When we took over 14th place in team event on May 18 at this year’s United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, I figured we would end up about 25th.
Historically, scores have gone up as the tournament has gone on. And there were so many great teams still to bowl that I would not have been surprised to see us end up below 25th.
Yet here we are one month later, with just three weeks to go in the tournament, and we have fallen just two spots.
One team that beat us was another group of young Cheeseheads, Badger Pro Shop 1, which fired 3,266 (970-1,168-1,128) on Friday. Bryan Bannach led the team with 738 on his way to 2,046 all-events, Chad Svendsen added 665, Jon Schalow 664, Ryan Kohlmeyer 647 and Chris Colosimo 552 hampered by a badly injured hamstring.
I know these guys well, they have a solid Open Championships track record, they worked extremely hard preparing for Baton Rouge, had a game plan and obviously executed it well. It doesn’t surprise me that they shot 3,266.
But they’ve been the exception.
And the other events have seen a similar trend — not one lead has changed hands in the past month.
USBC PR man Matt Cannizzaro even wrote a blog on the lack of high scores.
Perhaps there will be a flurry of late scores, maybe starting with my buddy Mike Nape and his stellar Fox Bowl crew that hits Baton Rouge on Wednesday and Thursday.
But that would be a major change from the quiet of the last month.
I certainly don’t have any definitive answers.
New lanes typically wear in as they are used and transition quicker, which means the shot opens up faster. But that sure wasn’t what we saw, as I blogged here. (This does not apply to Reno as the lanes stay for several years.)
The best theory I can come up with is that as the weather has heated up in Baton Rouge and the air conditioning has run more in the frigid River Center, the lanes are tighter and don’t break down as quickly.
In other words, early in the tournament it was not as hot in Baton Rouge so the air ran less in the River Center so it was more humid and warmer inside. That could perhaps lead the lanes to hook more and transition quicker.
Other than that, I got nuttin.
If anyone else has ideas, I’d love to hear them.