. He is bound to win a lot. Well, the match didn’t go my way. I lost 4-1. I can say this: I had my chances and didn’t throw the shots when I needed to. Against some guys on Tour, you can get away with mistakes, but not against the best, like Chris, Walter Ray, Pete, Tommy and a few others. If you slip, they are going to jump all over you and take full advantage of it. So, for me, in game one and game five I threw two bad shots and didn’t get it done.
Chris goes on to make his eighth show of the season. What a show it will be: Tommy Jones, Mike Devaney and Chris’s roommate, Mika Koivuniemi. After I lost my match, I put my stuff away on the truck. I got a bite to eat and hung with my best friend Kevin for a while.
I was suppose to fly home Sunday, but I changed my flight and was able to get home Saturday. It was nice because I was going to be home three days before the event in Omaha. This is the longest I have been home since December and is the longest I’ll be home until April 1st.
Once I got home, I was able to unpack and relax at home before I went to a Wichita Thunder hockey game with some friends. What a game, I guess. They finally won; they had lost the previous seven games. We then went out for a few hours like the good old days in college.
Sunday was show day and it was a good one. If you missed it, Chris broke through, as they say. But it was only a matter of time until he would win this year. Chris beat Tommy by playing a part of the lane that wasn’t easy to play on the Shark pattern, but he took a risk and it paid off. This was his ninth career title, and like Randy Pedersen and I and many others said, he will go on a winning streak and will win more then he loses for sure.
So for me, I had a great week on my hardest pattern, but I wasn’t too happy because I have made four Round of 8s this year and I have been knocking on the door for another TV show. I can feel something good is about to happen. I hope everyone has a good week
Happy Valentine’s Day to my sweetheart, Sara, and my awesome Mom.
See you in Freezing Omaha…
Click on one of the links below to read more Rash's Rants:Etonic ChampionshipLake County Indiana ClassicCLR Windy City ClassicGreat Lakes ClassicLumber Liquidators ChampionshipSpartanburg ClassicConstructionJobs.com ChampionshipLumber Liquidators Earl Anthony Medford ClassicMotel 6 Dick Weber OpenH&R Block Tournament of Champions/PBA Exempt Doubles Classic
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