The first half of the summer season of the HansonRealEstate.com Scratch League came to a close on Monday night. Already a foregone conclusion, Dan Braudrick Services, formerly Team 5, officially wrapped up the title by winning more than three points on the night. Although the night was supposed to lack suspense and drama, a little surprise awaited the bowlers as they took to the lanes.
In the Reality TV age, phrases such as "a surprise was in store" might mean "one of the bowlers will be voted off the league" or "one of the teams will be forced to eat a cricket before every shot" or even "the losing team will be forced to bowl on Exile Island next season." But no, Donald Trump wasn't present at the center, waiting to fire one of the keglers.
However, the surprise in store on Monday was probably just as, if not more, traumatic for the scratch bowlers. With the league title already settled and the PBA senior tour in town, the powers that be decided to have a little fun and put out the same PBA oil pattern the pros were using for the scratch league. Oil patterns play a big role in how difficult the lanes play on a given night. A typical "house" shot focuses a large volume of oil in the center of the lane while leaving the outsides of the lanes fairly dry. This helps to steer wayward shots back to the pocket by providing more friction, therefore more hook, near the gutters and less in the middle of the lanes. However, PBA shots, such as the one used on Monday, don't afford bowlers the same luxury.
Several bowlers were more than up for the challenge on Monday. Most impressive was Darrell Hanson of HansonRealEstate.com, who shot games of 192, 200, 187 and 232 for an 811 series and a 202 average. Vaughn Karabedian of Kinder's Meats was close behind Hanson with a 789 series that included games of 202 and 223. On the woman's side, Lorrie Sims of AmeriSpec Home Inspection, shot a league-best 243 in game three and finished with a 737 four-game set.
Congratulations are in order for Juergen Siemers, Vic Osborne and Kent Welker, who led Dan Braudrick Services to the title; a tip of the cap to those bowlers who flourished in the tough conditions on Monday; and a big "you're hired" to the throng of professional bowlers who will make the tough lanes look easy over the next few days.