Splitzter - March 13, 2003

  Question: When going into a tournament, which would you rather be doing? Bowling well or bowling badly the few weeks previous?  An age old question, indeed.  Iíve been to a few tournaments lo these many years and Iíve seen it go both ways.  This past weekend was a prime example, and hope, to those who have the State Championships looming and are, letís just say, not on top of their game.  Take Todd Figy for example.

            Todd has been struggling with his game.  Todd averaged 213 last season and is at that number this year on his Woods Auto league on Thursday night.  While most around the county would accept his performance these past few weeks, he hasnít been pleased with it.  Heís watched his average drop and wasnít all that enthused going into Sundayís event.  When the TV cameras came on that day, he started with a nice 237 game but worked hard for it.  Afterwards Todd stated that he wondered if it would be another here we go again as he missed the pocket but once and fought the dreaded 10 pin.  Thatís when the curse came off.  He and partner Todd Miller (200 avg), also from the Woods league, caught fire on lanes 1 and 2.

            In game two of doubles Mr. Figy cut it loose for a 279 game while Todd M joined in with a 248 score.  Both Todds said they carried everything.  Light swishers, high trippers, it did not matter.  They all fell.  I love it when the zone hits you and the pocket seems as big as Hoopsterís backside.  They continued their run to glory in game three with Figy popping a 266 game and Miller chiming in with his 215 number.  When the dust cleared, Todd Figy had a sterling 782 series and Miller a 650 set.  Unofficially that gave them the Mens Handicap Doubles crown with a 1500 handicap score.  Awesome bowling.

            Figyís run didnít end there.  The next set of three were the Singles Event and Todd kept his run going.  Starting with a 223 game,  Todd got the magic back in games two and three stroking scores of 257-226 for a fine 706 set.  This placed him in the money a second time on the day.  His six game average for the day?  A whopping 248.  A pretty good day, eh?

            Another bowler having a fine day Sunday was Scott Panning of the N R & G league on Monday night.  Scott (195 avg) had high handicap series of the day with scores of 230-257-257 for a real nice 744 series in the doubles event.  With handicap this gave Scott an 807 series.  Wow.  Scottís doubles partner John Pfund needed to give our buddy just a bit of help to get them over the top on this last squad of the tournament.  While John didnít bowl terrible, letís just say I gave Scotty the name of a good lawyer.  You know, to sue him for non-support.  John was about 20 pins below average in the event and felt a bit sheepish while we talked about it afterwards over a few root beers.  All was well, however, as they unofficially plucked off the sixth slot in Doubles with a 1421 score.  Nice shootiní Scott.

            I watched one of the best Phoenix impersonations Iíve ever seen in Mike Gerken on Sundayís 10 am squad.  Mike was struggling pretty much all day.  Mike averaged 207 last year but for most of the season has been floating around the 214 mark.  Opening the doubles with games of 164-186 Mike was unthrilled.  A lack of ball reaction had him buffaloed.  Move right, throw softer, move back, roll earlier.  Nothing was working.  Things started looking up with a game three 224, but just barely.  The shot began to change where Mike likes to play in Singles and Mikeís game started to gel.  After an opening 191, our buddy stroked the first 8 strikes in game two, threw a terrible shot in the ninth, then finished with a 276 game.  There was the first smile Iíd seen pretty much all day.  In game three, Mike started his stringing ways again, throwing the first six strikes before a STONE eight pin stopped his run.  Iím not kidding.  It was stone.  The absolute best ball heíd thrown all day.  That will teach him! <grin>  He finished game three with a 268 score and by some miracle vaulted into second place in Singles with an unofficial 768 score.  Way to hang in there, bud.