by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
“In this life, One thing counts. In the bank, Large amounts. I’m afraid these don’t grow on trees; You’ve got to hit a pocket or two.” Okay, so I may have changed a word, and the ditty from “Oliver” was sung by Fagin, not Fagan, But congratulations to the 2012 Masters Champion, Michael Fagan. I remember when the tournament used to be called the Masters, like the one at Augusta. Now it is the USBC Alka Seltzer Plus Liquid Gels Masters. It’s always about the money, but as the wise old philosopher drock once said, “It is what it is.”
TV coverage of the tournament from Sunset Station in Henderson, Nevada on Sunday began without Rob Stone behind the mike. Not sure if this is a temporary or permanent change, but one can only hope. A Randy Wolfe called the matches with Randy Pederson. In the opening match between Bryon Smith and Mike McClelland, Wolfe mentioned twice that Bryon was now only an occasional tour player since he opened a “Bowling Alley” in his home town. This reference generally makes Brent Prentice’s hair stand on end, but that was in the old days when he had hair. It worked on Bryon’s hair though, and as he got by McClelland in the first match he was eliminated in the semi-final. I’m sure Bryon won enough money to buy a new hand mixer to fix his hair.
So Mike Fagan took care of Bryon Smith with a game that I shoot myself way too often. Six strikes and five ten pins. I am not suggesting that I could compete, only that I’ve seen that game all too often. The oil pattern seemed very playable in the first match, as long as you kept it out between five and ten. In the semi final, the oil moved around a bit and the pattern became more difficult, but the pros handled it well. Fagan moved on to the Championship match against tournament leader, Chris Barnes. I am not sure why, I have never met Mr. Barnes or heard much about him. He is a great bowler, but seems to have an arrogance about him that grates on other players and spectators alike. Fagan started with a mistake in frame one, but if you’re going to blow an inning, make it the first. Chris on the other hand made his mistake in the seventh while Mike was going off the sheet. So another Masters second for Chris Barnes and congrats to Michael Fagan on his first Major title.