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.Denny’s PBA Tour – Spartanburg Classic
By Sean Rash
Monday December 10th, 2007
Have you ever felt 80 degree weather in December? Well, that is what we have here in South Carolina this week… at least for a few days. I slept in today knowing I didn’t have to do anything. It’s nice to get rested up for a long week ahead. I went to the mall to shop again, of course. Finding Christmas presents for my parents is the hardest thing ever. I finally got a few things for them, had some lunch and decided to go back to the room and do some fan email replies. I should have played golf, for sure. My best friend Kevin, who works for the PBA Tour, joined me at Outback for dinner. This was the first time we really got to hang out since he’s been out here. Ladies, he might be the nicest guy I have ever met and is single. His phone number is…okay, well you can get that later.Tuesday December 11th, 2007
What a beautiful morning to play golf. The manager at the bowling center asked Tommy Jones – the hometown fan this week – if a bunch of guys would like to play golf. There were 12 of us who played at Woodfin Golf Club. I want to say thanks to Tommy Jones for asking us if we wanted to play and to the manager for taking care of it.
I shot 92, which isn’t too bad since I hadn’t played in two months, but I did make an eagle putt. I played with Mike Wolfe and P.A. (Patrick Allen). P.A., who bowls left-handed, plays golf right handed, by the way. Pretty funny, to tell you the truth.
After golf, it was time to clean up and head downtown to our title sponsor Denny’s reception at their headquarters. I’ve got to say thank you to them for all they have done for the PBA Tour. We’re looking forward to many more years with them as a sponsor for the PBA. It was good to see a bunch of the guys from the Tour there supporting them and it was nice to meet some people from Denny’s. We were lucky to even have the Mayor of Spartanburg show up. It was crazy getting there because they were having the Tommy Jones Parade before it started. Walking through 35,000 people was crazy. Wednesday December 12th, 2007
Practice day. Well, since a lefty won last week, the right-handers thought it was their time this week. But after watching the TQR, the righties knew we were in trouble. We would have to bowl high scores this week. With a round robin format, the transitions don’t happen as much for them. There are a lot of factors that come into play but you can’t keep up. I drilled a couple of Twisted Fury’s and had a pretty good look.
I went to dinner with a couple of friends and it was time to relax and get some rest. Thursdays seem long for me. Whether I’m bowling good or bad, it’s just a long day.Thursday December 13th, 2007
Well, what a day. I bowled great the first four games of each block but the last three games were not so good for me in either block. I finished up qualifying 15th. My first match in the morning would be against Pete Weber. I haven’t beaten him yet but maybe I will one day. But like I said, with this format, you just go bowl and hope you win as many matches as possible.
I used a Twisted Fury, Pearl Fury and a Vapor Zone today. This week’s pattern was the Viper pattern. With how much friction there was, you needed to throw the ball at the gutter quickly. Not a lot of gutter balls this week, but a few.
So, you know all the left-handers made the cut but one. The last time we used this pattern, I was told none of them made it.Friday December 14th, 2007
This was a day of trying to play catch-up. With fewer players you would think the right side would make a run, which Tommy Jones did in the morning. He went 9-0 in the first block of match play. That’s pretty darn impressive if you ask me. But he was still only in third place and 150 pins behind the leader. I thought he had the best chance to get to the show for the night. Some weeks you know you can win but when you are beat by the lanes and the scoring pace, you just take it in and get as much from it as you can. The reason I say this is because five of the top six bowlers were left-handed and all seven made the top 16.
I was in 10th and only 100 pins out of the show. I figured if I bowled extremely well, I could sneak in. The night went on and I started off slow. I knew I couldn’t get to the show after a few games, so I gave myself a goal to finish in the top 12. I fired a 247 game in game 32 – the final game – and jumped into 11th for the week. So all in all, not bad. I wish it would have been a single elimination match play week. I think I would have done fairly well.
I’ve got to say this for all of you who do read this: when the left has it, they have it and you can’t take it from them. When they don’t, they don’t complain as much as us right-handers do. But when you see that all five on the show this week are left-handed, it makes you wonder how or when we can make things a little bit more equal for both sides. One day it will happen.
I will give the left credit though, you still have to knock them down and make the right moves, pick the right ball, have the right speed and whatever. Kudos to them for taking advantage of what they were given.
Rhino Page led the way, followed by P.A., Parker Bohn, Mike Scroggins, and Billy Oatman. My pick for the show will be P.A. After his win last week, he has got some confidence in his favor. He is also one of the best on the left following his transition.
People are calling Rhino the “Tiger Woods of bowling.” Let me say this, I have known him for a long time but before you call anyone the Tiger of bowling they will need to win, first, and not just once but a lot. Winning your first title is something you won’t ever forget but he has a tough field to beat. He is proving he belongs out here as well, but Walter, Earl, Pete, even Tommy Jones and Chris Barnes have all done quite a bit out here and they don’t call them Tiger.
Like I said, best of luck to Rhino but it will take a lot more from him, myself or anyone on Tour to be that one icon and change the game of bowling to get the respect we deserve as professional athletes.Saturday December 15th, 2007
Travel day. I am sitting at the airport typing up my report and doing expense reports for the past few weeks. I didn’t have to bowl a Pro-Am this week due to getting out early so I could get home for the holidays. I have said in the past, I love and enjoy bowling Pro-Ams but I will say sorry now to all the fans in Spartanburg. Sorry I am not there to bowl with you. You were great fans all week long.
In five hours though, I will be really excited because I will be at home and relaxing in my house with my girlfriend and my friends.
I finally get home. I am glad I changed my flight, otherwise I would have been stuck in Memphis. The flight I was supposed to be on was delayed three hours and probably was going to get cancelled. Anyway, I get into town and head straight home.
Once I get home, my roommate Ryan Abel, his family and Sara and I all get ready to go out for a night of celebration. We went to The Alley, a local bowling center in Wichita so we could ride Go Karts and his nephew wanted to bowl. We had dinner and headed home. Pretty long day over all, so time for rest.Sunday December 16th, 2007
I can’t explain how nice it is to sleep in our own beds after we’ve been on the road. At 2 p.m. today Ryan graduated from Wichita State University. But before we went there we watched the show.
I’ve got to say, what a match from Rhino but I’ve got to give credit to Parker. I thought P.A. would win but Parker bowled today like I haven’t seen him bowl in a while. He had a determination on his face and looked invincible. With a show of five lefties, they moved more today then they probably have in their entire lives.
Great bowling to everyone this week, but hats off to Parker for winning #31.
After the show I went to the graduation. I thought it went by so fast when I graduated but when you are there sitting as a family member and friend, wow, does it take forever. We finally got home around 5:30 after picking up food for breakfast.
Ryan’s niece wasn’t feeling well so we order Carrabba’s Italian grill and just relaxed and hung out. Congrats to Ryan for graduating. It is now time for you to face the real world!
I am off for the next couple weeks for the holidays. Hope everyone has a great holiday season.
Click on one of the links below to read more Rash's Rants:Etonic ChampionshipLake County Indiana ClassicCLR Windy City ClassicGreat Lakes ClassicLumber Liquidators Championship
To view this blog on the Seattle P-I's website, click here