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My First Trip to Nationals.

My whole life I have heard adults talk about going to Nationals and bowling in the National Bowling Stadium. This made me want to go myself and see what all the hype was about and this year it was finally my turn to go to Reno, Nevada and bowl in the 2023 US Open Championships.

Our flight there was a bit rough as the final plane into Reno did not land until right at 12am after a 1 hour delay for the first plane and a 1 hour layover in Denver. Needless to say, that first night of sleep was not pretty as it was 1am (3am in our normal time zone) before we got to bed. The next day both my wife and I were really groggy and didn't want to do anything, but I had a team practice at 7pm and wanted to bowl the Bowler's Journal event prior to the team practice.

We got up and got brunch, walked over to the National Bowling Stadium to take a look around the museum and just what all the stadium had to offer prior to having to be there for bowling. I decided to bowl the 5pm squad of the Bowler's Journal and when we got there I was super nervous. The first 2 games went pretty well, I shot 189 and 208 using a combination of the Purple Hammer and the DV8 Captivate. I was in a good position to make a good run for one of the final cashing spots. Then, tragedy struck... I lost the ball motion I had and the ability to spare anything and shot 139 for the final game for a total of 536.

That last game pretty much set the tone for the following day for the Teams event of our trip. Even though I had a good look during the practice session for teams, the actual pattern played much differently. We had 2 two handed bowlers and several high rev bowlers on our pair. This caused the oil to break down really fast and become pretty unpredictable. The first game I had 3 splits, 1 missed makeable, and 5 strikes for 176. The second game went much worse, 1 split, 3 missed makeables, and only 2 strikes for 146; one of the missed makeables was in the 10th frame causing the game to end shorter than it needed to. The third and final game of teams went a bit better than the second, but not much. I had 2 splits, 1 missed makeable, and 4 strikes for 172. In total, my team series ended at 494, my lowest set of 3 games since I came back to bowling 3 years ago... Our team finished with a total of 2,427.

The next day, I begrudgingly showed up, but was determined to make this day better than the previous. Practice started off pretty mediocre, which lead to a tough start to game 1. I started with a 9/ X, then 3 splits in a row (I think this qualifies me for the Buzzards Club...), followed by a double, 7/, 9-, X 6/ for 161. I was throwing the Purple hammer and just couldn't control where the ball was going off my hand. The next game started off better with X X 9/, then it went down hill again with 3 total splits and 1 missed makeable for 156. I could not figure out one of the lanes to save my life. I made a ball change to the Black Widow 2.0 Hybrid for game 3. This was probably the best ball change I could have made during the entire tournament. I started off with the front 4 strikes followed by an 8/, then 4 more strikes, followed by 8/ 6 in the 10th frame for 252. My partner also bowled a good game during this 3rd game of Doubles and we shot a 469 game propelling us into the cash number and giving us a medallion for having a game over 450. As of June 19, the low to cash for Regular doubles is 1128 and we were able to get to 1148 thanks to that final game. My doubles series ended at a 569.

The start of singles went back to the not great side of things. While I only had 1 split and 1 missed makeable, I was only able to strike 3 individual times throughout the whole game for a 167. For the second game of singles, I had 2 splits, 1 missed makeable, and a 4 bagger to help me get to 186. During the final game of my Nationals run, I had 2 splits and 4 strikes for a 187. Making my singles series a 540 and my all events total a 1603.

After riding a high from doing well at some local and state tournaments, this whole event was a very humbling experience. Now I will come back home to some new challenges, equipment, and many more events over the summer. I am looking forward to returning to this event in the future and hopefully will have a better showing.


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