by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
Once again, the Treasure Island Resort and Casino Xtreme Bowling Center has hit a home run for Minnesota bowlers. This time it was a tour stop for the Professional Women’s Bowlers Association this past weekend. Friday night was a practice session followed by a bowling clinic presented by Kelly Kulick. You may remember Kelly when she defeated the best that the PBA had to offer in the Tournament of Champions tournament several years ago. A total of 60 women graced the lanes on Friday for 12 games of qualifying. The top 16 advanced to match play on Saturday. The format called for a match against each of the qualifiers with a final match in a position round. That’s 16 games with only a short break for lunch between games 8 and 9. There was little drama in the position round as the four stepladder spots were locked up by Rocio Restrepo, Kayla Bandy, Diana Zavjalova, and Kelly Kulick. In the first stepladder match, Diana was spot on and defeated Kelly 279 - 205. Diana continued her onslaught on the pins and got the win over Kayla 247 – 209. The title match was very interesting. Rocio had been pounding the pocket all day long and her tournament leading score reflected that, but in the title match, both women seemed to have lost the carry. I could not believe the solid pocket hits that were leaving ten pins. I was able to talk with Diana a bit on Sunday and she told me that there was a transition that affected the carry and she changed balls to toss a four bagger off the sheet in frames 9 and 10 for a 216. Rocio had converted spares of two ten pins in frames 7 and 8 and had a strike in the 9th. Diana’s finish forced Rocio to get the first two strikes in the 10th frame and a nine pin count to win the match. She got the first strike, but then the next ball was just a bit light and left the nasty shaker 7. I felt bad for Rocio because she performed incredibly all day long, but there can be only one winner and this was Diana Zavjalova’s day. I think we may see Rocio’s picture holding a trophy on the PWBA website before long.
Sunday was the Pro-Am tournament, when all of us AMs get to bowl with these stars of bowling. I was teamed up with Anggie Ramirez, a Roto Grip team member who admitted to knowing drock, Shannon Pluhowsky, an outstanding lefty who led the tournament for quite a few games before tailing off slightly near the end, and Danielle McEwan, who helped my score with her no tap 300 game. I cannot say enough about these ambassadors of bowling.
I was able to talk a bit with Anne Marie Duggan. I told her that I enjoyed the 1995 Women’s US Open at Southtown Lanes years ago, and that she was the only player from that event that returned to Minnesota for the Treasure Island tournament. Anne Marie was a major player in those years and made a lot of TV finals and won a few tournaments.
Once again, Bob Micek and the Xtreme bowling center staff did a super job, keeping things running smoothly, and provided comfortable seating for the many spectators. (Chairs with backs on riser platform – not bleachers). If I am allowed one criticism, the scoring screens are difficult to read from 30-40 feet. However, a big THANK YOU, Treasure Island for your great contribution to our bowling community!