PBA Xtra Frame Parkside Lanes Midwest Open
Greetings and Solutions, Welcome back to another edition of Striking Spotlight as were going to look back on the PBA Xtra Frame Parkside Lanes Midwest Open from Aurora, IL.
In today’s world of instant gratification and the social media, it is apparent when someone is not happy in today’s society. You can block or unfriend someone due to the way they think, feel or believe on a topic. Just about everyone has some sort of social media, so day in and day out someone is posting about the weather, news, politics or sports. Let us focus on the sports and more specify the sport of Bowling.
We see on a weekly and sometimes daily basis that “bowling is dead” or “There is nothing good to bowl” I will be the first to say if that is anywhere close to being true, I did not see it that weekend.
Parkside Lanes, A 52 lane center hosted the Pro-Am on Friday night that was sold out. That’s right there were about 500 participants and another 300 or so spectators. I have not seen a bowling center that packed in sometime.
PBA Superstar Sean Rash was the host to this event and as easy as just delegating what needed to be done or asking the staff to place tables and chairs where they needed to go, Rash was moving them himself. Now remember even though he is the host, he is also a competitor in this event where he finished in 13th place.
Saturday started the tournament with 95 guys and gals getting ready to take to the lanes. The first qualifying round is an eight game block with a cut to the top 24 who will come back on Sunday for two more six game blocks. All three qualifying rounds were contested on three different lane conditions.
The first round was contested on the PBA Chameleon lane pattern and after the eight games the cut was Cameron Weier of Tacoma, Wash. at +83 and surprisingly at the top of the leader board was one of the two “non-members” in the top 24, Matt Ogle of Simpsonville, KY at +261. Ogle kept his lead Saturday morning after bowling the second block that was contested on the US OPEN lane pattern on was completed and was at +267. The third block sure had some movement as this round was contested on the PBA Strips pattern. The “strips” pattern involved what PBA Xtra Frame announcer Randy Pedersen called “moguls” – alternating three-board peaks of heavy oil next to four-board valleys of very little oil across the lanes.
During the lunch break I spoke with Brunswick’s very own Chuck Gardner about the strips pattern. He said “that some of the guys will do well and make some moves, but if Ryan has the berries that he did Friday during the practice session that he could shoot up and make the show and win” With six games to go Ciminelli was in 15th place. Fast-forward to the 19th game and he is in 5th place with one last game to go. He shoots 244 to jump into the number one spot on the show. Ciminelli had this to say
“I was never on the show the entire tournament,” Ciminelli said, “but I’ve been working on my perseverance and it worked. I kind of felt like I was on a slide coming into the tournament after a couple of recent second-place finishes, so this one is pretty special.”
Not only did Ciminelli’s jump to the top of the leaderboard create a buzz I the center, but we had a tie, yes a tie for 2nd between J.R. Raymond and Kris Prather. Tom Clark said “I do not remember when we had a tie in the step ladder in some time” Raymond and Prather would have to bowl a tie breaker match so the two bowled their 21st game of the tournament. Raymond won that game with a score of 200 making him the #2 seed and Prather with a score of 193 is the #3 seed and will now have to bowl the #4 seed Walter Ray Williams Jr.
In the 1st match the higher seed was able to pick the pattern for that match, Prather chose the 37 foot US OPEN pattern. We watched as Williams who is looking for his 100th PBA title (Regional, National and PBA50 combined) get that taking away as carry issues alluded Williams who only struck twice in 6 frames where Prather struck 4 times in the first 6 frames and didn’t really look back winning his match 224 over Williams’ 191.
In the 2nd match Prather will see J.R. Raymond in what will be a rematch from the tie breaker match. As Raymond was the higher seed he chose the 40 foot “Strips” pattern. This match was defiantly going to be A close one. Raymond only down by 3 pins in the 3rd before a miscue on a spare in the 4th frame leaving him an open. Prather later puts up a double of his own in frames 6 and 7. 8th frame from Prather was a little wide leaving him the 3,6,9,10 that he picked up, but was that pin count going to hurt as Raymond started striking in the 8th through the 11th frame and left the big 4 on his fill shot for 206. Prather who struck in the 9th needed the first strike in the 10th frame, but a stubborn 7 pin stood and Raymond moves on to the Championship match against Ryan Ciminelli.
In the Championship match Ciminelli also chose the PBA 40 foot Strips pattern where he had no issues with it at all striking 5 of the first 6 frames. Raymond was slow getting out of the gate by missing a 10 pin in frame one and not striking until the 6th frame and kept striking till the 7 pin stood in his 11th frame and with that spare Raymond had a losing score of 221 to Ciminelli’s 232.
Ciminelli’s win at the PBA Xtra Frame Midwest Open was for $10,000 and his second title of the season and seventh of his career.