Knute Rockne famously once implored his team to win one for the Gipper.
Reading the USBC news release on S&B Pro Shop 1's stellar performance in taking the team all-events lead on Friday, it seems they were trying to win one for the Nicker — teammate Nick Wissinger.
Wissinger might be the Lee Westwood of the Open Championships — the best player without a title — and his Eagle-owning teammates want to take that "title" away from him.
And the powerful Detroit area group just might have done that with a 9,954 team all-events total that topped previous leader Lodge Lanes Too by 180 pins.
"By far, over a career, Nick is one of the most accomplished guys on the team, and for him not to have an eagle is tough to see," teammate Bill Orlikowski said in the release of Wissinger, who is ninth in average (213.9) among those with 20 or more tournaments. "He's bowled with a lot of great teams and bowlers and has been really close before, but it just hasn't happened yet. It's definitely something that would be a huge monkey off of his back."
After opening with a 169 game in team, Wissinger moved in a few boards and blasted games of 268 and 278 for 715, then added 721 in doubles and 716 in singles for 2,152 all-events, putting him second behind Ryan Whitney's 2,177.
"In team, we decided to stay out further, and I just didn't have a good reaction," Wissinger said in the USBC release. "I finally decided to make a jump inside, and there it was. Of course I wish I would've made the adjustment and moved sooner, but anytime you shoot 2,100 here, you have to feel pretty good. I had a good ball reaction for two days, outside of the first game, and you can't ask for much more than that."
"It seems like every year for doubles and singles, we run out of room because we're so deep and feel like there's nowhere left to go, but this year, I didn't feel that at all. My A game is inside, and I felt pretty comfortable all day. I didn't even move my feet much at all today. I just tweaked my hand position and rev rate, and I was able to keep throwing strikes."
It's also possible that if he and his group hadn't played outside in the first game they wouldn't have exploded the last two games: S&B 1 went 977-1,155-1,1145 for a 3,277 to move into second, as I blogged here.
That position held for a day as Shannon O'Keefe closed with a perfect game for a 755 series to lead Cambridge 1 to 3,319. On the adjacent pair, a powerful Minnesota team that includes Dan Bock and Chad Nelson totaled 3,247 to move into fourth. Nicholas J's Pro Shop 2 of La Crosse continues to lead at 3,401.
For S&B 1, Dave Ewald added 2,049 all-events, Orlikowski 2,038, Kerry Kreft 1,900, and lefty Mark Moore 1,815.
Wissinger and Ewald took over sixth in doubles with 1,389, and Orlikowski tied for ninth in singles with 742.
Ewald, Kreft and Moore won the team event in 2004 with S&B Pro Shop 2's Fred Bauss and Joe Krajenke, while Orlikowski, Kreft and S&B 2's Jay Lang won the team all-events in 1999. Lang also won the team in 1997.
A poster on the ballreviews.com message board who goes by "Hoselrockets" and said he is on S&B 2 posted this report after team event:
"Ok here is my report on this years nationals...We had about 3-4 practices
sessions back in Detroit but most everything we saw at home didn't hook as much
as what we saw yesterday. For those that watched the live stream we tried to
start out practice around 5. Some of us had a little surface and some of us
didn't, we felt if too many of us had surface we would have ruined the front of
the pattern so we mixed that up a little bit. For the most part we made them
very playable by the end of the 1st game, it was just a matter of good execution
and getting the darn ball off my hand and most importantly you MUST MAKE YOUR
The variety of balls used were, DV8 too reckless, Crossroads, Black Eagles,
Black Taboo, Brunswick C system and there new Black Ball (can't think of the
name right now) and Eruptions.
Majority of use were using 4.5-5" pins as those seemed to go through the
1-3 a little better. We had an idea of using shorter pins from axis but with
the more friction we saw those drillings didn't face the 1-3 good enough to get
the carry you want."