by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
The word Master has been used to describe various people and attributes for years. Until 1860, a master was one who owned slaves. History denotes many master craftsmen of various trades. In the 60s, Barbara Eden’s Genie referred to Major Nelson as master. Golf and bowling have a Masters Tournament each year, and if you want to compete, you have to be among the elite of the respective sport.
This year’s USBC Masters tournament last week was hosted at the friendly confines of the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada. The field was composed of 268 of the best bowlers in the world. Nearly all the professionals were there, as well as scores of classified amateurs who advanced through various local USBC events to win their spots. Our web master did a great job informing us of the progress of our local entourage. Dan Bock advanced furthest in the loser’s bracket after making the cut to 63. Dave Langer also got to the double elimination bracket early and advanced one round before being defeated by one pin. The current defending champion, John Nolen, earned the 64th spot in the brackets by virtue of last year’s victory, but he was not heard from this year.
Every now and then, an amateur or unknown pro will earn his way to a TV show. This was not the case this year, although Ryan Ciminelli, with no PBA titles as yet, is relatively unknown. Ryan made quick work of Mike Scroggins, but then made one mistake in the second match against Wily Wally Williams. So the 2010 title match was one we have seen before, between Walter Ray and top seed Chris Barnes. I relearned something in this match that sometimes a stubborn old bowler like myself has to stop forgetting every month. When a bowler of considerable skill has selected a line to play on a difficult pattern, maybe you should try it too. The two lefties and Walter all selected a target somewhere around the five board down and in, and had pretty good success with the carry. Chris Barnes thought he could play around 12 or 13 and left ten pin after ten pin. Against Walter’s 290, even one ten pin would have been too many on this day.
So Walter became the 2010 Masters Champion by winning his 46th or 47th PBA title. I’ve lost count. He’s 50 now, so I hope he has time to maybe show up and bowl an MSC tournament. I promise to help him with his starting lane assignment. And at this time, I would like to assign him an official mnbowling moniker, which he can use as a screen name in the forum when ripping Benson bowlers, or sandbaggers in the PBA. As long as he puts his real name in the user file.
Congratulations: “Wally the bowl man”.