USBC's Vermilyea and Eoff blog from 2010 Masters

National Bowling Stadium, Reno, Nev.


Erik Vermilyea

Well, the ride is finally over, but I didn't go down without a fight!

Match one this morning I bowled against P.J. Haggerty.  Another good friend of mine that I bowled with on Junior Team USA in 2004 and 2005.  I knew this was going to be a tough match, but I also knew that I had a very good look on the fresh.

I started off again throwing Magic, (Bounty Hunter Pearl) and bowled a very solid 230 game.  PJ had a hard time getting lined up and had a few bad breaks and I was up 60 or so.  The second game we both struggled, I made way too many bad shots and chopped a few spares, but was still up by 30 or so. 

I knew I needed to focus and make some good shot, I stared game three off with four strikes and P.J. wasn't able to get anything going from there.  I closed out with 620 or so and was on to face Lennie Boresch Jr.

Match 2

I knew I'd have my hands full here.  Lenny was playing the lanes very much like I was, and he's a very tough competitor.  We moved down to the lower side of the house for this match, and I really liked my look here.  Lenny was throwing a Track 920A and had a pretty good look but some tough carry issues for him, and an excellent 250 for me gave me a commanding lead early.  However game two was the total opposite.  I missed the pocket three times on the left lane, all of them split and my lead was trimmed to just one measly pin going into the last game.

I started the last game first with a solid 8, an ominous opening shot.  We both bowled solid the next few frames and as I got up in the 8th working on a strike, I knew if I got the next two the most I would have to do in the tenth was strike.  I shredded the rack in the 8th, then stepped up in the 9th and sent an atomic messenger into the 10 pin for the strike I needed so badly.  See, I told you I re-named that Bounty Hunter Pearl "Magic" for a reason!!!!!

Lennie split after I struck, ending the match. It was a great match and Lennie was a pleasure to bowl against.  He's a great bowler and I felt lucky to throw the strikes when I needed to to get past him.

Match 3 - the ending 

I drew Mike Edwards the next match, and this was the one I was most concerned about.  This match wasn't on the fresh, there had been a match bowled already on this pair.  My look on the fresh has been great but I was having a tough time with the transitions, and Mike was bowling great so far today.

The first 11 frames of this match couldn't have gone worse.  In those 11 frames I struck 5 times, split 5 times, and had one washout.  Pretty much a nightmare start.  I was down by 70 after my 160 opening game, and had already tried four different balls. 

Mike wasn't too lined up either, but was breaking down splits and throwing a few strikes.  I was paying close attention to what he was doing trying to get lined up.  He had finally moved back right and seemed to have a look, so I decided to make a risky ball change and move on top of him.  I grabbed the Lunatic that bailed me out day one, and moved out to about 8, throwing it very straight up the lane, staying behind the ball really just trying to roll it.  This worked and I felt like I suddenly had a chance.  A split in the 11th gave me 244, but Mike, being the grinder he is, threw the last 6 for 230 also.  I was down by 70 pins, but never thought I was out of it, and really liked my look.  Now is when things got interesting.

I started the last game off with a quick double, Mike matched me with the first 2, but then left a ten pin and spared.  In my mind the whole last match all I was thinking was if I can shoot 300, he'll need 231 to win, and that's a big number on this tough Masters oil pattern.

I got up and threw two more for the front four and suddenly felt like it was a match.  That was the point where I think everyone else realized this match wasn't over.  Mike went spare strike in the 4th and 5th.  I then got up and threw two more great shots for the front 6.  Now the crowd was starting to get into it, I was really into it, and I really thought at this point that I just might pull this out.  Mike got up and doubled here though, so I knew I needed to keep striking.  I threw a light ripper in the 7th, and absolutely stuffed ten back in the 8th for the front 8!!!!  It was getting intense and I was loving it. 

If Mike doubled the next two shots he would have pretty much locked up the match, but he only managed spare spare in the 8th and 9th.  I had my chance!!!!  I just needed the next three strikes and 4 on the fill ball to win the match. 

I got up in the 9th, gave it my best, but I missed it a little at the bottom and left a two pin.  I picked it up and made my first bad shot in two games in the tenth, and promptly split again.  The dream was over.

I can't really be all that sad though, I was down 70 with no look after one game and still managed to almost pull it out in the end, much like I did in the match against Ryan yesterday. 

All in all, this was one of the best tournaments of my life, and certainly gave me many moments I will never forget.  Especially the Voss match yesterday!

I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all those that supported and encouraged me this week.  I wouldn't have been able to do all that I did without them, so thank you very much!!!! 

Thanks also to all of you that have followed this adventure every day.  I hope you enjoyed it and I hope to be able to do this again sometime soon.

So I guess this is the end, for now . . .



Erik Vermilyea

Well, I can sum up tonight's matchplay in one simple sentence: This was the most unbelievable night of bowling of my life!!!!

I bowled Dino Castillo in my first match, and I knew from the start this was going to be a grind.  The right lane had a massive hang spot down lane to the right, and instant hook inside of it.  I got off to a fast start and shot a good number, but the match was very close after the first game.  The second game the right lane was getting even tougher, I made some great shots on it, and unfortunately Dino split four times on it, and I had a 60-pin lead going into the last game.  Dino switched to a Track 505A and started the last game with a string to put the pressure on me, but I manned up and made some clutch shots to stay ahead and win the match.  Again I was throwing old Magic, the Bounty Hunter Pearl. 

In my next match I was bowling Ryan Ciminelli.  I've known Ryan for a long time, bowling many a junior tournament together back in the day.  Ryan has made two shows this year, both throwing a urethane Natural up the gutter.  When he can do this he's almost unstoppable.  Unfortunately for me, this match was on my least favorite pair of lanes in the world, 27-28, and Ryan was throwing the Natural up the gutter and striking.

The first game Ryan started out hot, but I started to catch him towards the end, again throwing old Magic.  He shot 220 something and I had a chance to strike out for 215 I believe.  Unfortunately I threw a bad shot and settled for a 190.  The next game Ryan ran the front 7 at me, and I stuck a solid 10 and a ripping 7 between a four-bagger and double.  Game 2, Ryan 268, me 237.  So I was down over 60 pins with one to go, and needed a big run.

Game three started off with a strike by me, then a terrible shot that got 6 and split.  And like the genius I am I only got one.  Ryan also started strike, open, open, so I knew I had a chance.  I then proceeded to throw the next seven strikes to set up the tenth.  Ryan struck in the 7th and 8th, but I had forced him to throw the next three and get 8 on the fill to lock me out by a pin.  Like the champion he is he buried the next three shots, and then got 8 on the fill to lock me out.  An unbelievable match, lots of great bowling, but man, it's tough to be on the losing end! 

Ryan was great to bowl against and I hope he does well tomorrow.  His first PBA title isn't far away, I promise.

I was rewarded for my efforts by being bumped into the losers' bracket, and being matched up against Hall of Famer and Round One leader, Brian Voss!!!!

Let me start by saying this will probably be a little long, as this turned out to be what is probably the greatest match of my life.  Our pair was absolutely brutal, early hook everywhere, and no hook down lane.  We both started playing out pretty straight up the lane, Brian threw a few strikes early with an Onyx Vibe and I split in the 8th and then chopped a bucket in the 10th.  One game and I'm down 45.  Game two we both were totally lost the first half of the game, I took a huge gamble and switched to my Break Point Pearl (a.k.a. Sweetness after today) and moved in.  I know, I know, I did say that my ball wouldn't strike inside of 20 here, but I had to try something.

The gamble paid off as I threw the last 5 strikes for 215, while Brian doubled in the 9th and 10th for 180 something.  I was only down by 7 going into the last game, with both of us on the verge of elimination, and it was getting intense

I started the match off with a 3-10 split, which I missed.  Brian got up, made a ball change to a HyRoad, and buried the first two, giving both a solid fist pump, he was into this match.  I got up and threw a light mixer on the right lane, then made the move deeper on the left lane and threw it dead flush. The match was on!

Brian got up and struck in the third, giving it a little run out and the big chop.  Then he absolutely buried it in the fourth, running it out two lanes and giving it the biggest fist pump I've ever seen from him.  This was unreal, I've got a Hall of Famer running them out and throwing strikes at me.  I've seen him do this on TV so many times and to actually see him doing it against me was almost surreal.  I'll admit, I smiled a bit going up for my next shot.  I then responded by burying the next two with a little run out, fist pump of my own.

Brian then went spare, open. I spared and struck again.  Brian then spared and struck again.  I got up in the 8th and needed the next two to guarantee I would have to do nothing more than strike in the tenth to win.  I threw two of the best shots of my life and buried them both.  It was an unreal feeling!!!!

Brian spared in the ninth and tenth and I just needed a few pins for the win.  A solid ten gave me the win and I was elated.  Brian met me coming off the approach with a handshake and a few kind words.  It was an honor to bowl against him, and I've never enjoyed a match more than this one.

Well, that's the long version. As you can tell I'm pretty excited.  I'll be back tomorrow at 10am to continue this battle.  Check back tomorrow for the recap, hopefully it's as exciting as today was.


Derek Eoff

Today is a pretty long day.  Those that made the first cut bowl five more games and then they cut to the top 63 (and defending champ.) for matchplay.  This morning everyone bowled on the fresh and I am going to say something I thought I would never say.  I would rather bowl on the fresh this week.  My ball reaction was pretty good on the fresh and once they broke down, I felt trapped with no where to move.

Luckily I had a comfortable lead over the cut line for match play.  My goal was to stay clean and not bowl 150's.  I started with a Second Dimension drilled pin above my middle finger (my old one, not the new one).  I had a really good reaction and bowled 246.  We switched pairs and they were actually close.  I started well but once again left some splits to finish with 203.

The third game was almost a disaster.  I started spare, split, spare split for 49 in the fourth.  I then changed balls to the Reign (pin under my bridge with 1000 abralon) and moved five left and somehow doubled.  I then left four ringing tens in a row to finish with 172.  I was still in good position so I was just focused on not bowling any more 170 games.

The fourth game we flipped to the low end and I grinded out a 202 game.  With one game to go it was more or less going through the motions.  Toward the end of the game I did try something different.  I moved left and lofted it more and tried to grab it a little more to create angle down lane.  If I set it short it wanted to hook early.  The loft actually worked well as I threw the last four for 212.

I qualified 35th and drew the defending champion John Nolen in the first round of match play.

Going into match play I started with the same second dimension playing the same part of the lane as I did in the semis.  John was actually playing right of me and in a part of the lane no one really played all week.  I was kind of surprised to see that but he had a good look.

The first game I bowled 230 to his 218 to grab the early lead.  My ball reaction was starting to go away and I tried chasing it left and it just kept hooking.  I was grinding while John was striking.  I was keeping it close until the 9th frame.  I thought I threw it pretty good and it hooked for a split.  Then in the 10th I moved and same result.  Opening in the 9th and 10th was a killer.  John bowled 240 to my 190.  The last game I was completely lost to start the game.  My count to start the last game was 7, 8, 5, 6, 7.  I decided to move back to the right and go to a weaker ball (my other second dimension with shine).  I proceeded to strike out for 227 but John bowled just enough to beat me 668-662.  Not a fun one to lose as I would have beat every other pair around me.

The next match I bowled Brad Angelo who just bowled 690 and lost.  We both started with 220 and then once again my reaction disappeared.  All week I was kind of trapped when I had to start inching left.  There was no hold to move into.  After opening in the 10th frame the second game for 170 I was pretty much done as Brad once again bowled 220.  The last game I moved 15 left and went to the Reign to try and duplicate what I did in the semis.  It was okay and I bowled 200, but it was not enough as Brad bowled 670 to my 600. Both my matches were on the high end and the high end did not break down as good as the low end all week for me.  Once it started to go, the fronts just blew up and it was difficult to get anything down the lane.  When you did, it went 60 feet.  You saw a lot of 2-pin 4-pin ball reactions.

Overall it was a pretty good week, I felt I bowled well.  I could have probably made better decisions in match play, but it is hard to do something you have not done all week.

Thanks for reading.  



Erik Vermilyea
Cashers' Round

Hello again, this time from sunny Reno!!!

Well, I'm not sure exactly how or why but today I saw something I've only seen a few times ever, good ball reaction at the Stadium!!!  It was like magic.

My game plan today was to try and play as far right as I could from the start, and then stay right as long as I can.  If yesterday taught me anything it's that my ball doesn't like to strike from left of 20 at the arrows here.

During practice I had a few different looks that I liked.  I could throw my Break Out around 7 out to about 4-5, really staying up the back of the ball, I could throw my Bounty about 2 and 2 left of that with the same release, or I could also go with my Bounty Hunter Pearl playing about 10 at the arrow out to about 5-6.  I decided to go with the Bounty Hunter Pearl (BHP) because I just had a feeling about it.

I started off the first game going greek church, double, then 2-10 split.  So after my early optimism I was looking at 64 in the fourth? Well, I dug deep and managed a nice string of strikes from there to end up with 233 the first game, and I was on my way.

The next two games gave me more good ball reaction, lots of good shots, and excellent carry.  I managed to put up 231 and 222, getting me to plus 61 for the tournament.  Going into the day the number I had in my head for the cut number was about plus 100.  I thought if I could get to that I would probably be in the cut, but something like plus 85 or 90 had a chance.  So I figured 40 over the last two would get me in.

The next pair gave me instant hook, and two spares and an open the first three frames.  This look was strikingly similar to the look I had during my 140 game yesterday.  Again I just took a few minutes, dug deep again, made what I though was the right move, also threw some great shots and managed the last six strikes for 235, getting me to plus 96 with one game to go.

To make a long story short the last game I again had the same ball reaction, which is utterly amazing that I was able to hit five different pairs today, and only one of them really played different.  I shot a clean 215 to get to plus 111 overall, and couldn't have been happier.

I've got to throw in a quick thanks, and a shameless plug, to the good folks at AMF/900 Global for this Bounty Hunter Pearl.  That ball gave me something I've never had in this building before, and at a very opportune time.  Thank you!!!!!

As I'm writing this I'm sitting just above the cut number.  If I had to guess I would say something right around 85-90 will be the cut for tomorrow, but stranger things have happened, especially to me in this building.  Remember the broken hand I referenced two days ago?!?!

Looking around during the block today it really seemed like the bowlers that had it yesterday were struggling and the bowlers that didn't do much yesterday were bowling pretty well.  I really didn't see anyone around me bowling that great, it looked like a lot of survival out there today.

One last thing I want to add is I don't think I've ever carried better for a block than I just did.  Two solid 7 pins, one solid 9, and zero ten pins for five games at the National Bowling Stadium!  I can't even begin to describe how unbelievable that is.

Well, I'm off to grab a late lunch and then back to watch the late squad and see if I can sneak into the cut.  Cross your fingers for me, and hopefully tomorrow's blog will be about the cashers' round and matchplay, and not Pai Gow, Blackjack and Skee Ball!!!!

Until tomorrow….


Derek Eoff

Welcome back to paradise, and I am not talking about Lincoln, Nebraska.  Today started at noon with the fresh oil.  I really had no idea what to expect as I watched the fresh yesterday and guys were playing everywhere with all types of equipment. 

I pulled out almost every ball I have and tried to throw most of them in practice.  With about 2 minutes to go in practice I was using an Invasion and T-Road solid.  I decided to start with the Invasion and play a little straighter to try and minimize leaving spares I could not make.

The Invasion is drilled pin up above the bridge with a small hole and 1000 abralon.  It gives me a nice smooth roll and really controls the back of the pattern.  I got off to a good start but left two splits in the middle of the game.  I struck out for two teen. 

The next pair I started with the Invasion and kicked out a weak ten pin and then had a really light strike.  I didn't like how the ball was going through the pins so I made a decision to go to a virtual energy in the third frame.  It is a different VE than the one I used yesterday.  This one is drilled pin below the bridge and has 1000 abralon surface with a hole down through the mass bias.  It gave me a little more angle and proved to be a good decision as I bowled 248. 

The third game we moved to the low end of the center and bowled on lanes 5-6.  That pair was not much fun.  There was early hook and a lot of hang to the right.  I struggled and never could double for a 180 game.  The next two games didn't appear to be much better.  On our pair (three of the four of us were more than 150 over) we all struggled the last two games.  Both pairs had a lot of early hook and then if you tried to get soft and go around it, it never hooked.  I grinded out a 209 and 198 game to thankfully be done.  I tried everything from a Virtual Gravity, my other Virtual energy, Second Dimension, T-Road solid and finally my Reign the last game. 

It looks like I will be in the cut and get to bowl 5 more games tomorrow.  I may look at drilling something or changing surfaces if they get like they did today.  I am projecting the cut to be plus 90 after tonight's squad.  

Tomorrow we start bowling at 10am Reno time (I think).  Then after the five games they cut a few people and it is on to match play.  Hopefully I can continue to bowl well and get into match play.

It's now time to go to my favorite place in Reno, the Eldorado all you can eat sushi bar.  My wife is going to be jealous. 



Erik Vermilyea

Hi again from cloudy Reno,

Well today was a mess, at least for me. But I’ll start with a quick recap of the morning squad. I got to the center in time to watch practice because I was very curious to see how the gutter would play today. Like I said yesterday, it was there if you made good shots, and looked to be playable for some of the guys. As practice started there were a lot of shots thrown out that way, but nothing that really seemed to roll back to the pocket quite like yesterday.

We stayed and watched the first two games and it was looking a little more like the US Open oil pattern then the Masters pattern. Many players migrated very deep on the lane very quick. Belmonte was just about to the left gutter cap by the start of game two.

After a quick lunch at Quiznos we came back to the center in the middle of game four to see that the pattern had opened up quite a bit. There were several players just finishing off big games. Eugene McCune had a great look towards the end of block, and Dan McClelland went almost 140 over his last two games. Dan was throwing a shiny Columbia Sharp Noize and had just about the best ball reaction I have seen this decade!

So I was excited to get on the lanes and see if I could take advantage of what looked to be a very playable pattern before the pattern simply blew up, as it inevitably would. During practice I had a good feel of what was going on with my pair and had a lot of options just in case. I started out with my Break Point Pearl playing right around 23 at the arrows out to about 11. I had a little trouble with the left lane, and also some issues with the solid 9 and pocket 7 – 10 it gave me in the 6th and 8th frames but managed to strike out for 204. A solid start and I was starting to feel like I was getting into a rhythm.

That’s about when the wheels fell off, and the stadium reminded me exactly why I’ve struggled so much. The next three games gave me six different ball reactions, most of which resulted in 4-6’s and washouts. I struggled to games of 146, 216, and 169. And believe me, that 216 had many mistakes in it as well.

With only one game left I knew I needed to stop thinking so much and just bowl. I had made the jump to the low end of the house, made another ball change and was looking for a solid finish to try and get myself somewhat back in it. I switched to my Lunatic that I had tried a few shots earlier and tried to just stay soft with my speed. The whole block I had played between 20 and 25 at the arrows with the exception of a few shots around 8-9 during that 146 game. Obviously you can see how well that worked.

I started the last game off 7 pin, 2 pin, big four. Pretty much on par with the rest of the day. I swear there is no other bowling center on this planet that has more of a difference pair to pair. So at this point I’m trying to figure out if I should make a drastic move on the lane or re-book my flight home for tonight. I decided on the first option and moved way back right to 8-9 board, and somehow proceeded to go spare, 8 bagger for a 240 to get myself back to -25, and back in the tournament.

So that’s where I stand after three hours of battling! I’m exhausted and hungry, but looking forward to tomorrow. It looks like the cut score to cash will be somewhere right around +100 so with a good day tomorrow I’m right there.

On the plus side I was a mere two pairs away from some of the best bowling I have ever seen. Brian Voss came out of the gate on squad 2 today with 804 his first three games. He was in front of the ball return on the right lane taking three steps, slow hooking the whole lane with a HyRoad and just running over the entire field! It was something to watch, and certainly look out for him this week, he just might win this.

Also for those of you who may have been feeling sorry for my roommate after the 12 minute beating he took at craps two days ago, he totally redeemed himself at Skee Ball over at Circus Circus last night. Four games, four dollars, and four stuffed animals won! He then promptly celebrated with an ice cream cone. And no, he really isn’t 12 years old.

Well, that’s probably more then enough for today, thanks for reading and check back tomorrow for another update.


Derek Eoff

Welcome back to beautiful Reno Nevada.  Today was the first day of competition and I am glad it is here.  It has been extremely boring the past couple of days.  With only bowling for a couple hours a day, there is a lot of down time and no offense to Reno, but there just is not a lot to do here if you don't want to gamble.  I almost starting playing nickel machines to kill some time, but I just watched other guys lose their money instead.

Before bowling today I talked with Chris Schlemer (tour rep. for Storm) about drilling something up to fill a hole.  We decided on another Second Dimension to give me some length with not a lot of flip down lane.  After spending some time chatting on Extra Frame I worked out that ball and then it was time to bowl.

I started on the high end of the stadium (lanes 59-60) and crossed with Dan Bock, David O'Sullivan and Walter Ray Williams Jr.  I think it is important to get a good cross for this tournament so you have other bowlers to line up off of and get reads going from pair to pair.

After practice I started playing pretty deep (5th arrow) with a Virtual Energy drilled pin above the bridge no extra hole and box finish.  I had a good reaction so I was pretty comfortable and bowled 240+ with an open in the middle of the game.

For those of you who have never bowled at the stadium I will try and explain how different pair to pair they can be.  It is like after the first game I packed up my stuff, got in my car and drove to a different bowling center.  Imagine that for five straight games.  Making correct and quick decisions is crucial.
The next pair hooked significantly more.  I moved five boards left with my feet and tried to stay firm and make sure I got it through the front cleanly.  With another split, I struck out in the 10th for 220+.

Our third game we flopped down to the low end of the stadium to bowl on 13-14.  After Dan left a 2-10, I moved back to where I started the first game and went light flush.  I ended up moving another two to the right as the game went on and threw it bad in the 10th for a 2-8-10 and a 220 game.  So that pair was only seven tighter than the previous pair.

On to the next center.....I mean pair.  Dan and David's shots hooked almost as soon as they hit the lane.  I moved five back to the left and left a 4-9.  I grinded out and ended up switching balls on the right lane to the newly drilled Second Dimension to throw a late turkey for 202.  This pair only hooked about 10 more boards than the previous pair.

The last game my goal was to stay clean for the first time today, but in the third frame I left another split.  I ended up moving another two  left and after a 3-10 I changed balls to the Second Dimension and struck out from the 6th frame on for a 234.
Overall I bowled well and all my opens were difficult splits.  I wish I had switched balls three frames earlier, but I was fortunate to still strike out and not lose any pins.

Tomorrow is the fresh, which can be my worst enemy.  The first few games this morning looked pretty tough.  Hopefully I can find a ball reaction, stay clean and make good shots to pick up more pins and make the cut.

I am starving, so I am off to eat some dinner.




Erik Vermilyea

Welcometo my blog from the biggest little city in the world, Reno, Nevada! I've been in town for a day and a half now and just finished theofficial practice session.

Letme start by saying no matter who you are, or how many times you comehere, when you walk around the corner and see all 78 lanes of theNational Bowling Stadium, it always make you stop and stare.  I've beenfortunate enough to bowl here six times now, and in those six tripsI've had a little success, a lot of heart break, and somehow one brokenhand, but that's a story for another day!

So far it's been cooland cloudy here, perfect weather for checking out the casinos.  I'vebeen all around so far and it seems like Reno may have passed a lawsubstituting $15 Pai Gow for $5.  But on the plus side my roommate didprove to me that you can lose $70 in a mere twelve minutes at the crapstable.  It was entertaining to watch.

Well like I said we justfinished up the official practice session.  I'll be bowling on thesecond squad for the tournament so I also had the second squad of thepractice session.  There is no re-oiling between the squads forqualifying so there was also no re-oiling between the practice sessions.

Watchingthe early squad practice there seemed to be a pretty good look right inthe track area for most of the players.  They were crossing the arrowssomewhere around 10-13, and getting the ball out to right around 6-7down lane.  It looked like the key was to keep your ball speed softthough because it looks like there is going to be a lot of oil downlane this week.  This is also a characteristic of the stadium throughout the years.

There also seemed to be a pretty good look righton the gutter but you had to execute to make this work.  Both Norm Dukeand Chris Loschetter had great looks going right up 2-3 boards.  Also,for possibly the first time in the history of the National BowlingStadium, the left side looked brutal!!!!  I know, shocker!!!!!

WhenI got on the lanes my goal was to make sure I bowled across the wholehouse as the stadium is notorious for playing very different pair topair.  In the hour and a half of practice I hit a few pairs that gaveme nothing, and a few pairs I felt like I couldn't miss.  My best lookswere my Break Out right up five board, my Bounty somewhere around 25out to 10, and then my Break Point Pearl pretty much right where I wasthrowing the Bounty when the heads started to dry up.

All in allit was a good practice session, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I've got a good cross with John May, Brian Himmler, and RyanCimminelli.  I'm looking for scores to be moderate tomorrow, with thekeys being able to line up early, and figure out each new pair quick.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check back tomorrow for another update. Wish me luck!!!!


Derek Eoff

Welcometo Reno for the 2010 USBC Masters.  We are at everyone's favoriteplace, the National Bowling Stadium.  I can't remember how many times Ihave bowled here but each one has been an experience.  It has been good(I think), bad and ugly.  Back in 2001 (I think, it may have been 2000)I bowled the Masters here in lovely Reno and bowled pretty good.  Imade the first cut and then was the alternate to match play.  All Iremember is they were pretty tight that year. Not so much this year.

Todaywas the official practice session and I am on the second squad.  Thefirst squad bowled for an hour and a half and then our squad came onimmediately to bowl on the 'burn'.

When I bowl in practicesessions I try and eliminate ball choices and see what parts of thelane are in play.  I will bowl in each third of the center just to seeif there are any characteristics of one part playing tighter than theother or if there is a pattern of one lane hooking more than the other.

Once I got loose I tried every ball in my bag and immediatelyeliminated a few of them.  I started on the high end (lane 55).  Myfirst reaction was there was a lot of hook.  After bowling for about 20minutes I narrowed my ball choices down to a T-Road Solid, SecondDimension and Virtual Energy (all drilled pin up).
Good shotmaking is essential in most major championships, as the pattern tendsto be demanding.  I focused on making good shots and trying differenthand positions and speeds.  I had a couple of options as it appearsthere are a couple of places to play (depending on who you follow andhow they break the pattern down).

Tomorrow I bowl at 4pm onthe 'burn'.  I will get here early to see how they are playing thefresh and watch a little of my pairs to see if I can gain any extra knowledge.

For those of you watching the live stream tomorrow, they have asked me to sit down and chat for a while, probably around 2pm.

That's all I have for now.