by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
I admit it, I am old. I mention this to relate that I bowled in a league with Leo Mann and in various events with Lindy Lundeen. I mention these names because each of them cashed a check or two in PBA events in years past. Now I can also mention that I bowled in the Phil Bros Classic league against Matt McNeil from our respective anchor positions on our teams. I think I can honestly say that my record against Matt was about 1-29 with the one series win was a night when I went crazy and put up an 814 set.
Naturally, on the first week of Spring, I was excited to learn that Matt had qualified second in the World Series of Bowling tour event in Michigan. I also tuned in on FS1 to find Matt as a qualifier in the cheetah pattern preliminary. Pro patterns are always tough and this event took place in the arena area of Thunderbowl Lanes in suburban Detroit. It seemed that lefties were having trouble with the carry and Matt struggled leaving a handful of seven pins and finished fourth in the event.
On to the WSOB Championship. Matt had a tough look again, not only in the third match, plus he was looking up at tournament leader and master of the bowling universe, Jason BelMonte in the catbird seat. Matt took challenger Jakob Butturff to the tenth frame but Jakob doubled to send Matt to a third place finish. A fourth and a third in two PBA events in the same week! I would say that qualifies Matt for the title of “Best bowler in Minnesota”!
A bit of history. I bowled against Matt at Texa Tonka Lanes for a number of years, as we participated in the Twin Cities Masters League, as well as the Phil Bros Classic League. Matt sent the center to its knees with many 300 games and 800 sets. I witnessed one 879 series in which the only spare was a stone flush 9 pin. Since I now bowl in a Thursday league at Texa Tonka, I was looking forward to watching the PBA event on one of the house TV sets. Instead, I was on Lanes 1 and 2 and on the TV set near my pair, we were treated to NCAA basketball Florida vs. Nevada. There were a few sets showing the bowling however the fact that not all of the sets were tuned to the PBA finals of the WSOB, I consider that an insult to Matt McNeil and to all of the bowlers in the house. Congratulations to Matt McNeil on your great PBA experience !!!!