Malott Chats with Fans

by PBA Editor March 28, 2007 19:00
Wes Malott is one of the Denny's PBA Tour's "Young Guns" and is one of this season's leading candidates for PBA Player of the Year. The 30-year-old Malott finished atop the PBA World Point Rankings for the first time in his career and captured one title, the 2006 Discover Card Windy City Classic. He also finished second in the 64th U.S. Open to Pete Weber.

Malott chatted with fans today on USAToday.com. Read on for the entire transcript.

Comment from Wes Malott: Hi everyone. Thanks for having me on. I look forward to your questions. Fire away! Wes

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Fort Wayne, IN: As a big man with a pretty deep approach, how do you keep your knees in shape and avoid injury?

Wes Malott: The more I'm out here and the more I bowl, the more I have to stretch and keep my body in shape. This summer, I plan on getting my body in shape more. I have to get in shape if I want to do this longer.

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Eric- Houston, TX: Hi Wes. You seem to have bowled well on a variety of conditions this year. Do you contribute your versatility to more experience, equipment selection, or a combination of the two? I hope you have continued success in the future.

Wes Malott: Combination. I felt I was fairly versatile but I even learned a lot more the last three or four years being out here. I have always wanted to be more versatile than a one-hit wonder. I don't ever like to be considered shut out basically.

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Seaside, California: Hi Wes. I am a 200 average bowler. I have problems when I bowl in other centers and the lanes are very oily and I need more turn on the ball for it to finish. What do you recommend since you turn the ball so much ? Thank you, vtray 300

Wes Malott: There's a couple ways to attack this. One, use lower RG bowling balls that rev up faster, or another way is try surface and sometimes surface with a strong ball will make the ball burn up too soon so you might have to go with a weaker ball with more surface so the ball will still store energy.

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Austin Texas: You have had a very good season. What is the one thing in your game that you are missing from having an AWESOME season? Good Luck this weekend!

Wes Malott: As with everything out here, it's a whole other learning curve in getting to the next level. One thing I felt I haven't achieved this year is performing better on TV to win. Some of that is not necessarily having the right ball drillings in my hand. It's juts another learning curve I am going through and hopefully I can figure that out and turn TV shows into titles.

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Scott (PA): With Track being bought out by Ebonite, are they still going to produce balls for the Track members? If so, are they Ebonite balls with different logos?

Wes Malott: Absolutely. Although Ebonite bought out Columbia Industries they are still planning on continuing with the Track brand. I'm looking forward to the connection with Ebonite as they've been very strong in the industry lately and I'm looking forward to being a part of their team.

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Robert: Houston, TX: I noticed earlier in the season you were going a little straighter at times. Is the old saying "straighter is greater" true and do you get better pin carry by doing so. Walter and Norm seem to use it quite a bit with success.

Wes Malott: I was going straighter earlier in the season because that's the way the lanes were telling me to play them. Sometimes straighter is greater but sometimes that's not an option and we have to move farther in on the lane. A great example is the U.S. Open. I played more direct during the week but when we got to the TV show the lanes were tighter (more oily) to the right. Therefore it forced me to play right with Pete.

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Chuck (Sioux Falls, S.D.): Of all the lefties on tour, who do you consider to be your toughest foe?

Wes Malott: I wouldn't say there's going to be one in particular that is my toughest. Everybody left and right-handed out here are obviously great bowlers. If I had to choose it would be between Jason Couch, Patrick Allen and Parker Bohn III.

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Louisville, KY: Hi Wes. Great run this year, and I'm pulling for you in the POY race. Question - where do you target on the lane? Good luck this week, and hope to see you on the show!

Wes Malott: First of all, thank you. As far as target on the lane, I use an area down lane at my break point and visualize a line back to me and I try to keep everything on that plane and use area and feel. Also, I'm sure many of you out there notice that I look down on my approach. I do look at the dots at the foul line and that just keeps me on line for my approach and everything is pretty much feel from there.

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Wichita Falls, Texas: Wes, How many game do you bowl before you have to adjust your thumb size due to swelling? Good luck this week!! Matt

Wes Malott: This is something that drives me crazy. My thumb probably fluctuates more than anybody's on Tour, therefore if you get a chance to watch me even on TV I'm sure you have seen that I adjust my tape a lot. That's due to shrinking and swelling of my thumb. I wouldn't say there is any specific amount of games or shots that it fluctuates.

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Montreal, QC: Hi Wes. I wanted to congratulate you on your successful career! I'm curious to know who is your roommate? What do you spare time ?? Thank you....marcel bujold

Wes Malott: There are four of us that room together: Tommy Jones, Dino Castillo, and D.J. Archer and we rotate every week so that we don't have to live with one person for six months. It keeps everybody sane and keeps you from wanting to kill each other even though we still spend a lot of time together. As far as spare time, you could probably catch us playing Play Station or XBox 360 quite a bit. Fortunately there hasn't been a ton of spare time this year because I've been bowling well and also I try to go home every other week to spend time with my family.

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NYC, New York: A pleasure to meet you Wes. I’m Eddie and my question to you is how many bowling balls do you use and how do you prepare for tournaments every week?

Wes Malott: I use a variety of different equipment but this year I've found myself using the Power Machine mostly. This ball has been very versatile for me no matter how I drill it and I'm going to miss it when they decide to discontinue it. But I'm also looking forward to the new equipment that Ebonite is going to provide for us.

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Reno, Nevada: What steps did you take to get yourself on the PBA Tour and what do you do now to keep yourself at the highest level of competition?

Wes Malott: I'm very fortunate to be where I am. First, I bowled some of the amateur tournaments in Las Vegas and did not have very much success at all. Then I decided to join the PBA in 2001 and bowl regionals and same thing, I didn't have success at first. But I stuck with it and stayed patient and everything has just kind of fallen into place from there. I can't begin to explain how much I have learned over the last three or four years being out here on Tour listening to fellow bowlers and ball reps on how they attack the lanes.

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Clarksville, TN: Was there any more pressure than usual in the in the U.S. open than other tournaments, and as far as pressure is concerned how is bowling in a major different than bowling in just one the other regular tournaments?

Wes Malott: Absolutely there is more pressure. The lane conditions are more demanding and also the prestige of a Major title adds pressure.

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Dallas, TX: Being one of the tours "young guns" what experiences or techniques do you see from the more experienced players that you can take advantage of?

Wes Malott: I would say that I gain experience and techniques from everyone out here, not just the legends.

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Clarksville, Tennessee: How long did it take you to realize that you were making a name for yourself in the PBA and what changes along the way did you make to your game to help that cause?

Wes Malott: I began to realize I was making a name for myself last year when I made four shows in a row to start the season. As far as changes, I wouldn't say I made any changes. I just added more tools to my game (or tool box) to become more successful at the highest level.

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York, PA: What advice would you give someone who is looking into bowling in PBA events? It was nice to bowl with you during the pro-am in New Jersey.

Wes Malott: I'm sure you've heard this before, but on more difficult conditions spares become a bigger part of the game. Therefore, work on your spare game. Then once you start competing in PBA tournaments you have to be patient because not everything is going to happen right away.

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Macon, GA: Wes, do you feel surprised at all your explosion onto the tour the passed 2 yrs? Your game is so versatile to where you can adjust to all the PBA patterns - congrats and continued success. Hollywood T. D.

Wes Malott: I wouldn't say it's a surprise, but I would say I am very fortunate. To see these guys out here week in and week out and how good they are, it's really an honor to have the success as fast as I have.

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Kenny Ford Manahawkin, New Jersey: Hey Wes, congratulations on an excellent season and good luck in this week. Do you think that the sport of bowling is starting to get too easy with the equipment and the conditions? Chris Barnes said it himself that the patterns played easier this year. Also, how do you feel about the sale of Columbia to Ebonite. Do you think Track will be as good or better?

Wes Malott: I would say that, yes, house shots are too easy because people can still average 220 or better and not need to practice. As far as our conditions, this year they might have been a little too easy because we are the best at the game, but they're still not as easy as we make them look sometimes.

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Houston, TX: Since you have had all this success on the Denny's PBA Tour the last couple of years, I was wondering what are some of your goals for the upcoming years? POY? HOF? How many tournaments would you have to win to say you personally have had a great career?

Wes Malott: Player of the Year and Hall of Fame would obviously be nice. But at the same time if my career ended tomorrow I would be satisfied with how my career has gone. As far as goals, POY and HOF are goals of mine.

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San Antonio, TX: How hard was it emotionally to see one pin stay standing in the ace hardware match against Tommy Jones and to lose by one? How long did it take to get it off your mind?

Wes Malott: That tournament, no matter what happened in the title match, was going to be a lose-lose situation because if I strike and win, then we look at the 7-10 that Tommy left in the 10th after making a decent shot. Tommy and I are such great friends that we don't like to bowl each other because usually that's when you get the breaks and not necessarily the best bowler wins.

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Des Moines, IA: Wes, What are some of the different things you do to practice your bowling in the off-season? Are there any special things you do to work on getting more revs, more balance, or just anything besides just bowling all the time? Good luck this week at the TOC I'll be cheering for you!!!!

Wes Malott: As silly as this may sound, I will bowl local tournaments and regionals throughout the summer and that's really what I use to practice. The reason being, when I try and practice at my local center I find myself bowling too fast and I don't make quality shots therefore I create bad habits.

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Baltimore, Maryland: How did you first get into bowling? Also who got you into it?

Wes Malott: I started bowling at the age of 10. My mom bowled when she was younger and that was before I started bowling so it’s not like I continued a family tradition.

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Kenny Ford, Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey: Wes, do you have a college degree at all. I am really smart and a good bowler. 170 average in my second season. I am 14 right now and I was wondering how I should go about going on tour. I wanted to know if you have a degree or not. Do you think getting on the tour later will hurt my chances of being one of the better ones out there like you?

Wes Malott: Unfortunately, no I do not have a degree. But for everyone out there if you have the opportunity to go to college and get a degree while bowling at the same time, I definitely recommend it because if something were to happen and you got injured, you would have something to fall back on for a career.

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Wenatchee, Washington: How old were you when you bowled your first 300 game?

Wes Malott: When I was almost 19.

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Wilmington DE: Wes, what is the toughest part about being out on tour?

Wes Malott: Traveling and the living in hotels. I miss home.

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Balen in Belgium: I was wondering since you put al those revs into your balls, did you ever have any injuries on your fingers like muscle problems?

Wes Malott: Since I've been on Tour, I have had to shorten my span three or four times just because my hand is not as flexible as it once was and when I did this I made small adjustments.

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Do you consider yourself frontrunner for player of the year? If not then why?

Wes Malott: Everybody has a different perspective on Player of the Year this year. Some will say who has had the more consistent year and if you look at that I think it's me. If you look at who's made the clutch shots to win the title then it's between Doug Kent, Norm Duke and Pete Weber. I think Player of the Year is who is more consistent throughout the year and therefore I think I have had the more consistent year.

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Fort Mohave, Arizona: You've obviously made some great changes to your game. What would be the biggest change that helped you the past couple seasons?

Wes Malott: The main tool that I have added to my game is to be able to play the lanes more direct with confidence.

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Austin, TX: What’s up Wes, it's Michael. You should have known the group would show up to support you. So how does it feel to have all this success you have had over the last couple years? We are all proud that you are out there representing the [ATX]. By the way, you going to be in town 4/13 & 4/14? We are having our annual Crawfish Shootout at Ben's. Hope you guys can make it. Your Friend, Michael Castillo Good luck this week. We will be watching.

Wes Malott: What's up guys. I know you guys are always there to support me and I really do appreciate it. As far as Crawfish Shootout at Ben's, I was thinking about coming down and playing golf on Thursday so this will be one more reason why I have come. Count me in. Take care and see y'all soon.

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The Group - Austin, TX: We want to know why you are always taking your matches to seven games?

Wes Malott: It's all your fault. All I ever hear from y'all is we need something to do on Friday so I try and keep it interesting. Not really. I hate taking them to seven games.

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Austin, TX: Congratulations on a great year! I heard some rumors that you might be in an up and coming movie. Is this true? What is the name of it and who stars in it? If it's true, you are definitely a superstar now!!!!

Wes Malott: Yes, this is true. At the end of last season Tommy Jones and I flew to L.A. and did some takes for a movie. The movie is called 7-10 Split and stars Ross Patterson and Tara Reid. I've seen some previews and I think it's going to be funny. It's kind of silly, but you can't look at it as downgrading bowling because that's not what it's all about.

Comment from Wes Malott: Thanks for all your questions today. Hopefully I'll be able to bowl well enough this week to be on the show Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern on ESPN. Keep watching the Denny's PBA Tour. Remember, Sundays are for Bowling. Take care, Wes

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