We hit the practice session this morning. Basically we had the same results. I had a great shot right up 3 and another one around 12-8. Keith had 3 different angles to play. We were both pretty confident. Keith decided to let me bowl the 10am squad and he would wait until noon for his squad. Since I didn't do so well yesterday I decided to go right up 3 (on lanes 17-18 byt the way) with my Dimension. I used a medium Scotch Brite pad to take the shine off it so the ball would get an earlier roll. I started off pretty solid, then the back ends faded in the 3rd frame. I was already playing very direct, so there wasn't much room to move. I kept at it, but couldn't get the ball to finish to the pocket. I got lined up a little in the 9th, but the 10th got some more skid and it finished with spare-strike for a disappointing 179 game. I had two splits that killed any momentum I had.
Game 2 we moved to 45-46. I still felt like a had a shot with this straight up line, so I chose to stick with it. The first two balls were dead flush. I commented to Keith that I was surprised that the the left and right lanes were actually playing the same for a change. Then the third frame the ball lost it's back end flip again, just like in the first game. Hmmmm. I stayed with it in the fourth frame and it happened again. I went 9 spare both times. Then my brilliant coach Keith says to move 1 board left and look closer on the lane. DAMMIT!!! That was it, why didn't I think of that before. By looking closer the ball will pick up a roll faster. Sure enough, I moved one left, pull my eyes in about 2 feet, and POW, right in the pocket to blow out a 7-pin. Another spare, but now I have confidence in the shot. Starting in the 6th I throw the next 4 strikes to set up the 10th frame. I can punch out for 246, and have a good shot at making the cut. I set up for the shot, throw a great shot and BAM, another blowout 7-pin. That was a kick to the groin. I take a breath, make the spare, and throw another great shot to rip the rack to finish with 225, and a total of 406. The cut has been around this number or a little higher every squad, so now I am chomping at the bit. It takes them 45 minutes or so to verify the scores, so we go upstairs to Friday's for an appetizer and a beer.
We headed back down so Keith could get ready for his squad. He had some major over/under, and could never get any consistent reaction. He stuck his head in his ass and missed three spares in the first game to shoot 189. Not too bad, considering the crappy ball reactions he was getting. Game two he made more adjustments and just never could get any kind of area to play in. I think he only had two opens the second game, but they were not surrounded by many strikes, and he finished with a 177, for a total of 366. Probably not enough to advance, but the free-rentries cut was 375 for my squad, so there may be a chance for him to make that. We are about to head back down there to check now. I will post later.
Oh yeah, when Keith started his squad I went to the results area to check my score. It's not posted yet. I asked one of the ladies with the tournament when it would be posted. She said it should be any minute, but I go up to the tournament office to look if I wanted to. After I ran a 100 yard dash to the office, the guy had just printed the listings. Another lady asked me for my name. She looked over at the sheet and scanned down...there you are. Yep, you made the cut. I promptly asked, in all the proper formality deemed necessary, "No shit?" She brilliantly volleyed back, "No shit, you made it." And the trumpets sounded!!!! I made the first cut at the High Roller in Las Vegas, Baby!!!!!! I am one excited little Smurf right now.
By the way, I tied someone for the last advancing spot. If I would have smashed another 7-pin I would have won a free re-entry, but I would be trying to qualify again right now instead of typing this most wonderful news to you guys (and gals).
I will bowl the 2nd round at 5:30pm today. We bowl one game, and they cut the top half. If I make it, I win $1,000, and immediately bowl one more game. There will be about 6-8 of us. They will take the top 3 to advance to the Grand Finals on Saturday. Keep a good though for me!